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Planning a trip to Universal Studios Orlando this year? Our family loves Universal Studios. We’ve visited the parks several times over the years and it’s always a great family experience. The rides. The entertainment. The food. Universal Studios Orlando offers a completely unique experience that separates itself from most theme parks. The only thing we don’t love when visiting Universal Studios is waiting in lines. One way to avoid the long lines is to pay for Universal Express Unlimited Passes.
These add-on passes let you jump to the front of the line on many popular rides. They also cost $89.99 per person (plus tax) on top of your park ticket purchase.
Do you want to know how to get free Universal Express Unlimited Passes?
Stay on-site at one of Universal Studios’ Premier Hotels.
You automatically receive free Universal Express Unlimited passes for every day of your stay (including check-in day and departure day) when you stay at select Universal Studios hotels. Free Universal Studios Express Unlimited Passes are offered for stays at these three Universal Studios hotels:
Wondering if Universal Studios Express Passes are worth staying on-property at a Univeral Hotel? Check out our Universal Studios Express Pass review to learn more about these special add-on passes.
Universal Studios Resorts Pros and Cons
Universal Studios properties are great if you want to stay close to the parks. They also are among the best hotels in the Orlando area. That doesn’t mean that aren’t drawbacks to staying on-site. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of staying at a Universal Studios property.
Convenience: You are much closer to the parks than anywhere else you can stay. The resorts are close enough to walk to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and City Walk, but the resorts also offer free transportation by bus and water taxi as well. Using resort transportation also saves you from paying the costly parking fees at Universal Studios. Being close allows for your family to escape the park in the afternoon to cool off at the beautiful resort pools or take a nap.
Early Entry into the parks: Who doesn’t want to beat the crowds to the most popular Universal attractions? Resort guests can enter the parks an hour earlier than everyone else. Enough said.
Delivery Service: Our kids love to buy souvenirs at the parks. They do not love carrying them all day. Neither do I. Staying at Universal resorts allows you to get your in-park purchases delivered to your hotel room free of charge.
Resort Price While you do get free Universal Express Unlimited Passes, on-site resorts can be pricey, depending on when you visit. Visits during busy seasons can drive up resort prices. You will have to determine if the price of the resort is worth getting free Universal Express Unlimited Passes or if it would be cheaper to stay off-site and just purchases the passes separately.
Travel Rewards Staying on-site makes rewards/points stays more challenging. There are no rewards stays at any of the on-site resorts. However, you could add cash back credit cards and use credits to pay for your stay at Universal Studios.
With Universal Express Unlimited Passes, your family will shoot right to the front of most lines with minimal waiting time even during busy seasons. If you are going to be vacationing in Orlando in the near future, you should at least calculate the savings your family will receive staying at one of Universal’s on-site resorts. Also note, this does not provide free admission to the Universal Theme Parks. Universal Express Unlimited passes are an add-on to park admission.
Where does your family stay when you visit Universal Studios Orlando? Let us know in the comments below.
Kevin Payne is the co-founder and budgeting and family travel enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com.
Kevin is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and travel. He is a regular contributor to Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Fox Business, Credible, CreditCards.com, and Student Loan Planner.