Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time

by Leap on April 10, 2019 460 Los Angeles

Universal Studios Tips - Maximize Your Time at Universal Studios Hollywood

Do you love movies? If so, Universal Studios Hollywood is for you! The magic of movie-making comes to life at the park, which combines the quintessential Hollywood movie experience with frogtastic theme park attractions and shows. Universal Studios Hollywood is one of our Frog Family favorites! Especially Tad's. The Studio Tour includes the most recent, exciting finale of   Fast and Furious: Supercharged. Other favorites include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda,  The Walking Dead Attraction, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Maximize your time and get the most of your visit with our Universal Studios tips.

21 Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time

1. Buy your tickets in advance.

You'll save time and money when you buy your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance. If you want to skip the lines and get priority seating for shows, consider purchasing a Universal Express ticket, which includes admission as well as one-time express access to each ride, show and attraction.

2. Pick the best times to visit. 

Universal Studios Tips - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Studios Hollywood

While any day you can head to Universal Studios Hollywood is a great day, some days are better than others! You'll find the waits are lowest in the fall, winter and spring. Avoid the days around the holidays and times when children are out of school. Weekdays are often less crowded than weekends. Be sure to hop over to our Los Angeles Crowd Calendar to check out crowd predictions and hop over to our guide to the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. Another thing to consider is park hours. Check the park hours before your visit. When park hours are short, you'll especially want to arrive early to fit everything in before the park closes.

3. Consider the Universal Express Pass during the busiest times.

If you are planning to visit around the holidays, spring break or summer, consider purchasing Universal Express passes. With it, you will get one-time priority access to every ride, show and attraction! Now that's the way to maximize your time at Universal Studios Hollywood! And with the Universal Express Pass, you will have no problem seeing every attraction even on the most crowded day. The park limits the number of Universal Express passes it sells, and the price can fluctuate at the park depending on the season and demand. Buying Universal Studios Hollywood Universal Express passes in advance are a must if you cannot arrive in the morning to purchase them at the gate. If one-time priority access is not enough, you may be able to upgrade in-park to Unlimited Universal Express. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it could come in handy if you are visiting on a busy day and you want to ride again, and again, and again.

4. Arrive ahead of park opening.

Universal Studios Tips - Universal Studios Hollywood Entrance

We frogs have a saying ... the early frog gets the flies! When you arrive ahead of park opening, you will be one of the very first people inside the park and will have the opportunity to experience the rides with the very lowest waits of the entire day. This is one of our top Universal Studios tips! If you are at the park entrance 30 minutes early, you might get in early. After they let in any guests with early entry tickets, they may open the gates to all guests. That means you may score early access to the Wizarding World before the park officially opens! Hop tip: the early entry guests enter on the left, and regular guess enter on the right, but after the early entry people go in, the left side opens up to all guests. Hop over there to skip the line that forms on the right.

5. Allow at least 30 minutes for parking and security.

Give yourself enough time to park, walk to security and get through the metal detectors. Most general parking is sent to the farthest parking structures. Those lots will have you walking through Universal CityWalk (about 10-15 minutes) to get to the security screening area. You can upgrade to Preferred parking to park at Frankenstein (and sometimes even closer to the front gate). The Frankenstein structure is very close to the park exit for that quick getaway at the end of the night. You can further upgrade to Front Gate parking, which puts you right next to security. That saves time, but costs more money. If you plan to shop and eat in CityWalk anyway, then regular parking makes the most sense.

6. Eat breakfast before you arrive.

Universal Studios Tips - Hilton Universal Studios Hollywood breakfast

So that you maximize your time experiencing the rides, shows and entertainment, we suggest you eat breakfast before you head to the park! We give two thumbs up to the buffet at Universal Hilton (as low as $218 a night), which includes a variety of cheeses, cold cuts, fresh fruit, muffins, a doughnut bar, dim sum, pork dumplings, eggs, bacon and even Nutella! Wandering through Universal CityWalk, your breakfast options include Starbucks, Johnny Rockets, Subway, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Voodoo Doughnut. If you've skipped breakfast, The Three Broomsticks serves an English breakfast in the Wizarding World.

7. Bring your own water. 

While Universal Studios Hollywood isn't as lenient as the Disneyland Resort about bringing in outside food, you can bring water bottles (maximum 2 liters), baby food, small snacks, fruits and vegetables into the park. You can bring items required for medical purposes and special dietary needs. Small, soft-sided, insulated bags are okay, but you will need to leave coolers and food purchased from outside locations (minus the above exceptions) at home. Note that Universal Studios Hollywood does not even allow water or any food brought in for Horror Nights. If you are concerned about meeting your dietary needs in the park, you can consult the Dietary Food Guide for hints on how to find gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and peanut-free foods in the park.

