AccessibilityUniversal Orlando ResortUniversal Studios Hollywood

Everything You Need to Know: Universal Studios’ Attraction Assistance Pass

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Long lines, crowded spaces, and loud noises are not anyone’s favorite part of a day at Universal Studios, but these things will make the day impossible for some guests. If this is you or someone you’re traveling with, Universal Studios has policies to help guests who need accommodations in the traditional queue enjoy their day at the parks.

What is the Attraction Assistance Pass, AAP?

The Attraction Assistance Pass is Universal Studios’ policy that allows guests to use the accommodations they need in order to experience attractions at the parks. If you require assistance with wait times, the AAP card allows you to arrive at the ride, then get a time to return to the attraction.

Basically, it’s a reservation. While you wait for your return time, you can be in a more open or comfortable space, making your physical wait time more manageable. When you go back to the ride at your return time, you can use the Express Pass Lane. This does not give you immediate access to the attraction, but you spend the majority of the wait virtually.

Universal AAP card

The AAP is a physical card; one side has your name, dates that it is valid, the number of guests, a question about an alternative if there are stairs, and a bar code that is scanned at each attraction when using the AAP. The back side has a grid printed on it for return times.

Applying for the Accessibility Card

As of July 24, 2023, Universal Studios requires an Accessibility Card (an identification card from IBCCES) for any guest needing the Attraction Assistance Pass.

To get the card, you will be asked for documentation and contact information from a medical professional or school system indicating the accommodations you need at the parks. Give yourself at least 48 hours before you visit the parks to apply for the ID card.

Be advised you may receive a call from Universal’s Guest Services team before you arrive.  If you don’t receive the call 48 hours before your visit, and your ID has been processed, you should call the ADA Assistance line (407)224-4233, and they will complete the process for being pre-approved for your AAP. If you do not have a phone conversation with a team member, the ID alone will not be enough to guarantee you will be issued an AAP.

This accessibility ID card is completely free, and we have all the details about how to apply and what you need: see Changes to Universal’s Attraction Assistance Pass Process.

The IBCCES Accessibility Card

Arriving at the Parks

When you arrive at the parks, stop by Guest Services first. A Guest Services booth is outside the entrances to the right at Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood. Inside the park, Universal Studios Orlando’s Guest Services is just inside the entrance to the right, and Islands of Adventure is close to the Marvel area on the left. A helpful Universal team member just advised that the lines inside the park are typically a shorter wait.

A park directional indicates where to go for Guest Services, Park Exit, etc. The entrance to Guest Services is visible in the background
Guest Services at Islands of Adventure

After the Guest Services team member greets you and asks what they can assist with, say that you need assistance in the parks. They will ask for your IBCCES Accessibility Card, which will give them all the information they need. There will not be any medical questions pertaining to why you need assistance asked at this time. If you do not already have the Accessibility Card, Team Members will not discuss your medical information with you so that you can get an Attraction Assistance Pass.

As they prepare your Attraction Assistance Pass, AAP, you will need to have everyone that is at the park with you, and they must all have their tickets.

The Team Member will explain how the accommodations work and how long the AAP is valid. Typically it is valid for your length of stay or up to 14 days.

Scheduling and Arriving for Return Times

To get a return time, visit the attraction’s entrance and look for a Team Member with a clipboard. Ask them for a return time and hand them the card. They will write the attraction’s name, the time you arrived, the current wait time, and the time you may return. The last cell on the grid will remain blank until you return.

The guest that has the AAP does not need to be present to receive a return time, and you don’t need to bring your group with you. You can send a runner for this task and let everyone else hang out where they are comfortable.

Universal Orlando's AAP card
Universal Orlando’s AAP card

When it’s your time to ride, go to the attraction’s entrance and look for the Team Member with a clipboard, they will validate your pass. You will need everyone in your party that is riding the attraction to be together. You may not arrive before your return time, but you can arrive anytime after, as long as the park is open. After your time has been validated, you’ll be directed to the Express Pass Lane. Keep the card out because it will be scanned multiple times while you’re in the queue.

