On Site Hotel Perks - When Do They Start/Stop?

Renaldo

Newcomer
May 16, 2018
4
We've visited Universal around a dozen times since 2000 and have always stayed at Portofino (except once at Royal Pacific) for the convenience and fast pass benefits. However it's been a while since we've been there - the last time was in 2014.

We'll be going again in about a month but for a very short stay; probably two days in the parks with only a single night at the Portofino.

Which brings me to my question:

We're annual pass holders, but we need the on site hotel for fast pass access.

If we book a room say just for Saturday night and plan on doing the parks both Saturday and Sunday, will we have fast pass access all day Sunday, or would our fast passes be valid only between our check in and check out times?

Years ago when we first started going to Universal our room card was our fast pass. Back then they never even checked or scanned them, all you did was flash your room card and you were granted fast pass access. Even though we never did, you could literally have gained access to fast pass days after your hotel stay was over.

Then the last time we were there they actually printed out paper fast passes for us to use. These were scanned prior to entry.

Is that still the current system, or is there a new more advanced system in place? Someone told me there is an electronic (possibly facial recognition) system in place now.

What it comes down to is this: Does the current system automatically void your fast pass access immediately at checkout time?

If so, since check in is not until 4PM and check out is 11AM, that would mean we'd only have fast pass access for a few hours Saturday night and a couple of hours Sunday morning.

Does anyone know how this currently works?
 

Ridgepole

Veteran Member
Feb 19, 2018
1,004
If you stay Saturday night your express pass (room key) works all day Saturday and all day Sunday. And yes they will scan your key every ride. Note: You can "check in" as early as you want Saturday ie. 6am, just may not be able to access your room till later even though you have your room key/pass.
 
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Ridgepole

Veteran Member
Feb 19, 2018
1,004
[QUOTE="Ridgepole, post: 644365, member: 9679"I will say that the day you arrive, even though check in is "4:00 pm", you can check in as early as you want, ie., 6:00am, get your room key (express pass) change into your park attire, check your bags at the baggage desk and go rage in the parks. Hotel will text you when your room is available. Which may be early or not.
To add, in addition to the restrooms near the front entrance at Royal Pacific, there is a unisex restroom adjacent that has a lockable door and an infant changing table so you can dig into your bags to get your park gear on in privacy. Just saying.[/QUOTE)
From another thread. Pretty sure it applies to Portafino too
 

Coasted

Rookie
Jan 28, 2017
462
If you stay Saturday night your express pass (room key) works all day Saturday and all day Sunday. And yes they will scan your key every ride. Note: You can "check in" as early as you want Saturday ie. 6am, just may not be able to access your room till later even though you have your room key/pass.
Ditto ... Our experience this year (RP) was that you simply get your room key and ‘go’ ie you only later have your photo recorded once you are in a queue for a ride ... whereas previously You had to get your room key, then queue at separate machine within the hotel to have your photo taken / scan your park tickets / get your EP.

If I remember correctly, the room key has check in / check out dates printed on them. L

FYI I think someone on here said they have pulled the fridges from Portofino, though I may be wrong as sounds odd.
 

Ridgepole

Veteran Member
Feb 19, 2018
1,004
Room key does have check in/out dates. But they never eyeball the card, just scan it. Also, if you hope to charge to your room, the key card will have a $ showing on it. Handled at check in of course.
 
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GadgetGuru

Premium Member
Dec 2, 2011
2,193
Seattle, WA
Is that still the current system, or is there a new more advanced system in place? Someone told me there is an electronic (possibly facial recognition) system in place now.
?
There was a very limited test of a facial recognition thing a couple months ago at one or two rides. To my knowledge, the test is over?
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,191
Express works for both check-in date and check-out date. So feel free to head the resort, check-in early and get your room keys, drop off your stuff, and go have fun at the parks. They'll text you when the room is ready.
 

Renaldo

Newcomer
May 16, 2018
4
This is some fantastic information - thank you all so very much! And so quick, too!

We're thinking about going just for a weekend in late June or early July to get maximum enjoyment from the water rides and then perhaps going back for a day or so in October to experience Halloween Horror Nights, since we've never been to that.

To cut expenses we'll likely stay in Royal Pacific this time, as the money saved from booking a smaller room there can be applied back into meals and snacks while in the park.

We're anxious to get back and it turns out I was wrong about the last time we were there in my original post. Last time was April 2013, right before Transformers opened. We're all looking forward to that!
 
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