2015

Universal Cool Japan The Information

4:17 PM



Universal Cool Japan Express Pass Information

YOU SHALL NOT PASS-- ER, RIDE... UMM.. WATCH?

Express passes are available for purchase separate from park passes, and are divided into Express Pass 5 ~Resident Evil Set~ and Express Pass 4. Normal express passes at USJ are used to skip the queue for the rides designated on the express pass ticket, but these are special express booklets separate from the ones that include the standard rides at USJ (like Hollywood the Dream and Jurassic Park) and are limited to rides within Wizarding World of Harry Potter and limited-time only events like Evangelion and Attack on Titan (these events are part of the Universal Cool Japan campaign).

Universal Cool Japan Express Pass 5 ~Resident Evil Set~ includes:
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter Area Timed-Entry Pass
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Express Pass
  • Evangelion The Real Express Pass
  • Attack on Titan The Real Express Pass
  • Resident Evil The Escape Pass 
  • Monster Hunter Drink G Present
Universal Cool Japan Express Pass 4 includes all of the above except for the pass for Resident Evil The Escape.

Pricing
The prices for this tickets vary depending on the day. Busy days, such as national holidays, are more expensive than off days. Express Pass 5 starts at 5,500 yen with tax, while Express Pass 4 starts at 3,500 yen with tax, with the former reaching up to 6,700 yen and the latter reach up to 4,700 yen

The cheapest days are in February, weekdays only, while weekends and holidays start 5,900 yen and 3,900 yen for the 5 pass and 4 pass sets respectively. After the first week of March, the booklets jump to 5,900/3,900 yen until the end of the event in May. The most expensive time to purchase the booklets would be during Japanese holidays like Golden Week, and the week-long period between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next one (end of March, beginning of April). Booklets around this time are at the top tier prices of 6,700 yen and 4,700 yen.

Of course, nothing about the event changes during the more expensive periods and you may have a longer wait on your hands, though it will be nothing quite as severe as people without express tickets, of course.

Choosing Express Pass Times

Unlike the regular express pass booklets, the entry times have been predetermined for each event. When purchasing your booklet, you will be asked to pick from patterns A through E (A through D for the Express Pass 4 booklet). The entry times for the events will vary depending on the day you choose.

Time Chart for Express Pass 5 ~Resident Evil Set~
The express pass pattern chart from USJ's site.
Time slots available for pattern A.

If you look at the chart, you'll see that the days are color-coded. These colors correspond to a pattern from A to E. So when purchasing your express pass booklet, if you've already decided that you'll be at the park on February 20th, you'll see that A pattern is available for that day. A pattern only consists of 3 different time slots to choose from: 10am - 15:30, 10am - 16:00, and 11:15-16:30. Please note that the park closes at 18:00 (6pm) during the winter, except for weekends where it is open until 20:00 (8pm). As you can tell, this tight schedule leaves very little room for, well, anything else, but if you've purchased this express pass booklet, it's probably safe to assume that you only came for these events, right? No? ...Well, oops.

Also, you'll notice that towards the end of the event period, only green and light green patterns are left. These time slots start earlier and run later, giving you more time between attractions to check out other events, but these are also the more expensive booklets and during the crowded period (national holiday), so even with the extra time, it'll be difficult to ride much of anything else because of the wait times. And, as you'll see later on, all of these are sold out for Express Pass 5.

The Express Pass 4 booklet time slots have more variations than Express Pass 5, so you'll be able to start and finish early or start and finish late. Most of these booklets are still available for purchase but do not include entry into the Resident Evil event.

Wait Times

So exactly what kind of wait times are we talking about? Well, mainstays like Hollywood The Dream may have 180-minute waits for an entire day in mid-winter. And though, I feel like sometimes these numbers are inflated a bit to dissuade more people from riding, almost all the (grown-up) rides at USJ seem to have an average wait time of 100 minutes or so. You can check real-time updates of the ride wait times at USJ from this link. The information on this site appears to be available only in Japanese, with ride names written in Katakana, but there is also an smartphone application for the park which might be available in other languages (I haven't tried it myself).

For the Universal Cool Japan events, expect even longer wait times. There was no sign at the Evangelion line when I went, but a quick Twitter survey had users mentioning wait times in excess of 220 minutes (this during a national holiday). Even for areas that aren't an attraction, like photo opportunities with the AoT sculptures, you might have a bit of a wait on your hands.

One event that was virtually empty, however, was the Monster Hunter The Real attraction. Admittedly, there isn't much to it; you're basically walking through 2 or 3 recreations of sets from the game, which is very cool to see, but also finishes very quickly. More on that on my review post though!

Same-Day Availability

So let's say you had no idea any of these ticket systems existed before your trip to USJ. Don't despair quite just yet! You might have a chance to get in! Attack on Titan The Real tickets are handed out (for free) from Stage 14 within the park as soon as the park opens. So if you make a collective mad dash with the rest of the customers to that location, you should be able to get your hand on some tickets. However, you cannot collect tickets for other people, only 1 ticket is given to each person, so if you're trying to go as a group, your entire group must get your tickets together, at the same time.

