Admission prices rose for other ticket combinations, as well. A one-day, Park-to-Park ticket — which includes admission to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure on the same day — is up $8, from $147 to $155. A Park-to-Park ticket is required to ride the popular Hogwarts Express train that travels between the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands at the resort. The original Potter-themed land, Hogsmeade, is in Islands of Adventure, while Diagon Alley, the newer land which opened in 2014, is in Universal Studios Florida.
Here are the new prices for multi-day tickets:
The latest increase follows an increase in annual pass prices last fall and a daily-ticket price increase nearly a year ago, in February 2015.
Typically, Universal Orlando has raised its prices after a Walt Disney World price increase, but it appears that Universal is getting ahead of the pitch this time. But if you're on the fence about buying some Disney World tickets, now would be the time to move. We'd bet that the chances of an imminent WDW price increase just went up substantially.
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In other words, should we expect a rise in daily ticket prices here in California in the immediate future? Given the opening date of Harry Potter in April, a hike in ticket prices would not be a surprise.
Also, as for the Hogwarts Express, I do think it is unfair to say it costs $50 because you're getting a lot more for that extra fee, but I also think it is unfair to say it isn't an upcharge since not all tickets include access to that attraction. I guess you can call it a variable upcharge, or if you want to get technical and divide everything up it would be a $2-4 upcharge that is only available as part of a package deal. I wish Universal had gone with the original plan for the ride (you could ride it with a one park ticket, but without a 2 park ticket you couldn't leave the station at the other end and had to get right back in line for a return trip).
Lastly, @Spaceman, USH tickets are usually priced about 5% below DLR tickets. However, the park has announced that they will not be increasing ticket prices for Harry Potter and will instead be offering discounts for those who pre-purchase date specific tickets. This is probably the better option for USH as their gate price is already about twice what the park is really worth (when compared to DLR).
And I'm sure that Universal knows exactly what guests are willing to pay for their product. A lot of market research goes into these ticket prices and people will pay incredible prices for decades to come in order to relive their "Harry Potter childhood."
Kris, perhaps some early morning alcohol is all any of us needs to make sense of a $50 upcharge to ride a train?
So lets talk about the ticket prices for the article. Most people buy multiple days and most people travel with others. If the average consumer has to buy 2 or 4 tickets... then they are starting at the $500 or $1000 minimum. That is a barrier to entry and I think this is the real story. I think we should pay attention to the average price tag the everyman is now considering when he/she wants to take the family to one of the "Best Destinations on earth". And that could be Disney or Universal.
Universal has an Option for - Buy two parks get the 3rd day free from now until May 31st.
I have never seem Disney offer anything like that. It would be nice if they did have some kind of offer..
Comparatively, Disney's 4 days with park hopper costs $392.99.
Universal's Two-day Park-to-Park $219.99. A bit more than half.
Disney has yet to announce their new price increases for the year so I expect Disney to up their game.
These exorbitant prices makes it a easy decision to pick either Disney or Universal/Other theme parks. You can't do both. Just too expensive for a family.
Now that UO has jumped, we are waiting to see what Disney does, rumor has it that they will be jumping in early March.
Rob, I agree with you, the single day prices are somewhat irrelevant since most folks buy multi day tickets.
Are you able to use the monorail ticket to gain access to a Park?
Your comparison is a bit "off".
Question: at Universal Orlando if I just want to ride the Harry Potter train, even one time, I have to pay an extra $50, correct?
(Does that $50 upcharge include tax?)
And Daniel, you misunderstand me. My point is Universal should have provided a round trip option for non-park hoppers. Eventually they will, after all USH may one day get the train too....
But you can sneak into the queue and pay nothing for said train ride...
Therefore yes $50 for upgrade which includes the Hogwarts express... London to Diagon Alley and a long trip, $50 is worth it... Magical train travels 200 miles in 5 minutes....
But other than the sneaking in option, you can't ride HE without paying the $50, right? So for a family of five that has never park hopped we need to pay that $250 extra. Perhaps the solution is to go ahead and park hop but stay one less day to offset the upcharge....
But when Universal raises ticket prices, everyone starts coming up with bullcrap excuses to defend them. Where's all the complaints about Universal not being available for the Middle Class anymore? Where's the complaints about them only appealing to the rich? That's the bullcrap that Disney got. I don't care what you say. The fact that Universal now costs the same as MK means that they no longer have an excuse.
Edit: Sorry I had to update my post, I'm reading the whole conversation and I really think you are misinformed about the hogwarts express james. You are paying an extra 50 for the park. Its not like you are going to buy a 1 park pass for 105 walk in then they say hey its 50 to ride the train. then when you arrive at universal or IOa whichever you started from, they kick you out. I'm just a little confused whether or not people actually know that the hogwarts express connects the two parks or not.
Saying "It's $50 for the train" is identical to saying "I bought a ticket to Disney's California Adventure and they charged me $40 to upgrade to a park-hopper to ride the Disneyland train even though it was right there." The statement is either purposely trolling or someone has such a basic misunderstanding of the situation that it's futile to discuss it further.
And colandoj, I am neither confused or misinformed (at least, not this time). My family does not park hop. We never have. It is an unnecessary expense at Disney & Universal parks because there is plenty to hold our attention in one park for one day. So the park hopper option does NOTHING for us except give us access to a train. Therefore, it is a $50 upcharge per person, $250 total. I happen to believe that $250 is expensive just to ride a train.
is 250 just for one person? if then, Im not sure where you are buying tickets.
