Just a few weeks ahead of the opening of its much-anticipated Harry Potter attraction, Universal Studios Hollywood increased its ticket prices by over 20 percent.
The highest-priced one-day pass of the Universal Park now costs $115, which is $20 more than the previous maximum.
Now that only a few weeks is left before the Los Angeles theme park starts its Harry Potter attraction, it has imposed the price hike.
David Koenig, a theme park expert, has expressed his views regarding the increase in the ticket price.
“The Harry Potter attraction is expensive, and it’s the perfect excuse to raise prices because they know they are going to have the crowds regardless.”
— Universal Studios (@UniStudios) June 2, 2015
However, Universal Studios Hollywood is not the only park to do so. Recently, Disneyland also adopted a new set of ticket prices that raised its highest daily ticket by about 20 percent. And both parks have pricing systems that depend on the daily demand for the tickets.
The move of price-hike isn’t a surprise, because the park is opening something that may be its most popular attractions in years.
Universal Studios is officially unveiling the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on April 7.
The Harry Potter-themed park that takes up 6 acres of land features a giant castle, magic wand shops, and a tummy-churning ride that simulates flying on a broomstick.
— Pottermore (@pottermore) March 22, 2016
The new and highly anticipated new attraction is expected to bring 1 million more guests to the park, according to Gary Goddard, a theme-park designer based in North Hollywood.
Price increases at theme parks before the opening of major new attractions is very common. Disney hiked daily ticket prices nearly 9 percent two months before the opening of its 12-acre Cars Land expansion at California Adventure Park in 2012.
Before a similar Harry Potter attraction opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 2010, the Orlando park raised the price of a two-day, two-park pass by 36 percent, to $135 when purchased.
But according to theme park experts and fans, increase in price is not going to keep them away.
Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati, said the price hike may anger a few visitors, but the theme park will still come out ahead with overall higher revenue, with the new Harry Potter world.
“It’s going to be a net plus for the theme park. They might lose a few people at the low end of the pay scale, but they will more than make up for it.”
“From our viewpoint, even taking into consideration the price increase, we are estimating an increase in attendance by double digits, above 20 percent,” he said.
Universal Studios Hollywood has already started to justify higher prices by noting it has invested heavily in the park in the last few years.
Universal Studios’ spokesperson Audrey Eig’s excuse for raise in ticket prices has been reported by Los Angeles Times.
“Ticket prices are consistent with our tremendous product offerings.”
She also added that the park recently launched a tiered-pricing policy that gives discounts to guests who visit on off-peak days, such as Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“Our variable pricing introduced earlier this year allows consumer choices to be made at various price levels,” she said.
A daily ticket purchased at the gate costs $115 regardless of the day. But if the tickets are purchased in advance through the online system may cost less if a proper planning is done.
[Photo by Gerardo Mora/Stringer/Getty Images]