Universal Orlando makes first move in price hike, to $92 for one-day ticket

Posted Monday, May 20, 2013 10:42 PM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

As Orlando's Theme Park Wars heat up again for the summer, Universal Orlando Resort has made the first move in hiking its ticket prices, becoming the first theme park ever to charge more than $90 for a single-day, single-park adult ticket. The resort's website now lists its one-day, one-park ticket at $92 plus tax.

Read more from Central Florida News.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 12:48 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Universal already offers a nice meal deal.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:35 PM

I've never ever seen a hotel give away Disney or Universal tickets to entice customers. There are desks in the hotel lobbies where they sell tickets, and that may be advertised, but in the end it's not even discounted. TimberRider, let me know what hotels are passing out free tickets and I'll consider staying there.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:37 AM
bjames's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Or more accurately, one is a resort destination park that attracts visitors from all over the world and the other is a regional theme park that offers an experience that's as close to commoditized as it gets.

However, most Universal rides are like movies, you see it once and you don't care to see it again for a few years. Six Flags is less pretentious: you ride it, you like it, you ride it again.

I do mostly agree with you though.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:42 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm not knocking Six Flags at all.

If anything, I totally disagree with the way they're equated with poor service within our community. If anything the $62-for-a-season price is more reflective of how they woefully underprice themselves more than anything else.

But they seem to be ok with selling themselves as the Wal-Mart of the industry, so maybe that's where the quality perception comes from?

Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:47 AM

Hey I was the first one to call Six Flags the Wal-Mart of the amusement industry. I need that credit. (serious, yet cunning smiley). I'm joking of course, but I use that all the time to explain to people how Six Flags operates.

I would much MUCH rather pay $200 for a season pass and get quality service*, but that's not available now.

*Quality service would entail getting hot fries in under an hour. I don't think there is an upgrade for that (yet!).

Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:53 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, but I don't think Six Flags actually does offer a lower quality experience than other regional parks, big or small - they just price like they do. (hence, the Wal-Mart comparison - "If they're gonna keep selling themselves as Wal-Mart...")

There's no reason their passes shouldn't be priced on par with Cedar Fair's. Their daily tickets pretty much are. I've always been intrigued by the pass pricing approach. Why $40 for the day but $65 for the year? It's a curious way of doing it.

Is the idea to make it up inside the park - give the gate away and sell more food, parking and stuff? Is it a simple upsell - it doesn't really cost much to let someone in, so if you can talk them into spending $65 instead of $40, it's a 60% increase?

It must work on some level because their per-caps are comparable to what Cedar Fair does. ($40.83 vs $41.95 - in the 1st quarter of 2013)

Hard to argue with that, but it just feels like money left on the table.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:48 AM

RCMAC said:

I've never ever seen a hotel give away Disney or Universal tickets to entice customers. There are desks in the hotel lobbies where they sell tickets, and that may be advertised, but in the end it's not even discounted. TimberRider, let me know what hotels are passing out free tickets and I'll consider staying there.

I have no idea if this is still possible or not, but when I was younger, and made frequent trips to Florida to visit my grandparents, my family would often get discounted, or outright free tickets to Disney and Universal, just for listening to a spiel about some resort or condo sombody was trying to sell. Like I said, I have no idea if any resorts are still doing this, but it certainly used to happen a lot, which is what TimberRider must be referring to.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 9:43 AM
Jeff's avatar

More coverage on the topic from Time.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:00 AM

Oh yeah, Krakenator, you can bet the time share sales pitch is still alive and well. Timber-Rider stated his friends and relatives go all the time in order to get free stuff. He also said that Orlando hotels give away free tickets in order to compete and in all the years I've been going to Orlando I don't think I've ever seen that. They sell tickets, like agents, but I cant remember them giving them away unless they're taking up one of your afternoons for a swamp land tour. Hell, even Disney resorts and hotels make you pay for your own tickets.

" Hotels in the area also offer free admission tickets to their guests just to compete with the megopolis of hotels in the orlando area.

So there is always a way around that price tag. And, with all that universal offers, it can end up being a great deal. Hotels also offer free Sea World and Disney tickets."

Finally he's got something I'm interested in knowing more about, and where is he?

Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:17 PM

I’d be curious to know what percentage of guests are truly "walk up" and pay the one redicilous day gate admission, which really amounts to a suckers bet.

In my mind, while the one day admission certainly makes headlines, it is just part of an overall pricing strategy to drive length of stay. The ski industry has been doing it for years…I remember when Vail was the first to break the $100 a day barrier for a one day lift ticket. Disney and Universal are not far behind.

So, make the one day a horrible value to force people to compare shop between the 3,4,5+ day per day prices. And when you compare the difference between a 5 day to a 7 day, it is almost negligible. Why stay 5 days if 7 is only $20 more? But guests still have to eat and sleep remember and that is the economic model.

The Central Florida parks are revolving their admission models on “perceived value” that hopefully will drive longer length of stays. At least that’s my take.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:22 PM
Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:29 PM

Sorry, posted first than read the Time article. What Time said...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8:14 PM

I disagree with Universal having rides that are only good once and get too repetitive. Here are some rides I could ride over, and over again at their parks:





-Jurassic Park River Adventure

-Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

-Dragon Challenge

-Cat in the Hat

-The Mummy

-Men in Black

2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona


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