Travel What It Really Costs to Go to Universal Studios Florida

23:05  18 may  2017
23:05  18 may  2017 Source:   Money

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How much does it really cost to vacation at Universal Studios and tour all of the Harry Potter attractions? When Universal Studios Florida in Orlando first opened in 1990, it was seen as a day-long distraction from the thrills of Disney World.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.© RSBPhoto-Alamy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. When Universal Studios Florida in Orlando first opened in 1990, it was seen as a day-long distraction from the thrills of Disney World. Not so much anymore.

The theme park has swelled to a massive, immersive experience, with two main parks: the titular original and Islands of Adventure, both now attracting close to 10 million visitors per year, up from roughly 5.5 million in 2009.

Why the increase? Blame the Muggles.

When Universal Studios Florida opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion at its Islands of Adventure park in 2010, followed by the Diagon Alley area in 2014, the theme park tapped into a massive fanbase who love J.K. Rowling’s books and films. They gambled that fans would love to sip Butter Beer, browse Ollivander’s Wand Shop, and ride the Hogwarts Express - and it’s a bet paying off big time, making it a must-visit if you’re planning an Orlando theme park trip.

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If not, I would go to Universal Studios Florida . Keep hopping! I really want to visit the Universal Studio . Is 5 hours a decent time to go around in Universal Studio ? Hi Nina, You can get a rough idea on what it will cost to upgrade using our Universal Orlando ticketing page, where we list our

That would reduce the cost of infill if Universal wanted to build on a blank site, but let's not forget that Universal probably has a December 7, 2011 at 6:39 PM · Universal Orlando really really needs a big draw on the Studios side. Universal Studios Florida . Universal 's Islands of Adventure.

Newer attractions are giving fans fresh reasons to visit, outside of the Harry Potter universe. "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon," a simulated ride through Manhattan, just opened at Universal Studios Florida, and the "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" rollercoaster opened last summer at Islands of Adventure. Meanwhile, Volcano Bay, a whole new 30-acre water park with 18 different rides and attractions, opens May 25.

So Universal can expect its visitation numbers to keep rising, even though the latest round of ticket price increases pushed the one-day cost of admission to both parks up as high as $179. (That’s the adult price; kids ages 3 to 9 get a whopping $5 discount.)

How much does it cost in total to bring your family to Universal Studios Florida for a vacation? We’ve done the research to try to answer this question in as realistic a way as possible, and the mission proved more complicated than one might hope.

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(Parking at Universal Studios Hollywood costs a day. Unlike at Universal Orlando , there's no free parking for local residents in the evenings, either. As for Universal , I wonder if people not from Florida are going there enough.

How much do tickets to Universal Studios in Orlando cost ? Where is Universal Studios Orlando ? It 's in Orlando Florida ! That's how they got to see the Harry Potter Park before everything got really crowded.

Just like at Walt Disney World, Universal’s vacation prices can vary significantly based on when you’re traveling. An off-peak visit in the fall might cost half of what the same trip would in the summer or spring break weeks. But Universal muddles up pricing significantly by offering a staggering number of complicated upsells, including dining packages ($23 to $45 daily for adults), souvenir cups with unlimited Coca-Cola beverage refills ($14 per person), VIP tours (from $190), and Universal Express passes that allow guests to skip lines for an extra $40 to $150 daily (prices vary based on season).

The point is: Take your time and look over the details very carefully before deciding which ticket options, vacation packages, or add-ons are right for your group.

Most people have to fly to Florida to embark on a Universal Studios vacation, and we are factoring in a cost of $350 per flight, which is the national average to Orlando according to the Department of Transportation. The other transportation expense is a rental car (roughly $50 per day), which most Universal visitors need at least to get to and from the airport. (Disney provides free airport transfers for guests staying at on-site hotels, but Universal does not.)

