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    Early Park Admission

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Universal Orlando Early Admission Overview

The most valuable perk available to all Universal on-site Resort Hotel guests is Early Park Admission (EPA, also sometimes referred to as Early Entry), which grants entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and sometimes other rides) 1 hour before the general public. This perk is given for free to all guests staying at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel guests, even those not staying at one of the Deluxe Resorts. Premier Annual Pass holders can take advantage of Early Park Admission on any morning, as can Preferred Pass holders on select days (blockouts apply).

Which park you may enter on any particular day, and which attractions will be operating, are at Universal’s discretion and will vary with the attendance seasons and with the whims of Universal's operations division. The turnstiles to the park(s) participating in early entry will open between 60 and 90 minutes before the official opening time. Both hotel and day guests will be admitted to the park, and each EPA-eligible guest (including children) will need to show his or her own room key to pass beyond the park's entry plaza during the early admission hour. Guests not eligible for early park admission will be held in an alternative area to await the official opening time.

Universal Early Admission Tips

During early park admission, some of the attractions, shops, and restaurants in the participating Wizarding World area will be open, along with select attractions outside the Harry Potter area. Early entry is by far the best time to experience Escape from Gringotts without waiting an hour or more in the standby queue. However, the Forbidden Journey ride typically only operates about 20% of its ride vehicles during EPA, which makes the queue move maddeningly slow. If you aren’t among the first few dozen at the gates, you may want to enjoy the other Hogsmeade attractions as save Forbidden Journey until afternoon, lest you spend most of the hour inching through Hogwarts’ boarding area. Also, if the Gringotts or Forbidden Journey attractions are not operational when early entry begins, skip the ride and try again late in the day; by the time it begins running in the morning, there will be a huge backlog of riders.

Universal publishes their Early Park Admission calendar a month or two in advance on this webpage, but procedures seem to change often and arbitrarily with no warning. Ask at your hotel's front desk to find out what opening procedures are in effect during your visit and enter the park assuming that not everything will be open, just in case.

Currently only Universal Studios Florida is offering Early Park Admission, but this does tend to switch every so often. During the busiest periods both parks will often offer EPA. Here is what is commonly open during the Early Admission (as with everything, subject to change at any time):

Islands of Adventure

Universal Studios Florida

As of July 2018, Universal began toying with a slightly different Early Park Admission procedure at Universal Studios Florida. Rather than open Despicable Me for the Early Admission, it opened to the public around 30 minutes before official opening. Beginning at the start of EPA, all guests were allowed to get into the queue for Despicable Me and ride upon opening. Revenge of the Mummy and Escape from Gringott's remained available only to guests with EPA access. We simply cannot say enough that Universal changes these procedures often so ask Team Members on your way into the park what the process is for that day.

Last updated on January 16, 2020