Universal Orlando Discounts and Deals


If you’re looking for Universal Orlando discounts, this is the right place! Universal Orlando includes two major theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, plus a beautiful water park: Volcano Bay. You can easily spend two or more days exploring them. Fortunately, there are many, many Universal discounts and special offers, which change constantly. On this page you’ll find Universal Orlando ticket discounts, special deals on Universal Orlando hotels, advice about saving money on meals and merchandise at Universal Orlando and lots more!

Universal Orlando is building a new theme park scheduled to open in Summer 2025: Universal Epic Universe. Epic Universe will have 5 areas: Celestial Park; The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic; Super Nintendo World; How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk and Dark Universe. Sometime later in 2024 there will be an interactive preview center at Universal CityWalk with more details and a sneak peek at this new theme park. There will also be 2 new Universal hotels opening in early 2025, located adjacent to Epic Universe: Universal Stella Nova Resort and Universal Terra Luna Resort.

All offers are subject to change without notice. Always call ahead and confirm before driving out of your way to take advantage of a particular offer! 

Jump to:

Universal Orlando Ticket Discounts & Deals

Jump to:

Regular Gate Prices for Universal Studios Florida and Islands Of Adventure

Regular ticket prices for Universal Orlando last went up in October 2023. Annual Pass prices last went up in April 2023.

Universal Orlando sells tickets that vary in price depending on the specific dates you plan to visit. You must select your start date and how many days you want to visit to see a final price for your tickets.

One-day tickets are valid only on the specific date you select. Multi-day tickets are valid for three days longer than the number of days of admission, to allow for breaks or visiting other attractions. In other words, if you get a 4-day ticket, you can visit Universal on 4 different days within a 7-day range. Once you’ve visited the 4th day, or the full 7 calendar days have passed, the ticket is expired and no longer valid.

You can change your ticket to new dates, or add days, any time up to the end of the day on the last day the ticket is valid. For example, if you buy a 2-day ticket, and on the 2nd day you visit you decide you’d like to add one more visit to your trip, you can go to a guest services location or ticket window and add a day to your ticket, by paying the difference in price between the ticket you currently have and the ticket you are buying. If you bought your existing ticket from a discounter like Undercover Tourist, they will credit you the full price for the ticket towards a new one.

Important Money-Saving Tip

If you are buying multi-day tickets, there may be multiple ticket date ranges that will work for your trip, and each of those date ranges could have a different price! For example, say you want to visit Universal on February 9, 10, and 11, so you need a 3-day ticket. A 3-day ticket is good for any 3 days of admission within a 6-day range. You don’t have to get a ticket that starts on the 9th. There are actually four different date ranges that will work! You can get a ticket that starts on the 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th, since all of them will be valid for the 9th, 10th and 11th. By checking the prices of all four options, you can choose the one that costs the least. At times (such as right before a holiday), that can save you $40 or more on each ticket!

Here’s another example in the table below, using prices from 2024 for a 3-day park-to-park ticket. Let’s imagine you want to go November 22-24. Four different tickets are going to be valid on the three dates you want to go, but the price difference is a whopping $49 between the lowest and highest prices. We’ve bolded the three days you want to go in each set of dates. The key is that you don’t have to actually start using a ticket on the first day it’s valid! You can just show up on the 22nd and start using it.

Starting DateValid datesPrice
November 19Nov 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24$374.87 <–Lowest Price!
November 20Nov 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25$386.58
November 21Nov 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26$404.69
November 22Nov 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27$423.86


One Park Per Day (Base) Tickets – 2 Park (No Volcano Bay)

These tickets are valid for visiting either Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure (but not Volcano Bay) each day. You can’t visit more than one park in a single day or ride the Hogwarts Express with these tickets.

We give price ranges for all tickets, representing the lowest and highest prices seen as of the last time we checked park prices. Usually the lowest prices can be found in the fall and early and late spring, and the highest prices are for long holiday periods like spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ticket TypeAdult (10+)Child (3-9)
1-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$126.74-$190.64$121.41-$185.31
2-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$269.43-$392.97$258.78-$382.32
3-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$293.93-$424.92$283.28-$414.27
4-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$310.97-$440.90$300.32-$430.25
5-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$330.14-$456.87$319.49-$446.22

Park-To-Park Tickets – 2 Park (No Volcano Bay)

Valid for visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure (but not Volcano Bay) each day. You can visit both parks in a single day, and you can ride the Hogwarts Express with this ticket.

We give price ranges for all tickets, representing the lowest and highest prices seen as of the last time we checked park prices. Usually the lowest prices can be found in the fall and early and late spring, and the highest prices are for long holiday periods like spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ticket TypeAdult (10+)Child (3-9)
1-Day/2-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$185.31-$249.21$179.99-$243.89
2-Day/2-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$333.33-$456.87$322.68-$446.22
3-Day/2-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$357.83-$488.82$347.18-$478.17
4-Day/2-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$380.19-$510.12$369.54-$499.47
5-Day/2-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (No Volcano Bay)$404.69-$531.42$394.04-$520.77

One Park Per Day (Base) Tickets – 3 Park (Includes Volcano Bay)

Valid for visiting either Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure or Volcano Bay Water Park each day. You can’t visit more than one park in a single day or ride the Hogwarts Express with these tickets.

We give price ranges for all tickets, representing the lowest and highest prices seen as of the last time we checked park prices. Usually the lowest prices can be found in the fall and early and late spring, and the highest prices are for long holiday periods like spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ticket TypeAdult (10+)Child (3-9)
3-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$336.53-$462.20$325.88-$451.55
4-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$364.22-$488.82$353.57-$478.17
5-Day/1-Park (Base) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$394.04-$515.45$383.39-$504.80

Park-To-Park Tickets – 3 Park (Includes Volcano Bay)

Valid for visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay Water Park each day. You can visit all three parks in a single day, and you can ride the Hogwarts Express with this ticket.

