Are Rides Free At Universal Orlando?

The cost of visiting the Universal Resort in Orlando, Florida can be expensive. However, thankfully, some things are included and don’t cost extra alongside your park admission.

All rides inside the associated theme park are included with that associated park ticket. For example; all rides inside Universal Studios are free with a Universal Studios theme park ticket. The exception to this is the Hogwarts Express which requires a park-to-park ticket.

That’s because the Hogwarts Express takes you from one park to another, whether that be Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure or Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios.

For this reason, it’s really important to understand what park ticket you have purchased, and what that park ticket provides you with.

Universal Studios Park Ticket

If you have a Universal Studios park ticket, then that park ticket will only provide you with admission into the Universal Studios theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.

You’ll be able to go on all rides within the Universal Studios park for free, with the exception of the Hogwarts Express (for this you’ll need to upgrade to a park-to-park ticket).

With this ticket, you will be unable to enter the other theme park (Islands of Adventure) or the water park (Volcano Bay) without upgrading for an additional cost.

Islands of Adventure Park Ticket

If you have an Islands of Adventure theme park ticket, then that park ticket will only provide you with admission into the Islands of Adventure theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.

You’ll be able to go on all rides within the Islands of Adventure theme park for free, with the exception of the Hogwarts Express (for this you’ll need to upgrade to a park-to-park ticket).

With this ticket, you will be unable to enter the other theme park (Islands of Adventure) or the water park (Volcano Bay) without upgrading for an additional cost.

Park-To-Park Ticket

A park-to-park ticket comes in a number of different days (1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, 5-day or 14-day) depending on where you purchase the ticket from.

This ticket allows you to enter both the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks and makes all rides within these parks completely free – including the Hogwarts Express.

This ticket also allows you to move between parks during the day.

For example, you may wish to begin your day at Universal Studios and end your day at Islands of Adventure (either by walking across CityWalk or taking the Hogwarts Express).

Entry into Volcano Bay (Universal’s water park) is not included with this ticket.

X Day 2-Park Ticket

A 2-park ticket comes in a number of different days but is most commonly found in a 2-day format.

Unlike the park-to-park ticket, this means that you can only enter one park per day and are unable to move between parks.

Whichever park you enter first on that day is your chosen park for that day.

As such, if you enter Universal Studios first then you’ll be restricted to the Universal Studios park for the remainder of the day.

Meanwhile, if you enter Islands of Adventure first, then you’ll be restricted to Islands of Adventure for the remainder of the day.

Most people who purchase this ticket, therefore, spend their first day at Universal Studios and their second day at Islands of Adventure.

Given that this park ticket does not allow you to move between parks you will not be able to go on the Hogwarts Express (without upgrading to a park-to-park ticket). However, all other rides within the park will be free.

Entry into Volcano Bay (Universal’s water park) is not included with this ticket.

Volcano Bay Ticket

A Volcano Bay ticket provides you entry into the Volcano Bay water park. Once inside the water park, all rides are free.

This ticket does not include entry into the two Universal theme parks; Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

3-Park Ticket

A 3-park ticket provides you with entry into all three parks within the Universal Orlando Resort.

However, you will be unable to move between parks and instead, you will only be able to enter one park per day.

These tickets are usually valid for between 3 and 14 days depending on where you purchase your tickets from.

How long your ticket is valid should be displayed on your ticket and/or in your ticket confirmation email.

The parks included with this ticket are;

  • Universal Studios
  • Islands of Adventure
  • Volcano Bay

Given that this ticket does not come with park-to-park access (limiting you to one park per day) you will be unable to ride the Hogwarts Express without upgrading your ticket.

3-Park-To-Park Ticket

A 3-park-to-park ticket provides you with entry into all three parks within the Universal Orlando Resort.

These tickets are usually valid for between 2 and 14 days depending on where you purchase your tickets from.

How long your ticket is valid should be displayed on your ticket and/or in your ticket confirmation email.

The parks included with this ticket are;

  • Universal Studios
  • Islands of Adventure
  • Volcano Bay

Given the park-to-park element of this ticket, you’ll also be able to move between parks on a single day and ride The Hogwarts Express.

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