Posted June 10, 2013, 8:59A | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Studios Hollywood has introduced a $299 V.I.P. ticket, just in time for the summer high season, that comes with valet parking, breakfast in a luxury lounge, special access to Universal’s back lot, unlimited line-skipping and a fancy lunch.

Read more from The New York Times.

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June 10, 2013, 10:32A

janfrederick

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No fair!

Gonch?


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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June 10, 2013, 11:51A

Lord Gonchar

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No fair!

Oh, wait.

Cool!


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June 10, 2013, 11:52A

Tekwardo

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Finally.


Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
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June 10, 2013, 3:44P

bunky666

With the raise in prices of the normal tickets, I'm honestly kind of at a loss as to why people wouldn't drop the extra few bucks for a nice package like this. Could people afford it all the time? Not most of them, but I'd imagine most individuals don't DO Universal more than once a year or once every five years or whatever. In the grand scheme of things, it is a drop in the bucket for a much better experience. Next year (or this fall...still on the fence), I will be certainly purchasing this.

And I liked all the comments above but am restraining myself from the vote up button as much as possible. :)

Last edited by bunky666, June 10, 2013, 3:45P


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" -DMB

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June 10, 2013, 3:56P

Lord Gonchar

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Finally got around to reading the article. After reading this part...

Universal upgraded its V.I.P. Experience — and raised the price by 50 percent — after realizing that the old one, which did not include lunch, the lounge or other perks, “was selling out more and more frequently,” Ms. Wiley said.

How is the new offering going over? She declined to disclose sales data, but said that “we’re seeing double-digit percent increases in terms of volume.”

...I have to laugh at how many people though Q-bot was going to put Six Flags out of business back when the preferred access discussions first became relevant.

I'm just amazed at how shortsighted the enthusiasts were to the business realities of the industry. People eat this kind of thing up. This is just the start. The whole "haves and have nots" thing will continue to flesh out over time until it becomes essentially invisble because there are so many different levels of access and it's integrated so well.


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June 10, 2013, 4:19P

rollergator

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Lord Gonchar said:

The whole "haves and have nots" thing will continue to flesh out over time until it becomes essentially invisble because there are so many different levels of access and it's integrated so well.

The "integration" is the key. At Disney, it's barely noticeable it's SO seamless. Just using Universal for comparison purposes, I'm surprised at how many times the patrons themselves have to decide wether the "regular guest" on the "on-site guest" gets to go next in line (looking specifically at the Dragons). Hire a cast member already!

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June 11, 2013, 11:40A

Jeff

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Here's one for Gonch. I love when people say, "class warfare!"


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June 11, 2013, 12:10P

Lord Gonchar

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Luckily, the comments I skimmed put it in perspective and generally negate the stupidity of the rant:

  • "I'm not sure if I can work up feeling ragey about this. It's kinda like a lot of things...if you have money and you can afford it, that's nice. If not, there are alternatives that do the same job..."
  • "So if we want to talk about elitism and class divisions, I think the larger point is that a family of four has to have $300 available for a single day."
  • "Yeah - my Occupy wrath probably isn't going to be directed at the disparity between the $100 ticket holders and the $300 ticket holders."
  • "Exactly. This is a step beneath "I have to fly first class while my friends have private jets! Woe!""
  • "I believe there will be a lot more people willing to pay that price than you think. In fact, 300 seems kind of low, and I think that if they don't limit the number of available VIP tickets they will create a lot of problems."
  • "Are we seriously whining because a theme park (you know, one of those places that charges $8 for a fountain soda and $15 for a poncho?) has found another way to make more money? Rich people have been getting all sorts of perks since the beginning of time, because they can pay for it."

Good to know that the real world seems to get it for the most part.


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June 11, 2013, 12:43P

kpjb

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I like the jet analogy. High five to that guy.


An abridged list of things I don't like: Skorts.
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June 11, 2013, 2:14P

Tekwardo

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I'm not sure if I can work up feeling ragey about this. It's kinda like a lot of things...if you have money and you can afford it, that's nice. If not, there are alternatives that do the same job (i.e. luxury vs. regular cars, this VIP pass vs. a regular pass). The trip to Universal is already a luxury that plenty of people can't afford. If some can pay for the extra treatment...eh well lucky them. The trip is already out of the cards for truly poor families. This is more like middle class whining about how the upper middle class have it better. So..mehhh

Wow. Where have I heard that before?

