|Princess Fiona and Donkey from our 2008 visit to Universal Studios|
As a part of our Summer 2014 vacation, we are returning to Universal Orlando, which features two theme parks—Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and a shopping and dining district—CityWalk. Our last visit was in 2008 and consisted of visiting over multiple days. This year, we’ve go one day.
Due to our condensed schedule, we are planning to take advantage of Universal’s Express Pass. Express Pass gives guests access to a different line, the Express Pass line. While free to on-site guests (and the ability to use it on the same attraction more than once), off site guests can pay for this privilege.
Express Pass can be added to park tickets for an additional fee per day, varying based on whether the ticket is for a child or adult, one park or two parks, and time of year visiting. The starting point is $30 (rounding up from $29.99).
For example, we are purchasing 3 adult (children 10 and up are considered adult, just like at Disney) multi-park, 1-day tickets during peak travel time. The addition cost for Express Pass is $90 per ticket—making the final price for our tickets $230 per person.
Is it worth it? In our case, yes! Only having one day, essentially 13 hours, to get the most out of both parks, Express Pass will cut our wait times significantly allowing us to do more. Actually, if Express Pass was not available, we would change our plans and only visit one park.
Express Pass is limited to certain attractions and can only be used once for each attraction per ticket. We are good with these restrictions. One attraction not yet on the list is Diagon Alley and the Hogwart’s Express which will transport guests between the parks. Guests wishing to take the Hogwart’s Express will need park-to-park tickets—which we will have!
The boy and the husband are looking forward to the many rides and attractions. And, while we will all enjoy them, I am looking forward to the experience—the details, the “how to”. And, yes, will keep you posted!