As you know, Tad is the frog family videographer. While he enjoys making all our videos, he has set his sights on becoming the next Spielberg. Movie terms make their way into everyday conversations. Homework concludes with "That's a wrap people." He will "give me notes" on my driving. For our aspiring auteur, a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood is the best of both worlds. He gets to visit a theme park and a working Hollywood studio! It's a thrill for him to be on location where "Back to the Future" and "Psycho" were filmed. Because of his interest in Tinseltown, we're always looking for the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood.
Today, we’re outlining the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood in what's left of 2017. We have info for For those of you planning a visit in 2018 as well.
If your particular dates are not listed here, jump down to the comments below and ask. We frogs will be hoppy to answer. Our Los Angeles Crowd Calendar is a helpful tool to help you get a month-by-month idea of the expected crowds. If only we could predict travel times on those SoCal highways! Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland are only 35 miles apart geographically—yet it can take almost two hours to drive between them. That said, many tourists will spend time visiting both destinations. This can lead to some overlapping of crowds. If you're interested in hopping down the 5, we've got a full post on the best and worst times to visit Disneyland. Note: you could also take the 101 to the 134 to the 210 to the 57 to get to Anaheim. Freeway funway!
Universal Studios Hollywood began as a behind-the-scenes tour of the working Universal Studios lot. The narrated Studio Tour that gives fans a peek at film production is the park's marquee attraction. Transformers: The Ride 3-D, The Walking Dead Attraction and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem provides unforgettable thrills and fun. Live shows such as Waterworld and the Special Effects Show are can't-miss crowd pleasers. The arrival of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter brought a new level of thrills, with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Nearby at Universal CityWalk, you'll find shops, movies, entertainment and themed dining favorites such as Hard Rock Cafe and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Sounds like a lot right? Don't worry. Even if you visit during the busy times, we have tips and park plans you can follow to reduce waits and make sure everyone— even the tadpoles — can have a blast.
How Locals Influence the Best Times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2017 & 2018
If you’re used to visiting Universal Orlando rather than the Hollywood original, know that there are some differences. The best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2017 and 2018 isn't necessarily the same ones at Universal Orlando. The biggest difference is the locals. Universal Orlando has locals, but not nearly as many as those in the Los Angeles regional area. More and more of these locals are annual passholders who might spend the end of their week at The Three Broomsticks while sipping on Butterbeer.
Dropping in for a pint at Moe's sounds cool, but it's not always possible for local passholders. Depending on the passport, a passholder might find himself or herself blocked out of the park on certain days or weeks. Those block out times—namely summer, spring break and holidays—are popular travel times for tourists. Looking at Universal's Universal Black-Out Calendar — this one is for California locals — gives you a fairly good idea of the very busiest dates of the year. This is because these are the times when most of the passholders are not allowed to enter. For all of July through early August, the California Neighbor Pass holders are blocked from entering the park entirely. That's a sure sign that there will be tourists!
Harry Potter has unsurprisingly created a spike in interest and attendance at Universal Studios Hollywood. It has also fueled interest in of one of our most popular posts on when to use the Front of Line pass. His West Coast arrival draws Potter fans who can't make the trip to Orlando. Vacationers are extending their trips to visit the Wizarding World. Locals are renewing their passes. We're expecting this surge (or... lighting bolt?) of interest in Universal Studios Hollywood to continue over the next few years. We've been hearing whispers of Wizarding additions too. Aparecium!
Worst Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2017 & 2018
- Veteran's Day Weekend - Nov. 10-12, 2017
- Thanksgiving week - Nov. 18-25, 2017
- Around Christmas through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 21, 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018
- MLK Jr. Day Weekend - Jan. 12-15, 2018
- President's Day - Feb. 16-19, 2018
- Spring Break and Easter - Mar. 10 - Apr. 15, 2018
- Memorial Day Weekend - May 25-28
- June 9-Aug. 11, 2018
- Thanksgiving week - Nov. 17-25, 2018
- Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 21, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
Other Dates That Might See Higher Crowds
We've pulled together other days that see higher crowds, but not as high as the absolute worst days. Some of the dates listed are isolated, with the days around them generally fine. These dates do bring in more locals. Anyone out there in La-La-Land aware of other dates that are popular with locals? Share in comments below!
- Labor Day - Sept. 4, 2017; Sept. 3, 2018
- Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 9, 2017; Oct. 8, 2018
Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2017 & 2018:
- Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day )
- Weekdays in February (minus the days around President's Day)
- The first few days in March (until March 4, 2018)
- The second half of April in 2018
- Weekdays in May (Minus Memorial Day Weekend)
- Mondays through Fridays the last two weeks of August
- The first half of September (except Labor Day weekend); Mondays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and October (except nights with Halloween Horror Nights)
- Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
- Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December
Holiday Crowds At Universal Studios Hollywood in 2017 & 2018
One of the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood is during the holidays. The park has holiday events for ones that enjoy merriment as well as hauntings. Halloween Horror Nights scares up large crowds during Halloween. Universal is kicking up their holiday offerings for 2017. Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is sure to bring in droves of muggles and wizards. The popular Grichmas shows no signs of slowing down. If you're thinking of visiting during these times, be sure to check out our survival guides and tips for Halloween Horror Nights and Christmas.
Aaaand, cut! Great job everyone. We hope you've enjoyed our ideas on the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2017 and 2018. Don't forget that a solid park plan can be almost as good as traveling on a low crowd day.