Before you Go to Universal Studios Los Angeles
- Hotels near Universal Studios Los Angeles are more expensive than elsewhere. Consider another area for lower rates.
- If you have children, measure their height before you go and tell them in advance if there are rides they can't go on. The list is here.
- Universal Studios Los Angeles operates a free kennel service. Go to the Guest Services window outside the entrance. They only provide water, so you'll need to bring your own food - and plan to return if you need to feed your pet(s) during the day.
- Unless you want to get tickets to watch a filming (see how below), consider arriving mid-day for shorter lines. For an attraction that has a 90-minute wait at noon, you may be able to walk straight in by 8:00 p.m.
- Visually-impaired visitors can be accommodated, and signers can be provided with advance notice. Check their website for more information and call at least two weeks ahead of time to arrange for signers or to discuss any special needs you have.
Pack for Universal Studios Los Angeles
- Something to amuse yourselves while standing in line. Waits can be more than an hour at peak times.
- Motion-sickness remedies for the rides, if anyone needs them.
- If the kids are going to play in Nickelodeon Splash Zone, bring bathing suits or a change of clothes.
- Comfortable shoes - there's a lot of walking.
- Quick-drying clothing, especially if you want to ride Jurassic Park - The Ride. Heavy cotton fabrics and jeans get soggy and stay that way for an uncomfortably long time.
- Don't carry too much. Dump the library card, office keys and anything else you don't need. A small waist pack works well to carry the rest.
- Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, especially in summer.
- Glasses case to put your specs in during fast rides so you don't lose them.
- Warmer clothing for evening, even in summer, when it can turn chilly fast. Check the weather forecast for Studio City, which can be as much as 20°F hotter than the coast.
- In winter, if it looks like rain, bring a rain jacket or poncho. Umbrellas are a hassle in a theme park. The rest of the year, overcast mornings don't portend rain later.
While You're at Universal Studios Los Angeles
- Before you head out to Universal in your car and pay to park, ask if your hotel has a shuttle.
- Your bags will be inspected at the park entrance. Outside food is not allowed, except water, fruit and baby food.
- Write down the name of the parking garage and level you're on, or take a picture with your digital camera or cellphone.
- If you need to buy tickets, are using a credit card and don't have coupons to redeem, bypass the lines and go to the self-serve machines instead.
- If you've taken our advice about all the things you should bring and don't want to tote it all around, leave warm clothing in the car and go back for it, or rent a locker near the entrance. You can also rent strollers and wheelchairs in this area.
- Take the studio tour early. They stop running long before the park closes. Avoid the back row of the tram cars. The engine's under it, and your legs will feel scorched. You'll get an unobstructed view of more things if you position yourself last in a boarding line, ending up on the left side of the tram.
- Don't let posted shooting schedules fool you. They let you know what's being filmed at Universal, but may give the mistaken impression that you'll be able to watch all of those filming sessions. However, at the Audiences Unlimited booth (which is straight ahead from the entrance) you can make a reservation to view a live filming of some shows during your visit.
- Plan where to meet in case you split up or someone gets misplaced. The easiest place is the entrance, but wherever you choose, be sure everyone knows where it is. Be sure each child has your cell phone number if you're carrying one.
- Universal Studios Los Angeles is a great place for kids to learn how to navigate with a map. Let them find the way to the next attraction.
- Go shopping at the end of the day so you don't have to carry your purchases around.
- If your child is too small for a ride, you don't have to stand in a long line twice just so the adults can both go on it. At any ride marked "Child Switch," ask an attendant for a pass for the second adult, who can wait with the child and then go straight to the front of the line as soon as the first rider returns.
- You can't avoid getting wet on Jurassic Park - The Ride. Very wet. Use ponchos when they're provided, and go early enough in the day so you can dry out before it cools off.
- Food is expensive, and all-you-can eat dining passes are too, unless you're a big eater. Take a break and go to CityWalk to eat, but avoid noon when restaurants are busy.
More About Universal Studios Los AngelesRead about visiting Universal, when to go, what there is to do.
Find out how to buy Universal Studios Los Angeles tickets.
CityWalk, located just outside the entrance is a lively shopping and dining complex open to the public.
Find a hotel nearby.