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  Attendance Drops at Disney Parks Worldwide as Prices Rise Higher prices were a major factor in smaller crowds at 13 of Disney’s 14 theme parks in 2016.Attendance, of course, does not equal profit. The Walt Disney Company’s theme park unit had operating income of $3.3 billion in fiscal 2016, a 9 percent increase from the year before, in part because of a new ticketing strategy that raised prices for peak periods by 20 percent.

Well, it all started with our Universal Studios VIP Tour. When hubby and I decided we were going to Florida for a month in February again this year We went on the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – which really and truly was amazing. Our tour guide told us each of the ride cars cost 1.5 million dollars!

Universal Studios in Florida is one of our favourite attractions! The Jurassic Park River Adventure is so much fun! But I have never had any desire to really go to Disney. But, Universal Studios is different.

As for lodging, you could save some money by going with a basic hotel in the Kissimmee area with a pool and complimentary breakfast for around $50 to $100 a night. Many properties near the parks offer free shuttles to all the attractions too, which will save you cash on parking near the gates ($20-$30 at Universal). Even so, all of our pricing is based on Universal hotels, which aren’t exorbitantly expensive and come with a a great perk-an extra hour in the morning to hit the rides without lines, before the gates open to non-guests.

Food costs can add up big time on theme park vacations. Sites such as TouringPlans.com list menus at Universal’s wide range of restaurants and show that the typical quick-serve meal is around $15 per person. Beverages run $3 for a fountain soda or bottled water, $5.49 and up for a non-alcoholic Butter Beer, and $7 or more for a regular domestic beer or glass of wine. If you’re eating three meals a day and adding the occasional snack inside the parks, a family of four will easily drop over $300 per day.

But there are ways to decrease your bottom line. If you use miles for flights or hotels, find great deals on off-season packages, and/or brown-bag some meals or do some dining outside the resort, you can wind up spending hundreds or even thousands less than our estimates. But if you want a good idea of how much some standard Universal Studios Florida vacation might cost, take a look below. In all cases, our pricing is based on travel this summer for a family of four-two adults, and two children ages 3 to 9.

Attendance Drops at Disney Parks Worldwide as Prices Rise

  Attendance Drops at Disney Parks Worldwide as Prices Rise Higher prices were a major factor in smaller crowds at 13 of Disney’s 14 theme parks in 2016.Attendance, of course, does not equal profit. The Walt Disney Company’s theme park unit had operating income of $3.3 billion in fiscal 2016, a 9 percent increase from the year before, in part because of a new ticketing strategy that raised prices for peak periods by 20 percent.

If you’re planning a 2017 visit to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, we have some This is because Universal did something really ingenious when it built Diagon Alley, and that was The cost for Uber from our hotel to Universal Orlando Resort’s guest drop-off zone in the Instead, go to Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem first in Universal Studios Florida , followed by Rip

Universal Studios Florida . Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit. Universal has really good capacity now, so the lines (except for Despicable Me)don't get long like at Disney. All of us are going to be in a tough place after 6 or 7 hours walking around the Florida heat in a theme park.

QUICK & CONVENIENT

Universal Orlando© James Kilby-Universal Orlando Universal Orlando How many days should you spend at Universal Studios Florida? "You can definitely do the big stuff at Universal in two days provided the lines aren’t too long," says Jason Cochran, author of the Frommer’s EasyGuide to Disney World, Universal and Orlando and editor in chief at Frommers.com. In September and late January, when crowds (and lines) are smallest, you could even squeeze in all the main attractions at both parks in a single marathon day, Cochran says. Or, during busier periods (anytime school is out), it’s "possible to do most of the big-ticket rides at both parks on a single day if you have an Express pass that gets you into shorter versions of the ride queues."

But Express passes cost extra-over $100 more on top of normal admissions in summer-so we’ve skipped that option here. As for how to best plan a quick, action-packed Universal Studios vacation, travelers might naturally look into packages. But we sifted through many options, and it generally cost the same no matter if we were booking hypothetical packages or purchasing rooms at Universal’s Cabana Bay hotel and tickets a la carte.

