UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FANS! Gather around. Are you curious about how you can make your family’s experience at Universal significantly more memorable and ultra-exclusive? Have you ever wondered about the VIP experience at Universal? Or maybe you wanted to know more about what kinds of exclusive access you can get at the theme park?
Ultimately, Should You Try the VIP Experience at Universal Orlando? Is VIP worth it? We have done the Disney World VIP Tour so had to try out Universals.
Today, we’re breaking down the Universal VIP experience just for you and covering every benefit that Universal Orlando VIP has to offer:
What To Know About Tickets
Right off the bat, you should know that if you’re considering the VIP Experience at Universal, the base price is around $189.00/ per person. The costs can also go up depending on the season and the holiday. However, there are options!
There is the 1-park experience with the VIP tour which means you get taken on a tour around one park (Universal Orlando.) A 2-park experience with the VIP tour includes a tour around both Universal Orlando and the Universal Islands of Adventure. With this option, you will have access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s train ride, something that is not offered with the 1-park option. Keep this in mind if anyone in your party is a big Harry Potter fan!
Pro tip the 2 park is $10 more, get the 2 park. You can experience both parks fully in 1 day!
It is also important to note because some guests do get confused about the way this works: VIP tours are always an additional, separate fee on top of your admission ticket to get into the park. The VIP pass does not cover admission!
Another fun fact: When Universal has themed days or nights, such as Halloween Horror Nights in the Fall, the VIP tours can be thematic, too. For example, they’ll be known as “RIP nights.”
What Are The Benefits?
Let’s get to the good stuff! The VIP Experience will be expensive, but that doesn’t mean it won’t also be worth it, considering the exclusive access, unique experiences, and “behind the scenes” information guests receive via this (overpriced?) experience!
Complimentary Valet Parking
First things first, you will receive an official Universal VIP lanyard. Automatically included in the VIP Experience, you will have complimentary access to valet parking. A fantastic benefit, to be sure, considering the number of vehicles parked at Universal and the difficulty of finding parking.
The valet parking lot’s convenience is extra nice due to the fact that it will most likely be hotter than you may be prepared for during your trip to Universal. So, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to walk at the end of the day through a massive parking lot to your car parked far, far away? Your feet will thank you!
Probably one of the best parts overall about VIP is what Universal calls the “backstage access!” As Very Important People at Universal Orlando, you will be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour through the park, (or if you want to go for the 2-park Experience, as previously mentioned, you can go through a tour of the Universal Islands of Adventure as well).
The tour guide assigned to your party will take you on a tour that will last 7 hours in total length.
That’s an entire day! During the tour, guests will receive “priority access” to every ride and attractions within the park.
Essentially, this means that you will be allowed to skip the lines and jump to the front to avoid the wait! THIS IS BETTER THAN EXPRESS PASSES!
Partly, this is probably due to the timeliness of the 7-hour tour, but additionally, it’s certainly an added perk to the VIP treatment.
This priority access extends to even some of the more highly anticipated rides and attractions, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Lines for rides such as the Harry Potter-themed rides can get lengthy. For this reason alone, jumping those lines could be the right move for you.
So, naturally, within your VIP Experience, you’ll be lumped in with at least another group or two who like you, have paid the big bucks to skip the lines and get behind-the-scenes access to the park(s).
Private VIP Experience
BUT, DID YOU KNOW? Want to raise the price on the whole VIP situation? (Well, maybe you don’t.) But! If you’d rather it just be you and your group and not have to mingle with other strangers, there’s another option for the VIP Experience. There’s an option for a Private VIP Experience.
That’s right! A Private VIP Experience will allow you to have a personalized tour guide for only your group. Additionally, you’ll be able to choose, edit, and personalize your tours, rides, and entire schedule for the day or days. It’s a much more customizable option and lets you be in control of your schedule, your tour, and your overall experience.
Breakfast + Lunch Are Included!
The VIP Experience at Universal in Orlando includes a continental breakfast and lunch within the package. That’s two meals provided and included in your ticket price! Typically, you will dine in the general vicinity of any other parties that are included in your VIP private tour group.
The complimentary breakfast that is offered is inside Café La Bamba, with a delicious Mexican-American themed menu, only offered to VIPs! The complimentary lunch is usually inside Café La Bamba (with a lunch menu) or Confisco Grille, but the lunch location varies depending on when you go! The designated menu, however, is consistent across tours. The menu is extensive and has a wide variety… there’s something for everybody!
With the VIP Experience, you will also be able to receive discounts at certain stores carrying Universal Studios merchandise throughout the parks! Be sure to locate which stores are the special ones or check with your tour guide!
Express Pass & Then Some!
The VIP Experience at Universal Orlando also includes what they call the “Express Pass.” But the VIP Tour is way more. You not only skip the main line but you go to the front of every line, including the ones not allowed on Express Pass currently (Velocicoaster & Hagrid’s Motorbike) Similar to the no longer in use – “Fast Pass” system at Disney World.
So, after you’ve been able to skip lines for some of the bigger rides, you’ll also have your “Express Pass” to use on rides for the remainder of your day! (I’ll be honest, you can get on almost every ride in 7 hours with the VIP Tour if you really wanted to)
***Pro TIP*** Ride Hagrid’s & Velocicoaster with the VIP Tour so you don’t have to wait in that horrific Line!
At this point, most people find themselves sold on the VIP pass. It’s an expensive addition to your trip to be sure, but it seems to make the overall park experience and wait times significantly more tolerable. That said, need even more reasons to consider the Universal VIP Experience?? You also get reserved seating at certain shows in the park!
Is VIP Worth It? (Here is the crazy part!)
Here is the crazy part, the VIP Experience is often times cheaper than Express passes. While we were at Universal Orlando this summer, Express Unlimited passes were going from $270 – $325 per person depending on the day. The VIP Experience is $239 during that same time period. So you are getting all The VIP Experience, breakfast, lunch, valet parking plus front of the line for less than the price of Express passes.
There is another Universal Orlando Express hack which can get you 5 express passes for two days for less than $500 which we use all the time, so check that out.
You’ll Probably Love Being A Universal Orlando VIP
Look, once you “experience” the VIP, its going to be tough to revert back to standard lines and tickets. The good news is…we think you will probably love the Universal VIP Experience! But, the bad news is…we think you probably love the Universal VIP Experience.
Even if this special access pass isn’t in the cards for you on your upcoming trip, now you know what Universal Orlando has to offer to make your stay and days at the park extra special. With or without the VIP passes, you can still get to the parks early, do your research, and consider an Express Pass for rides and attraction wait times!
Prioritize your favorite rides, don’t forget to hydrate often, and all in all, you will have a terrific time at Universal Orlando. You’re at a spectacular theme park, after all! Drink some butterbeer with Harry, ride the Transformers, and make memories to last a lifetime!
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kim davis says
Do they offer this tour every day of the year? Holidays?
Michael Mamian says
Yes, they do. Some days do sell out.
How long does the private VIP tour last?
Private tour is 8 hours. Lunch can be at Cafe La Bamba, or your guide can book lunch at Mythos, Confisco Grille, Finnegan’s, Lombard’s and select Citywalk restaurants.