Bolstered by the popularity of its year-old Harry Potter land, Universal Orlando on Monday sharply raised most ticket prices – but it left some key prices for Florida residents unchanged.
A little more than a week after Walt Disney World raised most ticket prices, Universal matched the larger resort by boosting the gate price of a one-day, one park ticket from $82 to $85, an increase of 3.7 percent.
Universal made even steeper increases to other ticket options. Gate prices jumped between 7.1 percent and 11.4 percent for two-, three- and four-day tickets. The steepest increase was for a three-day basic ticket – which include admission to only one of Universal's two theme parks per day – which climbed from $139.99 to $155.99.
The steep increases have been made possible by Universal's year-old Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which has drawn enormous crowds to the resort since opening in its Islands of Adventure theme park last summer.
At the same time, however, Universal also doubled the size of the discount it offers for tickets purchased online – from $10 to $20 – in a bid to steer more visitors into buying their tickets through Universal's website, rather than at the gate.
And Universal also opted not to raise some key ticket options that are popular with locals. The price of a one-day, one-park Florida resident ticket that is purchased online will remain at $73.99. All annual pass prices will remain the same, as well.
The flat prices are designed to help Universal preserve the gains it has made among locals since opening Wizarding World, particularly with stiffer competition looming at Legoland, the toy-themed park scheduled to open this fall in Polk County, and at Disney World, which is expanding the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom, the most popular part of the company's most popular park.
"This past year has shown us that our guests are excited by the entertainment experience we provide and the value we offer," Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder said Monday. "We worked to make sure our prices will continue to deliver the value our guests want."
As part of the price changes, Universal eliminated a seven-day ticket option. Instead, the resort will sell a 14-day pass offering unlimited admission to both of the resort's theme parks — Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure — as well as the Wet 'n Wild water park on International Drive, which is also owned by NBCUniversal. The gate price for the two-week ticket is $194.99.
A look at Universal Orlando's price increases:
Basic tickets (admission to one theme park per day):
- One-day: $82 to $85 (3.7 percent)
- Two-day: $124.99 to $135.99 (+8.8 percent)
- Three-day: $139.99 to $155.99 (+11.4 percent)
- Four-day: $149.99 to $165.99 (+10.7 percent)
- One-day: $112 to $120 (+7.1 percent)
- Two-day: $144.99 to $155.99 (+7.6 percent)
- Three-day: $154.99 to $170.99 (+10.3 percent)
- Four-day: $159.99 to $175.99 (+10 percent)
- Fourteen-day*: $194.99 (New ticket)
Annual passes (all prices unchanged):
- Power Pass: $159.99
- Preferred Pass: $219.99
- Premier Pass: $349.99
NOTE: All prices are for adults. Visitors can get $20 discounts on multiday tickets by purchasing online.
*Includes admission to Wet 'n Wild
source: Orlando sentinel