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Universal Military Freedom Pass – Frequently Asked Questions

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Universal Orlando’s Military Freedom Pass is an incredible value for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. We’ve got answers to questions about eligibility, purchasing, activating and using these special tickets, as well as other Universal Orlando military discounts. (Last updated December 27, 2023.)

Let’s start with …

Who Is Eligible For Universal Orlando Military Discounts?

  • Active Duty (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reservists) and spouses
  • Retired Military service members and spouses
  • Department of Defense Civilians

One thing to take note of is the “and spouses”. This means that a spouse or the member can use the service member’s benefit – the service member does not need to be present.

Military Freedom Pass General Questions

What is the Military Freedom Pass?

The Military Freedom Pass is a military discount ticket offered by Universal Orlando Resort.

The 2024 Military Freedom Pass can be used for unlimited admission, except for blackout dates, through its expiration date of December 20, 2024. There are two blackout periods;

  • December 25, 2023 through January 2, 2023
  • March 25, 2024 through March 31, 2024

How much does it cost?

The Military Freedom Pass comes in 2-park and 3-park versions. The 2-park ticket allows access to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. The 3-park ticket can be used for these parks and also for Volcano Bay.

  • 2024 Prices
    • 2-park Military Freedom Pass – $210 ($205 child)
    • 3-park Military Freedom Pass – $245 ($240 child)
3-park tickets also include admission to Universal’s Volcano Bay Waterpark

The Freedom Pass does not include any discounts on dining or parking. The Freedom Pass also doesn’t include discounts on hotels or separately ticketed events, but there are military discounts available on hotels, and usually on hard-ticket events such as Halloween Horror nights as well. Universal’s military discount page shows these prices (if available) when hard-ticket events are on sale. The cheapest regular annual pass (the Seasonal Pass) has comparable inclusions and many more blackout dates; that pass is $425 so the Freedom Pass is a very solid savings.

Questions About Buying & Using the Military Freedom Pass

Where can you buy the Military Freedom Pass?

If you are only buying tickets, they can be purchased at your local base Information, Tickets, and Tours (ITT) Office, they can not be purchased at Universal Orlando ticket windows or through their website, or by a travel agent. A military ID is needed to purchase, and up to 6 tickets can be purchased per valid military ID. If you don’t have a local base where you can purchase tickets, you can order them online from Patrick AFB ITT or Shades of Green, or over the phone from Camp Pendleton ITT.

You won’t receive actual tickets, but ticket vouchers that you’ll need to activate when you get to the parks. To protect against loss (or accidentally leaving them at home when you depart on your trip), save your receipt and take pictures of the front and back of the vouchers immediately when you get them.

If you are booking a package that includes hotel accommodations and you are Active Duty or Retired Military (or spouses), then the tickets can be included in the package and purchased by a travel agent. This is true whether the rooms in the package are booked using military rates at a Universal resort (keep reading for more info), or at a Universal Partner hotel that offers Universal packages but not military rates.

How do you activate the tickets?

You can convert your vouchers to active admission tickets at any Universal Orlando ticket booth or at the ticket counters in Universal’s hotels. The military member or spouse must be present at the time of activation, and one of the tickets must be used by the military member or spouse. The military member or spouse must be present and show military ID at the first use of any guest ticket to enter the parks. Tickets are not transferrable once activated, and need to be used by the same person until they expire.

Once the tickets are activated, you can link them in the Universal Orlando app for convenient entry and exit from the parks. (see: Universal Orlando App 101: The Basics)

Can the tickets be used with Express Pass?

Express Pass is a separate ticket at Universal Orlando that allows you to cut your wait time in half at most of Universal’s attractions. Express Pass is date-specific and the price varies with the date of purchase. Although there is no military discount available for Express Pass, you can buy and use it with the Military Freedom Pass the same as a regular ticket. (read more: Universal Orlando Resort for Newbies – Universal Express Pass)

Hotel Discounts and Vacation Packages

Are there Universal Orlando room discounts for the military?

In 2024, Universal Orlando is offering a discount for stays at a Universal Orlando hotel on many dates. Military members can get 40% off at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel, and up to 35% off at other Universal hotels. (6 Reasons We Love Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort). Hotel stays, including Universal Partner hotels that don’t offer the Freedom Pass military rate, can also be booked as a vacation package that includes a Military Freedom Pass and package extras. Hotel and package blackouts apply on the same dates as the Freedom Pass.

Swizzle Lounge at the retro-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Although Cabana Bay and Aventura offer the largest discount, if you’re planning to buy Express Pass you might want to consider staying at one of Universal’s hotels that include Express Pass. (read more: Universal’s Best Secret – Complimentary Hotel Express Pass) At these hotels, the Express Pass might represent a larger savings even with the smaller discount.

How can you book a military discounted stay or vacation package?