8. Check the park website if you want to spot some celebs. 

A couple of weeks before your park visit, check the official website to find out which celebs will be filming. "Extra" with Mario and "Tanika & Renee Live!" are often filmed in front of the Globe Fountain on weekdays. Celebs don't appear every day, but when filming, their times and locations are noted on the schedule. "The Voice" is filmed at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you want to attend a taping, you can find tickets here, but it is best to attend on a day you are not visiting the theme park because tapings and their check-ins are time-consuming and have dress codes.

9. Schedule your day according to the shows. 

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips - Waterworld

Since the rides run continuously, but the shows do not, it's best to schedule your day around the show schedule. Universal Studios Hollywood publishes a show schedule on its website and in its official app. There are also show and wait time boards located around the park. Shows normally begin in the late morning, so if you arrive at or before park opening, this gives you plenty of time to experience The Wizarding World and Lower Lot attractions (which have much shorter wait times early in the day) before the shows start.

10. Plan your visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

One of our top Universal Studios tips is to break up your visits to The Wizarding World, which is centrally located in the Upper Lot. Ride the Wizarding World rides — Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff — first thing in the morning. Then, tear yourself away to other rides with short wait times (such as those in the Lower Lot). Circle back to Hogsmeade later in the day for lunch and shopping when the wait times in the park peak. Both of the rides in the Wizarding World accept Universal Express passes, but Ollivanders Wand pairing demonstration does not. The line for Ollivanders is longest in the morning after opening. The line drops off significantly in the late afternoon and evening, so it is better to wait.

NOTE: We do give you permission to grab a Butterbeer in the morning after you experience the rides. Because, you know, it's Butterbeer. 

11. Hit the Lower Lot in the morning.

Universal Studios Tips - Transformers at Universal Studios Hollywood

If you arrive at opening, you also should have no problem hitting the Lower Lot with very few people and minimum waits. We have put together a Universal Studios Hollywood Park Plan so that you can prioritize the rides, shows and attractions. The Lower Lot usually opens an hour after park opening.

12. Try to reduce time on the StarWay.

The series of elevators that connect the Upper Lot and the Lower Lot are very loooonnnnngggggg and can very well take 10 minutes each way (or more during peak times). Avoid multiple trips at all costs by doing everything in the Lower Lot once! We recommend hitting the Lower Lot first (as soon as it opens in the morning) because the lines are shortest there in the morning. They peak in the afternoon.

13. Use the Single Riders Line.

Universal Studios Tips - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Single Rider Line Universal Studios Hollywood

If you don't mind splitting up your party on a ride, the Single Riders Line is the fastest way to get on a ride without having a Universal Express Pass. It's one of our top Universal Studios tips to maximize your time. There are minimum Universal Studios height requirements for tadpoles to ride without an adult, so make sure they measure up first.

Attractions with the Single Riders Line: 

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Revenge of the Mummy - The Ride
  • Transformers: The Ride 3D

14. Head to the Studio Tour in the heat of the day.

Universal Studios Tips - Fast & Furious: Supercharged & Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour

The Studio Tour is what makes Universal Studios Hollywood, well, Universal Studios Hollywood. You will go down to the backlot, where you will visit some of the most famous backdrops in movie-making history! The Bates Motel, Wisteria Lane from "Desperate Housewives" and town square from "Back To The Future," just to name a few. You might even see some filming taking place! King Kong 3D and Fast and Furious make the tour an exciting ride, as well. We recommend it in the late morning, afternoon or early evening when waits for other attractions are high, temperatures begin to rise and your legs could use an hour of rest. Also, keep in mind that the Studio Tour closes before Universal Studios Hollywood closes, so check the last tram departure and wait times so you don't miss out.

15. Have lunch during off-peak times.

You'll save the most time at Universal Studios Hollywood if you dine outside of peak meal times. Know that there are no table service restaurants within the park and you won't be able to make reservations in advance. If you are looking for a sit-down restaurant, there are plenty of options at CityWalk next door. If you are a Harry Potter fan (or even if you are not), we find the most relaxing and delicious meal in the park to be at The Three Broomsticks. Grab an early lunch or early dinner and eat like a wizard in a replica of an iconic Harry Potter setting. HINT: Wizarding alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the Hog's Head Pub.

