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Is the VIP Tour Experience at Universal Orlando Worth the Price?

What You Need to Know About the VIP Tour Experience at Universal Orlando

If you're interested in the VIP Tour Experience at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, the guide below will help you learn more about the details you'll want to know and if the extra perks and exclusive access is worth the added cost. 

If you're headed to California, be sure to check out our experience with the VIP Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood: Is the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood Worth the Price?

Overview of the VIP Tour Experience at Universal Orlando

The VIP Tour Experience at Universal Orlando Florida includes a gourmet buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, walk-on express access to rides and shows, universal express pass and a guide who will seamlessly plan the entire day for with exclusive access that you can't get on your own or find anywhere else.   

With the VIP Tour Experience, you'll be personally escorted by a Universal Orlando expert on a guided group tour through Universal Studios Florida or Universal's Islands of Adventure, or both when booking a 2-park experience.  

You'll get exclusive backstage access, learn fun insider information along the way, and enjoy the parks most amazing rides and attractions without waiting in line by getting in through back entrance doors.

The VIP Tour Experience ticket options can range anywhere from $189 to $269+ per person, plus tax, with the price depending on the ticket option selected and anticipated crowds that day. 

The VIP Tour Experience ticket options include:

  • 1-Day, 2-Park Experience for a seven hour tour with priority entrance into a minimum of ten rides and attractions
  • 1-Day, 1-Park Experience for a five hour tour with priority entrance into a minimum of eight major rides and attractions at the park of your choice. 
Note that in addition to the price of the VIP Experience, you also need separate theme park admission for the day of your visit.


During the course of the VIP Experience, here is what you can expect:

  • Priority access to all rides and attractions including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Transformers the Ride-3D and all of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences in the parks (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary valet parking
  • Reserved seating at shows (excludes live performances during Mardi Gras and Mannheim Steamroller during the holidays)
  • Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch 
  • Universal Express Unlimited ride access at participating rides and attractions throughout the rest of the day (during normal park operating hours)
  • Exclusive VIP Experiences lanyard and credential
  • Discounts at select Universal Orlando merchandise locations in the theme parks and CityWalk

Our VIP Experience & Tour Itinerary

We had previously done a VIP Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood and decided that since it was our first visit to Universal Orlando, we would pony up the extra money needed to do the VIP Tour Experience here as well.  The cost breakdown between the different ticket options is shown below in the next section.  

Here is a recap of our day at Universal Orlando from start to finish with the 2 Park-1 Day VIP Tour Experience:

After visiting Disney World, the prior few days, it was nice to switch it up and head over to Universal Orlando.  We arrived to the valet drop-off at 8:30 AM for our 9:30 AM VIP Experience start time.  We were able to use the Valet Parking (included in the cost of VIP), which was seamless and allowed us to leave our car and head up the escalator straight into the Universal Orlando CityWalk.  We didn't have to worry about parking at all or any long walks from the parking garage into the parks.  

Next we checked into the Universal Studios Florida VIP Check-in Lobby, which is located next to the guest services windows, to far right-hand side of the park ticket sales windows, just behind the small pineapple topped fountain. 

After checking in and getting our VIP tickets and lanyards, we were directed to head over to Cafe La Bamba, where we could enjoy a buffet breakfast and then wait for our tour to start.   

After having a light breakfast, we headed outside of the restaurant to our check-in point, where we'd meet Jack M., our VIP Experience guide for the day.  



For our tour, there were 7 other people, for a total of 11 guests for our VIP Experience.  After meeting everyone at breakfast and our guide Jack, he went over the tentative itinerary for the day, as well as tips for us to use for after the experience ended.  Since there were thunderstorms forecasted for later in the day, the itinerary was planned around the potential rain and trying to complete all of the outdoor rides in Islands of Adventure first.

Here is how our VIP Experience Itinerary for the day was planned, with walk-on access to every ride we went on: 

  • Breakfast at Cafe La Bamba at 8:30 AM
  • Start of VIP Experience at 9:30 AM, with the first ride being Transformers 4D: The Ride
  • Cut through the Universal Orlando Studios in between the two parks, Universal Orlando Florida and Islands of Adventure, about a 5-10 minute walk.
Since thunderstorms were forecasted for the afternoon and Hogwarts Express was not operating that day, we walked in between the two parks through this non-public area.

