From Harry Potter and The Simpsons to Suessland and The Terminator, Universal Orlando offers families a whole lot of fun. Trying to squeeze all your fun into one day can be tight but we found two ways that can help.
You could easily spend days in Universal Orlando but on a recent trip to Orlando we only have one day planned. We did what most families do to prepare for a day in the theme park, we mapped out our priorities and we arrived early. But you can’t control the crowds and the more people in the theme park the longer the waits, especially on the newest rides that the kids just HAVE to hit.
As the name implies these Passes are designed to get you through the cue quickly, ushering you through a separate line.
Although this access is free to guests staying onsite at one of the Universal Orlando Hotels, we did discover on a recent trip that any guest could purchase these passes. Express Pass or Unlimited Pass depends on your ride preference. The Express Pass entitles the user to access the express line for each of the participating rides and attractions once for each day the Express Pass is purchased versus the Unlimited Pass that enables you to use the express line as many times as you like for the day the pass is purchased.
For our visit we found the Universal Express Pass more than adequate for our visit. As we were trying to squeeze in as many of the new rides (and some favourites), we only really had time to ride each ride once. I can see the benefit to the Unlimited Pass should there be only a few of the really popular rides you want to visit, again and again. In reality the cost difference over the Express Pass isn’t that much so it might be worth if for total ride freedom.
Using our Universal Express Pass enabled us to spend less time waiting in line and more time screaming on rides. If you have a limited amount of time in the theme park, having express access certainly helps to accomplish more fun.
Of course pushing yourself to stay as long in the park as possible can also help you to fill your day. It can also mean a very tired group. If you’re traveling with kids you know how easy it is for them to switch from super high theme park energy to total meltdown due to fatigue.
When visiting a theme park, especially when staying off-site, we love to drive and park at the site. This means no crowded buses or trolleys with cranky kids (and adults). Unfortunately a big theme park also means a big parking lot. Even with the moving sidewalks Universal Orlando has built in, it can feel like forever to get to your car. But with Valet Parking you don’t have to make that long trek. After we left the park we took one escalator down (before the moving sidewalk adventure) and the valet was right there. While everyone is trying to remember which row they parked their vehicle in, the valet attendant is off to find yours and bring it back, ready for you to go in about thirty minutes.
If thirty minutes is too long, you can opt for the express option that has the car parked right new the booth. Of course this was the option we did. As quickly as we checked with valet, our car was waiting for us.
Valet parking means you can push your day a little longer, get a different perspective by riding some of the rides at night, and not worry about finding your car later or the long trek to it. Within five minutes the kids could collapse in their seats heading back to their rooms.
Both the Express Pass and the Valet Parking options at Universal Orlando cost extra but when you only have a day to fulfill your kids’ theme park adventure, they can make a huge difference in just how much fun and fantasy you enjoy during your visit.
Thanks to the folks at Universal Orlando for their hospitality.