Universal raises multi-day pass prices in advance of Harry Potter
I suppose that this shouldn't come as a surprise, but Universal Orlando has raised the price on its $99 two-park, seven-day pass to $170, a nearly 72 percent increase.
The increase is part of a restructuring of Universal Orlando's theme park tickets, to what the resort is now calling Universal's Select. Much like Walt Disney World's "Magic Your Way" ticket packages, the new pricing structure is designed to get people to opt for longer stays at the resort: The price per day decreases the more days you buy.
Of course, the old online-only $99 deal might have been the best deal going in Orlando. But at that price, one could argue that it was *too* cheap - many folks bought the pass and used it only for a day or two, as it was cheaper than buying a one-day, two-park Universal Orlando pass at the gate, and the same price as buying it online. Charging more might convince some visitors to spend more time at the parks, to "get back the value" from their purchase.
Now, Universal charges between $79 for a one-day, one-park ticket and $170 for a seven-day, two-park ticket. (Those are adult prices. Prices for kids ages 3-9 run $10-$20 less.)
These tickets also expire within 14 days of first use, a restriction that prevents visitors from buying tickets now for use on future vacations. (The old $99, seven-day ticket expired after seven days, but some other unused Universal tickets did not expire.)
The changes come just in time for the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this spring. Will this price increase reduce the number of fans slamming the park for its opening? Is it a smart move by Universal to increase revenue at the one park almost certain to post at attendance gain this year? Neither, or both?
Let's hear your thoughts, in the comments.
I think this is a good way to make sure that all of the people who come to IoA to see Potterland get to visit Disney, too.
Wow thats a might price increase. I was expecting a price increase for the 99 dollar ticket but $70! That ticket was by far the best theme park value in Orlando. As for slowing down the amount of visitors entering the parks(especially IOA) don't count on it, sure won't stop me.
They might be shooting themselves in the foot with that much of an increase.
I have bought this product twice since it introduction. It was the best value for foreign visitors who wanted spread a lot of universal over a couple of days.
I think it will be even longer now for our kids to go to Universal! Not spending that much.
I'll ask this question. Is there 7 days worth of things to do at Universal? Now I'll answer the question....no there isn't. There's enough to cover about 3 full days, even at a fairly leisurely pace. The people know this, which is why they jumped on the $99 dollar seven day pass. It was a really really good price for those wanting the whole Universal experience. Universal on the other hand, was coming up short because they were losing money on both ends. They were only getting a couple days worth of in-park spending by giving the discount, because people only used it for a couple days and then left. Not only did they not get the in park spending, they were losing money on the admission end as well. It's like a comp at a casino. They'll give you the room if you throw money around. If you don't throw money around, then you have to pay for the room.
As much as I hate to say this, I think that Universal had to eliminate the $99 deal in order to preserve its pricing structure. That deal not only made a joke of all other ticket options Universal offered, I am sure it elicited some ill will from people who bought at the front gate, only to learn about the deal later.
The three-day, two-park ticket is $140, about $47 a day. Not a bad price, but not a great one either.
I agree with other posters who state that Universal Studios really only rate a two day visit. That makes the $170 ticket $85 bucks a day. Not a good deal even by Disney standards.
I think the new price is too big of an increase and too expensive for what you get. I agree that you can cover everything in both parks in 2-3 days. I try to compare this to the cost of our local park, King's Island, and the cost is very inflated for Universal. We pay anywhere from $65 to $85 for a season gold pass depending on when you buy it, and it includes free parking for the year. While King's Island is a seasonal park, it is open from March thru November, much longer than the 7 days you get at Universal.
Our family and friends were planing on coming to the park, I was preparing to purchase online and noticed the drastic price increase.We will be looking elsewhere as it is still the same old park!!!!
As the lawyer in "Jurassic Park" says, "We can charge whatever we want; A thousand dollars a day? Two thousand dollars a day? And people will pay it." When John Hammond tells him his park is not only for the super rich, he responds, "Oh sure, we'll have a coupon day." For the first year or so only, they can charge whatever they want and people will pay it. They would pay it only to visit Hogwarts even if all the other attractions weren't even included, but this won't last very long. Universal is going to take advantage of that while they can.
I'm willing to pay extra to see an amazing new attraction. $170 (and I'll probably visit 3-4 days) is a absolute bargain.
Their previous online price was a steal, so of course they had to raise it. However, this is a clueless price increase; c'mon, 72%? That's way too radical a jump, particularly when few people will want to spend 7 day to visit two parks. The only real advantage to a 7 day pass is flexibility; you don't have to time your visits on consecutive days.
Is Harry Potter going to bring in that much crowds?
Now when I take my kids next week I will only buy the one-day pass instead of the $99 deal I was planning on. That means we will spend less time in the park and spend less on food and other things there. So the change will mean less profit from us...
Hmmmmm...doesn't apply much to me - I and Muetti bought our Annual Power Passes recently and we alternate UO with Disney, so what the heck?
We can all understand they have to recoup some $$ from Harry P but whenever you raise something by over 70% you are taking a chance at consumer backlash..
I bought the $99 passes for my family as a Christmas present. We are staying at the Royal Pacific for 1 night and plan on doing both parks in 2 days. With front of the line access we should be able to do it it pretty efficiently especially since we're going middle of July, front of line access helps tremendously with that. Anyway, I am SO glad I bought the tickets in December instead of waiting. There is no way I'd pay $170 seeing as we will only be there for 2 days.
Why are there so many comments to the effect of "Universal is only a 2 day destination and that's not worth $170."
*Great* point, raising another problem with the old 7-day special (from Universal's perspective): Now people are so trained to look for that 7-day deal that they overlook the 2-day deals, which used to be worse than the 7-day ticket but now are better.
The cost of the 7 day pass only makes the 3 day 2 park pass for $140 more attractive. If that's what they were trying to accomplish, then they've done it. Not the greatest deal in the world, but not bad either. I'd call it a fair price by Orlando standards, but I would still have given them 7 days for that price.
If you bought the 7-day ticket in the past and just spent one day at each park, you only have to pay $10 more now or $5 more per day. Not that big of a deal, you just lose the park hopper option that the 7 day ticket provided. To me, I think the biggest value of having the park hopper option at a disney park would be to see fireworks and b/c another park is open later. Universal closes earlier than disney (I think except for animal kingdom) and doesn't have firewrks so I think the park hopper loses some value there.
Derrick hit it on the head. Universal Florida is not a 7 day vacation, period! You can do everything at a snail's pace in three days MAX with the exception of the high volume tourist season.
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