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Free Express Unlimited Passes at Universal

There is no getting around it. Express passes at Universal Florida are expensive. We have found a way to access these passes that is still by no means cheap but essentially kills two birds with one stone.


At some of the nicer resorts at Universal Florida you can get Express Unlimited passes as a part of your stay. I know my mom would also correct me to not say free, but say included. These hotels are Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Hotel. I have only used this trick to stay at Royal Pacific. Usually, you are able to book these resorts with a discount on websites like Priceline if you do not qualify for any discounts on the Universal Website.


The Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
The Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

There are two kinds of express passes at Universal. There is a regular and an express unlimited pass - the regular lets you ride one time on each attraction offering the pass per day and the unlimited lets you ride as many times as you want on any attraction offering the pass.


The cost of a universal express unlimited pass starts at $109.99 per person with them getting much more expensive around busy times. For two days the cost can get ridiculous, so this is a massive savings if you had already planned on purchasing either pass.


For around $400 a night you can have a party of 5 stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort on Universal property that is within walking distance of both universal studios park and islands of adventure park. A perk of booking a stay at this resort is that it comes with express unlimited passes for all guests on the reservation up to 5 (this is subject to change at any time). I have only ever used this for a party of 4. These passes will work both on the day you check in and the day you check out.


There are two huge attractions not offering express right now and those are Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure and the Velocicoaster. Hagrid's can see wait times shoot up into the 2+ hour mark. Velocicoaster usually will be between 45 minutes to an hour and a half.


We recommend heading straight to Velocicoaster in the morning for rope drop if you aren’t going to be there for early entry or as soon as the park opens because Hagrid's usually starts the day with a massive line. You can then enjoy other attractions in islands of adventure like Spider-Man or King Kong while waiting on the Hagrid line to die down which it usually does around lunch.


We love staying on property at Disney so we are used to ridiculous prices for resort stays. This Loews resort is on par with Coronado springs for us. The lobby and amenities are nicer here than at Coronado, but the rooms on Disney property seem to be better maintained than these. I honestly prefer the rooms at Disney’s All Stars Resorts to these. They look nice, but still have carpet and if you get one of the ground level rooms they feel dark and basement like. By no means is it a bad resort; just doesn’t have they Disney quality to it.


We usually separate our Orlando vacation and will either start or end our vacation at universal. Most of the time we end at universal, so we get our monies worth out of the express pass trick. We transfer over to the universal resort early in the morning from Disney and check our bags with their bell service then immediately head to check in. If early in the morning you will most likely not be allowed in your room, but they will go ahead and give you your room key which will be your express pass at the park. We then walk over to whichever park we want to start with. This gives us a full two days at universal with this perk.


Have you ever used this service? How was your experience?

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