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Where to find Universal Studios discount tickets!

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Universal Studio's rides, attractions and tours...including the popular Transformers ride. If seeing these photos got you in the mood to visit Universal Studios Hollywood soon, then the info on this page can help! Discover how Universal Studios discounts, specials and annual passes can save you money & get you on your way to having a great time at the theme park.

Universal Studios Regular Ticket Prices...

...and how to AVOID them!

Picture: Transformers ride at Universal Studios theme park
On this page, you'll discover some of the discount programs offered by Universal Studios. If you plan ahead, you should NEVER have to pay full price to attend the theme park!

What do Universal Studios Hollywood's full-price admission tickets? For Spring & Summer 2018, full-priced tickets for Universal Studios are $114 to $129 each for a ONE day ticket. If you're like us, you may be thinking right now, "are you kidding?" But no, Universal Studios is not kidding. (The cost of a ticket depends on how busy the park expects to be on the particular date that you plan to visit.)

This is the full price you'll pay at the gate if you don't make plans to snag a discount ahead of time. Hopefully, though, by the time you finish reading this page, you'll have a good idea of Universal Studios' various discount programs, and you'll make your plans to enter with a cheaper ticket rate!

Universal Studios Discount Tickets

Including online print-at-home discount tickets from Universal's website

You can almost certainlyly get some type of Universal Studios discount tickets. They may not actually be very "cheap" in your opinion, but they will at least be cheaper that you would pay at the ticket booths. There are a number of different discount plans offered by Universal Studios Hollywood at any given time. But to get them, you'll have to plan ahead! Here are the Universal Studios on-line discount ticket specials in effect at the time of this update:

1.) Universal Hollywood's most popular discount is the Silver Annual Pass. The cost is only a little more than a 2-day ticket, yet you'll get free admission for 12 full months from the day you buy it. Many Universal Studios "regulars" look forward to getting an annual pass because it turns an expensive 1-day visit into an investment that gives you reasonably-priced high-quality entertainment for an entire year. If you'll be visiting the theme park several times in the next 12 months, this is the best discount that we can recommend to you. The only reason NOT to get the Silver Pass deal is (1) if you cannot visit Universal 3 or more times during the next year, or (2) if you would enjoy the perks that come along with one of the park's more-upgraded annual passes, instead. (See the "annual pass" section below for more info.)

Dates that you may not visit the park with a Silver Pass: Many black-out dates DO apply to the Universal Studios Hollywood Silver pass....but they don't apply ON the day that you purchase your pass. Since the pass has many blackout dates, you may want to strategically plan your purchase ON one of the blackout dates (so that you may visit the park on a date that you'd normally need to buy a blackout-date ticket.)

Blackout dates for the 2018 Value Pass at Universal Hollywood are as follows for new pass holders: May 27, June 16, 23, 30; July 7, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31; August 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 25; September 2, 15, 22, 29; October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 20, 27; November 10, 17 and 23; and December 15, plus every day from the 22nd thru 31st. Blackout dates in 2019 have been posted already up through May. These blackout dates are January 1, 2, 19; February 17; March--none; April 14, 19, 20, 23, 28; and May 24 and 26.NOTE: This pass is NOT valid for Halloween Horror Nights tickets. You must purchase a separate ticket during the annual Halloween Horror Nights event every Fall. ALSO NOTE: This list of blackout dates is a bit different than some of the value passes which were sold last Fall and Winter. If you have an older pass, don't panic! The list of blackout dates that was offered to you when you purchased your pass will still be honored for you.

Despite the numerous blackout dates, MOST days during the year are NOT on the blackout list, making this an economical deal for the people who don't need to visit during the "peak seasons" at Universal. To find out more, here's a link to the Universal Studios online "ticket store" page.

2.) ONE DAY SPECIALS: If you won't be able to visit Universal Studios for more than one day, then you would certainly prefer to get a discount on a one-day ticket (rather than "get a year's worth of visits for a terrific price.") Unfortunately, the special deals for daily tickets aren't nearly as good. While Universal Hollywood always offers a "web-only" special, the discount is for a mere few dollars off. The exact discount varies from day to day...because Universal now practices tiered pricing, depending on how busy they will be. So, the MOST helpful thing to know about getting a good discount is WHAT DATES will be the most expensive...and which dates will be the lowest. There's nearly a $20 difference between "busy day" and "slow day" you would be best to plan your visit around THEIR calendar.

Universal Studios calendar of price differences: At the time of this update, you could get an online discount ticket for $109 for the following dates: May 28 thru June 15...and most of September, including Labor Day (September 3, 2018) through the end of the month. All dates in late June, in July and in August cost more than this.

