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Universal Studios Hollywood – tickets, prices, free entry, Express Pass

Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and a movie-based theme park that attracts almost 10 million visitors annually.

Both adults and kids enjoy thrilling rides, live-action effects, shows, musical performances, etc., at this Los Angeles attraction. 

In this article, we share everything you must know before purchasing your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. 

Opening hours

The Universal Studios Hollywood opens at 9 am every day of the year. 

However, its closing time varies seasonally, from 6 pm in winters to 11 pm during peak summer. 

The park remains open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve as well.

Note: This Los Angeles attraction gets the maximum crowd on days when it is open for longer.


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Best time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood

The best time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood is 15 minutes before they open for the day so that you are ahead in the line and can get a good spot for the most popular rides. 

If you are driving to the park, arrive at least half an hour early to park your car and reach the attraction’s entrance. 

If you want to avoid the crowd, it is best to visit Universal Studios during weekdays, school days, and off-season (mostly winter).

Since the rides run all through the day, but the shows do not, it’s best to schedule your day around the show timings. 

Official show schedules and wait times are displayed around the park and on the park’s mobile app (Android / iOS). 


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How long does Universal Studios Hollywood take?

Visitors who don’t want to miss anything start early and end up spending the whole day at Universal Studios.

Visitors who pace themselves well can even spend up to eight hours exploring Universal Studios.

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, get the Universal Express ticket, which helps skip the queues at the rides and finish faster.

Universal Studios has two parts. The larger section is called Upper Lot and has attractions such as Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Springfield Hollywood, etc., and the smaller Lower Lot consists of adventurous rides. 

To save time, avoid moving between these two sections – finish everything in one before moving to the next. 

It is better to visit the Lower Lot first because the lines are shortest there in the morning. The crowd at the Lower Lot peaks by afternoon.

Recommended Reading: Universal Studios Hollywood wait times

Tip: Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour is a 60-minute ride in a tram to see actual filming sets of movies and TV serials. Board the tram during non-peak times (late morning, afternoon or early evening) because the ride’s waiting time varies by day and season.


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Universal Studios Hollywood prices

Universal Studios Hollywood’s General Admission ticket costs between $110 and $125 per adult or $104 and $119 per child when purchased in advance.

All visitors ten years and above must purchase an adult ticket. 

Weekends, holidays, and most July and early August have high prices, while weekdays and off-season have lower ticket prices. 

The Express Ticket, which gets you express access to all rides, shows, and attractions, is priced at $189 on regular days and $259 on peak days.

Both the General Admission ticket and Express Ticket cost more at the gates.


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Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets

The best way to get a discount on Universal Studios Hollywood tickets is by booking them online, in advance. 

The General Admission ticket price at the gate is $139 for all visitors aged ten years and above and $133 for visitors between three to nine years. 

The same tickets, when purchased online, are priced at $110 and $104, respectively, so you get a discount of up to $29 per ticket on select dates. 

Buy General Admission tickets online to claim the reduced prices. 

Universal Hollywood Express Pass costs $269 for all visitors aged three years and above at the gate. 

But when you buy them online, you pay a discounted rate of $189 per person, thus saving $80 per person on select days. 

Kids under three years get the best discount at Universal Studios – they can enter for free throughout the year. 

If you are on a budget holiday, find out how to get Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets.


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Universal Studios Hollywood for free

If you are in Los Angeles for more than a week, Go Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass is a great way to save money.

With this pass, you get free entry to more than 40 top attractions in the city. 

It is available for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 days and when you opt for a 3, 5, or 7-day pass, you get a free ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood, valid for any day.


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Universal Studios Hollywood tickets

It is better to purchase your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance since they are much more expensive at the attraction’s entrance. 

Depending on when you are visiting, online tickets can be more than $30 cheaper than the ticket counter’s price. 

Online Universal Studios also help you save a lot of waiting time at the ticket counters, especially during the summer months, which is the peak tourist season. 

In this section, we explain the four types of Universal Studios Hollywood tickets.

General Admission Ticket

Universal Studios Hollywood’s General Admission ticket is the cheapest way to get inside the theme park, which is why it is also the most popular ticket.

Besides access to all the rides, shows, and attractions at the park, this ticket also includes the behind-the-scenes Universal Studios Tour. 

