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Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time

by Leap on March 30, 2021 512 Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time - PinterestDo 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 exciting attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Now there's a new ride to add to your must-do list — The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! Maximize your time and get the most of your visit with our Universal Studios tips!

Things are running a little differently in 2021, as Universal Studios reopens after a year of being closed due to COVID-19. Some of the changes are mandated by the government, but all are designed with your health and safety in mind. Hop over to our Universal Studios reopening post to get up to speed on what you need to know about visiting in terms of new health and safety procedures. For instance, only California residents may purchase tickets and visit during the initial reopening period due to state guidelines for theme parks. Our post on what to expect when the California theme parks reopen is full of hopful information for all of the theme parks and reopening guidelines.

That in mind, we are offering our very top tips for normal operations, with some notes on how to modify your visit during this reopening period. Keep hopping back during this changing situation to discover new Universal Studios Hollywood tips to navigate this new world as it evolves.

Keep in mind that these photos were taken before the closure, so you may not see reflections of current operating procedures in these photos. However, face coverings are mandatory this year though for all visitors ages 2 and up. Here are our hopful tips for wearing masks in theme parks. Ready for action? Let's hop to it!

21 Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time

1. Buy your tickets in advance.

You'll always 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.

During the Universal Studios reopening period, the ticket booths are not selling tickets. The park must limit capacity with advance purchase tickets or reservations for previously purchased tickets. Date-based tickets are back on sale as of April 8, 2021. If you have tickets purchased before April 8, 2021, you'll need to make a reservation before visiting.

2. Pick the best times to visit. 

Maximize Your Time at Universal Studios Hollywood - Family in Front of Globe

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 (say, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), you'll especially want to arrive early to fit everything in before the park closes.

Of course, in 2021, capacity is limited to allow for plenty of physical distancing space in the park. The Studio Tour and ride capacity will be limited, as well. You'll want to plan ahead when purchasing tickets no matter when you visit to make sure the date you want has availability.

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 should have no problem seeing most attractions, even on the super busy days. 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.

With the box offices closed, you can still upgrade in the park. Or, you may want to plan ahead by purchasing Universal Express in advance. 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.

Even with reduced capacity in the park, you will run into lines. If the rides have empty rows to space out parties, it will reduce the number of people who can ride, leading to lines. Universal Express is one toadally awesome way to skip the lines, during the reopening period.

4. Arrive ahead of park opening.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - 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 just might get in early (depending on the season). Not all attractions may be open, but it gives you a great head start to your day. If the Lower Lot is open, head there first and knock out those rides early in the day as they generally forma the longest lines later.

During some peak seasons, Universal may offer early entry (which can be purchased directly through Universal). This is no longer offered daily or even for some holidays. But if early entry is happening, the park may open the gates to all guests after they let in any guests with early entry tickets. That means you may score early access to the Wizarding World before the park officially opens! This may vary based on the time of year and size of the crowd. But it's todally cool when it happens.

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 to 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 to Maximize Your Time - Hilton 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 $201 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 Halloween 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. Sometimes "Access Hollywood" films just inside security in front of the Globe during the morning hours. "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 Tips to Maximize Your Time - Waterworld

Not all shows will reopen right away. The Animal Actors Stage reopened first. Shows will have to limit capacity to space out the audience. That means the stadiums may fill up sooner than they would in a normal year, so the bottom line is to arrive early if you want to see a show.

In a normal year, we schedule our day around the shows we want to see. 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. The shows offer a rest for your tired flippers in the afternoon.

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

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

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. You can 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 or dinner 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 (note that Ollivanders is temporarily closed for Universal's reopening). 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.

During the reopening period, we have found that the Wizarding World has the shortest waits in the later afternoon and early evening, so save your visit for these rides at the end of your day.

11. Hit the Lower Lot in the morning.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Transformers

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. Be sure to ask when the Lower Lot opens. Lately it is when the park opens, but at slower times it could be an hour later. Hit the Lower Lot ASAP for the shortest wait times of the day.

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time - Indominus rex emerges on Jurassic World

There's now a new Indominus rex animatronic as part of Jurassic World — The Ride. That means try to hop on the ride as early as you can to experience this new ending! It's so realistic!

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 to Maximize Your Time - Single Riders Line

Heads up for 2021 visitors: Single Riders lines are not allowed when any of the California theme parks reopen. Ride attendants will be spacing guests out rather than filling empty seats and putting parties together. But here's a look at how to use Single Rider once it returns. (It's our favorite way to skip the lines for free!)

