15 Years and Counting: An Annual Passholder Adventure
Every now and then we get the chance to chat with a longtime annual passholder and hear about what keeps them coming back. Dave B. lives in Tampa and shared with us some of his favorite things about being an annual passholder for the past 15 years.
How long have you been an annual passholder?
It has been well over 15 years since I got my first Universal Orlando Annual Pass. I remember my original passholder card was a red, hard plastic card.
What made you decide to purchase your first UOAP?
I am a HUGE fan of movie making and behind the scenes stuff. Universal made that a reality for me. That kind of fun all year long, what a DEAL!
What are some of your favorite attractions over the years?
I loved Kongfrontation and JAWS. These were classic movies when I grew up, and to get a chance to be a part of the experience was a lot of fun. Other favorites include shooting the water cannons at Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Halloween Horror Nights.
What are some of your favorite Universal memories over the years as an annual passholder?
I have so many! I first came to Universal Studios Florida when I was a kid, visiting from New Jersey with my mom. Back when there was an old lot with the Bates Motel and the Hard Rock Cafe guitar building was still around.
In high school, I had the opportunity to work on some of the sets that you can visit inside the park. It was part of a program Universal designed for high school Television Production students to get the chance at filming and producing a film. While our movie did not take 1st place, it was a memory I will not forget.
Once I became a passholder, I have always enjoyed Halloween Horror Nights, MardiGras, and the concerts. I am like a kid inside sometimes! I really enjoy meeting the walk-around characters and getting pictures with them. My favorites are Marilyn and Scooby-Doo.
In recent years, the rides have been changing so it is nice to go check out what is new! I have celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries, and we bring our friends and family when they visit.
What are your favorite things to do when you come to the parks now?
- Halloween Horror Nights
- The concerts
- The rides
Which things that are new and coming up at Universal Orlando are you most excited about?
No question: the new Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction. And, of course, this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Any tips or tricks you can pass along to readers?
If you are going to be visiting for two or more days in Orlando, consider getting an Annual Pass. Take advantage of the discounts on the on-site hotel rooms. I have always found that the price may be a little higher than an economy hotel you can find locally, but the added perks are well worth the cost.
For current passholders: get together a group of friends, and book a room for four at one of the on-site hotels that offer the Universal Express benefit. All four people get Universal Express for EVERY DAY you stay. Let’s add that up: discount on hotel cost + discount for your friends’ tickets + all get Express Passes + no need to drive = low wait times on the rides and you’re staying on site… It’s like the room is free!
To learn about all the incredible benefits you can enjoy as a Universal Orlando Annual Passholder, just click here. And if you haven’t already, make sure to join the Annual Passholder Facebook Group for up-to-date news and to connect with fellow Passholders.
Here’s to another 15 years, Dave B.!