Earlier this week it was reported that Walt Disney World, like the rest of central Florida, is continuing to see a slowdown in attendance year over year. And while Universal Orlando Resort’s parent company Comcast has been silent about their attendance figures in recent months, we can only assume that Orlando's other theme park giant has been seeing similar results. However, it looks like the resort is taking some proactive measures to ensure that any effects from this attendance hiccup are mitigated as much as possible, at least in the short term. Though attendance may be on a downward trend, here's how Universal is keeping its head above water in 2017: 

1. A new ticket deal is being offered for the beginning of the year

Image: Universal Orlando Resort

Earlier this week Universal announced that it is now offering a new ticket deal that includes two days free with the purchase of a two-day park-to-park ticket (making the total price $234.99 for adults, 224.99 for ages 3-9). This new deal is not restricted to Florida residents (so anyone can take advantage of it) and these special combination tickets can be bought online up until May 3, and can be used until May 31. 

Interestingly, unlike the similar Discover Disney ticket at Walt Disney World (which also offers a discounted rate for four days of admission) this ticket is only good for four (consecutive or non-consecutive) days within a seven-day period, including the first day the ticket is used. 

This new deal is certainly an aggressive offer, and is a great way to get guests back into the park during the first half of the year, especially as Universal is opening the brand new Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon attraction in April. 

2. Free parking (after 6:00 PM) is now available for all guests


Though Universal Orlando Resort has had free parking for Florida Residents after 6:00PM (on non-special event nights) for several years now, Universal has gone ahead and taken this a step further, extending this offer to all guests, effective immediately. 

This extended perk is almost certainly an attempt to help CityWalk compete with nearby Disney Springs, which has seen quite the resurgence in recent months thanks to a plethora of new restaurants and shops opening up. CityWalk has never been quite as popular as its neighbor down the street (which has always provided free parking) but since the same garages that are used for CityWalk are also used for the theme parks, always free parking for this entertainment district has never been a real possibility. However, the expansion of free parking after 6:00 PM for all guests (not just those with a Florida ID) may help draw guests in greater numbers to CityWalk. 


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