Universal Studios Hollywood raises costs of annual pass

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The cost of an annual pass at Universal Studios Hollywood is going up, a likely disappointment for Harry Potter fans anticipating the opening of the theme park’s new land based on the popular character.

A 2015 annual pass with no blackout dates had cost $139 online, or $159 when purchased at the park. A value pass with blackout dates ran $119.

The new annual pass program with blackout dates, announced Monday, will cost California residents $139 for 182 days of access to the theme park, or $199 for 244 days.


A pass that can be used 312 days costs $299 and is available to all parkgoers.

Until recently, it was also possible to buy a one-day ticket that cost about $90 and receive free admission for the rest of the year. But that offering, which had more blackout dates than the old value annual pass, ended earlier this year, spokeswoman Audrey Eig said.

The new passes have added perks, including the ability to enter sweepstakes to win access to red carpet movie premieres, and discounts and upgrades on rental cars, she said.

The passes, now in effect, are valid for 12 months after the first visit.

The increases come as Universal prepares to open its Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the spring. Theme parks typically raise season pass and daily ticket prices in the off-season in advance of new attractions that debut each summer.

The new Potter offering includes a signature attraction called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which will be enhanced with 3D technology.

There will also be a restaurant, a pub and the park’s first outdoor roller coaster, called Flight of the Hippogriff.

Eig said the increases were not pegged to one specific attraction but instead a “significant investment in our destination,” which includes other new attractions based off the “Despicable Me,” “Fast & Furious” and “Simpsons” franchises, in addition to Harry Potter.


“These all-new annual passes offer exceptional consumer value based on our theme park’s ever evolving lineup of groundbreaking thrill rides and attractions,” she said.

A one-day ticket, which now costs $95, is not going up, Eig said.

Other theme parks have also increased the prices of their annual passes recently. Disneyland, for example, did so last month, hiking its no-blackout pass to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park from $799 to $1,049.

The new Disney pass, however, did contain a few extra perks including parking and unlimited downloads of keepsake pictures taken through the PhotoPass program.

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Staff Writer Brady MacDonald contributed to this report.