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. Plus, it's a free way to skip the line! It's one of our top tips to maximize time at Universal Studios Hollywood. 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
  • Jurassic World - The Ride

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

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - 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.

As you may have guessed, the Studio Tour will be spacing guests out and that means there will be limited capacity and fewer people able to ride in a typical day during Universal's reopening period. Our advice is to arrive at the Studio Tour early rather than waiting until the end of the day so you do not miss out. Expect a physically distant line, as well.

15. Have lunch during off-peak times.

Maximize Time at Universal Studios Hollywood - Dining Area in front of Hogwarts

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. Try the tasty Costa Rican food at Jurassic Cafe in the Lower Lot. If you are a Harry Potter fan (OK, even if you aren't), 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. Wizarding alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the Hog's Head Pub.

One big change to dining will be where you can eat. You cannot help but notice more tables spread out around the park to offer more distanced and outdoor areas to eat. Enjoy the views. These are the only place to remove your face covering. You will even eat snacks there. Bring credit cards, debit cards and gift cards as preferred forms of payment.

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

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - VIP Tour

The VIP experience is more limited in capacity at this time, so you'll get a private theme park tour with a maximum of 10 people per tour and no more than three households.

With the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience ticket, you will enjoy a six- to eight-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. The order on the itinerary can vary per day, but you will eat about three hours into your tour. There is limited availability, so book in advance. 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.

During Universal's reopening period, Child Switch is offered for Wizarding World rides, but that's about it. For the Wizarding World Child Switch, you'll make the swap outside of the ride rather than the previous rooms. Be sure to ask at each ride as the situation is likely to change over time.

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 the attraction 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 at the end of the day. But that is easier said than done. All of the walking, heat (especially in summer) and missed nap times take their toll. If your hotel is nearby, consider leaving midday to escape the crowds and heat. Be sure to hold onto your ticket and get a hand stamp when you exit. Relax in a hotel pool or darkened hotel room to recharge for the evening. This is only recommended for days with longer park hours. Otherwise, you might miss out on experiencing everything.

If you don’t want to leave the park, the Special Effects Show and Kung Fu Panda (both temporarily unavailable) 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 (also unavailable) 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.

During Universal's reopening period, play areas (both wet and dry) are temporarily unavailable. You can sit and take a breather with food while distanced from other parties in the specified dining areas.

Maximize Your Time at 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 We usually visit CityWalk after we've left the park for the night because CityWalk is open later than the theme park.

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.

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time - People dress in wizard Robes and Wave Wands in Wizarding WorldMany 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, themed mask or accessory that you can enjoy in the park, save your shopping until just before exit time.

Keep an eye out for lines to get into shops due to reduced indoor capacity. Try to hop in when the line is low.

21. Download the Universal Studios Hollywood app.

The Universal Studios Hollywood app is your best guide in the park for quickly finding upcoming shows, reserving a showtime, checking wait times and locating restaurants or shops. It also guides you through Universal CityWalk. The park offers free Wi-Fi. You can always ask a team member if you can't find a showtime, such as the Wizarding World performances (temporarily unavailable) since not every show is listed.

You may also use the Universal Studios Hollywood app to get a Virtual Line Pass, when offered. Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash offers a Virtual Line. That allows you to enjoy the rest of the park instead of standing in a long line! You have to be physically in the park to get a pass. We recommend joining the virtual line as soon as you enter the park. You can also join the Virtual Line near the ride at kiosks that look like subway ticket machines (toadally awesome feature, BTW). You can join the Virtual Line and from the ticket machine as it is not linked to your park ticket.

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

Related: Toadally Magical Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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51–100 of 238 comments
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
Dec 14, 2019 at 1:14 a.m. Sadie Says...

Is there a way to make dinner reservations for a birthday dinner?

Reply
Dec 17, 2019 at 3:29 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sadie!

There are no restaurants inside Universal Studios Hollywood that require or take reservations. The park does not have any table-service restaurants inside. However, a few restaurants in CityWalk do take reservations!

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
Aug 12, 2019 at 7:21 p.m. Phillip Says...

If you take Uber or a taxi to the park, can they drop people closer to the front or do you still have a 15 minute walk? Thanks!!

Reply
Aug 12, 2019 at 7:20 p.m. Phillip Says...

The Universal app says that HP and the Forbidden Journey ride is (right now, noon on Monday) 140 minutes. Jurassic Park is 110 minutes, Simpson's 60 min, Mummy 50 minutes, and Flight of the Hippogriph 50 minutees.

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
Jun 15, 2018 at 5:20 a.m. Sandi Says...

