Universal Orlando Resort has earned a reputation in recent years for keeping its in-development projects tightly under wraps, and it looks like the resort (as well as parent company Comcast) are continuing this policy of keeping recent developments as quiet as possible. In the past several days, two big changes have been revealed that Universal has not exactly been forthcoming about. Though the first of these changes will only affect a very small segment of guests visiting Universal's theme parks for a limited time this summer, the other has massive implications for the size and scope of the resort going forward. Here's two developments happening at Universal you might not have heard a lot about, but are still very important nonetheless!
1. Seasonal pricing comes to the front gates of Universal Orlando Resort's theme parks
Earlier this week Universal Orlando Resort officials quietly confirmed that the resort is now using a demand-based pricing scheme for one-day tickets bought at the both the front gates of Universal Studios Florida as well as Islands of Adventure. Under the new variable pricing policy, guests who purchase single day admission tickets will now pay $119 for single park admission during the busy summer travel season, up $14 from the park’s previous $105 admission price, which was raised earlier this year. Guests who opt to purchase a one-day park-to-park tickets at the front gate of either theme park will also pay a higher price this summer, with two-park tickets now costing $169, also up $14 from the previously announced $155 price point.
Universal has confirmed that one-day tickets purchased at park gate will return to their previously announced price points at the end of the busy summer season, but has not specified a date when this change will actually happen. We also do not know if there will be further price changes when guest levels rise again during 2016's holiday travel season, which begins in mid-December.
It is important to note that even though these changes are now in effect for same-day tickets bought at the front gate, the prices for tickets bought in advance (either online or in person) as well as multi-day tickets (even those purchased at the front gate) will not be affected by this recent change. This is in stark contrast to Universal Studios Hollywood as well as Walt Disney World, which have both recently switched to demand-based pricing across the board (although Universal Studios Hollywood does offer discounts for purchasing in advance, where as Walt Disney World does not).
Though Universal Orlando Resort has not fully switched to demand-based pricing yet, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before the resort fully embraces this emerging trend. We certainly would not be surprised if the park’s next round of price hikes (which are expected to hit in early 2017) include a permanent move to demand-pricing for advance tickets as well as at-the-gate purchases.
There’s also another factor in play with regard to the implementation of demand-based pricing in the future that Universal also is not telling us much about yet…