Price for 1-day ticket

Adult ticket (10+ years): US$ 110
Child ticket (3 to 9 years): US$ 104

*On peak days, the ticket price can go up to US$ 125 for 10+ year old visitors.

Express ticket

The all-access Universal Studios Hollywood Express Ticket gets you celebrity treatment at the park.

It includes all-day admission to the park, one-time express access to all rides, shows, and attractions – which means, you don’t stand in any queue.

The Express Ticket also gets referred to as Universal Studios Hollywood Fast Pass.

It is a great way to make the most of your day and maximize your fun in the park.

You must select ‘Express ticket’ on the booking page

*On peak days, the ticket price can go up to US$ 259 per person.

Ticket price: US$ 189

VIP Tour tickets

The VIP Experience Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood is the most exclusive way to go behind the scenes at the world’s largest movie studio and Theme Park in Los Angeles.

During the Universal VIP tour, you will be shown around exclusive backlot areas not open to the public, gain express entry to all the rides, shows, and attractions, enjoy a gourmet meal, access the VIP lounge, etc.

A live guide is with you all through your tour, and you also get exclusive access to VIP areas.

*No surge pricing applies on VIP tickets, and its cost remains the same all through the year.

Ticket price: US$ 349

Universal Studios tickets with transport

Visitors who don’t want to figure out how to travel to the Universal studios opt for packages that include both the entry tickets and two-way transport.

You get picked up from your hotel at 9.30 am, and a coach transports you to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

You get to explore the LA attraction for as long as you please, and after eight hours, you sit back in the coach and head back to your hotel. 

Pickups are offered from hotels/locations in both Los Angeles and Anaheim.

If you are in Orange County for long, check out this two-day Hollywood and Universal Studios package

Tourists holidaying in San Diego, opt for this small group tour to Universal Studios in LA.


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Universal Studios Hollywood map

Universal Studios Hollywood has two parts – Upper Lot and Lower Lot – connected by a series of escalators called the Starway.

The Upper Lot tends to have family-based attractions such as Minion Way, Springfield, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, World Famous Studio Tour, etc.  

The Lower Lot is smaller of the two and is known for the three most adrenalin-pumping rides within the attraction – Jurassic World Ride, Revenge of the Mummy Ride, and Transformers 3D Ride.

To better understand Universal Studios Hollywood’s layout, download the map (pdf, 2.5 Mb).

Recommended Reading
Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Hollywood’s minimum height requirements


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Directions to Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is located just off the 101 Freeway in Universal City, North of Hollywood. 

It is approximately ten minutes north of Downtown Los Angeles. 

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. Get Directions

To the Studios by Metro

Universal City/Studio City is the closest Subway station to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. 

From Downtown LA or Hollywood, you can take the Metro Red Line train to get to Universal City station.

Universal Studios’ entrance is 800 meters (half a mile) from the station, but it is an uphill walk. 

That’s why we recommend the Universal Studios shuttle, which is parked just across from the station and provides complimentary service.

The shuttle leaves the station every 10 to 15 minutes and drops visitors at Universal Studios Hollywood’s front gate. 

Shuttles start at 7 am and continue to run for two hours after the park closes for the day.

Bus tours to Universal Studios

Several companies offer two-way transport to the Universal studios and entry tickets as a package.  

These Universal Studios Hollywood tickets with transport cost around $180 per person. Hotel pickups are available from Los Angeles and Anaheim.

Some of these Universal Studios Hollywood tours with transport also include an extensive tour of Hollywood

Note: Some of these tours may not be available now due to the pandemic.

Driving to Universal Studios

Los Angeles has lots of cars, and traffic can be messy, so we don’t recommend driving to Universal Studios. 

However, if you must, the easiest way to get there is by using Google Maps

After exiting either Universal Studios Boulevard or Lankershim Blvd, you can follow the signs to get to the attraction’s entrance. 

Universal Studios Hollywood parking

The Universal Studios park is built into a hillside and situated on two levels with four flights of escalators connecting the Lower Lot to the Upper Lot. 

The main parking space is near the main entrance on the Upper Lot. 

Self Parking is complimentary, but valet parking is available at a price.

Universal and Disneyland aren’t far from each other, and some tourists and locals visit both of them. Find out how to go from Universal Hollywood to Disneyland.

# Warner Bros Studios Hollywood
# Hollywood Sign
# Madame Tussauds
# Los Angeles Zoo
# Petersen Automotive Museum

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