For the ultimate no-expenses-spared Universal Orlando experience, book a VIP tour of one or both parks. VIP guests are given the red carpet treatment at both parks, and never have to worry about waiting in line. And don't worry if you aren't a genuine VIP – or even a social media pseudo-celebrity – because at Universal anyone can be treated like the rich and famous...for a price.
Universal offers two types of VIP tours: non-exclusive and private. On non-exclusive tours, your party will be paired with other guests to form a group of up to 12. Non-exclusive tours begin at 10 a.m., and last 5 to 7 hours. Your guide will expedite you onto a minimum of 8 attractions (10 if you take the 2-park option) based on group consensus.
Private tours give you free reign to set your start time and make your own itinerary, since the guide is dedicated to only your party for a full 8 hours. You can even ride your favorite ride over and over all day, if you like. Private tours also include a table-service meal (shared appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage) and PhotoConnect digital pictures of your day.
Either way, your VIP experience begins with free valet parking and a complimentary continental breakfast in the private guest services lounge. In addition to back-dooring you into rides – bypassing even the Universal Express queues – and getting you reserved seating at shows, VIP tour guides are a font of trivia about the history and operations of the parks, and can even grant backstage access to see how some of the magic is done, like a glimpse underneath Revenge of the Mummy's ride track, or inside Twister's special effects control booth. At the end of the tour, your souvenir VIP lanyard serves as an unlimited Express pass for the rest of the day, and offers discounts on food and merchandise.
Perhaps most importantly, VIP tours are currently the only way to skip the queues at the headlining Harry Potter attractions: Forbidden Journey, Escape from Gringotts, and Hogwarts Express. The value of this perk during peak times can't be overstated; during the height of Diagon Alley's opening summer, when guests were waiting over four hours just for Gringotts, Bob and Len were able to experience everything in both Wizarding Worlds (including lunch and ice cream) plus other park highlights in a little over five hours. Of course, this kind of star treatment doesn't come cheap. A one-day, one-park non-exclusive VIP tour of USF or IOA will run you $299 per person; a one-day tour of both parks is $329. During “peak pricing” times (the weeks around Christmas and Easter) those rates jump up to $369 and $389.
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