There are so many things that I love about living in Southern California including how many theme park choices there are. Between Disneyland, SeaWorld, Legoland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knotts Berry Farm, and Universal Studios Hollywood it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. For today let’s focus on Universal Studios Hollywood. Keep reading to find out how to save money at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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How to Save Money at Universal Studios Hollywood

how to save money at universal studios hollywood

If you buy tickets at the gate you have quite a few options. One thing that I think is brilliant that Universal does and I wish Disney would do is charge admission based on height. However, if you purchase tickets online the price changes based on age. Buying tickets online will almost always save you more money than if you purchased them at the gate. Currently, if you purchase a ticket through Universal’s website you will receive $15 off.

You can purchase the Go LA Pass to save on several fun places like Universal Studios Hollywood.

When it comes to buying tickets for Universal Studios be sure to consider getting a Go Los Angeles Pass if you want to see more in Southern California. If you purchase a 3, 5, or 7-day card admission to Universal Studios is included. This card can be used for locals but it is primarily geared towards those visiting the areas and it can help you see a lot while saving a lot of money.

If you would like to save the $25 parking fee you can take the metro to the park. If you happen to be staying at a nearby hotel I would recommend taking an uber.

You can get free parking if you attend the taping of a show like The Kelly Clarkson Show on the day that you go to the park. But, tapings will eat up your time so that is something to consider.

universal studios donuts

Some of the best-priced snacks at the park include the gigantic Simpsons donut. This is large enough that you can share it with more than one person. The breadsticks from Luigi’s Pizza are one of the most affordable snacks in the park. I also recommend splitting nachos from the Bee Taco Truck. And lastly, I recommend the Three Broomsticks where you get a good amount of food for a fair price.

wizarding world harry potter three broomsticks

There is no guarantee that this will happen however, you can potentially score free Butter Beer. One time when I was waiting for the Hogwarts Nighttime Show my friend and I went into the Three Broomsticks to take a seat and kill some time. The staff had extra butterbeer that they were walking around handing out to people. We each got a free cup of the warm butterbeer which I had not tried before. Please don’t expect this and do not ask for it. But, it wouldn’t hurt to hang around close to closing to see if they give any out.

If you bring your own water bottle you can fill it up with cups of water or ice from the eating places or the water fountains. Starbucks will likely give you the most generous amounts of water. Did you know you can pay with the Starbucks app at the park?



I like to use Swagbucks to earn points that I can redeem for Starbucks gift cards.

in n out burger secret menu

A short distance from Universal Studios is In N Out. In N Out is a great way to save money on food. I try to limit eating in the park to one meal so that way I’m not spending a crazy amount of money on food.

Don’t feel like you need to purchase a locker to store your stuff. Some of the rides like the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and The Mummy have lockers that you can use for free for a limited amount of time. Typically the time is similar to what the current wait time is. I use The Mummy lockers to keep my stuff dry while I ride Jurassic World.

If you are interested in purchasing the front of the line pass to skip the wait times check out how crowded the park is first. There have been times where the longest wait is 30 minutes. If you feel like the park is busy enough ask yourself if you are in the market for a new credit card. Near the Mini Monster store at the CityWalk are American Express employees who typically offer two free front of the line passes to people who sign up for a new card. You can also take advantage of the rides that offer a single rider option to help with wait times.

If you are going to Universal Studios Hollywood near your birthday be sure to stop by Jamba Juice for a free smoothie. *Must be a member of their rewards program. You can read about other birthday freebies in LA here.

I have created a lengthy post on Universal Studios Hollywood Tips and Tricks which I think will help you plan out your visit!

About The Author

Michelle Mink is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing about my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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