16. Don't want to worry about anything? Purchase the VIP Experience.

Universal Studios Tips - Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience

With the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience ticket, you will enjoy a 6- to 8-hour personal guided tour of the park. This includes valet parking, a light breakfast in the private VIP lounge, exclusive backlot access, unlimited priority access (think Universal Express) to all of the rides and shows (with a guide to get you the best seats) and a gourmet, all-you-can-eat lunch at the Moulin Rouge dining room. You'll take a trolley down to the backlot and visit working sound stages, Universal's sound department and prop warehouse and other areas not open to the general public. There is limited availability, so book in advance. You can save up to $30 on the VIP Experience when you book with us! Children must be at least 5 years old.

17. Take advantage of Child Switch.

If any of your children cannot ride, an adult can wait with the child in the attraction’s Child Switch room. When the rest of the party returns, you can switch and take a companion with you. We have more tips for entertaining small children at Universal Studios Hollywood if you are bringing a little tadpole with you.

18. Make the best of ride breakdowns.

Sometimes a ride experiences technical difficulties. If you happen to be on the ride when this happens and team members need to have you exit (or delay you on the ride before it starts operating again), they will generally try to keep you hoppy with some consolation prizes. These may include a treat. We have gotten packets of Jelly Belly jellybeans. They may also tell you a secret code to come back and ride again (once it reopens) without having to wait. Remember this word or snap a picture of it, just in case you forget it.

And the best prize of all is a single-use Universal Express Pass (it is good for any ride except Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey). But be smart: They only give one pass per party (each pass admits up to five people). When team members ask how many people are in your party, you might divide into smaller groups — especially if you are planning to split up or head to different rides. So one family of five could technically be five parties of one. You might decide to share rides together after all by jumping in on a family member’s pass or decide to split up because you enjoy different rides. Anyway, if things go wrong, we frogs always try to make the best of it. And the benefits from breaking down can mean less time standing in line.

19. Take a break midday.

In a perfect world, you could arrive before park opening and stay until the very end. That way, you could take advantage of the shortest lines and most comfortable temperatures on the ends of the day. But that is easier said than done. All of the walking, heat (especially in summer) and missed naptimes take their toll. If your hotel is nearby, consider leaving midday (be sure to hold onto your ticket and get a hand stamp when you exit) to escape the crowds and heat. Relax in a hotel pool or darkened hotel room to recharge for the evening.

If you don’t want to leave the park, the Special Effects Show and Kung Fu Panda are air-conditioned, making them a great choice for cooling off and escaping the sun. The tadpoles will enjoy splashing in the Wet Zone area at Super Silly Fun Land, which has over 80 water play features. Parents can sit in the shade and cool off in the mist while watching the kids.

Universal Studios Tips - Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk

Another cool suggestion is heading out to Universal CityWalk. This themed mall offers familiar and unique shopping, dining and entertainment. Tad loves Things From Another World — a crazy comic book and sci-fi shop. Lily is into the whole "crazy socks" thing, so The Los Angeles Sock Market is her haven. For dinner, we're fans of Karl Strauss Brewing and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. #finstotheleft

Something to consider during or after your day of movie theme park thrills is catching a movie at the Universal Cinema AMC Theater. A dark, air-conditioned theater can be a welcome oasis for tired bodies and a fun way to close down a day. Bring your Universal Studios Parking ticket to the theater Box Office for a parking rebate.

20. Save your souvenir shopping until the end.

Many of the items you can find throughout the park are also available at the gift shops on the way to the park exit (including Wizarding World souvenirs and candies). You can avoid lugging bags with you through the park and shop in a less crowded store with perhaps shorter lines just before leaving. Plus, your chocolate frogs won’t melt in the sweltering heat if you buy them just before you leave. So unless you are looking for an interactive wand or accessory that you can enjoy in the park, save your shopping until just before exit time.

21. Download the Universal Studios Hollywood app.

The Universal Studios Hollywood app is your best guide in the park for quickly finding upcoming shows, checking wait times, and locating restaurants or shops. It also guides you through Universal CityWalk. If you are looking for Frog Choir or Triwizard Spirit Rally performances, as well as that day’s character locations and times, then this link to USH Wait times is your best resource (look under the Music or Performances headings for these small performances). The park offers free WiFi. You can always ask a team member if you can't find a show time, since not every show is listed.

Have a Universal Studios Hollywood tip we didn't mention? Share it in comments below! Don't froget, we offer a Universal Studios Hollywood Park Plan to maximize your time!

Related: How to Survive The Walking Dead at Universal Studios Hollywood

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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1–50 of 217 comments
May 6, 2019 at 2:45 a.m. jennifer Says...

