Is Universal Hollywood overestimating their demand

February 2, 2016, 9:01 PM

Ok does anyone else think that USH is way overestimating their demand? I mean they've increased AP prices by over 100%, eliminated the parking pass, and switched to flex ticket pricing with most days going for $90. With these prices, I just can't see USH selling that many AP's or tickets. Honestly, I don't even see what all the hype is about. So USH brings in WWOHP, which contains 1 E-ticket and one family coaster. That brings their totals to 9 rides and 3 shows. How can USH justify raising prices this high with basically one new ride that many people have already rode in Orlando. It just blows my mind. I mean I guess we can already infer that USH AP's aren't selling well considering the fact that they lowered the price of all AP's by $10 and eliminated all Feburary blackout days. Personally, I feel like a one day anytime USH ticket is worth a maximum of $40 and an USH AP with no blackout days is worth a maximum of $150. Do you guys think USH's new pricing structure is justified or do you think that USH needs to re-adjust their pricing structure? If so, by how much?

Replies (10)

Edited: February 2, 2016, 10:13 PM

USH is becoming a park that is strongly immersive, with expanded themed lands of Despicable Me, The Simpsons, and WWoHP. The Hollywood themed entrance to the park is strong, Jurassic Park is receiving TLC and a new food outlet, and with continued expansion of WWoHP and possibly a Universal Monsters addition/Mummy upgrade, USH will offer more immersive experiences than DLR. Immersion within a 360-degree themed environment draws the modern theme park guest. Disney is doing this...in Shanghai. DLR has Cars Land and...?

February 3, 2016, 6:36 AM

"Immersive", is that the best you can come up with? USH has always been fairly poorly themed. Its had a few good shows, a few good rides and the tour. Now they are introducing some themeing and it compares to DLR?? Don't make me laugh.

As for the original point, I believe they are simply expecting WWOHP to make the park uncomfortably busy, so they are less reliant on local passport holders to keep the park busy. By raising the prices they both make more $ per passport and help reduce the crowding - so guests attending are happier (due to less crowding, not due to paying more), as are the shareholders.

February 3, 2016, 7:21 AM

I would guess they're quite concerned about capacity issues. The park is very small, except for the tour, and probably can't handle Disney resort type crowds. Plus potential highway/traffic/park entrance & parking itself issues. So they've adopted these pricing and AP policies to spread out the anticipated Potter oriented crowds. They're going to be adding more attractions in the future (rumored Secret Life of Pets, more Potter, maybe Nintendo), so this is probably going to be the pricing structure going forward. Disney has also sent out surveys on a similar pricing policy, so they may also be thinking of doing this to spread out the crowds,

February 3, 2016, 8:59 AM

How can we say the pricing isn't right? They have experience with pricing. We don't. I think the pricing is justified with the expense of building the new park area and the huge popularity of Harry Potter. The problem is sustaining that interest. New attractions usually hold their value for 1 season. I believe Harry Potter might hold up for 2 seasons, which was the same amount of interest that Carsland had. I expect Star Wars Land at Disney to have at least 2 seasons of high demand too so say goodbye to the locals special for 2 years.

The only thing bothering me about their new ticket policy is the lack of 2 or 3 day tickets. This is a price increase if you want to visit more times without blackout dates.

February 3, 2016, 9:31 AM

And, with the posting of the fourth quarter report, it appears revenue is still increasing at a very high percentage, which reflects substantially higher attendance at Universal parks in Orlando & Hollywood. I think they'll be able to sustain that interest beyond the two year spurt that Carsland had. DCA, for all intents & purposes, quit expanding after that Carsland opening. Universal has already stated they will have an aggressive expansion of Hollywood & Orlando in the next few years. It looks like the building of Secret Lives of Pets is imminent on the site of the recently leveled soundstage.

February 3, 2016, 11:31 PM

I said this on the article posted the other day, but I think more than anything USH is planning for the worst case scenario and is prepared to make changes as necessary. Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a game changer for this park, and due to the current position of the franchise it is nearly impossible to predict what is going to happen. USH needs to do everything they can in order to prevent the disaster that would occur if things play out the same way they did in Florida in 2010. I think USH is taking the correct approach given the current circumstances. Think about it this way: It is much more PR friendly to offer additional discounts further down the line then raise prices due to excessive demand, and while nobody is going to complain about blackout days being cancelled there would be riots if more were added. As far as Wizarding World of Harry Potter being a big deal, this is one of the issues with IP-based lands. If you care about Harry Potter, the new land is a really big deal. If you're not into Harry Potter, however, you probably see it about the same as any other headliner. I do agree that USH is probably a $40-50 park, but I'd absolutely pay $95 one time just to see Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Is USH's new pricing structure justified? For now, yes. However, time will tell whether further adjustments are needed. I do know that USH is expanding aggressively (as of right now, they've got new attractions planned for 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021), so it is entirely possible that demand will remain too high for the old discounts.

February 5, 2016, 12:08 AM

In my English class we start the day off by sharing news stories that interest us. When the HP opening date was released, someone shared it before I could and about 10 other people in the class had also heard the news.

This is the same class that said Toontown was being replaced by Star Wars Land a month after D23 ended. If the GP has theme park news the day it comes out, you know that they are excited.

February 5, 2016, 6:02 AM

@Juan
I wish my GP friends were like that.

February 5, 2016, 4:45 PM

Since many on this site is more used to the "east coast" parks, I will mention one thing first.

USH is NOT USO.

They are apples to oranges. When I went to USH, it was to see an actual, live movie studios. Thats its claim to fame and the attractions are really secondary. If Disneyland or Knotts didn't become full fledged parks, this place would not be half the park it already is.

Do not get me wrong. I enjoyed USH. It was very fun and interesting, but it is NOTHING like its sister in Florida. Universal Studios Orlando and DHS like to pretend they are a movie studio...USH really is one!

February 9, 2016, 1:59 PM

USH still has too few attractions and too many 3D simulators. I know plenty of people who are excited to see the new Harry Potter area but they're not willing to buy such a restrictive AP for a park that offers so little.

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