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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 602: Universal Holidays & Velocicoaster photo report posted!

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http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-29/business/os-universal-raises-prices-20120529_1_ticket-prices-single-park-offering-unlimited-admission

 

Harry Potter has elevated Universal Orlando to yet another new height: The most expensive theme park in the land.

 

Universal has raised the price of an adult one-day, one-park ticket to $88 — $3 more than the equivalent ticket to Walt Disney World theme parks. It's also $1 more than the basic price to a theme park at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

 

The 3.5 percent increase was part of a series of price increases the resort enacted last week, as Universal continues to ride momentum generated by the $265 million Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened two years ago in its Islands of Adventure theme park.

 

"Our pricing reflects the high-quality entertainment experience we offer, while still providing great value," Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said Monday.

 

Orlando's theme-park resorts historically have raised prices almost in lock step with one another. But Universal had in recent years typically not acted until its larger rival, Disney World, moved first. When Universal raised its base price to $85 last year, it did so only about a week after Disney went to $85.

 

Most of Universal's other ticket prices also rose last week. The price of a one-day, two-park ticket — allowing access to both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida — also jumped $3, from $120 to $123.

 

Multiday passes rose by slightly smaller margins: A two-day, single-park pass, for instance, climbed from $135.99 to $139.99, an increase of 2.9 percent.

 

The price of a two-day, two-park pass rose from $155.99 to $159.99, up 2.6 percent. A three-day, two-park pass inched up from $170.99 to $172.99, up 1.2 percent. And a four-day, two-park pass climbed from $175.99 to $179.99, up 2.3 percent.

 

The price of Universal's most expensive ticket option — a pass offering unlimited admission to its parks, including the Wet 'n Wild water park, over 14 days — rose from $194.99 to $199.99, up 2.6 percent.

 

The prices of three- and four-day single-park passes remain unchanged — at $155.99 to $165.99 — suggesting that interest in those ticket options hasn't been as strong as others.

 

All prices reflect base gate prices, though various discounts are available. For instance, all tickets — excluding single-day passes — are $20 cheaper when purchased online. Discounts are also available for Florida residents and children.

 

Universal also opted — for at least the second year in a row — to leave unchanged the prices of Florida resident tickets when purchased online.

 

"Our multi-day tickets are popular, and we always work to provide value where our guests want it most," Schroder said. "That's why our Florida-resident online pricing and three-day and four-day base ticket pricing remains unchanged."

 

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-02/business/os-comcast-universal-earnings-20120502_1_theme-parks-nbcuniversal-wizarding-world

 

Nearly two years after opening the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando is still riding the boy wizard's broom.

 

Comcast Corp., the parent company of Universal Orlando, said Wednesday that its theme parks continued to post "reliable growth" during the first quarter of 2012. And, as they have every quarter for the past two years, executives credited the gains to the popularity of Wizarding World, as well as a 2-year-old King Kong attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood in California.

 

"We … continue to be very bullish about Orlando, where you've got Harry Potter over a year old and doing great," Steve Burke, chief executive officer of Comcast's NBCUniversal media unit, said during a conference call with investment analysts.

 

Revenue from the NBCUniversal theme parks — which also includes licensing fees from overseas parks in Japan and Singapore — rose 5.7 percent for the quarter to $412 million compared with a year earlier.

 

Operating costs were essentially the same as a year ago at $255 million for the quarter.

 

Operating cash flow for the parks unit, a measure of profitability, jumped 17.1 percent to $157 million.

 

Comcast said the gains were driven primarily by higher per-capita spending, which includes both ticket prices and spending on food and souvenirs.

 

"We continue to have healthy attendance in both Orlando and Hollywood, as both parks benefit from strong growth in international visitors," Comcast Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis added during the conference call.

 

Universal Orlando no longer reports precise attendance figures, now that it is wholly owned by NBCUniversal, which last year bought out a stake in the resort held by the private-equity firm Blackstone Group.