We give price ranges for all tickets, representing the lowest and highest prices seen as of the last time we checked park prices. Usually the lowest prices can be found in the fall and early and late spring, and the highest prices are for long holiday periods like spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ticket TypeAdult (10+)Child (3-9)
2-Day/3-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$375.93-$494.15$365.28-$483.50
3-Day/3-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$400.43-$526.10$389.78-$515.45
4-Day/3-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$433.44-$558.05$422.79-$547.40
5-Day/3-Park (Park-to-Park) Ticket (Includes Volcano Bay)$468.59-$590.00$457.94-$579.35

Volcano Bay Only Tickets

A 1-Day Volcano Bay Ticket costs $85.20 Adult (10+) or $79.88 Child (ages 3-9), tax included. During high waterpark season (summer), the price is $5.33 higher.

If you are already buying a 2-day or longer 2-park Universal Orlando ticket (either one-park-per-day or park-to-park), switching to a 3-park ticket and adding an extra day is always cheaper than buying a one-day Volcano Bay ticket, and gives you extra flexibility.

Annual & Seasonal Passes

Two-Park Passes are valid for visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure. Three-Park Passes are valid for visiting Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay. Prices are the same for all ages (3+).

Annual Pass TypeNew PassRenewal
2-Park Seasonal Pass†$452.61$362.09
2-Park Power Annual Pass^$505.86$404.69
2-Park Preferred Annual Pass^^$670.94$536.75
2-Park Premier Annual Pass^^^$963.81$771.05
3-Park Seasonal Pass†$559.11$447.29
3-Park Power Annual Pass^$623.01$498.41
3-Park Preferred Annual Pass^^$788.09$630.47
3-Park Premier Annual Pass^^^$1,166.16$932.93

†Seasonal Pass has black out days (mainly Christmastime, Spring Break and mid-summer for Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure). Includes discounts at on-site resort hotels and discounts on select theme park & special event tickets. Not valid for separately ticketed special events. Does not include parking or food/merchandise discounts. The 3-Park Seasonal Pass also has black out dates for Volcano Bay Water Park (mainly Spring Break, late spring and summer).

^Power Annual Pass has blackout days (mainly Christmastime and Spring Break for Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure). Includes discounts at on-site resort hotels; 50% off regular daytime self-parking (after your first visit); admission to Mardi Gras and discounts on select theme park & special event tickets. Not valid for separately ticketed special events. Does not include food/merchandise discounts. The 3-Park Power Annual Pass also has black out dates for Volcano Bay Water Park (mainly late spring and summer). There are frequently deals on the Power Annual Pass.

^^Preferred Annual Pass gives admission every day to Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure for 365 days. Not valid for separately ticketed special events. Includes early park admission on select days for Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure; free self-parking (after your first visit); food and merchandise discounts; discounts at on-site resort hotels; admission to Mardi Gras and discounts on select theme park & special event tickets. The 3-Park Preferred Annual Pass also has black out dates for Volcano Bay Water Park (mainly summer).

^^^Premier Annual Pass gives admission every day to Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure for 365 days, plus Unlimited Universal Express Plus after 4:00 pm and early park admission at Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure only. Not valid for separately ticketed special events. Includes free valet parking or prime self-parking (after your first visit); one ticket to Halloween Horror Nights, admission to Mardi Gras; discounts on select theme park & special event tickets; food and merchandise discounts and discounts at on-site resort hotels. The 3-Park Premier Annual Pass also gives admission for 365 days to Volcano Bay Water Park. 

Discount Tickets from Undercover Tourist

Undercover TouristMore often than not, we find that the best overall discount on multi-day Universal Orlando tickets is from Undercover Tourist, a highly reliable ticket broker that sells substantially discounted Universal tickets (and other Florida attraction tickets). Undercover Tourist sells real tickets that you can take straight to the gate (not vouchers you have to trade in when you arrive) and its prices include tax and FREE shipping, so be sure to account for that when comparing prices. If you’d like to know more, take a look at why we recommend Undercover Tourist.

Undercover Tourist Universal Orlando tickets are refundable! This is a huge benefit — even Universal doesn’t offer refunds on tickets! There is a 5% restocking fee, so most of the time it’s better to change the tickets rather than refund them, but for those cases when you really won’t be able to use the tickets at all, it’s great to know you can get 95% of your ticket cost back. To be eligible for refund, your tickets must be unused and unchanged. Check Undercover Tourist for the full terms and conditions.

Have some time before you need your tickets? Undercover Tourist offers its best deals on tickets exclusively for MouseSavers Newsletter subscribers. These special prices are not available to the general public and are not published here on MouseSavers.com. They are provided ONLY through a “secret” link in the monthly newsletter. They also run special limited-time sales on a few tickets (often including Universal Orlando) in a Hot Deals newsletter once per month, so if you want to see those special sales you’ll want to subscribe to the Hot Deals alerts as well.

  • Subscribe to the FREE MouseSavers Newsletter. The newsletter comes out on the 15th of each month (or the next business day) and we do not send out the “secret” link separately from the newsletter, so please plan ahead.

Advance Purchase Tickets – Universal Website, Phone Order or Hotel Desk

Save $21.30 (tax included) off the gate prices of multi-day tickets when you buy online at the Universal Orlando website, over the phone, or in person at a Universal Hotel ticket desk. When purchasing online, you can print them yourself, use kiosk pickup (go to the park and get them out of a machine), or use ticket-booth pickup. All of those options avoid shipping charges.

Prices displayed on Universal’s site do not include 6.5% tax, which is added further along in the transaction. Once you get to the final price, it’s always a better deal to buy tickets from Undercover Tourist, which displays its real prices up front, with all taxes and shipping included.

Power Annual Pass Deals

This deeply discounted Annual Pass has blackout days (mainly Christmastime and Spring Break at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventures and late spring and most of summer  at Volcano Bay for the 3-park passes). It does not include parking or food/merchandise discounts.

Annual Passholder Ticket Discounts

Holders of Universal Premier, Preferred and Power Annual Passes get 15% off the gate price of multi-day tickets when purchasing at the front gate. Seasonal Passholder get 10% off the gate price of multi-day tickets at the front gate. For most tickets this is less than the regular advance-purchase discount for buying online, and usually much worse than the Undercover Tourist discount. There is no discount for 1-day tickets.

AAA/CAA Ticket Discounts at the Gate

All AAA (American Automobile Association) and CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) members can save $4 on a 2-Day/2-Park ticket and $5 off a 3-Day/2-Park ticket when purchasing tickets at the gate. Valid for up to six people per membership card. This is less than the regular advance-purchase discount for buying online, and much worse than the Undercover Tourist discount.

