Universal Orlando Resort has announced their 2023 Freedom Pass, a special year-long pass for military families for one low price!
The Universal Orlando Resort has continued their Special Military Tickets called the Freedom Pass for 2023.
Freedom Passes are like a Universal Annual Pass, but without the other benefits that Universal adds to their regular annual passes (like parking and discounts).
These Passes Are Simply Amazing!
The Universal Orlando Freedom Pass is valid for use from the day of activation through 24 December 2023. New for 2023’s Freedom Pass are Bolckout Dates (Dates on which you may not use your pass, it’s blocked from use). Passes must be purchased by 20 December 2023. 2023 Freedom Pass Blockout Dates are:
- 26 December 2022 – 1 January 2023
- 3 – 9 April 2023
This Pass is a Park Hopper for either 2 or 3 parks.
2 Park, Park-to-Park Freedom Pass – Both Adult & Child Versions
The 2-Park, Park-to-Park Military Promotional Pass entitles 1 eligible person admission to the following Universal Orlando Resort theme parks each day: Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
3 Park, Park-to-Park Freedom Pass – Both Adult & Child Versions
The 3-Park, Park-to-Park Military Promotional Pass entitles 1 eligible person admission to the following Universal Orlando Resort theme parks each day: Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, AND Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park.
2023 prices for these special military passes remain the same as they were in 2021 and 2022, something Disney can’t say!!!
- 2 Park Freedom Pass – $200 Adult/$195 Child – For the whole year!
- 3 Park Freedom Pass – $235 Adult/$230 Child – For the whole year!
These Freedom Pass are only available at your Base Ticket Office or through your Travel Agent as part of a package.
They are not available Universal’s gates!
Pass Purchase Limits: Those eligible may purchase and activate up to 6 Freedom Passes duting the offer period.
Note! These are a specially priced offer and are much cheaper per day than the Regular Military Universal Tickets. Compare prices! It might be cheaper to buy these for a shorter stay than the shorter Regular Military Discount Tickets..
Shades of Green Regular Universal Military Prices (Base Ticket Offices prices very similar if not the same)
There seems to be a lot of confusion about these passes both here and on facebook when I’ve shared this info in the past. So in a effort to be absolutely clear:
These Freedom Passes are like an annual pass, without any other benefits that usually go with an AP, like free parking and discounts.
You only pay the price once for the whole year, not on every visit or every so often.
Those Eligible for This Offer Are:
- Active or Retired US Military -Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, US Coast Guard (with valid military ID!)
- 100% Service Connected Disability (with valid DoD issued Military ID!)
- Spouses of Eligible Service Members
- DOD Civilian Employees
Note: Both the member and spouse have their own eligibility. However those who might have 2 eligiblaties, e.g. a Reservist/Guardsman who is a DoD Civ, or military retiree who is a DoD Civ only have 1 legibility, it’s per person, not per ID.
These tickets are priced extremely low, therefore they are a fantastic opportunity for Military personnel to visit both Universal Orlando’s original theme parks (Universal Studios Florida & Universal’s Islands of Adventure) as well as take advantage of experiencing Volcano Bay Water Theme Park!
- Non-Retirees e.g. DD-214 or VA Card
Please Note/Most Important!!! – The Freedom Pass does not include any extras, like parking or discounts on food or merch! Only park admission is included. These passes are really not for those who are local or semi-local who buy regular annual passes and drive. So if you will be parking each day in Universal’s garage or use AP the discounts, total up all costs each way before purchasing these passes. These are perfect for those who fly in, use the Superstar Shuttle and stay on property for one long stay or several shorter ones during a year. I did a couple trips this year and it was perfect.
The eligible person must present a valid Military ID at time of voucher purchase and when exchanging the voucher at the Universal sales window.
Universal’s Officially Stated Rules:
- Limit 6 Passes during program period per eligible person.
- Only one single activation is allowed during this offer per eligible person. This is because the member or spouse must be activating their own Freedom Pass when activating for others. Example – If you have friends that will be going with you during a second trip later in the year, you need to get and activate passes for them during your original activation. Neither I or multiple readers have found this to be true! I’ve queried Universal ticket locations in person regarding this and they have not heard of it! Multiple readers have been able to do second activations!
- You may make multiple purchases up to the limit, but only the single activation. Once you’ve activated the member’s and spouse’s ticket you are done.
- Passes must be used by the same person on any and all days (Non-Transferable)
- Passes will arrive UNACTIVATED
- Passes will be ACTIVATED at any Universal Pass Sales window with a valid ID presented by the military member or military spouse; military member or spouse MUST accompany the party to the Pass Sales window for first activation of the Passes, and use one of the tickets; Dependent children CANNOT activate Passes on their own.
