There are 3 Universal Orlando deals on offer from Daily Getaways that families can use to save money on a trip to the land of Harry Potter. Make no mistake, Universal Orlando is pricey (even more than Disney World in some instances). The 3 offers are very different and are most definitely not “one size fits all”. Here’s a look:
Note: this is just for Universal Orlando, not Universal Hollywood in California.
Universal Orlando runs very frequent promotions for park tickets. Park-to-Park tickets are necessary if you want to ride Hogwarts Express, one of the most popular Harry Potter rides. This is a solid discount from the normal Universal pricing on their website right now, where two of these tickets would set you back roughly $766 once you figure in tax.
However, they’re not currently the best deal, depending on how long you want to go to Universal Orlando for. Undercover Tourist, one of the best places to find discounts on theme park tickets, currently has some stock of a previous promotion Universal ran. It’s essentially a 5-day Park-to-Park ticket for about $10 less per ticket.
Undercover Tourist will usually have some inventory left over on promotions like this one that Universal ran for a couple of months. However, once they run out, they’re gone. And, you won’t get notification. So, if you’re looking at this Daily Getaway, choose Undercover Tourist instead.
This one is a bit harder to price from a value standpoint, since the pricing for tickets varies across different dates and this is a slightly different package than what Universal offers on a daily basis.
If you’re looking for a sneak peek into what a VIP tour at Universal Orlando looks like, my good friend Summer wrote up her recent experience. It’ll give you a really good perspective on what to expect.
This covers a VIP experience for up to 5 people. Obviously, you get your best value if you have 5 people in your group. Our family of 4 would struggle with that off the bat, needing to find a 5th person that wanted to come along. The VIP tour lasts approximately 7 hours and is termed “semi-private” in that you could have other folks in your group. It covers 2-park Park-to-Park admission and the VIP tour as well as breakfast and lunch. And, if you start early enough in the day, you get Express Unlimited passes for the remainder of the day to access shorter ride lines as often as you like.
Universal Orlando prices the VIP experience anywhere from $189 to $449 as an add-on (plus tax) depending on when you visit. If you just bought a single day ticket, you’re likely to be able to get one in the $180 price range. If we estimate the average price per person of park ticket and VIP would be $450, then you’re saving approximately $500 on this package. Date and size of your party will vary the value here pretty significantly.
You do have to arrange your VIP experience at least 30 days in advance. It’s also worth nothing that the experience does say that blockout dates may apply. I tend to think that as long as they have availability you’d be okay there, based on previous experience with Daily Getaways. But, that really is just a guess.
This package includes airfare, 3 nights’ hotel and 3-day 3-Park admission to the parks for 4 people. There are a bunch of blockout dates for peak times (Thanksgiving, Christmas and the traditional spring break times), plus you need to book at least 60 days in advance. I’m never a big fan of packages like this that include undefined hotel and airfare. Too many variables for the price paid, IMO. I do think you can get value out of this one, but you’ll probably need to work hard to do so.
The Final Two Pennies
Theme park ticket prices continue to increase every year. Saving on those tickets is great. However, not all deals are created equally. That Undercover Tourist deal for park tickets is a pretty solid deal without the hunger games elements of Daily Getaways. The VIP Experience seems like it could be a solid deal for a group of 5. There aren’t a ton of packages available. While I don’t think they’ll sell out immediately, I could definitely be wrong on demand. So, be ready a few minutes before 1pm EDT. I’ll do my best to send an update on Twitter.
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