Universal Studios Tickets and Cost Control
Like most theme parks, Universal Studios' tickets are expensive, and anyone more than 48 inches tall pays adult admission. Ticket prices do not include parking fees.
Most people can see the park in one day.
Types of Universal Studios Tickets
- 1-Day Pass: Instead of basing the price of this ticket on age, Universal does it by height, with a discount for anyone under 48 inches tall.
- Front of the Line Pass: It's just like the 1-Day Pass except you lose the wait and go right to the front of every line. This pass is priced by age, with children 2 years old or younger getting in free. The cost of the pass varies by season and is less expensive January through March.
- VIP Experience: The VIP treatment lets you go behind the scenes to visit closed sets on the backlot and you'll also get escorted priority access to all rides, shows and attractions.
- Season Passes: You can often get a season pass for the price of a one-day admission if you go late in the year. Year round, the details vary, with some passes having blackout dates or offering free parking and other benefits.
Be Smart: Buy Ahead
The last thing you want to do when you get to the park is stand in line before you even get inside the gate. Leave the line to the clueless visitors who don't know better and buy your tickets online ahead of time from Kijubi.com.
Be Even Smarter: Pay Less for Your Universal Studios Tickets
During the busiest times, the wait for the most popular rides at Universal Studios can get quite long, sometimes more than an hour. If you're visiting on vacation and have only a day to enjoy the place, those long waits could make it hard (if not impossible) to fit everything into one day - and who wants to stand in line on vacation, anyway?
Instead of being frustrated by it all, you can buy a Front of the Line Pass, which will give you access to every ride a lot faster.
As you'd expect, a Front of the Line pass costs more than the basic general admission and they can sell out. Expect the longest lines during the summer, spring break, three-day weekends and around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. For those times, you'd might as well buy a Front of the Line Pass in advance.
For the rest of the year, use this strategy to manage your costs: Buy regular admission tickets, get inside and then assess whether the wait times are intolerable. If they are, you can upgrade your ticket at a booth near the entrance. You can also get a same-day assessment of the crowd level before you go at isitpacked.com
Discounts to Universal Studios
With planning, there's no need to pay full price, ever. A few options:
- Go at the Right Time: During less-busy times of the year, you may get an extra day free with a one-day ticket. At the end of the year, you may also get an annual pass for the price of a one-day ticket.
- Take Advantage of a Loophole: Here's a little known fact that may save you money on Universal Studios Tickets. At the gate, kids' tickets are sold by height - with a discount for guests less than 48 inches (122 cm) tall. Online, prices are based on age, with lower prices for children aged 3 through 9.
- Order in advance You'll find deals you can't get at the gate and save time you'd otherwise spend standing in line at the Universal Studios ticket booth. You'll get a print-at-home E-ticket right away. You can also buy VIP Experience and Front of the Line passes at the same time.
- Get a 3-day or longer Go Los Angeles Card. It offers a lot of attractions at a very reasonable price. Use this handy guide to find out all you need to know about it.
- If you're also visiting Disneyland and Sea World San Diego, the Southern California CityPass is likely to be the cheapest way to see them all. Find out more about whether it's the right choice for you in the Southern California CityPASS guide.
- Discount coupons are available in area tourist publications and at many hotel front desks.