Getting a Universal Express Pass can save you lots of time and allow you to make the most out of your day. It’s kind of like Disney’s FastPass+ system. The regular Universal Express Pass lets you bypass the lines once for every attraction that participates. You can also purchase a Universal Express Unlimited Pass that will let you bypass the lines for the attractions as many times as you want. The Unlimited Pass is really nice if you are hoping to ride that favorite ride as many times as possible in the day.
You cannot take anything you want into the park (obviously), but you should take advantage of what you can take in. You are allowed to take in 2 liters or fewer water bottles, baby food (which sometimes can equate to grown people food), small snacks, and fruits and veggies (a staple when most of what you buy in the park is junk food.) Taking in these items can help you save money and time because you do not have to buy as much food and can snack while you are waiting in line: multitasking!
Sometimes part of the fun is riding a ride with the people you came with, but if you do not mind splitting up, some of the rides offer a Single Rider Line which is perfect for us solo travelers. They will take people from this line for the one or two seats leftover that bigger groups do not want to take. Often, the Single Rider Line goes pretty fast, so it can allow you to get in and out faster.
If you are eating your meals in the park (whether it is all three or just one), consider eating at weird times. This can save you time in a couple of ways. When you eat at a weird time, you will not have to stand in as long of lines to get your food. Sometimes lunch rush lines at the most popular spots can be just as bad as ride lines. Additionally, you will get to spend the normal meal times riding rides, and the lines will be shorter. Think about it, while everyone is getting food, they won’t be in line. You’ll thank me later for this Universal Studios Hollywood tip. Read: What’s the Magic Behind the Famous Beignets at Disneyland?
If you really want to get the most out of your experience and have the money for it, consider buying the VIP experience. You will get a personal tour guide to take you around the park (including areas that other people do not get to see), and they will take you to the front of lines and front seats at shows.
People who want to do a theme park in a day, or who just want to make the most out of a single day, usually want to get to the park before it opens and stay until it closes. This is a great strategy, but believe it or not, you may want to consider taking a break in the middle of the day. If you are staying at a hotel nearby, return in the middle of the day when it is hottest and most grounded for a nap or just a short break period. This will allow you to avoid the crowds and become refreshed again to get more done in the evening.
Universal Hollywood Studios has an app that you can download and use all over their park (with their free Wi-Fi.) With this app, you can do lots of different things. A few of the most helpful is the ability to make plan out your own itinerary, stay up-to-date with the latest wait times and access to the park map. No more carrying around pesky paper maps that take up space and get lost way too easily.
If you are taking the kids, take advantage of the Child Switch Program that the park offers. This program allows one parent or group of adults to wait with a child that is too short or cannot ride a ride for some other reason. The other adults can then switch out and not have to wait in line again. Of course, there are plenty of things you can do with your little ones, but sometimes there are rides you want to ride even if your kids can’t. Hipster Power Tip: Don’t forget to check out the NEW Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash rides using the Virtual Line™ experience.
There are two main sections of Universal Studios Hollywood, the Upper and Lower Lots. It is best to do one lot at a time, in entirety, as the escalator ride from one to the other is about 7 to 10 minutes long. It is generally recommended that you start with the lower lot before it gets too busy, but the main goal is to complete one before starting the other. This is one of the TOP Universal Studios Hollywood tips you should do.
Universal Creative has done a spectacular job of bringing the novels of J.K. Rowling to life. As you approach the “Please Respect the Spells Limits” Hogsmeade sign, you’ll feel like you have officially made it home. You do not want to miss out on all the amazing fun that is in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but this is one of the busiest parts of the park, so it is a good idea to do the rides in this section in the morning before it gets too busy. Additionally, do not forget some of the other magical attractions like getting a wand or trying some butter bear (yes, your kids can have it too.) You will be sure to have a mystical time.