Logistics of booking hotel night JUST for express pass?

My famiy is staying at Disney the week of April 4-10, and we are planning to do that Thursday, the 8th, at Universal. I’ve already bought the two-park tickets, but am getting super nervous about crowd levels and wait times since that is Spring Break. We mainly want to experience all of the Harry Potter stuff for my 10-year-old, but my 5-year-old really wants to do the Seuss and super hero stuff, too. No giant roller coasters for us, but I do want to have time to do everything we want to do, and I’m nervous this crazy wait times will make that hard. With Express passes being around $1,000 for a family of four for that day, I’m debating getting a room at the HRH just to get the express passes for around $675. My questions are:

  • has anyone done this before that can give their opinion?

  • which night should I book? the night before or night of the day we plan to go to Universal? I’m concerned about being to check-in in time on Thursday to get whatever we need for our express passes and early entry that day.

Any tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! This is our first time to Universal, so we’re newbies!

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I was thinking of doing the same exact thing for the same reason, and doing it at the HRH as well.

I think this was asked in another thread, iirc the answer is that the express pass is good both day of and checkout.

I know others will be able to answer better.

I have done UOR with my 10 year old son and he loved it. He also didn’t want to do the crazy roller coasters and there was plenty available to him to keep him happy while Mom and Dad took turns with things we wanted to do. You’re going to have a great time!

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They are good for both days. Since it is busy I would reserve the night before. Then pack a day bag and go to the HRH the evening before and actually stay there. Might as well, you’ve paid for it. Evening before, enjoy the pool, walk around City Walk, Find the giant piece of the Berlin Wall. Kids need to know these things. In the morning, leave your day bag with bell services and stroll over to the parks. You will want to use Early Admission. The quick stroll to the park in the morning will make packing a day bag worthwhile. Plus, there is a good chance it will be nicer than you Disney hotel.

SeussLand is wonderful. I am 50 and I find it quite charming. The music is somehow cheery AND it doesn’t get annoying after 20 minutes.

ETA: The Spiderman actor is perfect.


This is great advice! The Wednesday before is our “rest” day so we just may be able to swing that! Somehow with a 7 day, 6 night trip to Orlando I am starting to feel like we don’t have enough time already…


I honestly would do the night before and I’d even stay the night there even if it means I have two hotels. I’ve done this. I just bring a backpack for an overnight bag. This way you’ve checked in the night before and have all your passes and express passes and can just walk over in the morning.


I’ve always found RPR to be the cheapest option for EPs, so maybe double check if that’s the case for your dates.

And I agree that you should stay the night. RPR is so beautiful. It would be so beneficial to get your passes sorted the night before and be so close to the park for EE the next morning.


Where is this? I think I’ve heard about this before and I keep forgetting to ask.

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Behind the HR Cafe.

“The best way to see it is to take the walkway that leads to the Blue Man Group theater.”


Ohh! Just found this too…fun!

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Okay this may be a newbie question, but what is RPR? And is it walking distance to the parks like the Hard Rock?

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

That, I do not know, I’ve only stayed at the HRH. It looks like it is though with a little walkway right up to City Walk by the entrance to the park Might even be closer to IoA than general parking tbh.

It even looks like there’s a boat that can take you to City Walk from RPR too.

@jrblakemore RPR is walking distance to the parks. It’s a lovely Riverside walk.


It’s walking distance and RPR is a slightly shorter walk to Islands of Adventure than Hard Rock.

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Hard Rock is on the same side of the water as the parks and next to IOA.
Royal Pacific is on the other side of the water basically across from USF.
Royal Pacific is also cheapest of the premier. Good chance it is sold out for your day since you will be going during a super-busy time and people tend to book it first for throwaway rooms since it is the cheapest.

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Hard Rock is closest to US and RP is closest to IOA.


OP, got you covered…

You have access to express on your check in and check out days, so whichever works the best for you.

Check out my other blog posts for more Universal tips and tricks for new newbies.


I’d choose hard rock over Royal pacific for a slightly larger room but if you’re starting at IOA first for Hagrids during EE Royal Pacific might be a better choice. It’s slightly closer to IOA

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