Those of you who have visited the parks on low-crowd days, were you able to ride a lot without EPs? We’ve been to Universal several times and have always stayed in hotels w/ express passes (Portofino, Royal Pacific). Looking to take my kids next year and possibly a friend during days when (according to Touring Plans) the crowd levels should be 3-5 (late February or early March). We would obviously save a TON of money by staying in a non-EP hotel, but will I regret it? I’ve been on mid-crowd times (September, January, May) and always felt like the EPs were well worth it, but the hotels have gotten so expensive I’m wondering if that’s still true!
Can you do Single Rider?
I view EP as insurance and feet saving so I don’t have to criss cross. Just relieves pressure for me so it’s always worth it but that’s a very personal decision.
It’s not ever truly necessary if you’re willing to plan.
I’ve been to UOR twice in late Feb/early March without EP. The weekdays during that time are some of the lowest crowds of the whole year. (I’ve had a 2 minute wait for Hagrid’s at 10:30am this time of year).
It looks like Sunday 2/25 through Thursday 3/7 are great dates when EP is not really necessary, especially if you target the best time of day to visit the popular attractions. If you will be there mid week (Tues-Thurs), you will certainly be able to get everything done you want to and more.
And if you stay on property again, you can take that mid day break or see some shows when many rides are at peak waits, which really helps on weekends.
No, Express Pass isn’t required on days with low crowds. Just remember to use Early Park Admission, follow a touring plan, take a break, and then return and tour at night.