And exactly when did a $300 ticket purchase make someone 'rich'? Really? Do these people know how much floor seats at concerts are...without the extra perks? I know that the golden circle for Madonna was around $300, and that wasn't even giving access to the VIP areas, which were about $500. And plenty of people that I would certainly not consider 'rich' were doing it.

Heck, my next concert came with a $153 ticket price, and I'm not even on the floor at the back.

It's not like people are paying this on a regular basis.


Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
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June 11, 2013, 2:33P

Lord Gonchar

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Tekwardo said:

And plenty of people that I would certainly not consider 'rich' were doing it.

Seems like anymore people use 'rich' to describe someone that can and/or will pay for something that they can't and/or won't.


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June 11, 2013, 2:36P

LostKause

LostKause's avatar

I make a little over ten dollars an hour, and work about 40 hours a week, and $300 is a lot of money to me. Not that I can't afford to spend $300 on some entertainment sometimes, but it's still a lot of money.

Some of you aren't taking into consideration that not everyone makes six, or seven figures a year. Getting less for more money is frustrating to the little guy.

Last edited by LostKause, June 11, 2013, 2:39P


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June 11, 2013, 2:40P

Lord Gonchar

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There's no way in hell I'd drop $1200 for my family to do this for a day.

...and I have no problem with it at all.


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June 11, 2013, 3:01P

coasterqueenTRN

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I almost always can't afford these things, but I think if people are willing to pay for VIP tickets, Fastpass, etc., then the more power to them!

The "pay to cut" thing never bothered me and never will. :) I would gladly drop $300 for a VIP ticket if possible.

-Tina

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June 11, 2013, 3:11P

Tekwardo

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LostKause said:
$300 is...still a lot of money.

I agree 100%. It's more than my car payment. But being able or being willing to drop $300 for a ticket to something hardly makes someone 'rich'.

Some of you aren't taking into consideration that not everyone makes six, or seven figures a year. Getting less for more money is frustrating to the little guy.

I don't make close to 6 figures, heck, I made under $40k last year. How exactly does this make me get any less, though? Universal is still there. Its still open to the public. It's still a luxury. And it's still a long car ride or a plane ride away.

Nothing has changed except that they upped the price of luxury and added more luxury to it. I wasn't going to buy the luxury ticket anyhow. That someone else is doesn't affect me in the slightest.


Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
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June 11, 2013, 3:49P

rollergator

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Tekwardo said:
Universal is still there. Its still open to the public. It's still a luxury.

"Hospitality" almost always involves some degree of "luxury"....HOW luxurious your room, stay, event, experience, what-have-you....typically is dependent on how much money you're willing to spend. Nature of the beast...

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June 11, 2013, 4:17P

kpjb

kpjb's avatar

Family of four goes to Universal.

$1200 for plane tickets + $300 for 3 nights hotel + $300 rental car + $550 for 3 days' admisson + $50 for 3 days' parking + $400 for food + $100 for souvenirs = $2900.

Spend $2900 to go to an amusement park = NOT rich.

$1200 for plane tickets + $300 for 3 nights hotel + $300 rental car + $500 for 2 days' admisson + $1200 for one day VIP + $30 for 2 days' parking + $300 for food + $100 for souvenirs = $3930.

Spend $3930 to go to an amusement park = RICH.

Clearly, the line has been drawn.

At the end of my next trip I will tally up all my receipts to find out whether or not I am rich.


An abridged list of things I don't like: Skorts.
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June 11, 2013, 4:38P

Tekwardo

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Or even one person:

$350 flight to Orlando + $79 per nite (Hotwire) for 3 nites + $120 Compact Car Rental + $92 per day admission to USO 2 days + $299 one day VIP + $70 food + $50 souviners + $30 for 2 days parking = $1340

$350 flight to Orlando + $79 per nite (Hotwire) for 3 nites + $120 Compact Car Rental + $92 per day admission to USO 3 days + $150 food + $50 souviners + $50 for 2 days parking = $1233


Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
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