If this ticket distribution system goes the way of the Halloween Resident Evil event, distribution can finish shortly after the park opens on a busy day, or they'll have tickets available by the early afternoon at the latest. 

If you are unable to get your hands on the free tickets for Attack on Titan, you can purchase the express pass booklets at the park, but those can sell out rather quickly too (most of the advance sale tickets that included entry to RE are sold out).

Evangelion The Real 4-D has no ticket system, so anyone eager to see that event can just wait in the event line or purchase the express pass booklet for expedited entry.

If you only came for the Monster Hunter The Real event, then you're in luck! There is virtually nothing to wait for with the Monster Hunter event, though it seems to cater more to customers that are playing the game in the park (wat??) so expect a lot of people standing off to the side with their DS's out. The goods line for MH goods was a little lengthy, but that seemed to be about it.

I noticed no line for the Resident Evil The Escape event. There was a booth near the entrance selling tickets, and it appeared sold out, but I didn't bother to investigate. 

According to the website, it's a 60 minute event that requires participants to escape from a fictional TV station while pursued by zombies (if the game works similar to its previous incarnations, then all the game dialogue will be in Japanese). I don't know if the weapon set up is similar to the Halloween event (i.e. the weapons do nothing and the actors just respond to the noise of the weapons), but I dearly hope not because that would be a dick-move on USJ's part. This is the only event that requires a separate ticket to be purchased for a fee of 3,000 yen the day of (2,500 yen in advance). Tickets can be purchased online from this page, but when I clicked BUY link (ダイレクトイン(前売り)で購入), I got a missing page error page. Uh, okay then?

Links

Here are links to pages on USJ's site with information on the event. Most of these pages will be Japanese, but I'll be sure to indicate the language when writing the links.



Note: The English page for Monster Hunter contains no info on the DS related event.

Universal Cool Japan Japanese Site
Info on Time Attack for Monster Hunter The Real. Nintendo 3DS and Monster Hunter 4G Required. Info in Japanese only.

Universal Cool Japan Express Pass Page (Jpn Only)

Express Pass Booklet Inventory Status (Jpn Only)
  • As of today, the only days left for the Express Pass 5 ~Resident Evil Set~ are 2/14, 2/15, and 2/16. The rest of the dates until the end of the event are SOLD OUT.
  • When checking the purchase link for just the Express Pass booklet, it was not functioning (as of 2/13). The only other method for acquiring the tickets as of writing this post is by purchasing them at the park (you might be able to pick them up at convenience stores, but I haven't been able to confirm that).
  • The web function for purchasing booklets online with a park ticket does not appear to be functioning either. 
There are quite a few points related to booklet purchase that are not translated (like if events should run late), so if at all possible, talk with the company you're making your purchase through and try to get in contact with the park (there are English-speaking staff available sometimes, I can't comment on other languages though).

Warning

  • Tickets are only valid for the day designated on the tickets.
  • A park ticket must be purchased separately from the Express Pass tickets.
  • Express Pass prices vary depending on the day.
  • Express Passes can only be used by the ticket holder (you cannot ride together with your children on same ticket).
  • Attractions with designated boarding times will have the times written on the ticket.
  • If you miss your boarding time, there are no refunds and you cannot change your time.
  • If you buy a Twilight Pass (enter the park after 3PM), you may not be able to use this pass.


Helpful Japanese Terms

Here I thought I'd list a few terms that might help anyone interested in looking up information on their own or for those interested in communicating with park staff in Japanese.

販売していますか。 (hanbai shiteimasu ka) - Are they for sale? (lit. are you selling (it)?)
This is pretty useful when asking  about goods or tickets as some things have to purchased in advanced or pre-ordered (capes from AoT are not sold at the park and have to be sent out for. but the quality isn't that great, so you're probably better off buying it from a cosplay shop)

待ち時間はどのぐらいですか。 (machijikan wa dono gurai desu ka) - About how long is the wait time?
I don't think you'll need to ask this as it's written in a few locations throughout the park, and there's an app you can download on your phone for checking wait times.
 
もう終わっていますか。 (mou owatteimasu ka) - Is it already over?
Great for asking about the status of events when hunting for tickets.

写真を撮ってくれませんか。 (shashin wo tottekuremasen ka) - Could you take (my, our) photo?
Great when you're trying to get a photo op with the fighting titans!

写真を撮ってあげましょうか。 (shashinn wo totteagemashou ka) - Shall I take your photo?
Great if you want to return the favor ;D

写真を撮っていいですか。 (shashin wo totteii desu ka) - Can I take your photo?
There are quite a few cosplayers at these events, so if you're interested in taking their photo, just ask! Many are happy to have their photos taken!

Let me know if there are any other phrases you're curious about. :]

 

English-language Reservation Service for USJ: Voyagin


If you're looking for an English-language service for getting your USJ tickets, check out Voyagin! They'll help you get your park tickets, they have express passes and they can get you train tickets for your trip to the park. If you need them to, they can even print and send your tickets to your hotel, but make sure to read the instructions on how.

Click here to access Voyagin's USJ reservation page.


Thoughts, Concerns, Comments?

Leave them below, and I will try to answer ASAP. I hope you guys find this useful! Have fun!

★Peaces★  

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