Universal Park Stops Selling Tickets, Guests Turned Away at the Gate

in Universal Studios Japan

Crowds at the entrance of Universal Studios Japan

Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr

One Universal Studios park has stopped selling tickets – at least for the time being.

The Walt Disney Company may boast the most visited theme park in the world, but Universal Destinations & Experiences isn’t far behind. Thanks to lands inspired by world-class franchises, such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic Park (1993), the company poses a bigger threat to Disney by the day.

Hogsmeade, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, welcoming Death Eaters, a fan-favorite extended offering
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: Universal’s ‘Jurassic Park’ Ride Is Closing for Two Years

This will especially be the case come summer 2025. Universal Orlando Resort plans to open its third park, Epic Universe, which has been dubbed a “Disney-killer” by regular parkgoers. The new theme park – which is thought to have a celestial theme – will include a third land inspired by Harry Potter, as well as areas influenced by How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and Universal Classic Monsters.

In the meantime, Universal already boasts six of the world’s most popular parks. Two of these featured in the top 10 in 2022, with Universal Studios Japan welcoming 12.35 million guests into the park in 2022. This was a massive 6.85 million increase on 2021, nudging the Osaka park into third place.

Universal Studios Japan icon at the Park entrance
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

Universal Studios Japan has always been popular. Over 11 million people visited the park in its first year, making it the then-fastest theme park to reach the 10 million milestone. However, there’s one big explanation as to why the park’s so popular right now: SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.

Upon throwing open its colorful gates in 2021, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD was an instant success. Boasting two original attractions – Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure – guests have flocked from all over the world to hang out with Mario and friends, with a copycat land soon opening at Universal Studios Hollywood (and another in the works at Epic Universe).

Guests dressed as Super Mario characters with a Team Member at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: Universal Introduces Controversial New Policy To Crack Down on Unpopular Guests

As attendance soars, however, the park has faced several issues. The first is understaffing. Post-COVID-19, Universal Studios Japan has struggled to restore its number of pre-pandemic team members, forcing the resort to hold additional staffing events and implement self-service at several restaurants.

Another is the fact that more guests equals a busy park. Universal Studios Japan is infamous for its dense crowds and long wait times. In fact, crowds are so bad right now that the park has enforced a temporary restriction on new tickets.

Crowds at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Danny Foo via Flickr

According to the Universal Studios Japan website, guests will be unable to purchase new tickets at the park on October 21 and will instead be refused admission at the gate. The park will also only sell an allocated number of tickets online for October 21 in order to reduce crowding.

Please take note that ticket sales will not be available at the ticket booths on October 21st (Saturday).

Ticket sales for October 21st (Saturday) on the Web Ticket Store will end as soon as the allocated ticket limit is reached. Please be aware that sales may conclude without prior notice.

We strongly advise checking the ticket sales page on our website before planning your visit to the park.

Crowds at the entrance of Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

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This isn’t the first time the park has been forced to stop selling tickets. It previously resorted to similar measures to tackle overcrowding in November 2022. Theme park attendance has (mostly) been on the rise worldwide as guests flock back to the activities they couldn’t enjoy during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Disney has permanently ceased selling theme park tickets at the entrance to multiple resorts. Guests hoping to visit Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris are required to book online, as are prospective visitors to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

Do you think theme parks are busier post-pandemic? Let us know in the comments!

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