Upgrading Universal Studios Tickets – What You Need To Know

Either before or during your trip to Universal you may decide that you’d like to enhance your visit. This could be done by staying longer, adding on an additional park or upgrading to a park-to-park or Universal Express ticket.

Universal Orlando tickets can be upgraded to include more days, additional parks, park-to-park or to feature the Universal Express pass. In fact, you can even upgrade from a park ticket to an annual pass. Upgrades can be done either in advance of your trip or during your trip.

How you go about upgrading your ticket will depend on four major factors;

  • The ticket you currency have
  • Where you purchased your ticket
  • What ticket you would like to upgrade to
  • Whether you are already on your trip

Upgrading From A Single Park Ticket To A Park-To-Park Ticket

Universal Orlando’s Park-to-Park ticket gets you access to both Universal Orlando Resort and Islands of Adventure on the same day. You can jump between the two (or three if you add Volcano Bay) parks freely. Park-to-Park tickets are valid for between one and five days.

If you’ve already purchased your base tickets (aka one park per day) to Universal Studios but have decided that park-to-park is worth it, you’ve got a number of options for upgrading.  

The best way to upgrade depends on where you purchased your tickets from and how soon you’re going on your Universal Studios vacation.

Before Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando

So you’ve not yet started your Universal Orlando vacation but you’ve already decided that you want to upgrade to a park-to-park ticket?

If you booked through Universal Studios directly, you can simply call the Universal Orlando Guest Contact Center at (407) 224-4233 to upgrade. The process is super straightforward.

Upgrading from a one-day base ticket to a one-day park-to-park ticket will cost upwards of $55 (plus tax), depending on the dates of your visit. The cost of your current ticket will be credited toward the park-to-park ticket, so you’ll only need to pay the difference.

If you booked your ticket through a third-party seller, upgrading to a park-to-park ticket may be a little more complicated. 

Your first course of action should be to contact a service representative from wherever you purchased the tickets and ask to upgrade. Or, if your ticket is fully refundable, another option is to cancel your current base ticket and rebook a new park-to-park ticket.

If your ticket is non-refundable and it’s not possible to upgrade in advance, you may be able to do it upon your arrival at the resort.

During Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando

If you’re already at Universal Orlando (or arriving in the next 48 hours) and you decide you want to upgrade, the good news is that you can do it on-site at the resort too. In fact, many people prefer to do it this way.

Head to one of the ticket windows outside the entrance (if you’ve not yet activated your ticket), or to guest services inside the park (if you’ve already started using your ticket), and ask to upgrade. There are also booths at both ends of Hogwarts Express if you decide to upgrade while already inside either park.

Upgrading in the park costs the same as upgrading in advance (upwards of $55 plus tax). The cost of your current ticket will be credited toward the new ticket. 

On occasion, Universal may drop the upgrade price after 3:30pm for those already inside the park. But this isn’t guaranteed, so it’s best not to hold out for this if you do want to upgrade and visit the second park earlier in the day.

If you’re visiting Universal Orlando on a multi-day ticket and want to upgrade, you’ll need to pay to upgrade the entire ticket. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to upgrade just one day or part of your ticket. Yet, the park-to-park access will start from the day that you upgrade. 

So if you have a 4-day base ticket and you upgrade on the morning of your 3rd day, you’ll only be getting half the value of what you paid for. It’s best to upgrade as early as possible during your visit to get your full money’s worth. 

Other things to consider when upgrading to a park-to-park ticket at Universal Orlando:

  • You’ll need to bring an official photo ID to confirm your identity
  • Florida Resident Ticket holders must bring their proof of residency
  • Upgrades can’t be combined with any other promotions or discounts

Upgrading From A Park Ticket To An Annual Pass

If you’re enjoying your time in Universal Orlando so much that you’ve decided you’ll be visiting again within the year, it may be worth upgrading to an Annual Pass. 

There are four Universal Studios annual passes available; seasonal, power, preferred, and premiere. All of which have different accesses, benefits, and discounts. You can also pick between a two-park Annual Pass or a three-park Annual Pass which includes Volcano Bay. 