If I bought tickets online and plan on going in July, do we just show up at the gates, or do we have to select dates prior?

Reply
May 6, 2019 at 11:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

You can just show up at the gates as long as your tickets are appropriate for the dates (peak vs regular vs value).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 26, 2019 at 1:24 p.m. Mrs. T. Says...

We will be there on May 29, 2019. Crowd calendar says 6/10. What are your thoughts on an express pass at that time.

Reply
Apr 26, 2019 at 2:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mrs. T!

In our opinion, Express Passes are pretty much always a good idea (who doesn't like skipping the line?) If you'd prefer to see what the crowds feel like, you can always head into the park and upgrade once you've been able to take a look around. With it being a Wednesday, things shouldn't be too crazy, but it's also summer break and many folks may be in the area for the opening of Galaxy's Edge.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 24, 2019 at 4:55 a.m. Amy Says...

We are traveling over this Christmas in 2019, my mom will be in a wheelchair, what are the ride policies for rides and waiting in lines? I know the have wheelchairs to rent.

Thank you

Reply
Mar 26, 2019 at 7:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy!

When you rent the wheelchair, they may give you an Attraction Assistance Pass. Take the pass to the accessible entrance for each ride. If the wait time is less than 30 minutes, they may let you in the accessible entrance right away. If the wait time is longer than 30 minutes, they may give you a time to come back. After you have used that wait time, you can acquire another wait time for another ride. They will help you park your wheelchair and may give you another chair to use to get on and off the ride.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 20, 2019 at 9:07 p.m. Sheila Says...

Hello,

Planning a trip to attend Friday and Saturday of next week.(March 29th-30th). Should we get the express? 2 adults 1 child? what's the best day and best way? thank you for all this great info.

Reply
Mar 25, 2019 at 10:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sheila,

Please see our crowd calendar for your dates! We are expecting this to be a busy time, so you may consider getting the Express Pass!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 19, 2019 at 3:57 p.m. Tami Says...

Any tips for navigating through on Senior night? We get to the Park at 4pm and leave around 2am

Reply
Mar 20, 2019 at 4:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tami!

We have not attended, but dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes, and if the lines get long, take advantage of musical entertainment or spend time enjoying the details in the Wizarding World. Do Kung-Fu Panda when you get tired and need to sit down. If single rider lines are open, take advantage of them! Others in the Frog Pond who have attended may have some tips and tricks for you, too :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 16, 2019 at 11:08 a.m. Rachael Says...

Planning a trip to LA in April. Want to do a 2 day pass with hotel at the Hilton Universal Studios. Trying to figure out how the hotel + 2 day pass maximizes our time at the park since we can’t check in until later on Monday. Should we check in monday late and have Tuesday and Wednesday in the Park? I want to get an express pass at least one day. Can we upgrade for one day when purchasing a 2 day package or do we have to do that at the park and hope passes are available? Thanks

Reply
Mar 18, 2019 at 4:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rachael!

Saving Express Pass for a full day sounds like a great plan (more time to ride)! You won't be able to upgrade a 2 day park pass ahead of time, though you can purchase one Express pass and a one day general admission ticket when purchasing online. Or, as you mentioned, you can upgrade when you get to the park (which is sometimes more economical).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 2, 2019 at 4:55 p.m. Yumi Says...

We will be visiting on March 13 (Wednesday) and your Crowd Calender says it will be crowded (8/10). Would it be the best to buy Express pass?

Reply
Mar 4, 2019 at 7:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Yumi!

Yes, on busy days, Express Pass can be hopful to help you spend less time waiting in line (and get more rides in!)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 24, 2019 at 11:32 p.m. Lucinda Says...

If we purchase a general admission, then decide to get an upgrade to an express pass at universal studio Hollywood, do you know how much more we need to pay on site for the upgrade? Thanks.

Reply
Feb 26, 2019 at 9:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lucinda,

This largely depends on the day, and whether it's considered peak time or not. You should be paying the difference between general admission and the cost of the pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 22, 2019 at 5:26 p.m. Javier Says...

Will be visiting March 14 and 15th (Thursday and Friday) Anyone think an express pass for one of those days will be worth the extra $$ or would we be good/covered since we will have a 2 day pass? It will be 2 adults and 2 kids (7 and 10) How busy does it get in mid March? Thanks!

Reply
Feb 20, 2019 at 3:16 a.m. Lauren Henderson Says...

