Almost all of my friends who have visited me in LA have asked to go to Universal Studios. After going three times last year, I can definitely say I’ve learned the ins and outs of Universal Studios Hollywood. Here is my list of things to know before you go!
You can find discounted tickets online. I haven’t found massive discounts yet, but even a little bit helps. Check out sites like undercovertourist.com/los-angeles to find upcoming deals. Mousesavers.com may also have some good finds for discounts.
If you think you will go more than once a year, it may be worth it to get a season pass. There are different tiers of passes, with the most affordable one being the California Neighbor Pass. You can see each pass and its benefits here. If you do purchase one of these passes, be aware of blackout dates. Some passes can only be used on certain dates. Prior to purchasing, you should check that your desired dates are available with your pass.
While in the summer they are open until 10PM, in the off-season the park usually closes at 6PM. Keep that in mind as you plan your day.
Parking is a hefty $20 for general parking during the day, and $30 for preferred parking. If you live near the Metro, it may be worth it to take the Metro to the park. For $1.75 a ride it’s much more affordable and you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot. From the Metro stop, you can take a tram run by the Studios up to the park gates.
Maybe it was just the food vendors I ended up going to, but all the meals I ordered were a decent price (within the $10-$20 range). Depending on how long you want to stay at the park, I would also suggest either having brunch before you go or grabbing dinner afterward if you are not into amusement park food.
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, a trip to the Three Broomsticks is definitely worth it. They have some hearty meals there as well. However, the line is usually pretty long for food. If you are interested in just seeing what the insides of the Three Broomsticks looks like, I would suggest going through the entrance to the Hog’s Head next door as it opens up into the Three Broomsticks dining area.
Why You Should Go If You’ve Been to Universal Studios in Florida
While Universal Studios Hollywood isn’t as large as some of the other amusement parks in California, it is a great experience, and I love how close it is to central LA compared to many of the other parks in the area. It’s easy to set aside some time for Universal Studios in a day and still have time to do more exploring.
Universal Studios Hollywood is unique from Universal Studios Orlando in that it offers the Studio Tour. Universal Studios Hollywood was actually built adjacent to Universal’s actual movie studio. On the Studio Tour ride, you take a tram ride through the studio’s backlot, where shows like The Voice are now filmed. If you are lucky (as I was the first time I went), you may see a show filming on one of their many sets. Since the backlot is still used, the tour is modified each day to fit the studio’s use. I have been on this ride three times and each time the tour has been different. Scenes from movies such as The Princess Diaries and Back to the Future were filmed here. This 45-minute tram ride not only takes you through the backlot; it also takes you on a wild adventure in classic amusement park fashion. I would definitely recommend scheduling time for this ride if you are going to Universal Studios.
And that’s my brief overview of Universal Studios! What’s your favorite ride at the park?