Three theme park ticket options I would love to buy, but can't
Written by Robert NilesWith all the ticket options available to theme park visitors - park hoppers, City Pass, seasonal options, no expiration tickets - it might seem hard to believe that there remain some options that are not available to theme park fans. But there are.
Published: September 14, 2011 at 9:48 PM
Here are three ticket options I'd love to buy, but can't because their parks haven't made them available (yet):
1. An unlimited free parking option for annual passholders at Universal Studios Hollywood
USH is the closest theme park to my home, but most years I don't buy an annual pass. That's because I typically only end up visiting the park about once a year or so, outside press events. The park just doesn't have enough attractions for my family to want to make multiple visits a year. (Now, when Universal Studios Hollywood builds its version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that'll be a different story.) But we would love to go to CityWalk more often.
The $10 parking charge keeps up away, though. CityWalk-like developments such as Americana at Brand validate parking for several hours, allowing us to see a movie or eat a leisurely dinner without having to pay to park. Heck, even Anaheim's Downtown Disney offers several hours of free parking. I'd gladly upgrade to a USH annual pass just for the free parking at CityWalk (which I prefer to Americana). But USH's top AP's parking perk is only good if you arrive before 5 pm.
2. A no-expire option on multi-day tickets for Disneyland
A multi-day, no-expire ticket is a great option for someone who wants to visit a Disney theme park a few times a year, but not often enough to justify the cost of an annual pass. Disneyland offers a variety of annual passes, but all but the most expensive are blocked out on the weekends and school vacations when I can drive the family down from Pasadena.
I've got one of those seasonal annual passes, which I use to visit the park about once a month or so on a workday. But I'd love to get my kids a multi-day ticket as a Christmas present. Unfortunately, multi-day Disneyland Resort tickets expire 14 days after their first use. Unlike Walt Disney World, Disneyland does not offer a no-expire option.
A no-expire option also could be a good way to upsell out-of-town visitors to a longer Disneyland pass, helping ensure they return for a future visit. And yes, like the USH parking option, I would pay extra for this option.
3. A combined Universal Orlando/Universal Studios Hollywood annual pass
Now that Disney's offering a combo Disneyland/Disney World pass, Universal is the only major chain that does not offer any type of national chain-wide annual pass. I suspect the reason's been that, up until earlier this year, Universal Orlando was half-owned by another company, meaning that USH and UO technically had different owners, making a two-coast ticket a difficult cross-company arrangement.
But NBCUniversal's the sole owner of both theme park developments now. What better way to celebrate that acquisition than by introducing a UO/USH AP?
(Especially if that three-park pass also included free parking at Universal Studios Hollywood after 5pm....)
Is there a theme park ticket option you'd like to buy, but can't? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Let's keep the discussion to new options that one company could introduce without the cooperation of another (so no requests for the not-gonna-happen Disney World/Universal Orlando park-hopper, please). And everyone knows we'd all love to see more discounts. So let's talk about just those options for which you'd be willing to pay extra.
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