AAA/CAA Advance Purchase Ticket Discounts

Each AAA (American Automobile Association) and CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) region has different Universal offers. Some have deals that are available to all US and/or Canadian members; some have deals available only to local members; a few (particularly in the West) don’t offer any Universal Orlando deals at all. The prices vary tremendously from region to region and change all the time, so contact your local AAA office to check. Other AAA/CAA advance purchase options:

Warehouse Club Ticket Discounts

The membership warehouse store Costco sometimes has great deals on Universal tickets, so it’s always worth checking at your local store, particularly if you live in the Midwest and Eastern US. At times Costco offers discounted tickets on its website and you don’t even have to be a Costco member to buy through the site. (Non-members pay a 5% surcharge, however.) There is a shipping charge, which varies.

Florida/Georgia Resident Ticket Discounts

Universal often has special ticket promotions and offers for Florida (and sometimes Georgia) residents.

Military Ticket Discounts

Universal Orlando has special tickets for military personnel. Active duty and retired military personnel should also check with their local MWR/ITT office or with Shades of Green at Walt Disney World for discounted ticket prices.

Military Freedom Pass

2024 Military Freedom Pass

Active duty, retired US military members and their families can purchase a 2024 Universal Orlando Military Freedom Pass. The Military Freedom Pass is valid most dates November 16, 2023 through December 20, 2024. Blockout dates are December 25, 2023 – January 2, 2024 and March 25-31, 2024. The Military Freedom Pass can be added to a Military Vacation Package. 

The Military Freedom Pass is only available for purchase at your authorized Military Ticket and Travel Office. You may purchase up to 6 passes. You must present a valid Military ID at time of purchase, when activating the pass at a Universal Pass Sales window, and when entering the theme parks.

These passes must be activated before you can enter the parks. To activate your pass, go to any Universal Pass Sales window and present a valid ID. The military member or spouse must be present when the passes are activated and use one of the tickets.

Questions about the Military Freedom Pass?

University of Central Florida – Universal Ticket Discounts

Students, faculty and staff at University of Central Florida can purchase 1-Day/1-Park, 2-Day/2-Park and 1-Day Park-to-Park Universal Orlando tickets at a significantly reduced rate. There is a limit of 2 tickets per 30 days. Tickets can be purchased through the SGA Ticket Center located on the first floor of the Student Union. Be sure to buy in advance because they do sell out at times. Thanks to Amanda for info.

Using Award Points for FREE Tickets

Many different credit card rewards, hotel points and other awards programs allow you to redeem an award in the form of Universal Orlando tickets. Below are the ones that have been reported to us:

On-Site Hotels: Tips, Discounts & Deals

Jump to:

Universal On-Site Hotels Overview

The official Universal Orlando hotels are all operated by Loews Hotels. The three deluxe resorts (Portofino, Hard Rock and Royal Pacific) are all AAA Four Diamond Award winners.

See below for benefits of staying at the on-site Universal hotels.

Room-Only Versus Package

Universal offers bundled Vacation Packages that combine a stay at one of their on-site hotels and park tickets (and an optional dining plan, if and when those become available). A hotel stay by itself, without tickets or dining, is called a “room-only” reservation. Most of the time there is no real discount for buying everything together as a package, though typically if there are any current room discounts they’ll apply to packages as well, and sometimes Universal offers very good deals on package bookings. 

When Universal is not offering a special package deal, you’ll usually save the most by putting your own package together from the best deals in each category: book a room-only (non-package) hotel reservation, buy your tickets from a discount vendor such as Undercover Tourist, and use our tips to save money on food. It does take some time and energy to put together the pieces yourself, so it’s really a judgment call for each person as to whether the savings are worth it.

Our recommendation for booking Universal vacation packages is always to book using a good full-service travel agent. You get significantly better service than from Universal’s own sales people, and it doesn’t cost you a dime; the prices are exactly the same as booking directly with Universal.

Our recommendation for booking hotels & tickets separately (i.e. room-only) is to look for the best available discounts from online travel agencies for the room (or take advantage of one of the other discounts below), and buy tickets from a reliable discount vendor. And you may also want to consider looking at off-property hotels near Universal; the savings can be considerable.

Undercover Tourist Hotel Discounts

Undercover TouristLong-time MouseSavers favorite Undercover Tourist also offers hotel bookings at the official Universal Orlando Resort hotels! Their base rates typically reflect the existing Universal/Loews discounts, plus they offer an additional discount on at least some resorts and room types. The biggest discounts seem to be on the Deluxe resorts, as you’d expect, but we’ve seen some discounted rates for the Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls resorts as well.

Compared to other self-service travel websites like Expedia or Orbitz, Undercover Tourist has good prices year-round with no messing around with special codes, as well as friendly customer service with live human beings. They offer the same generous cancellation and change policies as Universal Orlando with no extra fees.

Undercover Tourist is a great company that we have recommended for years for Universal Orlando Tickets and other Florida attraction tickets as well as car rentals; they’re well worth considering for hotels as well. Read more about why we love Undercover Tourist.

CheapTickets and Orbitz Hotel Discounts

CheapTickets and Orbitz are operated by the same company (and are owned by Expedia), but they don’t always offer exactly the same deals. CheapTickets and Orbitz only offer “room-only” reservations. It’s definitely more work than using a full-service travel agent, but if you’re comfortable doing your own research, the savings can be worth it. Be sure to read the caveats in this section carefully, as well as our general advice about booking with online travel agencies, and compare different options before booking. 

When you check out, they will typically offer you park tickets as an upsell, but typically you can get better ticket prices from other vendors. Be sure to compare prices before you throw those tickets into the cart. If you want to book a Universal Vacation Package with tickets and a hotel stay (and an optional dining plan, if and when those become available), you’ll want to use a full-service travel agent.

Note that Orbitz has their Orbitz Rewards program that rebates 1%-5% of your booking cost back as “Orbucks” you can use for future travel. This can make the Orbitz deal come out ahead, if you can use the Orbucks before they expire.

