FAQ about the Hotel Express Pass - AKA FOTL

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Resorts & Hotels' started by goofy!, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

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    Recently we have had many questions about how the FOTL or Hotel Express pass works. I thought I would start a FAQ thread about the hotel express pass. Experts - Please feel free to post other hints and tips here and I will add them to the first post. Or, if you have a question that has not been answered, just ask. One of us will try to answer and then I will add the question and answer to the first post.

    So, let's get started.

    What is the Hotel Express Pass perk?

    This is a perk that allows onsite guests staying at the Royal Pacific, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Portofino Bay hotel to access the express line unlimited times during their length of stay in the hotel.

    Is it really FOTL or Front Of The Line?

    No. On these boards, we use the acronym FOTL to differentiate the hotel perk from the Express Pass that you can buy. While we call it FOTL, you might still have to stand in a short line. Express will allow you to go through the express queue rather than the stand-by queue, not actually going to front of the line of a ride. Depending on the time of year and the crowds, the line could be non-existent (more often than not), or you could have a 20 minute wait (not that common). What is true is that it is always significantly shorter than the stand-by line.

    For those of you who are Disney regulars, it is basically an unlimited Fast Pass with no time and access restrictions.

    So, what is the difference between the Express Pass you buy and the Hotel FOTL?

    There is no difference in the line you enter. Both the paid for Express Pass and the Hotel Express Pass (aka FOTL) puts you in the same express line. The big difference is that the the paid for Express Pass only allows you one (1) express entrance per ride, while the FOTL allows you unlimited Express access to the line from the minute you check in to parks closing of the day you check out.

    For example, say you just rode Men In Black and you decided you wanted to ride it again to improve your score. If you had the onsite FOTL perk, you could get off and go right back into the express line as many times as you wanted. If you had the purchased Express pass, you would have already used your once-per-ride Express access to the ride on the one you just got off of, so you would now need to re-ride through the regular stand-by line for the rest of the day.

    Additionally, the hotel perk is good from the minute you check in to close of the parks of the day you check out. The express pass is only good for the day you purchased it for. It is date specific and expires at park closing whether you have used all your passes for all the rides or not.

    What kind of ticket do I need to purchase to get FOTL?

    Your hotel Express pass is not tied to any kind of parks admission ticket. It is tied to your hotel room key. So, you do not need to buy any kind of special ticket to get the FOTL perks. As long as you are staying onsite, you get FOTL.

    How does the hotel room key work? How do we share the key if we need to split our group up?

    Unlike most hotels that only give you 1 or 2 keys for your room, the Universal hotels will issue a room key to each person registered in the room. So, everybody, including children, will get a key.

    The keys are plastic and the size of a credit card. They look like this:
    [​IMG]

    This is a Portofino Key, but the HRH and RPR keys will look similar, just different colors and logos.

    Notice the first thing on the key is your dates of stay. This is what the Express Line Team Member will be checking when you ask to enter the express line. The Team Member will do a quick count to make sure everybody in your party has an express key and he will glance at the end date to make sure you are still an on-site guest.

    Where this key says "Parlor", the regular keys will have your name imprinted on it. Again, each person has their own key with their own name on it, so it is easy to split up and go to different rides.

    The 'C' on this card indicates it is a child's card. If you are an adult, it will have an 'A' in this spot.

    How many keys can I get per stay?

    The onsite hotels have a maximum limit of 5 people per room. So, the maximum number of keys you can get are 5. Each guest has to be registered to the room to get their key.

    Uncle Bill is coming to visit us for the day. How can I get him a room key?

    The only way to get Uncle Bill a room key is to add him to the reservation. If you only have 4 people in your room, this is not a problem - just add his name to the reservation.

    But be forewarned that there is an additional charge for more than 2 adults in a room. So adding an adult guest to your reservation may incur the $25.00 per night extra adult charge. If it is only for a couple of days, this may still be cheaper than buying an express pass. And the added bonus is that Uncle Bill will have unlimited access for the days he is on the reservation rather than the 1 time per ride from the purchased Express Plus pass.

    Check-in is not until 4 PM. Can I check in earlier to get my room keys?

    Absolutely! You can check-in early before the parks open or anytime that is convenient for you. You will get your room keys immediately, they just will not be activated until your room is ready. NOTE: The earliest that check-in is available is 6am.

    You can leave your luggage with the bell hop and head to the parks. If you have left a cell phone number with the front desk, they will call you when your room is available and give you your room number. You do not need to stop at the front desk again. You can go directly to your room where you call the bell hop to bring your luggage up.

    Check-out is at 11 AM. Can I use my room keys for the rest of the day?

    Yes. You check-out of your room using any of the methods offered. You can leave your car in the parking lot and your luggage with the bell hop. You keep your room keys. Since it has your check-out date imprinted on them, you can use your rooms keys until the park closes that day. The only thing that would change is that all room charging privileges would be deactivated when you check-out.