  • Cat in the Hat Ride
  • Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Cut through the Universal Orlando Studios in between the two parks, Universal Orlando Florida and Islands of Adventure, but this time we walked through and were given a tour of a working studio hangar.
  • Lunch at Cafe La Bamba at 1:00 PM


  • E.T. Adventure
  • Men In Black Alien Attack

At this point of the VIP Experience, thunderstorms began and it started pouring down rain.  We were given free ponchos to wear, but since it was raining so hard it didn't help much.  After getting our ponchos on, we made our way over to Diagon Alley
  • Escape from Gringotts in Diagon Alley and tour of the bank
  • Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Conclusion of VIP Experience at ~5:00 PM 
We had walk-on access to every ride with no wait and were given great insights into the history and story of each ride by our guide Jack M.  If it didn't starting pouring rain towards the end of our VIP Experience, we would have likely been able to go on a few more rides and explore more of Diagon Alley.

Is the VIP Experience at Universal Orlando Worth the Cost?

Is the VIP Experience at Universal Orlando Hollywood worth the extra cost?  The answer to this question basically boils down to your budget, personal preferences and how you value time and experiences.  

If you're visiting Universal Orlando during a busy time of the year with big crowds and want to experience both parks and not worry about missing out on anything, I would 100% say yes it is worth the extra cost.  

We were able to ride (almost) every ride we wanted to Universal Orlando Florida, experience a gourmet breakfast and lunch and get insider tips throughout the day from our guide Jack M.  He provided great insight into each ride, history of the parks and gave us tips and tricks to use for our visit after the tour concluded.

For our VIP Experience tour in mid-September 2022, we had booked these tickets back in mid-July 2022.  When I had considered booking earlier in 2022, the VIP Experience pricing was a little lower than what I ended up paying. 

Here are the ticket options and prices (with taxes included) at time of booking for a family of four (2 Adults and 2 Kids) and how they compare amongst each other to the ticket options available for Universal Orlando: 

  • $695 total for a 2-Park, 1-Day Park-to-Park Ticket (Universal Studios Florida + Universal's Islands of Adventure) came out to $695
  • $1115 total for a 2-Park, 1-Day Park-to-Park Ticket + 2-Park Universal Express Pass
  • $1245 total for a 2-Park, 1-Day Park-to-Park Ticket + 2-Park Universal Express Unlimited Pass 
  • $1881 for a 2-Park, 1-Day Park-to-Park Ticket + VIP Experience 

Based on the ticket options available for the day we were visiting Universal Orlando, you can quickly see how each ticket plus the available add-ons compare to each other.

Since I was considering one of the Universal Express Pass add-ons, I paid ~$636 extra compared to the ticket + 2-Park Universal Express Unlimited Pass.  For that extra price for the VIP Experience, we had a buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, expert guide for seven hours, discounts on merchandise, valet parking, and walk-on access to all of the rides we went on that included Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Jurassic World VelociCoaster, which are NOT included in any of the Universal Express Passes.

While the value of the VIP Experience is different for everyone, here is how I helped justify the added cost:

  • Breakfast buffet value at ~$35 per Adult and $15 per Child, so approximately $100 for our family of four (not including any tax or gratuity)
  • Lunch buffet value at ~$50 per Adult and $25 per Child, so approximately $150 for our family of four (not including any tax or gratuity)
  • Valet Parking cost is $70.42 (the amount shown on my validated receipt)
  • 10% off at Universal merchandise stores I'd value saving us $10-$20.
  • The cost of an expert guide is almost priceless, as there was no wait on any rides, so this value comes down to how much you value your time.
From just some of the costs I estimated above for food, valet parking and merchandise savings, you're looking at ~$350, so the cost of the VIP Experience now comes down to around $286.  I would say this cost is more than justified by the time savings on each ride with walk-on access and having an expert guide for the entire day.  

If you're visiting Universal Orlando during a busy time of the year with big crowds and want to experience the both parks and not worry about missing out on anything, I would 100% say yes it is worth the extra cost even more.  

We were able to ride (almost) every ride we wanted to Universal Orlando Florida, experience gourmet breakfast and lunch and get insider tips throughout the day from our guide Jack M.  He provided great insight into each ride, history of the parks and gave us tips and tricks to use for our visit after the tour concluded. 

After the VIP Experience ended (around 5:00 PM that day), we would have went on more rides ourselves using our VIP passes, but the heavy rain made us question if getting soaking wet to go on a few more rides would be worth it.

Some things I would recommend for improvement to make this VIP Experience even that much better would include having time to visit characters (fun for young kids) or at least get some type of pass to bypass long lines and have some type of photo component (similar to Disney's Photopass) included in the price that includes the at minimum the ride photos and any photos taken throughout the day.

Overall, I would say the VIP Experience is more than worth the cost difference you'd end up paying for all of the benefits you get for the price.  The experience and VIP access this tour provides at Universal Orlando Florida will spoil all of your future trips and there will be no other way you'd want to experience a theme park again, so tread carefully!