We will be at Universal Studios the 4th week in July. Is it better to do a 2-day general admission or a 1-day express?

Reply
Jun 15, 2018 at 10:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sandi!

These are both great options! Check out our Crowd Calendar for details on how busy we anticipate the parks being. We would lean towards two days so you have some more time to enjoy the park environment in addition to riding attractions.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 14, 2018 at 2:27 a.m. Tien Tran Says...

Hi,

We plan to visit on Monday the 2nd of July . My wife & I will buy General Admission in advance. Is that a crowed day.

Please advise . Thanks

Please me your advise .

Reply
Jun 13, 2018 at 10:16 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Yes, our Crowd Calendar predicts it will be rather busy. Check out our tips to maximize your team!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 8, 2018 at 9:31 a.m. Rachel Says...

Hi! We will be visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood for one day during the first week of October. Your crowd calendar predicts moderate crowds that week. We are a family of six (kids aged 10 - 15). We are thinking of buying standard passes to save money, but can you give us an idea of how long wait times for the popular rides may be on a "moderate" day?

Also, if we arrive and find that the queues are horrendous, are we able to upgrade our tickets to express tickets at the park? We plan to buy tickets online in advance.

Thanks so much,

Rachel

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rachel,

You should be fine visiting in October, especially if you go on a week day. Yes, you can upgrade in the parks, but we don’t think you’ll find you need to!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 4, 2018 at 6:09 p.m. SJSJSJ Says...

Is there any reason to wear or bring swimsuits to the Universal Hollywood park? We'll be there mid-June.

Early hours begins at 8am. What time would you recommend arriving to front gates?

Reply
Jun 6, 2018 at 11:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Children would enjoy having their swimsuits to splash in the play areas, but we don't think there's any need for adults. Changing areas are available. We recommend arriving by around 7:30!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 30, 2018 at 6:52 a.m. Maria Says...

We are a family of 6 including 2 teens and 2 grand parents planning to visit on June 9.

Worth getting VIP experience ? Will the elderly get bored?

Shall we need to arrive earlier for the scheduled time?

Do we just show them the e- tickets that s all?

Reply
Jun 1, 2018 at 6:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Maria!

The VIP experience is quite pricey, but has been worth it in our experience. It's super cool and includes some food and unlimited front of line access, so you can definitely see the most in a day plus extra stuff with the VIP tour. We believe you receive valet parking so arrive maybe 20-30 minutes early to get through security.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 24, 2018 at 10:30 p.m. Ilana Says...

We will be visiting universal studios on 6.14.2018. Would it help to buy 1 universal express for the family or do we need to buy express pass for evetybody? What if we just buy it for the kids (ages 10 and 13, so pretty independent)? Thank you!

Reply
May 25, 2018 at 8:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Anyone in your party who wishes to utilize Express pass will need one of their own. If you won't be tackling many of the big rides, purchasing only for your kids sounds like a great way to save money.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 20, 2018 at 9:56 p.m. Renee Roberts Says...

If I am reading this right about both universal parks in Orlando, to see all the Harry Potter exhibits & rides we would need tickets to both parks? Is that right? So we would need the 2 n 1 park tickets for a day? We will be there on May 24th, will we also need the fast pass tickets?

Reply
May 22, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Renee,

Yes, to see both Hogsmeade (Universal's Islands of Adventure) and Diagon Alley (Universal Studios Florida), you'll need a 2-park ticket. In order to experience the Hogwarts Express (the train that takes you from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley), you'll need a park-to-park ticket so you can visit both parks on the same day. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 12, 2018 at 9:15 p.m. Katie Says...

visiting Monday June 4th are schools out already? How crowded woill it be and what are the avg wait times?

Thanks!

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 10:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie!

You can check out our Crowd Calendar for details, but it looks like June 4 is the first day of summer break at most schools, so it will be pretty busy. We would recommend considering purchasing Express passes.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 9, 2018 at 7:44 p.m. Sohil Vakharia Says...

Hi,

I am in a group of 4 and visiting on 22nd may. DO you adivse buying the express pass?

Thanks

Reply
May 10, 2018 at 10:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sohil,

According to our Crowd Calendar, crowds will be moderate. If you can swing it, Express Passes help you skip the lines!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 7, 2018 at 2:06 p.m. Nadine Viljoen Says...

We will be going in mid December 2018. Is this a

busy time of year?

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 9:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nadine!

The holidays are such a fun time at the parks, and we predict mid-December will only have moderate crowds. Enjoy!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 5, 2018 at 6:31 a.m. Dani Says...

