Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the best attractions in Southern California. It’s still a working television and movie studio that the public can get a glimpse of via The World Famous Studio Tour, which first launched in 1964. This studio tour by tram is a must-do and included with the Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets mentioned on this list.
Over the last 50 years, the theme park added nine rides and seven shows based on Universal movie properties, including Harry Potter, Transformers, Minions, and Jurassic Park, among many others.
One full day at Universal Studios Hollywood is typically sufficient (unless you have a die-hard Harry Potter fan).
Please note: Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close from March 14–April 19 in an abundance of caution. Universal CityWalk will remain open. You can still buy park tickets for future dates as they anticipate reopening on April 20.
Detailed below are the methods for buying discounted tickets for Universal Studios that are the most reliable, to prevent you from scouring the internet for promo codes that likely won’t work.
Important Universal Studios Hollywood Tips
The park opens at different times, depending on the time of the year and the day of the week. Always check the online calendar before you go.
Gate Ticket Prices
The cost of Universal Studios Hollywood tickets rises and falls based on season and demand. If traveling during peak season, it is wise to purchase tickets in advance to avoid surge pricing.
- 1-Day General Admission ticket, valid for a particular day only, is currently $109-129/ticket.
- 2-Day General Admission ticket, valid for one day and then any second day within 7 days after that, is $149-169/ticket.
- Universal Express ticket, which entitles the older to one-time express access to each ride, attraction, and seated show, is currently $179-$279/ticket.
- VIP Experience tickets, which include unlimited express access to all rides, attractions, and shows, as well as an expert-guided tour, a continental breakfast, a gourmet lunch in the VIP dining room, and valet parking, starts at $349/ticket.
Read Terms and Conditions
Read all terms and conditions before purchasing a Universal Studios Hollywood ticket. Be sure that they do not expire before your visit and check refund or transfer policies.
Universal Studios Hollywood Parking Tips
Note that the general parking fee at Universal Studios Hollywood is currently $25 per car, from the time the park opens each day until 6 p.m., and $10 from 6 p.m. to the time the park closes. If staying at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City or Sheraton Universal Hotel, they both offer shuttles to the park but are within easy walking distance.
1. aRes Travel (Most Popular for Single Attraction + Combo Park Tickets)
aRes Travel is a San Diego based, authorized ticket seller to major California attractions. They offer a myriad of ways to buy discounted Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. aRes Travel charges a $2 convenience fee per ticket, but you will still likely come out ahead. Go straight to the gate with a printed or mobile ticket.
2. Discounted Southern California Resident Tickets and Passes
UniversalStudiosHollywood.com offers an online-only California Neighbor Pass that is good for 175 days including 25 weekend days if you can come during off-peak dates.
3. Go Los Angeles
The Go Los Angeles pass saves up to 50% off of admission to nearly 40 top Los Angeles and other Southern California attractions, including Universal Studios Hollywood, in three simple steps:
- Choose the pass option that best suits you (you can buy an all-inclusive pass or build your own) and buy your pass in advance.
- Get your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
- Show the pass at any eligible attraction, and you’re in.
The passes are available in 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7-day options, each at different prices. Make sure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy.
4. California Explorer Pass
Those visiting more than one major California city on their vacation should take a look at the California Explorer Pass. You’ll have 30 days to enjoy 3, 4, or 5 major attractions across 30 days that include:
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- LEGOLAND California
- San Diego Zoo
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour
- Knott’s Berry Farm
- Knott’s Soak City
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- SeaWorld San Diego
- Belmont Park
- California Academy of Sciences
- California’s Great America
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Do not forget to use my promo code for an exclusive discount on these sightseeing passes.
I was an advocate of buying directly through Universal Studios Hollywood. Since they eliminated early entry as a perk for guests who buy direct, it usually makes more sense to buy Universal Studios Hollywood discounted tickets elsewhere.
They sometimes offer special ticket promotions but right now there aren’t any that are better than Universal Studios discount tickets aRes Travel above. Even the California Resident tickets can be more expensive than aRes Travel on peak dates. If you are interested in purchasing annual passes (more on this below), this is your resource.
6. Military Discounts
Universal Studios Hollywood offers year-round discount options to all active and retired U.S. military personnel. These tickets need to be purchased in advance at participating MWR/ITT offices throughout the United States as they are not available at the Universal Studios Hollywood box office.
Occasionally, Costco sells Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets. The best thing to do is search the website to see what is currently on offer or keep checking the theme park tickets section of your local store.
8. AAA Discount
AAA members can save on one-day general admission tickets and/or $20 discount off VIP tickets when purchased in advance online at AAA.com/Universal or at participating AAA offices. AAA members also receive a 10% discount at select Universal CityWalk locations.
9. Group Discounts
Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets are available for groups of 10 or more people by calling 1-800-959-9688.