I know exactly where the parks are... Been to USO several times even before they were popular parks. Been to Disneyland and DCA, too. However, I DO NOT park hop. Don't need to. Don't want to. Should not HAVE TO! But at USO if I don't want to park hop, don't want to pay the extra, can I still ride the train? No. No. No. So for someone who does not park hop, I have to pay $50 * 5 people (my family) = $250 just to ride the freaking train.
And anon poster, your comparison using DCA and DL's train is just silly. If I want to ride the DL train then I go to DL and ride it at no extra cost. On the other hand, regardless of the USO park for which I enter with my single park ticket, I can't ride their train unless I pay a $50 upcharge. Oh and then I can park hop too - something I neither wanted to or needed to do in the first place. Yippee.
And now, the horse has been beaten to death once again. We'll revisit the conversation a year from now unless USO institutes a round trip option.
Have a good evening, TPI friends!
Perhaps we should ask Senator Sanders where he stands on the issue. :)
Whether or not Hogwarts Express should be an upcharge is an entirely different issue. I understand the rationale for limiting it initially as the capacity is low, but given that it's been a couple years it would be nice if the park started offering some sort of round trip option. Perhaps guests who purchase 2 or 3 day, one park per day ticket could be given a special one-time use round trip ticket for the Hogwarts Express and board a special compartment that only loads at one station. It probably will never happen, but it would be a good solution for families on a budget.
I am not planning on retuning to Orlando until May of 2017, so I have some time to decide....
I agree that the Hogwarts Express, as good a ride as it may be, is not worth shelling out an extra $50. We always get park hoppers at Disney, but at Universal, it's really not necessary, because there are so few nighttime events. We were disappointed last time that we couldn't ride HE because we couldn't justify the cost.
Speaking of value, at Disney the cost for the park hopper option is spread out over many more days, since most people need at least seven days to do all four of the theme parks (not to mention water parks, etc.). And we always use park hopper to go to the water park in the afternoon when it's too hot, or to go to the nighttime events that we previously missed (e.g., Fantasmic was already full when we got there the previous night).
I knew exactly what you were trying to say from your first post to your last. I usually get the 14 day unlimited ticket at UOR which includes park hopper so I don't have to worry, but otherwise I don't usually do the park hopper options either. At Disney it takes too long to go from one park to the next (whether you drive or ride a bus, boat, or monorail) and I feel I'm wasting part of the day. Obviously some parks have more to do than others so I might have to get a little creative but I just can't justify the extra unnecessary cost. I won't be back to Disney until 2017 or 2018 at which point I'll probably skip DHS and just do an extra day at MK and still go straight one park per day passes.
James the good news for you is that you will only have to break down one day or trip and get the park to park to try the HE because after you do it several times it isn't a "must do". And the good news for me is that I won't have to have a good cry/laugh for another 5+ years! :-)
I really don't care about the train that much because it appears to be a ride by fans for fans and I am really not much of a Harry Potter fan at all (*gasp*!!). So I am still leaning towards my usual trip of four day single park passes - two days at each park when I go in 2017. Is it overkill? Yeah, probably, but the real strength of Universal Orlando isn't its rides or its technology, it is the fact that you can tour the parks virtually stress and crowd free (if you stay at one on the three express pass hotels and travel in the offseason). It is a great place to go to get a Disney style experience without the Disney style stress and crowds. And I am okay with skipping a train if I can vacation the way I want and the way that keeps the whole family happy.
But, I will leave my mark... So if you walk up to the entrance queue for the Hogwarts Express and you smell some funk... Well, the Rao Family is not above crop dusting when we have been scorned!
Rao is right, you cannot get onto the train without paying that money.
The dissenters (i see those pitchforks in the torch lights! Put em down!) are also right, there are other benefits to the parkhopper.
To me, this is 2 sides of the same coin and both perspectives are valid.
50 Points to Rao for leading a position in this debate and providing consistent responses. Also courage under fire.
Ya know with the $50 bucks you are saving you can now afford it.. hahahahaha...
@Brian Correction, it is a $250 savings for the five of us!!! I can almost afford food for my whole clan!
To be fair, and I'm surprised only one person has mentioned it so far, park hopping at Universal means you are actually ON another attraction within minutes. Park hopping at Disney means at least an hour -- and even then you've just arrived at the next park. There's still a long walk to board an attraction.
I would recommend a first time visitor save the money by not park hopping at Universal and spend the whole day at one park -- especially when the total savings equal $200. But missing the train is a bummer. Just walking through the train stations and soaking in the detail is one of my favorite things.
In my defense, protesting a bad, money gouging policy is not a sign of contempt or disrespect, it is a proclamation that I care about Universal Studios Orlando/Florida and want them to do better by their fans. One can still love a theme park resort and be critical of its policies at the same time, right? (You should be nodding your head right now, anon poster).
Perhaps you should look at my posts again? You know, they make a little more sense if you actually read them.
I'll say it again, no one needs a park to park ticket for Universal. Unless you're only doing a day or two there and want to cherry pick the best rides. But then you'll pay a lot more on a per-day basis.
As for the whole "stay at one of their hotels and you get the FOTL pass" deal, that's all very well, but their hotels are expensive. We stayed at a perfectly acceptable hotel, just a mile from the resort, for $40/night (got a discount through Expedia), and it had a complementary shuttle to Universal. The Express pass would have helped us in a few long lines, but, for most attractions, we pretty much breezed in anyway.
The longest waits were when rides broke down, and the Express Pass can't help you with that.
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