I see from your crown calendar the date I'm looking at going to Universal Studios with my husband and 2 kids (6yrs and 8yrs) is going to be really busy because of Thanksgiving day - we are looking at going on Tuesday 26th November - It's pretty much the only day we'd be able to get there - should we even bother based on how crowded it'll be or should we fork out for the Express Passes? The only thing that is a huge must for us is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as my daughter is super excited about that.

Thanks for your help

Reply
Feb 21, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lauren,

Whether you should do it depends on a lot of factors, including your tolerance for crowds. If she is a big Potter fan and that's the only day, then probably so. Have that be the first thing you do in the park, and make sure you get there before the park opens.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 11, 2019 at 6:13 a.m. Kyley Says...

Hello,

Do you know if there is a limit to how many times you can re-enter the park? I will be leaving my baby home for the first time that I am currently nursing. I will need to leave out to the car to pump a few times during the day that I am there. Thanks

Reply
Feb 12, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kyley!

You can pump or nurse in the First Aid stations at Universal, plus they have added a family room with private rooms near Water World. There are also lockers available if you need a place to store your pump that will hopefully make things a little more convenient than entering and exiting a few times with your little one!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 11, 2019 at 4:51 a.m. Anne Says...

Hi - thanks for this post - it's very helpful! We're a family of 4 - going to be a Universal Hollywood over the Pres Day weekend - your calendar says it's going to be crowded. I'd like to get a regular pass and then upgrade to fast pass if we need to - but do you think they would sell out?

Also, can we bring granola bars and sandwiches?

Thanks again for all your help!

Reply
Feb 12, 2019 at 12:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anne,

Yes, you can do that. If you decide early enough, I don't think will be an issue with them selling out. You can bring in small snacks and any food required for special dietary needs.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 31, 2019 at 9:10 p.m. MIkeDemo Says...

We are planning at staying at the Sheraton Universal City Aug 16-17 and are trying to decide between:

1. A 2-day ticket without the express pass.

2. The VIP Experience

We want to experience everything but not sure if one day VIP is better then 2 days normal park touring. Also any advice on who can fit on the Harry Potter ride? I fit on Mummy fine.

Reply
Feb 1, 2019 at 9:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike!

According to Universal, a person whose waistline is at least 40 inches or greater may not be accommodated. There is a sample seat outside the attraction to test fit. There is a harness that comes down over the shoulders and it needs to be able to close. Good luck!

As for deciding between two days vs. the VIP experience, the VIP tour will get you through the entire park plus some sound stages other guests do not get to see. If it is within your budget, do the one-day VIP and choose an early start time to maximize your day! Then, use the other day to explore LA (Hollywood, the beach, etc.)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 15, 2019 at 9:52 p.m. Diego Says...

Hi,

I want to know if there are lockers in the entrance and if it is possible to live our coolers there. So during midday we can go out and have lunch.

Reply
Jan 17, 2019 at 10:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Diego,

There sure are lockers, and you can bring a cooler, but there are size restrictions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2019 at 6:24 a.m. Erica Hollinger Says...

Hello, We are looking to come to Universal Hollywood in early June. We have several National Parks we hope to see and a short time to do it. We want to see Disneyland, Knottsberry Farms and Universal as well. It will be our first time at the Hollywood location, though we have been to the Orlando location several times and love it. Is it worth spending a day at the Hollywood location? Or would we be missing out to skip it? My main interest seems to be the Backlot tour as many of the attractions we have seen in Orlando.

Reply
Jan 16, 2019 at 6:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erica,

We love this park, and the Backlot Tour is one of the reasons. There are enough differences from the Orlando version, plus the vibe is completely different, and we do think it's worth it! The national parks are toadally awesome too, but then again, we are frogs ;)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 10, 2019 at 10:45 p.m. shannon Says...

We are so excited to be visiting January 18 to celebrate my grandaughters 13th birthday. Does Universal Studios offer a discount for active duty military?

Reply
Jan 17, 2019 at 8:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon,

Yes, it does and thank you for your service! Here are more details.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 9, 2019 at 3:20 p.m. Kathleen Says...

Hi! I'm going to be spending one day at Universal with my daughter in April, over April vacation. We'll be in CA from the East coast visiting family. I'm definitely going to buy express passes for us, but do they ever sell out? Do I need to buy them far in advance? Thank you!

Reply
Jan 17, 2019 at 8:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kathleen,

They do sometimes sell out during peak times. We recommend you buy them in advance. What's even better is you can buy them now and save more money!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2019 at 11:47 p.m. Robert Says...

We will be going to the park tomorrow. What is the most cost effective way to park our vehicle. The parking at USH is outrageous!! $25-$50 per day. Thank you in advance!

