Universal Studios Hollywood Guide

Consider this your guide to visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, a popular theme park in Los Angeles, California. We love going here year-round so have advice about where to stay, best rides, ticket info and more tips for a fun day!

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Top Reasons to Visit

  • You love movies! Enjoy movie-themed attractions and merchandise, from classic films to modern blockbusters throughout 11 themed lands.
  • Favorite characters from these films perform meet and greets throughout the park for photos and autographs.
  • Between rides, shows, VR experiences, shops, dining, there’s something for everyone to do.
  • You can upgrade to included a Universal Express pass (shorter line waits for select attractions) or an exclusive VIP experience.
  • To see why this theme park is giving Disneyland a run for its money lately.

Must-See Highlights

  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with its rides, Ollivander’s wand store, Butterbeer, and more.
  • The World Famous Studio Tour
  • Super Nintendo World where you can meet Mario and ride in his Kart
  • WaterWorld show with its explosions and perilous stunts
  • Jurassic World water ride
  • Revenge of the Mummy — The Ride (this is one of my favorites)
A burger with fries and a salad on Super Mario Bros themed plates.

Universal Studios Hollywood Dining

I like to eat at Three Broomsticks inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you can order a Great Feast with all of the trimmings for your family or a hearty plate for one.

You can get a donut the size of your head at Lard Lad Donuts, a burger or salad at Toadstool Cafe in Super Nintendo World, a blended tropical margarita in a tiki cup at Isla Nu Bar,

There is also A LOT of good dining at Universal CityWalk which is OUTSIDE the park. We like Dongpo cafe (Chinese food) there.

It’s right off the freeway


  • 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Pay to park


  • General Parking Before 5 p.m.: $30
  • General Parking After 5 p.m.: $10
  • Preferred Parking Before 5 p.m.: $50
  • Preferred Parking After 5 p.m.: $20
  • Front Gate Parking: $70
Hours vary by season


Universal Studios Hollywood hours change according to the day and season. It’s best to check the park calendar online to plan for your visit.

Maximize your day

Helpful Tips for Your Visit

I feel like there’s are a lot of little tips that can add value to your day. Some are highlighted here but we have a list of 40 for you to read.


GET Tickets in advance

One of the most important time- and money-saving tips I can offer is to buy discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance. You can go straight-to-the-gate and save BIG on VIP Experience, Universal Express, 1-Day and 2-Day admission. SHOP ALL TICKETS.

Don’t Forget CityWalk

This sort of touristy entertainment area is outside of the theme park. However, there are shops, restaurants, ice cream shops and more to browse. It’s fun, especially if you’re staying at one of the Universal hotels.

Universal Studios Hollywood Weather

Sunny Southern California is well-known for its fantastic weather. Dry and hot summers and mild winters with very little rain are normal. The great year-round weather makes Universal Studios Hollywood a fantastic attraction at any time of the year. It also means that it’s unlikely that the weather will wreck your visit.

Rainy days will see fewer visitors to the park. This can be a huge bonus when it comes to wait times. However, the WaterWorld Show and Universal’s Animal Actors shows are canceled when there is considerable rain.

Where to Stay

The two closest hotels to the park are Hilton Universal City and Sheraton Universal Hotel. I’ve stayed in and reviewed both. You can also take a look at best hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood for even more options.

Universal Studios Hollywood Map and Directions


  • Getting there by Metro: Get off at the Universal City stop. Catch the free shuttle bus across the street that will take you right to the gates. Shuttles run approximately every 15 minutes daily from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.


Getting there from LAX:  Jump onto the I-105 East (there are signs that point you to its entrance from the terminal). Stay on it until you reach the I-110 Harbor Freeway North. Once you’ve gone through the downtown Los Angeles area, merge on the Highway 101 Hollywood Freeway North. Follow the 101 to the Universal Studios Blvd. exit. Turn right and it’s easy to follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood and its parking lots.

Getting there from Hollywood: Take Highway 101 North and exit on Universal Studios Blvd. Turn right and follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Getting there from Santa Monica: Take the I-10 Santa Monica Freeway East to the I-405 Freeway North. Take the Highway 101 exit. Follow the signs to Los Angeles (veer right). Follow the 101 and exit on Lankershim Blvd. Turn right and follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Getting there from San Diego (and Anaheim): Take the 1-5 Freeway North and merge onto Highway 101 North. Follow the 101 Freeway and exit at Universal Studios Blvd. Turn right onto Universal Studios Blvd. and follow the signs.

Universal Studios Hollywood Guide