The Best Time & Day to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

Everyone who visits theme parks knows that there are certain days of the week, and times of the year that are better for missing crowds. With the new Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood becoming one of the most popular attractions in the Los Angeles area, it can get very crowded. Don't worry, I have you covered for finding the best days, and the best time, to visit Universal Hollywood (and skip the long lines). By reading beyond this point you are agreeing to my updated privacy policy (found here) and my use of commissioned/affiliate links.

Nintendo Fans are going to love this!

Ticket Options for Universal Studios:

One thing to note about Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, there is a current reservation system for entering Super Mario World. When a new land opens (like Mario world) they are usually going to have a reservation system in order to get in, especially on busy days. Having seen Super Nintendo World first hand, the immersive land is small and will not be enjoyable with large crowds.  As it is VERY interactive, waiting for large crowds to do every little thing could take an extremely long time.  

You can see more about Toads Cafe in Super Mario World here.

General admission tickets are the most affordable option, and are available on the website by clicking here. These tickets can be upgraded at the park, but do not get you any express line passes. The express pass allows you access to a shorter line (like the fast pass at Disney).  If your goal is to see Super Nintendo World, buying a Universal Express ticket or the VIP Experience (both described below) may be your best option.

Universal express tickets get you ONE express pass for each ride on the day of your visit, with the exception of Bowsers Challenge (the Mario Kart motion simulator ride). You can find that ticket here. It also allows you ONE admission into Super Nintendo World without a reservation. That is a great option for travel during peak season, especially since Nintendo World is so new.  I think this is the best value to bypass lines if it is your first time visiting, or you are looking for less waiting in line when the park is busy.

What you MUST know before visiting Super Nintendo World.

The VIP experience is the final ticket option for Universal's southern California theme park. Not only do you get unlimited express passes, you also get a personal tour (with some behind the scenes/backlot stuff) and a special gourmet meal. The best part?  Complimentary valet parking.  It is super convenient at Universal Studios.  You can read more about that VIP pass here. You can always opt to upgrade your tickets in the ticket office, or on the official website.

The best day of the week to visit Universal Studios Hollywood

The most popular time to go to Universal is on the weekend, during Halloween Horror Nights, spring break, school breaks and summer months. Avoiding special events on those peak days is the secret to low crowd levels. According to the Undercover Tourist crowd calendar, a great time to visit is in the middle of the week, specifically Tuesday and Wednesday.

The best month to visit Universal Studios Hollywood

The best option for visiting any of the popular theme parks is to go after major breaks like the Christmas season. September (after schools start) the kids are back in session at school, and most people are not taking vacations across the United States. It makes sense that the crowds will be smaller, and you can often get a great deal on ticket prices. Another great time is after Thanksgiving but before the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas. The final time that will allow you to avoid high wait times is January. The holiday is over, and the nearest long weekend is a few weeks away. Most people want to avoid using vacation days to travel to theme parks during this time. We went to the best attractions in Hollywood park and almost walked right up to the front of the line. The wait times at Universal can be overwhelming when visiting during the most popular times!

Top tip to maximize your time at Universal

My top tip for shorter lines is to arrive at the park opening. Better yet, arrive a few minutes before the park opens. That way when they let people in you can go straight to the rides! My next tip is this (with the exception of needing a reservation for Mario World)... go straight to the series of escalators and head to the lower lot. You may be tempted to stop in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but DON"T DO IT. Go down to Mario if you can get in, or ride the mummy ride. It is so fun but only good for older children as it is a bit scary with the mummy zombie things, and it is a really surprisingly thrilling indoor coaster. The Universal Studio Tour is also on the lower lot along with my favorite Tiki bar with awesome adult beverages.

You can read more about my favorite things to eat at Universal Studios Hollywood here.

After you wrap up the lower lot, it is pretty easy to head back to the upper lot. There you can check out Hogwarts (I particularly like the Hagrid coaster). Those of you that are sensitive to motion sickness may want to avoid the VR Hogwarts ride. It always makes me sick, but it is really fun.

If you follow this guide you will avoid long wait times, and generally be done without spending the whole day. The beauty of Universal is that it is fairly small. It won't take you days to leisurely make your way around the park!

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  1. One thing to note about Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, there is a current reservation system for entering Super Mario World. When a new land opens (like Mario world) they are usually going to have a reservation system in order to get in, especially on busy days
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  2. Do you know the park hours would be the week of Jan 10-15th? I can't find park hours anywhere on their website.