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A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood

by Mommy Frog on March 4, 2024 Los Angeles

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After a few months of winter chills, our Frog Family’s favorite time of the year comes around — spring! Not only is it the most vibrant and colorful season to hop around the pond, complete with blooming greenery and sunny days, but also the time of the school year when our tadpoles, Tad and Lily, get a much-needed break from studying so hard. Every year, during spring break, we make it a habit to visit one of our frog-favorite theme parks, Universal Studios Hollywood! And this year brings a special surprise as Universal Studios rolls out Butterbeer Season and a new ice-cream counter in the Wizarding World, just in time for spring break! Hop along for tips on making the most out of your spring break visit to the Entertainment Capital of LA.

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood

Overview of Spring Break 2024 at Universal Studios Hollywood

Although SoCal is known for its pleasant weather year-round, springtime is by far the most aesthetically pleasing time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. The sun is shining (but not too strongly), the birds are singing, flowers are blossoming across the park and that vivid view of the Santa Monica Mountains looks more radiant than ever. While spring break is one of the busiest times of the year to visit the park, the experience is well worth it! There’s nothing quite like riding around in the Studio Tour tram in the gentle spring breeze, especially with some new surprises being added to celebrate the tour's 60th anniversary this spring!

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - guest posing with Scooby Doo

Because this park is on the smaller side and more frog families are hopping around the park than usual, it’s crucial to have a plan of action when visiting in March and April. Let’s get into some hopful tips to navigate crowds and maximize time at Universal Studios Hollywood during a spring break visit.

Important Dates to Consider

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - Butterbeer

To make the most out of your time in the parks, here are some dates that can affect crowd levels and other factors when planning a spring 2024 trip to Universal:

  • Feb. 10: Lunar New Year, the observance of the Asian lunisolar calendar, falls on Feb. 10, 2024, but the celebration lasts all month long
  • Feb. 14: Valentine's Day
  • Feb. 17: Super Nintendo World's Anniversary
  • March: The Studio Tour's 60th Anniversary Celebration begins
  • March 15 to April 30: Butterbeer Season
  • March 29: Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Counter opens in Honeydukes (soft openings begin March 25)
  • March 31: Easter
  • April 19: World Simpsons Day
  • May 10, 23, 24, 29, 31 & June 7: Grad Bash 2024
  • May 27: Memorial Day

Spring Break Crowds at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2024

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - Studio Tour

With so many school districts and universities in the Greater Los Angeles area, spring break weeks are usually scattered throughout March and April — falling somewhere between mid-March and mid-April.

Although weekends are usually busier than weekdays, the park is hopping throughout the entire week during spring. This year, Easter falls on March 31, meaning the spring break season is slightly shorter. This can lead to larger crowds than expected during the second half of March and the beginning of April. March 1 through 7 are expected to be the least crowded days of the month, according to our Los Angeles Crowd Calendar. The Los Angeles Unified School District’s spring break runs from March 25 to March 29, so it’s safe to assume there are even more Los Angeles locals in the park during that time.

When in doubt, check us out! Our Crowd Calendar provides a glimpse into the daily crowd levels at Universal Studios Hollywood throughout the entire year, including spring break.

Tips for Navigating Spring Break at Universal Studios Hollywood

Here are some tips that we frogs stick to when visiting Universal Studios Hollywood during spring break:

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - WaterWorld plane

1. Buy Tickets in Advance

A surefire way to save both time and money is to buy your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance. By doing so, you can go directly to the gate and enter the park instead of making a line at the box office — which could take up your precious early morning time when the ride queues are shortest.

2. Purchase Early Access

An Early Access ticket allows guests into Super Nintendo World one hour before park opening, offering the unique opportunity to enjoy the land before the rest of the guests can enter. An Early Access ticket is only about a $20-$30 add-on to your regular admission ticket and grants you an entire hour in the land before it officially opens. We have experienced Early Access before and we have gotten so much done in that one hour!

It's best to arrive at least 30 minutes before Early Access begins to allow yourself time to walk into the park and down to the Lower Lot. After getting everything from the new ride to the challenges and character meet-and-greets done, you can hit some of the Lower Lot rides before heading back to the Upper Lot for Express Access to the Studio Tour (before 11 a.m.), which is included with the Early Access ticket. From there, you can conquer the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and any remaining Upper Lot rides with ease.