 

Theme parks are the smallest of four principal segments at NBCUniversal, alongside cable networks, broadcast television and films. Overall revenue of the media-and-entertainment conglomerate rose 18 percent for the quarter to just under $5.5 billion. Operating cash flow jumped 34 percent to $813 million.

 

Universal Orlando has also sent us a press release announcing the opening of sales for tickets to this year's Rock the Universe event.

 

Tickets are now available for Rock the Universe 2012 – Florida’s biggest Christian music festival – happening Sept. 7 and 8 at Universal Orlando Resort.

 

Guests can rock out the entire weekend with the “Rock Your Weekend” ticket, which includes admission to both nights of the event and three days admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This ticket will only be available through Aug. 31, 2012 and will not be sold at the park entrance.

 

813655059_ScreenShot2012-05-30at11_01_18AM.jpg.9ba35a80c7c6c9db8d1d4ed22228887d.jpg

This year’s line-up features some of the most popular names in Christian rock. More than a dozen hit bands will take the stage, including Skillet – awarded a Billboard Music Award for “Top Christian Album” in 2011; four-time Grammy-nominated band Newsboys; rock group Switchfoot, which has sold millions of albums worldwide; and three-time Dove award winner Jeremy Camp. The full line-up is below.

 

2103177881_ScreenShot2012-05-30at10_00_31AM.jpg.1e142da771c7f224cafe1666b1956727.jpg

Guests will also enjoy an exciting Fan Zone presented by Coca-Cola including live music by Everfound, Group 1 Crew, Jason Castro and We As Human, autograph sessions with the bands, karaoke and band merchandise. Guests will also experience a Saturday night candle lighting service featuring Tenth Avenue North.

 

Plus, guests will enjoy the thrilling attractions only found at Universal Studios Florida. They can rock out to their favorite Christian artists at 65 mph on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, laugh along with America’s favorite animated family on The Simpsons Ride and speed through the darkness on the world’s first psychological thrill ride – Revenge of the Mummy.

 

For more details about Rock the Universe 2012, visit http://www.RocktheUniverse.com or call 1-866-RTU-INFO (1-866-788-4636).

 

706069957_SkilletPerformingatRTUonSept.7-HR.thumb.jpg.214db5bcef8a909ed134615105588dcd.jpg

 

On another note, Annual Passholders for Universal Orlando should keep an eye on the following website for upcoming information regarding pass holder previews for Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

 

http://www.universalorlandoresort.com/APminion/

Edited by jedimaster1227
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As I recall, one of Universal's big selling points was that their one-day, two-park ticket was cheaper than a one-day/one-park ticket at WDW.

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Yeah, that will pretty much assure that I am skipping Universal on our next Orlando visit.

 

I think the one-day, 2-park ticket that we bought in 2008 and 2009 was around 80-90 bucks and both times there was a promotion that made the ticket good for 5 consecutive days.

Edited by ernierocker
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While prices continue to soar, people aren't making any more money. I don't understand this economic model.

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"Our pricing reflects the high-quality entertainment experience we offer, while still providing great value," Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said Monday.

Will this price hike allow you to properly staff and operate such high-quality experiences as food stands on a consistent basis? *cough* Green Eggs & Ham *cough*

 

 

Honestly, I'm happy they're raising prices on a rapidly undesirable set of parks. It makes my decision to spend my money at Sea World and Discovery Cove that much easier. Thanks, Universal!!

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^^While that may be true, it should be noted that park attendance and operating cash flow have continued to rise despite operating costs remaining on par with what they were the previous year. I've updated my original post with a new article detailing such figures.

 

I think the main fact to be noted from all of these ticket increases is that they are done because the parks can afford for them to be done. Every year Disney, Universal and SeaWorld increase their ticket prices, and yet their figures continue to show growth rather than loss. While I'm not defending any specific increase, I continue to look at it in this light... If people want a unique experience, they'll pay whatever the asking ticket price is. Despite each of these significant increases in pricing, people have (and will) continue to pay the price they have to pay to get the experience they want.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Think about how much the ticket prices will go up when they build the new Pottertown.

 

I personally don't see me spending this amount of money on these parks any time soon. The level of customer service is certainly not reflected by this ticket price.

