Universal Studios Hollywood is one of our favorite attractions in Southern California. Like many theme parks, the costs can add up. Thankfully, you can buy discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets from authorized sellers. You easily can print them and go straight to the gate or load them on your mobile device for scanning.

The method you choose for saving money depends on your plans. Are you only visiting this park, does your itinerary include other Los Angeles attractions, or do you belong to a particular group? Maybe you need a hotel, too? I like staying overnight there!

We only list discount Universal Studios ticket options that are legitimate active deals and regularly check them for accuracy. This way, you won’t waste time on coupons, special offers, promo codes, and deals that don’t work or make sense.

We can help you save on tickets, tours, and hotels. If you purchase through some of the links below, we may be compensated. Thank you for supporting our small business! Our editorial guidelines.

Before You Buy: Universal Studios Hollywood Ticket Prices & Tips

If you know what kind of admission to purchase, jump to the best ticket discounts.

I’ve already written about tips for visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, but here are a few things to know before buying tickets.

This fun theme park is still a working movie and television studio. that the public can see via The World-Famous Studio Tour (with King Kong 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson as the Studio Tour’s grand finale). Over the last 50 years, they added rides and shows based on Universal movie properties. These include Harry Potter, Transformers, Minions, Jurassic Park, Super Nintendo, and others.

My daughter holds her Harry Potter wand in Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood.
My daughter stands with her wand in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Gate Ticket Prices and Availability

The price of Universal Studios Hollywood tickets changes based on season and demand. If you go during the busy season, buying tickets ahead of time is smart. No one likes to pay surge pricing!

Read all terms and conditions before purchasing a Universal Studios Hollywood ticket because. They usually can’t be refunded. General gate prices are as follows.

  • 1-Day General Admission Tickets: $169/adult ages 10+
    It’s valid on a select date and gives you access to all rides and shows.
  • Universal Express Tickets: $399/adult ages 10+
    You get 1-Day General Admission plus one-time (per day) express access to each ride (excluding Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge), attraction, and seated show, and one-time (per day) reservation-free entry into SUPER NINTENDO WORLD when reservations are required to enter the land.
  • VIP Experience Tickets: $519/adult ages 10+
    You get 1-Day General Admission plus unlimited priority access to all rides, attractions, and shows, an expert-guided tour, a continental breakfast, a gourmet lunch in the VIP dining room, and valet parking.
  • 2-Day General Admission Tickets: $189/adult ages 10+
    Two days of fun is better than one! You’ll pick your first date, and then your second visit has to occur within 7 days of the first visit.

Kids ages 0-2 are always free! You can check the online calendar to see the park’s hours. The park has different opening times throughout the year and on different days of the week. You need date-specific tickets unless you have a Go Los Angeles pass (more on this later).

In the past, I liked buying tickets directly from Universal Studios Hollywood. But now, they no longer offer early entry as a perk for guests who buy direct. So, getting discounted Universal Studios Hollywood tickets through an authorized ticket seller is usually the best way to pay less.

Getting Super Nintendo World Access

If you visit the Universal website, you’ll see an option to buy a date-specific SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ Early Access Ticket for $20-$30/person. It’s subject to availability and lets you enter Super Nintendo World one hour before the park opens. You can check Early Access hours online. It does NOT include your required date-specific park admission ticket.

In my opinion, another great perk is one-time early access to the Studio Tour before 11 a.m. The line can get very long. If you buy this early access ticket, make sure to use this benefit!

Universal Studios Hollywood Parking Tips

The general parking fee is $32 per car from when the park opens until 5 p.m. After 5 p.m., the fee is $10 until the park closes. Prices are higher during Halloween Horror Nights.

You can choose Preferred Parking before 5 p.m. for $50 or after 5 p.m. for $20. Front Gate parking costs $70. Valet parking is available for $25 for the first 2 hours and $50 afterward.

Tip: Use the Universal Studios Hollywood app to set a parking reminder. This way, you won’t forget where your car is parked.

If you stay at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City or Sheraton Universal Hotel, you won’t need to move your car. The hotels share a shuttle to the park, or you can walk.

1. The Cheapest 1-Day and 2-Day Tickets to Buy

aRes Travel is a San Diego-based, authorized ticket seller to major California attractions. I have worked with them for years, and they power our discounted tickets site. They offer some of the cheapest ways to buy discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets for the park only or with other popular Southern California theme parks for deeper savings.

A $2 convenience fee per ticket applies, but it’s the best price on tickets I’ve seen. We have sold over 71,000 of these tickets in the last several years. (Thank you for supporting our small business.)

If you have questions, you can email tickets@lajollamom.com or call my aRes Travel dedicated line at (888) 795-3715.