You can book hotel stays and packages at your local base ITT office (DoD Civilians must book this way), or travel agents can book these for you. For packages, you can also call Universal Orlando directly at (877) 801-9720. Separately purchased tickets need to be bought at your base ITT office, but if you are booking a package through an agent or Universal they can be included in the package to get everything done in one place.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Originally published December 27, 2022.


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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

17 thoughts on “Universal Military Freedom Pass – Frequently Asked Questions

  • With the 2 Park Pass can I enter each park on a separate day or is the Pass only good for one (1) day?

    • Hi Elke, the Military Freedom Pass works like an Annual Pass for entering the parks. You can use it for unlimited admission up until it expires, and you can visit more than one park per day if you would like. The difference between a 2-park pass and a 3-park pass is that Volcano Bay admission is not included in the 2-park pass.

  • Do you happen to know – if we (active duty military) were to buy these or us and friends- do my husband and I need to be present for our friends to use each time? or only on the first time when activated?

    • Hi Michelle, the terms and conditions state that the military member needs to be present and show their military ID when the vouchers are exchanged for actual tickets, and the first time that the tickets are used to enter the park. In practice, it is well known that the ID is often not requested on first use, only on activation – but I wouldn’t plan around this assumption. Once the tickets are activated and have been used, they’re simply tickets. Your friends should be able to go into the parks without you once everyone has entered the first time; you don’t have to be glued at the hips on your vacation together.

  • If you have a military pass and want to add an express pass, do you have to do this at Universal ticket window?

    • Hi Lisa, you may want to confirm with Universal customer service just to be sure, but there’s no reason I’m aware of why you’d need to go to a ticket window to do this. You can buy Express Passes online as a separate purchase; a warning pop-up will let you know that you need to be sure to have actual theme park admission also because the Express Pass won’t get you in. This is how most Universal Annual Passholders get Express Pass and the Military Freedom Pass functions very much like an annual pass. There is, however, no military discount that I’m aware of on the Express Pass itself (you probably already knew that, but just to be clear).

      Have a great trip!

  • With a 2-Park 2023 Military Freedom Pass (2023), would I be able to attend the park on 24 Dec, 2023? It mentions that date as the expiration date, but I’m not sure if that means the 23rd or 24th is the last day it can be used. Thanks!

    • Hi Jamaal, I would advise you to confirm with Universal for an absolutely airtight answer. However, the language “through its expiration date” is based on Universal’s use of the word “through” in their original announcement for 2023 (which is no longer accessible as it has been replaced by the 2024 offer). Typically when they say that, they mean “through and including” and so I would interpret that as being able to use it on the 24th.

      However, if you take a quick look in the comments you’ll see that others have reported that the 2024 passes they received have been valid since 11/16/2023 (the date the 2024 promotion was released), so they overlap with the 2023 pass. You may want to consider confirming this, and any associated blackout dates around the time of your visit, and getting a 2024 pass instead.

  • How does Universal define the word retired? Does it refer to a reservist who completed his tour as a retired veteran?

    • Hi Edwin, I agree that Universal’s language is a little ambiguous. I would suggest contacting Shades of Green for an authoritative answer. The specific eligibility language on their site is less ambiguous and would lead me to believe that Retired Reservists don’t qualify. “Eligible Service Members are Active or Retired US Military, National Guard, Active Reservists, US Coast Guard, Spouses of Eligible Service Member, Active DOD Civilian Employees.” But this is such a good deal that you should definitely get confirmation of that from them (or some alternate base office that actually sells the tickets).

    • I am reserve retired (ie 20 sat years) and I get full access to all benefits.

  • I just picked some up at my local ITT and they’re surprisingly valid for the remainder of 2023, as well! Heck of a deal. 🙂

    • I agree, and I was shocked that they only went up by $10 compared to the 2023 prices too.

  • Any news on whether or not they will be offering this for 2024?
    Not sure when they made the 2023 one available but we’re trying to plan a trip for January 2024 and I’ve been holding off on the Universal tickets because the Freedom Pass is such a great deal.

    • Hi Phil, I’ve been checking but I haven’t seen anything. That said, Disney World just released the 2024 Military Salute a couple of weeks ago, and Disneyland hasn’t said boo about theirs yet. So it’s a long way from where I’d call any lack of news conclusive. Also, the Freedom Pass is not as old a program as the Military Salute, but it’s been around for at least a couple of years. So my guess would be that it will be renewed and be an ongoing thing.

    • I purchased the 2024 Freedom Pass today online from Patrick AFB ITT. The valid dates are 11/16/23 thru 12/20/24. We have a trip planned in December and expected to purchase the 2023 pass, but was pleasantly surprised it will good for next year’s trips too. It’s an awesome deal!

      • Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing! It’s great to know they are doing a continuance that way where you can get a bit from this year on the 2024 pass.

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