How can you avoid the queues at Universal Orlando?

Standing in line for the rides at a theme park for hours is never the best part of your day, then add the Florida heat and it becomes very draining.

But there are options

Option 1

Head to the park as soon as it opens, you can often manage a few rides without queuing too long in the first hour or so.

Option 2

Wait until 30 or 40 minutes before the park closes. This is often a good time to get in line for the most popular rides. You’ll still have to queue, but generally not as long as during the rest of the day. Plus the heat should have subsided.

Option 3

Buy a 2 Park Universal Express Pass

  • Universal Express Unlimited Pass
    • $119.99 plus tax per person per day
    • Does not include
      • Fievels Playland
      • Pteranodon Flyers
      • Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure
      • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
    • Gives you unlimited express ride access to all other rides and attractions.
    • The cost of entrance is in addition to the express pass cost.
  • Universal Express Pass
    • $89.99 plus tax per person per day
    • Does not include
      • Fievels Playland
      • Pteranodon Flyers
      • Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure
      • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
    • Gives you one time express ride access to each of the other rides and attractions.
    • The cost of entrance is in addition to the express pass cost

Option 4

Stay in a Universal Hotel (although all Universal Hotels are not equal!)

  • If you book a stay with one of the following hotels, you will benefit from free Universal Express Unlimited for the duration of your stay.
    • Loews Portofino Hotel
    • Hard Rock Hotel
    • Loews Royal Pacific Hotel
    • If for example you are staying on a Monday night only. You can check in at say 7.30am, collect your express passes then get a full days use of the Unlimited pass, then on the Tuesday you can also utilise the Unlimited pass for another full day.
      • If you’re room is not ready on arrival you can either leave your luggage in the car or with bell services.
    • Obviously, the more people in your party sharing one room, the better value.
  • In addition to the benefit of the Universal Unlimited Pass, you will also benefit from the following (some of which are also available for the cheaper Universal Hotels)
    • Early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
      • Up to one hour before the park opens
    • Priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort
    • Complimentary Transportation
      • Water Taxi
      • Shuttle Busses
      • Walking path
    • Resort wide charging privileges with room key
    • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout your resort to your hotel.

How expensive is it to stay at a Universal Hotel?

I’m going to pick a date and a hotel – Monday 3rd October 2022

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Hard Rock and Portofino are slightly more expensive.

Conclusion

Obviously, it depends on your budget, but if you can afford it and you want to avoid the lines. Even if there is only 2 of you it makes sense to book a night in one of the three hotels, thereby giving you two full days of unlimited express pass access.

Not only that, but you are also close to the parks in case you want a rest or a swim in the afternoon!

Here is an example for 2 adults

2 days Universal Unlimited Express Pass $119.99 x 2 adults x 2 days = $479.96

1 night at the Royal Pacific Hotel including 2 days, 2 adults Universal Unlimited Express Pass = $474

WHY WOULDN’T YOU!!!

Other information

There are parking charges of $27 per day for the Hotels, but this is also the case for the parks

There is free self-parking after 6pm for all guests in the main City Walk / Theme Parks parking lot (although not on Halloween Horror Nights)

What do we do?

When visiting Orlando, Disney is our park of choice, but we do love to visit the Universal parks periodically.

We generally only do 2 days, so we maximise our time by staying in one of the Universal Hotels for one night.

Our favourite Universal Hotel is the Hard Rock Hotel where we have stayed a few times, but we have also stayed at the Royal Pacific Resort

On all of our Universal Hotel overnight stays we have benefited from 2 days of the Universal Express Unlimited Pass at no extra cost.

One year we rode the Mummy 6 consecutive times!

However, you choose to enjoy Universal Orlando, have a fabulous time!!

The information was correct as of February 14th 2022. For all of the examples above you do still need valid theme park tickets.

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