Universal Orlando Preview — Week of March 17, 2018

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Spring Break is Universal! Foriegner and Fifth Harmony play this weekend at Universal’s Mardi Gras, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts returns nightly, and extended park hours start again. Then we do some math to find the break even point for buying an annual pass over a one-day ticket. Let’s preview the week ahead.

Weekly Crowd Levels

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.

Weather Report

Cold weather comes to Florida as low temperatures drop to the 40s and 50s. Make sure to pack for the weather.

Inclement weather in the northeastern United States will affect travel schedules, so plan accordingly.

Park Hours and Admission

CityWalk is open until 2:00 a.m. with free self parking starting after 6:00 p.m.

Single-day park tickets are at Anytime pricing. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure will run you $124 per adult and $119 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $179 per adult and $174 per child (plus tax).

Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $80 per adult and $75 per child (plus tax).

Mail Bag

You ask, I answer! Questions come from the TouringPlans Forum, Universal Orlando Lines App chat, and comments on articles. To have your questions answered leave a message in the comments below or visit the forum.

This week’s question comes from TenMileMom:

What is the benefit (if any) to buying one UOR annual pass for family of four then buying daily tickets for others? Does it really help enough to justify cost?

Premier, Preferred, and Power Annual Passes each include 15% discounts on admission when purchased at the front gates of the parks. A Power Annual Pass (which includes black out dates) is $345 plus tax. So based on single day, one-park tickets I determined the number of single-day tickets you’d need to purchase on discount to save more money than purchasing four one-day tickets.

As you can see you’d need to buy at least 12 tickets to break even with the Power Pass. That’s not good but ONLY counts savings on tickets.

But the Preferred Pass offers more savings opportunities, including free parking and discounts on food and drink. Assuming a family of four purchases one Preferred Pass, drives and parks at the parking garage from off site, and spends $120 on food and drink at the resort.

It would take 4.7 days of visits with one-day tickets to save more money than buying four single-day tickets. This amount will vary once you count in multi-day tickets, on site hotel discounts, and merchandise discounts.

My advice is to create a spreadsheet to calculate your daily costs with and without annual pass discounts, determine the price difference between a one-day ticket (or daily cost of a multi-day ticket) and your desired annual pass, then divide the price difference and your daily savings. Anything below a 1 will be a savings.

Ok class, make sure to read pages 120-150 and complete exercises 1, 3, 5, and 9.

Upcoming Events & Highlights

Universal’s Mardi Gras returns nightly February 3 through April 7. Catch a nightly Mardi Gras parade with Greek mythology-themed floats and a New Orleans carnival with food carts and a brass band. On select weekend nights the Music Plaza Stage will be host to major musical acts like The Beach Boys, Sean Paul, Macklemore, Fitz and the Tantrums, 311, Fifth Harmony, and more. Admission to Mardi Gras is included with standard admission to the parks.

That is all for this week. See you next week and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag!

Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

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