Yes, the Universal Premier Pass is absolutely worth it.
But, this is only the case if you prioritize saving time over money.
Universal Orlando Premier Pass Benefits
Here are some of the key, most important benefits that you receive with a Universal Premier Pass that I believe make this pass worth the premium price.
1. Free Express Pass after 4 pm
After 4 pm, every day, you’ll get a free Express Pass that you can use once per participating attraction.
You can currently use Universal Express at 29 attractions including Revenge of the Mummy, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and the Hogwarts Express, just to name a few.
This alone can save you over $100 on every visit during a busy day.
I know that 4 pm may seem pretty late, but you’d be surprised at how much you could get done between both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure before the parks close.
Plus, it being central Florida, going to the parks in the evening is so much nicer during those blazing summer months.
2. Free valet parking
If luck isn’t on your side, the walk from the parking garages to security can get pretty annoying.
But thankfully, with a Premier Pass, you’ll receive free valet parking every time you visit the park, except during special events like Halloween Horror Nights or Mardi Gras.
Valet parking at Universal Orlando is so close and convenient, plus the line at the valet security check is almost non-existent.
I couldn’t honestly care less about valet parking, but the fact that it’s so close to the entrance of Universal CityWalk, makes this such a great, convenient benefit.
3. Free ticket to Halloween Horror Nights
With a Premier Pass, you also get one free ticket to Halloween Horror Nights, during select days.
A ticket to HHN alone costs anywhere from $79.99 to $119.99.
I’m not a huge horror fan, but HHN is by far the best specially ticketed event I’ve ever been to at any theme park, including Disney World.
4. 15% discount on select food and merchandise
Lastly, as a Premier Passholder, you’ll receive 15% off select food and merchandise across all three parks and CityWalk.
The Preferred Pass, which is one tier below, only offers a 10% discount.
This 5% difference may not seem like much, but it does add up over time, especially with how expensive Universal Studios have been getting.
There are so many other great benefits and discounts that you can take advantage with as a Universal Orlando Premier Annual Passholder, but I’ll go into more detail about that in this in-depth article.
How much does the Universal Premier Pass cost?
The 2-Park Premier Pass costs $904.99 or $780.99 if you’re a Florida resident.
If you pay with FlexPay, your down payment will be $481.91 with 11 monthly payments of $43.81.
And if you’re a Florida resident that pays with FlexPay, your down payment will be $420.69 with 11 monthly payments of $38.25.
Premier vs Preferred Pass
Universal Premier vs Preferred Annual Passes
The Premier and Preferred Annual Passes are the two highest and most expensive passed that don’t have any blockout dates.
The best way to compare these two passes are by focusing on their benefits and their perceived monetary values.
Let’s quickly break down the costs:
A 2-Park Premier Pass costs $904.99 or $780.99 if you’re a Florida resident.
A 2-Park Preferred Pass costs $629.99 or $529.99 if you’re a Florida resident.
Express Pass, which is free for Premier Passholders at 4 pm, costs $89.99 to $349.99.
Valet parking, a key complimentary benefit of the Premier Pass, costs $30 to $75.
Halloween Horror Night, another key complimentary benefit of the Premier Pass, costs $79.99 to $119.99.
Just with these three additional benefits that the Preferred Pass doesn’t offer but Premier does, you can get your money’s worth after 3 park visits and one visit to Halloween Horror Nights.
To me, the Premier Pass is always the way to go if you don’t mind shelling out an extra $170 per person.
Then again, if you’re someone who doesn’t care about Express Pass, valet parking, or HHN, then it’s best to just save your money.
Regardless, you can’t go wrong with either pass, especially since they both do not have blockout dates and include free parking.
Are you convinced?
The Universal Orlando Premier Annual Pass is the best option for anyone who prioritize time over money.
If you believe that free valet parking (including it’s close proximity to the park entrances) as well as the complimentary Express Pass after 4 pm are great benefits that are worth the extra $170 per person per year, then everything else that you receive from this pass will feel like a sweet bonus.
I don’t think I’ll ever downgrade my Premier Pass because at the end of the day, it has spoiled me and my family more than I’ve ever expected.
Now I’m just waiting for Disney World to offer something similar 🙂