    Upon return to the hotel, if you are a LoewsFirst member (free sign-up at www.loews-first.com), you can use the gym facilities to freshen up or change. The gyms are pretty well stocked with showers, shampoos, etc. You then just gather your luggage, load your transportation and head on out. No need to turn the room keys in as they will no longer be valid.

    What rides does FOTL work on?

    All of them except for Pteranodon Flyers.

    Does it work for shows?
    Yes.

    Does it work for restaurants?
    Yes it does. When you give your name to the host/hostess, make sure you also show them your room key. Most of the time, it will place you at the top of the list for next available table.

    Some restaurants do have restrictions, such as Margartaville, where you cannot use it for parties of 7 or more.

    But most of the time, it will cut your wait time significantly for a table. Yet another reason not to have to make all those ADR's ahead of time!

    If I stay for one night, do I get 2 days of FOTL?

    Yes. Your hotel key is good for the day you check in and the day you check out.

    For example, you are checking in on Friday. You check in at 8 AM even though your room is not ready yet. You get your room keys, give your luggage to the bell hop and you head out to the boats to go to the parks. You have a full day of FOTL access for that day. The next day, Saturday, you check out. Again, you give your bags to the bell hop and you head out to the parks. You may use your room keys until the parks close that day. When you are done, you go back to the hotel, gather your luggage from the bell hop and be on your way.
     
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  3. ScottyGams

    ScottyGams Earning My Ears

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    wow, i know this thread was made for me!

    in my defence, i did read pages of posts before asking questions!

    thank you for this info source!
     
  4. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

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    No, absolutely not. I have been thinking about putting this together for a couple of weeks now. I have noticed that on both Universal boards that there have been many questions regarding the difference between the purchased express pass and the hotel express. Most of the questions I took directly out of recent posts.

    And hopefully the purpose of this would be to not have somebody read pages of posts to find out the answers :goodvibes

    Please keep asking!!!
     
  5. Hedy

    Hedy <font color=blue>I'm <s>22</s> 27 and I still kind

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    As a FOTL newbie-thank you!
     
  6. vellamint

    vellamint DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much....what a nice thing for you to do...:thumbsup2
     
  7. dlbbwu

    dlbbwu Tennis player and USTA official

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    Excellent post, goofy! Even though we have been to Universal several times, there was info that I was unaware of!

    Thanks again!

    :goodvibes
     
  8. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    goofy, you will need to bump this thread daily so it won't get lost in the pages.
    or you could ask the mods for a sticky.

    even with the stickies, we still get a lot of repeat questions in the forums.
     
  9. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

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    I'll sticky this. Thanks!
     
  10. Motherfletcher

    Motherfletcher <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=peach

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    Another great goofy! thread. I kind of put the early check in to the test for the grand opening of the Simpsons Ride. We signed up to be in the live audience for the Today Show and received an email telling us to be at the parking garage at 5:45 a.m. The grand opening celebration was to be at 10:30 a.m. and I knew that once we got out after the opening ride that the park would be crowded so I thought I'd stop by PBH on the way to the garage to pick up our "magic" keys. I found out that you can't get the keys until 6 a.m. so I had to wait in the lobby until someone came to the front desk at 6. By the way, our room was ready (activated) at 6 in the morning.
     
  11. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

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    Thanks MotherFletcher for testing!

    I will add it to the info.
     
  12. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

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    Thanks Phamton!!!!!! :cool1:
     
  13. cbdmhgp

    cbdmhgp DIS Veteran

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    I'm surprised that there is even FOTL for shows. We have never had to use it, but if we realy wanted to see a show then i guess i would. Good Thread Goofy!
     
  14. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    the better seats are available when you use the express lane.

    horror picture show, get in the front before others are let in.

    don't miss it, great show.....


    and if you have littles, do animal planet and sit up front so the kids can see better
     
  15. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    excellent job....as always! [​IMG]
     
  16. LovePug

    LovePug DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for this thread! The more I read, the more excited I'm getting for our first trip!:hyper:
     
  17. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    the heck with the other candidates....goofy! for president :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:
     
  18. t-and-a

    t-and-a <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=royal

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    I'll second that nomination!
     
  19. lwilliam

    lwilliam <font color=deeppink>Goofylover<br><font color=tea

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    isn't there something about sit-down restaurants too with your room key?
    IF so, CityWalk and park restaurants, front-of-the-line with room key?
     
  20. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

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    Yes. Show your room key at the restaurants for front-of-the-line access on their wait list.

    You will go to the head of the list for the next available table after reservations and whoever is before you with FOTL.

    It worked great for us the last time at Margaritaville. We wandered over just as the parks were letting out, so it was already at a 75 minute wait. They took our name and I showed them our hotel key.

    They gave us the pager, but didn't guarantee how fast we would get in.

    If anybody knows the lay-out of Margaritaville, the stairs down into the store are approximately 5 steps away from the hostess desk. We did not even get down the 3 steps into the store when our pager went off.

    So, it turned a 75 minute wait into less than 3 minutes.

    Thank you for reminding me! I added it to the first page.
     
  21. goofy!

    goofy! <font color=green>You have to ride a roller coaste

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    :blush: :flower3:
     

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