The Theme Park That’s Raised Admissions Prices—Twice in Less Than 12 Months

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Universal Studios Orlando has raised prices twice in a year.

Right now, the theme park with the most expensive basic admission ticket in the U.S. is located, unsurprisingly, in Orlando. What may be surprising is that it’s not a Disney park.

Last week, Disney announced price increases for a range of admissions tickets at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. A one-day adult “Park Hopper” ticket, which allows entrance to more than one park on the same day, increased from $105 to $125, while the more basic ticket—admission to one park only—rose from $80 to $87.

Now, ticket prices at Disney’s main competitor in central Florida are getting jacked up as well.

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The Orlando Sentinel reports that the most basic one-day ticket for admissions to one Universal Orlando park only now costs $88, or $1 more than the base admission to Disneyland (and $8 more than at Universal Studios Hollywood, where the basic adult admission is $80). Universal Orlando also increased prices on a range of other tickets, including a one-day pass that allows admission to more than one park on the same day—which rose from $120 to $123.

Ticket price increases for Orlando and southern California theme parks have become something of an annual tradition, or as in this case, an even more frequent occurrence. It was toward the end of last June, after all, that Universal Orlando raised its basic one-day adult ticket price from $82 to $85, matching a price hike instituted by Disney’s Orlando parks.

In the past, it was usually Disney that has acted first and hiked ticket prices. Universal, which has been riding high on the success of the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and its new 3-D “Transformers” ride at the Hollywood branch, appears to be flexing its muscles by hitting up Florida customers for more admissions money first.

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Now, all eyes are on Disney, in anticipation that its ticket prices in Florida will also head northward, and soon. The experts at ThemeParkInsider advise the following tactics to beat the expected price hike:

So if you’re thinking about a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, it might be a good time to buy now, and lock in your price. (And if you’re a frequent visitor to WDW, go for a 10-day ticket with the “no expire” option to lock in your price on visits for years to come.)

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

1 comments
LuisAponte
LuisAponte

It wasn't that long ago where Florida residents paid about $35 for a one day pass to Disney or Universal. Just on principle alone, there is no way I would pay $120 for a one day pass. This doesn't include $50 per person to eat at one of their over-priced buffet restaurants; $2.50 per bottle of water, etc, etc. Talk about price-gouging their customers. No thank you! There's other great places to visit in Orlando at a fraction of the price.