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Is the Universal Annual Pass Really Worth the Money?

Is the Universal Annual Pass Really Worth the Money?


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Are you wondering whether you should go ahead and upgrade your Universal Orlando tickets to annual passes? Here is everything you need to know. The answer MAY surprise you!

Universal Annual Passes

One Popular Universal Ride is Closed Indefinitely
Credit: Kate

Did you know that you can enjoy the fun of Universal Orlando all year round? Universal Orland Annual Passes (UOAP) are available for park-goers!

And, you might even find that it is worth it for you to purchase an annual pass. This could be true even if you live out of state!

Pass Categories and Pricing

Universal Hogwarts Castle
Credit: Kate

Passes are available for both Florida residents and non-Florida residents! And, you can pay it in full or make a down payment and monthly payments regardless of where you are from! You can also select ANY type of pass. Out-of-state Disney Passholders may find that shocking, but it is true!

There are four types of annual passes: The Premier Annual Pass, The Preferred Annual Pass, The Power Annual Pass, and the Seasonal Annual Pass. Each type can be purchased for 2 parks: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Or You can purchase a 3-park pass, which also gets you into Volcano Bay.

Premier Annual Pass

universalstudiosescapegringotts2
Credit: Monica

The Premier Annual Pass is the most expensive pass, but it is also the most powerful, and it comes with the most perks. However, you may find you don’t need all of the benefits, especially if you are from out of state!

Pricing as of 2024:

  • 3-Park Premier Annual Pass: $1,094.99
  • 3-Park Premier Annual Pass Florida Resident: $979.99
  • 2-Park Premier Annual Pass: $904.99
  • 2-Park Premier Annual Pass Florida Resident: $789.99

Perks:

  • Park-to-Park Admission
  • Express Pass After 4 PM (UO and UIA only)
  • No Block-Out Dates
  • Valet & Prime Self-Parking after first visit (Free)
  • Self-parking after first visit (Free)
  • Early Park Admission (Select Dates)
  • Discounted Food, Merchandise & Specialty Items
  • Universal Orlando Hotel Room Discounts
  • One Free Halloween Horror Nights Ticket
  • Admission To Select Special Events & Concerts
  • Discounts On Select Theme Park & Special Events Tickets

I would only recommend this pass if you truly intend to use every single benefit. But, if you live close by and know you will make an effort to be there, it could be well worth it.

Disney APs will be interested to know that at Universal, UOAP food discounts even work at quick service restaurants, select snack stands, and Starbucks. Sometimes I get jealous of my own Universal perks while I am at Disney.

Preferred Annual Pass

Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Unicorns
Credit: Kate

The Preferred Annual Pass does everything the Premier Pass does, but it comes with fewer perks. The perks are still great.

  • 3-Park Preferred Annual Pass: $739.99
  • 3-Park Preferred Annual Pass Florida Resident: $639.99
  • 2-Park Preferred Annual Pass: $629.99
  • 2-Park Preferred Annual Pass Florida Resident: $529.99

Perks:

  • Park-to-Park Admission
  • No Block-Out Dates (Except Volcano Bay)
  • Self-parking after first visit (Free)
  • Early Park Admission (Select Dates with Blockout Dates)
  • Discounted Food, Merchandise & Specialty Items
  • Universal Orlando Hotel Room Discounts
  • Admission To Select Special Events & Concerts
  • Discounts On Select Theme Park & Special Events Tickets

Typically this is the pass I’d recommend for an out-of-state guest who needs to have the flexibility to visit during school holidays. It is also a good option for a Florida resident who doesn’t want black-out dates and isn’t in it for the perks.

The Power Annual Pass

Credit: Kate

This pass does have block-out dates during peak times of the year. However, if you would never dream of traveling during those dates anyway, this could be an AMAZING value for you. This is especially true if you plan to take advantage of hotel deals, but you don’t care about food and merch discounts. Just be sure to check the block-out dates on Universal’s website before selecting this one.

Pricing:

  • 3-Park Power Annual Pass: $584.99
  • 3-Park Power Annual Pass Florida Resident: $484.99
  • 2-Park Power Annual Pass: $474.99
  • 2-Park Power Annual Pass Florida Resident: $374.99

Perks:

  • Park-to-Park Admission
  • Self-parking after first visit (50% off)
  • Universal Orlando Hotel Room Discounts
  • Admission To Select Special Events & Concerts
  • Discounts On Select Theme Park & Special Events Tickets

The Seasonal Annual Pass

Butterbeer Universal Picture
Credit: Kate

The Seasonal Annual Pass is the most restrictive pass. It could easily make sense for locals. However, for out-of-state travelers, it will also make sense IF your desired travel dates are typically during the times of year that aren’t very busy. If you have restrictive travel windows, this won’t work, so check the dates on Universal’s website before selecting this one.

  • 3-Park Seasonal Annual Pass: $524.99
  • 3-Park Seasonal Annual Pass Florida Resident: $424.99
  • 2-Park Seasonal Annual Pass: $424.99
  • 2-Park Seasonal Annual Pass Florida Resident: $324.99

Perks:

  • Park-to-Park Admission
  • Universal Orlando Hotel Room Discounts
  • Discounts On Select Theme Park & Special Events Tickets

Is it Worth It?

Universal Minions
Credit: Kate

If you are planning to visit Universal more than once in a calendar year, there is a HIGH likelihood that an annual pass will work out better for you mathematically depending on the dates that interest you.

If you already know you want to visit Universal more than once in a calendar year, then this is something to be considered. This is especially true because you can book packages that include your passes AND a hotel discount!

However, you could also upgrade your tickets to passes during your travel if you prefer. When you upgrade, you only pay the difference between your tickets and the cost of the pass.

Credit: Kate

Check the costs out and work out the math to see whether it is a good deal for you! You may find that for many date ranges, it is actually LESS to upgrade to pass than it is to purchase park admission within the next year.

The value is even better if you can catch the 15-month promotion that pops up from time-to-time where you get 3 months added to the length of your pass at no additional cost. Then, you can spread your trips out even more.

Upgrading Your Pass

Islands of Adventure the Adventure lives on Universal
Credit: Kate

Remember, you don’t have to decide up-front. You can purchase your tickets now and upgrade during your visit! This means you can visit the parks and see how repeat-worthy they are for you before you commit to a trip within the next year.

You just have to decide to upgrade before your last day of park admission expires. The ticketing windows in your Universal Hotel or in the parks can help you!

The upgrade made sense for my own family. We decided we would like to make another family trip next year, and the price with the 15-month promotion was too good to pass up. Plus, the discounts make the money go even further.

Of course, that probably means we will sneak another trip in just because we can, and we will spend money while we are there. So, the house probably still wins.

Will a Universal Annual Pass Include Epic Universe?

epicuniversesupernintendoworld
Credit: Universal

Of course, everyone wants to know: will a current Universal Annual Pass get you into Epic Universe once it opens? At this time, that seems highly improbable considering that current Universal Annual Passes are designated for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for the two-park option plus Volcano Bay for the three-park option.

Many also wonder whether Universal Annual Passholders will be able to add the fourth park onto their current passes. No one knows the answer at this time.

Universal Hulk picture
Credit: Kate

There is also speculation that Universal will not even offer annual passes to Epic until it has been open for quite some time. However, that is also something Universal has not confirmed. Rest assured, we will keep you up to date as news emerges here at Kennythepirate.com.

Using a Travel Agent can help you navigate the ins and outs of planning! I am here to help! Please fill out this form and put my name (Kate) in the Special Request box.

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