Fantastic news for Universal Orlando visitors wishing to maximize their ride time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Effective July 1, 2017, Universal Orlando has opened Express Pass queues for all Harry Potter rides in both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. This includes Forbidden Journey, Escape From Gringotts, and the Hogwarts Express.
Skip the Lines on the Harry Potter Rides with a Universal Express Pass
As you already know from my 33 Things to Know Before You Visit Universal Orlando , I highly recommend touring the Universal parks with an Express Pass. But until now, the major attractions in the Wizarding World had no Express Pass access.
Similar to Disney’s FastPass system, Express Pass allows guests to enter a ride via a shorter queue. Express Pass wait times are usually in the 10-15 minute range even when the regular standby wait is an hour or more.
Unlike FastPass, Express Passes can be used any time during the day at all Express Pass rides. And unlike FastPass, Express Passes are an add-on to your park ticket. You can either purchase an Express Pass, or receive a complementary pass by staying at one of Universal’s participating hotels. (Check out tip #2 in my 33 Things to Know Before You Visit Universal Orlando post for more info about this).
Many guests visit Universal Orlando just to see the Harry Potter attractions. If this is you, I totally recommend getting an Express Pass. Especially if you get the Unlimited Express Pass offered through the hotels, this perk will give you way more ride time with a lot less wait time.
Express Pass Queues in the Wizarding World
Early word is that guests entering the Express Pass queues still get the full experience of walking through Hogwarts castle, exploring Gringotts bank, and magically entering Platform 9 ¾.
I will have the opportunity to explore these changes later this summer and can report more to you after that (hooray!).
Have You Used Express Pass to Ride the Harry Potter Attractions?
If you’ve experienced any of the Harry Potter rides using Express Pass please leave a comment below and let us know about it.
A few things I’m curious about:
Was your wait much shorter than riding standby?
Did you feel the queue was immersive in its theming?
Do you think Express Pass was worth it for you?
Get Ready For Your Trip to Orlando with These Tips from goinformed.net
goinformed.net recommends the Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando
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