3. Arrive Early

During the spring break season, Universal Studios sees larger crowds than usual, so it's important to rise and shine as early as possible — at least 30 minutes before the park opens — to avoid long lines. If you get there before park opening, you'll be able to get a head start on all of the toadally cool rides or grab a bite for breakfast before the crowds get too overwhelming. If you don’t have Early Access, arriving at least 45 minutes to an hour before park opening gives you enough time to park, get through security and get a head start on the Wizarding World and Lower Lot rides (if you head immediately there once the gates open).

The on-site parking lots open two hours before the park opens, and one hour before Early Access begins. Keep in mind that the general parking lots are located the furthest away from the entrance, so you'll want to account for that 15-minute hop from the structure to the park.

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - view from the Single Rider line for Mario Kart

4. Utilize the Single Rider Line

If your party permits, and you don’t have too many young tadpoles in your group, you can save a lot of time by using the Single Rider Line. This line is available for most of the major rides and attractions in the park, and it typically moves significantly faster than the standby line. Keep in mind that getting in this line means you will most likely be seated away from your party.

Rides offering Single Rider include Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Revenge of the Mummy — The Ride, Transformers: The Ride-3D, Jurassic World — The Ride and Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge. But you'll want to ask a team member about it, as Single Rider is subject to availability.

5. Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks

This tip is for those looking to save some green while in the park! Bring in a reusable water bottle. There are refill stations throughout the park! You can find one in the Lower Lot, next to Jurassic Cafe, and another in the Upper Lot near the entrance. You can also refill your bottle at the nearest restaurant. Universal allows guests to enter the park with small snacks, so you can bring the tadpoles’ favorite snackables — perfect for when that midday hunger strikes and you’re in the middle of a ride queue.

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - Express pass

Of course, we have some further suggestions on staying hydrated and cool with cold or frozen Butterbeer and new ice cream options in the Wizarding World (or some of the new fizzy drinks at the Power-Up Café!).

6. Purchase an Express Pass or VIP Experience

An Express Pass is a frogtastic addition to a general admission ticket, allowing guests one-time front-of-line access to almost all of the attractions at the park — excluding Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. Having an Express Pass guarantees you a one-time entry to Super Nintendo World without a Virtual Line reservation (when it's needed). Don’t froget that Express is limited and it’s best to purchase it in conjunction with your ticket (in advance) to ensure you get those hoppin’ benefits! The VIP Experience, on the other hand, grants unlimited access to the Mario Kart ride, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes action in the Studio Backlot.

7. Bring a Sweater or Jacket

Although Los Angeles tends to have fairly temperate weather, it’s best to bring a long-sleeved shirt, jacket, sweater or an overall change of clothing. While the daytime might boast high temperatures, early mornings and evenings tend to get a bit chilly during the spring break months, and you’ll definitely be glad to have some extra layers on you on those occasions. It'll especially come in handy when you're getting off of Jurassic World soaked from head to toe or after a surprise splashing during WaterWorld.

8. Download and Familiarize Yourself with the Universal Studios Hollywood App

The Universal Studios Hollywood app can be an absolute lifesaver when trying to navigate your way through the park on a crowded day. It has many uses! In the app, you can check ride wait times throughout the day, keep track of entertainment showtimes and even mobile order food from certain locations, including Minion Cafe, Three Broomsticks, Jurassic Cafe and more! Save time by utilizing the app to join the Virtual Line for Super Nintendo World (when needed) or The Secret Life of Pets. The app also includes a map of the park.

9. Hit the Lower Lot Immediately

If you’re planning on arriving early in the morning before the park opens, you should be able to head to the Lower Lot as soon as you are allowed to enter the park. That way, you will have the shortest waits of the day for some of the most popular rides and areas in the park. If you already completed your Early Access hour at Super Nintendo World, you can get some major rides in the Lower Lot done once the park opens with much less of a wait. Check out our Universal Studios Hollywood Park Plan so that you can prioritize rides, shows and attractions for the day.

A Spring Breaker's Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood - Studio Tour

10. Ride the Studio Tour

The Studio Tour is the most famous (and lengthiest) attraction at this park! It runs about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on which film sets are available during the tour. Our tadpoles absolutely love it … especially Tad, our little future film director. In 2024, the Studio Tour is commemorating its 60th anniversary and Universal is bringing frogciting, new entertainment to the park this spring and summer to celebrate. So look out for any hoppy surprises on this ride! It’s also a great way to rest your flippers and stay cool during the hotter hours of the day.

Wondering what you can expect during spring break at Universal Studios Hollywood this year? Do you have any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: The Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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