How to Buy Universal Studios Hollywood Discount Tickets

Buying direct gives you a one good perk but you can save money elsewhere.

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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 as I do).

See also: How to buy discounted tickets to LEGOLAND California

Cheap Universal Studio Tickets
Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-visit for Harry Potter fans.

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

Park Hours

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 $139-159/ticket.
  • Universal Express ticket, which entitles the older to one-time express access to each ride, attraction, and seated show, is currently $179-$269/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, is currently $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 parking fee at Universal Studios Hollywood is currently $25 per car, from the time the park opens each day until 6:00 p.m., and $10 from 6:00 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.

See also: Our Review of Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City


I am an advocate of buying directly through Universal Studios Hollywood IF you can arrive early enough to enjoy early entry, one hour before the park opens to the general public. Guests who purchase a Universal Preferred Hotel Package or tickets through receive early entry.

If you can’t arrive in time to take advantage of early entry, which in our case recently was 7:00 a.m., then it may be worth considering the other options below. And, if you are going to purchase a Universal Express ticket anyway, there is less of a need to arrive so early to the park.

Discount Tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood

2. aRes Travel (Most Popular for Single Attraction 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. Print aRes Travel tickets and head straight to the gate!

Buy a Day, Get a 2nd Day FREE (Top Pick)

This limited time offer is good from now thru December 19, 2018. Both visits must be completed by Dec. 20, 2018. The 2nd visit is not valid 11/23/18 and 11/24/18. Restrictions apply. (Price: $97.95/adult and $91.95/child)

Universal Express Including 1-Day Admission

Save up to 36%! Normally $259, for $163.95  this ticket includes 1-day General Admission and allows you to skip the regular lines with a Universal Express ticket as well! Note: One-time Express access to each ride and selected shows. (Price: $163.95/ages 3 and older)

One-Day General Admission

These tickets are for one-day admission. (Price: $96.95/adult and $91.95 child)

Two-Day General Admission

These two-day general admission tickets are  $117.69/adult and $115.77/child.

VIP Experience 

The VIP Experience includes:

– A full day of movie-making magic with an expert tour guide to tour locations closed to the general public
– Tour historic Backlot locations
– Walk through actual sets of War of the Worlds
– Roam the largest prop warehouse
– Take photos at the original Psycho House
– Universal Express Unlimited™, which gives unlimited express across to each ride, attraction and seated show. (Does not apply to food and retail locations)
– Gourmet lunch in exclusive VIP dining room
– Light refreshments served in our exclusive VIP lounge
– Valet Parking

Price: $331/ages 5+

limited time offer is good from now thru December 19, 2018

Disneyland® Resort & Universal Studios Hollywood Combo Pass

Bundle and save! Receive a 2, 3, 4 or 5-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper and a 1-Day Universal Studios Hollywood general admission ticket with this Combo Pass for three days of fun. (Prices vary based on which combination you choose. To give you an idea, the price for the 2-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper plus 1-day Universal Studios Hollywood is $352/adult.)

Universal Studios Hollywood & Warner Bros. Studio Tour Combo Deal

This combo pass includes 1-day Universal Studios Hollywood general admission ticket and one Warner Bros. Studio Tour Ticket. (Price: $165/adult – normally $182, if booked separately)

Universal Studios Hollywood Vacation Package

aRes travel also offers ticket packages with 59 different hotels.

aRes Travel Discounted Tickets

Universal Studios Hollywood Discount3. Go Los Angeles Card

The Go Los Angeles Card 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Get your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
  3. 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.

Save with the Go Los Angeles Card

See also: How to buy discounted tickets to the San Diego Zoo

4. 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.

Cheap universal studios hollywood tickets
The World-Famous Studio Tour passes by the set of “Jaws” the movie.

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

5. Costco

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.

6. AAA Discount

AAA members can save up to $24 on one-day general admission tickets and/or $20 discount off VIP tickets when purchased in advance online at or at participating AAA offices.

7. Group Discounts

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

8. Annual Passes also offers Annual Passes, at $169 for the Silver, $299 for the Gold, and $599 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 at that link. It may be an attractive option for Southern California residents who intend to visit the park multiple times per year.

How do you buy Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets?


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A list of reliable ways to buy Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets to save money on one of Southern California's best (and most expensive) theme parks.
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1 Comment

  1. Edison
    March 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm — Reply

    Some colleges offer discounted tickets so be sure to check if you are a student!

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