Am I Crazy? - Should I book a Premier hotel that I will not use, just for Express Pass Unlimited?

I’m looking at a late June Universal/IoA trip. Just two days in the park. Staying with cousins at their house a half hour away… But it looks like my “free” house will cost me $500!

That is, it costs $2k (for four people, two days) for Express Pass Unlimited. At the same time, it looks like I can book Royal Pacific for two nights for only $1,500… that I believe comes with Express Pass Unlimited.

Should I just book Royal Pacific instead of the ExpressPass Unlimited??

If you were already planning to pay for Express Pass Unlimited, regardless, then yes…booking the room will give you the same benefit at a cheaper price.

If you would be okay with just Express Pass (not unlimited) compare the pricing.


You get EP for both checkin and checkout day, so you could get only 1 night at a Premiere hotel - even cheaper. And yes, you should definitely do this if you would buy EP anyway.


YES! My wife and I always stay at one of the preimer resorts mainly for the Express Pass. Make a lot of difference like a Fastpass used to. BTW If you could consider Aug, October, Nov. or Dec. Magical Vacations Travel (MVT) has 50% off special for select dates at Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, and Portifino during these months. I have NO affiliation to MVT other than I have used them for WDW in the past and have booked there coming Oct. special at Portifino.


Ah. I missed that part! Yes. Only ONE night at Royal Pacific is needed to get two days of Express Passes!

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Crazy town! (And super cool. thanks for the replies and tips!)

How do I get ExpressPass for that first day, if I can’t check in until the afternoon?

You can go to the hotel you are checking into first thing. Your room won’t be ready, but they will give you your room key (which is, I believe, what you need to access Express Pass) at that time.



You can check in super early, even in plenty time for the early park entry that you’d also be eligible to attend on both check in and out days with your resort booking. You won’t be assigned a room yet, but you’ll get your keys and that’s what you need to use the express pass lines in the parks.


Not crazy! Many people book a “throwaway” room for 1 night in order to get 2 full days of EP. I’d consider using the room for a mid-day break if you have a long day.

Ask for a “Parlor” room at arrival and they may be able to downgrade the room for a better price.


Yup, I’ve done this multiple times even if I’m actually staying in WDW for example since it’s cheaper than paying for the EP and what everyone else said about one night gets two days of Unlimited Express. You can show up early in the AM on check in day and get your “keys” which is your EP and then take the boat or walk to the parks for early entry too!

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As others have already stated, you only need to book one night to get two days of benefits for up to four guests. You have to put everyone’s name on the reservation. You can get your room passes as early as you can arrive at the resort. You may want to park at the resort. Note that you also get early park admission.


I gave up and purchased the premier APs - no mater where we stay its included 4pm and during slower seasons they occasionally bump it to 2pm. it also includes valet parking…we generally purchase when they have the get 18 months specials

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Buying a throwaway room for the Express Pass is a great strat, few things to keep in mind:

  • Refundable/cancellable with 5 days notice like any hotel res., unlike direct Express Pass purchases which are nonrefundable
  • I had to make 2 trips to front desk, 1st at 730am on “checkin” day and 2nd later on when room was ready where they reissued the room keys. Was told the 1st set of passes would expire at end of 1st day
  • If you book at HRH it makes a convenient place to crash bc it’s so close to parks.
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