Best Theme Park Express Passes - Orlando
Visiting the “Big Three” theme parks in Orlando is a child’s dream come true. For most parents, the experience is equally thrilling and enjoyable. We all grew up with those lovely characters, and being able to explore these theme parks with your children is like reliving your own childhood dreams and sharing it with them. There’s a reason Walt Disney World is tagged as ‘the happiest places on earth!’
The excitement builds up as you plan for your trip and the big day comes near. And once you arrive at the destination, you are full of wonder and magic. But as you walk around and explore the Park, you realize that something is not quite right: it’s the waiting lines!
Depending on the season and the time of your visit, Walt Disney World and other top theme parks in Orlando can have massive waiting times. If you don’t happen to know anything about FastPass or other express passes, you will end up spending much of your time waiting in line for your rides instead of enjoying your visit. Peak travel days are Sundays and public holidays. People flock to theme parks during these periods, and the busiest time of the day is midday. Lines can be excruciating!
Thankfully, with theme park express passes, these worries over long lines can be better managed. Guests and families can either “virtually” save a spot in the line and come back at a specific time, or jump to the head of the line. Express pass users will be able to access their favorite rides, which usually have longer queuing time with less of a wait.
The Magic of Having Express Passes
Theme park visits should always be well-planned in advance. You can secure the Disney FastPass, Universal Express Pass as well as Seaworld Quick Queue weeks before your scheduled trip. These tickets will help you make the most of your time in the theme park. In most cases, these tickets are offered online on the official sites of the parks. There are also other venues where guests can find these magical tickets. But before that, let us tell you what other great things having these tickets can do for you and your gang.
Disney Fast Pass
As part of the Disney MyMagic Program, the FastPass+ is made available to guests visiting Disney theme parks in Orlando. Having this pass allows you to bypass longer lines on specific attractions and rides. You can reserve a time slot during which you can return and ride without waiting in the standby line. Think of it as your placeholder in line! There is a separate line that will take you to the loading area, and there is minimal waiting on this lane. (FastPass+ wait time is 5-20 minutes). Not all attractions have FastPasses.
There is a Tier system in place, since some of the headliner attractions have longer waits than others. The tier system allows more visitors to get FastPass for those attractions. Magic Kingdom has no tier system. You may select only 1 FastPass option from Tier 1 in advance for each day of ticket you have, and 2-3 from Tier 2. At Magic Kingdom you can select 3 attractions. Visit the Disney site for full details.
Likewise, the FastPass service allows you reserved access to various entertainments, attractions, and more around the Park. It is available with single entry tickets or via an Annual Pass. You can use your passes to reserve as early as 30 days before your arrival time. More so, guests staying at a Disney Hotel and other select hotels near the resort can create Fast Pass Selections up to 60 days before their check-in.
To make the most of your Fast Pass and your time at Disney World theme parks, you must link your account and tickets with the My Disney Experience app. Otherwise, you need to visit the FastPass kiosk located in the parks.
And what is the Disney FastPass cost? Free! It is included with your Disney park admission.
Universal Express Pass
Universal Studios theme parks also have a skip-the-line pass available to the guests who want to make the most of their time at the Park. Having a Universal Express Pass allows guests to use a separate line at most of the attractions. This magical pass, unlike Disney, does have an add-on cost on top of your usual entry tickets. There are no “return” time windows, and the Express Pass can be used at any time.
Guests can opt to buy Universal Express Pass Unlimited, or go for the slightly cheaper Universal Express ticket. It is priced per day. You’ll discover that the costs of these Express Passes rely on whether you choose a one park or two park pass. They can range from $19.99 to $89.99 depending on the pass.
SeaWorld Quick Queue
Much like Disney and Universal Studios offers of shorter queuing and express lanes, SeaWorld has also come up with their Quick Queue Passes. These passes provide an excellent advantage, especially for guests arriving at peak times of the Park. This line-skipping program is offered at a starting cost of $20 per person and can reach well up to $35 during peak season.
This price is way above the regular park admission cost. However, it gives guests the advantage of skipping the lines and going to the front of the line as many times as they want. They can use it on attractions such as Manta, Journey to Atlantis, Mako, Wild Arctic, Kraken and Turtle Trek.
