Is The Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Worth It?

Studio Tour at Universal Studios Orlando

As Universal Studios Hollywood is made up of one park that is packed full of action, theatrics and Hollywood glamour. With so much to see and do it can be hard to see if it can all be achieved during your visit and so you might be wondering if express is worth getting.

The Universal Studios Hollywood express pass is worth it if you are visiting in peak season, wanting to do all the rides or if you only have one day at the park. The express pass is not worth it if you have more than one day at the park or if you are visiting in the off-season or mid-week.

In this post, we will discuss some of the other factors that may help you decide whether the express pass is worth it or not for you and your family/group.

How Does The Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Work?

Unlike the Express Pass as Universal Studios Orlando, the express pass is a ticket which includes park entry and the express pass in one. If you have pre-bought your tickets online you can upgrade your ticket on the day, this can vary in price depending on the ticket you bought and the price you originally paid.

The ticket then gives you access to a number of rides within the park and allow you to jump to the front of the queue.

The ticket will be checked or scanned by the Universal Studios team member on the entrance of the ride. If you are

How Much Does The Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Cost?

Ticket prices range from $179 to $279 for express pass tickets. This covers the base price for an off-season ticket up to the 2-day express pass ticket in the peak season.

I decided to give you a quick breakdown of how you can see what price you would be paying before getting to the gate. If you choose to book online you can secure your ticket and get a better deal, you can also choose the base price ticket and upgrade when you arrive at the park if you feel you want an express pass.

During the booking process, you will be taken to a calendar page with this style of heading, this indicates the rates of the ticket price while booking.

As there are certain days such as holidays and weekends are busier they will be more expensive compared to mid-week and off-season where the tickets will be cheaper. The ‘save $10’ is what you would save buying online compared to what you would pay buying on the gate.

Once you have chosen your specific date you must visit on that date, you can go on another day but you would need to upgrade your ticket. This may cost you nothing, it may cost you a little to upgrade and if the gate ticket price is cheaper than you paid you cannot get a refund for the difference.

Universal Studios Hollywood Hotels With Complimentary Tickets

While Universal Studios Hollywood doesn’t have any on-site hotels like Universal Studios Orlando it does have partner hotels. These partner hotels are bookable through Universal Studios Hollywood and can come with certain benefits.

The tickets are not complimentary with the hotel but can be booked on as part of a package if you prefer to book that way. Tickets are actually added to the booking of the hotel and so will adjust the price of your stay once tickets are added.

Unfortunately, non of the hotels come with complimentary express passes. You can however book your partner hotel with the base ticket and upgrade during the booking process or at the gate.

As you go through the booking process you will see a page similar to the one above with the base ticket selected at default. You can then change to one of the following options further down the page include a 2-day ticket, express ticket and VIP ticket.

For the dates, I chose the ticket price was $189, whereas if you booked your ticket separately you can see which days are cheaper and proceed from there. This is a better option if you wish to save a little money and you can be more flexible with the day(s) you go to Universal Studios Hollywood.

The partner hotels don’t actually save you much on your ticket prices and don’t often save you money on accommodation either, unfortunately. We found booking our hotel and tickets separate worked out much cheaper as we found a hotel in Burbank that was close by and a great rate.

Then we found a day that was cheaper mid-week to visit Universal Studios Hollywood.

Note not all of the partner hotels come with free breakfast, free parking or a complimentary shuttle so make sure you find the one that works for you before booking.

What Rides Accept The Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass?

Unlike the Express Pass at Universal Studios Orlando, there is unlimited access to all rides and seated shows at Universal Studios Hollywood. You can use them on all rides, shows and attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Remember that the express pass only gives you a queue jump once per ride. You can also use the express pass ticket on the Studio Tour and better seating at the shows.

Can You Share The Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass?

While there are no rules against sharing the Universal Studios Express Pass between your group or family this also means that only the amount of people with express passes can use the express pass.

So if only one person has the express pass ticket, only one person per time can use the express pass. While you might think you can use it over an over on each ride for the people in your group, unfortunately this is not allowed.

One rule about the express pass is that it can only be used once per ride, this means you only have one express pass queue jumper per ride.

Though this is a significant let down as it reduces the value of having one, it can also be great if you have one or two people in the family that really enjoy the rides can have one while everyone else has a basic entry ticket to the park.

Depending on the age and who wishes to go on what rides you might need to get one for adults and one for the child so that you have an adult companion at all times. Though if you have a teenager who loves going on rides and is happy to go alone this could be a great benefit.

Do Universal Studios Hollywood Express Passes Sell Out?

The express pass tickets can be prone to selling out especially during the peak season, holidays and even some weekends. This will be due to the number of people within the park and number of tickets booked for admission into the park that there will be a limited number of express tickets available.

To avoid this you can buy your tickets in advance or look at upgrading as you arrive at the park. Alternatively, you can check out some ways to make the most of your day without having to get the express pass ticket.

Is Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Worth It?

Essentially there are a few things you want to know before you go ahead on deciding if the Universal Studios Hollywood express pass is worth it for you.

Think about these different things and you can see what works best for you and your family/group.

Visting In Peak Season And Major Holidays

If like many people you can only visit during the summer holidays when you can get time off work or the kids aren’t at school then you might want to look at getting the express pass.

Purely because during the peak season the park can be quite busy, ride queues can be significantly longer compared to the off-season and you might bot be able to see as much of the park as you like due to amount of people and waiting in queues.

Rides

If you are a little bit of a ride junkie or you simply want to be able to see all the shows, go on all the rides available and experience all the attractions you might want to invest in an express pass to enable you to do this.

As you can use the express pass to skip the lines on each ride once this is perfect for those looking to run around the park and get on all the rides and get the full experience.

I would also look at the rides that are on offer and note how many of those you want to go on. If there is more than 50% of the rides you wish to go on, this can be a clear indicator that the express pass is worth getting for you.

Spending One Day At Universal Studios Hollywood

If you are looking to achieve all that Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer in one day then getting an express pass ticket is well worth the money, especially in the peak season.

Spending one day at Universal Studios Hollywood is completely achievable but during peak season, holidays and weekends it can be a little harder to get on all the rides.

We would suggest upgrading your base ticket to an express pass ticket to allow you to the front of all the ride queues, best seats for the shows and better access to the other attractions. This will allow you to see and do everything you wish within the one day at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Overall I think if you are looking to have a chance to go on on all the rides, attractions and see all the shows I would say the Universal Studios Hollywood is worth it. I would also say if you are even wanting to see more than 50% of the rides and are visiting in peak season the express pass is worth it.

The only time the Universal Studios Hollywood express pass is not worth it is when you are visiting in the off-season or mid-week. This is due to the number of people who will be within the park and visiting will be much lower and so the queues will be shorter and so the entire park is much more achievable within one or two days.

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