For a long time, Orbitz/Cheaptickets overcharged for children because of a glitch in their booking system. When we have checked recently, the glitch appeared to be fixed and we were able to book children normally without being overcharged. However, we’re still getting intermittent reports of readers being charged extra for children under 18 at Universal hotels, which is not Universal policy. It may be that Orbitz is still working out the kinks from their merger with Expedia, and depending on your exact browser, device or something else, you may be getting the old booking engine with the old behavior. Just in case, if you are booking an official Universal hotel with children under 18, check if the price goes down if you remove the kids from the booking. If it does, book with just the adults listed, but make sure you’re booking a room that can hold the whole family. When you get to the hotel to check in, tell them the total number of people you have. As long as you booked a room that can hold everyone, there’s no problem with adding children at check in. You can also call or chat with Orbitz/Cheaptickets customer service to add the children in advance, but it’s not really necessary.

Booking Directly with Loews Hotels

The four Universal Orlando resorts are operated by Loews Hotels, so always check the Loews website. Often you’ll find special deals on the Universal Orlando resorts.

Booking Directly with Universal Resort

The online rates and specials you’ll see by checking Universal Orlando’s site are the same as the Loews Hotel site, so it’s generally not worth checking the Universal site if you’ve already checked Loews.

Sometimes it’s worth calling the Universal Orlando Resort directly at (877) 589-4783 (or have your travel agent do so) and ask if there are any “promo” rates for the time of your stay. There may be discounted rates available to the general public that aren’t listed online — you just have to ask! Thanks to Danielle for info.

AAA Hotel Discount

The AAA discount is usually available, but the amount of the discount varies by season. To book with the AAA discount, you must call Universal at (877) 589-4783, or a travel agent can book this rate for you.

Booking Universal Orlando Resort Hotels through Hotwire

Three of the official Universal Orlando hotels (Portofino Bay Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort and Sapphire Falls) sometimes show up on Hotwire at bargain rates (this is more likely in the extreme off-season, such as January or September).

The Hotwire Hot Rates option (which will pop up once you enter Orlando and your dates on the front page and start your search) allows you to get some amazing deals on hotel rooms, but you aren’t told the hotel’s name up front. You select the general location and then Hotwire gives you a list of prices for unnamed hotels in various star categories (i.e. a 5-star hotel will be a luxury resort, while a 1-star will be a low-end motel) and with specific amenities. At that point you can choose to accept or reject the offered price for a hotel that has a rating and amenities you want. Once you have accepted the price, you are charged in full. It is only at that point that you’re told the hotel name. There are no refunds or exchanges.

Although the names of the hotels aren’t listed, it’s sometimes possible to tell if it’s a Universal Orlando hotel being offered in the Hotwire listing. This information is subject to change and there is never any absolute guarantee that you’ll get a specific hotel, but here are some hints that have worked for many people:

Remember, this information is subject to change and there is never any absolute guarantee that you’ll get a specific hotel when using Hotwire!

Florida, Georgia and Alabama Resident Hotel Discount

A discount for local residents is not always available, and varies by season. At times this may be the deepest discount available. Call Universal Resort directly to book, or a travel agent can book this rate for you.

Florida residents should ask for discount code FLO — you won’t necessarily get the best discounts just by going to the Florida Resident section of the Universal site or calling without the code.

Annual Passholders Hotel Discount

Discounts for Annual Passholders are not always available, and vary by season, but sometimes these are excellent deals.

Call Universal Resort directly to book Annual Passholder rates, or a travel agent can book these rates for you. Or go to the Loews website, fill in your reservation details and type APH in the promo code box. You must show your annual pass at check-in.

Military Hotel Discounts

Eligible US service members can get a discount at Universal Orlando hotels – up to 40% off stays at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and up to 30% off stays at other Universal Orlando hotels.

American Airlines AAdvantage Miles Hotel Discount

If you have an American Airlines AAdvantage membership, using their special hotel booking web site to redeem for discounts on hotels can produce some really great results with certain hotels at certain times. The best deals seem to come up on short notice bookings (<3 months away). Sometimes the best value is by using their minimum point spend (1000 per trip) plus cash to effectively get a discount on the room. The typical rule of thumb is that airline miles are worth an average of $0.02/mile, so any use that nets you more than that per mile is typically a good use, and a deal where you get less than that per mile is not as good.

When we do sample bookings at the various Universal hotels, we’ve seen situations where you could spend 1000 points to get one of the Deluxe Universal hotels for $206/night instead of $358/night, which means you’re saving $152, or $0.15 per airline mile! Before you get too excited, that’s unusual: as you increase the number of points you use, the cash cost goes down, but the effective discount per point goes down as well. To book that same $358 room with all points and no cash is a whopping 35,400 points per night, which is only about 1 penny per mile. We’ve seen other bookings where your points are only worth $0.005 (half a cent) per airline mile. So it’s worth checking, but get out your calculator and figure out what you’re saving, and always consider whether you could make better use of your miles some other way. Thanks to reader Edwin M for info.

Portofino Bay Hotel – Benefits for Platinum Card from American Express

If you have the Platinum Card from American Express*, you can book Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando through the Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program*. By booking through this program, you get:

Note that the FHR rates are sometimes higher than rates you might find elsewhere, so you’ll have to weigh that against the value of the extra benefits. MouseSavers.com founder Mary Waring used FHR to stay at this hotel and for the date she selected in early October 2010, it was a great value. She got a $259 rate for a Bay View room, with all those extras.

*The FHR program is only available to those who have the Platinum Card® from American Express. This is a charge card that requires a substantial annual fee and is NOT the same as an American Express Platinum credit card, such as the Optima, Costco or SkyMiles Platinum cards, which do not qualify for FHR.

Nearby Hotels: Tips, Discounts & Deals

Staying off-site at a hotel near Universal can be a great way to save money. Compared to the on-site hotels you can get a room that is just as good, and in some cases better, at a price that’s significantly easier on the wallet. All of these hotels offer FREE scheduled transportation to and from Universal Orlando.

Our top choice for offsite stays near Universal is the Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort. It offers excellent value and in a great location for exploring Orlando. We’ve negotiated special offers for MouseSavers readers that make this hotel hard to beat.

If being within walking distance to Universal is important to you, check out the Doubletree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando.

