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Tips for Visiting Universal Studios Hollywood

Updated on February 24, 2018

Choosing the Best Ticket

Universal Studios offers several ticket options to meet the changing needs of its guests. During the beginning of the year Universal Guests can get the buy a day get the rest of the year free deal. This annual pass does come with blackout dates but for those planning on visiting the park on multiple days this is a fun option. If you want to visit Universal Studios Hollywood for more than one day but don’t want to have to worry about black-out dates in the future or want parking included, buying a Premium Star Pass would be your best choice. The Premium Star Pass is just over twice the price of the Buy a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free ticket but is worth the fee if you plan on going more than once.

If an annual pass isn’t something you’re interested in Universal Studios has two more options for you. For those who want to skip the lines and have reserved seating at the various shows in the park, a Front of Line Pass would be your best bet. This pass allows you one priority access seating for each show, ride and attraction, which makes it great for days when the park is very crowded. If you want to feel like a celebrity on your visit you might want to try the VIP Experience. These tickets need to be booked well in advance but if you can make it on the list you’ll have exclusive access to the Universal Backlot, a personal tour guide and your breakfast and lunch will be taken care of. The VIP Experience guide also will take on right on all of the rides in the park on your tour.

Universal Studio Hollywood

The Main Entrance
The Main Entrance | Source

Where To Dine

Dining at Universal Studios Hollywood can be broken down into two options, dining within the park and dining at Citywalk next door. When dining in the park, you’ll have mostly cafeteria-style options that include foods like burgers, pizza, sandwiches and salads. There are two grab and go places in the park, Pinks Hot Dogs and the International Café. The Café sells sandwiches, coffee, fruit and soups if you just want something quick and pre-made. If you are willing to venture out of the park to grab a bite to eat, just make sure to get a hand stamp so you can get back in when you’re done. Universal Citywalk has both quick dining places like Pizza Hut, Subway and Taco Bell and sit down restaurants like the Hard Rock Café and Buca di Beppo. If you’re willing to go through security again, dining at Citywalk can be a nice break from the crowds inside the park.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Citywalk

Citywalk during a slow day.
Citywalk during a slow day. | Source

Where To Eat

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When to Dine

When at Universal Studios Hollywood, deciding when to eat is just as important as where to eat. If you’re eating in the park many of the diners have limited seating. This means that you could spend more time trying to find a place to sit then it took to get your food. Before the park is officially open everyday, guests are allowed into the front of the park and the Hollywood Grill serves breakfast for those who didn’t eat before arriving. Lunchtime at Universal Studios is the busiest time of the day so your best option for finding seating would be to eat at either Jurassic Café or Panda Express; both are located in the Lower Lot. Above the Jurassic Café is additional seating that also includes a view of the Jurassic Park ride and is fairly empty on most days. If you would like to eat at one of the places in the Upper Lot, the best time to eat would be between lunch and dinner or 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

The Studio Tour

When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, The Studio Tour is one of the must-sees in the park. If you get to the park right when it opens heading straight to The Studio Tour is your best bet. You can look at shops and go on rides after. When taking The Studio Tour later in the day, make sure you pay attention because Universal Studios offers foreign language tours several times a day. The Studio Tour only runs until sundown and the line usually gets longer as the day goes on. If you have the Premium Star Pass or the Front of Line Pass, you have your own line for the tour, which will get you on much faster.

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime visits the park.
Optimus Prime visits the park. | Source

The Lower Lot

Transformers The Ride 3D
Transformers The Ride 3D | Source
A Mummy Guard in The Lower Lot
A Mummy Guard in The Lower Lot | Source

The Lower Lot

The Lower Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood is in the back of the park. It houses some of the best attractions in the park including Transformers: The Ride-3D, Revenge of the Mummy- The Ride and Jurassic Park – The Ride. . If you want to see costumes and props from Universal Studios long history, taking a walk through The NBCUniversal Experience is a nice treat. It’s an interactive museum that changes throughout the year. The Lower Lot is fairly small so on busy days they limit how many people can be down there at a time. In order to ensure, that you get to experience these attractions, The Lower Lot should be one of the first things you do when you arrive.

Meeting Curious George

Meeting The Characters

Throughout the Universal theme park there you can find characters from many of Universal’s beloved films. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron are very popular characters located in The Lower Lot. Their lines fill up quickly so if you want to see these gigantic Transformers in action you should line up early. Near The Simpsons Ride you’ll find Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa appearing throughout the day with at least one of the family members appearing once an hour on slow days and about every 15 minutes to a half hour on busy days. SpongBob SquarePannts, Sherk, Princess Fiona and Curious George can be found wandering around The Upper Lot from the park opening until around sundown. Universal Studios Hollywood has many characters that appear in the park at different times during the year, such as Dracula, The Minions from Despicable Me, EB from Hop and Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. You can check with Guest Relations to find out who will be in the park that day.

Characters At Universal

Curious George comes out to play.
Curious George comes out to play. | Source
Megatron greets the Earthlings.
Megatron greets the Earthlings. | Source

Rainy Days

When it rains in Hollywood, Universal Studios continues operation. If the park receives over 1/8” of rainfall by 2:00pm guests with a 1-day ticket can request a rain check at Guest Relations. Many of the outdoor shows and character meet and greets are moved indoors to ensure that guests have the best time despite the weather. Some of the shows may have weather delays but announcements are made throughout the park when this happens. Most of the rides at the park are indoors so the rain will not have an effect on their operation. Universal Studios Hollywood also has complimentary coffee and hot chocolate to help keep you warm during the rain.


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    • saralynw profile imageAUTHOR

      Saralyn Wilhelmi 

      4 years ago from Orlando

      Thank you Tolovaj. I hope you get to visit one day. They just opened a new ride this week and they are building Harry Potter Land currently.

    • Tolovaj profile image


      4 years ago

      This is amazing. Every nation is the best at something and we all know America is the best at making shows, but I never thought there is so many options to do shows about the shows ... And organization with all sorts of passes and tricks sounds like a sort of show as well. Thanks for all the valuable tips. Even if I never visit Universal Studios, this reading was quite an experience!


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