You can go straight to the gate with a printed or mobile ticket. At the time of purchase, you will select an arrival date. You can also buy the Super Nintendo World Early Access ticket for the same date through Universal Studios Hollywood.

2. Go City Los Angeles Sightseeing Pass

The Go City Los Angeles pass can save you up to 50% off admission to over 40 top attractions, tours, and theme parks attractions, tours, and theme parks in Los Angeles and Southern California — including Universal Studios Hollywood. You can get this pass in three easy steps.

  1. Choose the pass option that best suits you. You can buy an All-Inclusive pass, which has the theme parks, for a set number of days or an Explorer pass with a certain number of attractions.
  2. Buy your pass.
  3. Access your pass on the Go City app or print it at home.
  4. Show the pass at any eligible attraction, and you’re in.

Check the attractions you want to visit are included in the pass you buy. Passes have different options. The All-Inclusive pass covers these theme parks: Knott’s Berry Farm, Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios Hollywood. Don’t forget to use my special discount.

EXCLUSIVE LA JOLLA MOM DISCOUNT

Use promo code LAJMOMLAX10 to apply an extra 10% off ALL Go City Los Angeles sightseeing passes! This discount stacks on top of sale rates! Valid on purchases between now and June 2, 2024.

(Pass has limited value for families in San Diego during Kids Free October — we recommend individual tickets instead during this timeframe. See promotional terms and conditions.)

3. Create Your Own Combo Tickets

Many look for combo tickets that combine Universal Studios Hollywood with other nearby Southern California theme parks.

If you are not going to choose the Go Los Angeles sightseeing pass, the best way to save on multiple parks is to build your combo tickets by adding them one at a time to your cart. They are all discounted!

Note: To include Six Flags Magic Mountain in a combo pass, you must purchase Go City Los Angeles.

4. Discounted Hollywood Plus Pass

So, we haven’t had many people buy the Hollywood Plus Pass. But I just noticed it’s discounted on our site, so take a look. With the Hollywood Plus Pass, you can get admission to Universal Studios Hollywood and two or four other attractions for a set price. The other attractions include:

  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour* — 1-Hour Guided + 2-Hours Unguided + Shopping and Dining
  • Aquarium of the Pacific* — Aquarium Admission
  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures* — 1-Day General Admission
  • TCL Chinese Theater — Theater Tour
  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood — Standard Admission
  • Starline Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour — 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Tour
  • City Sightseeing Evening Tour — 1.5 Hour Night Tour
  • Starline Celebrity Homes Tour — 2-Hour Celebrity Tour
  • Starline Hollywood Walking Tour — 1-Hour Walking Tour
  • LA Zoo — 1-Day General Admission
  • The Grammy Museum — 1-Day General Admission
  • Autry Museum of the American West — 1-Day General Admission
  • Sofi Stadium Tour* — 1 Hour Guided Tour

Attractions marked with (*) require advance reservations. You can make them in the App. We also have the Hollywood Plus pass.

5. Universal Studios Hollywood Vacation Packages

You can also bundle your cheap tickets in a vacation package with 69 hotels, from budget to luxury. Choosing nearby hotels has many benefits, including skipping (hopefully) notorious L.A. traffic.

Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and other famous attractions are short distances from Universal City. So it might make sense to book a vacation package that includes the Hollywood Plus Pass.

My daughter points her Harry Potter want toward a display of chocolate frogs.
Interactive displays are a hit.

6. Discounted California Resident Tickets and Passes

The California Neighbor pass is back for $179 online! Many blackout dates apply, so check the calendar to see if the pass works for you. If it does, it’s a great deal. The pass is valid for over 150 days of the year.

You’ll also get some dining discounts and invitations to special events, but parking isn’t included.

Individual California Resident tickets aren’t available right now. They usually become available during off-peak seasons. We’ll watch for these tickets and let you know when they’re available again!

Universal Studios Hollywood globe at the entrance shines early in the morning.
The globe spins in the early morning California sun.

7. Groupon Deals on Universal Tickets

Yes, Groupon sells Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. Sometimes, they are cheaper, but they are not usually priced lower than our discounted tickets. It depends on the deal. You can check to see if there are Groupon deals (at the time of this writing, there are none).

8. Military Discounts

Year-round discount options are available to all active and retired U.S. military personnel. These military tickets for Universal Studios Hollywood must be purchased in advance at participating MWR/ITT offices throughout the United States. They are unavailable at the gate.

The set of "Jaws" as seen during the World-Famous Studio Tour, included with cheap Universal Studios Hollywood tickets.
The set of “Jaws” as seen from the tram.

See also: How to buy San Diego Zoo Safari Park discount tickets

9. Costco Discount Tickets & Season Pass

Costco is currently selling a $179.99 annual pass with what looks to be the same blockout dates as the California Neighbor Pass. You don’t need to show you live in California, but there are some restrictions.

