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Katie Sagal

Universal Studios Hollywood Guide - Discount Admission, Tips & More

Universal Studios Hollywood is a favorite in Southern California. A hugely successful operational studio and a magnificent theme park all rolled into one, Universal is a can’t-miss attraction for L.A. visitors.

Universal Studios currently sits in the #3 spot of Tripadvisor's top things to do in Los Angeles, so you are guaranteed an excellent day out! Take a comprehensive tour of the back lot, then devote a few hours to their thrilling rides, exciting shows, and delightful attractions.

Don’t forget to leave time to explore Universal CityWalk, the shopping and dining destination adjacent to the park. Many people wonder how long you need at Universal Studios or how many days to spend there. Check out our helpful guide for visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, packed full of tips for visiting, ways to save on admission, other nearby attractions, and much more.

How to get Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets?

We’ve got you covered – Universal Studios Hollywood tickets are available with the All-Inclusive Pass on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day Los Angeles passes.

Tips for Visiting Universal Studios

  • Arrive early! You’ll need at least one entire day to visit Universal in order to make the most of your experience.
  • Consult Universal’s website and social media channels before visiting to see what’s new and happening at the park during your visit.
  • Studio tours are available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin for your convenience.
  • Parking is available for the entire day. Parking prices vary.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent if you need them.
  • Locker facilities of varying sizes are also available if you end up accumulating tons of souvenirs.
  • Plan on eating at the park for both lunch and dinner, as there are tons of quality dining options.
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day passes include Universal Studios Hollywood tickets

How long do you need at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Most people would say 6-7 hours is the average time needed to see the best of Universal Studios, so pretty much one full day. You could certainly spend multiple days there seeing all the theme park has to offer but 6-7 hours should cover the main sights and experiences to get through that you are interested in.

When is the best time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood?

Since Universal Studios Hollywood is bound to be an all-day experience if you really want to make the most of your time we recommend arriving as soon as they open.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable shoes & clothes
  • A camera or recording device
  • Sunscreen and/or a hat
  • Pre-packed snacks
  • Bottled water
  • A waterproof bag
  • Your phone charger
  • A light jacket

What is there to do at Universal Studios Hollywood? Does Universal Studios Hollywood have rollercoasters?

There’s so much to see and do that you’ll likely need to devote an entire day in order to get the real Universal experience. From rollercoasters to live shows, there is so much to do. Here are just a few of their popular rides and attractions:

The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM

From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it’s all here at The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM. Explore the mysteries of HogwartsTM castle, and experience pulse-pounding rides and attractions that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement. Check out this video of our Grand Opening!

#WizardingWorldHollywood HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & TM Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s16)

Fast & Furious: Supercharged

Image of Bus, Vehicle, Advertisement, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
See the stars from the Fast & Furious series reunite in an epic grand finale to the world-famous Studio Tour. This exhibit centralizes on everyone's favorite super-speed franchise - the Fast & Furious films. The special effects on this one are out of this world - you'll really feel like you've been thrown into the films as you enjoy huge, state-of-the-art 3D screens. Join the all-star cast in a "supercharged" ride that mimics a high-speed chase of over 120 miles per hour - whoa!

Check out our feature on the Fast & Furious: Supercharged ride.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Image of Glove, Book, Comics, Publication, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
Fans of this hit movie franchise will love this 3D ride. Experience life in the day of a Minion as you begin an adventure that drags you into Gru’s latest scheme. Leave time for the fun and sweet Minion dance party, and afterward, be sure to visit Super Silly Fun Land, a recreation of the first film’s carnival. Try ringing the doorbells and see what happens!

Check out our feature on the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride.

TransformersTM: The Ride 3D

Image of Animal, Apidae, Bee, Bumblebee, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
Another smash-hit movie franchise, this Transformers super ride is one crazy experience. In a ride that “blurs the line between fiction and reality,” anything can happen! A motion simulator with special effects, 3-D features, and Transformer animatronics, the ride is set in the ongoing battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. The ride features an original storyline as well as your favorite heroes and villains transforming into cars, planes, and who knows what else!

Be prepared to fight alongside Optimus Prime as he wages war against the evil forces of the Decepticons.

The SimpsonsTM Ride & Springfield

Image of Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
Immersing visitors and fans in the world of “The Simpsons” like never before, this exhibit area is a pretty unique experience.

Enjoy a funny animation specially created just for this ride, then pay a visit to downtown Springfield and leave some time for a Krusty Burger run or a brew at Moe’s. You'll love exploring this replica of the famous town, including all your favorite hangouts from the show.