Jump to:

Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort

The Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort is at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and Turkey Lake Road, and is an easy 5-10 minute drive to Universal Orlando; about 10-12 minutes to SeaWorld  (as well as Discovery Cove and Aquatica).  This well-managed and maintained 238 room property offers exceptional value, particularly for the area near Universal Orlando. Your room rate includes FREE hot and cold breakfast, FREE evening “Kickback” with assorted hot and cold foods and beverages including soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beer, wine & mixed drinks), FREE Wi-Fi, FREE parking, and FREE shuttles to Universal Orlando. Rates are low to moderate, and there is no added daily resort fee. MouseSavers readers get an extra 10% off best available nightly room rates!

Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort is a Universal Orlando Partner hotel, which means the hotel offers FREE scheduled transportation to Universal Orlando, and there is an on-site Universal Orlando desk where you can purchase tickets and get bonus benefits including discounts on merchandise at selected theme park locations, and discounts on food and non-alcoholic beverages at select Universal CityWalk and theme park locations. These bonus benefits are available even if you’ve already purchased your Universal tickets!

Comfortable king rooms or queen rooms that sleep up to 5 include Wi-Fi, 32″ LCD flat-screen TVs, a microwave and mini-fridge, coffee maker, hairdryer and an iron and ironing board. Larger 1-bedroom suites can sleep up to 6 people (not including a child in a crib). The 1-bedroom suites feature a separate living room with a pull-out queen sofa sleeper and a private bedroom with two queen beds or one king bed an an additional TV.

In addition to the FREE hot breakfast, the FREE evening “Kickback” includes soft drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as salads, soup and a light entree such as a penne pasta with pesto or make-your-own beef tacos– easily enough to constitute a free dinner! If you don’t want to dine at the hotel, you are within easy walking or driving distance to Sand Lake Road’s “Restaurant Row” – where you’ll find numerous casual and fine dining options. Read more about what the Drury Inn & Suites near Universal Orlando Resort has to offer.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando is the closest of the hotels located off Universal property. It’s an easy walk of about a half-mile to the entrance of Universal Studios. There is FREE scheduled shuttle service to Universal, SeaWorld (which also provides easy access to Discovery Cove and Aquatica) and Wet ‘n Wild. The hotel is located on the I-Ride Trolley route, which gives you access to a wide variety of restaurants.

Standard rooms are good-sized (about 350 sq ft) and equipped with Sweet Dreams plush-top beds (either one King or two Queen beds), 32″ flat screen television, mini refrigerator, voicemail, in-room safe, iron and ironing board. The guest rooms have floor to ceiling windows, some with views of Universal. The DoubleTree offers Starbucks Coffee in the lobby, warm chocolate chip cookies upon check-in and a junior Olympic-sized heated pool. There is a lobby bar, a restaurant and a deli.

Booking A Universal Orlando Vacation With a Travel Agent

If all this information about Universal is making your head swim, consider consulting a travel agent who knows Universal and can book your vacation without any extra cost to you. Whether you want to book a trip to both Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World, or a stand-alone Universal Vacation Package, our recommended travel agency, Small World Vacations, can help you.

Small World Vacations agents are required to experience the destinations they sell. They are extremely knowledgeable about Universal Orlando and oriented toward saving you money. They understand the various discounts that are available, and they know the best tricks for maximizing your time and money when planning a Universal vacation.

If you want to book a combination Universal Orlando & Walt Disney World vacation, Small World Vacations has agents who are experts on both destinations and can handle everything, including transferring you and your luggage between the two resort areas. Read more about why we recommend them wholeheartedly! To book a Universal Orlando add-on of as little as two nights (on-site Universal hotels only) to a Walt Disney World vacation:

Small World Vacations can also book a stand-alone Universal Orlando vacation package, including the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter Vacation Package or a custom package with the exact tickets and hotel options that work best for you. (On-site hotels only. 3-night minimum for hotel and ticket packages.) To book a stand-alone Universal Orlando vacation:

Dining, Entertainment & Merchandise Discounts

Jump to:

Tips for Eating at Universal

MouseSavers.com reader Jen W offers these great tips on Universal food and drink, plus an edible souvenir idea:

The Great Feast Platter at Three Broomsticks

MouseSavers.com reader Jatinder reports: “the family dinner at Three Broomsticks in Harry Potter was a great bargain and decent food for an amusement park. For $60 (10% off with AAA) you get a large salad with Italian dressing, 4 pieces of chicken (2 each breast/wing and leg/thigh), 4 ribs, sautéed vegetables and roasted potatoes. Nothing fried and all quite tasty, both rare in an amusement park.”

MouseSavers.com reader Jen W agrees: “The Great Feast at The Three Broomsticks was such good food (and such a good deal w/AAA discount) that we had it twice during our 3-day visit.”

September is Orlando Magical Dining Month

Each year for the entire month of September, participating high-end Orlando restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinners at an exceptional value. Typically some of the top restaurants at Universal Orlando participate.

Visit Orlando Magical Dining’s website for details.

Refillable Drinks & Popcorn Buckets

For cheap snacks, you can’t beat the refillable soft drink mugs and popcorn buckets available at Universal Orlando. Prices below are subject to change at any time:

Universal Dining Plan

Universal Orlando has stopped offering all of their dining plans, including the standard plan and the quick-service plan, as of July 2, 2021. If you have an existing package booking with a dining plan, the price of the package will be adjusted accordingly and any amount you’ve already paid towards the dining portion of the package will be refunded.

AAA/CAA Discounts

Members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) save 10% at select dining and merchandise locations. You may be asked to show a special “Discounts & Rewards” voucher along with their membership card. You receive the voucher from participating AAA clubs when you buy tickets or a vacation package from AAA. It still may be worth asking for a AAA discount even if you don’t have the voucher, especially at independent restaurants like Margaritaville and Hard Rock Cafe.

Annual Passholder Discounts

Holders of the Preferred Annual Pass (but not the Annual Power Pass) get a host of meal, merchandise and entertainment discounts.


Save money at some Universal-area restaurants by purchasing discounted certificates from Restaurant.com. Most certificates are for a specific amount (usually $25) and you get them at a discounted price (usually $10 or less).

The Universal Orlando area restaurants offered through Restaurant.com change frequently (search for restaurants near zip code 32819).

Deals at The Palm in the Hard Rock Hotel

Check The Palm’s website to see their current offers.