Reply
Jan 3, 2019 at 1:35 a.m. Jazzy B Says...

Visiting March 7, 2019 it’s a Thursday. Do you think we will have enough time with a one day pass?

Reply
Jan 16, 2019 at 11:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jazzy B,

Looking at our crowd calendar, you should be able to hit most of the highlights on that day!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 31, 2018 at 7:15 p.m. Jen J Says...

Thank all for the tips! Followed your suggested plan and hit everything! Thank you!!!

Reply
Dec 27, 2018 at 3:16 a.m. Carrie Says...

Hi! We are going to Universal Studios Hollywood on March 4, 2019 with two children, ages 12 & 10. We only have one day and the crowd calendar predicts a 5/10. Would we be ok in just getting regular tickets?

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 27, 2018 at 9:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carrie,

We toadally think you'd be fine with regular tickets for these days!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 11, 2018 at 9:28 p.m. Jac Says...

Thank you for the helpful information. My family and I are going to Universal Hollywood next week and I'm curious to know if your 1 day plan is the same with Jurassic Park ride closure and Christmas festivities in mind. Should I stick to your published route or adjust? Thanks!

Reply
Dec 10, 2018 at 6:34 a.m. Karen Lee Says...

We will be a one day visit to universal

Next year 2019.

Do you advise Jan 4 Friday or jan 5

As far as wait lines/crowds?

Reply
Dec 10, 2018 at 11:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karen!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that Jan. 4 and 5 will be similarly very busy. Choose whichever day works best for you, and we do recommend Express passes. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 3, 2018 at 4:01 p.m. DrMommyof4 Says...

We have been Disney vistors a few time, but this year we are taking a day to come to Universal Studios in January with 2 Harry Potter lovers (ages 9 and 11) and 2 who don't know much about HP except what they hear siblings saying (ages 6 and almost 3). What can younger kids do in the HP world? I'm sure they'd love making a wand, but are there rides/activities for younger kids along for the (no pun intended) ride? And can we do the Universal Studios park in 1 day (our choices are Jan 12-13 or Jan 19-20 which looked like moderate times). Thanks!

Reply
Dec 3, 2018 at 11:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that Jan. 19 and 20 will be just a bit less busy than Jan 12-13. We hope this helps! Kids will have a blast just exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Purchasing a wand will allow them to unlock tons of fun special effects, and they'll love checking out all the fun toys and treats. Before your trip, try reading the illustrated books with them to help build the excitement. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 28, 2018 at 1:06 a.m. Sara Allen Says...

Hello, I am coming down Feb 17th - Feb 22. It's just 2 adults, no children. We are getting the fast pass/Express pass...will we need 2 days to see both parks? What are the best days to visit in that week? Thanks!!

Reply
Nov 29, 2018 at 10:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sara Allen!

It sounds like you're probably talking about Universal Orlando Resort. Our Crowd Calendar predicts Thursday and Friday as your best options. If you want to explore both parks, we recommend two days ... even with Express :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 27, 2018 at 10:54 p.m. Paul Gifford Says...

Karl Strauss... Not Carl.

Reply
Nov 3, 2018 at 10:24 p.m. Guy Cotres Says...

Hi

Can we leave the park and come back

Reply
Nov 4, 2018 at 10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Yes, you can! Just be sure to keep your ticket and parking receipt :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 2, 2018 at 12:21 a.m. Elaina Says...

Hi there,

I am confused with the early entry. I purchased the Max pass through a travel agent, would we be able to go for early entry? Also, would it be better to go on Friday, Nov 9th when it should be less busy or better to go on Sunday, Nov 11th when the park is open longer? We would also like to factor anticipated traffic from Anaheim into our decision.

Thanks for all you do!

Reply
Nov 4, 2018 at 9:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elaina!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that the park will be similarly busy on Friday and Sunday, so we recommend hopping by whenever works best for you, and when park hours are longer!

Regarding your question on Early Entry ... are you asking about Disneyland (as you mentioned MaxPass) or Universal Studios Hollywood (the subject of this post)? Let us know and we'll be hoppy to help :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 31, 2018 at 10:19 p.m. EVELYN Says...

Hello,

I will be visiting tomorrow for Horror Nights, whee can i park my car to avoid the parking fees? I'll most likely get an uber.

Reply
Nov 1, 2018 at 9:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Evelyn!

Hmmmm - that's tough. We can't confidently advise you parking your car anywhere publicly in fear that it may get towed. We would recommend Ubering straight from your home or hotel.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 29, 2018 at 3:06 a.m. Grace Says...

