Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio. No, wait, it's a theme park, isn't it? It's both, with a backlot tour that's part behind-the-scenes tour and part pure entertainment. In the theme park, rides are based on the company's extensive film holdings, with the newest attractions lauded as some of the most innovative and fun of any theme park. Find out what's new at Universal Studios this year.
Before you get to the main gate, check out ticket prices and ways to get discounts. With the best new theme park rides in Southern California to enjoy, you may want to stay overnight. Find a hotel nearby.
This guide guides an overview of the place, what there is to do and some of its most interesting, fun things to do.
Scenes from Universal Studios
Enjoy our best shots on a Universal Studios Photo Tour. It will give a good preview of what you can see and do around the park, focused on the general experience and feel of the place.
The Universal Studios Hollywood Experience
The Universal Studios theme park began as an amped-up backlot tour and that tour is still a crowd-pleasing favorite.
Besides the tour, you'll find a collection of some of the most fun rides in California. They also have some really fun attractions and shows. Everything - as you might expect - ties to a Universal movie or television show. You'll find all the details in the Universal Studios Hollywood Ride Guide.
You'll also find favorite cartoon characters around the park. Daily schedules show where and when.
Universal CityWalk, just outside the park entrance is a lively shopping and dining complex open to the public. It's a good place to eat dinner or to do a little shopping, or even go to a movie after a day at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal Studios Hollywood Review
We rate Universal Studios Hollywood 4 stars out of 5. I know what to expect when I visit Universal Studios Hollywood: a studio tour and movie-themed shows and rides. I know it will be fun, but by the time I leave, I always find I've enjoyed it more than I expected.
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Where to Stay
Staying nearby is convenient. You can browse the top-rated ones in the guide to Hotels near Universal Studios Los Angeles, but they can be more expensive than elsewhere.
Consider another area for lower rates, balancing that with driving time. To make that process easier, use the step-by-step guide to finding a hotel in LA.
- Hours: Open daily
- Reservations: Not required, but buy tickets in advance to save time in line. Find out how here
- Cost: Admission fee, see our money-saving hints. Extra parking fee
- Location: North of Hollywood off US Hwy 101
- How Long: At least half a day, more if you do everything
- Best Time to Visit: Busiest in summer (but hot and can be smoggy). Spring and fall have the best weather. Winter is also nice but is also the rainy season. January is their least-busy month
- See It Now: Photo Tour
- Tips: Discover how to have the most fun possible
Universal Studios HollywoodTake the Universal Studios exit off US Hwy 101 and follow the signs. The Metro Red Line also stops near the park and you can catch a shuttle bus from there to the entrance.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
From Anaheim: Universal offers a shuttle from some Los Angeles hotels and from Anaheim with a one-day admission ticket.
From San Diego: Some tour companies offer admission and transportation packages from San Diego, which can cost as much as $40 per person compared to full ticket price with no chance for discounts, and they limit your time at the park. Instead, rent a car from an inexpensive company. You can check prices at Travelocity.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of reviewing Universal Studios Hollywood. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.