If you plan to be a repeat customer (at any of the locations of The Palm), consider joining the 837 Club for $25 and receive a $25 gift card towards your next meal or happy hour bar visit. Once you become a member, you’ll receive Club Points every time you visit The Palm that can be redeemed for special rewards ranging from a complimentary dessert to a weekend getaway for two.

Costco Deals on Restaurant Gift Cards

If you are a Costco member and you plan to eat at one or more restaurants that are part of a chain, it’s always worthwhile to check out the restaurant gift cards available through your local warehouse, which are typically discounted by 20%. Keep in mind that a gift card for a particular restaurant brand in the chain might also be accepted at other restaurant brands owned by the same chain.

Mandara Spa Discounts

Mandara Spa at Portofino Bay Hotel offers the usual massages, facials, and pedicures, as well as exotic therapies such as the Elemis Stone Therapy (small stones placed on key energy points during your massage) and Elemis Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap with Massage (using seaweed, sage, and essential oils to wrap your body, followed by a body massage). For reservations call (407) 503-1244.

Getting to Universal Orlando from Walt Disney World

If you plan to book a Universal vacation package (such as the Harry Potter Vacation Package), your travel agent can add transfers from any Walt Disney World resort to any Universal resort and between any Universal resort and the Orlando International Airport.

If you’re not booking a vacation package and only want to visit Universal for one day, the cheapest way is usually to rent a car. Often you can get a one-day rental for as little as $30 plus tax, which is usually cheaper than the other options and gives you tons more flexibility. You will have to pay the current parking charge when you get to Universal, but even with that figured in this is usually the best value (though Lyft can be pretty close, depending on where you’re staying and what kind of rental deals you can find). Driving to Universal is very easy – take I-4 East and three or four exits away there will be signs telling you to exit for Universal. Follow the signs and they will lead you directly to the parking garage. Your hotel can give you specific instructions for how to get to I-4, or there are road signs on all the major Walt Disney World routes that will direct you.

If you don’t want to rent a car, other good options are a taxi (about $30-$45 each way plus tip, depending on traffic and where you leave from) or a chartered limo, sedan, or van. Usually a chartered sedan will be fairly competitive in price with a taxi. With chartered cars you know the price up front, while the price of a ride in a taxi varies depending on traffic and the specific route the driver chooses. On the other hand, there are always taxis available immediately at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, whereas with a chartered sedan you need to schedule a time to be picked up. Most limo services will pick you up earlier or later if you find that you get tired or need more time to see everything, but it depends on them having a car and driver available.

Lyft is a viable in Orlando now, and it works fine. Cost will be around $16-$35 each way depending on where in Walt Disney World you’re coming from and which Lyft variant you select. For more information and tips, see our complete guide to using ride services (i.e. Lyft) in Orlando.

Technically, you could take the city bus. This is really cheap, but not recommended. It takes about 1.5-2 hours each way from Disney’s Transportation & Ticket Center to Universal and requires you to change buses at the Orlando Central Bus Station, which feels more than a little sketchy.

Parking Deals

Regular Parking Prices at Universal Orlando

Check the current parking rates at Universal Orlando.

Discounts/Deals on Parking at Universal Orlando

If you leave and return on the same day, present your parking receipt and you won’t have to pay again.

Avis and Budget car rentals from the Orlando International Airport can get a FREE upgrade to Prime Parking. (Voucher required.)

Self-parking is FREE after 6:00 pm (except during Halloween Horror Nights). This is primarily intended for those planning to eat/shop/go to a movie in CityWalk, but you can, of course, go into the theme parks if they are still open.

Power Annual Passholders get 50% off regular daytime self-parking after their first visit (except on holidays & special events) at the theme parks every day.

Preferred Annual Passholders get FREE self-parking after their first visit (except on holidays & special events) at the theme parks every day.

Premier Annual Passholders get FREE valet or Prime self-parking and FREE valet parking (except on holidays & special events) at the theme parks every day.

Universal Express Passes

Universal Unlimited Express and Early Entry For Universal’s Hotel Guests

Guests staying at Universal’s hotels receive special theme park privileges:

The Universal Express Pass is a fantastic benefit that allows guests to use the Express entrance for attractions as many times as they want (for attractions that offer it, which now includes the main Harry Potter attractions). In our opinion, the Universal Express Pass feature alone is worth the extra cost of staying in one of the deluxe Universal hotels, because you to get a lot more access to the attractions in a lot less time.

While it used to be that Universal reserved the Unlimited Express Passes for the Deluxe hotel guests, now they are selling Unlimited Express Passes in limited quantities each day, allowing guests to stay anywhere they want and just pay for the Unlimited Express Pass separately (if they’re not sold out or blacked out on that day). Usually if you price it all out, it’s still cheaper for a family to stay in a Deluxe Universal resort, especially since you get one more day of Express pass than the number of nights you’re staying at the hotel (see below for more). But if it’s more convenient to stay somewhere else and you want the unlimited Express pass, check and see if they have any available for the day(s) you’ll be there.

Guests at all Universal resorts get free transportation by boat, tram, and/or bus to and from the theme parks and CityWalk, package delivery to their hotel room and use of their hotel room key card to charge purchases. Guests at deluxe Universal resorts also get priority seating at select Universal Orlando restaurants.

Guests of the Deluxe Resorts do not get special express access at Volcano Bay, but there are Volcano Bay Express Passes that can be purchased separately.

Something useful to know: if you stay one night at a deluxe Universal hotel, you actually get two days of Unlimited Express Passes. That’s because you can check into your hotel early on the first day and collect your room key and Express Pass, which you can take into the park and begin using right away. (Your room almost certainly won’t be ready that early, but the front desk will store your luggage and you can call or come back in the afternoon and get your room number.) The room key remains valid for Express Ride Access even after check-out on the second day: you can use it until the parks close that night. This works for longer stays as well: if you stay two nights, you get three days of Express Ride Access.

There are many different hotel discounts at Universal Orlando — be sure to check them out.

Buying Universal Express Pass & Universal Unlimited Express Passes Separately

Universal Express Pass

The Express Pass gives you access to the Express entrance for each attraction that participates, though only one time per attraction. There is no need to pick up a separate pass or make a reservation for each attraction. You just show up, show the pass, and they send you through the Express line. Depending on the attraction, there still may be a wait, but it’s always substantially less than the regular line (except at off-peak times when neither line is very long). It does not include admission; you will still need a valid ticket to get into the park.