Hi. we are visiting USH on dec 26th most likely. I'm confused bc with express pass, the USH website says you get in 30 mins early to harry potter world but I'm also reading that if you you buy tickets online (which I plan to do)you get into park 1 hr early! Can you pls clarify? How crowded is the park the week of Christmas? We have only 1 day to visit and would like to see as much as possibl.thank you.

Reply
Oct 31, 2018 at 11:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Grace!

It is expected to be very crowded that week. It looks like they currently offer 30 minute early entry for tickets purchased online and preferred hotel packages. They used to offer one hour early entry when the Wizarding World was newer, but now it switched to 30 minutes. We might consider purchasing Express passes if you only have one day to enjoy.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 26, 2018 at 1:45 a.m. Belinda Says...

I was planning on buying my kids wands to put in with the tickets for Universal Studios as a Christmas present. But I've noticed there are wands for sale that are interactive. I'm wondering if I should wait til I get to the park to get them wands. Can you tell me how much they are? Would it work if I got them one interactive one to share between the 3?

Reply
Oct 25, 2018 at 9:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Belinda!

Choosing a wand is quite a fun experience, so we would recommend waiting to choose it there. Yes, all three can share it and perform all of the same spells. The wands are between $50-$60.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 19, 2018 at 7:23 p.m. Norma B Says...

Thank you for answering all the questions promptly and for all your great suggestions. Have a great weekend!

Reply
Oct 19, 2018 at 3:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Norma!

You just made our day! Thank you so much for your kind words. Helping lovely people like YOU is why we do what we do! Always reach out if you have any questions, and we hope you have an awesome weekend too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 11, 2018 at 7:16 a.m. Anna Chakravorty Says...

I am planning to come to US on 18th Oct and If I am visiting solo do I require to buy the express pass or single person line is easy to access and has less waiting?

Reply
Oct 12, 2018 at 2:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anna!

The single rider line will be your best bet! You should be able to accomplish a ton and save tons of time flying solo. Enjoy!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 6, 2018 at 3:52 p.m. Carol Says...

We are interested in buying tickets for Friday Nov. 16th and would like to spend most of our time in Harry Potter Park. Would this be a day to spend the extra for express pass?

Reply
Oct 9, 2018 at 5:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carol!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts moderate crowds on Nov. 16, so Express pass is not a necessity :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 5, 2018 at 11:49 p.m. Sikh Says...

Hello i plan to take uber to the universal studios and have no idea where to get off. I am mostly interested in the studio tram tour. So which location is best to get off so that i dont have to walk a lot and reach the start point of the studio tour.

Reply
Oct 9, 2018 at 8:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Universal has a designated area to be dropped off. Your driver should be familiar, and there are always signs to guide you!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 4, 2018 at 4:04 a.m. cindy shiu Says...

if I purchase the universal express pass can I use them in every single ride (one time) in the park ? including king kong? are there any rides that do not have the express options?

Reply
Oct 5, 2018 at 2:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cindy!

All rides have Universal Express options including The Studio Tour, which features the King Kong ride.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 27, 2018 at 2:49 a.m. Laurie Says...

When you talk about long wait times on busy days, how long are you talking 1/2 hour? 1 1/2 hours? 2 hours?

Reply
Sep 27, 2018 at 1:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laurie!

It's really tough to say! For us, I'd estimate a "long" wait as an hour or more on most rides.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 18, 2018 at 4:04 p.m. Trisha Says...

Hi Frogblog,

We'll be visiting as a group of 5; 2 adults and 3 kids aged 10yrs - 15yrs - 20yrs. We plan to arrive on Sun. 9/30 and are purchasing a 9 mos. pass available through my So Cal employer. We were looking for a hotel recommendation nearby so we could stay Sun. night and hit the park again on Mon. Oct. 1st before heading home to San Diego. Do you have any you recommend?

Reply
Sep 19, 2018 at 8:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trisha!

We offer discounts at quite a few nearby hotels that we toadally recommend. Check them out and book through us!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 2, 2018 at 12:25 a.m. Ginnie Bertolosso Says...

Do they have a Birthday experience package? My daughter is turning 12 and she wants to go to Universal. Anything else you might recommend for our birthday trip.

Reply
Sep 5, 2018 at 9:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ginnie!

There aren't any birthday experience packages, but you can stop by Guest Relations office by the Front Gate to pick up an official birthday button.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 21, 2018 at 4:40 p.m. BRANDY Says...

Can you still go into a park after 3pm and get in the next day free?

Reply
Aug 25, 2018 at 3:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brandy!

