How to Get the Universal Express Pass For Free


How to Get the Universal Express Pass For Free

This article is your complete guide to learning which Universal hotels include Express Pass for free 2023! Did you know there’s a way to get a free Unlimited Express Pass with Universal Premier Hotels? In fact many guests will be happy to learn that it is also included at some of the nicest Universal Orlando hotels.  As of 2023 the Universal Express Pass is included with your stay at Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay, and Loews Royal Pacific Hotel. This is a huge added perk for guests looking to book with a Premier Hotel at Universal, so keep reading to learn more.

We hope you find this post helpful. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time and money on your next Universal Orlando vacation. This includes access to the cheapest Universal Orlando tickets, as well as FREE park plans to save up to three hours in the parks!

So if you’re ready to learn all about the 2023 hotels that offer free express passes at Universal Orlando read on!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Universal Orlando check out our Universal Crowd calendar! 

Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar

What Are the Hotels that Offer Free Express Passes?


Let’s start with the main reason why we are here and that is, which Universal Orlando hotels offer free express passes? There are three Universal hotels that include Express Pass: Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando and Loews Portofino Bay hotel. That means guests looking to book at any one of these Universal Premier Hotels will be given a free Universal Express Pass for each guest registered to the room. We think it is a huge perk for guests looking to book hotels that offer fast pass for Universal Studios, as the Express Pass purchase is rather pricey. It’s also important to note that each guest will receive a free express pass for their check in date and check out date as well!

Which Universal hotels offer Express Pass 2023:

  • Loews Portofino Bay
  • Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort

What is Express Pass?

The Universal Express Pass is an extra ticket, or pass, that allows you to bypass the stand by lines and use the Express Lane for certain attractions. The Express Pass can be sold as an add on ticket or with free Universal Premier hotels with Express Pass.

How much does Universal Unlimited Express pass cost?

The Universal Express Unlimited costs $109, plus tax per person, per day at Universal Orlando Resort. The regular Universal Express pass costs $80, per person, per day if you are looking to purchase it outright. Guests staying at a Universal Studios Premier Hotel will receive the Universal Unlimited Express Pass for every person registered to the room.

What are the perks of staying at a Universal Premier hotel?

Universal Orlando Premier Hotels are the closest hotels to the Universal theme parks, with the most efficient transportation options available to guests to get around. You’ll have the shortest walks and waits when heading into CityWalk or the parks. There are also perks like Early Park Admission, which gets you into the theme parks one hour before park open. We love that there are more perks than just being able to stay in Universal Orlando hotels with free express pass.

Related post: One Day Universal Express Unlimited Tickets

How Much Do Universal Premier Hotels Cost?


Another important question to ask is, how much do the premier hotels cost at Universal Orlando? Universal Premier Hotels cost over $300 per night, with Portofino Bay and Hard Rock Hotel being the more expensive choices, and Royal Pacific right behind them. Each of the Universal Premier Hotels offer the best and largest rooms, with the most choices for restaurants and recreation. They also each have their own unique premier theming and decor, depending on what you’re looking for when booking them. Another important factor to consider when trying to figure out if the free express passes with each Universal hotel is worth it is the time of year you are considering to visit.

Universal Premier Hotel Prices:

  • Loews Portofino Bay Resort – Starting at $312 a night
  • Hard Rock Hotel – Starting at $359 a night
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Starting at $372 a night

What is the Cheapest Premier Resort with Free Express Pass?

The cheapest hotel with Express Pass is Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Pricing does change throughout the year with, date-based pricing – meaning, when it is busy, rooms will be pricier. No matter the price or time of year, all guests registered in the room will also receive a free Loews Royal Pacific Express Pass. This is also the easiest hotel to use when trying to decide if the Universal Express Pass is worth it or not because it is the cheapest so your payback will typically be better.

Let’s Do the Math

Let’s book a trip to Universal Orlando Resort for a Spring Break trip in May, which is a rather common time to go to the parks. For a family of four to stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort in May for three nights (May 12th – 15th), it will cost $1406.


That means, for $1406, you could stay for 3 nights in Loews Royal Pacific Resort with a free Unlimited Express Pass for each person in your room. But how much does Unlimited Express Pass cost on its own?

