Universal Orlando in december

September 18, 2014, 9:20 AM

Hi everyone!
I'm planning to go to Universal Orlando in december, 25 and I'll need some advices.
Do you think there will be a lot of affluence? Cause I think I will take express passes, but they're veryyyy expensive for this day: 255$! As I only got 1 day for universal, I was wondering if it is possible to do it in one day without express passes at this date. I don't want to pay 255$ and in the end having short lines anyway.

Excuse my bad english, I'm from France! :)

Thanks in advance!

Replies (8)

September 18, 2014, 11:42 AM

Take that $255 and invest in a single night at one of the three onsite properties that include Express Pass: Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, or Portfino Bay. With your room, you get unlimited Express Pass from the time you check in on day one until the parks close on day two. Still the best onsite perk in the business.

September 18, 2014, 1:38 PM

I would avoid Christmas Day at all cost. It seems quaint to enjoy the holiday at a theme park, but it seems that everyone has the same idea. The Magic Kingdom typically closes for capacity that day, and I would expect both UO parks to be similarly crowded, which is why they can charge so much for the Express Pass.

As James suggested, if you have no other choice than to visit on December 25, I would either book a night in one of the hotels, or get there at least an hour before park opening, and stay as long as you can tolerate the lines.

September 18, 2014, 3:03 PM

Thanks a lot for your answers! Indeed I've checked hôtels prices and it is better to take a room.
I'm not sure I understood what you meant.
Does it mean that if I spend the night from 24 to 25 december, I'll have the express passes for the 25?
And also, how does it work? If I book on booking.com , do I automatically have the express passes?

Edited: September 18, 2014, 4:19 PM

Far as I know all guests at any of the three "main" Universal onsite hotels, Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, Portfino (no matter how they book their stay) will receive Universal Express as part of their hotel "amenities". And this access will be available to you from the time you check in on the 24th thru the close of the parks on the 25th.

September 19, 2014, 6:15 AM

Basically, if you book for a 1-night stay on December 24, 2014, you will have Universal Express from the point you check in on December 24 until the end of the day on December 25. However, in order to get the Universal Express you not only need to book the room at Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay, or Royal Pacific, but you also need to purchase your admission from Universal at the same time. So if you have already purchased your admission, you might need to call to see if your pre-purchased admission would be eligible for the Express upgrade when you book your hotel room.

September 19, 2014, 9:16 AM

Russell, if you have a room at one of the 3 deluxe hotels, you get the Express Pass. It is a separate photo ID card assigned to every registered guest. It doesn't matter when or how (or even if) you get your admission ticket.

Edited: September 19, 2014, 9:35 AM

Tony - That is not how it is advertised on the UO website. We were looking at onsite resorts when booking our upcoming trip, and there is small print that clearly notes that UE was provided when admission was purchased WITH a qualifying hotel stay. I know that the last time we stayed onsite UE simply required you to show your hotel room key, and perhaps it's still that way for early entry, but the disclaimers on the website seem pretty clear when you get to the end of the process that a package is required to get UE with an onsite hotel stay. Universal does tend to say one thing and do another (I had to clarify a misnomer about the Stay and Scream ticket with UO customer service), so perhaps what's on the website does not reflect reality. I just wanted to let the OP know, and to perhaps check with customer service to verify that purchasing admission with the room was not required to receive UE. I would hate for someone to think that they can get such a critical perk and find out that it's not valid for one reason or another.

Edited: September 19, 2014, 6:57 PM

The UOR website has some of the worst writing I have ever seen and it very well may say that but I go on the Disboards Universal area and what I said is what actual visitors encounter. I expect some old and new and special package details get added and never edited. Always check with the hotel is the best advice, I agree.

I just remembered, sometimes off-site hotels get to sell UOR packages that include Express Pass privileges as long as all the purchases go through UOR. This may be what you read.

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