Universal Studios Discount Tickets Roundup & Review
When people come to Southern California, they typically want to know about the stars — where are they, how can we see them out and about. Whether you’re visiting or live in Los Angeles, sometimes it’s fun to play tourist in the heart of Hollywood.
While it isn’t all that easy to rub shoulders with Hollywood celebrities on a moment’s notice, there is an attraction for that: Universal Studios Hollywood, the film studio and theme park in Los Angeles, one of the most visited attractions in the SoCal area.
SAVVY TIP: Skip down for 10 Ways to get Universal Studios Hollywood Discount Tickets
Grab some cheap sunglasses and head to the new movie sets at Universal Studios Hollywood
At Universal Studios Hollywood, you can see how and where your favorite movie and TV stars work, how movies are made, all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into Hollywood blockbusters.
The original idea for Universal Studios Hollywood was to provide tours so people could experience the real Universal Studios movie sets. You can go behind the scenes by taking the studio tour.
Along with the movie tours, we liked the shows and especially the movie-themed rides and attractions, especially the Transformers Ride-3D. and the Waterworld ride.
Tips for Visiting Universal’s Wizarding Word of Harry Potter
My favorite attraction at Universal Hollywood is the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you haven’t been to Universal, it may be time for a second look. Here’s what you need to know to go the savvy way.
Go to to Hogwarts Castle First
For the Forbidden Journey dark ride, of course. Get there really early if you can for the shortest possible line. As the train conductor invites you into this magical world, and the snow-capped set and Scottish shops beckon, stay focused and walk directly to Hogwarts’ Forbidden Journey (plenty of time to shop and browse later).
This place is a huge movie set, from script to screen, so enjoy the sights as you stand in line. You are in Hogwarts, so don’t forget to look around. Everything — from lamp posts to door knobs to rooftops — is part of the experience.
Put on the 3D Quidditch Goggles and Go
There’s a reason the Forbidden Journey ride won the Golden Ticket award for Best Dark Ride not once but five years in a row. Don’t eat first. Be very afraid.
Rinse and Repeat
Traveling sans tots? Head to the shorter”singles” line and go again. If you have kids that can’t go it along, you’ll have to use the longer main line.
Skip the Flight of the Hippogriff Coaster and Ollivanders’ Wand Show
Just my opinion maybe, but the family rollercoaster is kind of a snooze, and the wand show is a long let down (much quicker to just pick out your own wand at the shop). Your littlest wizards might disagree with me. Your choice, of course.
Head over to Hogsmeade Village
The gift shops and Harry Potter-themed souvenirs in this part of the park are really fun. Candy, cool games, and magical mementos are even better with a butterbeer. The detail in this place is delightful, so don’t forget to have a good look around.
Then consider stopping for a propper British lunch at the Three Broomsticks.
Here’s an updated roundup of ticket deals, starting with the top three deals by popularity in the box below. Then scroll down for the full nine ways to save on ticket to Universal Studios, including combo attraction pass deals, AAA, Military, Student and Costco discounts.
Universal Studios Hollywood
10 Ways to Get Discount Tickets
These Universal Studios discounts listed below not only help you save on daily general admission tickets, some get you Front-of-Line access at each ride and attraction and priority seating at shows during peak season, depending on which offer you choose. And you won’t need a coupon or promo code for any of these discounts.
Follow the links below for current prices — Universal Studios Hollywood™ offers a variety of ticket types, with pricing based on benefits and seasonality.
1. Universal Studios Hollywood 1 & 2 day Deals
These are the most popular Universal Studios tickets, and you can get them for up to 33% Off the gate price, plus skip the ticket line and go straight to the gate. Valid for 1-Day or 2-Day general admission and Universal Express tickets.
2019 SUMMER SPECIAL: Buy a day, get a second day free. For a limited time only – buy one day at Universal Studios Hollywood™ and get another day FREE! Select any date for your first visit. Return visit valid through 9/26/19. Blackout dates apply on your second visit.
2. California Resident Discount
If you live here, you can save at the gate, but its way savvier to save even more on California Resident Tickets when you get them online here.
3. VIP Experience Discount
Save $10 off just for getting your VIP Experience tickets online on this page.
What I like about the VIP experience is that it starts with vallet parking. Then you’re entitled to unlimited express access to rides. Want an expert guided tour? You got it (including the backlot). Light snacks and a gourmet meal are included in the exclusive VIP dining room are included. (Find out more.)
NOTE: With discount tickets, always check for blackout dates. The offers below were accurate when I posted them (updated 6/10/2019) and may change or sell out without notice. (I try to keep them up to date.)
4. Southern California Attraction Pass
Better than they used to be, the Go Los Angeles discount pass now has a “build your own” feature that lets you choose as few as two attractions or as many as you want — the more you choose the more you save.
You can also print at home or show the card on your smart phone. (Now my favorite way to save in SoCal).
5. California Neighbor Pass
Valid for nine months. The California Neighbor Pass includes invitations to special events, discounts on General Admission for Friends and Family, discounted Halloween Horror Nights tickets, 10-20% discounts at participating CityWalk locations, and more. Blackout days apply, so check the schedule.
6. Universal Studios Annual and Season Pass Discounts
Valid for 12 months. When it comes to annual passes, Universal Studios Hollywood gives you several choices: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Not only will you save when you buy one of these passes online (link above), each pass offers additional discounts and tons of perks.
Low monthly payments are available for your convenience. Blackout days apply, so check the schedule before you decide.
7. Student Discount
California college students, faculty, and staff at many California can get a discount on Universal Hollywood tickets and annual passes. Check with your college or university for instructions on how to redeem the deal since they all have different rules.
8. Military Discount
Active and retired US Military, DOD personnel, National Guard, Reservists and their dependents can get $3 off general admission Universal Hollywood tickets at the gates, with ID. Even better, get tickets in advance from MWR/ITT offices for a higher percent off.
9. AAA Discount
American Automobile Association and the Canadian Automobile Association members can get $3 off at the gate. Or check for the occasional off-season online discounts on the AAA.com website.
Once you’re at Universal Studios, showing your AAA membership card may get you a 10% discount on food and beverages at many park and CityWalk locations.
10. Costco Discount
SoCal Costco stores sometimes have discounted Universal Hollywood tickets. They don’t always have them, but when they do they are good deals. If you order them on the Costco website, you’ll pay a shipping charge, plus an extra 5% if you’re not a Costco member.
Hotel Deals Near Universal Studios Hollywood
Hotels closest to Universal Studios Hollywood
1. Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City – < 1mi
2. Sheraton Universal Hotel – < 1mi
3. Tilt Hotel Universal/Hollywood an Ascend Hotel Collection Member – < 1mi
4. The BLVD Hotel and Spa – Studio City – < 1mi
5. Oakwood Toluca Hills – < 1mi
6. The Garland – 1.07mi
7. Best Western Plus Media Center Inn & Suites – 1.14mi
Know Before You Go
See my Universal Studios discount tickets review (above) for the best available Universal Studios special offers and coupon codes.
Hotels near Universal Studios
I found the lowest rate here on Hotels.com for nearby hotels when we went, but check your favorite booking sites.
Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.
Prices on site, last checked, are General Parking $18, Preferred Parking $25, Front Gate Parking $35. After 5pm General Parking $10, Preferred $20, Front Gate $30.