10. AAA Discount Tickets

AAA members can save on one-day general admission tickets and VIP tickets. You can buy them online at AAA.com/Universal or at your local AAA office. The discounts may vary depending on which AAA club you belong to.

Currently, you can purchase passes such as Universal Express Tickets at a discounted rate (and save time in the lines)!

11. Group Discounts

Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets are available for groups of 10 or more people by calling 1-800-959-9688.

12. College Student Discounts

Universal Studios Hollywood partners with a long list of colleges, mostly in California, to provide cheap tickets for students. Go to the College Discounts page. Verify your student status there. See if you can save on 1-Day, California Neighbor, and Universal Express tickets. You can also pre-pay for parking, but that’s at the regular price.

13. Annual Passes

Universal Studios offers Annual Passes on its website. Annual passes can be a good choice for Southern California residents who plan to visit the park multiple times yearly.

If you have an Annual Pass, you must make reservations to visit the theme parks. One of the biggest differences between each choice is Pass Member Black-Out dates, which include holidays and some weekends.

California Neighbor Pass

  • Price: $179
  • Valid for 9 months with over 150 days of access, including more than 15 weekends.
  • Benefits include special event invitations, discounts on general admission tickets for friends and family, opportunities to participate in sweepstakes, discounted Halloween Horror Nights tickets, and 10-15% off at participating CityWalk locations.

Silver Annual Pass

  • Price: $239
  • Valid for 12 months with over 275 days of access, including more than 50 weekends.
  • It includes all the benefits of the California Neighbor Pass with fewer blackout dates.

Gold Annual Pass

  • Price: $329 online
  • Valid for 12 months with over 325 days of access, including over 75 weekends.
  • You’ll receive a 15% discount on in-park food, beverages, merchandise, free general parking (entry before 6 p.m.), and the benefits offered in the Silver Annual Pass.

Platinum Annual Pass

  • Price: $629 online
  • Valid for 12 months with no blackout dates.
  • This pass includes all the benefits of the Gold Annual Pass, plus Universal Express access to participating rides and attractions after 3 p.m., a free Halloween Horror Nights ticket, and additional special event invitations.

14. AARP Discount for Seniors

If you are an AARP member, you can save about 10% on Universal tickets. Our discount is better, but this is another legitimate way to save.

FAQs About Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets and More

After many years of selling these tickets, I’ve compiled a list of related questions I continuously receive.

My daughter stands in front of the Universal Studios Hollywood entrance during the holiday season.
The holidays are a fun time to visit.

Do I need a reservation for Universal Studios Hollywood?

You don’t need to make a reservation for Universal Studios Hollywood anymore. But your ticket has a specific date. You must visit on the date you choose.

Where is Universal Studios California located? 

Most of the theme park is located in Universal City, California, while part of it extends into the city limits of Los Angeles. 

If you’re looking for hotels near Universal Studios, many are adjacent to Studio City or Hollywood.

How much are Universal Studios Hollywood tickets?

The cost of park admission can vary depending on when and where you buy your tickets, as well as the type of pass and benefits you want.

You can save money by booking discounted tickets in advance instead of at the front gate. The current gate prices are:

1-Day General Admission Tickets: $169/adult ages 10+
Universal Express Tickets: $399/adult ages 10+
VIP Experience Tickets: $519/adult ages 10+
2-Day General Admission Tickets: $189/adult ages 10+

How much is an annual pass?

The park offers several versions of annual passes, including the California Neighbor Pass, Silver Pass, Gold Pass, and Platinum Pass. Prices start at $179 to $629 if purchased online through Universal. 

What other Universal Studios Hollywood discounts are available?

Bring your Visa card to the park! Visa is an official partner, meaning you can use your card for various dining discounts in the park and at CityWalk. In 2024, Visa will unveil a Universal Rewards Plus Visa Signature Card, giving card members extra perks at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Note: American Express used to be the credit card partner, and there was an AMEX Lounge. It’s now closed.

Is there a friends and family discount at Universal Studios Hollywood?

If you have a Platinum, Gold, or Silver Season Pass, one of the many perks included is discounts on general admission for friends and family. The discount can be as low as $95 per ticket, while one-day general admission tickets typically range between $99–$149. If you are a season pass holder, this is an opportunity you won’t want to pass up!

How much do Universal Studios Hollywood fast passes cost? 

A Universal Studios Hollywood fast pass is basically the Universal Express ticket upgrade. It gives you one-time express access to participating rides, shows, and attractions but does not include admission to the park (unless you buy a combo ticket that includes admission).

Or, you can choose a Universal Express Unlimited pass, which allows unlimited express access. This means you can ride and re-ride eligible attractions as often as you like.

Unlike a Disneyland FastPass, you do not need to choose a time. Universal Express is added to your ticket once and applies automatically to every eligible attraction, so you can enter the express queue when ready.

The price depends on where you purchase it, the time of year, and what other tickets you are bundling with your purchase. 

How do I get the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience?

The Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience is very easy to book. It grants exclusive backstage access to The Lot, where you can enjoy a special trolley tour and even get off to walk around. You also receive access to VIP lounges and express line privileges to rides and attractions to avoid crowds.

You need a VIP Experience ticket for everyone 5 and up in your group (younger kids can’t come). You must make reservations.

Can you experience the whole park in one day? 

It depends. The 415-acre park, with its Upper Lot and Lower Lot (you’ll ride long escalators to access the latter), has a lot to see. Your ability to cover all highlights in one day may depend on the pass you purchase, how early you arrive, and how crowded the park is during your visit.

You’ll pass through lines faster if you get the Universal Express ticket. Most people can see the park in one day, but a two-day ticket lets you tour more slowly.

IS THE WORLD-FAMOUS STUDIO TOUR INCLUDED?

Yes. Universal Studios Hollywood tickets include The World-Famous Studio Tour. You should definitely experience it.

The tour takes you around the backlot or, basically, Hollywood’s largest set. You’ll go behind the scenes of your favorite Hollywood movies and TV shows. You’ll see the sets from classics, such as Jaws and Frankenstein. The tour also takes you through a few 3-D experiences, where you’ll ride along in the Fast & Furious—Supercharged grand finale and venture through King Kong’s jungle. 

How can you get free parking? 

Platinum and Gold Annual Pass holders receive free parking before 6 p.m. All other guests are usually required to pay for parking.

Usually, general parking costs $32 before 5 p.m., preferred parking is $50, front gate parking is $70, and valet parking is $25 for the first two hours and $50 after two hours. All parking rates are reduced if you arrive after 5 p.m. 

How do I get tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hollywood?

Theme park guests don’t need additional tickets to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Your Universal Studios Hollywood ticket will get you into this popular attraction.

How do I get front-of-line tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood?

Buying a Universal Express Ticket or VIP Tour lets you skip the long line. But you won’t go straight to the front. You’ll still wait in a shorter line.

How can I upgrade my Universal Studios Hollywood pass to a front-of-line ticket?

You don’t need to do anything if you have a Platinum Annual Pass. You get one express ride per day on each attraction. If you have a different pass or ticket, upgrade it at the park’s Universal Box Office. This lets you get Universal Express access, if available.

Is there a Universal Studios Hollywood front-of-the-line pass coupon?

No. There is no front-of-the-line pass to buy. You can buy a Universal Express pass that provides priority, not front-of-the-line, ride access.

You may be tempted to look for coupons on various coupon codes websites, but even when you find them, they often don’t work.

Is the Universal Studios Hollywood Express pass worth it?

It depends on what you are doing. The Universal Express pass is worthwhile if you have bought a single-day ticket and are visiting in peak season. If you are on a budget and not visiting in peak season, you can consider skipping it.

What are the best things to do at this Universal Studios?

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 with your favorite Harry Potter characters.

You can also meet and greet favorite characters, play carnival games, watch performances, and enjoy the best Universal Studios rides. These include a ride through Hagrid’s pumpkin patch on the Flight of the Hippogriff™ and facing dinosaurs on Jurassic World—The Ride. Join your favorite TV family on The Simpson Ride™ or tour ancient Egypt on The Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride, which is my favorite thrill ride. And, you can also engage with Optimus Prime during Transformers the Ride-3D and laugh with minions during Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. And now there’s Mario Kart!

Don’t forget about the shows. The WaterWorld stunt and special effects show is the most popular.

Do I need separate Halloween Horror Nights tickets?

Yes. Halloween Horror Nights tickets are sold separately from regular admission. It’s an incredibly popular seasonal event, and admission does sell out. At night in the park, you’ll experience monsters, mazes, and scary interactive experiences. You can purchase tickets for Halloween Horror Nights directly through Universal Studios and through our ticket site. In 2023, these started at $67.49 per person.

Is Harry Potter included with Universal Studios Hollywood tickets?

Yes. Tickets include entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you’ll be able to shop plenty of merchandise, ride Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, buy a wand at Ollivanders, eat at The Leaky Cauldron, and much more.

Are Universal Studios Hollywood tickets refundable?

No, which is why it’s important to read the terms and conditions before purchasing tickets.

How do you buy Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets?

Learn also how to find the best prices for:

Reviews of Hotels Near Universal Studios Hollywood:

All Universal Studios Hollywood posts:

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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