2024 Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass: AVOID the Wait Times!

Looking for a way to get the most out of your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood? Look no further than the Universal Express Pass! 

This incredible service offers you a chance to enjoy the park’s most popular attractions with minimal wait times and maximum convenience. 

With Universal Express Pass, you can skip the regular lines, avoid the Universal Studios Hollywood wait times and experience the excitement and thrills of the park’s most thrilling rides and attractions without the frustration of long queues. 

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Harry Potter, a thrill-seeker looking for a rush, or just looking to make the most of your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, the Universal Express Pass is the perfect way to upgrade your experience. 

So why wait in line when you can skip ahead and start enjoying the magic right away? 

With Universal’s Express Pass, the adventure starts now!

Universal Studios Hollywood Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

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Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass at a Glance:

  • It’s an add-on to your regular Universal Studios Hollywood admission ticket that gives you access to a separate, shorter line
  • With the Universal Express Pass, you can only use the Express Line once per day per attraction (except for Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge)
  • You can also use the Express Pass once per day to skip each attraction, and seated show, and one-time (per day) reservation-free entry into SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ when reservations are required
  • Cost starts at $209 per person and DOES include park admission

Keep reading to see if the Universal Express Pass is worth the money!

What is the Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood?

The Express Pass is a premium service offered at Universal Studios Hollywood that provides guests with priority access to some of the park’s most popular attractions. 

Sign Entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood California. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

With this pass, you can skip the line at Universal Studios Hollywood and enjoy reduced wait times, allowing you to experience more rides and attractions in less time. 

The Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass offers a one time skip-the-line pass for select attractions and includes the cost of admission.

Who should get an Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood?

The Express Pass is ideal for you if you want to make the most of your time at the park and if you want to enjoy the ultimate Universal Studios Hollywood experience without the hassle of long lines.

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How does the Express Pass Work at Universal Studios Hollywood?

As previously mentioned, the Express Pass works by providing you with priority access to select rides and attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal Studios Hollywood Park Hours Ticket Prices Express Pass and Annual Passes

Guests who purchase an Express Pass can bypass the regular lines and enter the attraction through a separate, shorter queue to avoid the Universal Studios Hollywood wait times. 

Universal Studios Hollywood. Opt in Lead Magnet Blog Banner

This allows you to experience the ride or attraction with reduced wait times, providing a more seamless and enjoyable experience. 

The Express Pass is scanned at the entrance of each participating attraction.

There is a limited number of Express Passes available each day, so it’s recommended to purchase in advance. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Pass and Express Pass Booth next to red carpet entrance.

With the Express Pass, you can maximize your time at the park and enjoy a hassle-free experience with minimal wait times.

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Which rides at Universal Studios Hollywood use Express Pass?

Currently, the Express Pass includes one express access to each ride, attraction and seated show per day (excluding Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge) AND one-time (per day) reservation-free entry into SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ when reservations are required to enter the land.

Universal Studios Hollywood Super Nintendo World. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
NEW Super Nintendo World
  1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  2. Jurassic World: The Ride
  3. Transformers: The Ride-3D
  4. The Simpsons Ride
  5. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!
  6. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  7. Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride
  8. Flight of the Hippogriff
  9. Backlot Studio Tour
  10. WaterWorld
  11. Entrance to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD (when reservations are required)

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Something to Remember About the Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass

The exact list of participating rides and attractions may vary depending on the day and time of year.

Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour Cars from Movies Magnum PI and Back to the Future. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
Backlot Studio Tour

So, I recommend checking the Universal Studios Hollywood website or ask a Team Member for the most up-to-date information. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Secret Life of Pets Ride VIP Experience and Express Pass Entrance on the Pets Ride

With the Express Pass, visitors can enjoy priority access to some of the park’s most thrilling and exciting experiences.

How do you get an Express Pass for Universal Studios Hollywood?

There are several ways to get an Express Pass for Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Revenge of the Mummy Ride. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

The easiest and most convenient method is to purchase it online

Simply select to purchase a Universal Express ticket rather than general admission. This guarantees Express Pass for the day of your visit AND your park ticket.

Universal Studios Hollywood Jurassic World Express Pass Upgrade

You can also purchase the Express Pass at the park on the day of your visit, but availability is not guaranteed. 

There are only a limited number of Express Passes available per day.

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How much is Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Universal Studios Hollywood has a variable pricing scale that varies throughout the year. 

You will find admission, including Express Pass, is more expensive on expected busy dates and cheaper on dates the park is typically quieter.

Universal Studios Hollywood Express Prices and Dates
Examples of the Cost that Your Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood Could Be

When purchasing Universal Express online, prices start from $209 and can be as much as $309 on peak park dates.

Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Pre Purchased Tickets Sign and Prices and Annual Passes

If you purchase Express Pass separately from your admission ticket, a limited number of Express Pass upgrades are available at the park gate. 

Prices vary from $70-150 with the highest price tag on the busiest dates.

Can you add Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood? 

If you purchase general admission for Universal Studios Hollywood and later decide you would like Express Pass, a limited number of Express Pass upgrades are available to purchase on the day at the park gate. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets for Express Pass and VIP Experience

Prices are from $70 and vary by date. Express Passes available on the day are subject to availability and will sell out fast on busy park days.