Jurassic Park®: The Ride

Image of Animal, Dinosaur, T-Rex, Adult, Male, Man, Person, Boy, Child, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
This one’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll come face to face with ginormous, realistic dinosaurs (including a 50-ft-tall T-Rex) before you drop a startling 84 feet down on a water-borne raft. Also, be sure to check out the hair-raising Raptor Encounter.

King King 360 3-D

Image of Person, Glove, Adult, Female, Woman, Animal, Dinosaur, T-Rex, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
Created by Peter Jackson (director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as 2005’s King Kong), the King Kong 3-D experience at Universal Studios Hollywood is arguably one of the park’s most popular attractions. On the ride, you’ll face a 30-foot-tall King Kong and a 35-foot-tall T-Rex in the middle of two massive 187 feet wide by 40 feet high screens – equivalent to 16 movie theater screens put together. The ride is one of the world’s largest, most intense 3-D experience, and is really an event you’ll only experience at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The NBCUniversal Experience

Image of Glove, Adult, Male, Man, Person, Female, Woman, Bicycle, Computer Hardware, Hardware, Monitor, Screen, Shop, Window Display, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
This exhibit features objects and artifacts from over 100 years of movie magic at Universal Studios. See props and costumes from award-winning and fan-favorite films like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and the Fast & Furious franchise. Television fans will enjoy similar artifacts from hit shows like Warehouse 13, Covert Affairs, and Parks and Recreation.

What is the best thing to do at Universal Studios Hollywood?

One of the best and most popular things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood is the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour:

Studio Tour

Image of Person, Car, Vehicle, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
This legendary tour brings you behind the scenes of one of Hollywood’s most popular and productive movie studios. Roam 13 city blocks spread across four acres of studio lot as you listen to informative narration recorded by Tonight Show host and SNL alum Jimmy Fallon.

What is there to do near Universal Studios Hollywood?

Image of Urban, City, Person, Handbag, Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood
Located in Universal City, Universal Studios Hollywood is located within easy driving distance of a number of other great Los Angeles attractions. Some of our favorites include...

Universal CityWalk

This diverse dining and shopping destination is adjacent to the park (though you won't need an admission ticket to get in). You can explore your favorite retail shops or catch a movie at the cinema.

LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Not too far from Universal City, you can find the LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Visit lowland gorillas, seals, chimpanzees, Komodo dragons, exotic birds, tigers, snow leopards, and plenty more. From birds to mammals to reptiles, you'll see all your favorite types of animals.

The Hollywood Museum

The perfect place to discover all things Tinsletown. The Hollywood Museum is full of artifacts, props, and costumes from your favorite films. Swoon over Marilyn Monroe's red dress, see Cary Grant's Rolls Royce, and explore make-up rooms, film sets, and more.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Get up close and personal with your favorite celebrities in wax-figure form. Over 100 figures live within the walls of Madame Tussauds Hollywood, each impressive and life-like in ways you could never imagine. Explore exhibits made up of Movie Stars, Hollywood Icons, Movie Characters, Pop Stars, Sports Stars, and more.

Where is there to eat near Universal Studios Hollywood?

If you’re spending the day at Universal Studios, it makes the most sense to enjoy all of your meals at the park. You have tons of dining options to choose from, and two basic destinations for your restaurants: Universal CityWalk and within various attractions at Universal itself. Dine before 12:30 or after 2:00 to avoid lines. Here are some of the dining highlights at Universal:

  • Krusty Burger, Moe’s Tavern , and Luigi’s Pizza, all located inside the Springfield exhibit at the SimpsonsTM Ride. You’ll find burgers, soda, pizza, and even Duff beer at these locations.
  • Gru’s Lab Café and Despicable Delights, located within the Despicable Me exhibit. Expect everything from nachos and grilled cheese to pulled pork and smoothies.
  • Palace Theatre Café, a more upscale option, features gourmet sandwiches, salads, and other delicious grab-n-go options.
  • Hollywood Grill serves food all day including breakfast. Some menu items to check out include homemade pizza and breadsticks, mouth-watering funnel cake, and fresh salads.
  • Mel’s Diner, a blast from the past, features burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, and all the classic diner foods.

Here are a few of your many options at Universal CityWalk:

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., home of all things seafood, especially shrimp!
  • Buca di Beppo, a family-favorite Italian restaurant.
  • Jillian’s, a unique “dine n’ game” establishment that kids will love. In addition to great food, you’ll also find a state-of-the-art arcade.

Save on Admission with Go City®

Remember, an All-Inclusive pass for Los Angeles is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility, which includes Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, plus many more top Los Angeles attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-see attraction in Los Angeles. A favorite of movie buffs and pop culture fans from around the world, Universal combines elements of a theme park, a historical attraction, and a working movie studio into one fantastic experience.

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