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Universal studios VIP tour

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melbourne
posts: 1,358
reviews: 2
Universal studios VIP tour

Hi. I'm seriously thinking of doing the VIP tour at Universal when we are there in May.

I'd love any feedback that anyone can give me who has been before.

There are 4 of us, 2 adults, 10yo boy and 12yo boy.

The hours are longer on the Saturdays we will be there (one is Memorial Day weekend). Would it make a difference how busy the park is seeing we would be doing the VIP tour including front of line passes, valet parking and lunch provided? A Saturday would give us 3 extra hours than going on a weekday.

How long does the tour part last? Therefore, do we then get time to do the park ourselves and re-do the rides we liked?

I read that you get front of line privileges even after the tour part has finished. Is ths in front of the regular front of line people, or in the same front of line queue?

Thanks for any information anyone can give me to help make my decision.

Muskegon, Michigan
posts: 6,853
reviews: 39
1. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

I've done Universal Studios Hollywood this way, still one of the the best theme parks things I've ever done in my life, back in 2009 with a friend. We went on a Thursday or Friday, I think.

After purchasing your tickets or getting it (I bought it online as a surprise to my friend), you will be directed to the main offices building of the park by the entrance, where you will be led to the waiting room with the other VIP guests and you'll have your continental breakfast there. During breakfast, you'll be introduced to your tour guides, and each guide will split the waiting room into smaller groups, and each guide will take a certain amount of guests with them. After breakfast, the guided tour portion of your theme park begins, and the pattern will depend mainly on the tour guide, as I remember our touring paths was different than the 2-3 other VIP groups that was there that day. Our group went first to the kids area and rode the Shrek attraction before heading to "The SImpsons" attraction and did that. We then went downstairs to do the back lot tour, and this part is the best part of the VIP day, IMHO.

You'll be doing the back lot tour in a smaller tram, like one that seats about 20, as opposed to the bigger ones used by the general public. Our first stop on that tour was the building where they kept the Oscar awards and things for Universal. We then went through parts of the lot, some of which aren't accessible to the general public tram group, and then we stopped at a props warehouse. Our guide guides us through all 4 stories of the place, looking at props from different films and TV shows, before we set out and went back on the tram for another stop, which was a closed set for a TV show in production back then. After the set visit (and an announcement from one of the studio's workers that Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was in the area, and that we just missed the Governator by a few minutes), our tram drove us to the back lot set, where for the first time we were let off from the tram and allowed to walk on some of the lot as our guide pointed out things. After that, we went back to our tram and went through many of the other attractions the regular tram people do before we were let loose on foot again at the Boeing 747 wreckage location used in Spielberg's version of "War of the Worlds". After that walk, and being chased by one Norman Bates, we concluded our back lot tram portion of our tour, and went back to the downstairs side of the theme parks, and rode "Jurassic Park" and the rest of the attractions there. We had lunch afterwards at a cafe back on the upper level of the park (very good), before going to "Terminator" and a couple of other things before ending the guided tour day with "Waterworld" and group photos. Afterwards, with our VIP badges with front of the line privileges included, we were free to roam the park and do or re-do any attractions we wanted to do.

Was it worth it? To us, absolutely. I didn't regret spending that whole day there. The front of the line privileges are the same as the regular front of the line privileges the regular people choose to pay for. The guided VIP tour portion lasted around 4-5 hours or so, if I remember correctly. Our guide was honestly a pretty laid back fella, and he truly wanted to make our experience as painless and relaxing as possible the whole time. The VIP tour also includes the chance to meet performers of the some of the shows at the park backstage post show, when available, so during ours, we met with some of the "Terminator" show cast and had little extra time at the sound effects show as well.

Do keep in mind since the VIP tour is a scheduled affair that you must show up pretty early the morning of your tour to ensure you don't miss the start, as well as being able to have breakfast and get to know your group and tour guide. You'd definitely want to drive yourselves to Universal from Anaheim for this one. We arrived like 40 minutes before our tour was scheduled to start ( pretty much being there right after the park opens up) and had plenty of time to eat the free breakfast and mingle with the fellow VIP guests there.

Hope this post helps a bit, and best of luck researching more about it :)

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
2. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

Another fan of the VIP Experence, just to add and update the info chocopenguin stated above.

Yes arrive early, you get Valet Parking as part of the package, so take advantage of it.

Check in, head to the VIP room (waiting area) where they offer a light breakfast and set up up into groups of around 15, where you meet each other and your Host. More than likely, you will than be taken to the VIP Tram for the main backlot tour (Sometimes they do switch it around). The backlot tour, which includes multiple stops can last around 3 hours, it depends on waht is available (Some areas might be closed due to active filming) and how many questions your group asks. When you return, you head to a private dining area where they offer very nice lunch (buffet style) . As part of lunch, your Tour guide will explain your afternoon options, which is basically where he/she will be at specific shows. Special seating is reserved for VIP Tour guests, and some shows offer special backstage access after the show. Recommended, but optional. So I would say about 4 hours of staying as a group, after that, your VIP Pass works as Front of the Line pass for the rides (which is of course, optional) and that special reserved seating is available for every show (though there might not be VIP Hosts, as only selected shows offer the special after-show experences). So you can enjoy the park at your pace, do the things you want to do and hook up at the shows you want to see

melbourne
posts: 1,358
reviews: 2
3. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

Thank you! I am so excited to do this now.

I was going to book it on Expedia but from yesterday to today they increased the price by $30 per person!

Luckily Viator sells it too, so will get onto that and book it.

Hopefully it will be a good choice for somewhere to go on Memorial Day Saturday, seeing the crowds shouldn't really affect us.

Might also be a good excuse not to go to Disneyland and spend 24 hours there on the Friday night (if it happens!)

Sydney
posts: 668
reviews: 26
4. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

I did the VIP experience in March, i agree I've been to universal but never like this.

Arrived and got given a little pack , it had mints and other items. we then went on the 3 hour backlot tram. we got to walk around the back lot area - near where the clock tower square from back to the future , we then got out and walked around the War of the worlds plane wreck. On to the prop store , looked at different movie props , back to the tram. Next stop the Parenthood sound stage. Went in to the main house and had a look at the set and how it was put together, was cool!

went on all the rides by walking straight in, had a disposable rain coat for Jurassic Park.

Lunch was a special buffet, it was some of the best food i have had in a buffet (lol) ill post some shots tomorrow.

im glad I did it

John.

Sydney
posts: 668
reviews: 26
5. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

I have posted a few photos on universal Studios review page , it will take a couple of days to show up.

John

melbourne
posts: 1,358
reviews: 2
6. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

Fantastic. Thanks John. I'll check it out.

Sydney
posts: 668
reviews: 26
7. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

The review and recent photos(march) has been posted

tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT

John

Sydney, Australia
posts: 385
reviews: 34
8. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

Asking this for a friend who is seriously thinking of doing the VIP tour, but as she will be staying at Disneyland and travelling up for the day to do the tour, can anybody advise what time the VIP tour starts. ?

Also, my friend is travelling by herself from Disneyland so would the best transportation be a personal driver or a tour shuttle bus from Disneyland to Universal ? I guess she her options will be based on what time the VIP Tour starts (including breakfast)

Any options that I can offer her would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Karen

Edited: 6:29 pm, August 21, 2013
Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
9. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

The VIP Tour start time depends when you book it, they make a "reservation". The Tours start at opening and only are offered the first few hours, since it really is an all day thing.

To get maximum value, I would want a start time at park opening. If you are driving and get there early, some places are open in Universal CityWalk serving coffee and drinks.

A light breakfast is part of the VIP Tour.

I would look at Public Transit or a private town car to get between the two locations for the VIP tour if your friend doesn't want to rent a car for the day.

melbourne
posts: 1,358
reviews: 2
10. Re: Universal studios VIP tour

Hi Karen.

There's a few different starting times for the tour. It depends on what time the park opens, and what time you want to go.

We did the very first one so we could have as much time as possible at the end. It was a 7pm close and we were there until then.

Regarding getting there, we drove, so not sure otherwise. I don't think the shuttles would get there on time. Maybe a taxi?