Crowds can lead to long lines so you may have to wait for your flight of the Hippogriff, or for your Jurassic Park river adventure.
Universal parks offer Express Passes to help you save time, enjoy more rides, and have more fun.
Either purchase an Express Pass yourself, or you can stay in a Universal Orlando Resort hotel to get one free. Let’s take a look at all the Universal hotels that offer Express Pass benefits.
What’s a Universal Express Pass?
Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando have a special Universal Express Pass that allows you to skip the line at all attractions. Express Passes are limited in number so not everyone who is interested will be able to purchase one.
There is a choice of two types Universal Express Passes.
Universal Express — This allows you to skip the line at participating rides once per attraction.
Universal Express Unlimited — allows you to skip the line at participating attractions as often as you wish.
Universal Express Passes start from $89 and can go up to $349 depending on the time of year and how busy the park is.
The Universal Express Unlimited Pass costs between $99 to $379. These prices are only for Express Passes. Park admission costs will be extra.
As part of their amenities, guests who travel to Universal Orlando or stay at selected Universal Studios Resort properties receive an Express Pass. We have the information you need to help you find out what Universal hotels include Express Pass.
Which Universal Orlando hotels include Express Pass?
All guests staying in Premier-level hotels within the Universal Orlando Resort get a complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Pass. Each guest on the room receives a free Universal Express Unlimited Pass.
Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
Loews Royal Pac Resort.
Guests also get early admission to the park, which allows park access to Volcano Bay and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour before the parks open. This means you get more rides, with fewer people.
1. Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
The Hard Rock Hotel in Universal Orlando is located closest to Universal Studios’ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The standard queen room at this hotel costs between $573 and $895 for two adults and two kids. Tax included. This is not a cheap place to stay. However, if you consider that each person will also get an Express Unlimited Pass it’s worth more than $400 per night.
Each point on this card is worth 1.5 cents when it’s redeemed through the portal. You can book a room for around 43,000 points, including taxes and fees.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred(r), Card’s value drops to 1.25c apiece. You would need 51,600 Chase Ultimate Rewards(r), points to cover a night at $573 plus tax.
You can also use the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card to book a hotel room and then offset the cost with miles at a rate 1 cent per mile. To cover the nightly rate, you would need 64,500 Capital One Miles. This is a large number of miles but you can still book a hotel room with your credit card rewards.
2. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Loews Portofino Bay hotel is inspired by Portofino, an Italian village. For quadruple occupancy, a garden-view, two-queen room starts at $484 per evening. Holidays such as New Year’s Day can cost up to $943.
You must book at least one hotel night via the AmEx Travel portal, and prepay the room using one of the mentioned cards to receive the annual credit. Within 90 days, the credit will be issued to you as a statement credit.
Additional benefits to booking a Luxury Resorts + Hotels property include daily breakfast for two and an upgrade (when possible), 12 p.m. Check-in and 4:45 p.m. Check-out, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a $100 food or beverage credit.
You can book more nights by using the Chase Ultimate Rewards(r), and redeem Ultimate Rewards(r at a value between 1.25 and 1.5 cents with either the Chase Sapphire Reserve(r), or the Chase Sapphire Preferred(r). AmEx points can be used to purchase Fine Hotels + Resorts properties through AmEx Travel.
3. Loews Royal Pacific Resort
The Loews Royal Pac Resort is the best option of all the Universal Orlando hotels that offer Express Pass benefits. The nightly rate for a standard 2-queen room starts at $406; peak times can see $836.
You can again use points or miles for payment to book a room here. You can book a room using as little as 30,450 points when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve(r) travel portal.
To use Capital One miles, you’ll need to pay 45,700 miles after you add taxes and fees.
Loews Royal Pacific Resort offers the best value for money, with its lower room rates. This is a great option if you want to maximize your rewards. You can save days if you travel off-peak hours and book a room at the lower end of the rate range.
It’s simple. A Universal Express Unlimited Pass for one park starts at $99 plus taxes, but it can cost more if you go on busy summer days and during winter holidays. This is more than $400 if you have two adults and two children in your family.
The room rate is offset by the Express Passes costs immediately.
What is the Universal Express Unlimited Pass for Premier Hotels?
Every guest who registers for a room will be given a room key and an Express Pass to use in the park.
Just scan your room key and you’ll be able to enjoy shorter wait times at your favorite attractions for the duration of your stay.
Universal hotels with a free Express Pass, recapped
Although you don’t require an Express Pass to Universal Studios Orlando, you should consider the number of people who will be staying together, how many days they’ll be at the park, and the total cost of your Universal trip.
A Premier hotel may not be as costly as you think when you consider the benefits.
Remember that the nightly rates for all these hotels can vary depending on season and demand. This means that you may see different prices if you search for certain dates.
Regardless of the rate, all guests registered to the room receive a Universal Unlimited Express Pass, early admission to the parks, and a Universal Unlimited Express Pass.
(Top Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort).
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