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Skip the Line tickets: Are they worth the money & should you buy them?

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Skip the Line tickets: Are they worth the money & should you buy them?

Alex CurtisSkip the Line tickets: Are they worth the money & should you buy them?Million Mile Secrets Team

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You’ve planned your trip to Europe and have a long list of exciting attractions to visit. But the reality is that with everyone else also excited to see the same famous sites, it could be easy to spend more time waiting in line than actually seeing the attraction. I have known folks that spent two hours in line at the Colosseum in Rome, only to spend about 45 minutes inside.

It is a shame to spend so much precious vacation time waiting in line to see something. One solution is purchasing “Skip the Line” tickets. But how do they work and are they worth the extra cost?

Long line in front of Eiffel Tower
Waiting in line can be one of the worst parts of tourist attractions. Skip the line passes can be the answer to your frustrations – but are they worth it?
(Photo by TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock.com)

Are “Skip the Line” tickets worth the money?

As last-minute flight deals, credit card rewards and the influence of social media personalities have increased, we have seen a huge resurgence in the amount of foreign travel people are doing. This increase in travel has helped boost tourism in many countries, but that means the lines just keep getting longer. Skip the Line tickets have become many cities’ answer to the issue.

What are Skip the Line tickets, exactly?

Skip the Line tickets are exactly what they sound like — special tickets which not only offer admission to a specific destination but also let you jump ahead to the front of the line when you arrive.

There was a time when Skip the Line tickets literally meant not waiting in line at all. You could walk straight up to the entrance and head straight in. However because more and more people are buying these tickets to save time, even Skip the Line tickets require waiting in line, albeit a much shorter one.

Every destination handles these tickets slightly differently, but it is best to think of these tickets as “priority tickets.”

Priority Pass at Airport
Skip the Line tickets work similarly to TSA PreCheck lines at the airport. You might still have to wait in line, but for far less time and the line moves much quicker. (Photo By Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock.com)

How much extra do skip the line tickets cost?

The cost varies significantly between each attraction but generally is only a few dollars more per person (usually <$10).

For example at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, there is often a five-hour wait to get into this famous museum. Purchasing a Skip the Line ticket is only ~$5 extra and can get you in within 15 minutes.

Consider for a moment being able to skip the lines at two major attractions in one day, each of which saves you two hours of waiting. You now have four extra hours of free time for an additional cost of just $15-20 per person. In Florence, that would potentially give you enough time to visit a third attraction, grab a long lunch or stroll through a park.

Which attractions let you skip the line?

Skip the Line tickets are popular at most major attractions around the world, but especially popular throughout Europe.

Here are some popular attractions that let you pay extra to skip the line:

  • USA
    • Disneyland, California (called FASTPASS. Available for certain attractions)
    • Disney World, Florida (called FASTPASS. Available for certain attractions)
    • Space Needle, Washington
    • Universal Studios Hollywood, California (called Universal Express. Available for certain attractions)
    • Universal Studios Orlando, Florida (called Universal Express. Available for certain attractions)
    • Legoland Florida Resort, Florida (called Fastrack Unlimited. Works on most attractions)
    • SeaWorld, California (called Quick Queue Premier)
  •  Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • Rijksmuseum
    • Van Gogh Museum
    • Heineken Experience
  • Barcelona, Spain
    • Park Güell
    • Sagrada Familia
  • Florence, Italy
    • Uffizi Gallery (Italy’s most popular museum, often a five-hour wait)
    • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo’s David statue)
    • Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
  • London, England
    • Tower of London
    • London Eye (Europe’s tallest ferris wheel. Often a 2-3 hour wait for a 30 minute ride)
  • Paris, France
    • Louvre Museum (France’s most popular museum)
    • Eiffel Tower
    • Paris Catacombs
  • Rome, Italy
    • Vatican Museum (includes Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica)
    • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (all one ticket)
    • Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Venice, Italy
    • Doge’s Palace
    • St. Mark’s Basilica
Skip the Line pass at The Colosseum
Some of the world’s most popular attractions can have lines that take several hours to get through normally. (Photo By Raffael Alexander/Shutterstock.com)

This list highlights the most popular attractions that offer Skip the Line passes but is by no means exhaustive.

Should you skip the line on your next vacation?

Always check to see if any of your destinations offer Skip the Line passes before your next trip. These passes are incredibly valuable for travelers because it is an easy way to buy more time to explore the wonderful city that you are visiting. If you can skip the line, go for it. Nothing is more pleasurable than walking past a several-hours-long line to go right in.

Bottom Line

In recent years, special passes have started being offered around the world at popular tourist destinations that allow you to skip the line for a small nominal fee (usually less than $10 per person). These passes go by many different names but are often simply referred to as Skip the Line passes.

Only you can decide if they are worth it, but our advice is that if you are only going to visit a city once, you want to make the most of it. Skip the Line passes are your new secret to getting more out of your vacation.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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the freedom tower in downtown NYC offers a priority ticket – can’t remember how much extra it cost – when i went in october 2018, it didn’t get me any benefit, as there was virtually no line for anyone – but reviews i’d read indicated that was not a given – for me it was worth the little extra to not have to possibly stand on line for an hour or more, as sometimes happens (and yes, new yorkers still stand ON line)

Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sure it might come in handy at certain times of the day or year if tourism picks up and lines get longer.

You can also buy tour tickets to some attractions that will give you a specific time to show up. I bought these tickets for the Vatican and Borghese Gallery for a trip to Rome next week.

Good tip, thanks for sharing!

I’ve been to both the Vatican and Borghese Gardens – has a wonderful time at both!

I don’t think Disney’s fastpasses cost anything. The FastPass+ system, which allows you to skip the line for three or more attractions each day, is included with park admission at no extra cost! … But you are restricted to register for multiple fastpasses at a time. Only one at a time. The one that is costly is called Maxpasses, mostly for photo download, as far as I know.

A lot of city passes have this as part of the deal.
The Paris city pass lets you skip the line at the Lourve as does the Florence pass for the Uffizi and Academia. They pay for themselves pretty quickly and are totally worth it.
We waited less than a minute to get into the Academia and see the David while the general line stretched down the block and took hours.

I usually keep a list of what savings in time and admission a city pass will yield me. The Florence pass was well worth the money. We skipped many lines and saved $ at the same time.

Excellent, great to hear and thanks for sharing!

I was in Italy last year, and as I recall there were a few times we had considered buying skip the line tickets, but weren’t sure if they’d be worth it.