Universal Studios Hollywood Guide

Consider this your guide to visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, a popular theme park in Los Angeles, California for all ages. Here’s where to stay, best rides, ticket info and more tips for a fun day.

Before I dive into some expert tips to making the most of your trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, here is some basic but necessary information.

Universal Studios Hollywood Hours

Note: The park is currently closed with no set reopening date — yet.

During normal times, Universal Studios Hollywood hours change according to the day and season. It’s best to check the park calendar online to plan for your visit. For example, in January there are weekdays that the park is only open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. We’ll have to wait and see what the hours are like when the park reopens.

Buy Tickets in Advance

One of the most important time- and money-saving tips I can offer is to buy discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance. You can go straight-to-the-gate and save BIG on VIP Experience, Universal Express, 1-Day and 2-Day admission. SHOP ALL TICKETS.

Universal Studios Hollywood Hotels

The two closest hotels to the park are Hilton Universal City and Sheraton Universal Hotel. I’ve stayed in and reviewed both. You can also take a look at best hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood for even more options.

Get Prepared for Your Day in the Park

Now that you know where to get cheap tickets and where to stay, it’s time to prepare for your day inside the park. I’ve put together a list of Universal Studios Hollywood tips and tricks that include where to eat and drink, how to minimize line waiting and other hacks that you may not already know. Speaking of rides, these are my favorite Universal Studios Hollywood rides that you shouldn’t miss.

Universal Studios Hollywood Parking Tips

Plan an extra 30 minutes for parking and clearing security into your schedule.

If you choose general parking, you will most likely find yourself in the parking lots that are furthest from the park entrance. If you follow the signs, you’ll be sent to the E.T. parking garage. From here, it will take you around 10 to 15 minutes to walk to the security gates and entrance.

On busy days, you’ll be directed where to go. So the parking lot you wind up in depends on the exit that you take from Highway 101.

If you want to park closer to the gates, you have the option of paying a bit more for Front Gate parking. This saves a couple of minutes and it helps to have a quick escape at the end of the day.

Universal Studios Hollywood Weather

Sunny Southern California is well-known for its fantastic weather. Dry and hot summers and mild winters with very little rain are normal. The great year-round weather makes Universal Studios Hollywood a fantastic attraction at any time of the year. It also means that it’s unlikely that the weather will wreck your visit.

Rainy days will see fewer visitors to the park. This can be a huge bonus when it comes to wait times. However, the WaterWorld Show and Universal’s Animal Actors shows are canceled when there is considerable rain.

Directions and Map

Universal Studios Hollywood address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.

Getting there from LAX:  Jump onto the I-105 East (there are signs that point you to its entrance from the terminal). Stay on it until you reach the I-110 Harbor Freeway North. Once you’ve gone through the downtown Los Angeles area, merge on the Highway 101 Hollywood Freeway North. Follow the 101 to the Universal Studios Blvd. exit. Turn right and it’s easy to follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood and its parking lots.

Getting there from Hollywood: Take the Highway 101 North and exit on Universal Studios Blvd. Turn right and follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Getting there from Santa Monica: Take the I-10 Santa Monica Freeway East to the I-405 Freeway North. Take the Highway 101 exit. Follow the signs to Los Angeles (veer right). Follow the 101 and exit on Lankershim Blvd. Turn right and follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Getting there from San Diego (and Anaheim): Take the 1-5 Freeway North and merge on to the Highway 101 North. Follow the 101 Freeway and exit at Universal Studios Blvd. Turn right on to Universal Studios Blvd. and follow the signs.

Getting there by Metro: Get off at the Universal City stop. Catch the free shuttle bus across the street that will take you right to the gates. Shuttles run approximately every 15 minutes daily from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.