Is Universal Studios Hollywood Worth It?

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If you’re visiting Los Angeles for a couple of nights and looking for things to do in the area then you’ve likely come across Universal Studios Hollywood and wondered whether visiting this theme park is worth your time and / or money.

Universal Studios Hollywood is worth visiting for one day during your trip to Los Angeles both with or without children. While this is one of LA’s more expensive attractions, it does a fantastic job of combining a unique behind-the-scenes movie magic experience and thrill rides.

We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Universal Studios Hollywood multiple times over the past decade both on our own as adults or together with our son Oliver who was 14 months during our most recent trip.

If you’re based in the UK I recommend buying your Universal Studios Hollywood park tickets from AttractionTix. They have the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.

If you’re based in the US or Canada I recommend Klook for your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. They have the most competitive prices and a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.

Is Universal Studios Hollywood Worth It With Toddlers?

Children under the age of 3 do not require a ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood and instead can enter the park for free with an adult. This is primarily because children under the age of 3 are unable to benefit from a large portion of the theme park’s rides and attractions.

We recently spent the day at Universal Studios Hollywood with our 14-month-old little boy, and for the most part, we were going to the theme park because we wanted to go. Not because we thought he’d have the most incredible time. That’s not to say he didn’t have an amazing time, but when you compare his experience to a 7-year-old for example, it’s going to be very different.

There are some things that are suitable for children of any height and age to experience at Universal Studios Hollywood including;

  • Super Silly Fun Land Splash Zone
  • Super Silly Fun Land Playground
  • Silly Swirly Ride
  • The World Famous Studio Tour
  • DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda
  • The World Famous Studio Tour

However, since we were travelling together as a couple with no other family or friends it meant that for any other rides that we wanted to go on, we had to go solo. Using either the single rider line or child swap where applicable.


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Kids of all ages are also free to meet and greet some of Universal’s most iconic characters including;

  • Scooby Doo & the gang
  • Hello Kitty
  • Gru
  • Minions
  • The Simpsons

Is Universal Studios Hollywood Worth It With Kids?

Being primarily a family-friendly Los Angeles attraction it’s no surprise that Universal Studios Hollywood has plenty of experiences for the whole family to enjoy.

Children aged three are required to have a ticket to enter Universal Studios Hollywood. However, the child’s height will determine which rides the child is eligible to go on inside the park. Some of our favourite rides for kids at Universal Studios Hollywood include;

  • Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge (40″)
  • Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash (34″)
  • Flight of the Hippogriff (39″)
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem (40″)

Kids visiting Universal Studios Hollywood are also sure to enjoy the Raptor Encounter where you can come face-to-face with a dinosaur. This interaction takes place in the Lower Lot of the Park, just outside of Jurassic World.

In this area of the park, you’ll also find the DinoPlay area which has just undergone an extensive refurbishment and gives kids the chance to excavate giant dinosaur fossils, explore a full-size T. rex skull, dinosaur eggs and more.

Kids are also sure to love the newly opened Super Nintendo World area of Universal Studios Hollywood which is home to;

  • 1 Ride
  • 2 Meet & Greet Locations
  • 1 Store
  • 1 Restaurant
  • 5 Mini-Games (Power-Up Band required)

While Power-Up Bands are an additional cost, the interactive element of these bands could easily entertain kids in this area of the park for multiple hours.

Standing in long lines for rides and attractions with kids can be painful (I speak from experience). As such, where possible we recommend trying to visit when Universal Studios Hollywood is less crowded which is typically during the off-season on a Monday through to Thursday.

If you have to visit Universal Studios Hollywood during the peak season then it may be worth investing in a Universal Express Pass. As this allows you to skip the standby line, and typically reduces the amount of time you’d have had to wait by around 80%.

Is Universal Studios Hollywood Worth It For Tweens & Teens?

Being a family-friendly theme park the rides, attractions and lands within Universal Studios Hollywood are designed to primarily cater for children aged between 3 and 15 years old. So while some tweens and teens may find selected rides inside the park a little lame, there are others with slightly more mature themes that should excite them. These include;

Tweens and teens are also likely to enjoy the World Famous Studio Tour which takes you on a one-hour tram ride behind the scenes of a real film studio which has been the home to a number of movie and TV show sets including; Desperate Housewives, The Good Place and the new Bel-Air TV series.

As well as the immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter area which is home to Harry Potter inspired drinks and snacks including Butterbeer & Chocolate Frogs alongside spell-casting experiences with the purchase of an interactive wand from Ollivanders.

Is Universal Studios Hollywood Worth It For Adults?

We have visited Universal Studios Hollywood as adults without children several times over the past decade and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

So much so that even on our most recent in February 2023, we upgraded our park ticket to a Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Pass. Some of our favourite rides, shows and experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood include;

  • Revenge of The Mummy – The Ride
  • The World Famous Studio Tour
  • WaterWorld
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

It typically takes between 5 and 8 hours to see and do everything at Universal Studios Hollywood. This means that in most cases, you’ll finish around dinner time and while the theme park has many delicious restaurants to choose from, we personally recommend heading out to the entertainment district CityWalk for your evening meal. Some of our favourite table-service restaurants here include;

  • NBC Sports Grill & Brew
  • The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Antojitos Cocina Mexicana

As well as a number of stores including Sephora and Hot Topic alongside an incredible 18-screen cinema and iFly indoor skydiving centre.


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  1. Hello and thank you for your article on Universal studios Hollywood.
    I’m still perplexed about if I should take my six grandkids (ages 13 to 5) for two days. Can you give me your true opinion.
    I’m worried two days might now be entering enough for them.
    What other attraction are in the area that they might enjoy.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hey Kristi,

      One day should be enough for your grandkids given their age. The only other similar attraction nearby is Disneyland (which is two theme parks opposed to Universal’s one)