LAX is situated 14 miles south of Universal Studios Hollywood as the crow flies and can be easily accessed using the I-405 or I-110 highway in as little as 25 minutes.
You can get from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood in a taxi, on a shuttle bus, by hiring a car or on public transport. The best way is in a taxi as it’s private & direct, the journey takes 30 minutes & costs around $35. If you’re on a budget then public transport is a more affordable option.
Although you could also consider a shared shuttle or using Uber / Lyft pool. The journey times will be slightly longer as you’ll likely have to drop off additional guests before arriving at the park however, the price will be cheaper (usually around the $20) mark as a result.
Table of Contents
There are a number of different formats of taxis you can use to get from LAX to Universal Studios Hollywood, this includes a private taxi cab outside of the airport, a pre-booked private taxi, an Uber or a Lyft.
Each of these different options has disadvantages and advantages but come with the same core benefit of being able to drive you privately and directly from the airport to the park entrance.
We personally love using Uber and Lyft when in Los Angeles as the service is reliable, you’ve someone to contact if you have any issues, there’s limited risk when it comes to scams or being taken ‘the long route’ for extra money and we can pay using our credit or debit card.
Due to the sheer number of people ordering Lyfts and Uber’s to LAX, there’s now a strict structure in place for pickups and drop offs.
If you have the additional money to spare you can get curb-side-pickup, much like you would at the mall, at a hotel etc. However, this is only available for Uber Black and Uber SUV, these are premium tier Uber services and cost roughly double the price of a standard Uber ride (we were quoted $104 for a one-way journey).
If you choose for the curb-side-pick up you’ll simply want to stand downstairs, outside the terminal. All the terminals at LAX are connected together by a giant drop-off / pick-up zone and you’ll be able to select exactly where you’re located on the app so the driver knows where to find you.
In most cases, however, they’ll likely ring you up to confirm either when they are close or when they have arrived. It’s incredibly loud and busy down there so keep that in mind if you’re travelling with babies and young children.
If you’re looking for the more affordable Uber transfers between LAX and Universal Studios then you’ll need to head to the rideshare hub known as LAX-IT (more on how to get there from the airport below). Here you’ll be able to get an Uber to Universal Studios for around $30 depending on the time of day.
If you’re travelling solo or as part of a couple then you’ll want to consider using Uberpool to bring down the cost of your journey even further. This may mean you drop off a rideshare companion first but comes with many of the luxurious of a private transfer without the higher price tag.
Lyft is an alternative to Uber which in some cases can offer the same service at a couple of dollars cheaper per journey. It takes just a couple of seconds to check the price of each one (which is determined by distance and current demand) but can be an easy way to save a quick buck on your journey.
Much like Uber only Lux Black and Lux Black XL are permitted to pick guests up curbside. Instead, those riding traditional Lyft and Lyft pool will have to head to the LAX-IT pick up point (more on this below).
Again, Lux Black and Lux Black XL are premium services and as a result, come with a premium price tag with the journey often costing in excess of $100 one way which is double the cost of the traditional Lyft which usually costs between $30 and $45.
Of course, if you prefer you can also get a traditional taxi over a ride-share service. The rates are usually slightly higher than an Uber or a Lyft which are fixed at the time of booking as the journey is metre dependant and therefore can vary significantly depending on the traffic / time of day.
Much like Uber and Lyft, all the taxis are located at the LAX-IT point. While you might manage to flag one down dropping someone off curbside at the terminal and grab it from there this is unlikely and is highly frowned upon.
LAX-IT is an area that was set up near LAX airport for taxis and rideshare services to pick up guests in 2019. The LAX-IT area is located between Terminal 1 and Terminals 7/8.
While you can walk here, I’d advise against it (I speak from experience), as the distance is much greater than it looks making it a difficult and stressful journey in the LA heat with luggage. Instead, I recommend heading on the LAX-IT shuttle which goes around collecting passengers from outside each of the terminals every 5 minutes.
Depending on the terminal you’re collected from it could take up to 15 minutes before you arrive at LAX-IT so avoid booking your Uber / Lyft until you arrive at the pick-up location.
Once you arrive you’ll be able to stand in the designated area (based on rideshare applications and general taxis) and reference this to your driver so they can find you easily.
While this is slightly longer and a little frustrating it can save you a significant amount of money compared to the taxi curbside pick up options.
There are a number of private transfer companies that offer services between LAX and Universal Studios Hollywood. These high-end private companies offer curbside pick up and generally start from $90 one-way.
These prices increase not only between companies but depending on the size of the vehicle you require. Therefore it’ll cost more for six passengers then it will for four.
I recommend comparing the costs of a private transfer using the Hoppa. This website aggregates different companies making it easy to find out which is the cheapest and best service for you.
When travelling as part of a large group, or with my elderly parents to LA I always book a private transfer as it minimises the wait time and the amount of messing about I have to do ordering an Uber etc.
This ultra-convenient service allows us to simply meet the staff member who is often already waiting for us at the dedicated arrivals point and they take us straight to the car.
If the cost can be split between three or four of us then the price actually works out similar to getting a traditional Uber solo yet it comes with the convenience of being picked-up curbside and greeted by a member of staff.
Hire A Car
If you’re travelling elsewhere in Los Angeles or nearby after visiting Universal Studios Hollywood then you may want to consider hiring a car.
While this is an incredibly convenient option providing you with the means to go where you want when you want, it comes at a price. Hiring a basic three-door car in LA starts at $20 per day in the off-season but can go as high as $50 per day during the peak season.
Then, of course, there’s the parking. There’s a limited number of hotels in LA with parking options, and in most cases, these also come at an additional cost of between $15 and $40 per night.
Between the cost and the stress of driving in one of the busiest cities in the US, you’ll want to consider whether the convenience is really worth it.
If hiring a car is the right decision for you then be sure to book in advance online. This way you’ll minimise the amount of time you have to spend queuing at the hire car desk and be able to compare the prices of different companies and different cars to ensure you’re getting the very best deal.
Shuttle Buses & Public Transport
Shuttle buses are slightly more budget and environmentally friendly options when compared to getting a cab or hiring a car, however, they are significantly less convenient.
Multiple companies offer shuttle bus services from LAX to areas in the vicinity of Universal Studios Hollywood, from there you’ll either have to walk or get a cab to your hotel.
My personal favourite is the Flyaway bus which runs multiple routes (we often get the bus to Union Station and either get a 10-minute taxi or a 50-minute metro ride from there to Universal Studios).
In some cases you’ll be able to get a shuttle bus that drops you off outside your hotel, however, you’ll likely have to do multiple drop-offs with no guarantee where your hotel will fall inline compared with other guests on the bus. While this is affordable and requires no changes it can add additional hours onto a journey that would otherwise only take 30 minutes.
Again you can compare the different shuttle bus options online using the transfer aggregation website Hoppa.