Universal Orlando matches Disney World's price increase on one-day tickets
Universal Orlando today matched Walt Disney World's $4-a-ticket price increase
on one-day/one-park theme park tickets. That raises the price of a one-day ticket to either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure from $92 to $96. Disney World is charging $99 for one day at the Magic Kingdom (up from $95) and $94 for its other three parks (up from $90).
How much is that in Galleons, Sickles and Knuts?
Opting for the park-to-park option at Universal adds $40 to the cost of a one-day ticket, $5 more than the one-day park hopper add-on at Disney. The two-day base ticket at Universal went up $9, to $155.99 while the two-day park-to-park ticket increased $29, to $195.99. That makes the difference between the two-day base ticket, where you can visit one park per day, and the park-to-park ticket $40 (again) — double the previous price difference of $20.
Disney charges up to $60 for its park-hopper option, on tickets of four days or more. But remember that Disney offers four theme parks to Universal's two. The big increase in the price of going between the two parks in one day at Universal surely reflects Universal's expectation that demand for that option will surge after the Hogwarts Express train starts carrying visitors between Islands of Adventure's Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the new Diagon Alley land in Universal Studios Florida this summer.
I have to laugh at those commenting that Disney was for the priveleged and wealthy, whereas Universal is affordable (on the board when it announced Disney's price hike). They essentially cost the same amount.
Interestingly, Universal did NOT raise the price of their annual passports
The rich get richer. Eh, it happens. God bless the rich, I say. We knew it was coming and we know that multi-day tickets (or even annual passes) are really the way to go to get the most vacation value out of your Orlando vacation bucks. Universal used to be a one to one-and-a-half day destination, but not anymore, so anyone buying single day passes, well, shame on them for paying a premium to miss out on some great themed entertainment.
Yep. Annual passes are the only way to go. And thankfully, there's Hotwire and Priceline for nice hotels at huge discounts, if you don't mind staying close to Disney/Universal, but not on property. Airfare is generally pretty reasonable to Orlando too.
Silly me for hoping Universal might actually ease the up-charge for their park-to-park passes once the Harry Potter experience crossed over into both parks, instead of actually increasing it. Don't know what I was thinking...
Universal is just as expensive as Disney. The 2 day park hopping ticket is just ridiculously priced. I never expected such a pricing schedule. It would appear that if you're planning a theme park vacation for a week, you have to pick Universal or Disney, not both. Despite the improvement in entertainment value over the years, the pricing policies restrict the desire to "do it all".
For now (!), Universal Hotels are still more affordable than Disney's... It's one point in their favor.
It's interesting, but a day at Universal is going to end up costing my family at least $100 more than a day at the Disney parks. There will be four of us, and we will be buying the 2-Park pass at Universal because we are only going to Universal to experience the Harry Potter stuff. The rest of the parks are not all at interesting to us.
^ Annette, I agree with your sentiments, but disagree with your decision (although you have every right to make whatever choice you want). That two park pass up-charge is simply unacceptable for one train ride. For me and mine, we simply will not ride the Hogwarts Express if the park hopper requirement remains in place (thankfully the attraction probably won't be much to write home about anyway). I have never and will never splurge for the extra expense of park hopper. I would urge others who don't usually splurge on park hoppers to make the same decision. On this one thing we should vote with our wallets and not let Universal get away with such an expensive up-charge. If enough visitors "just say no", then Universal will offer another ride option for non-park-hopping guests, exactly as they should have from the beginning. I find it to be quite a travesty that Universal is gouging guests in this fashion. If Disney pulled this same stunt, people would be screaming. And no offense, but I hope Disney never takes your "DHS -> Epcot" advice (but I do hope they build a Star Wars Land at DHS).
At least Universal makes you buy a park hopper for an actual ride and brand new state of the art land that is connected by a ride on a train.
^There is no
Disappointing news. Park-to-park access is no longer worth it. Universal is still a better deal than Disney, if your kids are 48"+ and enjoy rides more than cartoon characters and shopping. I would rather spend 2 days at Universal than 2 days at Disney World: newer rides, shorter lines, and the experience feels more spontaneous (you don't need to plan your rides months in advance at Universal).
Wow.... a lot of debates going on here. Here is the thing... Neither Disney or Universal "forces" anyone to buy anything.
N B, I do not know of any attraction at Disney that requires you to buy a park hopper to ride. So while I agree with everything else you posted, I still don't see how Disney is forcing anyone to buy a park hopper to enjoy their parks. I certainly have never had to buy one and I have visited every significant attraction at the Disney parks. Ditto for Universal... until now.
N B, I totally agree with that point. In fact, I have felt Universal Orlando was a multi day experience since IOA was added. Which is why I never bought park hoppers when we visited. There is plenty to do in a single park for the whole day, just like Disney.
I would like to note the 2 day 2 park ticket we are looking at is the gate price not the advance purchase price which we don't know yet.
Fair enough. Let me ask this question then: what up-charge price point is acceptable for a train ride?
Online pricing has not gone up yet. This is gate pricing. They do not expire until 14 days after first use. So if you are planning a trip buy your tickets today. I heard they may go up online as early as March 4, 2014.
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