When traveling on a cruise, one of the most exciting parts of your trip is deciding what to do when you reach your scheduled ports of call. We sailed aboard the Carnival Pride's 7-night Bahamas & Florida cruise for the first time in February 2012. Being familiar with the itinerary, we knew we wouldn't have much time to travel to a destination and be back in time before the ship sailed.
After careful consideration and research, we decided to visit Universal Studios Florida. Being that it was February I wasn't expecting to see a crowd, but I was wrong. We made it to our first ride and got in line before we realized we should have purchased an Express pass to avoid long wait times. After leaving the line to check into purchasing passes, we found a table set up close to the gate that was selling the Universal Ride Reservation System. It is similar to a pager and allows you to reserve the time you would like to ride, allowing you to bypass the line.To use it, you select the ride by name, choose the available time you prefer and reserve it. When it's your time to ride, the U-bot will buzz to alert you to proceed to the ride entrance. Although you cannot ride before your scheduled time, you will be allowed to enter any time after. We were advised by the park employees to reserve our next ride while on the current ride. This allowed smooth transition to our next destination without waiting. This method is genius and is perfect for cruise ship passengers who are on a tight schedule. It is very user friendly and was an asset to have at the park. Thanks to the reservation system, we were able to ride every major attraction we wanted to experience while at the park. Without it, we would have ran out of time.
For a family of five, the system cost us $95 ($17.99/person plus tax) for one reservation per ride, and it was definitely money well spent. There is an unlimited option ($25.99/person) available as well for those who have more time to enjoy the park. I was shocked to hear park attendants say only a handful of people were using the system. For some, we were their first park guests they had ever "buzzed" through with the U-bot. They were excited to finally be able to test it out and see how it worked.
The passes are valid for the day only and can only be purchased at the park. There is a refundable $50 deposit that is required at time of purchase and is refunded once the device is returned. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is the only ride listed at Universal Studios Florida that is not available for the ride reservation option. We were told that you receive priority seating at shows as well if you presented the device, but we did not make it to any to find out if this is true.
Information regarding the ride reservation system is not listed on the Universal website, however, if you are interested in more information you may contact guest services.