Who Has the Better Annual Pass Program: Disney World or Universal Orlando?

Now that Disney World has debuted their new Annual Passholder program, it’s worth asking how Universal Studios Orlando’s Passholder Program compares. Are they similar in pricing and benefits? Is one program better than the other?

Annual Passes are BACK!

We’re here to break down both Annual Pass programs so you can make the best choice for you, and what we’ve discovered may be surprising, especially for non-Florida residents. If you’re trying to decide which pass to buy, here’s everything you need to know.

Disney World Annual Passes

Disney World recently debuted new Annual Pass program, which has changed in more than a few ways, so let’s break it down.

Pricing

Disney World’s Annual Pass program has 4 tiers of pricing, with only one pass available for non-Florida residents to purchase. The Disney Incredi-Pass is available for anyone to purchase at $1,299 plus tax. It has no blockout dates and Incredi-Passholders can reserve up to 5 required park reservations at one time.

©Disney

The Disney Sorcerer Pass is $899 plus tax, with limited blockout dates. Socerer passholders can hold up to 5 park reservations at a time, and it’s only available to Florida Residents or Disney Vacation Club Members. 

©Disney

For $699 plus tax, the Disney Pirate Pass has blockout dates during peak times and holidays, and passholders can make up to 4 park reservations at a time. This pass is only available to Florida residents.

©Disney

At the lowest price of $399 plus tax, the Disney Pixie Dust Pass has the most blockout dates including peak times, holidays, and weekends. Pixie Dust passholders can make up to 3 park reservations at a time and it’s only available to Florida residents.

©Disney

So out of four passes, non-Florida residents only have one pass option, and it happens to be the most expensive pass. Entrance to all four Disney Parks are included in each annual pass, but Water Parks and Sports are now an add-on for $99 per person. 

Click here to learn more about Disney World Annual Pass pricing!

Payment Options

Not only are non-Florida residents only able to purchase the most expensive Disney World Annual {ass, they are also ineligible to make monthly payments. Only Florida residents can play for their passes monthly, after a $205 down payment.

Tree of Life

At $1,299 plus tax for the Disney Incredi-Pass, that can be a really big price tag for people who don’t have the option to make monthly payments.

We answered your biggest Disney World Annual Pass questions here!

Benefits 

For all Disney World annual passes, standard theme park parking (which usually costs $25) is included. Park hopping is also included, and discounts vary depending on the pass, with up to 20% off select dining, merchandise, and activities.

Annual Pass

Disney World Passholders will also have access to “bonus reservations,” and exclusive annual pass events and merchandise.

Learn more about Disney Annual Passes in the easiest way here!

Universal Annual Passes

There are a LOT more Universal Annual Pass options for both Florida and non-Florida residents.

Pricing

Universal Studios Orlandos offers four pricing tiers of annual passes for BOTH Florida residents AND non-Florida residents. In addition, Universal lets guests decide whether to purchase passes with access to 2 or 3 Universal Parks. That means that each category has EIGHT different passes for choose from.

UOAP Button

Both Florida and non-Florida residents can choose between passes that grant access to 2 parks, including Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, or 3 parks, which adds Volcano Bay.

Non-Florida Residents

Non-Florida residents can purchase a 2-Park Seasonal Pass for $349.99, a Power Pass for $399.99, a Preferred Pass for $449.99, and a Premier Pass for $624.99.

©Universal

Or, non-Florida residents can purchase a 3-Park Seasonal Pass for $449.99, a Power Pass for $509.99, a Preferred Pass for $559.99, or a Premier Pass for $814.99.

©Universal

Florida Residents

Florida residents have access to the same passes at lower prices, with 2-Park Seasonal Pass at $299.99, the Power Pass at $349.99, the Preferred Pass at $399.99, and the Premier Pass at $559.99.

©Universal

3-Park Annual Passes for Florida residents include the Seasonal Pass at $399.99, the Power Pass at $459.99, the Preferred Pass at $509.99, and the Premier Pass at $749.99.

©Universal

The Seasonal Pass and Power Pass have blockout dates for most peak times and holidays. The Premier and Preferred Passes have no blockout dates from park to park, but the Preferred Pass has some blockout dates to Volcano Bay (only with the 3-Park Pass).

Read ALL about Universal Orlando Annual Passes here!

Payment Options

Unlike Disney World’s Annual Pass program, which only allows Florida residents to make monthly payments, Universal Studios has a monthly payment program called FlexPay. With the exception of the Seasonal Pass for non-Florida residents, Universal allows Passholders to make monthly payments over 11 months after an initial down payment. 

Annual Passholder Magnet and Button

The monthly payments can make a major difference with people and families who are unable to pay the full annual pass amount at one time.

Here’s 11 tips you’re not thinking about for Universal Orlando!

Benefits

Benefits for Universal passes include quite a bit more than Disney World’s passes! Florida and non-Florida residents have the same benefits except that Florida residents have the option for Flex Pay with the Seasonal Pass.

©Universal Studios Orlando

The Seasonal Pass benefits include Universal Orlando hotel room discounts and discounts on select theme park and special events tickets.

Universal Orlando Annual Passholder

The Power Pass adds on more benefits, granting passholders 50% off regular daytime self-parking, admission to select special events and concerts, Universal Orlando hotel room discounts, discounts on select theme park and special events tickets.

Universal Orlando Resort

The Preferred Pass builds on more benefits, granting passholders free parking, Early Park Admission (with some blockout dates), discounted food, merchandise, and specialty items, and the same benefits listed above.

Universal Studios Florida

And the Premier Pass adds on even more benefits, with Universal Express after 4PM, valet and prime self parking after your first visit, one free Halloween Horror Nights ticket, and everything mentioned above.

Halloween Horror Nights

So in the end, some of the benefits Universal Studios Orlando’s Annual Pass program offers are an improvement over Disney World’s Annual Pass program, especially when it comes to non-Florida residents and monthly payment plans. If you’re considering annual passes, it’s worth it to look at both these theme parks and consider your needs.

Keep reading AllEars for all your Disney World and Universal Studios news and updates!

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