Some questions for trip in 2 weeks

We are heading for our first universal trip in 2 weeks time and I still had a couple questions.

  1. Where do we pick up our park tickets? Is it at a desk in the hotel?
  2. Is the park ticket like a credit card? Should I buy a landyard to have it on?
  3. We have express pass so do I scan the card at the ride like fast pass at Disney?
  4. Also have the photo package. We are going to IOA the first day. Where would be the easiest and quickest place for me to go and activate the package?
  5. Staying at cabana bay and wondering what would be best route of travel to take to the parks?
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  1. You can pick up your park tickets at the hotel.
  2. The ticket has a barcode that will be scanned for park entry and locker use. Having the ticket on a lanyard is an easy way to keep it with you while everything else is in the locker for ride.
  3. Can’t answer that.
  4. Can’t answer that.
  5. For volcano bay, its a super easy walk because the water park is right next to the hotel. For the other parks, take the shuttle buses. They run from 7 AM to 2 AM.
  1. Bring your travel documents. You should have gotten an e-mail from Universal that you’ll need to present / exchange for your tickets. Since you are staying an official “on-site” hotel there will be a packet waiting for you at check-in.

  2. Your park ticket will not allow you to make purchases. You will need it for locker rentals, boarding the Hogwarts Express and such. I do keep mine in a lanyard.

  3. Yes. Typically they scan it as your enter the XP queue and again before you get on the ride to ensure no one has jumped into that queue. (It is easy to do as the queues typically run parallel to each other.)

  4. It’s a place at the front of the park called DeFotos Expedition Photography.

  5. see previous answer


I purchased a package for my first visit. I did not get a packet at entry. Instead, I got my room cards at check in and the next morning I picked up my tickets from a kiosk with help from a staff member.

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Even with a package purchased through USF, this can vary. Even as much as I really love Universal their service isn’t always consistent or up to the level of WDW. (Hopefully, one day!)

If you stayed on-site you should have gotten a “Welcome!” packet with some goodies and your tickets. If you didn’t this is due to a lack of service at your hotel. They are supposed to have it all prepped for you. If you stayed off-site or at a “Partner / Good Neighbor” hotel you always have to take your travel documents / info to the kiosks outside the main gate.

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Is the Welcome packet the case even if your tickets aren’t part of a package? I booked our room through the annual passholder link and my pass and the other three’s tickets through Universal’s website but I don’t think there’s a specific date on the tickets.

You get it when you book a vacation package, for an On-site / Partner hotel, directly with Universal.