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Timing the Activation of Universal Orlando Annual Pass/Discounts

kingmantis

Rookie
Mar 31, 2017
127
Hey everyone,

Apologies if someone answered this already, I searched a little on here and on the Universal site but didn't see anything. I usually head to Orlando once a year in September, but this is the first time I'm considering getting an annual pass and maybe taking some smaller trips next winter/Mardi Gras. I like to book my trip early for better rates/paranoia about hotels filling up, and usually book through a discount service at work so I am getting some sort of discount already. I did consider booking with the service again and just picking up an AP once there, but unfortunately I'm required to purchase tickets as a part of the package so it would all be redundant.

My question is when exactly does the clock start ticking on my annual pass? Is it a certain amount of time after purchase, from the first time I use it for discounts, first time I use it in the parks, etc.? I'd like to get the AP rate for booking my hotel in the next few months, but I also don't want to waste half the time on my pass if it's activated around purchase as I wouldn't be able to get to Universal until that September trip. The closest I found to an answer was that I'd need to present my active AP when checking in at the hotel for the discount, but I don't know when that activation occurs.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
 
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JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,049
Upper Lower
Hey everyone,

Apologies if someone answered this already, I searched a little on here and on the Universal site but didn't see anything. I usually head to Orlando once a year in September, but this is the first time I'm considering getting an annual pass and maybe taking some smaller trips next winter/Mardi Gras. I like to book my trip early for better rates/paranoia about hotels filling up, and usually book through a discount service at work so I am getting some sort of discount already. I did consider booking with the service again and just picking up an AP once there, but unfortunately I'm required to purchase tickets as a part of the package so it would all be redundant.

My question is when exactly does the clock start ticking on my annual pass? Is it a certain amount of time after purchase, from the first time I use it for discounts, first time I use it in the parks, etc.? I'd like to get the AP rate for booking my hotel in the next few months, but I also don't want to waste half the time on my pass if it's activated around purchase as I wouldn't be able to get to Universal until that September trip. The closest I found to an answer was that I'd need to present my active AP when checking in at the hotel for the discount, but I don't know when that activation occurs.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
It is from first use, if you see a rate grab it. You can activate it at the hotel ticket desk. You don't need an active pass to book just to check in.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,277
Pittsburgh area
Generally they don't even check your AP when checking into a hotel you got the AP rate for.I doubt they'd give you an hassle over the 'active' question. ...If you purchase an AP online, it doesn't start until you use it at the parks....Example: You purchase your AP on 3/1/20. You go to the parks on 7/1/20. The effective starting date will be 7/1/20.....Of course renewals are different..Edit: and as Joe Camel said. He beat me to the punch.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,757
Glasgow
Not sure what part you need Scott but the pass starts from first use and if you need further clarification I can try to get it for you or I may know the answer
What I’m really interested in is if Universal are going to do a 6 months free promo again.

With two trips planned for this year and a ton of air miles, I’ll be able to travel back to Orlando once or twice more next year relatively cheaply. Beyond that, I’m looking at finally doing Japan next September and there was a rumour that MCO are going to start doing direct flights to there. Orlando would be a nice layover.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,277
Pittsburgh area
What I’m really interested in is if Universal are going to do a 6 months free promo again.

With two trips planned for this year and a ton of air miles, I’ll be able to travel back to Orlando once or twice more next year relatively cheaply. Beyond that, I’m looking at finally doing Japan next September and there was a rumour that MCO are going to start doing direct flights to there. Orlando would be a nice layover.
They just had a 3 months free promo (15 months total) for renewals . I believe it's still ongoing. So I would guess it's doubtful they would dive into a 6 months free since that 3 months free was just offered.
 
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JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,049
Upper Lower
Has anyone received a renewal offer for expiring passes since they reopened?

Mine is up in October and I was wondering if September renewals had gone out.
 

MrBlonde

Member
Aug 7, 2018
556
My AP expired back at the end of July and I haven't gotten any notification or offers since.

I'm debating on should I renew and get the discount now for the 3 months or should I just buy a new one when I get down there next. My trip trips are end of this October and mid September next year for HHN 30 Redux.
 
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Jul 10, 2012
796
Brooklyn NY
I spoke to a Universal rep on the phone and they said it is very common for someone to want to use the AP discount on the hotel before they get the AP card. He said you can present it at check out and they'll apply the discount.
 

brkndwnbus

Newcomer
Dec 22, 2019
20
I've been trying to get these details nailed down, but my wife and I are considering doing the promotion for 3 months free with the AP. We have a trip planned in December currently, and we're thinking of next December, too, so the price made sense to do an AP. And we'd like to try HHN if back next year, so the premier pass is what we're eyeing with a fall trip potentially.

Anyway, I was told if we did the flex plan, that our AP begins right away rather than on first use if paid in full. Is that accurate? Or does the AP pass kick in on first use at the park regardless of how it's purchased?
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,049
Upper Lower
I've been trying to get these details nailed down, but my wife and I are considering doing the promotion for 3 months free with the AP. We have a trip planned in December currently, and we're thinking of next December, too, so the price made sense to do an AP. And we'd like to try HHN if back next year, so the premier pass is what we're eyeing with a fall trip potentially.

Anyway, I was told if we did the flex plan, that our AP begins right away rather than on first use if paid in full. Is that accurate? Or does the AP pass kick in on first use at the park regardless of how it's purchased?
You are correct, if you do the flex pay it starts when you order the pass, if you pay in full it starts with first use.
All this may be in flux, who knows?
 
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