- Passes are not valid after 31 December 2022
- This offer is not valid at Universal Studios Hollywood
- The military sponsor, whether member or spouse MUST be with their guests on their first day of use of the 2022 Military Freedom Pass tickets as they will need to walk them through the turnstile with military ID. These tickets are not for gifting. I have never had to show an ID during First Use!
Freedom Pass Second Activation
This topic has been controversial since the start of the Freedom Passes in 2021! As noted above in the Official Rules which can be found online and in Universal Orlando’s press release, you are only allowed one single activation event per eligible person (member and spouse). This policy makes no sense, as Universal would be turning away additional income not only from the reduced price pass, but also the food and merchandise purchases the additional bodies would make. It would also place a huge burden on the military member, It’s hard enough for the military to plan our own schedules and hope they aren’t changed for us, but then add on top of that hoping those you bought tickets for will still be able to go later in the year is crazy.
Also No One at the Universal Orlando Resort who works in Tickets is aware of this rule. On my Sept 2022 research trip I queried every Ticket sales location if I could activate more Freedom Passes since I already had done an activation this year. In every case I was told yes! I mentioned the official rule and not a single ticket worker had heard of it! Here are some of the comments that ticket workers made to me:
- “If you bought them I’ll activate them.”
- “If they sold them to you I assume they have verified you, and I would activate them.”
- “I’ve never heard of that.” Two different ticket workers about the single activation.
- “Frankly if you bought them I’d activate them because you’ve already paid for them.”
- “It’s not so much that a single activation is allowed as that you can only have six.”
- “We prefer a single activation as it’s easier but you can activate all of the tickets that you are eligible for.”
- “Yes you can activate more as long as you have your ID on you.”
How to Buy Freedom Passes
Freedom Passes can only be purchased at your Base Ticket Office (including Shades of Green and the Orlando ITT) or as part of a Military Discounted Package through your Travel Agent.
When you purchase tickets/passes as part of a package they are protected because if you change or cancel your reservations, the whole package is refunded.
If you purchase them on Base all sales are final!
How to Use Freedom Passes
See how to use the Freedom Pass on my Universal Orlando Site: How to Use Universal Orlando’s Freedom Pass
Use a Military Expert for your Universal Studios Vacation
As I noted, a package is the way to go!
Jen Novak is Military Disney Tips’ Recommended Universal Studios Travel Agent! Just click this link to get your Quote
The Best Way to Get to Universal Studios from Disney World
Check Out My Universal Site Just for the Military Community
Due to the popularity of my very occasional post regarding the Universal Orlando Resort here on MDT, I’ve started a new site dedicated to Universal Orlando and the U.S. Military.
You’ll find all the same kind of content that you do here on MDT, except dedicated to Universal.
So click on over to Universal Orlando for Military to check it out!
There you’ll find info on:
- Universal Orlando’s Military Tickets
- Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks
- Universal Orlando’s Hotels
- Universal Orlando’s Transportation
What to Wear in Universal’s Parks (external Link)
This MDT Post By: Steve Bell
Steve is the the Military Disney Tips Founder. He a retired U.S. Military Member who's been touring the Disney Parks since 1971! Steve's mission is to help military families with their Disney vacations in every way. Check out Steve's Bio.
Subscribe to Steve's email newsletter to get website updates and news by clicking this link.
Looking for more content about the Universal Resort for the military community?
Check out my other site dedicated to Universal
Universal Orlando for Military
Need Help Planning your Universal Resort Hotel Stay?
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J Westfall says
Question- we will be in Florida as a family the week between Christmas and NYE. I know the passes are blacked out for use that but we would like to purchase and activate while we are all there. The statement “service member must be present for first use” makes me nervous. We won’t be able to use the passes during that week for first use. Does this limit the family from using them in the future as we won’t all be together in Florida again.
I’ve used the Freedom Pass both of the 2 years that it has been offered to date 2021 & 2022). I’ve never had to show an ID on first use, just when I activated it.
At Universal the whole party does not need to be there for activation as they do at Disney.
Just checking, but you said purchase and activate while there, but you have to buy them from a military ticket office, Universal does not sell them (just making sure you were clear on that).
We purchased and activated a Freedom Pass for 2022 back in January. We are returning in December, but I destroyed (accidentally) the paper pass they gave me at the exchange window. Can I get that paper pass reprinted at the customer service window? It was awfully flimsy to be valid for an entire year. Thanks for a reply!
Did you perhaps link your passes to your Universal Orlando app? If you did there is no need for a physical ticket.
If you didn’t link it did you take pictures of the backs? That’s normally required in order to get new ones (or the pass numbers off the back).
If you haven’t done either, they may be able to look it up, but I don’t know. Your original purchase receipt might be helpful in that process.
Please let me know how it goes so that I may better help others.
Genevieve Flores says
Is there a way to buy a parking pass in stead of buying one each time?