The Express Pass for one park (Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure) costs an additional $85.19-$276.89 (tax included) per person per day, depending on the time of year, when purchased in advance. For two parks (Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure) the price is $95.84-$287.54, about $10 more than a one-park pass. The price varies depending on season, with peak and holiday season prices the highest (naturally). It can also be purchased at the park. Thus if you’re not sure if you’re going to need it, you can go to the park, check out the wait times, and see if you feel like it’s worth buying. However, they sell out of Express Passes during peak periods, so if you’re going when it’s busy, it’s probably worth getting the pass in advance.

There is also a separate Express Pass and Express Plus Pass for Volcano Bay, which works slightly differently (see section below for more).

Universal Unlimited Express Pass

The Unlimited Express Pass is like the Express Pass, but lets you use the Express entrance for each attraction that participates as many times as you want. It used to be that the Unlimited Express Pass was only available as one of the Universal Deluxe Resort special benefits, but Universal now makes it available as a separate daily pass for people who already have tickets or an annual pass.

The Unlimited Express Pass for a single main park (Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure) costs an additional $117.14-$308.84 (tax included) per person per day, depending on the time of year, when purchased in advance. For both main parks (Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure), it’s $127.79-$319.49, only about $10 more than a one-park pass. The price varies depending on season, with peak and holiday season prices the highest (naturally). It can also be purchased at the park, though they can and do sell out of these passes during high season.

There is also a separate Express Pass and Express Plus Pass for Volcano Bay, which works slightly differently (see section below for more).

Volcano Bay Express Passes

The Express Passes for Volcano Bay work a little bit differently from the Express Passes for the two main theme parks. The standard Volcano Bay Express Pass gives express access once per day to a selected group of rides (all of them except a handful that are both popular and lower capacity). The Volcano Bay Express Pass Plus gives express access once per day to all of the rides. There is no Unlimited version of the Express Pass for Volcano Bay – they’re all good for one ride per day.

The regular Volcano Bay Express Pass varies in price from $21.29-$106.49 (tax included), depending on how busy they expect the park to be. The Volcano Bay Express Pass Plus varies between $42.59-$138.44 (tax included). These prices are subject to change at any time, but in general the Plus pass costs about $20-$30 more than the regular pass.

Combo Tickets That Include Express and Unlimited Express

You can also buy a combo with a park-to-park ticket and Express or Unlimited Express. You get Express or Unlimited Express on each day you use the ticket. The first ticket day must be used on a specific day you choose in advance, but any additional visits can be used on any day in the next 14 days after that.

The combo is almost always cheaper than buying the tickets and the Express or Unlimited Express Passes separately, but for one-day tickets, the savings may be almost nonexistent. You really save the most money with the multi-day bundles. However, there may or may not be a combo available for the number of days that you plan to visit the parks, as the offers change. If one is available that works for your travel plans, compare the cost of the combo with the cost of buying the items separately to see which is the lowest.

We think the Express and Unlimited Express passes are worth the extra money only if you’re visiting at peak times, or if you know you aren’t going into the park early. If either of those apply to you, an Express Pass or Unlimited Express Pass may be worth considering. In the lowest seasons, these passes generally don’t provide that much benefit, because most of the rides in the park just don’t have long waits until the middle of the day.

For most families of 2 or more, staying in a Deluxe resort is going to be cheaper than buying an Unlimited Express pass for everyone in your family plus staying in a Moderate or Value resort, and often even cheaper than buying regular Express Passes. When doing the price comparison, remember that a one-night stay in a Universal Deluxe resort includes two days of Unlimited Express Pass.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure puts guests inside the magical world created by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter books and films. The fully immersive, themed land enables guests to visit the village of Hogsmeade, the mysterious Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts Castle itself. You can drink butterbeer and pumpkin juice, shop for wizard merchandise, and even experience a wand selection! The theming absolutely fantastic. The village is adorable: it’s like walking right into the books. The effects in Hogwarts Castle are amazing. If you are a Harry Potter fan, it is definitely worth a half-day of your time. On a weekday in the off-season you can do and see everything in about 3 hours.

The newest attraction is Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a freewheeling coaster flight through the Forbidden Forest aboard magical motorbikes. Another big attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a state-of-the-art thrill ride that brings the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life.

New!Starting June 14, 2024 on select nights there will be a new castle projection show with lights, music and fireworks. It will feature iconic moments of a school year at Hogwarts and have four different endings, one celebrating each of the four houses at Hogwarts. There are also two seasonal shows: Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle is shown during Halloween and Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts is shown at Christmastime.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida more than doubles the size of the area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures, expanding it across both Universal theme parks. You can travel between the two areas aboard the iconic Hogwarts Express (a Park-to-Park Ticket is required to ride the Hogwarts Express).

Diagon Alley, a bustling, wizarding hub within the Muggle city of London, has shops and dining experiences. The main attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, is a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey. You can visit Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, for all your magical joke needs; Borgin and Burkes, a shop specializing in a wide variety of Dark objects; and stop in for a meal at the Leaky Cauldron.

There is a greatly expanded Ollivanders wand shop that can handle many more people, which reduces the incredibly long lines that Ollivanders in Hogsmeade has had. The Ollivanders in Diagon Alley has exactly the same short but cute show, and it’s certainly worth seeing once, but if you’ve seen the Hogsmeade show, don’t bother with the Diagon Alley one.

At multiple times during the day several different shows are performed on a small stage in the back of Diagon Alley. A company of players will present one of two different Tales of Beedle the Bard, using bunraku-style puppets that are wonderfully detailed. And Celestina Warbeck (Mrs. Weasley’s favorite singer) performs a short set with a trio of backup singers. Both shows are well worth checking out.

Admission to either Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included with your Universal Orlando theme park admission or Annual Pass. To visit both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley on the same day and to ride the Hogwarts Express, you need a Park-to-Park Ticket or Annual Pass.

Jump to:

Tips and Tricks for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Tips and Tricks for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Tips and Tricks for Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts

Fun idea shared with us by a reader: announce your visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter by sending your kids a Hogwarts Acceptance Letter!