10. Annual Passes
UniversalStudiosHollywood.com also offers Annual Passes, at $159 for regular, $199 for the Silver, $289 for the Gold, and $509 for the Platinum annual pass. The differences between the various annual passes are detailed very clearly on a chart juxtaposing and comparing all three passes. It may be an attractive option for Southern California residents who intend to visit the park multiple times per year.
FAQ About Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets and More
Is there a Universal Studios in California?
Yes, Universal Studios Hollywood is in Southern California.
What city is Universal Studios located in?
The majority of the theme park is located in Universal City, California, while the rest of the park spreads into the city limits of Los Angeles. If you’re looking for hotels near Universal Studios, many of them are in adjacent Studio City or Hollywood.
How much are tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood?
The cost of admission depends on a variety of factors, including when and where you purchase your tickets, and what kind of pass and benefits you want. La Jolla Mom offers tips for finding discounted tickets through authorized sellers. You can also save money when you book in advance instead of purchasing your ticket at the front gate.
How much is an annual pass to the amusement park?
The park offers several versions of annual passes, including the California Neighbor Pass, Silver Pass, Gold Pass, and Platinum Pass. Prices will vary depending on where and when you purchase the passes and what level you choose.
How much do fast passes cost?
Universal Studios Hollywood offers a Universal Express ticket upgrade, which is the park’s version of a fast pass. It gives you one-time express access to each ride, show, and attraction but does not include admission to the park. The price depends on where you purchase it, the time of year, and what other tickets you are bundling with your purchase.
Does the park offer any other special passes?
Yes, Universal Studios Hollywood offers a VIP Experience that grants you exclusive backstage access to The Lot, where you can enjoy a special trolley tour and can even disembark to walk around. You also receive access to VIP lounges and express line privileges to rides and attractions.
Can you experience the whole park in one day?
It depends. There is a lot to see in the 415-acre park. Your ability to cover it all in one day may depend on the kind of pass you purchase, how early you arrive, and how crowded the park is during your visit. If you purchase an Express Pass ticket, you will get through the lines quicker. Most people can see the park in one day.
When is the best day to go to the park?
The summertime and school holidays (such as spring break) are often the busiest days at the park. You’ll most likely run into fewer crowds on weekdays, especially during the winter months.
What is the difference between the Upper Lot and Lower Lot?
Both lots feature shows, attractions, rides, and eateries. The Upper Lot is more family-centric with attractions such as Minion Way and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. The Lower
Lot includes the thrill rides Jurassic World—The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride, and Transformers—The Ride 3D.
Can you bring food into the park?
Guests are allowed to bring in bottled water and small snacks. They can also bring in baby food and formula, along with food for those with special dietary or medical needs.
How can you get free parking?
Platinum Annual Pass and Gold Annual Pass holders receive free parking before 6 p.m. All other guests are required to pay for parking. Before 6 p.m., general parking costs $25, preferred parking is $40, front gate parking is $60, and valet parking is $25 for the first two hours. All parking rates are reduced if you arrive after 6 p.m.
What are the best things to do at the theme park?
The World-Famous Studio Tour is one of the top attractions in the park. Other popular attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, where you can tour the famous Hogwarts™ castle and practice casting spells. You can also meet and greet your favorite characters, play carnival games, watch performances, and more.
Are there rides at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Yes, there are several rides at the park. Ride through Hagrid’s pumpkin patch on the Flight of the Hippogriff™ and come face to face with dinosaurs on Jurassic World—The Ride. Join your favorite TV family on The Simpson Ride™ or tour the thrills of ancient Egypt on The Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride℠ — and there many more exciting rides to choose from.
What does the Studio Tour involve?
The tour takes you around Hollywood’s largest set, where you’ll go behind the scenes of your favorite films and shows. You’ll see the sets from classics, such as Jaws and Frankenstein. The tour also brings you through 3-D experiences, where you’ll ride along the Fast and the Furious—Supercharged ride and venture through King Kong’s jungle.
What kind of food options do they have at the park?
From taco trucks to chicken shacks, the park offers all kinds of places to eat. You’ll find sit-down restaurants, such as Johnny Rockets and Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood, as well as grab-and-go eateries that serve popcorn, sweets, smoothies, and more. Whatever you’re craving, there’s a good chance the park offers it.
What should you bring to the park?
You will be doing a lot of walking, so wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Also pack sunscreen and a hat, as Southern California is known for its sunny days. Don’t forget your camera!
How do you buy Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets?
Here’s also how to save money on:
- Disneyland tickets
- Knott’s Berry Farm tickets
- Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets
- San Diego Zoo tickets
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets
- LEGOLAND California tickets
- SeaWorld San Diego tickets
- Universal Studios Orlando tickets
- Walt Disney World tickets
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom tickets
- Universal Orlando tickets
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