Universal Studios Hollywood introduces new annual pass program

December 29, 2008, 4:14 PM · Here come those discounts that I've been predicting.

Universal Studios Hollywood has revamped its annual pass program, today introducing a new "All Access Pass" for $72. This annual pass comes with no blackout dates, food and merchandise discounts, as well as priority boarding on the Backlot Studio Tour (though blackout dates do apply to that perk). Passholders also can buy additional one-day tickets for $12 off the regular $67 price.

Universal's also re-upping its rain check policy, giving visitors a free one-day return ticket good for any day within the next 30 on days when the park gets more than 1/8” of rain by 2:00 p.m. Plus, the park is offering free coffee and hot chocolate at designated serving stations on rainy days.

(Central Florida readers, please note. Unlike in Florida, rain is rare in Southern California - pretty much non-existent in summer. When we do get rain more than 1/8", it tends to be an all-day thing in winter, usually January or February. Thus the free coffee.)

Universal's old buy-a-day, get-the-year annual pass deal included a handful of blackout dates, though nowhere near as many as Disney's 100-plus days for its lowest priced APs. In recent weeks, though, Universal's eliminated the usual holiday blackout days, to boost attendance and increase the value of the passes.

This move seems to extend that deal, formally eliminating the blackout dates at the under-$100 price point. (Universal has offered a more-expensive pass with no blackout dates, as well as other perks.)

The passes go on sale today at universalstudioshollywood.com and will be available through April.

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