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Universal Express Pass is a priority status boarding system used at various Universal Parks & Resorts: Universal Orlando (which encompasses Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure), Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Singapore, and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal Express Pass – commonly referred to as Universal Express on park signage, and as Express Pass by team members and guests – admits users to a separate line for the attraction, which is given priority status when boarding. Universal Express Pass is not a virtual queuing service, where users receive a specific time to return to the priority line. Instead, guests who have purchased (or otherwise received) the pass may enter the "Universal Express" line for a considerably shortened queueing time. Depending on the park and the pass options chosen, the pass may be valid any time during the day, or during a specific timeslot for each ride, may be valid for some or all rides, and may give one use or unlimited use of the included rides.
Universal's Express Pass is not included in park admission. There are a limited number of passes available each day and they are often sold out in advance. The cost of the pass varies based on what parks are selected and even what day is selected, with higher prices charged on peak operating days during the year.
Guests at three of Universal Orlando's on-site resorts — the Hard Rock Hotel, the Royal Pacific Resort, and the Portofino Bay Hotel — get complimentary unlimited use of the faster lines during their stay. Guests who hold Universal Orlando's Premier Annual Pass can use it once per day on every participating ride after 4 pm.
Universal Orlando Resort, commonly known as Universal Orlando or simply "Universal," formerly Universal Studios Escape, is an American theme park and entertainment resort complex based in Orlando, Florida. The resort is operated by Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of Comcast's NBCUniversal. Universal Orlando is the second-largest resort in Greater Orlando, after the Walt Disney World Resort which is nearby, covering 541 acres of land.
Universal's Islands of Adventure is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida. It opened on May 28, 1999, along with CityWalk, as part of an expansion that converted Universal Studios Florida into the Universal Orlando Resort. The resort's slogan Vacation Like You Mean It was introduced in 2013.
Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. About 70% of the studio lies within the unincorporated county island known as Universal City while the rest lies within the city limits of Los Angeles, California. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use. Its official marketing headline is "The Entertainment Capital of LA". It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios sets and is the first of many full-fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks located across the world.
Universal Studios Florida is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida. Primarily themed to movies, television, and other aspects of the entertainment industry, the park opened to the public on June 7, 1990. It is owned and operated by NBCUniversal and features numerous rides, attractions, and live shows. Universal Studios Florida was the first component of the larger Universal Orlando Resort to open, and it ranked eleventh in the world and sixth in North America for attendance among amusement parks in 2019, hosting approximately 10.9 million visitors.
Shrek 4-D is a 4D simulator ride attraction with motion-based effects and water sprayers located at various theme parks around the world. It is currently shown at Universal Parks & Resorts in Florida, Japan, Singapore, and previously in Hollywood, where it closed on August 13, 2017 to make way for the DreamWorks Theatre attraction. Outside the Universal parks, the movie was shown at Movie Park Germany in Germany from May 2008 until July 2011, and Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia from September 2005 until August 2010. A spin-off attraction titled Donkey's Photo Finish is located at the Florida venue while Meet Shrek and Donkey is located at the Hollywood venue. In Universal Studios Japan, the attraction is shown in the same theater as Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, with the Shrek 4-D film shown for the first half of the day, and the Sesame Street film shown for the second half of the day.
Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka, is one of six Universal Studios theme parks, owned and operated by USJ LLC, which is wholly owned by NBCUniversal. The park is similar to the Universal Orlando Resort since it also contains selected attractions from Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast was a simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida that replaced The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera based on the 2001 movie Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and it is set to take place after the events of the film. The story line revolved around Ooblar, from the Yolkian planet that has stolen Jimmy's newest rocket creation, the Mark IV. Jimmy, along with his best friend Carl and robotic canine, Goddard, invite the audience to give chase in other rockets through the worlds and sound stages of the Nicktoons.
Universal Studios Singapore is a theme park located within Resorts World Sentosa on Sentosa Island, Singapore. It features 28 rides, shows, and attractions in seven themed zones.
