Express passes are LITERALLY your key to cutting the entire regular line, cutting your wait time into a FRACTION of those without express passes. That makes this seriously one of our top essential Universal Studios tips and tricks to limit your time waiting in the heat. If you’re visiting on weekend or around the holidays, you’ll DEFINITELY want the express passes.
Since we arrived early, we managed to get on several rides rather quickly with little wait time. Since you can only use your Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass once per ride, we made sure to save our scans for later in the day, once the park had filled up and the wait times had gotten much longer. Our express passes were scanned every time we used them, but we’ve heard of some cases where some lucky individuals were able to use their express passes without having the scanned, allowing them to come back later to the same ride and use them again!
The perks of the express pass aren’t limited to rides after all, and can actually allow you to cut the line for shows as well!
They sell lanyards with protective plastic covers at the Universal Studios Hollywood park but it will be MUCH more expensive. If you have one lying around at home, you should definitely bring it! It saves you the hassle of having to continually take the express pass out of your pocket, keeps it from getting lost in your bag, and protects it from water on the Jurassic World ride. Plus, the express pass barcode can be scanned THROUGH the plastic, so you don’t even have to take it out!
This allows you to bypass a lot of the line wait by squeezing you into spare single seats. Just keep in mind, you won’t be able to sit with your friends or family! You can take advantage of the Single Riders Line on these rides: Jurassic World – The Ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride, Flight of the Hippogriff, and Transformers: The Ride 3D.
We live locally, so we didn’t end up doing this ourselves, but if you’re visiting LA from out of town, you’ll definitely want to consider staying nearby so you can come early without a ton of hassle (or notorious LA traffic)! There are two main hotels located next to Universal Studios Hollywood – Universal Sheraton and Hilton Universal City. We actually got the chance to stay at Universal Sheraton hotel when Ben was filming his appearances on Jeopardy, and found it very comfortable! Both of these hotels are about a 10-15 minute walk uphill to the park, but you luckily there is also a free shuttle you can use, if you don’t feel like walking uphill. You can also check out these hotels, which are near Universal Studios Hollywood as well:
You’ll surely need the fuel! When Ben and I stayed at the Universal Sheraton hotel during Ben’s Jeopardy run, we were at the breakfast buffet bright and early, and were thankful for all the energy it gave us during Jeopardy’s long shooting schedule!
While you’ll want to enjoy some of the fun themed restaurants the park offers, you can also bring some snacks to keep you fueled in between meals. We brought enough protein bars and protein shakes to eat that we didn’t even need to buy ANY food the whole time we were there. We even saw some people bring sandwiches! And DEFINITELY bring an empty water bottle to fill up at water fountains throughout the day! READ MORE| Stuff your faces on the best food in LA
There are food locations through the park that carry options for your dietary restrictions, from gluten-free to peanut-free or vegetarian/vegan, you’re taken care of, and the app can help you locate them! And make sure to check out our guide to Places to Eat in LA for when you’re not at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Okay, so you’ve bought your ticket, arrived to the park early, and are now inside the park. If you didn’t end up taking advantage of early entry, we would still recommend that you head to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter right when you get to the park so you can explore every nook and cranny of this magical place! This area fills up around lunch, so get there and beat the crowds!