$114 Universal Studios calendar dates for online discounts: If you purchase online at Universal's website, you can get tickets for $114 for the following dates: May 27, June 16 thru 21, August 21 thru 31 and from September 4 thru 30th. All dates in July cost more than this.

$119 Universal Studios calendar dates for online discounts: If you purchase online at Universal's website, you can get tickets for $119 for the following dates: June 22 thru 30, July 1 thru 13, August 7 thru 20 and September 1st and 2nd.

$124 Universal Studios calendar dates for online discounts: If you purchase online at Universal's website, you can get tickets for $124 for the following dates: July 14 thru 31and August 1 thru 6th.

TWO DAY SPECIALS: For a bit more, you can buy two-day tickets. You may prefer that, since you can enjoy the park at a more leisurely pace, while having less of an "I've been robbed" feeling. The 2-day ticket prices listed below are only offered online. They do cost more at the gate.

$139 Universal Studios calendar dates for 2-day online discounts: If you purchase online at Universal's website, you can get 2-day tickets for $139 for the following dates: May 27 thru 31; June 1 thru 21; no dates in July; August 21 thru 31, and every day in September.

$159 Universal Studios calendar dates for 2-day online discounts: If you purchase online at Universal's website, you can get 2-day tickets for $159 for the following dates: June 22 thru 30; all dates in July; and August 1 thru 20.

Here's a link to the Universal Studios online "ticket store" so you can discover what the exact amount of the one-day discount right at this moment. NOTE: Universal will add a small convenience fee to the price of your tickets.

Picture: Uh looks like King Kong squashed this Universal Studios Hollywood tour tram!3.) ARES TRAVEL discount tickets: Universal Studios Hollywood offers several money-saving options through the ARES Travel discounters. These web-only specials shave some $$$ off of the price of regular and/or VIP Experience tickets. The exact amount of the ARES discounts is always changing, and so are the specific terms of these offers. If you'd like to check out the current deals, here's a link to the ARES Travel's theme park deals for Los Angeles, California. (Note: a small convenience fee will be added to the price of your tickets.)

4.) CREDIT UNION DISCOUNT TICKETS: Do you use a Credit Union for your banking needs? Be sure to check with them to see if theme park discount tickets are one of the perks that they offer. Believe it or not, quite a few California credit unions DO offer discounts fo Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. Each credit union has its own procedure for obtaining the tickets. Usually, the tickets may be purchased online from the Credit Union's website, but a you might also encounter a mail-order system. In addition to credit unions, you should check your employer or your professional association to see if they offer discounted Universal tickets.

5.) Costco discount tickets: Universal Hollywood used to offer one-day discount tickets thru Costco regularly. Not any more. Costco discount periods are now fewer and farther between. However, at the time of this update, there is a good offer for Universal's Gold Annual Pass (for Costco members only.) The selection of discounts available at your local Costco store may be different. Here's a link to Costco's "theme park discounts" page where you can check to see if any Universal Studios discounts currently being offered. (If you don't see a listing for Universal Studios, then NO Costco special is available at this time.)

6.) Military discount tickets: Yes, military discount tickets are available, but you cannot get the BEST discount through Universal Studio's website OR in-person at the theme park's ticket booths. The advanced-purchase military tickets can give you a better-than-average discount, but you must get them through the ticket office at your local military base. HOWEVER, you may get a SMALL discount of $3 by showing your ID at the Universal Studios ticket booths. This, of course, is better than nothing...but still, it's not a very good discount. It should be worth your time to check at the base ticket office nearest to you.

6.) Group discount tickets: It only takes 10 people to make a "group" that is eligible for Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets. Unfortunately, these tickets need to be requested from the park in advance. If you're interested in this particular discount, here's a link to the Universal Studios "group discounts" page of their website.

Universal Studios Annual Passes

There are several Universal Studios Hollywood annual pass specials going on at the Universal Studios Hollywood website right now. These specials are "online only," so these prices are a bit higher at the park itself.

Picture: Transformers ride at Universal Studios theme parkThe large new Harry Potter addition to Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016 is probably responsible for the steep ticket price increases at the park recently. Why? Because the Harry Potter attractions have been extremely popular. As a result...many people who used to purchase one-day tickets have decided to get annual passes, instead. A pass brings the cost of each separate visit to the park into a more reasonable price range. Here's the current list of offerings at the time of this update:

1.) Universal's 2018 Silver Passes: For not much more than the price of a two day ticket, you can enjoy Universal Hollywood for 12 full months from the date that you purchase them. Yet, the Silver Pass does have quite a few blackout dates---with only 250 theme park attendance days allowed. For the list of blackout dates, please see the previous section above on this page where they were discussed in detail. At the time of this update in 2018, Silver Passes were selling for $179 each (online price) or $189 at the Universal Studios ticket booths.

2.) Universal's 2018 Gold Pass: The Gold Pass cannot be called a true "discount" pass, because it costs over $100 more than the Silver Pass...and still features 35 blackout dates per year, exactly on the park's most popular days...including many Saturdays during the summer, and the entire vacation week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. However, for frequent guests, it will be a good deal to get a Gold Pass simply because of the fact that it includes FREE parking. With parking prices at Universal Studios now at $25 per visit, that amount can add up to a substantial amount for those who attend regularly. (Note: This parking benefit does not include up-close Front Gate or Preferred Parking, nor does it include Valet Parking.) The Gold Pass price at the time of this update is $309 online or $319 at the theme park itself.

Gold Pass blackout dates are as follows: June 16 & 23, 2018; July 7, 14, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29; August 4, 5, 11; September 15, 22; October 6, 13 (Note: Halloween Horror Nights tix are not included in the pass and must be purchased separately); November--no blackouts; December 26th thru 31st. At the time of this update, blackout dates have been announced thru May, 2019: January, February and March have none; April, only the 20th will be blacked out; May, no blackout dates.

3.) The Platinum No Black-Out AND Front-of-Line Annual Pass-- This annual pass is currently $609 online. The park's Platinum Pass will give you a true luxury experience. Parking is free. You'll walk right into shows at the last minute (well, as long as there's still room in the Platinum seating area) and you'll skip the line at rides (well, except for other Platinum Pass holders and guests who have purchased one-day front-of-line passes.) Any way you look at it, though, your waiting times will be substantially decreased. Anyone who's coming from a long distance and staying several days will benefit from this pass, as well as anyone who loves the park but has time restrictions. There are NO blackout dates, and you WILL get free admission to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights and New Year's Eve celebration (which usually require a separate ticket, even for most pass holders.)

To get more info about any of these Universal Studios passes, you may use the following link to visit the Universal Studios Passes page from the park's official website.

Multi-attraction discounts which include Universal Studios

1.) Los Angeles GO CARDS

If you're going to Universal Studios Hollywood PLUS Six Flags, Plus Knott's Berry Farm...or Legoland Park...or any one of many popular tourist destinations getting a multi-park pass can save you money. (Especially so with Universal Studios, considering how difficult it is to get a good discount here without buying an annual pass.)

What is a Los Angeles Go Card? How does it work? The Go Card company offers a wonderful new way of getting discounts to Los Angeles attractions. You begin by deciding how many days of touring you'd like to do...3, 5 or 7 days. Next, you purchase your family's Go Cards for the number of days you've chosen, making sure to plan in advance and have your cards mailed to you to save you from having to visit the pickup location in LA. Then, you study the list of Southern California attractions which are members of the Los Angeles Go Card program. Make your list...and then you're ready to start touring!

Once you arrive in LA, you simply show up at the member attractions that you've decided to see. You won't need cash or a credit card to enter---you'll just show them your Go Cards! You can visit as many attractions as you can fit into the 3, 5, or 7 days that you're touring. The more you see, the more you can save!

Universal Studios Hollywood is a member of the Go Card Los Angeles program. So are the Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm and Legoland theme parks. But, theme parks aren't the only type of attractions included. There are Hollywood studio tours, the new Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, the Los Angeles Zoo, harbor tours, Los Angeles city and movie star home tours, a wide variety of museums...for a total of about 3 dozen of the best Los Angeles attractions available! The Go Card is a very decent discount that this website is happy to reccommend. It is not for everyone, but it does work for a great number of travelers and is definately worth checking out. Chances are that this card can save you a great deal of money while allowing you to visit attractions you just might not have been able to go to without it.

To see a complete list of the Los Angeles Go Card attractions which come included with this terrific discount plan, and to discover current prices, please see the colorful green ad to your left.

2.) SeaWorld no longer offers its combo pass with Universal, and the CityPass multi-park plan does not include Universal Studios at this time.

VIP Tour...if you want a very special behind-the-scenes experience!

Another unusual type of ticket offered by Universal Studios Hollywood is the "VIP Experience" ticket. For between $349 and $400 (depending on the date you visit), you'll get one day's park admission, front-of-line privileges at rides, priority seating at shows AND a special in-depth tour of the backlot, prop warehouse, sound stages, and sound mixing rooms. In other words, if you're a person who has a keen interest in learning more about the movie-making business, this tour is your golden opportunity! The price includes a continental breakfast, plus a full luncheon in the parks VIP visitor's dining room. Youth age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and kids under age 5 are not allowed on this particular tour.

If you decide you'd like to try the VIP Experience, you MUST plan ahead, as reservations must be made in advance. (Even at this hefty price, tour spots do sell out!) So, be thinking of your most-desired dates...and your alternate dates...before you visit the Universal Hollywood website so that you'll be ready.

For further Universal Hollywood VIP tour info, here's the Universal Studios online "ticket store." For cheaper prices, you may check the website of our trusted affiliate, Ares Travel. Here's the page of their website for ARES Travel's theme park deals for Los Angeles, California. Note: though the price difference is less, there is an extra step involved with the ARES tickets. If you purchase directly from Universal, you can reserve the date of your visit while you are buying your tickets. If you purchase through an outside vendor, you must call and reserve a date yourself, and there is no guarantee of what dates will be available.

While you can't guarantee that your preferred date will be available on Universal's website, least you know that information before you purchase the tickets. Generally speaking, it is more difficult to get a spot on your preferred date during the busy summer vacation season. It is much easier to get a specific date at other times of the year, when many times the tours do not completely fill up. However, ALWAYS reserve your date 48 hours or more in advance, no matter when you would like your tour, or from whom you may purchase your tickets. The park makes this cut-off point (even if vacancies remain) because they have to plan ahead for how many people will be eating meals.

Front of Line passes at Universal Studios Hollywood

Yes, you CAN beat the crowd...with the Universal Express pass!

Can visitors get park admission tickets that include front-of-the-line privileges? Yes, and if you hate to wait, this may be the best ticket for you. The Universal Express pass will give you ONE TIME express-entry access to each of the park's rides, attractions and shows. The Universal Express ticket includes your theme park admission, as well. The price you'll pay varies with the date that you choose; the busier that the park expects to be on the date you select, then the more it costs for your ticket. (But the busy days are exactly when you're going to need the pass the most!)

Universal Express tickets cost between $179.00 and $259 depending on when you visit Universal Hollywood...and that's the online price. Expect the ticket to cost you more if you wait until you reach the park's ticket booths! That steep price means that the Front of Line Pass costs quite a bit more than the price of a full-price one day ticket. And that Universal's daily park price is so expensive, it might make more sense than ever to get an Express Pass. If you only have one day to visit, you surely will NOT want to miss any of the long-awaited attractions that you have come so far to see.

Is it worth it? Yes, it can be...especially during the busy summer months, the Christmas rush, the busy Thanksgiving long weekend and Spring Break. Universal Studios Hollywood gets quite crowded at times, and if you're stuck touring on a very busy day, you WILL get to enjoy more rides and attractions with a Front of Line pass. (On the other hand, if you visit on MOST days when school is in session, it is doubtful that you'll need an Express Pass...just judging from our own experiences at the park.)

On busy days, if you're coming from a long distance and/or you can't re-visit the park later to catch the attractions you miss, then getting a front-of-line pass may be your best bet if you want to experience all of Universal Studios Hollywood's attractions in one day. Here's what one reader told me concerning his opinion:

Picture: Simpsons ride at Universal Studios theme parkArt from Las Vegas wrote: "The front of line pass was a bit pricey, but considering that I don't go on vacation to a major theme park that frequently, it was definitely worth the investment. Convenience and comfort were big factors in swaying me. On the day I visited, the average wait time for rides without the pass was about an hour, and with the pass it was 5-10 minutes (closer to 5 minutes on most rides.) In some ways it is actually good the pass costs so much, because very few people got them the day I visited...which kept the VIP line short. Would I recommend the front-of-line pass to others? Some people will only come to Universal once in a lifetime; others will visit only once in several years. With that in mind I'd say that it would be imperative for them to see as many of the rides as possible. It may not even be possible to see all of the attractions in a day without it. For these visitors, getting the Front of Line Pass would make a great difference to their enjoyment of the park. One important consideration, though, is the size of the group. For singles or couples, it may be fairly easy to pay the extra fee, but for an average family with 2-3 kids, it's more difficult due to the steep price. For myself, though, particularly because I have kids (which makes the waiting in line that much more arduous,) I would rather not go at all than to go and have to wait an hour in the heat for a 5 minute ride. For me, I felt that it was worth waiting longer to save up the money so that my family and I could really enjoy our vacation."

If you're interested in Universal's Front-of-Line pass, here's a link to the Universal Express information page from Universal Hollywood's website which can fill you in about all the details.

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