Hotel Express Pass

How exactly does the express pass work for those staying at the universal hotels? Is it tied to the room, the ticket, or something else?

We’ll be staying onsite, and my parents and my wife’s parents will be joining us. My parents are staying onsite as well, but my wife’s parents are locals and have no need for a hotel room. We could obviously have them buy the express pass, but that’s not the same as the hotel version, obviously. If we just add them to the reservation for one of the rooms, will they get the hotel express pass as well? I don’t mind paying extra for more people in the room, I just want us all to be on the same page, and I’d prefer not to book a completely unnecessary hotel room for that to occur.

Your express pass will be your hotel room key. So yes, if you add your in-laws to your parents room, they will get 4 room keys/express passes. They scan it at each ride when you use the pass. There is a charge to have more than 2 adults in a room, but it is pretty minimal compared to buying the passes. The express pass is fantastic!

Each person will scan their room key into a machine in the hotel that will then take their picture and print out a little card with their photo on the back. This card is the same size as the actual Park ticket. You present the card to be scanned at each attraction that accepts it. Your actual room key only needs to be scanned to get into the park early.

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Oops, I messed that one up! That’s the way it was when we were there in 2011. In April we did have to get the separate pass with our picture taken. Had forgotten that they made the change. Guessing it was too easy to share the old key since it had your name and dates of stay, but no picture. Sorry for the bad info!