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Universal Orlando opens private lounge for American Express customers

By Robert Niles
Published: May 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM
Starting tomorrow, Universal Orlando will open a special lounge for American Express card holders. The lounge will be located in the Production Central section of Universal Studios Florida and will be open to visitors who buy a multi-day ticket with an American Express card.

Universal Studios Florida American Express lounge

From the AmEx press release:

"The Lounge will offer guests a break from the excitement of the theme parks by providing an inviting, air-conditioned space with complimentary chilled beverages and light refreshments. The Lounge will be staffed with a concierge to help guests make dining reservations, secure tickets and learn about special American Express offers available throughout the theme park. The Lounge also will be equipped with an electronic charging station for guests' cameras, phones, and other devices."

A free cold water's nice, but as a tech geek, the charging station excites me most.

When I worked at Disney, the backstage areas were littered with then-empty break rooms that once had served as corporate hospitality suites for attraction sponsors. AmEx's lounge tweaks that concept - making a space not for big-ticket customers, but everyday customers - people who decide to pay for their tickets with an AmEx card, instead of a competitors'.

Is this lounge enough of a perk to convince you to use an American Express card when buying a Universal ticket at the booth or online? AmEx hopes you'll answer yes, but that's up to you to decide.

Readers' Opinions

From 174.93.37.67 on May 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM
Great idea, I'm an AMEX user and a relaxing room to recharge my devices after hours at the park is a nice serview.
From Eric Malone on May 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM
Just out of curiosity, I wonder if there's a loophole in the system that lets you use AmEx gift cards to pay and still access the lounge? Seems a bit unorthodox to me for a free water, but hey, I'd imagine some people might try it.
From 64.183.103.34 on May 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM
Definitely for the charging station! I have different credit cards and would choose AmEx which I hardly ever use just because of this.
From Amy Tupper on May 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM
I'm willing to test it out when I go in a couple of weeks. I've gotta buy a couple of tickets anyway. :)
From Terri Pierce on May 9, 2011 at 11:15 AM
If I had an American Express card I would. Sounds like a great idea but I worry about crowd control....

Because universal is great at that you know. But yes, if I had an AMX I would use it to have access to a charging point for cell phones and such. In my line of business I have to have my cell phone on me at all times, and with a quiet place to charge my cell between calls or on a call I would make sure I took advantage of it.

From Anon Mouse on May 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM
These lounges are inconveniently located. They are in the backstage. Thus, you have to go with the employees go. They should be where the guests go like a separate lounge area in a restaurant with too much capacity. The unused capacity could be the new private area. How about a new rest area in an unused queue that can be repurposed as a private queue area for favored guests?

Lounge areas should be treated as the airline members clubs. Its to allow guests to wait in comfort for their next ride. They should have a concierge that can arrange "fastpasses" or "showpasses" or meal reservations.

From Jack Curley on May 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM
Is this only available to people who buy at the ticket booth? That seems like you're alienating the people who buy online to really get the most of out their theme park trips.
From Rob McCullough on May 9, 2011 at 12:54 PM
@ Anon Mouse - I used to work at USF. The room in the photograph is in one of two locations. I can't be sure because if has been redecorated. Regardless, both of the locations are not in the back of house areas, but right in the middle of the park. My bet is this is one of the old private dining rooms in what is now The Monster's Cafe. There are two of these rooms on the side of Monster that faces the exit of Shrek. I got to visit the Coca-Cola lounge at Epcot many years ago. Having a place to get away from the mob, have an ice cold Coca-Cola and relax is an amazing benefit. I do agree, that this could become just as packe with people as the park, so I am curious to know how they get the word out...but not too out.
From Robert Niles on May 9, 2011 at 1:09 PM
The lounge is open to people who buy multi-day tickets with an AmEx card either at the booth or on the universalorlando.com website.

Now, how they check, I'm not clear on. Will they be issuing a voucher? Asking for a receipt? UO team members, what have you heard?

From Hermione Potter on May 9, 2011 at 8:35 PM
I'll bet you have to show your receipt for multiday ticket or annual pass purchase and you have to show credit card, but I would think that it was just for the Universal branded amex like having a Disney Visa gets you perks there. Is that not the case?
From 75.112.154.194 on May 10, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Wondering if Florida Residents whom purchase annual pass with their AMEX are included ???
From Robert Niles on May 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM
APs are included, and it doesn't have to be a Universal-branded card.

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