Upgrading to Annual Passes

Talk to me about USO annual passes.

  • Are there any discounts available?
  • Can third party discount tickets be bridged to annual passes? (I saved a TON doing that with Disney)
  • I’ve booked a room with the annual pass discount (Wowsa! Royal Pacific, $195/night all in!) noting that the pass needs to be presented on check in. If it’s possible to bridge tickets to APs, can I do that at the hotel? Or do I have to go to a park guest services?

Our plans include trips in January and April, and this is a last minute thing for what started as a long weekend trip to Disney to do the Christmas party and Star Wars Galactic Nights, but has now expanded into a week long visit, and the need for two more hotel nights, and only Universal has any rooms for rates that are less than breath-taking. So, Universal it is!

Here is a post from Orlando Informer that has a lot of info on upgrading UOR tickets: http://orlandoinformer.com/forum/topic/342-upgrading-universal-tickets-how-do-you-do-it-and-what-does-it-cost/


I cannot answer al of your questions but I can answer some! I think the first thing you need to decide is what type of pass you want. They have different benefits and most have black out dates. Here is a link to the different passes.. I have a three park preferred pass. I bought it ahead of time for the rolling payment plan. If I was to do it again I would have bought the two park. It was an a amateur mistake on my part. There are discounts on dining and in most stores. You just have to ask.

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Thanks for the link! I have a question that you may or may not know the answer to. I was under the impression that if you bought a UT ticket and then upgraded, they would act as if you paid regular gate price and bridge it that way. This thread is saying that they can tell what you paid when you bought it and you will have to pay the difference from that original purchase price. Granted, that comment was from 2014. Do you know if that is still the case, or will you pay the difference based on regular gate price?

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On the face of it, that’s what the article appears to say, but per the following section in it, I believe that this applies to tickets bought directly from UOR:

Promotion tickets, third-party vendors
Everything I’ve written here applies to tickets purchased directly from Universal Orlando. We also know that, in most cases, you should be able to upgrade tickets purchased from popular third-party vendors like Costco, AAA, and Undercover Tourist. However, if you purchase from a third-party vendor, you have to be very careful, as some tickets from third-party vendors cannot be upgraded. Your best bet is, if you think there’s any chance you might upgrade, check with the vendor before making your purchase.

The other thing to be very careful about is promotional tickets. For example, if you win tickets from a radio station, you likely won’t be able to upgrade these.


I went ahead and got the AP through AAA … $10 off the seasonal pass. I also booked a room with the pass holder discount at Royal Pacific - sweet deal! However, in the fine print, it says I have to present the AP at check in to get the discounted rate. My AP email confirmation says I have to pick it up in a park. So … arrive at hotel, put my bags with bell services, shuttle over to a park, pick up AP (please tell me the lines aren’t the nightmare they are at WDW!!), shuttle back to hotel, check in, take bags to room … and most of the day is shot leaving me with only one full day. :frowning:

I think your email will be proof? You can walk to the parks in 10-15 minutes or so. As long as you are not in the first couple of hours of park opening the waits should not be long. Maybe walk into a park for a few minutes if you do need that AP in your pocket?

Oh! You need your room key because it is your Express pass! Check in with your email !

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I bought a UOR pass online and booked the room at Portofino with the AP discount. They never asked to see my AP when I checked in. This was in April.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes they were long and slow. It took me quite awhile to exchange the AP voucher for the actual AP. We went on a Wednesday evening. I tried to do it at the concierge at Portofino, but they were only able to do the passes that were not using a payment plan. You might want to ask at RPR before trekking over to the parks. Even if you have to go to the parks to get it exchanged, it is a quick walk to IOA from RPR. Nothing like at WDW, much closer.

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That’s what has me so surprised … I was led to believe that the seasonal pass - which doesn’t offer a payment plan - could be picked up at the kiosk in the hotel. Easy peasy, right? Of course I couldn’t get that lucky. :unamused:

When I was there last month, I stayed at the Hard Rock, and, like @Wahoohokie, I had to go to the park to get my pass, as I was on the flex pay program. It was a Saturday morning, and, sadly, we waited about an hour to get the passes processed. Do you know for a fact that you can’t process yours at the hotel since you are not on the flex pay plan? I was led to believe that under those circumstances, the hotel could do it.

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Unfortunately yes, my email confirmation does say I have to pick up at the park entrance ticket window:

I plan to plead with the front desk, or manager if need be, to let me present the pass later so I don’t have to go back and forth. My time there is somewhat limited. I have that day, arriving at MCO at 9:30 :clock930: am, so maybe not even gettng to RPR until 11 :clock11: -ish My plan is to focus on WWoHP that day, then the rest of the two parks the next day, catching anything I miss the third day before I head over to Disney world for the weekend. Of course, I am counting on the Express Pass and finely crafted TPs to make all that happen! :persevere::anguished::disappointed:

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you will be able to do with express pass!

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I would still ask at your hotel just in case they can process it. I’ll be holding good thoughts for you. But I agree with @PrincipalTinker that you will be able to accomplish a lot with those express passes!

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Good news! It appears that even though my email says to pick up the AP at the ticket window, the hotel can also do whatever it is that needs done. I found a Facebook group for USO pass holders and asked there. I got the most amazing response from a USO customer service rep (it’s an official group run by USO). At 11:45 PM, this rep called the hotel and asked, and confirmed for me that I could get the AP there, and check in, then go about my day with no further delays.

I am blown away by this level of customer service … and as this is my profession, on a technical level, that’s saying something, as I have VERY high standards.

Now I am super stoked for this trip! Oh yeah … going it alone, too! Weeee!!! :star_struck::smiley: