Universal Studios Hollywood vs Orlando – Which Universal Park Is Best?

Universal Studios has locations around the world with the most common being Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. However, deciding which one of these two parks is right for you might not be a simple decision.

Universal Studios Hollywood is better for those looking for a one-day theme park experience and seeing behind-the-scenes live working set. Universal Orlando Resort is better for those looking for a theme park vacation, and to experience the Harry Potter Wizarding World.

There are a number of deciding factors in which might decide which park is better for you and your family. We highlighted the similarities, differences and factors which will help you decide which park is better.

Which Universal Studios Park Is Best? – Orlando or Hollywood

Orlando is bigger and has 2 parks with more space and more to offer guests overall.

While Universal Studios Hollywood is smaller it gives a more unique experience to visitors and is less of a theme park.

It may be smaller and not as comprehensive with rides it offers more shows and attractions based on Hollywood themes.

Universal Studios Hollywood is an experience of getting the glitz, and glamour and promotes more of the traditional movies that were big in the beginning along with some of the more recent films and shows that are popular and are featured on the working sets.

Universal Studios Orlando, however, is much more of a holiday/vacation style trip as you will more than likely spend more days at the parks than not.

There are also 2 theme parks and 1 water park at Universal Studios Orlando with the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World just 20 minute drive away.

While I can’t say which is the better park as they offer different experiences, I can say that one park is better for different occasions and people compared to the other.

Similarities Between Universal Studios Orlando And Universal Studios Hollywood?

These are the similarities that you can expect to find at both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Keep in mind that some of these may differ in size, style or duration.

Transformers – The ride is very much the same from park to park.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride

The Simpsons Ride – The ride is the same from park to park and is a motion simulation ride.

Jurassic Park: The Ride – One of the best rides on offer at both parks and often very popular with guests. The Area of Jurassic is better at Universal Studios Hollywood compared to Orlando.

King Kong: 360 3-D – The ride is very similar but the experience getting to and from and while on the ride is different as Orlando is a stand-alone ride compared to Hollywood where the ride is part of the World Famous Studio Tour.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Both Hollywood and Orlando have a Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle but Hollywood doesn’t have Diagon Alley.

Fast & Furious – Supercharged

Lard Lad Donuts – Though each part has a Lard Lad Donuts I have heard that there are more flavours available at Universal Studios Hollywood in comparison to the single flavour at Universal Studios Orlando.

The Three Broomsticks – Located in both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood, you can find traditional British food served daily.

Krusty Burger – Both Universal Parks have the famous Krusty Burger and full menu to choose from.

Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck – One of our favourite fast food places to eat at both Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood.

Cletus’ Chicken Shack – Available at both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Luigi’s Pizza – Available at both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Coca-Cola Freestyle Refillable Cups – One thing we love when we go to Universal park is the refillable cups, they are so easy to have to hand, easy to carry and save us a fortune on drinks. These are available in both Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood.

Refillable Popcorn Buckets – Another thing we found while at Universal Studio Hollywood and looking forward to trying out at Universal Studios Orlando is the refillable popcorn buckets. You buy a special bucket with a lid that you can pay a discounted price for refills all day every day of your visit.

Differences Between Universal Studios Orlando And Universal Studios Hollywood?

The main difference between Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood is that Universal Studios Hollywood is described as an LA experience with a working set and Universal Studios Orlando is a theme park. The overall atmosphere is different between the two Universal parks.

Here are some of the other differences between Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood;

World Famous Studio Tour – Located at Universal Studios Hollywood

Diagon Alley – While Universal Studios Hollywood has a Hogsmeade, though slightly smaller it also doesn’t have a Diagon Alley. Universal Studios Orlando has both.

Seuss Landing – There isn’t a Seuss Landing at Universal Studios Hollywood, alternatively there is Super Silly Fun Land with the Minions from Despicable Me.

WaterWorld, Special Effects Show & Animal Actors Show – Universal Studios Hollywood is all about the theatrics and shows and so it is home to some of the best shows that Universal Studios Orlando doesn’t have.

Red Carpet – As part of the overall atmosphere Universal Studios Hollywood have a red carpet that is put out daily for guests to arrive and walk on into the park.

  • Price – One of the biggest differences between the parks is the price, as Universal Studios Orlando is larger and also has 2 parks it is considerably more money compared to Universal Studios Hollywood which is very doable in one day.
  • Amazing Views Of LA – With Universal Studios Hollywood built within the mountainside there are some places you can go and see amazing views over Los Angeles. While this isn’t a deciding factor it is still really cool!
  • Hogwarts Express – One of the biggest charms and super cool things to do at Universal Studios Orlando is going on the Hogwarts Express. You can take a ride on the awesome train from one park to the next and back again, both ways are different from one another which makes it even better!

Which Universal Studios Park Is Bigger?

A similar scenario took place with Universal Studios opening a larger second park in Orlando, much like Disney did after not being able to expand Disneyland, opening a second theme park in Orlando.

Both Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World are much bigger than their sibling park in California.

With this in mind, Universal Studios Orlando is significantly bigger than Universal Studios Hollywood.

