Universal Firstie: I'm confused

My dad booked the trip and linked it to his email, so I feel totally out of the loop. I’ve asked him to forward everything to me but there’s a chance I’ve missed something. I am the planner and am doing all the research. I am a Disney gal and am used to planning, and realize Universal will be different. BUT…

  • What about tickets? Are they linked anywhere? Where do we get our actual tickets? Are they always hard copies or can we scan them in the app? I’ve looked everywhere in the app for how to link something and can’t find it.

  • We are staying at Portofino Bay and have Unlimited Express Pass. How do we get those and what form are they in?

  • Dinner reservations- can those be saved in the app? Or do I just keep track of those myself?

I have read that MDE is totally different than Universal app, and that’s fine. I just want to make sure I’m not missing something and need to keep everything organized.


As a Disney planner, Universal can be challenging since you won’t have one place to see all your plans.

Did your dad buy the tickets as part of a package? If he did, you will need to pick them up at the vacation planning lobby at the resort, or at a will call kiosk outside the park.

Your resort room key is your express pass ( I love a lanyard at Universal).

I usually make dining reservation in Zomato and save the reservation to my phone calendar.


Thanks, @PrincipalTinker :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, it is a package. It feels so strange not having anything CONCRETE to have with me. A magic band, a ticket in the app, etc. So we just go to the resort at arrival, get our tickets (paper copies, I presume?) and stick those and our room key in a lanyard and call it a day? I assume we scan the paper copies at the tapstile and just show our room key in our lanyard at Express Pass lines? It’s such a classic way of doing things, I dont know what to think!

What time do you suggest showing up at the tapstils to be close to the front of the pack. With Express Pass, is that even necessary? We will be there Dec 22-27 and I really don’t like waiting in line more than 20 min +. I’m a Disney Rope Dropper and avoid lines as much as possible.

You will get a card that is your ticket at the hotel. There will be a ticket desk. You will want a lanyard. You put you hotel key (express pass) and ticket and maybe your photo pass card in there.

You will still want to do early entry, there are some desirable rides that don’t take express passes, so you want to do those. At super-busy times they open both parks for early entry.

You will want to make dining reservations. You can make them now, there isn’t an ADR Window. There also isn’t a no-show fee (at least now)

All good info, thank you! I have made most of my reservations so far. I have Mythos, Chocolate Emporium, Mama Della’s, Big Fire and Antojitos. If I’ve missed anything good IYO, let me know!

I will be purchasing lanyard, thanks everyone!

Unpopular opinion but Universal is the only place
I wear a Fanny pack. I just don’t like going to the lockers unless I have to and it allows me to only use lockers for Hull, RRR, and VC.

I might change this since I realized at at 60 Hulk and RRR are not something I will be able to do again. (I said goodbye to them last month)


I am going to have to figure out a plan for lockers. I am lucky in that I have children who will not ride everything and grandparents who will stay with them, so they can hold my stuff. But on rides where all 11 of us (yes, 11 of us are going!) who will hold the “stuff”?? On the rides that are not true roller coasters that all 11 of us will ride (ET, Minions, etc) do they require lockers or can we leave our stroller outside and take in a small backpack or 2?

One thing we like to do at the Chocolate Emporium is to eat family style in courses starting with dessert. While waiting on the first thing we order, we decide on the second. I think it really upped our enjoyment because we all got a lot of variety. If someone decided that one food wasn’t that appealing, the other people ate more of it.

At Mythos, the only thing I get is the grilled cheese and tomato soup with the sandwich on the side. It sounds boring. But it is one of those chef things where everything go together so well. You dunk sandwich pieces in the bread and moan with happiness.

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Yes, you can take back packs into these types of slower rides.

The following attractions have single-use paid and free lockers that you must put any bags in:

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit*
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Men in Black: Alien Attack
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster*
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster*

*These 3 attractions do not allow any loose articles onto the attraction. This includes cell phones, wallets, keys, cameras, and more (excluded are glasses, watches, and park admission). Locker use is

Remember, the free lockers are small and you can fit in a sling bag or a mini back back, not a full size back pack.

Also, Finnigan’s is another good option for an in the park restaurant.

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I can’t think of a ride that a 3 generation family would ride together that didn’t allow you to bring your stuff. If you can’t bring your stuff, there are lockers. Free lockers. You use anything with a barcode to access the locker and then get your stuff after the ride. They are somewhere near the ride and are free for the ride duration. Starting post-lockdown they want only one person from each party to go to the locker area. So, we had our sherpa, aka DH wear the lanyard for everyone and he used multiple lockers until our stuff was stored.
You can also park the strollers.

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On rides that don’t have lockers, you can have your things with you.

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Love it. We definitely have one of those :slight_smile:

They were not enforcing one person two weeks ago.


If anyone drinks soda, I’d recommend getting a coke freestyle cup. You pay one price and can refill through the day for free. The second day you just pay the refill price. Six Flags cups are made by the same company. We brought previous years Six Flags cups and shared one freestyle cup, using the Six Flags cups to actually drink from.
For that many people it might be worthwhile to get a cup or two just for non-soda. You can refill one cup 10 minutes after each refill. So, we would refill as we wandered around. Also the slurpees are a free refill. Also, if you buy a Yeti water bottle lanyard, it works for the free style cup. So you can ‘wear’ your freestyle cup. And they don’t come with straws. So, we bring reusable straws from home.

You rock! Thank you!

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As I posted above, since I have a Fanny pack I only use lockers on the three starred. My niece was told as long as her bag could be worn as a cross body, that could be worn on the non starred attractions (another option).

Sure! Just remember at those three, you cannot have phones, coins, etc. because of the metal detectors. Basically nothing in pockets. The trick here is actually remembering so you don’t have to back track!

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IMO you have express pass not so necessary-

Especially if your using the lines app

What all do you use the lines app for? I use it for Disney for wait times. What about for Universal?

With express pass I only use it to enter wait times.