The Guide to the Universal Studios Disability Pass

Speak to guest services to determine whether a member of your party is eligible for a pass.
Alisha McDarris
By Alisha McDarris 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Amusement parks are lively and exciting places. The lights, sounds, rides and unique experiences are a dream vacation for many families. But for those traveling with individuals who have cognitive differences or certain health conditions, the loud, bright and unpredictable atmosphere can create a significant amount of stress and tension. 

Universal Studios has taken the needs of these guests into consideration by offering a Universal disability pass, so families and groups of all kinds and abilities can enjoy a day at the parks.

Here’s what the Universal Attraction Assistance Pass is and how it works so you can plan a successful trip to Universal Studios Orlando or Hollywood.

What is the Universal Attraction Assistance Pass?

The Universal Attraction Assistance Pass (colloquially known as the Universal disability pass) is a way to offer visitors who may not be able to access rides via traditional means — like waiting in long lines — a more practical way to enjoy rides and attractions.

This pass is available whether guests are headed to Universal Studios Orlando in Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood in California.

How does the Attraction Assistance Pass work?

Guests with cognitive or physical disabilities that may prevent them from standing in long ride lines can request a pass at guest services upon arrival at Universal Studios parks. 

Universal’s website doesn’t offer much information about how to get the Universal Studios Attraction Assistance Pass, but you’ll need to explain why you or your family member would benefit from the pass.

You shouldn’t need to present any proof or medical records, but doing so can be helpful if you’re willing to share. Then, the park employee will decide whether you’re a good fit for the pass.

If so, the pass holder will be given a lined card that features their name and the size of their party that they can take from ride to ride. They’ll hand it to the attendant at the entrance to the queue, who will write down a scheduled time to return. When they come back at the appointed time, they’ll be permitted to enter the ride or attraction immediately.

The scheduled return time will be comparable to the current wait time for in-line guests, but this system allows pass holders to leave and wander around the park, find some shade or do whatever they need to be comfortable. Then, they can return to the ride or attraction for their scheduled experience.

Those with the accessibility pass can only have one active return time scheduled, so you can’t use it to schedule a whole day of rides at once.

However, the pass offers more freedom and flexibility so those who might struggle with overstimulation or the confinement of standing in line for hours can avoid triggering or uncomfortable situations.

What disabilities warrant a Universal Studios disability pass?

If you’re trying to decide if someone in your group qualifies for the pass, know that if a friend or family member is in a wheelchair, that alone may not be enough to secure one.

That’s because most rides and attractions at the park in Orlando (except for Pteranodon Flyers at Universal’s Islands of Adventure) feature wheelchair-accessible queues, so a special pass isn’t required.

Who is the pass for?

Can you get a Universal disability pass for anxiety, for example? The Universal Attraction Assistance Pass is intended for those with cognitive differences or health conditions that make standing among crowds in lines for long periods of time uncomfortable, unrealistic or dangerous.

There is no definitive list of conditions used to identify who can get a pass, so you’ll need to speak with guest services about your or your family member’s specific situation to determine eligibility.

Other things to know about visiting Universal with a disability

Whether or not you request an Attraction Assistance pass at Universal Studios, both parks offer several spaces for families traveling with children who need special assistance.

A Quiet Room is located at Health Services at the front of the park in Orlando and in The Family Center in Hollywood.

The rooms vary depending on the location, but may be outfitted with an activity panel, sensory toys, dimmable lights, weighted blankets and rubber floor tiles. They’re available to use by one family at a time for up to 30 minutes on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Additionally, there are family restrooms within the parks, which offer additional privacy and space for those who need it.

Both parks publish a Guide for Rider Safety and Accessibility, and Universal Studios Orlando also offers a Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities. These resources aim to help individuals prepare by knowing where to go and what to expect in various areas around the park. They also provide tips on how to keep everyone in your group happy and healthy.

You can also stack the Universal Studios Orlando disability pass with the Universal Express Pass, which is available for purchase or offered free to guests at participating Universal Orlando hotels. The Express Pass is also available at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Some families may find purchasing the Express Pass worth it to avoid lines entirely at most attractions, though there are a handful of rides that aren’t included. Getting an Express Pass in addition to the Accessibility Assistance Pass may be your best bet. 

Additionally, tickets to both parks can be purchased online so you don’t have to wait in line at the entrance booth when you arrive.

The disability pass at Universal Studios recapped

So, if you’re asking, “Does Universal have a disability pass?”, the answer is yes.

The Universal Attraction Assistance Pass can be a useful tool if you or someone in your group has a cognitive disability or another condition that makes waiting in line difficult. And when paired with an Express Pass, it can help your group enjoy a memorable visit.

(Top photo courtesy of Universal Studios Orlando Resort)

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