Universal Creative designs, develops, and delivers themed attractions, rides, resorts, and parks globally for Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast. Its divisions include master planning, creative development, design, engineering, project management, and research and development. The Universal Creative team is composed of artists, architects, engineers, designers, producers, builders, writers and more who conceive, design and build all of the themed entertainment experiences for Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Singapore, and Universal Beijing Resort.
Flight of the Hippogriff is a junior roller coaster at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of Universal theme parks. It is present at Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Hollywood and upcoming in Universal Studios Beijing. Designed by Universal Creative, the first installation opened at Islands of Adventure on June 18, 2010. The new ride was a redesign of an existing roller coaster known as Flying Unicorn, which the park closed in 2008 to begin its transformation. The design change was implemented to fit the new Harry Potter-themed area that was being constructed at the park. Flight of the Hippogriff is a mild alternative to the area's more extreme rides such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Following a successful launch, identical versions of the roller coaster were installed at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood over the next several years.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a motion-based dark ride located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-themed areas of Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida; Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, California, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan and Universal Studios Beijing in Beijing, China. The ride takes guests through scenes and environments in and around Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter series of books and films. Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, described the ride as an in-depth look at the world of Harry Potter, which utilizes never-before-seen technology which transforms "the theme park experience as you know it". The ride first opened at Islands of Adventure with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on June 18, 2010; subsequent versions opened at Universal Studios Japan on July 15, 2014, and at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a themed area spanning two theme parks—Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida—at the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. The area is themed to the Harry Potter media franchise, adapting elements from the film series and novels by J. K. Rowling. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was designed by Universal Creative from an exclusive license with Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a computer-animated simulator ride attraction located at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan and upcoming to Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Beijing. The attraction is based on Universal Pictures and Illumination's animated film Despicable Me (2010) and its franchise, employing the use of 3D high-definition digital animation. The attraction replaced Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast in Florida, T2-3D: Battle Across Time in Hollywood, Back to the Future: The Ride in Japan and will replace Madagascar: A Crate Adventure in Singapore. It will also be an opening day attraction in Beijing.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a chain of themed areas at Universal Parks & Resorts based on the Harry Potter media franchise, adapting elements from the Warner Bros.' film series and original novels by J. K. Rowling. The areas were designed by Universal Creative from an exclusive license with Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is an indoor steel roller coaster designed by Universal Creative and built by Intamin at Universal Studios Florida, a theme park located within the Universal Orlando Resort. Similar to dark rides, the roller coaster utilizes special effects in a controlled-lighting environment and also employs motion-based 3-D projection of both animation and live-action sequences to enhance the experience. The ride, which is themed to the Gringotts Wizarding Bank, became the flagship attraction for the expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opened on July 8, 2014.
Thierry Jean-Andre Coup is the current Senior Vice President, Chief Creative Officer of Universal Creative, Universal Parks & Resorts' research and development division. Coup began his career working in the film industry, performing set design and visual effects. He moved into theme park design in the early 1990s when Walt Disney Parks and Resorts offered him a position with Walt Disney Imagineering. In the late 1990s, he transferred over to Universal Creative and worked on projects such as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Transformers: The Ride and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.
Universal Studios Beijing is an upcoming Universal theme park in Beijing that will open in 2021 as part of Universal Beijing Resort. The park would become the fifth Universal Studios-branded theme park in the world, the seventh Universal-built park overall, and the third in Asia, after Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore. However, it would also be the first Universal-built park in Asia to not include Sesame Street as one of its licensed properties.
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a multiple-launch steel motorbike roller coaster located at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade section of Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park. The attraction opened on June 13, 2019 and was manufactured by Intamin, and features both indoor and outdoor characteristics. It is the sixth Harry Potter-themed attraction created for the resort, which Universal described it as "a highly-themed roller coaster that will take us into a different corner of the wizarding world, where guests will encounter some of their favorite characters and creatures". The attraction replaced the Dragon Challenge roller coasters, which closed on September 4, 2017. At $300 million dollars, it is also the most expensive roller coaster ever built, surpassing the previous record of $100 million dollars by Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the longest roller coaster in Florida at 5,053 feet (1,540 m) and holds a record-breaking seven launches.