No, not that I’m aware of.
Bradley Freeny says
How does the Freedom Pass work with Universal Express? Can that be added on?
Universal’s Express Pass is totally separate from tickets. It is a stand alone not an add on.
You can purchase Express Pass or Express Pass Plus by the day at the parks or get free Express Pass Plus by staying at one of the Universal Premier Hotels (link to my other site).
So does the military member have to be there every time a ticket is used? The whole activation first time use I get that you would have to be. But if neither of us could go, would the rest of our party be able to go?
The only time the military member or spouse needs to be present is for the activation process. The rest of your party can go without you after that.
Just want to double check regarding the activation of the tickets. When I go to the ITT office to purchase the tickets, I wont be given tickets, I will be given vouchers and then I take those vouchers to the Disney Ticket Office and I have to show my ID for them to activate the vouchers into tickets? If I am not there, but my spouse is, she cant activate them with her ID even though I am the DoD Civilian and she isnt?
So, lots going on here in your question… You are a DoD Civ. You are asking about the Disney ticket office on a post about Universal passes (which do you mean?). You did not say what type of Disney ticket you are asking about (Salute or Regular Military). Or did you really mean the Universal Freedom Pass?. You asked about activation, which only applies to the Disney Armed Forces Salute, which DoD Civilians are not eligible for.
If you’ll clear things up I’d be glad to answer you, but it’d take a long time to type out the background of all the variables (3 different programs)… so please narrow down what you are asking.
You bolded the: I have never had to show an ID during First Use! Yet the sentences before that you said the military member has to show their ID? Did you mean as in the Guest’s of the sponsor do not need to show their id?
No, what I meant is that each year that I have used Universal’s freedom pass there has been no ID check upon first use at the turnstile, like their written policy says there will be.
There seems to be a disconnect between the people who write the announcement language and those who actually work in the parks.
Bobi Mitchell says
Grateful for your knowledge! One thing I didn’t quite understand about the Military Freedom Promotional Ticket. It sounded like, possibly, the Military Member and the Spouse could each purchase 6 tickets? Is that true? Just trying to clarify with someone who uderstands these things.
Yes, that is correct. Between the member and spouse they can purchase 12 Freedom Passes.
Doug Horton says
Good afternoon. I have read conflicting reports and hopefully you can clarify. I am a DoD civilian, and entertaining the idea of leaving for a private sector job. We have a trip to Universal the end of May. If I get the Freedom Passes, then take another position, will I have to show a valid military ID? If so, will I be able to pay the difference in the price of regular tickets or will they be voided and I be required to pay full cost again?
I’ve used the Freedom Pass in 2022 and 2023, I have never had to show ID upon enter to a park. I just bring the ticket up on my app (you can use the physical ticket too) they scan it, take my finger scan and I’m in.
The only ID check is when activating the Freedom Passes for the first time.
Once it’s activated it is a valid pass for the whole year.
I’ve waved all kinds of mil IDs (retired mil, DoD civilian, DoD contractor all of which I have/had) at those who do the activation and been told it’s a good ID…
Joseph McCullough says
This is a silly question but I have to ask it. Can the freedom pass be used for both parks? Meaning Orlando and Hollywood?
No, this is just for the Universal Orlando Resort.
I’ve seen several posts about a photo package for around $150 that is good for the whole year. Is that something I can purchase (we’re planning several trips with our freedom passes), or is that only available to annual pass holders? I can’t find any official info on it.
There is a military discount that is for 98 bucks but it’s for your trip, not the whole year.
See this post for details: https://www.militarydisneytips.com/blog/disney-military-discounts/military-discount-on-disney-memory-maker-photopass/
And you asked this on a Universal post not Disney. So, Universal has no military discounts on photos…
I have my freedom pass and it’s been activated and I have used it, from my understanding of what it says, does that mean I am not able to buy a freedom pass for my sister? That I am not able to “activate” freedom passes for the rest of the year?
If you’ll look at the second bullet under “Universal’s Officially Stated Rules:” You’ll see my comment in bold after the rule. I’ve copied it here.
Only one single activation is allowed during this offer per eligible person. This is because the member or spouse must be activating their own Freedom Pass when activating for others. Example – If you have friends that will be going with you during a second trip later in the year, you need to get and activate passes for them during your original activation. Neither I or multiple readers have found this to be true! I’ve queried Universal ticket locations in person regarding this and they have not heard of it! Multiple readers have been able to do second activations!
I’ve also pulled some content over from my Universal Military site and added it to this pose under the new section title “Freedom Pass Second Activation” This details my experience with Universal’s ticket sellers.
Can you go to the parks for early park admission with the freedom pass at universal?
If you stay in an onsite Universal hotel you can. I have.
Early admission is based on staying in a Universal Hotel, not on your ticket type.