Do I have to buy my tickets as part of a package from universal to use the express pass that is provide as part of the Hard Rock, Portofino & Royal Pacific Guest benefits? I would like to purchase my tickets from undercover tourist and stay at one of the resorts that give the express pass. Before I book, I just want to make sure tickets from a 3rd party won’t cause issues with the “free” express pass.
You can buy your tickets anywhere. The tickets and express pass are two separate things, printed on two different papers. You have to have tickets to get into the parks, but then you can put them away and just keep your EP out to scan at rides. No worries!
We bought ours from Undercover Tourist and then when you get to the hotel - there are kiosks that take your picture and print out the EX Pass. So as @SallyEppcot noted they are two separate pieces of paper. I found by buying things a la carte it was cheaper and I had more flexibility.