It’s been a long time coming, but Universal Orlando has announced new 3-Park Annual Passes that include Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, and the all new Volcano Bay waterpark.
The same pass levels still exist, you can choose from a Seasonal, Power, Preferred, or Premier Pass with all of the same benefits for each (I won’t dive into all those details here; you can check out the passholder website for more information). However, if you’re a buying a new pass, you will now have the option to choose a 2-Park or 3-Park pass if you so desire.
Blackout dates stay mostly the same with the 3-Park pass, the only exception being that every pass but Premier having the entire month of July blacked out at Volcano Bay; something sure to irritate Preferred Pass members who are used to no blackout dates.
Pass prices, unsurprisingly, have jumped ever higher with the third park’s addition; guests will now be paying upwards of $640 for a Premier Pass if they’re a Florida resident. To me, this seems like an astoundingly high price point when compared to Disney’s passes where you can get four full theme parks for about $10 more, instead of two theme parks and one waterpark. Sorry, never going to consider 1/2 of a volcano and a bunch of trees next to a highway a “theme park”.
If you’re a current passholder and want to add Volcano Bay to your pass? No problem! Universal has you covered there too. For anywhere from $99-$149 (depending on your pass) you too can add on the themed waterpark for the rest of your current passes duration; better hope you have more than a few months left.
Honestly, this is entirely an expected move from Universal. They’re building a new “park”, they want more money, and they’re desperately trying to compete with Disney to be the only resort that vacationers go to during their hard-earned time off. Personally, though, I get far more value out of my (cheaper) Gold Disney Annual Pass for much less money. I consider four great parks (Okay, 3.5 if you take into consideration what hell Hollywood Studios has become) much more worthwhile than two decent parks and a half-assed, extremely expensive, capacity limited waterpark. But that’s just me.
You’ve got the facts now, let me know what you think about the new Annual Pass prices in the comments below.
Now, go have a day!