Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Universal Studios/Sea World > Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-05-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
mrsmoku
Mouseketeer
 
mrsmoku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 120

Express pass? Worth it?

We're in the early process of planning an Universal trip with friends and we're contemplating whether or not the Universal Express ride access is worth paying the price to stay at an on-site resort. We'll be in the park for 3 days and its just 4 adults, no kids. We're not too interested in the resort amenities (pool, restaurants, etc.), just the park benefits.

We would be going June 22 - 26 but if the military promo gets extended, we'll push it back into August.

The on-site room would be almost $300 a night and the off-site room would be $100 a night. So x4 nights, that's at least an $800 difference!

What's your opinion? Is staying on-site and getting the Express pass worth it?
mrsmoku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 12:01 PM   #2
2girlsmom
DIS Veteran
 
2girlsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Tampa area
Posts: 4,392

So if you are going to the parks 3 days, you would only need 2 nights in the Universal hotels to get the express all 3 days, I would seriously consider a split stay for 4 adults during the summer, the lines get quite long without express, but no real reason to stay all 4 nights there, if the question is cost.
__________________
Kristi
me,dh Rick,Meag & Catie

& Lucky
2girlsmom is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 04-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
RMulieri
DIS Veteran
 
RMulieri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Tom Sawyers Island
Posts: 20,450

I think its absolutely worth it..For one the resorts are GORGEOUS.They are all within short walking distance or a dedicated boat ride away.The Express Pass for resort guest can NOT be beat.There is NO free version available and the paid version only allows once thru each attraction.End of June starts seeing sizable crowds..Touringplans rates them 7-8 out of 10, Another site rates them BUSY( meaning wait times of 45-60 mins) and the price for the Express passes is $69 a person for IOA( the higher the crowds predicted the higher the express pass cost.IOA express pass on a non-busy day starts at $29.99)
You can do a partial stay as the other poster pointed out, but there is something so special and easy about staying onsite.If you can afford it , I would definitely do it
__________________
Going Back to the DarkSide -Universal Orlando and the Harry Potter Expansion December 2014
RMulieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
BLLB


Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 488

We just got back this week. I cannot imagine going to US or IOA without an Express pass. We stayed at Royla Pacific. Nearly every ride was over an hour wait. I realize it was Easter/Spring Break, I would definitley get it for a crowded time.
__________________


BLLB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
mjohnson96
DIS Veteran
 
mjohnson96's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rantoul, KS
Posts: 1,643

Also keep an eye out, I don't know what the military promo cost is but we tend to get one AP for the family and the discount on the room usually more than makes up for the additional cost of the AP.

We will be there in June as well and staying 3 nights onsite. It is just so easy to go to and from the parks, and we have 2 kids so not having to wait in lines is a plus. We have been there and oldest DD wanted to ride Spiderman, the posted wait time was 90 minutes and we just walked on in around 5-10 with the express pass.
__________________
(Me) (DH) (DD 11) (DD 4)



mjohnson96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
shoney
DIS Veteran
 
shoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,341

If you want the unlimited express passes, but don't want to stay onsite, you could buy these...

https://www.universalorlando.com/Tic...px?ParkTickets

You would have to do the math to see what would be best.


I've done this as well, when we were staying for free at my parents time share.

For our upcoming trip, we'll be onsite. I wouldn't want to go to US/IOA without the unlimited express passes. We really hate waiting on long lines!!!
shoney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
mrsmoku
Mouseketeer
 
mrsmoku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 120

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2girlsmom View Post
So if you are going to the parks 3 days, you would only need 2 nights in the Universal hotels to get the express all 3 days, I would seriously consider a split stay for 4 adults during the summer, the lines get quite long without express, but no real reason to stay all 4 nights there, if the question is cost.
We'd be driving from Mobile, AL so it would be a 8 hour drive each way. That's why we'd need the 4 nights. Flying is too expensive.
mrsmoku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
mrsmoku
Mouseketeer
 
mrsmoku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 120

I think it may be too hot/crowded in June for us. I'm not a fan of deathly heat or large stinky crowds so maybe we'll have to delay the trip until late September to November. We'd definitely choose a week with under 5 crowds since we're flexible- do you think it's worth to stay onsite with the Express then?

