How To Get Universal Express Unlimited Passes For Free

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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 purchase Univeral Express Passes. 

Universal offers three versions of the passes, all with different features and price points: 

  • Universal Express: Skip the regular lines one time per participating ride; prices range from $89.99 -$349.99
  •  Universal Express Unlimited: Skip the regular lines an unlimited number of times on participating rides; prices range from $99.99 – $379.99
  • Volcano Bay Express: Skip the virtual line on time per participating ride at Universal’s Volcano Bay water park, prices range from $19.99 – $149.99. 

Depending on your travel plans, purchasing Universal Unlimited passes could add a significant cost to your next Universal Orlando vacation. 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:

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Loews Royal Pacific Hotel

 Check out our Universal Studios Express Pass review to learn if these passes are worth it. 

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: There’s no way to book stays at Universal Studios hotels directly using points. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use travel rewards for your next Universal Studios vacation, but it can be more challenging than other destinations. 


Booking Universal Orlando Resorts With Points

While none of the Universal Orlando resorts or hotels allow you to book directly using travel rewards, you can still use points to book a room indirectly. There are a couple of ways to do this. 

Book a room through a credit card travel portal

Some credit card issuers allow you to book Universal Studios resorts through their travel portals using points. Three of the best options for this are: 

Use A Capital One Credit Card To Erase Your Purchases

Two of our favorite Capital One credit cards can help you use travel rewards to cover the cost of a room at one of the Universal Orlando hotels. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® Venture X Rewards Credit Card allow you to book hotels and then use Capital One points to cover travel purchases. It doesn’t get much easier than that.  

Book Universal Studios Resorts through The Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts collection

The Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts collection is an exclusive program only available to individuals with select American Express credit cards. If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express, you can book accommodations at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel using Membership Rewards points. It’s not necessarily the best use of Amex points, but it could work depending on your needs.

Final Thoughts

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.

Don’t forget you still need to purchase Universal Studios tickets to enter the parks.  Universal Express Unlimited passes are an add-on to park admission.

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Where do stay when visiting Universal Studios Orlando? Let us know in the comments below.


How To Get Universal Express Unlimited Passes For Free

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