Universal Orlando has revealed a new ticket pricing structure ahead of the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this spring.
The new Universal Select ticket options for Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure bear a striking resemblance to Walt Disney World's Magic Your Way tickets. To encourage multi-day visits, tickets for short stays are relatively expensive, with per-day prices dropping for longer tickets.
It is Universal's scrapping of its long-running $99 7-day, 2-park ticket offer in favor of a new $170 pass that has caught the headlines, resulting in an effective 72% increase in the cost of a week-long visit. For its part, Universal says that the previous offer was only temporary - and has perhaps shot itself in the foot by offering the previous price for an extended period.
Like Disney, Universal now offers "base tickets" which provide entry to a single park for a designated number of days (1, 2, 3, 4 or 7 days). The company is also aping Disney's "Park Hopping" feature by introducing "park-to-park" upgrades for each of thee tickets, allowing guests to visit both theme parks in a single day.
Universal has kept the price of a 1-day, 1-park ticket constant at $79. To encourage longer visits, the per-day price falls as the number of days increases, with 2-day base tickets priced at $110, and 3 and 4-day base tickets available online for $125 and $135 respectively.
The cost of the "park-to-park" add-on also varies according to the length of the ticket, starting at $30 extra for a 1-day ticket and dropping to $10 for a 4-day ticket. Guests visiting for two days will face a significant cost increase, with a 2-day "park-to-park" ticket costing $135, whereas the previous 2-day, 2-park ticket cost just $99.
Universal is clearly hoping that the Wizarding World of Potter will tempt visitors away from Disney's parks for extended period - or at least cause them to pay extra for a shorter visit. Although it features just one new attraction (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) plus several re-themed existing attractions, the new addition to Islands of Adventure is costing the company over $200 million to build.
Full details of the new Universal Orlando pricing structure can be found on the resort's website.