Universal Express Pass Unlimited Cost (One Park Per Day)

For four people (2 kids and 2 adults) and two days in the theme parks, it costs $1,363 for just the Express Pass tickets alone.


  • This pricing is only for Universal Unlimited Express Pass, for one park, per day for two park days.

Universal Express Pass Unlimited (Park to Park, 2 Days)

If you wanted to park hop both days and do Express Pass Unlimited for 2 parks for 2 days, it would cost $1448 for those dates.


As you can see, the pricing for the Express Pass tickets alone almost equal the cost of your entire hotel stay. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to book one of the Universal Premier Hotels and receive Express Pass for free if you’re wanting to purchase it anyway.

Related post: Guide to Hotels Near Universal Studios Orlando with Free Shuttle

Are Universal Express Passes Included with Hotel Stay?


Guests should note that the only Universal Resort Hotels with Express Pass are those in the Premier category. Those staying in Value, Prime Value or Preferred Hotels do not have the option to get a free Unlimited Express Pass or the regular Express Pass. There are other perks for staying in Universal Orlando hotels in lower tiers, like Early Park Admission, but unfortunately Express Pass is not one of them.

Hotels that do not include Unlimited Express Pass:

  • Endless Summer Resort (Surfside and Dockside Inn)
  • Cabana Bay Beach Resort
  • Aventura Hotel
  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Does Loews Sapphire Falls include Express Pass?

Loews Sapphire Falls does not include Express Pass even though it is in the “Preferred” tier of hotels, which is one step below Premier. It is the one perk that is not shared between the two tiers, as Sapphire Falls has upgraded transportation and some of the nicest accommodations on property.

Related post: Complete Guide to the Universal Studios VIP Experience

How Does Express Pass Work with Universal Hotels?


When booking a Universal Premier Resort, each guest registered to the room will automatically be eligible for their Express Pass Unlimited. When you check-in to your room, every guest registered will get their own personalized room key. Your room key is your Express Pass, and will be what Team Members scan for each person when wanting to enter the Express Pass line. It is important to know that you will not have a group Express Pass for everyone in your room, and you’ll have to make sure everyone has their own key.

What does a Universal Orlando Express Pass include?

The Universal Express Pass is a ticket that allows you to skip the regular lines and have much shorter waits when visiting the parks. There are two different kinds of the Universal Express Pass with slightly different benefits to use:

  • Regular Universal Express Pass: Skip the line for included attractions ONE time per day
  • Universal Express Pass Unlimited: Skip the line for included attractions an unlimited amount of times.

The Universal Express Pass Unlimited is the free pass given to those staying at a Universal Premier Hotel. That means you can ride participating attractions as many times as you’d like for the days in the park!

How many times can you use the Universal Express Pass?

For Premier hotel guests, your Express Pass room key will be valid for the amount of days you are registered in your hotel. It is important to know that you will still need valid admission into the parks, since the Express pass is just for skipping the lines in the park. You can also use your Express Pass an unlimited amount of times for participating rides for the days you’re in the parks!

Related post: Complete Guide on Celebrating a Universal Studios Orlando Birthday

Which Universal Hotels Include Express Pass 2023 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you get free Express Passes if you stay at the Portofino Bay?

A: Yes, guests staying at Portofino Bay will receive a free Express Pass Unlimited to skip the lines when in the theme parks.

Q: Do you get free Express Pass at Sapphire Falls?

A: No, unfortunately Sapphire Falls do not receive a free Express Pass with their stay since it is a hotel in the Preferred category. Guests still do get Early Park Admission and the best transportation options for hotel guests in that area.

Save On a Universal Vacation Package With The Park Prodigy!


Are you considering a trip to Universal Orlando? This is a great time to plan your perfect family vacation as The Park Prodigy is offering an extra $50 off for all hotel and ticket packages booked through our small business! Not only are you guaranteed to save vs. booking directly with Universal Orlando, but our clients also save up to three hours in the theme parks just by using our free vacation planning tools and tips and tricks. Plus, all families who do book through The Park Prodigy will have a personal vacation planner to guide you every step of the way to make sure you have the most amazing vacation possible. Simply fill out the form below, shop on our Universal vacation package page or call us at 321-966-4300! 

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