Theme Park tickets are not cheap and Universal Orlando is no different. However, it pays to shop around and to consider your options carefully. We explore your options when purchasing Universal Orlando Tickets. Our guide covers Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure & Volcano Bay.
What Universal Orlando Tickets can you buy?
Tickets to Universal Orlando Resort can be a little confusing as there are several options and combinations:
- Single Park Ticket allows admission to one park only a day.
- Park to Park Ticket allows you to park hop during your visit. Importantly this allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure.
- Two Park Ticket these tickets are for admission to either Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios. Both Single Park Tickets and park to Park Tickets are available with this option.
- Three Park Ticket, in addition, allows admission to Volcano Bay.
- Halloween Horror Nights require an additional ticket.
- Florida Resident Tickets there are reductions available for Florida Residents. However, these tickets do have
blockoutdates during peak periods.
- International Tickets there are
specialpriced tickets available for some global markets noticeably the United Kingdom. On occasions, US residents might be able to purchase these tickets via brokers. However, check terms carefully before purchasing.
- Annual Pass if you are planning a long visit to Universal Orlando or visiting twice during the year an annual pass can work out cheaper.
Do I need a Park to Park ticket?
If you have never visited Universal Orlando before we think the answer to this is probably yes. While a single park ticket does work out a little cheaper, you will not be able to ride the Hogwarts Express.
The Hogwarts Express takes you from Universal Studios to Islands of Aventure and vice versa. The ride is unique, and each direction offers a different experience. While it does add to the cost of your day, we would recommend most guests should purchase it.
Should I buy a 3 Park Ticket?
This depends on whether you want to visit Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando’s Water Park. However, there are often promotions that include a free upgrade to a 3 Park Ticket.
Should I buy before I visit?
Tickets for Universal Orlando always work out cheaper before you visit. In addition, ticket booth lines at the resort can have long waits.
Make sure you get an actual ticket
There are still a few vendors that sell vouchers which have to be exchanged for a physical ticket on your arrival at Universal Orlando. If the agent goes out of business there is a risk you will lose your money, plus you will have to join the ticket booth lines on arrival to exchange your voucher.
Make sure any ticket you purchase is either: print at home, a mobile ticket or a physical ticket.
How many days should my ticket be for?
This really depends on how many days you are planning to visit Universal Orlando. For most first time visitors, we recommend visiting for a minimum of 3 days.
Tickets do work out cheaper the more days you visit.
How long is my ticket valid for?
The majority of tickets are valid for 7 consecutive days which includes the first day of use.
Are International Tickets always cheaper?
International tickets can work out great value especially the United Kingdom’s 3 Park Explorer Ticket. The ticket includes 14 consecutive days of park to park access to all 3 Universal Parks.
However, if you are only planning a short visit or planning to visit on consecutive days US tickets often work out cheaper. At the time of writing this blog, there is a special promotion on the Universal US site, and a 5 day Three Park Ticket which includes park to park works out cheaper than the explorer ticket.
Choose your tickets carefully and shop around!
Universal like many theme parks has a system for priority boarding of attractions. At Universal Orlando, the system is called Express Pass and comes at an additional cost.
Express Pass is not cheap, and the decision on whether to buy can be difficult. At quieter times of the year, it is usually not essential, but during peak periods there are definite benefits.
You can learn more in our Guide to Universal Express Pass.
Where to purchase your Universal Orlando Tickets
We are reluctant to recommend a ticket vendor on Modern Life is Good. The safest place to buy is always the Universal Orlando website but it can work out slightly more expensive. However, we recommend always starting your research on the official site.
Several reputable retailers offer small discounts on Universal Orlando Tickets. Retailers do differ by country and you should carefully check online reviews before deciding to buy.
When purchasing tickets always use your credit card to get additional purchase protection.
Where Not to Purchase Universal Orlando Tickets
Unfortunately, there are several mistakes guest can make if they are looking for a bargain. In our opinion you should avoid purchasing the following:
- Never buy second-hand tickets. It is impossible to know whether the advertised unused days are correct plus Universal scan guests fingers prior to admission. All tickets are untransferable & it is highly likely that your tickets will be useless.
- Don’t buy off eBay or from other site offering extremely cheap tickets. There is a good chance they will be a con.
- If a deal seems too good to be true it probably isn’t genuine. Timeshare companies often offer cheap tickets, but be very careful before taking up any offers!
Our Guide to Universal Orlando Resort has information on all the attractions available at Universal Orlando Resort. We have useful information and tips, hacks & tricks to plan your vacation.
Are you trying to decide between Universal Orlando or Walt Disney World? We have done a comparison between Orlando’s Top 2 Resorts.