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Old 10-22-2018, 05:34 PM   #1
Geri Alexander
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Do the Express Passes make a difference?

I have been to Universal, but it has been years! We are repeat Disney goers, but decided to make a quick trip over Thanksgiving to just do Universal. On crowd calendars, it looks like our Monday-Tuesday of Thanksgiving week will be moderate, but Wednesday will be busy. I have not been there and used Express pass. Does it make a huge difference? From what I am reading, it can cut your wait down to 10-15 minutes, even during busy times.

We are more concerned about Harry Potter as I'm traveling with two children, a 6 year old, and a 41 year old. But both are all about seeing everything, and I'm trying to get an idea of how the Express Pass works compared to say, fast pass.

TIA!
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:23 PM   #2
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Now that Express Pass can be used on Harry Potter attractions, it is worth it!
We did both parks in one day using Express Pass upgrade and a park-to-park ticket which is necessary for Hogwarts Express.
Only a limited number of Express Passes are sold each day, so plan ahead and purchase it for the day(s) you plan to be at Universal. Universal's website will tell you the price depending on which day you plan to go. Just purchase and print out the barcode for each person and have that with your park ticket.
Have fun!
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:03 PM   #3
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We get one with our hotel package, and I'm glad to hear it'll help. I'm like a fish out of water. I can plan Disney with both arms tied behind my back, but Universal is a new animal! I hate not knowing what I'm doing.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:19 PM   #4
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We really like having the Express at Universal. We can do everything we want by dinner time. I agree that adding the Harry Potter attractions has made Express much more enticing. Plus, if you’re getting them included with your resort, it’s a no-brainer to use them.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geri Alexander View Post
We get one with our hotel package, and I'm glad to hear it'll help. I'm like a fish out of water. I can plan Disney with both arms tied behind my back, but Universal is a new animal! I hate not knowing what I'm doing.
I feel ya!
We prioritized like at Disney and did the important stuff first--Harry Potter. After that, everything was cake. We did Islands of Adventure in order around the "lake". Universal was more about proximity as we walked--did we want to do "that" while we were here. There are some cool shows at Universal so be sure to do some research on times.
We ate when we were hungry at whatever was nearby.
There are some great restaurants at City Walk!
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:29 AM   #6
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Thank all y'all! It sounds like the Express pass should really limit waits. I didn't realize they only gave out or sold so many in a day. I was thinking everyone would buy them, and then we'd still be waiting in long lines!
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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We only get it if it comes with our hotel. When we stay at a hotel that doesn't have it, we just suffer through the lines. We've found that with some planning and three days, we can do everything we want and have shortish lines. Express Passes are great and do save a lot of time especially mid-day (which is when we do the pool).
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:05 AM   #8
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Hi, we’ve had it twice now with our hotel room and I would definitely say it was worth it!

As previous people had said, now that it has HP added onto it wow! no more ‘hot footing’ it into the park to get to Gringotts

We could relax at breakfast without the stress of ‘hurry up everyone’ lol

Have fun!
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Old 10-25-2018, 03:03 PM   #9
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Do they still sell that “front of the line pass.” We were there about 3 years ago and barely got to do anything, even with the early entry from staying on site. This trip it’s just me & DS, so it would be worth it. It was outrageously expensive before, for a family of 5.

Ok, I just read another post in another thread— I guess express pass IS the “front of the line pass” I was thinking of. How do you get that? I didn’t see it as an option when making a mock ressie at an on site hotel, on the universal website. I just saw early entry.

Last edited by Jennifer_W; 10-25-2018 at 03:16 PM.. Reason: Duh!
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jennifer_W View Post
Do they still sell that “front of the line pass.” We were there about 3 years ago and barely got to do anything, even with the early entry from staying on site. This trip it’s just me & DS, so it would be worth it. It was outrageously expensive before, for a family of 5.

Ok, I just read another post in another thread— I guess express pass IS the “front of the line pass” I was thinking of. How do you get that? I didn’t see it as an option when making a mock ressie at an on site hotel, on the universal website. I just saw early entry.
If you are booking a Universal Resort property, Express comes with the top 3 only, those being Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, and Royal Pacific. Otherwise, you must purchase it to add it on to your package. And yes, I agree that it’s pricey. Essentially, staying at Cabana Bay and adding Express is akin to paying to stay at Royal Pacific, but we like Cabana Bay. You just have to weigh whether or not the cost is worth it to you.
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