Price hikes are nothing new for theme park fans, as we’ve unfortunately gotten used to what has become an annual tradition in central Florida. In fact, fans have gotten so used to annual price hikes in recent years that they've even been able to predict when Universal Orlando Resort will announce its increased prices based on when Walt Disney World announces its own ticket price hikes. However, Universal Orlando Resort shocked the theme park community yesterday when they unexpectedly announced their annual price increases before Walt Disney World.
Not only was the timing a surprise, but the increases themselves came as quite a shock, as Universal hiked up prices to some very high levels that many didn't think were coming for quite a few years. Here’s everything you need to know about Universal’s most recent price hike.
1. Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure Join Magic Kingdom at the top
A single park, single day ticket, which has often been the yardstick by which price hikes are measured not only for Universal but for Disney as well, has gone up by nearly 3 percent, now costing $105, up from $102. On the surface a paltry $3 increase may not sound like a big deal, but consider the following: a day at Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida now costs exactly the same as a day at the Magic Kingdom. Until Disney raises their own prices (which will probably happen in the next few days), there is now a three-way tie at the top for the most expensive single-day theme park ticket in the US, with Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot now all less expensive to visit than a single Universal park or the Magic Kingdom.
2. Multi-day, multi park passes see the biggest increases
Though the fact that Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure have now matched the Magic Kingdom in terms of price for a single day came as quite a shock, the really big price increases that will really give visitors a pain in the wallet are in the multi-day, multi-park tickets, which saw huge percentage increases across the board.
For instance, a single day park-to-park ticket (which is just one tier above the single park $105 ticket described above) now costs $155, up 5.4% from $147. And even worse, a 2-day, park to park ticket is now over $200, costing a massive $219.99, up by double digits (nearly 13%!) from the previous $194.99 price point. And that’s not even the most egregious price hike. Based on percentage value increases, that honor goes to a 2-day one park per day ticket, which increased 13.3% from $149.99 to $169.99.
3. Florida residents get hit with huge increases too
Of course, all of these prices are non-discounted, but even Florida residents (who make up the largest discount block at Universal Orlando Resort) will be feeling the sticker shock the next time they purchase a ticket. Though Florida residents don’t get a discount on single day tickets, 2-day park-to-park tickets are up nearly 14% to $189.99 from their previous $166.99 price point and 3-day park-to-park passes are up nearly 13% from $176.99 to $199.99.
You can check out all the various price changes in depth here.