Universal Invites Guests To Visit Park Only at Nighttime After Axing New Opening

in Universal Studios Japan

A nighttime view of a large, illuminated castle with multiple spires against a dark blue sky, highlighted by green and orange lights.

Credit: Universal Studios Japan

A week after delaying its newest addition, one Universal park is encouraging guests to visit at nighttime.

The next few years are huge for Universal, with not just one but three theme parks (Epic Universe, Universal Kids Resort, and, potentially, Universal Great Britain) in the works and a handful of other new lands and attractions on the way in the meantime.

Universal Epic Universe concept artwork for Celestial Park.
Credit: Universal

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This year alone, Universal plans on opening DreamWorks Destination at Universal Studios Florida – immersing guests in the world of animated classics such as ShrekKung-Fu Panda, and Trolls – while Universal Studios Hollywood will welcome the world’s first Fast & Furious roller coaster, and Universal Studios Japan unveils its SUPER NINTENDO WORLD expansion, Donkey Kong Country.

Last week, however, it was confirmed that parkgoers would need to wait a little longer than expected to step foot in Donkey Kong territory. Universal Studios Japan has officially delayed its opening date from spring 2024 to later this year (with many theorizing that it’ll open in early November so as not to clash with Halloween Horror Nights).

A golden temple behind the trees in Donkey Kong Country at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal

What makes the absence of Donkey Kong Country even heavier is the fact that multiple attractions are closed at Universal Studios Japan right now. Jurassic Park: The Ride – a clone of Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure – closed for a major refurbishment in September 2023 and isn’t scheduled to reopen until early 2025.

Space Fantasy – The Ride has been closed indefinitely at Universal Studios Japan since January 2023. Snoopy’s Sound Stage Adventure, Shrek’s 4-D Adventure, Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, Ernie’s Rubber Duckie Race, and Sesame’s Big Drive are all closed indefinitely. Universal also has refurbishments lined up for JAWS and The Flying Dinosaur over the next few months.

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

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That leaves the summer schedule a little bare for the Osaka-based park – something that’s sure to come as a disappointment to those paying full price for a day’s admission.

With that in mind, Universal Studios Japan has just announced a new kind of ticket that will allow guests to visit the park just for the evening. 

According to USJ 1, the Night Pass is available for visits between May 10 and September 1, 2024. This will offer park access from 5 p.m. until the park closes (which ranges from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. from May onwards).

The globe at the Universal Studios Japan entrance
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

Depending on the day, this will cost between 5,300 yen ($34.06 USD) to 6,800 ($43.70 USD) yen for adults and 3,400 yen ($21.85 USD) to 4,300 yen ($27.63 USD) for children.

Universal Studios Japan already offered Twilight Passes that allowed guests to visit the park after 3 p.m. at a discounted rate compared to the typical day ticket. Tokyo Disney Resort offers a similar system nicknamed the Evening Passport.

Those who do choose to visit the park over the summer aren’t totally bereft of attractions. While Donkey Kong Country and its new attraction, Mine Cart Madness, may be off-limits, Universal Studios Japan does still offer the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (even if its premier attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, closed for several days due to system errors earlier this month).

A nighttime view of a large, illuminated castle with multiple spires against a dark blue sky, highlighted by green and orange lights.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: Universal Park Permanently Closes ‘Harry Potter’ Experience

It also boasts the existing SUPER NINTENDO WORLD area – which preluded the version in California by two years – and its two attractions, Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure.

Do you think more theme parks should offer evening passes? Let us know in the comments!

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