What is the Walt Disney World Fastpass? What is the Universal Studios Express Pass?

Disney’s Fastpass is an electronic ticketing system that allows guests to make a reservation to return to an attraction at a later time in the day. When you return with a Fastpass in hand, you’ll use the much shorter Fastpass line instead of the ride’s regular lines. To get a printed Fastpass ticket, you’ll run your park admission ticket through an electronic Kiosk that is near the entrance to the ride.

You can get a fresh Fastpass for a different attraction every two hours. The bad news is that there are only a specific limited number of Fastpasses printed for each attraction each day. When they’re gone, they’re gone. If you don’t get a Fastpass, you’re stuck standing in line with the other regular folks.

Universal’s Express Pass is very similar to Disney’s Fastpass and is also printed in limited numbers from kiosks near the most popular rides. However, Universal also offers a daily plastic Express Pass Card that sends the holder to the front of most lines – without having to use the kiosks. Universal Studios on-property hotel guests can use their room card as a daily Express Pass and guests not staying at a Universal Hotel can BUY a daily Express Pass card for $15 to $25 depending on the season.

When a park opens, most guests rush into the attractions that are closest to the front gates. Do something different – as you enter the park, get an Fastpass (Express Pass) for the popular rides near the front of the park and immediately make a bee-line for the popular rides furthest from the entrance, where there are no guests and no lines. Ride the rides at the back of the park multiple times until the regular guests slowly filter to the back, then avoid crowds by traveling from the back of the park to the front. Use your Fastpass (Express Pass) to bypass the lines when you finally arrive back at the popular attraction near the entrance.

Many parkgoers prefer to not separate their groups on attraction rides. Those people stand in the regular line. Single riders sometimes go to the head of the line. If a line is long and you don’t have a Fastpass (Express Pass), ask the attraction attendant if there is a special line for single riders. While it may split up your group, it could get you on the ride in a fraction of the normal wait time.

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