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How much would you pay for a no-blockout pass in 2016?

SpacemanSpiff

Newcomer
Jun 23, 2015
14
Hi everyone. I just registered for the forums, though I've been reading the main site, Twitter feed, and forums for a few months. My family and I are new passholders since November, though I grew up in Los Angeles and have been going to Universal since I was a child.

We've been looking forward to seeing the new Harry Potter area and attractions, and it was a rude shock when Universal stopped selling the annual passes past March 2016 (although we should have seen the writing on the wall).


I think everyone is expecting a big jump in pricing for the annual pass when Harry Potter opens next year. But how much (what is the maximum amount) you would be willing to pay for a no-blockout annual pass good for 12 months from first use? 

Would you be willing to pay something comparable to a Disneyland annual pass (no blockout = $779)? What about $500?


Here's my calculus: we definitely want to go see Harry Potter next year. If the one-day price stays around $100, we'd probably be willing to pay that, but we'd rather get annual passes if the per visit price would come down to around $35 to $50. Of course, we may not want to go 20 times in a year, especially with how crowded the park will be after Harry Potter opens. Maybe five or six visits over one year would be good for us, so we wouldn't even need a no blockout pass, just one that would let us visit five or six times and not just on weekdays during the school year.

So for our family of four, I'd say no more than $250 for a pass that can have plenty of blackouts, as long as there are enough times that we can visit during the year. A no-blackout pass for significantly more than that? Not worth it, since we won't want to visit that often. We'll probably get our fill of the existing Universal attractions during this year, and taking a year or two off wouldn't be too much of a burden, but we'd like to see Harry Potter a few times.

If I had thought about it, I should have realized that the days of the $90 "buy a day, get the year free" deal were sure to end on the day the Harry Potter expansion was announced four or five years ago. 
 
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jay

Newcomer
Apr 6, 2011
34
Honestly, $175 for a seasonal no blockout pass. I don't ever wanna pay $200+ for a season pass. If USH ticket/pass prices ever match Disney's, I will never pay that as I don't think USH is worth the price at that point, even with Potter. So, at most, I'd pay $350 for an equivalent of the premium star annual pass.
 

Chris

Veteran Member
Jun 23, 2009
2,746
Southern California
I feel the day of the annual pass may be over.  I don't see all the effort they have made to force seasonal passes on the public to go back again to annual passes.  

If an Annual Pass was to return I would want 365 days, Valet Parking, Theme Park discounts on food and merchandise, and one HHN admission date of choice and I would pay $350.
 
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Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
From what I've seen of suggested plans and pricing schemes for future USH park packages and Annual Passes, the prices are going to skyrocket, but they'll still have different kinds of levels of passes. Unfortunately, I don't remember seeing anything better than a "no black out dates pass" for next year, but from what I've been told by a few people within the company recently (and thanks to some things I suggested), they're working on coming up with more expensive passes that will at least offer enough perks for loyal fans as well.

I'm with Chris. I'd want 365 days, free general parking, food and merch discounts, Studio Tour priority boarding, entrance into Wizarding World without a time return pass like in Japan, and special events. I'd pay maybe up to $400, but ideally $350.
 

TriFlux

Newcomer
Apr 8, 2013
90
Hill Valley California
I'd like to think that this season pass is only temporary basically to do a reset for their ticketing system for when potter comes out. looking at a business stand-point selling a full 12 month pass would practically be giving Potter away to the ones that paid for a 12-month pass this year with the current pricing.

Im guessing they'll bring back the full 12 month passes (and hopefully the premium one as well) once Potter is open... at a much higher price no-less.
 
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Armadillo4

Newcomer
Jan 11, 2014
80
Los Angeles, CA
This is a very interesting question. For reference, I looked at Universal Florida's passes and I'd like to pay a bit less than the price of a Universal Orlando Premier Pass. The Premier Pass has the equivalent benefits: no blockout days and free parking and costs $335 for non-Florida residents. The big difference with Universal Orlando is that your pass gets you access to TWO theme parks. But here, in California, if I'm paying a pass for USH and only ONE theme park, I'd want to pay less than a Florida pass.

That's my long-winded answer to say I'd pay $300 for a new version of the Premium Star Pass.
 
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Park Man

Rookie
May 3, 2014
116
I refuse to give Universal this information on a platter. Let them work to see how much I'm willing to pay. Certainly $300.00 seems high to me considering what Universal offers. They don't even offer as much as California Adventure alone does.

They've been discounting admission to Universal so heavily for so long that a huge jump in annual pass prices isn't going to go down so well. Universal doesn't have the gravitas that the Disney brand does, so they can't get away with doing what Disney did. And let's face it, even though Potter will be fantastic when it opens, the rest of the park will still be the same old Universal that they've been giving away for $80.00 a year for decades, a new beautiful Simpsons Food Court not withstanding. There is simply not enough to do there to support a high price annual pass. 

And then we could get into repeatablility of attractions -- or lack there of -- but that's a whole other topic.

You can't compare pass prices between Florida and California. They are different markets. Just compare annual pass prices between Disneyland and Disney World to see what I mean.
 
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Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
I refuse to give Universal this information on a platter. Let them work to see how much I'm willing to pay. Certainly $300.00 seems high to me considering what Universal offers. They don't even offer as much as California Adventure alone does.
Agreed. I certainly hope they don't match the per-park price of Disneyland Resort. There's simply not enough to do relative to Disney.
 
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Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
I 100% agree that the price for USH is becoming ridiculous compared to Disney and what the two destinations offer, and will be even more ridiculous once Potter opens. Besides Potter, everything else in my eyes will still be worth the same it's been for a decade. Jurassic Park is in horrible condition, Mummy needs updates, and everything else is a simulator. The Studio Tour and Potter will be the only amazing things keeping interested, outside of nostalgia for some other areas of the park.

But here is the issue we need to remember. Universal HAS been practically giving away tickets to the park. And with the park getting more and more popular with new additions, the park simply won't be able to handle the amount of guests coming in if they kept the same pricing structure. It won't make sense. So it unfortunately has to change. And even more unfortunate is that there still won't be enough to do, but prices will be ridiculously inflated.

For me personally the issue is that they simply aren't updating the rest of the park well enough :/ If every existing attraction was completely updated and modernized and improved to the extreme, like Jurassic Park, I'd be happy.

But we also have to remember, Universal has plans to expand beyond Potter in the years to come.
 
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Chris

Veteran Member
Jun 23, 2009
2,746
Southern California
I think the key to raising prices is to have more smaller attractions to warrant a second day visit.  Give people reasons to come back again because they could not see everything in one visit.  Having only large quality attractions in the park keeps the amount of things to do very low.  Universal Plaza does not cut it.  A higher priced Annual Pass will be for those locals who wish to return and spend more.  They key is to keep people spending.

Something is telling me that Annual Passes are not returning.

I see no reason why not to follow the Florida structure and price it lower for California.
 

Park Man

Rookie
May 3, 2014
116
Something is telling me that Annual Passes are not returning.
Tourist season doesn't last forever. Kids go back to school. All it will take is that first quiet Tuesday in September 2016 for some form of annual or season pass to make a come back.
 

DonRaf

Newcomer
Mar 26, 2015
64
Glendale
Yea as long as they still sell Florida resident annual pass, I think its a sure thing they are coming back to Hollywood.

We might have a smaller park but we have a much larger local crowd IMO.