 

dt

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And Disney announces their ticket price increases in 3.....2......1......

 

It makes my decision to spend my money at Sea World and Discovery Cove that much easier. Thanks, Universal!!

This.

 

Seriously, I haven't been to Universal in 2 years other than Horror Nights, and at theses prices it's going to make it difficult for me to want to visit any time in the future. It's not that I can't afford it, I can, it's just getting to a point that I don't think the value from the experience those parks provide is worth the price they charge for admission. As for Horror Nights, pricing for that event is getting to the point that I'm one more average year away from skipping it altogether in favor of Halloscreams.

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^Yeah but at least there are a ton of options with Disney so that no one HAS to buy a one or two day park hopper. We consistently bought Non-Expiring 10 Day Park hoppers with 'fun' visits, which basically brought the price down to $45 a day for a park hopping day plus totally free visits to water parks and DisneyQuest. To my knowledge, Universal does not have a comparable non-expiring option like that.

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^^Exactly, and I feel like with a multi-park ticket you get more for your money at Disney than Universal, just a better overall quality of experience.

 

Heck, the whole reason I used to visit Universal to begin with was because it was cheaper than Disney, that and IOA used to be one of if not the best theme parks in the world. It's amazing how much damage a little wizardry can really do....

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At least we can take one good thing out of all this.

 

Universal also opted — for at least the second year in a row — to leave unchanged the prices of Florida resident tickets when purchased online.

 

Well, at least some of us can.

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Bound to happen after the success of Potterland. Glad I visited in 2004 and took care of everything I was interested in- all of which has been there since 1999 when the park opened. The impeccably themed/painstakingly detailed thing going on in Central Florida doesn't do anything for me. Busch is more my cup of tea. Or beer.

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I don't really understand the shock, it's just the usual Orlando price creeps. Disney'll follow suit in the coming weeks, and another year will pass. Yes, it sucks, but it's the nature of economics that parks will charge what people will pay, and that that amount rises every year with gas and inflation. I don't know who'll hit $100/day first, but it'll happen somewhere in between the openings of New Harry Potter World and Avatar Land (that's if Universal even keeps offering 1D/1P tickets when new HP World opens...)

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^Yeah but at least there are a ton of options with Disney so that no one HAS to buy a one or two day park hopper. We consistently bought Non-Expiring 10 Day Park hoppers with 'fun' visits, which basically brought the price down to $45 a day for a park hopping day plus totally free visits to water parks and DisneyQuest. To my knowledge, Universal does not have a comparable non-expiring option like that.

 

The 10-day unexpiring Hopper is actually what I got by on for about two years (day trips from the Space Coast); just didn't seem to make financial sense for me to get a full Annual Pass. Is it still an option, or just an occasional promo?

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I don't really understand the shock, it's just the usual Orlando price creeps. Disney'll follow suit in the coming weeks, and another year will pass.

 

Yeah, I don't get it either. That $3 isn't going to kill my bank account or make me decide against going to Universal any more than the last set of price increases made me avoid the place, or the rise of Disney tickets to $85 made me not go see the Mouse. I just went to all the Orlando parks in January, and I'll be right back there next year as well.

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I'm not sure there is as much shock that the price keeps creeping up as much as the fact that people don't think that universal is worth what they will be charging.

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I am sure there are plenty of videos already posted/out there, but in case somebody was looking for a high quality HD video of the Cinematic show, here is the one I took. Full HD, so be sure to watch in 1080.

 

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keEoSG2RhTk

 

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHRnmycFYDE

 

Universal Studios Orlando Cinematic Spectacular by invertalon, on Flickr

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I did a search and couldn't locate the Orlando HHN topic and I'm guessing it's still to early for a topic....but I noticed the HHN22 teaser site is up. There is a video of people raving about the event, the calendar, and the phrase it's never to soon to start panicking. I also noticed the houses have begun visible construction, and with the RV by the disaster line most are saying it could be the rumored Walking Dead house. Sorry if this is not an appropriate place, I could only find the Hollywood Horror Nights topic.

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