Universal Unveils Passholder Appreciation Days 2021

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It’s that time of year yet again – Universal is about to unleash Passholder Appreciation Days on its faithful annual passholders, which include a whole slew of deals, discounts, perks, and freebies all across the entire Universal Orlando Resort.

There’s a lot to go over, but worry not – we’ve laid everything out as simply (and as comprehensively) as possible. You can find all of the items broken down into a few simple categories below, but before you dive enthusiastically in, just be aware that the mini-event will run from Monday, August 16 all the way through Thursday, September 30. (That includes the first month of Halloween Horror Nights!)

 

What Are Universal Passholder Appreciation Days’ Exclusive Eats and Drinks?

Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days 2021 food
(Image: Universal)

 

Let’s be honest – one of the main draws to any Universal Orlando visit is the food and drinks, whether that be a Butterbeer or a plate of tots from Green Eggs and Ham Café, and Passholder Appreciation Days is no different.

In fact, there’s a whole plethora of exclusive, limited-time offerings on hand, which we’ve rounded up for you here:

Universal Studios Florida

  • Island Tea – $5.79 – coconut milk with peach juice and raspberry, shaken and topped with passion tea. (Starbucks Coffee)
  • Kimchee Fries – $5.49 – kimchee-spiced fries, served with Thai chili and Sriracha aioli. (Mel’s Drive-In)
  • Lombard’s Lobster Mac – $16.00 – lobster tossed in Lombard’s creamy mac and cheese. (Lombard’s Landing)
  • The Malloney Stack – $17.49 – premium grilled house ground-beef patty, braised short rib, beer-battered onion rings, ale cheese sauce. Served with wedge fries. (Finnegan’s Bar & Grill)

Islands of Adventure

  • Island Tea – $5.79 – coconut milk with peach juice and raspberry, shaken and topped with passion tea. (Starbucks Coffee)
  • Steamed Littleneck Clams – $13.00 – served with davina tomatoes, cannellini beans, chorizo garlic broth, and grilled olive artisan bread. (Mythos)
  • Vegan Pizza Tots – $9.49 – plant-based pepperoni, sausage, parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce over tots. (Green Eggs & Ham Café)
  • Wagyu Beef Burger – $20.00 – candied pork belly and red-onion jam, gruyere cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun. (Confisco Grille)

Volcano Bay

  • Glazed Pork Belly Bianco Pizza – $12.99 – garlic cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar, parmesan cheese, pork belly, fresh cilantro, and sweet plantains. (Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club)

CityWalk

  • AP Doughnut – $3.95 – yeast-ring doughnut dipped in vanilla frosting and lemon powder, with a strawberry icing drizzle. (Voodoo Doughnut)
  • The AP Roll – $19.00 – braised short rib glazed with Orange Togarashi BBQ, panko fried, and topped with a Caribbean mango slaw. (The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar)
  • Fried Pickles – $9.95 – deep-fried dill-pickle slices, served with Cajun remoulade and BBQ ranch dipping sauces. (NBC Sports Grill & Brew)
  • Island Tea – $5.79 – coconut milk with peach juice and raspberry, shaken and topped with passion tea. (Starbucks Coffee)
  • Peaches & Cream French Toast – $11.95 – French toast stuffed with citrus agave-flavored mascarpone cheese, topped with peach cobbler, whipped cream, peaches, and vanilla ice cream. (The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen)
  • Poc Chuc – $19.95 – grilled citrus-marinated pork loin, onion mojo, cilantro, flour tortillas, house salsa, and refried beans. (Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food)
  • Pork Spare Ribs – $16.00 – watermelon BBQ, apple fennel slaw, and Creole mustard vinaigrette. (Bigfire)
  • Veal Saltimbocca – $26.00 – sautéed veal cutlet topped with prosciutto, white-wine sage sauce, baby potatoes, and asparagus. (Vivo Italian Kitchen)
  • Volcano Burger – $16.95 – all-beef patty, volcano chili, cheese sauce, pickled jalapenos, pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce mix, and blue corn tortillas on brioche. (Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville)

Universal Orlando Hotels

  • Burger & a Beer – $25.00 – Cherry Bomb Burger (half-pound fresh Angus beef, melted pepper jack cheese, sweet hot cherry peppers, spicy aioli), served with onion ring volcano and paired with a pint of Ten10 Brewing Co.’s East West IPA. (The Kitchen and Velvet Bar, Hard Rock Hotel)
  • Coastal Refresher – $12.00 – Bacardi 8 rum, cointreau, pineapple, watermelon, sour. Served on the rocks. (Sand Bar, Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites; Sunset Lounge, Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites)
  • Kickin’ Berry – $12.99 – Huckleberry vodka, Tanteo habanero tequila, blue curaçao, mint, and soda. Served with rock candy. (Swizzle Lounge, Cabana Bay Beach Resort; Bar 17 Bistro and barVentura, Aventura Hotel)
  • Passholder Burger – $12.00 – pulled pork, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings, and bourbon barbeque sauce. (Beach Break Cafe, Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites; Pier 8 Market, Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites)
  • The Peachy Paloma – $14.00 – El Mayor Anejo tequila, peach drink mix, lemon and lime juice, topped with Prosecco. (The Thirsty Fish, Portofino Bay Hotel)

(Don’t forget that Premier and Preferred Passholders, the top two of Universal Orlando’s four annual-pass tiers, get dining discounts at most locations across the resort.)