We have not heard of this promotion being available anywhere.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 20, 2018 at 9:43 p.m. Pat Says...

Hi

I have some leftover gate a passes from our visit last year. They have no expiry date. Can I still use them? Thanks!

Reply
Aug 22, 2018 at 10:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pat!

If you purchased through us, we recommend calling our customer service at 1 (800) 846-1302 to see if these are still valid. Otherwise, reach out to Universal at 800-864-8377. We hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 14, 2018 at 6:57 p.m. Anupama Says...

Hi,

We r wanting to buy online ticket for universal studio for tomorrow. Which one do u recommend as we will be able to spend just 1 day there and we have children teenage . What r the best rides for them to go on . And where can we find show timings . Also what r the timings of the park .

Reply
Aug 14, 2018 at 2:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

The best ticket for you would be the one-day general admission. You can find showtimes on Universal's website, and all rides would be awesome for teenagers! We especially recommend The Walking Dead and Harry Potter attractions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 9, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. Charlene Says...

Hello. We are going to Universal Studios Hollywood next week. Do you think it will be less crowded on Wednesday the 15th or on Friday the 17th?

Reply
Aug 9, 2018 at 2:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Charlene,

Wednesday will probably be the less crowded one!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 8, 2018 at 5:47 p.m. Angela Says...

Hi, your blog has been helping me plan for my California trip. it is so helpful. I was hoping to go to universal for halloween Sept 28. Never been to universal. is it better to get day/night combo ticket, or if i can afford buy whole day and night ticket? not too interested in the shows but defiently want to see tour.

Thanks

Angela

Reply
Aug 9, 2018 at 10:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Angela,

It depends on the days you're looking at going. If you can afford it, then we definitely say buy a whole day ticket and then a Halloween Horror Nights ticket so you can enjoy everything at your own leisure!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 1, 2018 at 4:02 a.m. Candace Says...

Hi. None of us are into Harry Potter. Is it worth the $500 for the four of us to go to Universal Studios?? Thanks.

Reply
Aug 1, 2018 at 9:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Candace!

Don't worry, there is still a TON to do at Universal Studios Hollywood outside of Harry Potter. We love it!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 31, 2018 at 8:34 p.m. Irit Says...

We are planning to visit Universal studios on Saturday, Sept. 22nd or Sunday, Sept 23rd. Which one is less busy? Do you recommend purchasing the fast pass at these dates?

Reply
Jul 31, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Irit,

Sundays are usually less busy. We don't think an Express Pass is totally necessary, but they are always nice to have!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 30, 2018 at 9:21 p.m. Thomas Says...

Hi there,

would like to visit Uninversal Studios Hollywood during the Columbus Day week on the 10th and/or 11th of October and am not so sure about the "elevated crowds". I have checked the calender (5/10 and 4/10). Still ... is an express ticket or a two day ticket the better choice. To bad that one can not combine these two options.

Many thanks for your help!

Reply
Jul 30, 2018 at 4:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Thomas!

Even without an Express pass, you could tackle most of the park on a 4/10 or 5/10 level crowd day. It just depends on how much time you have to spare. If you want to leisurely enjoy the park, we would opt for a 2-day ticket. If you'd rather knock it out in one day and spend the second day elsewhere, the express ticket is the best option for you.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 30, 2018 at 9:14 p.m. SarahF Says...

Hello, thanks for all the useful info. I’m staying in Anaheim, and hoping to get an Uber after reading horror stories about star line tours. Do you know roughly how much this might be? I’m in the UK so hard to guesstimate. Thanks :)

Reply
Jul 31, 2018 at 12:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

Depending on the time of day, it usually runs from $20 to $40.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 14, 2018 at 6:33 p.m. flon Says...

We will be going to Universal studios next week (wednesday or sometime friday). I am guessing saturday will be crazy busy.

But what is the waterpark like? Can adults go on as well? Our main reason for going is the Simpsons. While I've read here that harry potter is busy, is the simpsons just as equally busy?

thanks

Reply
Jul 17, 2018 at 5:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Flon!

We wouldn't anticipate the Simpsons to be nearly as busy as Harry Potter. The water area is definitely more kid-centric!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 3, 2018 at 5:45 p.m. Vincent Says...

I think one thing you should mention is that the Lower Lot rides actually do not open until 1 hr after the general opening of the park. So if the park opens at 9am, early park access is 8am, but lower lot rides start at 10am. So hopefully folks can get their fill of Harry Potter and any Upper Lot rides then start heading down to the Lower Lot by 930am/945am.

Reply
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