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Universal for Newbies – Universal Annual Pass Hotel Discounts

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Universal’s Annual Passes offer great benefits, but the 30% off Universal hotel rooms could pay for the pass itself! In this article, we will look at the UOAP options, how to book UOAP discounted rooms, and how upgrading from a multi-day ticket to an AP might save you hundreds of dollars!

What Are Universal Orlando Annual Passes?

A Universal Orlando Annual Pass (UOAP for short) grants one year of admission to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, including park hopping.

Universal offers four pass tiers:

  • Seasonal Pass – $424.99 plus tax
  • Power Pass – $474.99 plus tax
  • Preferred Pass – $629.99 plus tax
  • Premier Pass – $904.99 plus tax

A three-park option is available that includes Volcano Bay water park for an additional cost.

The Seasonal and Power Pass tiers, while cheaper, do not include free parking at Universal Orlando Parking Garages and feature blockout days at the theme parks. The parking benefit will not apply to guests staying on-site but review the blockout dates prior to purchase to confirm you are visiting during an available period.

The Preferred and Premier Pass add on benefits such as complimentary parking in the garages, no blockout dates, discounts of 15% off food and beverage, and more. For some guests, the food savings offset the costs of the more expensive passes. Review the UOAP benefits page for more information.

All pass tiers include up to 30% off on-site hotels, based on availability.

How To Book A UOAP Discounted Room

Prior to COVID-19 Universal Orlando’s main page prominently featured a “Book Packages, Tickets, & Hotels” drop-down menu. Here guests would select the Hotel tab, choose the dates, select “Promo Code”, and then enter in APH for UOAP rates. Since COVID-19 that dropdown has been removed for the time being.

Instead, go to the UOAP Hotels & Packages page and click on the Check Rates button, visit the reservations page, or call (888) 273-1311 to book UOAP hotel rates.

What Kind of Savings Are We Talking About?

Photograph courtesy Universal Orlando.

Break out the slide rule, time to do some math! Universal offers three different hotel rates: a standard seasonal rate (rack rate), a discounted “Savvy Traveler” rate for stays four-night or longer, and a UOAP discounted rate. We will be looking at a 4-night stay in a standard room across four hotels for the week of March 1 – 5 with the Savvy Traveler discount and UOAP Rate.

Costs are for the full stay, not including tax, and are accurate as of January 31, 2021.

Table 1:

Endless Summer Cabana Bay Royal Pacific Portofino Bay
Seasonal Rate $580 $780 $1720 $2016
“Savvy Traveler” $464 $546 $1548 $1814
UOAP Rate $356 $396 $1016 $1116
UOAP Rate Savings + $108 + $150 + $532 + $698

While the savings are not much for the lower tier hotels, you can save hundreds of dollars with the Premier hotels. Remember, Royal Pacific and Portofino Bay include complimentary Unlimited Express Pass which can save even more money.

Doin’ the Math

Photo copyright Universal Orlando.

To find the total savings of upgrading to a UOAP we will look at the price differences of a 2-park, 3-day ticket over our travel days (March 1 – 5) and a UOAP. Your prices will vary depending on the time of your visit; the same ticket in June will cost $20 more per person. A negative price difference is a loss, a positive is a saving.

Table 2:

Ticket Comparison UOAP Cost 2-Park, 3-Day Ticket Cost Cost Δ
2-Park, 3-Day/Season UOAP $304.99 $241.99 – $63
2-Park, 3-Day/Power UOAP $354.99 $241.99 – $113
2-Park, 3-Day/Pref UOAP $394.99 $241.99 – $153
2-Park, 3-Day/Prem UOAP $559.99 $241.99 – $314

Now we will look at the cost difference between the UOAP rates in Table 1 to the ticket price differences from Table 2 to find the total savings.

Table 3:

Endless Summer Cabana Bay Royal Pacific Portofino Bay
Seasonal UOAP + $43 + $87 + $469 + $635
Power UOAP – $5 + $37 + $419 + $585
Preferred UOAP – $45 – $3 + $379 + $545
Premier UOAP – $146 – $164 + $218 + $384

Upgrading to a Seasonal UOAP from a 2-Park, 3-Day ticket can save guests over $600 through hotel discounts alone! That is the equivalent of two (2) 2-Park, 3-Day tickets; an unlocked iPhone; or 330 Nomad Lounge chicken wings.

Tips & Closing Thoughts

UOAP rates are limited and sell out quickly for popular dates. We suggest taking advantage of Loews and Universal’s seven-day cancelation policy to book the hotel as soon as possible and then rebook under a lower rate later if one becomes available. UOAP rates are released three to four months before booking, usually on weekdays.

An Annual Pass is not required at the time of booking UOAP rates but must be presented at check-in. Hold off on purchasing tickets and a UOAP till you know you can take advantage of the UOAP rates.

In addition to hotel discounts, Preferred and Premier UOAP holders receive 15% off discounts on merchandise, food, and beverage throughout the resort. If you are looking to buy lots of Potter merchandise or eat at Universal the 15% could be worth upgrading to a Preferred or Premier UOAP.

Have you used the UOAP hotel discount? Which are your favorite hotels to stay at? Leave your comments and questions below!

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

12 thoughts on “Universal for Newbies – Universal Annual Pass Hotel Discounts

  • Hey Joseph, Great article to illustrate why UOAP pays for itself when booking on-site hotels even if you don’t plan to visit the park again the same year. However the best comparison for one-time travelers would be for only ONE of the party to get a UOAP while the rest can still get regular dated tickets – that way the savings would be even more.

    Another tip: If you’re planning for say, a 4-night stay in one of the value resorts, consider booking the first night in one of the 3 premier properties (Royal Pacific, Portofino Bay, Hard Rock) which give Unlimited Express Pass, and the next 3 nights in the value resort (Cabana Bay, Endless summer). That way, you get Unlimited Express Pass for both Days 1 and 2 (Check-in day and Checkout-day) which, considering you get early park admission, should be sufficient to ride all EP attractions. The other 2 days, one could go for the attractions missed during the first 2 days, and the ones they wanted to repeat.

  • Hi! We are considering the highest tiered UOAP. I have checked over 20 dates and none that the AP discount. What am I missing? Thanks

    • Hi Dawn, UOAP rates tend to go up 4-6 months prior to the booking date.

  • When do you think the rate for January 26 will be available

  • Hi, great info. Just wondering how strict are they about having the UOAP at check-in. We are international and all flights arrive in Orlando after 8pm. Would the hotel allow us to check-in without the UOAP but present it the next morning once the ticket office is open.

  • What is the least busy week to visit during the holiday season and Mardi Gras from your past experience ? Thanks again

  • Thank you for the response , that answered our question.
    Sorry another question if you buy your UAP with your American Express do you get the benefit of using the American Express Lounge if so where is it located ?

  • UOAP hotel discounts are available for 7 days a week, I just used during the week as an example.

  • Hi ,we love your site and refer to it frequently. Question for you, Do you only get UAP resort discount on weekdays ? We are coming from out of state and planning on staying 7 nights at a time when we come. Thank You in advance. Be Well.

  • Great, thanks! We will be there as soon as overseas travel is a “thing” again..!

  • Only one of you needs an AP. Come to Florida to thaw out, my Norsk friends!

  • Great tip, thanks! One question: If I buy an AP, could I reservere a room with an AP discount and invite my husband and son with me? And buy food and souvenirs in the parks for all three with my AP discount? Or do all three of us have to buy APs to get the discounts?


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