Why Disney World Fans Are Giving Up Their Annual Passes for Universal

Is it time for a change?

Annual Pass

With all that there is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort next year, we wanted to find out what your thoughts were about ditching your Disney World Annual Pass for a Universal one. We asked and boy, did you deliver!

We reached out to our followers on Facebook to ask: “With all of the Universe news, would you consider giving up your Disney World Annual Pass for a Universal Annual Pass? Why or why not?” The results were pretty varied. We had quite a few people leave their opinions in the comments!

What do you think?

Now, let’s dive into the results!

1. No

It looks like we have an overwhelming majority! Almost three-quarters of you say that you would NEVER give up your Disney World Annual Pass for a Universal one (About 70% of you based on the responses).

Annual Pass

You can feel the enthusiasm when one of you mentioned, “Not even if Universal paid me, with a free pass for a lifetime, resort stay, and food.”

Another mentioned, “Nope, Disney is magic, Universal is just a theme park.”

2. Already Have or Are Willing to Get Both

In the second place, we found out that some of you either already have or are willing to get both annual passes (About 20% of you based on the responses).

Annual Passholder entrance at EPCOT

These two responses sum up those feelings perfectly: “I wouldn’t give up either one because I am an annual pass holder to both”…

Annual Pass

…and “I like both shiny things. I will keep both!”

3. Yes

In last place, we found that some of you would ABSOLUTELY give up your Disney World Annual Pass for a Universal one (About 10% of you based on the responses)

Annual Pass

These two responses sum up those feelings perfectly:  “Universal annual passes aren’t ridiculously expensive like Disney for out-of-state. We definitely are going to get a season pass” and “I’ve had Disney annual passes and am a current UOAP…my answer is yes….I know! I can’t believe I said that either!”

Universal Orlando Annual Pass with (now extinct) map

So, let’s talk about a couple of reasons why you may be considering the switch.

The Cost of Annual Passes

If you didn’t know, the cost of Disney World Annual Passes is higher than Universal. The prices for the different passes are:

Incredi-Pass: $1,449
Sorcerer Pass: $999
Pirate Pass: $799
Pixie Dust Pass: $439

Also, the Incredi-Pass (the highest level pass) is the only one that is available to non-Florida Residents and non-Disney Vacation Club Members.

Out-of-state Disney Vacation Club Members have access to the Sorceror Pass as well, but the Pirate and Pixie Dust Passes are exclusive to Florida Residents.


Also, if you live out of state, you don’t get access to the flexible payment option (Monthly Payment Program) either as that’s reserved only for Florida Residents.

Now, let’s have a look at the general prices for the different annual passes from Universal Orlando Resort: (Florida residents do have discounted prices)


2-Park Passes

Premium Pass: $905
Preferred Pass: $630
Power Pass: $475
Seasonal Pass: $425


3-Park Passes (includes Volcano Bay water park)

Premium Pass: $1,095
Preferred Pass: $740
Power Pass: $585
Seasonal Pass: $525

Universal’s prices are more reasonable and if you live out-of-state and are looking for a flexible payment option (FlexPay) you’re in luck as Universal doesn’t restrict it to only Florida residents.

Disney World’s “Thrills” Are Not Quite Up To Snuff

Even though Disney World has unparalleled immersion, it has a lack of “thrills” when compared to Universal.

TRON Lightcycle / Run

Disney World does have rides like Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom, and they’re all great rides. But Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster just went down for refurbishment, and, let’s be honest, TRON is a VERY short ride.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

You can tell that the focus at Disney World is and has been on the entire family, so the attractions reflect that. If you’ve got an itch for the thrill rides, you’re going to find Disney World a little lacking. This is where Universal Orlando Resort steps in.

HULK Coaster

Universal Orlando boasts an impressive array of thrill rides that rival even the most daring roller coasters. From the high-speed twists and turns of the Jurassic World VelociCoaster to the gravity-defying antics of The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Universal keeps hearts pounding and pulses racing and that’s not even talking about the Harry Potter rides they have like Hagrid’s or Escape from Gringotts!

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

These are all existing attractions. We haven’t even brought up the elephant in the room, or rather the whole entire park that Universal is building right next door!

When Will Universal’s NEW Epic Universe Theme Park Open?


Yes, Universal Orlando is building a NEW park, and it’s already living up to its “epic” title. The new park will include a Super Nintendo World, lands based on How To Train Your Dragon, and Harry Potter could potentially make their way to the park. We’ve even just seen that a NEW dual-racing roller coaster is in the works, too!