Moreover, the SeaWorld Quick Queue also comes with an expanded pass to cover reserved seating for the parks’ shows. With this arrangement, SeaWorld guests can also skip the long lines and access the following displays: Pets Ahoy, Sea Lion and Otter Stadium, One Ocean at Shamu Stadium and the Dolphin Theater.
SeaWorld also offers a cheaper Quick Queue Jr pass option. This pass allows guests to skip the lines on all rides that are included in the regular Quick Queue except for the significant trips and show seating benefits. Likewise, guests can take advantage of the SeaWorld Infinity Falls Quick Queue Pass. It is a one-time ticket to skip the line for the newest ride, and the prices for this start at $35.
Benefits of Getting Theme Park Express Passes
Each theme park express pass has its promise of exciting benefits, more ride time, and easy access to the rides and attractions. For instance, the Disney FastPass lessens the stress for parents in rushing the kids. Using this pass allows you to make reservations to popular attractions like Toy Story Midway or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Thus, there is less pressure and more time to enjoy the time with the kids.
When linked with your mobile app, you can also change your ride reservation at a later time. This added convenience allows guests to change their plans quickly. More so, guests can have good placement time options for other rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
For the Universal Express Pass, guests visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure can skip the long lines with this magical ticket. Universal also offers express passes for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides such as Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. And similar to the Disney FastPass, Express Pass are not available with group passes, and they are non-transferrable.
Finally, for the SeaWorld Quick Queue, each ticket provides guests the ability to skip regular lines for front-of-the-line access and unlimited front-of-the-line access to seven attractions. Additionally, each SeaWorld Quick Queue ticket purchase gives $2 to the UK Wildlife charities, researchers, and biologists.
Where and When to Get Express Passes?
All these theme parks express passes have one common goal, and that is to help you beat the long lines at the rides, attractions, and shows. There are different means of getting these express passes.
The Disney FastPass cost is FREE with your Disney World admission ticket. That’s right! Your first three FastPass accesses may be booked in advance for three different rides in one day. You can do this by using the Disney mobile app. After you have used all these advanced reservations, you can start looking for your fourth and more of the other attractions. You can use your FastPass tickets at attractions that most need it, meaning there is a long queue or it is a blockbuster ride.
Universal Express Pass
Universal Express Passes, on the other hand, can be purchased from reputable sellers and booking agents. It can be purchased along with the admission tickets. Likewise, if you are staying in a hotel within the Park, the Express Pass will be complimentary. The Express Pass can be used anytime during your visit to the theme park. It is most beneficial to have the Universal Express Pass if you have a limited time to explore the Park. Similarly, you can use it if you are visiting during the peak dates like summer holidays and Christmas Season.
SeaWorld Quick Queue
For those visiting SeaWorld, the Quick Queue tickets are sold from their official site and other reputable booking agencies. Likewise, it also comes as an additional perk when you book at affiliate hotels nearby. Prices of the SeaWorld Quick Queue tickets vary, and it may depend upon the season or peak travel dates. Having a Quick Queue ticket is best used to skip the long lines for the parks’ favorite attractions and shows.
Is Theme Park Express Pass Worth It?
Considering the Disney FastPass comes free with your Disney admission ticket, it is well worth the effort of installing the Disney app and planning your visit carefully. If you are visiting during peak season, you can explore other passes like the MaxPass which comes with additional fees.
Likewise, the Universal Express Pass can also give you the most of your visit to the Universal Studios theme park. You can skip the line and have an easier time exploring the Park with your loved ones. For first time visitors, getting the Unlimited Pass is not recommended. Moreover, if you have smaller children, avoid the single rider line so you won’t split up your family for the ride.
And finally, for the SeaWorld Quick Queue, the guest should consider how much time they have. These lines are generally not as long as Disney or Universal. Although these tickets are quite pricey, it can help you fit everything you want to experience by allowing you to skip the long lines. The extra expense can be a good value for a family that wants a relaxing, stress-free day at SeaWorld Orlando theme park.
Theme Park Express Pass for Orlando attractions have a lot of benefits and advantages. Although some come with add-on fees to the admission price, most guests are willing to shell out some extra money for the convenience and hassle-free experience. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld are just a few of the attractions in the area that offer these types of magical services.
Universal Resort Orlando is one of the top entertainment destinations in the world. The parks are amongst the highest visited globally and their entertainment is top caliber.
Magic Kingdom also houses many classic attractions that so many of us hold in our childhood memories.