Is the Universal Orlando Annual Pass Worth It

If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando you may be wondering is the Universal Orlando annual pass worth it. We are breaking down the pros/cons of having an annual pass at Universal and if it is worth it.

You might be wondering why a family that lives in New York would purchase an annual pass for Universal but financially it saves us a lot of money. I share more details in this article: Universal on a Budget: Ways to Save on Your Universal Orlando Vacation.

We have had an annual pass 3 different times and it has always made financial sense to purchase it.

Annual Pass holders save on their ticket costs, but they also save on parking, merchandise, and hotels. There are four different pass holder tiers. As you go up the tiers you will increase cost and added benefits.

unviersal annual pass worth it

How Much Does an Annual Pass Cost at Universal

An annual pass at Universal cost $349.99 to $624.99 depending on which tier you pick. To put this in perspective, a one day park to park ticket for an adult cost $164.00. This is for one day and includes a park to park pass which allows you to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in one day.

If you are a Florida resident you can save even more with special offers for Florida residents. Another way to save per day is to purchase more days. The more days you purchase the less you pay per day. If you are visiting more than 5 days it is financially beneficial to purchase an annual pass.

Types of Universal Orlando Annual Passes

Universal offers 2 park passes for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure as well as 3 park passes that include Volcano Bay. We purchase the 2 park pass because we don’t visit Volcano Bay as often. It might be worth it for you.

Premier Annual Pass

  • No Blackout Dates
  • Express Pass after 4:00pm
  • Free Parking
  • Admission to Special Events
  • Early Admission 1 hour before park opening.
  • Includes 1 night to Halloween Horror Night
  • Discount for on-site resort stays.
  • Discounts on merchandise and dining.

Preferred Annual Pass

  • Blackout Dates only for Volcano Bay
  • Free Parking
  • Discount on Special Event Tickets
  • Early Admission 1 hour before park opening.
  • Discount for on-site resort stays.

Power Annual Pass

  • 50% off Parking
  • Admission to Special Events
  • Early Admission 1 hour before park opening.
  • Discount for on-site resort stays.

Seasonal Pass

  • Blackout Dates
  • Discount on Special Event Tickets
  • Discount for on-site resort stays.

For full details and updated benefits check here. If you are military check out this post that covers the military freedom pass.

universal annual pass worth it seuss carousel

Things to Know About Being a Universal Annual Pass Holder

Your annual pass starts on the day you first use it, not purchase it. Typically you have 12 months from purchase to use it but double check the fine print.

We purchased our annual passes in March 2021 and used them in May 2021. We also purchased under a promotion that offered 15 months. That means we have until August 2022 to use our passes.

If you are purchasing a pass that has blackout dates check them before you buy. Our blackout dates with the seasonal pass is the month of July, Christmas/New Years weeks, and days there are concerts at Universal Studios.

We look at our vacation calendar and make sure the days work for us before we purchase. The only time this affects us is when we visit during Mardi Gras when there are concerts.

On those days we are blocked out of visiting Universal Studios and plan to visit Islands of Adventure. It can be an inconvenience and if you think it will be for your trip purchase a pass without blackout dates.

At Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure there is a Pass holders lounge to relax and escape the heat. You can also pick up your annual pass holder buttons and magnets.

When you are an annual pass holder be sure to check resort rates for your visit. On our last visit we saved almost 50% at the Hard Rock Hotel. This included Express Pass with our stay which is a great perk!

universal annual pass worth it hogwarts

Is a Universal Orlando Annual Pass Worth It

If you are planning on visiting 5 or more times in a calendar year it is worth purchasing a Universal Annual Pass. We have saved a lot by choosing this option.

First it includes park-to-park privileges. This means we can visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in one day. It also allows us to ride the Hogwarts Express which is the train that goes between the two parks, and you need a park to park ticket to ride.

Having an annual pass takes off the pressure of doing it all. It allows us to visit the parks in a much more leisurely pace.

Instead of racing to get from attraction to attraction we can take our time exploring and experiencing some of the food at Universal.

If you are trying to stay on a budget having an annual pass is also really helpful. For our most recent purchase a 5 day pass would have cost us $1900.00. We purchased annual passes for $1600.00.

Universal was also running a special that offered a 15 month annual pass instead of the traditional 12 month.

This made it worth it for us. We planned on two vacations to Universal. One in 2021 and one in 2022. This does cost a bit upfront but you end up saving money in the long run.

Overall I would recommend comparing prices for tickets or an annual pass. It could surprise you and save you money on your vacation.

Read Next: Universal Orlando with Kids: 71 Must Do Attractions

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