You can buy a wide variety of Harry Potter merchandise, including wands, at HarryPotterShop.com, the official online store of Harry Potter merchandise from Warner Bros.

There is a somewhat different (but overlapping) selection of merchandise (including the interactive wands that work at Universal Orlando) available from the Universal Orlando online shop. Usually when something is available from both, we find it’s a little cheaper from HarryPotterShop.com, but take a look at both just in case.

If you’re looking for Harry Potter t-shirts for your family to wear when you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, HarryPotterShop.com has quite a few, as does Zazzle.com.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Vacation Package

This EXCLUSIVE vacation package includes:

Note that this package offers the ONLY way to reserve breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, minimizing time in line. (Three Broomsticks is a counter-service restaurant at lunch and dinner, and lines can be long!)

4-Night minimum stay required. Travel must be completed by 12/31/24.

*If you stay at one of the official on-site Deluxe Universal hotels, you’ll get an Express Pass to most rides.

^The 5-Day Park-to-Park Base Ticket entitles one guest admission to 2 Universal parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) on the same day for the duration of ticket. Ticket is valid for any five calendar days during a seven consecutive calendar day period which includes the first day any portion of the ticket is used during normal operating hours. Unused days will be forfeited. Ticket excludes parking, discounts on food and merchandise, and separately ticketed events. Additional restrictions may apply which are subject to change without notice.

**Early Park Admission begins one hour prior to regular scheduled park opening at one Universal Orlando theme park. Valid at selection attractions at each park.

Small World Vacations has travel agents who specialize in booking Universal Orlando packages. They can help you with your Harry Potter Vacation Package (3-night minimum, on-site hotels only). Read more about why we recommend them wholeheartedly!

Please contact them at least 21 days in advance of your trip (45 days for international visitors). The Harry Potter package can also be booked as an add-on to a Walt Disney World package. Read more about booking a combination Universal Orlando & Walt Disney World vacation.

Annual Special Events

Jump to:

Overall Notes:

Rock the Universe

In 2024, Rock the Universe was held January 26-27.

Rock the Universe is an after-hours event at Universal Studios and requires separate admission. Contemporary Christian music acts perform on three different stages for two nights. Select rides and attractions will be open throughout each night. There are also autograph sessions where you can meet some of the performers. On Saturday evening at 11:45 pm there is a special Saturday Ceremony performed by one of the headline performers.

2024 Rock the Universe Regular Ticket Prices

There are 2 types of tickets for this event. Event-only tickets allow you to enter Universal Studios after 4 pm and also attend the event. Rock Your Weekend tickets give you admission to the theme parks during the day (1 park per day and park-to-park tickets are available) and admission to Rock the Universe in the evening.

2024 Tickets prices, tax included are:

These tickets are only good for the Rock the Universe Weekend dates. Annual Passes and Complimentary passes are not valid for this event. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount on tickets, one FREE ticket for every 10 purchased and and access to Youth leader lounges with complimentary snacks and/or refreshments.

Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando

In 2024, Mardi Gras at Universal Studios was offered every night February 3 – April 7.

The main attraction during Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando is an evening parade, with floats, street performers, stilt walkers and dancers. Beads are thrown to the crowd at this family-friendly event. During the Mardi Gras parade, most or all of the attractions are closed. 

On select nights there will be a concert on the Music Plaza Stage in Universal Studios. There may also be live performances in the French Quarter Courtyard and Cajun food is available for purchase.

Mardi Gras festivities are included in the regular price of admission to the park.

Halloween Horror Nights

In 2024, Halloween Horror Nights will be held select nights August 30 – November 3.

Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is an after-hours event at Universal Orlando that is held on select nights in late Fall, including Halloween night. This is a scary event that is NOT appropriate for young children — we would not recommend taking a child under 12. It includes gruesome displays, actors with chainsaws and other intense stuff, in addition to haunted houses and a creepy parade. Park guests are not allowed to wear costumes. 

2024 Halloween Horror Nights Regular Ticket Prices

Specific date single night ticket prices start at $85.19, tax included, when purchased in advance.

Advance purchase single night ticket prices, tax included, are:

Halloween Horror Nights requires separate admission. This event frequently sells out.

2024 Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass costs $138.44 – $255.59, tax included, depending on the date. This add-on allows you to skip the lines one time at all haunted houses and participating rides and attractions during HHN. Please note: this add-on does not include admission to HHN.

Holidays at Universal Orlando

In 2023, Holidays at Universal were held November 17 through December 31, 2023.

Holiday events at Universal Orlando include the music and festivities of “Grinchmas” as Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure is transformed into a wintry wonderland. Enjoy the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic, the Wonky Tree Lot, strolling Whos, and a chance to get your picture taken with the mean green one himself. The Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s takes place in Universal Studios Florida, with floats and balloons, along with characters like the Minions from Despicable Me, DreamWorks characters from Madagascar and Shrek – and even Santa Claus.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter also celebrates the magic of Christmas. Diagon Alley and London have festive décor and special holiday treats and drinks. King’s Cross Station features buskers singing holiday favorites and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees have a special show prepared just for the occasion. Hogsmeade shops are decorated with garland and lights. The Frog Choir sings seasonal melodies and there are special treats and drinks available. At night, a special projection show, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, transforms the castle and brings memorable Christmas moments from the Harry Potter series to life.

In-park holiday events are included with your regular Universal admission.

There is a Holiday Tree Hunt scavenger hunt. Use the Holiday Tree Hunt brochure to find themed holiday trees in Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk and get a stamp in your brochure for each one you find. The Holiday Tree Hunt brochure can be purchased for $10.60, tax included, at select merchandise locations (while supplies last). Bring the brochure to one of the designated locations and exchange it for a holiday ornament. You do not need to obtain any tree stamps to exchange the brochure for an ornament. 

If you stay at one of the official Universal Orlando resort hotels, you will be immersed in the spirit of the season including Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, visits from Santa and Hanukkah candle lightings, holiday crafts and more. There are special menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. There are also special meals for the holidays which may require a ticket. 

New Year’s Eve at Universal Orlando

On December 31, 2023, New Year’s Eve was celebrated in Universal Studios Florida, Universal Island of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. Both parks were open through midnight that night. These celebrations were included with theme park admission.