Upgrading to an Annual Pass For US Residents

If you’re a US resident and you purchased your park tickets through Universal Studios or an official third-party seller, your best option is upgrading to an Annual Pass at the Universal Resort. All you need to do is visit Guest Services within the resort and ask to upgrade.

The cost of upgrading your ticket depends on which ticket you already have and the type of Annual Pass you want to upgrade to. You’ll need to pay the difference in price between the two.

It’s important to note that you will need to pay in full for the Annual Pass. Unfortunately, flexible payment plans aren’t available when upgrading from a base ticket.

Other things to remember when upgrading to an Annual Pass are:

  • Your existing base ticket still needs to still be valid when upgrading to an AP – ie. before the ticket expires at the end of your last day
  • You’ll need to bring an official photo ID to confirm your identity
  • Florida Resident Ticket holders must bring their proof of residency

Upgrading to an Annual Pass For UK Residents

And what if you’re a UK resident with a Universal Studios 14 Day 2/3 Park Explorer ticket?

Fortunately, it’s possible to upgrade this base ticket to an Annual Pass too.

Similar to US ticket holders, simply take your existing ticket to Guest Services in the Universal Orlando Resort and ask to upgrade. You’ll just need to pay the difference between your Park Explorer ticket and the Annual Pass you choose.

Upgrading The Number Of Days You Visit The Universal Studios Orlando Resort

And what if you decide you just need another day or two to enjoy your trip to Universal Studios, rather than a full Annual Pass?

Universal Studios one park per day and park-to-park tickets can both be upgraded up to a maximum of 5 days per visit. 

You can upgrade before your trip or even during your vacation, as long as your current ticket is still valid.

Before Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando

To upgrade your ticket to include more days in advance, you can call the Universal Orlando Guest Contact Center at (407) 224-4233 or contact the third-party seller you booked through.

The cost of upgrading will depend on your current base ticket and the number of days you want to upgrade. You’ll need to pay the difference in price between the two.

During Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando

Many people decide they want to add extra days to their Universal Studios vacation once they’re already at the parks. Fortunately, it’s also possible to add on days while you’re already at Universal Studios Resort.

As long as your current ticket is still valid, you can visit Guest Services at the resort and ask to upgrade to more days. You’ll just need to pay the price difference.

Things to consider when upgrading the number of days at Universal Orlando:

  • Your existing ticket still needs to still be valid when adding more days – ie. before the ticket expires at the end of your last day
  • You’ll need to bring an official photo ID to confirm your identity
  • Florida Resident Ticket holders must bring their proof of residency

Upgrading To Include Volcano Bay

One final commonly asked question about upgrading Universal Studios Tickets is how to add Volcano Bay water park to your existing two-park base ticket.

A standard one-day ticket for Volcano Bay costs $80-$85 for adults and $75-80 for children. However, when you book a multi-park multi-day ticket for Universal Studios, you have the option to add on Volcano Bay for a discounted price (as little as $35).

So what if you want to add Volcano Bay after you’ve already booked your Universal tickets? Can you still get this discount?

As long as you’ve booked a park-to-park ticket for two days or more, or a one-park-per-day ticket for three days or more, it is still possible to upgrade to a three-park ticket for a discounted price.

Before Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando

To upgrade your ticket in advance as a US resident, you can call the Universal Orlando Guest Contact Center at (407) 224-4233 or contact the third-party seller you booked through.

And if you’re from the UK, the official third-party seller AttractionTix offers all three Universal Orlando parks for the price of two (through 2023), so there’s no reason not to add on Volcano Bay. If you’ve already purchased your Universal 2 Park Explorer Ticket, you can upgrade to a 3 Park Explorer Ticket for free by contacting them in advance. 

During Your Trip To Universal Studios Orlando

You can also upgrade your Universal Orlando two-park ticket to a three-park ticket on-site at the resort.

If you’ve not yet used (activated) your ticket, you can upgrade at any ticket window outside the park entrances. If your ticket has already been activated (but is not yet expired), you’ll need to upgrade at Guest Relations within the resort/parks.

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