 

What Are Universal Passholder Appreciation Days’ Freebies?

Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days 2021 magnet
The Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days 2021 magnet (image: Universal)

The annual passholder freebies for this year consist of a free Passholder Appreciation Days magnet and some food offerings (yes, even more!) at the on-site hotels:

Portofino Bay Hotel

  • Free dessert with the purchase of an adult dinner entrée at Trattoria del Porto.

Royal Pacific Resort

  • Free order of homemade pretzel rods with the purchase of a dinner entrée at Jake’s American Bar.
  • Free order of vegetable spring rolls with the purchase of a dinner entrée at Islands Dining Room.
  • Free Kona coffee macadamia chocolate torte with the purchase of a dinner entrée at Islands Dining Room.

Sapphire Falls Resort

  • Free order of house-made empanadas with the purchase of a lunch or dinner entree at Amatista Cookhouse.
  • Free Caribbean rum cake with the purchase of a lunch or dinner entree at Amatista Cookhouse.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  • Enjoy an exclusive UOAP happy hour at Swizzle Lounge, featuring $6 Yuengling draft beer, $7 single liquor well drinks, and $7 house wines.
  • Enjoy 20% off souvenir cups, available for purchase at Bayliner Diner, Hideaway Bar & Grill, and Atomic Tonic.

Aventura Hotel

  • Enjoy an exclusive UOAP happy hour at barVentura, featuring $6 Yuengling draft beer, $7 single liquor well drinks, and $7 house wines.
  • Enjoy 20% off souvenir cups, available for purchase at Urban Pantry.
  • Free scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream with the purchase of a lunch entree at Urban Pantry.

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites/Dockside Inn and Suites

  • Enjoy 20% off refillable souvenir cups, available for purchase at Beach Break Café and Pier 8 Market.

(Please note that the magnets will only be available while supplies last at just two locations: the UOAP Lounge in Universal Studios Florida, from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, and Toon Extra at Islands of Adventure, from park open ‘til close.)

 

What Are Universal Passholder Appreciation Days’ Exclusive Discounts?

Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days 2021 B
(Image: Universal)

Passholders are eligible for a whopping 30% discount on those all-important Express Passes, but take note of the stipulations here: it’s only on “select” passes that are good at the two theme parks (not the Volcano Bay water park), and you must buy them at the front ticket windows. (Oh, yeah – supplies are limited, too, but that should go without saying for Express, right?)

Over at Endless Summer Resort, meanwhile, you can unlock a special hotel rate at either Surfside or Dockside Inn and Suites that starts at $69 per night (before tax). Just make sure you book it by September 29 of this year, and that you actually stay there by September 30.

 

Do I Get Early Park Admission During Universal Passholder Appreciation Days?

You sure do! On select days throughout the Appreciation Days window, you’ll be able to hop into either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure an hour early – a big benefit for the two lower levels of APs, Seasonal and Power, who don’t normally receive the perk.

Here are those dates:

  • August 16-20, 23-27, 30-31
  • September 1-3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, and 27-30

The same also goes for Volcano Bay – if you have a three-park annual pass, that is, which would grant you entry to the water park. The plus side here is that there are no off-days; you can stroll onto the Waturi people’s beaches any time from August 16 to September 30 – as long as inclement weather doesn’t shut the place down, of course.

 

Do I Get Any Other Perks During Universal Passholder Appreciation Days?

Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days 2021 merch
The Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days 2021 merch (image: Universal)

Yes, there’s one last thing: the ability to buy some exclusive passholder merchandise, which includes the likes of a lanyard pouch, a pin, and a windbreaker. (Premier and Preferred APs still get their retail discounts of 15% and 10%, respectively, to boot.)

You can pick everything up – while supplies last – at the same two places where the free magnets are on-hand: Toon Extra in Islands of Adventure and the UOAP Lounge at Universal Studios Florida.

Which dish or drink do you most look forward to trying? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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Marc N. Kleinhenz

Marc N. Kleinhenz is the author of "Nerdism In-Depth," the Substack newsletter about every major piece of nerd culture, including Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was also the editor-in-chief of Orlando Informer for several years and still is the consulting editor of Tower of the Hand, which is dedicated to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. In addition, he's written for 32 other sites (including IGN, The Escapist, and Gamasutra), has appeared on radio and television news as a pop-culture specialist, has served as a consultant on the theming industry, and has taught English in Japan.

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