During this very weird summer of 2020, you might be wondering: is a Universal Orlando annual pass worth it? If you like discounts on hotels, experiences, and free months, then YES. Here are all the reasons why you want to become a Universal Orlando Passholder in 2020. It might be time to ditch the Disney AP, friends!
I Said What I Said
Look, I’ve never shied away from my love of the Universal Orlando Resort. So this isn’t exactly shocking news to admit that I became a Universal Annual Passholder this year.
The onsite resort hotels like the family-friendly Cabana Bay Beach Resort and the perfectly located Hard Rock Hotel are just a few of the big draws for a vacation with the kids or girls getaway to Universal Orlando.
(ps- I absolutely adore the onsite hotel options and think they go head to head with Disney’s resort any day!)What might be surprising is that I did not renew my Disney Annual Pass– and am still on the fence on if I will.
And that’s in part because I went ahead and took the leap to become a Universal Orlando Annual Passholder.
Here are some reasons why you too might want to ditch the Disney AP and embrace the Universal Orlando Annual Pass life in 2020.
Two Big Reasons To Become a Universal Orlando Annual Passholder in 2020
It’s not magic so you don’t have to be enrolled at Hogwarts to understand why becoming a Universal Annual Passholder is a smart move in 2020.
It comes down to logistics and money- as it usually does when considering where your entertainment dollars should go.
And Universal Orlando is offering the winning combination for their Annual Passholders this summer.
1. Universal Orlando is Open NOW
After 2 and a half long months of closures, Universal Orlando reopened on June 5th.
Walt Disney World, however, remains closed until July 11th.
And even more frustrating?
You can’t even get tickets for Walt Disney World at this time- nor guarantee entry to the parks since they are working on an as-yet to be unveiled reservation system.
How’s that for Universal Orlando winning the logistics argument?
2. Add 3 Months Free To Any Universal Orlando Annual Pass
I love free! Free is my favorite word when it comes to theme parks.
And it’s not usually something you hear a lot when you are vacationing in one- though I did find free things to score in Galaxy’s Edge.
But check this: if you become a Universal annual passholder before September 30th, you score 3 free months of entry to the theme parks.
Think of all the extra butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream you could consume in those extra months.
Universal Annual Passholder Perks and Discounts
If that doesn’t convince you, then I’m guessing you haven’t had butterbeer ice cream yet. Because, y’all, that is love in a little cup right there.
Keep your bland Mickey Bars (yup, I said it) and just hand over all 6 versions of butterbeer to me.
But I know everyone likes to know about the AP perks and discounts, so here’s a quick rundown of what Universal Orlando offers their Annual Passholders.
Do Universal Passholders Get Discounts On Tickets?
What if you’re an AP but your friend isn’t? Well, get new friends.
One perk you can get as a Universal AP is the ability to purchase multi-day tickets at a discounted rate.
Seasonal Passholders get 10% off tickets and all the other APs are eligible for 15% off those multi-day passes.
But you have to buy them at the parks; you cannot do this online or over the phone.
Do Universal Passholders Get Discounts On Hotels?
They sure do!
Again, this discount is offered to all tiers of Annual Passholders.
Passholders enjoy savings year-round with up to 30% off room rates at the Premier and Preferred hotels or up to 25% off room rates at the Prime Value hotels like the Aventura.
Best Time To Buy a Universal Orlando Annual Pass?
The best time to buy a Universal AP is now through September 30, 2020.
That’s when you’ll score those free 3 months which means this party is going to carry on into the summer of 2021. Booyah!
Plus there are a few park reopening perks that you want to take advantage of right away.
- Early Park Admission for passholders (select dates and tiers apply) through July 3rd
- Dedicated park entrance for both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
- Dedicated parking and security-line access- breeze through the bag check!
- Free prime parking for Premier and Preferred Passholders (see, that word FREE is there again!)
- Free Coca-Cola Freestyle souvenir cup with one free refill if you purchase an entree with mobile order (free and free!)
- Free 8×10 print at The Dark Room with a purchased photo session
- UOAP monthly buttons – available to pick up in the parks while supplies last
- Free 30-year celebration magnet
- Passholder Appreciation Days coming August 10 to September 30
Chill Out In The Universal Annual Passholder Lounge
One of the best perks for a Universal Annual Passholder comes with AC and power outlets.
And if you are visiting Orlando in the summer, you know this is basically gold.
The Universal Orlando Annual Passholder Lounge presented by Coca-Cola is located in Universal Studios park on the Hollywood backlot.
Standard Hours: 11 am–4 pm
Limited Time Extended Hours: Park Open–Park Close Jun. 8 through Jul. 5, 2020
Location: Studio Styles on Hollywood Boulevard in Universal Studios Florida
General Discounts For Universal AP Holders
Annual passes also come with merchandise and dining discounts but be aware that not all passes have the same purchasing power.
This is just a basic rundown, but you can do the math quickly and see if upgrading to a premier or preferred pass makes sense for you.
Premier pass holders get 15% off most Universal-owned locations, plus discounts at much of CityWalk and the resort hotels.
Preferred pass holders get 10% off at most Universal-owned locations, plus discounts at much of CityWalk and the resort hotels.
Power and Seasonal pass holders only receive discounts at the Universal Resort Hotels.
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)