However, it’s a better deal if you get you Express Pass/Ticket in advance.

Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide

Other ways to purchase an Express Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood

Although it is advised to purchase your Express Pass directly from Universal Studios Hollywood, there are also a number of third party retailers you could purchase from. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Entrance to the world famous studio tour. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

You can also purchase Express Pass from trusted sources such as Viator. 

Please ensure you are purchasing from a reputable third party retailer. 

Should I get a Universal Express Pass during Christmas?

Getting a Universal Express Pass during Christmas is highly recommended if you want to make the most of your time at Universal Studios Hollywood. 

The Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast during Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood Grinchmas. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
Grinchmas (Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando)

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year at the park with long wait times for popular rides and attractions. 

By purchasing an Express Pass, you can skip the line at Universal Studios Hollywood and enjoy reduced wait times, allowing you to experience more of the park’s offerings during your visit. 

Plus, the Express Pass also provides an opportunity to take in the park’s festive holiday decorations and shows without worrying about long lines. 

If you’re planning on visiting Universal Studios Hollywood during Christmas, an Express Pass is an investment in a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

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Should I get an Express Pass for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood?

If you’re planning on attending Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Express Pass is a must-have for a truly unforgettable and terror-filled experience. 

Victoria with Famous Terror Tram Studio Tour Clown Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
Our writer, Victoria, on a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights

The event draws large crowds, which can result in long lines and extended wait times. 

With the Express Pass, you can bypass those lines and enjoy priority access to all the spine-chilling mazes and haunted attractions that the event has to offer. 

The Weeknd After Hours Nightmare Bar Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

From the terror of the scary Backlot Tour to the madness of the haunted houses, you’ll have more time to scream your lungs out and less time standing in line. 

Victoria Wade and Norman Bates in Terror Tram Backlot Studio Tour with Bates Motel Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
Writer, Victoria Wade and Norman Bates, in the Terror Tram Backlot Studio Tour with Bates Motel at Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights

So if you’re ready to face your fears and have an unforgettable Halloween experience, don’t hesitate to purchase an Express Pass for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood!

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Can I do Universal Studios Hollywood without an Express Pass?

While Express Pass can be hugely beneficial to your Universal Studios Hollywood experience, there is no huge need to purchase it.

Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Sign

You can still enjoy all the same attractions without it. 

While an Express Pass can provide priority access and reduced wait times for popular rides and attractions, it’s not a requirement for having a fun and memorable visit to the park. 

Additionally, there are plenty of shows, performances and interactive experiences to enjoy that don’t require any wait time at all. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Waterworld Stunt Show. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
Universal Studios Hollywood Waterworld Stunt Show

Although an Express Pass can enhance your experience, it’s not necessary to have a great time at Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Super Nintendo World Mario Kart Bowsers Challenge Ride. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

The major benefit of Express Pass currently is the inclusion of reservation-free access to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD if reservations are required on your day of visit.

VIP Experience vs. Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass

The VIP Experience and Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass are both premium add-ons that can enhance your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience Lanyard and Poncho. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

Plus, the VIP Experience provides a personalized guided tour of Universal Studios Hollywood, which includes:

  • Front-of-line access to ALL rides and attractions (including the Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge)
  • A gourmet lunch (the highlight of the tour)
  • Access to exclusive areas of the park not shown to the general public

On the other hand, the Universal Orlando Express Pass offers priority access to select rides and attractions at Universal Orlando, reducing wait times and allowing you to experience more of the park’s offerings at a lower cost. 

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your preferences and budget.

Universal Studios Hollywood French Area and VIP Lunch Jardin de Paris Restaurant Buffet. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.
The most amazing lunch in a theme park!

If you’re looking for a more personalized and exclusive experience, the VIP Experience is the way to go (a great deal if it’s in your budget). 

Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Backlot Tour Western Scene with VIP Experience Tour Guide Owen. Keep reading to get the full guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Express and if it's worth it.

But if you want to enjoy reduced wait times and access to select attractions without breaking the bank, the Universal Orlando Express Pass is a great option.

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Is the Express Pass worth it at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Whether or not the Express Pass is worth it at Universal Studios Hollywood depends on your priorities and preferences. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Jurassic World Express Pass Upgrade

If you value maximizing your time at the park and want to experience as many popular rides and attractions as possible, the Express Pass can be a worthwhile investment. 

Universal Studios Hollywood. Opt in Lead Magnet Blog Banner

With reduced Universal Studios Hollywood wait times, you can fit more into your visit and avoid spending significant amounts of time waiting in line. 

Express Pass Entrance Secret Life of Pets Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights

However, if you don’t mind waiting in lines or prefer to take your time exploring the park, the Express Pass may not be necessary for your visit. 

Additionally, the cost of the pass may not be justifiable for those on a tight budget. 

On busy days, it is incredibly beneficial but quieter days can be just as easy-going without it.

Travel Guide to the Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass
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Ultimately, the decision to purchase the Express Pass depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. 

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Stephanie the Theme Park and Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster.com

About the Author

Steph is a UK-based freelance travel writer and theme park enthusiast.

She currently lives in England with her partner and son but is passionate about exploring the world.

(Original Article Date: May 19, 2023/Updated by Editor on March 3, 2024)

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