How to Choose the Best Universal Orlando Resort Ticket for You

BY: Andy Seifert |Aug 31, 2022

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Flight of the Hippogriff™ at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™

Let us guess: you’re vacationing in Florida and really want to visit Universal Orlando Resort while you’re there, but you’re unsure which ticket option is right for you and your family. Don’t worry: we’ll explain the differences between each ticket type, and steer you towards a package that’s a great fit for you. (And if you check out our deal, we can help you save, too!)



2-Park vs. 3-Park Tickets

If you’ve never been to Universal Orlando Resort before, perhaps the most-important thing to know is that it’s not just one park—it’s actually three, which are:

  1. Universal Studios Florida, home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Diagon Alley™, The Simpsons Ride™, and much more.
    • Accessible with a 2-Park or 3-Park Ticket
  2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, a roller-coaster-packed park featuring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Hogsmeade™, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®, and much more.
    • Accessible with a 2-Park or 3-Park Ticket
  3. Universal’s Volcano Bay, a South Seas-themed water park with a massive volcano at the center, plus a number of water slides, a serene beach, and much more.
    • ONLY accessible with a 3-Park Ticket

This is where you’ll make your first decision. Do you want to see all three parks, or would you rather just do Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

If you or anyone in your family enjoys spending a little vacation time cooling off at a water park in tropical Florida, the decision is easy: choose the 3-park option. Universal’s Volcano Bay (pictured below) isn’t your run-of-the-mill neighborhood water park. It boasts 19 rides, ranging from the thrilling Krakatau Aqua Coaster to the uber-relaxing Kopiko Wai Winding River. Did we mention you can careen down the side of a volcano on America’s tallest body slide? Put simply, this is not a water park you skip.


volcano bayThe Reef Pool at Universal's Volcano Bay™

Base vs. Park-to-Park Tickets

Once you’ve chosen between the 2-park and the 3-park ticket options, you’ll have to pick between Base and Park-to-Park tickets. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Base tickets: Once you go to a park that day, you stay at that park for the whole day.
  • Park-to-Park tickets: You can visit all the parks within the same day.

If you’re fine with spending all day in one park, Base tickets make sense. But Park-to-Park tickets give you the kind of flexibility most visitors find invaluable. 

Don’t miss the train: Ride the Hogwarts™ Express between both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™—only with a Park-to-Park admission ticket.


hogwarts expressThe Hogwarts™ Express


Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are just a short walk from gate-to-gate, or you can ride the Hogwarts™ Express with a Park-to-Park ticket. Universal’s Volcano Bay is a short ride via complimentary shuttle buses.


jurassicRaptor Encounter at Universal's Islands of Adventure™

How many days do you want?

Through the Groupon deal, you can get Universal Orlando Resort™ admission as 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, or 5-day tickets. So how many days is best for you? Here are a few things to consider:

  • A good rule of thumb: Purchase at least one day per park, plus an extra day. You can use that extra day to check out all your favorite rides and attractions, and do any activity you may have missed.
  • The more days you choose, the less you have to scramble around. It’s a more relaxing experience having an extra day or two in your pocket. You won’t have to run around, trying to make it to every attraction moments before the park closes.
  • If you choose a 1-day ticket, you’ll need to check out this calendar. There are three types of 1-day tickets: Anytime, Regular, and Value. Find your date on the calendar and see which kind of pricing applies to it. If you’re not sure what date you’re coming, just buy an Anytime ticket, which gets you in ... (wait for it) ... anytime! If you have a 2-Day, 3-Day, 4-Day, or 5-Day ticket, you don’t have to check the calendar.



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