Universal Orlando Resort is a playground full of dinosaurs, fast cars, wizardry, Minions and so much more. There is a ton to tackle at Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay, which is why choosing the best Universal Orlando ticket for your family is so critical! We know it can be difficult to decide how many days and which ticket is right for you and your frog squad. But never fear, your resident theme park experts are here! Today, we're walking you through all of the different ticket types and providing a few details to help you choose the best Universal Orlando ticket for your family.
Most families doing a visit to Universal Orlando will want to spend three to four days in the parks.
There are quite a few ticket options for the Universal Orlando Resort, now including Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park. As always, as an authorized theme park ticket seller, we're hoppy to offer Universal Orlando tickets and hotels at a discount.
Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure & Universal's Volcano Bay Ticket Types
- The Universal 2-Park Base Ticket entitles you to admission at Universal Studios Florida OR Universal's Islands of Adventure for each day of your ticket (one park per day). You have an additional option of a 3-Park Base Ticket that allows you to visit Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure or Universal's Volcano Bay for each day of your ticket (one park per day). For example, with a Universal 2-Park 3-Day Base Ticket you could go to Universal Studios on Monday, Universal's Islands of Adventure on Tuesday and then go back to Universal Studios on Thursday. Another example is the Universal 3-Park 3-Day Base Ticket, which would allow you to visit Universal Studios on Monday, Universal's Islands of Adventure on Tuesday and Universal's Volcano Bay on Wednesday.
- The Universal Park-to-Park Ticket entitles you to admission at Universal Studios Florida AND Universal's Islands of Adventure for each day of your ticket (giving you the freedom to hop back and forth between the two parks.) You have an additional option of a 3-Park Park-to-Park Ticket that allows you to enter Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay for each day of your ticket. For instance, let's say you purchase a Universal 2-day Park-to-Park Ticket. On Monday, you could go to Universal Studios Florida for the first half of the day then head over to Universal's Islands of Adventure. On Wednesday, you start at Universal's Islands of Adventure, go to Universal Studios Florida in the afternoon and then end the day back at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Another example is the Universal 3-Park 3-Day Park-to-Park Ticket, which would allow you to visit all three parks every day for three days.
More Ticket Days Available
You now have the option to choose among 1-Day, 2-Day, 3-Day, 4-Day and 5-Day tickets for your vacation.
Is Base or Park-to-Park the Best Universal Orlando Ticket?
Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay are on the same property and within walking distance of each other, making the Park-to-Park Ticket a popular choice. Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure are right next door to each other, so it's super easy to hop between them. Universal's Volcano Bay is not quite as close, but it is walking distance from these two parks. Water taxis and buses from Universal CityWalk are also available. It's super easy to hop between all of these parks!
The Park-to-Park Ticket types give you more flexibility than the Base Ticket type. Plus, the Park-to-Park Ticket is the only way to experience the Hogwarts Express™ in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Diagon Alley™. It's also a good choice when one park closes earlier than the others. For instance, if Universal Studios Florida closes at 5 p.m. and Universal's Islands of Adventure closes at 7 p.m., the Park-to-Park ticket allows you to leave Universal Studios Florida and have two hours to enjoy the rides at Universal's Islands of Adventure. (You can see park hours on Our Crowd Calendar.)
The Universal Base Ticket is a good choice if: you are traveling with little ones and one park per day is plenty, you don't care to experience the Hogwarts Express™ or you just want the lowest-priced ticket.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know to Decide the Best Universal Orlando Ticket? How Many Days Should We Stay?
With the addition of Universal's Volcano Bay and so many great on-site hotel choices, it makes sense to stay and play longer at Universal Orlando. If you plan on visiting Volcano Bay, you may consider adding a day to your visit, or you could tack on water park time in the afternoons or evenings after a day in the other parks. How long to stay depends on many factors, including the ages and interests of your kids, your own interests, whether you are staying on site, how leisurely you like to tour the parks and how busy the parks will be during your visit. Most families doing a visit to Universal Orlando will want to spend three to four days in the parks. If you're doing a combined visit to Walt Disney World, you would probably want to do two to three days at Universal.
Consider a longer stay if ...
- You and your kids are thrill seekers and meet the height requirements for most rides (40 inches)
- You want to see and do everything during your visit
- The parks are expected to be busy
- You like to tour the parks leisurely and/or you don't like to get out of bed early
- You are staying on-site and want more time to enjoy the hotel pools and amenities
More details to keep in mind:
- The Universal CityWalk® Party Pass is included with Universal Base and Park-to-Park Tickets (Exception: Universal 1-day Base ticket.) The Party Pass entitles you to free admission to the paid entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk for the seven days that your ticket is valid. Party Pass Venues: CityWalk's Rising Star, Red Coconut Club, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom, the groove and Pat O'Brien's.
- Ticket expires seven days after first use—you will activate the ticket upon entry into your first Universal Orlando® Resort Theme Park or one of the paid entertainment venues of Universal City Walk®.
- Parking for all three parks (at Universal CityWalk) is not included on the tickets and is currently $25 per day (subject to change at any time). Valet parking is also available.
- The Universal Express℠ Pass, which allows you to skip the regular lines on most of Universal Orlando's attractions, can be used with tickets purchased from us. Don't worry, we have done whole post about when to use Universal Express.
We hope this post has helped you in determining the best Universal Orlando ticket for your family. Which ticket do you prefer and why? Share in comments below along with any questions you have! For even more tips, hop over to our What to Do in Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline!
Related: Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando