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Universal studios VIP tickets(25 Posts)
We are going to Orlando next year and in the process of planning our theme park tickets etc . Has anyone paid for the universal studio VIP tickets ? They are so expensive on top of the normal standard ticket . Just wanted to hear other people's experience of whether they are worth it . Thanks
I've paid for such during the Easter holidays and thought it was worth it overall. The only disadvantage is the cost.
It must have saved us around 3 hours of lining up as our group was able to bypass all the lines and go to the front of line. You get a Universal staff member to guide you around, no arguing on where to go, no trying to plan out a strategy, it is all done for you. Lots of short cuts.
We didn't bother as we stayed at the Universal resort and could come and go as we pleased. Also, DD and I don't like the big white knuckle rides that had the longest queues. We were there in July.
We stay in an onsite hotel and you get them included
We’ve stayed at the hotel & been given fast passes but if I remember correctly with the VIP tickets you get escorted round. We got escorted when dd hurt herself on a ride & had to sign all sorts of disclaimers. But that’s a whole other thread
We stay in one of the 3 onsite hotels that have Express line access included. That is all that is needed really.
You get express line access for the day of arrival too - and can arrive from 6.30am - so if you stay one night you get 2 days express access.
You don't get Express passes if you stay at the Cabana Beach resort.
You don't get Express passes if you stay at the Cabana Beach resort
or Sapphire Falls.
We did it two years ago. It is expensive for what it is, but I'd still recommend it if finances allow.
I’d book a night at one of the hotels with express passes ~ we love Hard Rock.
Plus you get 2 days worth of passes for a one night stay and early entry.
we stayed at Cabana Beach which was fab so didnt get the Express passes. Like others we dont like the big rollercoasters so didnt need it for that. The only ride we missed out on due to Q's was the Minions. The early entry meant we could do Harry Potter just fine.
"we stayed at Cabana Beach which was fab"
I didn't think it was that fab. It was OK. The rooms were nice, and the beds extremely comfortable, but I hated the works canteen style dining area, and the 50s music on a loop was so irritating. Also the food was expensive and not very good. Also the place was huge and impersonal. Being used to staying in family run places in Europe it was a bit of a culture shock.
We used to get something from Starbucks and eat outside as we both prefer to eat breakfast before we go out anywhere.
We found Cabana Bay suited our family without breaking the budget. The bathroom option was great and the lounge area was a useful dumping ground for all of our stuff. Yes the 1950s music was on a loop but the price compared to other hotels at the time was fab. This was 3 years ago though at Easter so the hotel wasn't too rammed. We didn't eat there though, we went out to eat.
We used the early entry for HP which is well worth making the effort to do and did the whole queue thing to experience the attraction,then opted for the single rider (non) queue if we wanted to go on the rides again. As Cabana Bay was easily accessible by transfer bus we could then go back to the hotel for a few hours to wallow in the lazy river then go back into Universal for the evening.
I've been to Universal about 8 or 9 times now - summer and February.
We often buy one day Express (Unlimited) passes for each of us.
We then do all the biggest rides that day, switching between the two parks. They didn't use to include Harry Potter rides but I am sure they do now.
Our other day(s) we don't have the express passes (unless we've stayed at Hard Rock Hotel which includes them) and do everything else and then queue for the other rides.
BUT we don't always really need them, even in the summer. A little bit of a queue is a good thing - we've discovered too often the perils of riding 3 or 4 coasters and rides with no queue! These days I like the 30 minute break between them. Universal parks are often not as busy as the Disney Parks and the queues can often be much shorter - hence we only bother buying one day's worth of passes. If it was really busy on the second or subsequent day(s) you can buy express passes on the day too and its no dearer.
I wouldn't pay out for VIP passes. It wouldn't suit us at all - I really don't want or need a tour guide for the park. I don't want to go round the park in a group either and not overly bothered by a behind the scenes tour.
VIP is just not worth it for us - whereas a day's Express definitely is.
We go at Easter - express access is definitely needed - and by far the cheapest option for 4 people at Easter for 2 days full express line access is a room for the night at one of the 3 qualifying hotels.
The VIP tour used to be useful/more value when the headliner Harry Potter rides did not have express access - they do now.
We go at Easter too and are staying at Royal Pacific Resort so you get the Express Passes included.
Thank you all for taking the time to reply. We are already booked into a resort about 20 min drive away from universal so we aren't staying on site. Having read the comments we will probably give the VIP tickets a miss and stick to the express ones .
Its a while since we went but we went at a busy time (Christmas holidays) and so many people had bought express tickets that the queues for the Mummy and one of the other rides took longer than the usual queue. I hope they have resolved this now by limiting the number of passes they issue like Disney do.
I wouldn't do it again for this reason unless I knew it was going to be worth it
Check the prices though. Sometimes it can be cheaper to book a room simply for the express access - even if you don't plan on staying there -
especially since you get 2 days worth of express access - for up to 5 people - for a 1 night room charge.
Thanks Beyond - will look into that
I’m pretty sure Universal have changed their terms & conditions now (or at least for the summer). There is now a two night minimum stay for the Hard Rock and the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel. I think it’s probably because lots of people were booking in for one night only just to get the ride express passes.
Nope - have just booked a one night in August. They put up a 2 night as default when you go to book, but you can change it without any problems. Have not seen anything in the T+C.
As other posters have said, staying onsite would be my preferred option, I think you'd also save a tiny bit on parking as you could leave your car at the hotel. Are you going to Volcano Bay too? We loved it and hired a cabana for the day which was definitely worth the money.
Hi Flippy , thanks for your reply . We are definitely doing the Disney water parks but are undecided about the universal ones as keep hearing mixed reviews of them due to how busy they are .
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