Great site and info! We are taking our son for his 13th birthday. Is there an express 2 day pass? We are heading to Universal Hollywood for two days, but would love the express pass for one of those days.

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 10:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dani,

If you're wanting the Express Pass for one day, then we recommend purchasing a 1-Day General Admission ticket and a Universal Express 1-Day pass for the day!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 1:54 a.m. MK Says...

Are there ways for handicapped people to get around? My family member would not be able to do all the walking.

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 11:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi MK!

You may be eligible for a guest assistance pass - we recommend visiting guest services upon arrival to see if any accommodations can be made for you. Wheelchairs are also available!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 24, 2018 at 10:04 p.m. Kara Says...

We will be at the park on 5/18. We have already purchased our 1 day tickets but do you think we would need the Universal Express to maximize our day?

Reply
Apr 26, 2018 at 10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kara!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts it will only be moderately busy on May 18th, so we don't recommend splurging on the Express pass. You should be able to accomplish everything you want without it! However, feel free to go for it if you want to truly maximize your time.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 20, 2018 at 6:04 p.m. Kelly B Says...

My family of 5 are coming to Universal the 2nd week of July. I can't decide if it's necessary to get the hopper or the regular ticket and if 2 days is enough. It seems the Express ticket is worth the cost. Looking for any advice. TIA

Reply
Apr 24, 2018 at 10:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kelly,

Will you be visiting Universal Orlando or Universal Studios Hollywood? If you're visiting the one in Orlando, the Park-to-Park ticket (which allows you to hop back and forth between the parks in the same day) is always worth it to us. You can split your time up between the two parks and you can experience the Hogwarts Express (a necessity if anyone in your party is a huge Harry Potter fan!). You'll be visiting during a pretty busy time of year for the parks, so the Express pass would definitely be worth your time if you can swing it. Hope you have a great trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 19, 2018 at 1:57 a.m. Damian Says...

Hi there have a question. We are goin on may 16 and i was woandering if universal studios Hollywood still has the AYCE program?

Reply
Apr 19, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Damian!

Unfortunately, the All You Can Eat food pass was discontinued. But don't let that stop you from enjoying all of the yummy dining options in the park!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 17, 2018 at 5:53 p.m. Bonnie Says...

Hello!

My kids made their own wands at a Harry Potter birthday party. Will they be allowed to bring them into the park?

Thanks for all the great info!

Reply
Apr 17, 2018 at 2:31 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bonnie,

Yes, they can bring their own wands with them!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 17, 2018 at 4:30 a.m. Sharon Says...

Hi! Thanks for all the great tips! We are planning a trip to Universal Studios in mid-June. How far in advance should we purchase our (online) tickets?

Reply
Apr 17, 2018 at 7:47 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon!

You can purchase your tickets (discounted on our site, might I add!) at any time. We like to hop on tickets ASAP just to have another step of trip planning complete and less to worry about as the trip nears!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 11, 2018 at 10:55 a.m. Caroline Says...

Please advise if bags are permitted onto all rides. if not, what provisions are in place if there not a person in the party to look after them.

thank you

Reply
Apr 12, 2018 at 9:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Caroline!

On all rides that don't allow you to bring bags, complimentary lockers are offered. :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 9, 2018 at 9:59 p.m. Savanah Says...

This article was very helpful! If I am planning on going during November 21 to 25, how busy would it most likely be?

Reply
Apr 9, 2018 at 11:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Savanah!

You can check out our Crowd Calendar for deets, but holidays such as Thanksgiving are always pretty crazy at the parks. This article is the perfect place to start to maximize your time! Let us know if you have any questions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 5, 2018 at 5:26 a.m. Phil Says...

April 13th... would you recommend front of line pass? Or the regular would be ok?

Reply
Apr 5, 2018 at 7:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Phil!

As spring break season is still underway, crowds will be at a level 7/10. A Front of Line pass isn't necessary, but would be hugely helpful in making the most of your day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 31, 2018 at 10:16 a.m. Tracey Says...

Awesome tips. Was wondering tho...can we take in outside food? e.g sandwiches,snacks,drinks,etc?

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 11:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tracey!

Yes, you can - and this is a great way to save money.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 14, 2018 at 6:12 p.m. kara pa Says...

Hi, if we park general parking do they have shuttle service since walking distance to main gate for 20 min. and we have kids, don't want to get tired already

Reply
Jul 18, 2018 at 11:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kara!

There is not a shuttle, but you can pay $10 more for preferred parking with a shorter walk.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 14, 2018 at 5:52 p.m. kaural patel Says...

hi, i thought only snacks allowed. sandwiches ok?

