What to expect when crowd levels are rated as 9

Family of four will be at Universal Orlando June 19. We have 4 day park-to-park tickets. Kids are 5 and 8. These days are rated as 9 on the crowd scale. When the parks are this crowded, how long is the wait typically when one has Express tickets? We still plan on getting to the park before rope drop to minimize wait for a couple headliners, but then we’d like to leisurely tour the rest of the park. Is this feasible with Express tickets?

A separate question about Express tickets concerns availability. On days with big crowds, do the Express tickets frequently sell out? I thought about buying Express for two of the four days ahead of time, and then making a decision about the last two days once at the park. Is this risky?

Since you’re buying 4 Express passes for at least 2 days, have you considered staying at one of Universal’s on-site deluxe hotels: Royal Pacific, Hard Rock or Portofino? For each night you stay, they include complementary Express tickets for all of you the day you check in and the day you check out. You may already have great accommodations, but if you haven’t worked that out yet, you might see whether it would save you money. It did for my family of four.

The wait with Express Pass should be roughly 1/3 of the standby wait. In practice this should mean 10-15 minutes at most attractions. The notable exception is the Minions ride, where your wait could easily be 30 minutes or more. It’s a slow loader and will have long lines all day.

I agree with the suggestion to stay onsite. It’s probably cheaper to do that and get the Exp Pass free for all days than stay offsite and buy it. There are 2 levels to buy - good for one ride or good for unlimited rides on each attraction. The one you get when you stay onsite is the much more expensive unlimited type. You don’t have to buy your tickets from Universal, and you can also book rooms on discount sites.

I don’t think Express Pass usually sells out - it’s so much more expensive to buy on busier days that it probably prices people out. We’ve never used it at all but our last trip was 4 years ago and a lot has changed since then so we’ve decided to stay onsite one night to get it free for 2 days (booked on booking.com which was cheapest).

I would seriously consider staying on property. The higher the expected demand the higher the price of the ticket. At this point - you are better off staying at a delux

Yesterday Simpsons exp pass line took 25 mins with 45 posted as standby. Rip rides exp pass line has been slow also posted 45 kids waited 20. Another guest was complaining that he bought exp pass and had to wait 45 mins for rip ride when standby was 90.

We had to wait 40 minutes one day for Minions with the express pass. Standby was 80. Yeah 40 minutes sucked - but sucked only 1/2 as much as the 80 minute wait. We had so many rides that were literally walk on I couldn’t complain. MIB was 45 - it was 5 for us. Simpsons was long and we had to wait - but it was minimal compared to standby