In terms of admissions, for a two-night vacation we selected two days’ worth of tickets with the Park-to-Park add-on, which gets you into Universal and Islands of Adventure, for a total of $1,065. (Prices in the story include taxes, as well as any online booking discounts-tickets generally cost $20 more if you buy them at the gate.) You could cut the family admissions budget back to $831 (a $234 savings) by opting for base tickets, which allow you to visit only one park per day. But we went with the pricier Park-to-Park ticket option because it’s required for entrance on the incredibly popular Hogwarts Express, which transports guests between Universal’s two main parks.

Disney Theme Park Attendance Slips in 2016

  Disney Theme Park Attendance Slips in 2016 The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, the two most-visited theme parks in the world saw numbers dip slightly last year.There’s been a lot of excitement as Disney starts to unveil details about its new Star Wars’ attractions, in particular, the brand new Star Wars themed lands, reportedly opening in 2019 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Universal Studios . MVP: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. What It Costs . It ’s hard to tell about the express pass, as it really depends upon the crowds (we usually go in June, which is the busiest time of the year, in my opinion).

The Jaws attraction at Universal Studios Florida is closing. In effort to boost attendance, Universal closes Jaws to bring Harry Potter to Universal Studios Florida , too. From the first time I was able to go to a US, the only thing I had really wanted to see was the Jaws ride.

Hotel (2 Nights): $369

Transportation (Flight plus car rental): $1,500

Admission: $1,065

Food: $600

Souvenirs & Extras: $100

Total: $3,634

THE LONG WEEKEND

Universal’s all-new Volcano Bay water park opens this summer.© Courtesy of Universal Studios Universal’s all-new Volcano Bay water park opens this summer. By adding a third day in the parks, you’ll be able to go back and take in your favorite attractions more than once. You’ll also be able to hang out and explore the shops and restaurants at Diagon Alley without feeling rushed, and by opting for a 3-Park pass you can hit the water slides and other rides at Volcano Bay too. "It’s the coolest water park in Orlando by far right now," says Cochran.

For a three-night package in August at Universal’s Cabana Bay with a courtyard poolside suite-a little more space to spread out compared to the standard room included in the option above-the price for our group came to $1,940. The package came with three days’ worth of 3-Park admissions, allowing guests to come and go as they please on the same day to any variety of Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. When we hypothetically booked these items separately, the total was virtually identical, with the hotel coming to $620 and tickets costing $1,321.

Hotel (3 Nights): $620

Transportation (Flights plus car rental): $1,550

Admission: $1,321

Food: $900

Souvenirs & Extras: $150

Total: $4,541

THE VIP EXPERIENCE

Despicable Me Suite at Universal Studios Orlando Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.© Kevin Kolczynski-Universal Orlando Despicable Me Suite at Universal Studios Orlando Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Beyond higher-end accommodations, what might tempt travelers into staying at one of Universal’s deluxe hotels is that guests automatically get unlimited Universal Express Passes, which allow you to skip lines on most rides. Just beware that they can’t be used to bypass lines everywhere. (They’re no good on "Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts," for example.)

For this category of vacationer, we selected lodging at the upscale Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal, with a very memorable kind of room-a "Despicable Me"-theme kids suite, where the children’s beds look like hollowed-out bombs from the movie. We stuck with a visit of only three nights, and increased the budget for a nicer rental car, more food and shopping, and one big extra-the VIP Experience, which includes behind-the-scenes tours and access to attractions the regular crowds never see. The option costs $200 to $350 per person per day, with prices determined on what season you visit and how many parks are included.

Hotel (3 Nights): $1,987

Transportation (Flights plus car rental): $1,700

Admission: $1,321

Food: $1,200

Souvenirs & Extras: $1,540

Total: $7,748

This article was originally published on Money.com

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