If the attraction requires a locker, the AAP card will activate the lockers, you don’t need your ticket. This tip will help you not lock the pass in the locker; yes, I’m speaking from experience.

Once you have experienced the attraction, you may get a return time for another attraction. You can not have more than one active return time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our resort room came with an Express Pass. Can I still get accommodations with the Attraction Assistance Pass?

Yes, you can use the Express pass and the AAP together.

Can I use the Attraction Assistance Pass at Volcano Bay?

The AAP is not available at Volcano Bay. Please use the virtual queue system that is available to all guests.

Do I make a return time if the wait is 25 minutes?

If the current wait time is under 30 minutes, the team member at the entrance will direct you and your party directly to the Express Pass Entrance.

I use an ECV to get around at the parks; do I need the Attraction Assistance Pass?

The AAP is designed for guests with a disability that prevents them from tolerating the traditional queue; typically, this does not include mobility issues. Contact Universal’s Guest Services if you need specific clarification.

My resort room offers me Early Entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Can I get an AAP return time during that time?

Yes, you can make a return time for a Harry Potter attraction. Team Members will not be available at the other attractions during that time.

Can I ride another ride while I wait for an AAP return time?

Yes, you can eat, visit with characters, ride a different ride, shop, or just hang out in a comfortable space while you wait for your return time.

Have you used the AAP program at Universal Orlando? Do you have questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Amy Schinner

Amy Schinner is a lifelong fan of Disney, a mom, and an advocate for people with special needs. She loves spinning in teacups, screaming down Mt. Everest, and exploring it with her family. Her joy is helping families vacation and create memories together because everyone deserves some pixie dust!

9 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know: Universal Studios’ Attraction Assistance Pass

  • Anonymous ECVer

    So, if I *just* use an ECV and transfer to wheelchairs at attractions, I *don’t* need the new 3rd party-provided card after all? Initial information was that EVERYONE would need that card.

    • Amy Schinner

      Yes, that is correct. Initially, the language from Universal said all accommodations would require the third-party ID card. After July 24, the communication indicated it was only necessary for the AAP, so I called and confirmed that with Universal’s Guest Services.

      • Anonymous ECVer

        Thanks for the clarification, Amy!

  • This cuts off anyone that has an issue that is not medically managed. There’s a member of our party that has severe anxiety triggered by claustrophobia and crowds, self-managed by techniques that are not possible in a ride queue, such as pacing and creating more personal space by moving away from other people. They have never presented this issue to a doctor, as their management works in most situations, and they do not want to take medications.

    It’s also going to trigger tantrums in little ones that have to go to the ride entrance, and then have to be told they must leave and wait. Not a good plan, USO.

    • Amy Schinner

      None of this is fun, I get how hard this is.
      Wouldn’t it be great if Universal had an app or multiple guest services locations where guests could request return times to avoid having to go to the attractions.

  • I see people saying stuff about anxiety. My wife has anxiety and is medicate for. She does have an additional, genetic illness that is part of her situation, but anxiety can trigger an attack with her. One of her anxiety issues is confined spaces for prolonged periods of time. She simply contacted her doctor and told her the concerns and he was willing to write her the note she needed. Sent it in and it was a super easy process.

    If you have anxiety to the point that you have attacks, you should probably seek medical attention for that situation. I bet if you spoke to the doctor that is prescribing medication or is helping you with the disorder, they will write you a note about the situation for you to use. No doctor would want you to be in a situation that would cause you that much stress.

  • How do the get the photo of the person needing the pass? Do they have to provide one? Can I use a color printed copy, or does it have to be a glossy copy?

  • Amy Schinner

    Great question! When you are registering on the app you upload your own photo of the guest that Ned’s the id.
    If you choose to print it it can just be a regular printout on standard paper.


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