Universal Orlando moves to seasonal pricing for theme park tickets

May 31, 2016, 8:32 AM · The last major hold-out against seasonal pricing now has made the switch. Universal Orlando this week has started charging higher prices for its one-day theme park tickets, based on the time of year.

High-season pricing now is in effect for one-day tickets bought at the front gates of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. One-day tickets bought at the gate now cost $119, up from the $105 that Universal had started charging in February. A one-day Park-to-Park ticket now sells for $169, up from $155.

The one-day ticket prices will fall back to their "normal" levels at the end of the summer vacation season, though we don't now for certain what those prices, or any potential low-season prices, might end up being. The prices for advance purchase and multi-day tickets remain the same as before and are not affected by one-day, front-gate seasonal pricing.

That makes Universal Orlando's approach different from sister park Universal Studios Hollywood. On the west coast, the $115 front gate price remains the same from day to day, while varying discounts of $10-20 a day are available for tickets bought in advance online, based on the date of your visit. Whether you are visiting Universal in Orlando or Los Angeles, however, the best way to get to the lowest price is to buy your tickets online in advance, where you can price your options without the pressure of making a decision while the family's waiting to get the park and you've got a crowd of impatient people in line behind you at the ticket booth.

The Disney theme parks also have adopted seasonal pricing, but Disney's daily one-day ticket price for a given date will be the same whether bought in advance online or in person at the park.

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Replies (5)

May 31, 2016 at 8:54 AM · There goes the 15% AP discount getting majorly watered down on multi-day, park to park tickets - which can only be bought at the gate
May 31, 2016 at 9:40 AM · Universal said that seasonal pricing does not affect multi-day tickets.
May 31, 2016 at 12:58 PM · The one-day Park-to-Park is a killer for this who only have one day to visit Universal, but wish to experience both Harry Potter lands. Great business decision on Universal's part, but frustrating.
May 31, 2016 at 1:16 PM · There is still an online purchase discount applied to all multi-day tickets vs. gate price. While it may or may not be new or even associated with the seasonal pricing, it nonetheless waters down the AP ticket discount.

Thanks for the clarification, though, on seasonal pricing applying (for now) only to one day tickets.

May 31, 2016 at 6:32 PM · I just noticed Universal Hollywood started offering two day passes that cost as much as season pass without the black out dates. This is a better offer if you want to visit two days without investing in an Annual or Season Pass and you can avoid the black out dates. Took them long enough to realize the error.

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