Thank you for all the info and recommendations!
mrsmoku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
RMulieri
DIS Veteran
 
RMulieri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Tom Sawyers Island
Posts: 20,450

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmoku View Post
I think it may be too hot/crowded in June for us. I'm not a fan of deathly heat or large stinky crowds so maybe we'll have to delay the trip until late September to November. We'd definitely choose a week with under 5 crowds since we're flexible- do you think it's worth to stay onsite with the Express then?

Thank you for all the info and recommendations!
Late September is still plenty hot..As for staying onsite, I think its worth it at ANY time of year.I stayed onsite for the first time last Jan ( low crowds) and I thought it was incredible.I can't imagine not staying onsite ever again ( and I won't).Even in lower crowds the express pass is wonderful and like I said the resorts are wonderful too
__________________
Going Back to the DarkSide -Universal Orlando and the Harry Potter Expansion December 2014
RMulieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
mrsmoku
Mouseketeer
 
mrsmoku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 120

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoney View Post
If you want the unlimited express passes, but don't want to stay onsite, you could buy these...

https://www.universalorlando.com/Tic...px?ParkTickets

You would have to do the math to see what would be best.


I've done this as well, when we were staying for free at my parents time share.

For our upcoming trip, we'll be onsite. I wouldn't want to go to US/IOA without the unlimited express passes. We really hate waiting on long lines!!!
Thanks for that link. It would actually be cheaper for us to purchase the tickets with the Unlimited Express pass than stay at the resort! Good to know!
mrsmoku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 08:26 PM   #11
macraven
Proud Redhead
Has the longest test on record
I’m a Universal Homie
 
macraven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: between milwaukee and chicago (in Tom Felton's house)
Posts: 55,668

the first couple of weeks in november have low crowds.
it won't be hot like it is in june or september.

if you stayed offsite in november, you could still save money going then.

onsite hotel rates will be cheaper in november than it would be for June.
__________________
life is what happens to you on your way to achieving your dreams...........

macraven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 05:45 PM   #12
Darcy03231
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,831

We've done four trips to US/IOA and only one of them was an on-site stay. Two trips were in April and the other two were in August. It was one of the April trips where we stayed on-site.

When staying off-site the trick is to get there early and be at the turnstiles 20-30 min before park opening. Most days they open early by about 15 minutes. We didn't think the lines were bad at all until around noon - 1 pm. By then the lines for the bigger rides get to be over an hour. We ride those first and then tend to do the shows/less popular things in the afternoon. We also found that evenings weren't too bad for lines either. Lines for Spiderman and Popeye that were over an hour long in the afternoon were about 30-40 minutes in the evening. We made good use of any rides that had single rider lines. We rode Forbidden Journey several times this way. Regular line was about 40 minutes and we were on in less than 5 minutes. Same with MIB. Regular line was over an hour and we were on the ride in about 10 minutes.

Last edited by Darcy03231; 04-07-2013 at 10:45 AM.
Darcy03231 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
Metro West
Proud Redhead
11.47 Miles from Universal
23.56 Miles from Disney
 
Metro West's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NW Orlando, FL
Posts: 44,282
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmoku View Post
I think it may be too hot/crowded in June for us. I'm not a fan of deathly heat or large stinky crowds so maybe we'll have to delay the trip until late September to November. We'd definitely choose a week with under 5 crowds since we're flexible- do you think it's worth to stay onsite with the Express then?
If you are concerned about heat/humidity and crowds, change your plans to November. It's a wonderful time to go with low crowds and generally nice weather. It's still hurricane season but by that time the chances of a tropical system disturbing any plans are slim.
__________________
**** Universal Orlando annual passholder since 2004! ****
Metro West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
Tinachichi
Mouseketeer
 
Tinachichi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MI
Posts: 98

Yes

Yes, yes & yes. We've been going for the last four years and stayed on site the last three. Even though the cost is higher the perks are just worth the money. The first day we enjoy the resort and what it has to offer since we fly in and don't arrive till at least noon the parks would be already crowded. The first year we ran into the hour & a half waits for the good rides and the FJ was even more. The early access from on site resorts are great. We head right for HP and usually get thru at least twice before moving on. Even after a long day at the parks we still enjoyed what the resorts have to offer. Another perk is that you can visit the other on site resorts and use their pools if so inclined.
Tinachichi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2013, 08:52 AM   #15
mrsmoku
Mouseketeer
 
mrsmoku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 120

Thank you for all the info! I think we'll have to delay our Universal trip and so we can save up and stay at the resort and take advantage of the benefits!

Lots of great info and advice! Thanks so much!
mrsmoku is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.