BREAKING: Universal Reveals 2 NEW RIDES for Epic Universe

With all that, Disney World’s got an “EPIC” challenge they’re facing. Epic Universe is promising to be a game-changer in the theme park landscape. Spanning multiple lands with unique themes, including a mysterious Universal Classic Monsters land, it’s poised to offer a fresh and thrilling alternative to the Disney World experience.


Universal’s NEW Epic Universe Park Just Took a MAJOR Step Toward Opening

We know that Disney is not oblivious to the changing tides. Disney has announced plans to spend $60 billion over the next 10 years investing and expanding in its parks.

Destination D23

But right now, nothing concrete has been announced. We have heard from Disney leadership about many “blue sky” ideas — including the addition of a “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” land in Magic Kingdom that could include Disney Villains IP.

So, we’ll have to wait and see when Disney steps up to face this challenge. Until then, as always, stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest Disney news!

A NEW Hotel Is Coming to Epic Universe…and Its Biggest Perk Will Blow Your Mind

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Would you ditch a Walt Disney World Annual Pass for Universal’s? Let us know in the comments! 

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8 Replies to “Why Disney World Fans Are Giving Up Their Annual Passes for Universal”

  1. I have AP for Disney and Universal and I would give up Disney if I absolutely had to choose one or the other. With Epic Universe coming, I am sooo excited!! MK needs a total facelift to be honest. Im tired of all the Disney rides that have strobing lights. Actually, I hate that. We don’t do the waterparks bc we can swim at home. I enjoy having both AP but Universal is where all the excitement currently is.

  2. Yes, those AP prices for Universal are a few hundred cheaper per ticket, but will they remain so once Epic Universe opens? When Universal increases the number of its Orlando parks by 50%, I would expect a 50% increase in price. That would bring it in line with current Disney AP prices. I would also expect all multi-day and/or multi-park tickets to increase by that percentage, too.

  3. We have been devoted Disney fans for nearly 20 years, but in the future our trips will center more on Universal and other Florida attractions, and much less on Disney. It’s not about the cost; Disney is still affordable. But we just feel more and more like Disney is openly just grabbing as much money as they can, while reducing the value and feel of the experience in the parks, resorts, and restaurants. It’s starting to feel like blatant disrespect, like Disney is thumbing their nose at their most loyal fans. The magic seems to be mostly a memory.

  4. If we’re just comparing prices, Disney’s highest AP is $1500 for which you get access to 4 parks, 2 water parks, and golf. Universal Orlando’s highest AP is $1100 for which you get 2 parks and 1 water park. You get double the benefits, plus more, with Disney but it’s not double the price. Even with the addition of Epic Universe, Disney will still be the better value from a purely cost perspective.

  5. Absolutely yes. Disney most miserable place on earth. Family rides are wonderful if you can actually ride them I don’t find standing in line ALL day to get in 3 rides to be fun! They need to add rides to lessen lines They need to focus less on shopping and food in their theme park areas and add more rides. Each themed area has about 1 or 2 rides with multiple shops & food restaurants. More rides less lines would be great. They don’t need to be thrill rides family rides are great They just need more of them everywhere!!!

  6. We most likely will be looking at flipping our Disney annual passes for Universal and using Disney as a secondary type destination. Corporate Disney can’t get their act together in the board room at the present time no less creating and planning a new park.
    Their boasting of spending big bucks and looking down at a 10 year finish date is pretty unrealistic as its has taken them 5 years and counting just to redevelop Epcot.
    Also to be considered is their development of other Disney parks in different countries which might have taken away from domestic spending here in the U.S. A lack of vision and their current band aid approach to today’s business reveals they might have bitten off more than they can chew (digest)

  7. No no no never. And I have an annual pass I use only twice a year, sadly. Universal is a park that pukes out roller coasters. Continually. Their mascots are old and outdated and awful;psycho movie , Betty Boop, Army person , Popeye. Disney World is creative, clean and precious. Princesses and Pirates, Pooh bear and Tigger, Flying Dumbo and Peter Pan. Epcot alone is a Worlds Fair of food, culture and entertainment. Animal Kingdom with real live animals and Safaris. Visit Star Wars or Toy Story. Am I the only one who has never read Harry Potter or seen the movies? I don’t care about Harry. There are more than a few insects flying around Universal. I seldom notice at Disney. If you want to put the world behind you and experience a near perfect vacation, Disney World is your place. If you want a vacation that’s gritty and devoid of magic, Universal is calling your name. It’s nice to have choices