Reply
Jul 17, 2018 at 5:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Yes, sandwiches are okay!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 29, 2018 at 2:25 p.m. candy Says...

Anyone know how much express passes cost onsite this week. I know it depends on crowd so just trying to get average cost of regular express and unlimited. Not sure if i want to buy ahead of time or not...

Reply
Mar 24, 2018 at 9:27 p.m. Alyse Says...

Hello, I'm wondering which day would be the better day to go: May 19 or May 21? Both of the days have average crowds but May 19 is on a Saturday with a time of 9am-9pm while May 21 is on a Monday from 9am-6pm.

Reply
Mar 27, 2018 at 1:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alyse,

Mondays are usually always less crowded than a weekend day!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 9, 2018 at 1:32 a.m. Anthony Says...

Hello, I saw the crowd calendar and am aware that this weekend is a busy one, however Saturday is predicted to have a lot of rain.

On busy days, does rainfall cause the crowds to be lower than they usually would be?

Reply
Mar 9, 2018 at 2:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anthony!

Our Crowd Calendar just shows what the weather has been historically, so don't let this worry you! However, you are correct - crowds do die down a bit during rainy weather.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 6, 2018 at 3:30 a.m. Janna Says...

I know that the week of March 11th is one of the busier times you mentioned. However, that is our spring break and the only week we will be in town. What day of that week would be the best day to go?

Reply
Mar 6, 2018 at 12:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Janna!

Feel free to check out our Crowd Calendar for details on the predicted crowds and weather that week!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 3, 2018 at 10:16 p.m. Katie Says...

Hello! We bought front of line tickets for March 12th. What time should we plan to get there?

Reply
Mar 5, 2018 at 9:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie!

That's toad-ally up to you. We recommend arriving at park open for a full day of fun :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 26, 2018 at 6:19 p.m. Maria Says...

I don’t see anything about strollers? Not rentals but if you bring in your own stroller are there designed areas to leave a stroller while you visit the lower lot? Or even while waiting in line

Reply
Mar 6, 2018 at 12:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Maria,

There are well-marked, designated stroller park areas outside each attraction. You could park your stroller in one of them before going to the lower lot if you do not want to fold up the stroller and take it with you down the escalator.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 22, 2018 at 6:53 a.m. Andy Says...

Hello,

Thanks for all the wonderful tips. I have a question on tip #1. What does "you definitely want to take advantage of this guaranteed entry and early admission." mean? Just buying the ticket online gives you that extra hour? Thanks!

Reply
Feb 22, 2018 at 12:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andy,

If you purchase a ticket online in advance from Universal Studios Hollywood, then you'll receive early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (one hour before the theme park officially opens)!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 21, 2018 at 12:03 p.m. Corey Nieman Says...

Through your site I purchased a buy 2 get 2 set of passes for our family of 5 which gives us admission to the 2 main parks...excluding the waterpark. I totally missed that I could get into the Harry Potter Attractions and hour early until reading this thread. How does that work if the rest of the park is not open that early? Where/how would we enter to gain that early access? Are there other attractions that allow early access as well? Thanks. - Corey

Reply
Mar 29, 2018 at 10:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Corey,

You'll still enter the park through its main entrance, but there are ropes, team members and signs to guide you to the Wizarding World. However, are you going to Universal Orlando or Universal Studios Hollywood? If you're hopping over to Universal Orlando, then to gain early park admission, you'll need to be staying at one of the on-site hotels! If you're going to Universal Studios Hollywood, then your ticket is valid for early entry if you bought it online beforehand. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 25, 2018 at 5:47 a.m. Andy Says...

Thanks for your response. Does one get the extra hour even with the tickets purchased using the link from your site or does it have to be Universal Studios site? Thanks!

Reply
Mar 5, 2018 at 1:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andy!

You will get the extra hour with tickets purchased online only from Universal Studios Hollywood!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 18, 2018 at 5:36 a.m. Jonathan Says...

Hi there,

My wife and I are bringing our 2 daughters for a Single Day Admission on Wednesday, 02/21, but the youngest will not meet the height requirement for some of the rides. I’m wondering if we need to upgrade 3 of our passes to Express passes to get to the front of the line, or only 2 if the non-riding adult can wait with our youngest and do a child switch? In other words, not sure if the Child Switch can be used in conjunction with the Front of the Line

passes?

Reply
Apr 5, 2018 at 1:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jonathan!

Sorry for the late reply! Hopefully, you were able to figure it out and enjoyed your trip.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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