Orlando is set across 541 acres of core land (the theme parks and hotels) compared to the 415 acres.

While this may not seem a huge difference, most of the Universal Studios Hollywood area is taken up by the live set and working studios.

Despite the small difference, there is definitely a sense of space and things are on a much larger scale at Universal Studios Orlando.

There are more rides, rollercoasters and shows and more for everyone to enjoy.

You also want to remember that Orlando offers 2 theme parks along with 1 water park; Volcano Bay.

This is more of a holiday destination compared to Universal Studios Hollywood where it is more of a city break location.

Which Universal Studios Is Better For Harry Potter?

There is no denying that the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is a major draw for many people going to Universal Studios over and over again.

It is one of the main reasons I personally love Universal Studios and always enjoy going into the Harry Potter lands.

While Universal Studios Hollywood has a cosy area dedicated to Hogsmeade, there is so much more on offer at Universal Studios Orlando for Harry Potter fans.

There are two parks at Universal Studios Orlando and so each park has a different section to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in them.

Islands of Adventure has Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle, whereas Universal Studios has Diagon Alley, London’s King Cross and Grimmauld Place, not to mention the Night Bus.

Which Universal Studios Has Better Rides?

With Orlando being much bigger it has the space and capacity to offer more rides and a wider range of rides.

If you are looking for a better park for rides, Orlando is definitely the park for you.

Orlando offers up a bigger range of rides from motion simulation, shows, rollercoasters and more.

You are more likely to find something for everyone at Orlando and have plenty of rides to choose from.

Though Universal Studios Hollywood has rides they are more motion simulation-based and not many are rollercoasters.

They have fewer to choose from as the park is smaller and so if you want to go on a number of different rides and experiences Hollywood isn’t the place.

Which Universal Studios Park Is Best For Adults?

This is quite tough as each park has something quite unique to offer adults.

If you don’t like rides you might find less to do at Universal Studios Orlando than at Universal Studios Hollywood, as Hollywood has more show-based attractions overall.

While Universal Studios Orlando has plenty to offer it can be lacking in the department of what people can do if they don’t like shows.

If you are a fan of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Orlando is the place for you as there is so much more to do there than go on rides.

Either park is great for adults, it merely depends on what you want to go to Universal Studios for, rides? shows? or to shop the awesome souvenirs?

If you are looking to go on all the top rides and have an express pass and hit every ride and rollercoaster possible I would definitely say Universal Studios Orlando is better for you.

If you are looking to have a more unique experience which is based on shows, maybe looking at doing some celebrity spotting on the Studio Tour and just having a day at Universal Studios then Universal Studios Hollywood is more likely to be the best park for you.

Which Universal Studios Park Is Better For Toddlers?

In all honesty, I think either park is great for toddlers as they are both family-friendly and provide something fun, sage and unique for smaller children to do whilst at the parks.

Both parks have a fun array of characters you can meet, hug and take pictures with and more often than not they are the best characters you know and love.

The advantage of Universal Studios Hollywood is the dedicated spaces and playgrounds for toddlers and children to play.

One of which is a water park to help keep them cool on a hot day, this is located in Super Silly Fun Land adjacent to the Despicable Me ride.

Whereas Universal Studios Orlando has more child-friendly rides and shows along with themed dining.

The biggest and most appealing area to children and toddlers is the Seuss Landing area. This is full of colour, rides, shows and attractions perfect for the younger audience.

Both parks have plenty to offer toddlers so it depends on who else is going, what they are interested in and if your toddler likes rides or shows.

If your toddler is open to going on rides as well as shows you can look at going to Universal Studios Orlando as there is more scope.

Alternatively, if your child doesn’t like rides and prefers more shows and attractions you might look at going to Universal Studios Hollywood as they have playground areas and fun shows.

4 thoughts on “Universal Studios Hollywood vs Orlando – Which Universal Park Is Best?”

  1. I’m wondering when talking about the size of the park are we talking just universal studios Orlando or is that size comparison Universal Studios including Islands of Adventure? I’m really curious as to how much bigger Just Universal Studios Orlando alone is compared to Universal Studios Hollywood?

    1. Universal Studios Orlando is slightly smaller (maybe 10%) when compared to Hollywood. That’s based on Orlando being a single park, and not including IOA. While the land size of Hollywood is bigger due to The World-Famous Studio Tour. This size I’m going on is based on ‘accessible areas’ or walking areas of the park.

      According to both websites, there’s 15 rides and attractions at Universal Orlando (54 across the resort) and 21 in Hollywood. Meanwhile, there are 56 dining options at both, and 10 shows at Universal Orlando and just 3 in Hollywood. Hope this helps! 🙂

  2. THANKS A LOT!!!!!!!!!
    I was going sites by sites by sites trying to figured out the rides differences since I live close by Universal Hollywood but never been to Orlando… Don’t want to waste time on the rides that I could get nearby since I have really limited time visiting Orlando…
    Your article is SUPER CLEAR and is EXACTLY what I need.
    Thank YOU!!!!!!!!!

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