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Universal Studios Park to Park Tickets in 2024: Are They Worth It and How to Upgrade

Buying tickets for Universal Studios for the first time can be confusing. If you have never been to the theme parks, you might be wondering what is the difference between a one-day ticket and a park to park ticket. And is the extra cost worth it?

Do not worry! Once you understand the two main differences between each type of ticket, you will be able to buy your theme park tickets with a lot more confidence.

We are sharing quick and easy ways to understand what Universal Studios Park to Park tickets are, and how they work.

What is a Park to Park Ticket at Universal Orlando Resort?

Universal Studios’ Park to Park ticket allows unlimited entry between Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure theme parks.

At Walt Disney World, this type of ticket is referred to as a “Park Hopper.”

If you are an annual pass holder, you do not need to worry about the difference between one day and park to park tickets because you can get into either theme park during your valid admission days.

entrance to Islands of Adventure theme park with shade canopies over ticket booths

What are the Benefits of a Universal Park to Park Ticket?

There are two main benefits to using a Universal park to park ticket.

First, if you only have one day to visit Universal Studios theme parks, this ticket allows you to hop between both parks and see everything in one day.

Second, a Universal park to park ticket allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express train between the two Harry Potter worlds. The only way to ride this train is if you have a park to park ticket. You will not be allowed to hop onboard the Hogwarts Express with a one-park ticket.

Differences Between a One-Day Ticket and a Park to Park Ticket

To enter any Universal Studios theme park, you will need a base ticket, which is known as a one-day ticket.

A Park to Park ticket is considered an upgrade. Just like Walt Disney World’s ticketing system where you can buy a one-day theme park ticket or pay extra for an upgrade to a park hopper.

One-Day Tickets Explained

A one-day ticket allows you entry to only one of the two theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort, either Universal Studios Orlando or Islands of Adventure.

You do not need to know which theme park you will be visiting when buying the one-day ticket. You can decide on the day of arrival.

Once you scan your one-day ticket at the entrance to the theme park, you will have to stay at that theme park and cannot choose another.

With your ticket, you will be able to leave and reenter the Universal Studios theme park, but you can only reenter the original park that you first chose in that day.

If you purchase several one-day tickets, each ticket can be used at a different theme park.

For instance, if you bought a 3-day, one-park ticket package (they cost less when buying Universal tickets at Sams Club), then you would have three 1-park tickets. Each of those tickets can be used at a theme park of your choosing on each day. However, once you have used the ticket, you can only visit that theme park on that day.

An example is that you could use one 1-park ticket at Islands of Adventure on Friday. Then the next day on Saturday, you could use another one of your 1-park tickets to visit the other theme park, Universal Studios Orlando. On Sunday, you could use your last 1-park ticket to visit either Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, depending on which one you liked more.

Park to Park Tickets Explained

With a Park to Park ticket, you do not have to worry about which theme park you are entering each day.

You can choose to go to Islands of Adventure to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the morning and then hop over to Universal Studios to eat dinner at Mythos restaurant later in the day.

How to Upgrade a Universal Ticket to Park to Park

You can easily upgrade a ticket to a park to park ticket if you have changed your mind about wanting to park hop.

Bring your one day ticket to a Guest Services location at Universal Studios. They will credit the cost of your one day ticket to the cost of a park to park ticket. You will be responsible for paying the difference between the two different types of tickets.

You will also need to bring your ID with you to upgrade your Universal ticket.

If you are still at home and have decided you want to upgrade your tickets, call Universal Orlando or your travel agency to process an upgrade before you arrive at the theme parks.

Our favorite way to buy tickets is through Get Away Today. They are an authorized ticket seller and you can get savings on park tickets, hotels and more.

We have found savings on every type of ticket using Get Away Today compared to buying through Universal.

Keep in mind, upgrading your tickets is different than cancelling your tickets. There is way more flexibility with asking for an upgrade then there is when asking for a refund for tickets you can’t use.

What is the Price Difference Between a One Day Ticket and a Park to Park Ticket?

A base ticket for Universal Studios Orlando is currently $109 plus tax for a one-day, one-park ticket.

When ordering the tickets online, you will be asked if you want an upgrade.

You can either choose the choices listed on the ticket order page if you have all ticket types selected on the top of the page, or toggle to one-day or park-to-park ticket types on the top of the screen.

In 2023, the difference in price between a one-day and a park to park ticket is $55, plus tax.

This is the current price at time of publishing.

However, the more days that you purchase, the less the difference will be.

For example, the difference between a one park ticket and a park to park ticket when purchasing a 3-day pass is $60, plus tax.

So, for a three-day park to park ticket package, you only pay a difference of $5 more for the upgrade compared to an upgraded one-day park to park ticket?

Why is that?

We are guessing that it is because when you are visiting the Universal Studios theme parks for two days or more, there really is no benefit to a park to park ticket other than the ability to ride Hogwarts Express.

Be sure to see our big list of ways to save money on Universal tickets.

Can I Ride Hogwarts Express Without a Park to Park Ticket?

No. You absolutely cannot ride the Hogwarts Express without a park to park ticket.

Hogwarts express train in station with steam coming from engine

Unlike all other attractions at Universal Studios, you will be asked to show your park ticket before entering the queue line for Hogwarts Express at either of the platforms in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Think of this ticket check just like the entrance plaza at both of the theme parks. You cannot get through if you do not show the right type of ticket.

If you get in line and only have a one-park ticket, you will be denied entry. You will be given the option of upgrading your ticket at that time, but you will need to take the time to do that.

woman with Hogwarts express railroad conductor in front of the train

Is a Universal Park to Park Ticket Worth It?

Paying extra for a park to park ticket upgrade is only worth it in certain circumstances. Here are the reasons you will probably want to pay for the upgrade.

Harry Potter World

If you are especially excited about visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then you will want to pay for an upgrade. The only way to ride the Hogwarts Express is with a park to park ticket, and this is a major attraction in Harry Potter world.

When traveling with young children who are Harry Potter fans, the Hogwarts Express might be the only Harry Potter-themed attraction that they can ride because of Universal Studios height requirements for the other rides.

To give the kids something to do beside just casting spells with their Harry Potter wands, you will probably want to get a park to park ticket.

entrance to Hogwart's Castle at Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This is also true with adults that cannot ride the Harry Potter attractions because of worries about how these rides can cause motion sickness.

We have to say, Universal Studios was brilliant when creating an attraction that demanded an upgrade to a park to park ticket! It is definitely a way to increase those ticket upgrades!

One-Day Visit

If you are only able to spend a limited amount of time at Universal Studios, you will probably want to get a park to park ticket to see as much as you can.

It is very easy to get between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, unlike at Walt Disney World where transportation between each theme park can take a lot of your time.

Because the two theme parks are located about a 5-minute walk between each one, if you don’t want to ride Hogwarts Express, you can easily see both theme parks in one day and get your money’s worth.

To decide which Universal theme park to visit, see our Ultimate Comparison Guide to Universal Studios vs. Islands of Adventure.

Don’t Like Roller Coasters

Another good reason to get a park to park ticket is if you or someone in your party does not like the thrill rides or roller coasters.

Islands of Adventure is mostly thrill rides which can cause motion sickness or water rides which can soak you. If neither of these types of rides interest you or you have young children, you might not find a lot to do at Islands of Adventure theme park.

In that instance, having the flexibility to hop over to Universal Studios which has more entertainment options could be appealing.


While Universal park to park tickets make it easy to hop between the two theme parks, they usually are only worth the cost if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express or only have one day to spend at Universal Studios Orlando.