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How Long Should You Stay at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Universal Studios Hollywood 1

Universal Studios Hollywood is a world-renowned theme park known for its thrilling rides, immersive experiences, and behind-the-scenes tours of real movie sets. But how much time should you allocate to fully enjoy all that it has to offer? Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your visit.


Most visitors spend a full day, averaging around 6-7 hours, at Universal Studios Hollywood. However, if you’re visiting during peak season, have young children, or want to thoroughly explore, you may want to allocate two days. The duration can also vary depending on your personal preferences, the time of year, and whether you’re using services like Universal Express or the VIP Experience.

The Average Visit Duration

Most visitors spend one full day at Universal Studios Hollywood, averaging around 6-7 hours. However, if you’re visiting during peak season, traveling with young children, or simply want to take your time exploring, you may want to consider allocating two days. The park’s operating hours vary, but as of September 27, 2023, it’s open from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM, with Early Access Hours from 09:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

Major Attractions and Their Average Visit Durations

Universal Studios Hollywood is divided into two areas: the Upper Lot and the Lower Lot. The Upper Lot houses attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Springfield, and the Studio Tour, whereas the Lower Lot is home to thrill rides like Jurassic World: The Ride and Transformers: The Ride 3D.

On average, visitors spend about 60 minutes on the Studio Tour, which includes a tram ride through real movie sets and a thrilling encounter with King Kong and Fast & Furious. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a must-visit for any fan, typically requires at least 2-3 hours to fully explore. The thrilling rides like Jurassic World and Transformers can take about 40-60 minutes each, including wait times.

Time-Saving Tips

Here are some tips to help you navigate the park efficiently:

  1. Purchase tickets in advance: This not only saves you time at the entrance but also ensures you have a secured entry on busy days.
  2. Arrive early: Be at the park gates at least 30 minutes before it opens to beat the crowds.
  3. Use Universal Express Pass: It costs extra but allows you to skip the lines at participating rides and attractions.
  4. Use single rider lines: If you’re willing to ride separately from your group, these lines often have shorter wait times.
  5. Eat during off-peak hours: Avoid long lines at restaurants by eating lunch and dinner a bit earlier or later than the usual meal times.

VIP Experiences and Fast-Pass Options

To make your visit even more comfortable, consider the VIP Experience. It includes a guided tour, gourmet lunch, valet parking, and unlimited Universal Express access to all rides and shows.

Meal and Break Times

Visiting a theme park can be physically demanding, so it’s crucial to take regular breaks and stay hydrated. Plan for a 30-60 minute lunch break, depending on where you’re dining and what you’re ordering. Quick-service restaurants are faster, but if you’re dining in a full-service restaurant, allocate more time.

Must-See Attractions

If your time is limited, prioritize the following attractions:

  1. The Studio Tour: This signature attraction offers a real behind-the-scenes look at movie sets and includes thrilling encounters with King Kong and Fast & Furious.
  2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: From the Hogwarts castle to the shops of Hogsmeade, this immersive area is a must-visit.
  3. Jurassic World: The Ride: This thrilling ride takes you through the dinosaur-infested jungles of Isla Nublar.
  4. Transformers: The Ride 3D: Join the Autobots in a 3D battle against the Decepticons on this adrenaline-pumping ride.

In conclusion, the amount of time you should spend at Universal Studios Hollywood really depends on your personal preferences, the time of year, and whether or not you’re using services like Universal Express or the VIP Experience. But whether you’re planning a day trip or a two-day adventure, this guide should help you make the most of your visit to this iconic theme park.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to visit Universal Studios Hollywood?

The best time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood is typically during the off-peak seasons, such as late January to early February, and September to October. During these periods, the park is less crowded, leading to shorter wait times for attractions and rides.

Is it possible to see all of Universal Studios Hollywood in one day?

While it’s possible to see a significant portion of the park in one day, seeing everything may require a two-day visit, especially during peak seasons when wait times for attractions are longer. Utilizing time-saving strategies such as the Universal Express Pass can also help to maximize your visit.

What is the cost of a Universal Express Pass?

The cost of the Universal Express Pass varies depending on the time of year and the day of the week. It’s typically around $179-$279 per person, in addition to the regular admission ticket. Prices can be checked on the official Universal Studios Hollywood website.

Are there any age or height restrictions for the rides at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Yes, some rides at Universal Studios Hollywood have age and height restrictions for safety reasons. These restrictions are clearly indicated at each ride and on the park’s official website.

Are there dining options within Universal Studios Hollywood?

Yes, Universal Studios Hollywood offers a variety of dining options, ranging from quick-service stands to full-service restaurants. Options include everything from burgers and pizza to gourmet options, catering to a wide range of dietary preferences and restrictions.

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