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“Universal downgrading Fast Passes - be aware”

Universal Studios Hollywood
Ranked #3 of 553 things to do in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood experience! Find a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place: thrilling theme park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Universal Studios Hollywood is a unique experience that’s fun for the whole family. Explore Universal Studios backlot on the legendary Studio Tour. Then face the action head on in heart-pounding rides, shows and attractions that put you inside some of the world’s biggest movies. End your day with the energy and excitement of Universal CityWalk. All this and much more. Only at Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Having been here in 2011 I like to think we can make the comparison.
A few changes we observed:

1) In 2011 you had to exchange your fast pass inside the park which meant standing in line again. Now you get it immediately at the entrance, so that's an improvement!

2) The price of a Fast Pass. Universal thought it to be a good idea to rise prices during an economic difficult time by more than 20% !! I'm not sure what they are thinking but in 2011 we paid $139,99 now we paid $169,99. Of course you pay a lot when you want a fast pass but in combination with the next point this borders on robbery.

3) Nowadays you will only be allowed to use your Fast Pass once per attraction/ride. This used to be unlimited. And this is a severe downgrading. It says so when you're buying the ticket so it was no surprise but in combination with the pricehike it makes you wonder if you don't want o spend your money elsewhere.

With respect to the rides no complaints. They are still fun and they have changed some of them and added the Transformers ride.

My suggestion would be when considering to go and buy a Fast Pass: do I want to pay this much money? It allows you to skip the lines and yesterday all rides had a waiting time of 60 min or more.
So it did pay of in some way. But because you can only use them once per ride Universal is not a full day park anymore, unless you want to wait an hour or more to go a second time.

That's why you might want to start the day later, let's say about noon. This way you finish your first round with Fast Pass at a later time when the park becomes more quiet. In addition you can first have lunch somewhere else which saves you money and most likely has better quality.

So my reason or a 2 is the value or money component. The rides and attractions are still fun

One more thing: regular parking at $15 is just fine. You can upgrade but it's really not that far to walk.

Thank Marten162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 23, 2013

My boyfriend and I visited Universal Studios, Hollywood and had such an incredible day.

I have fond memories of going to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando when I was little, so being able to come back and experience the one in Hollywood (a little older and a lot less scared of the rides!) was a brilliant experience.

It's true what you hear, the queues ARE long, especially in Summer and prepare to wait a really long time for the new Transformers ride (60 mins or so) but as long as you are willing to get there early and spend the full day there, you shouldn't see it as too much of a problem.

We jus paid for the standard general admission, but I would definitely recommend paying that little big extra for the Queue Jump passes especially if you have little kids, or are unwilling to wait it out!

Make sure you do everything - Transformers, The Mummy, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons ride etc! They're all brilliant. Also, the Studio Tour is a MUST.
Go see some of the shows as well, they're all free and worth the watch. We particularly enjoyed the Special Effects show.

Don't miss out!

Thank krystinaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Your L.A. trip is in vain if you don't go to Universal Studios. Lots of fun! I recommend the House of Horrors, Studios Tour, The Mummy, The Jurassic, amongst all other things!

Thank Grace P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We have just returned from our holiday in the US. Universal, as I recall from some years ago was a magical experience of almost epic proportion, just like the movies they make. Unfortunately, on my last few visits I see a standard that is in decline. To many people allowed in which overwhelmed the systems to manage the crowds. It certainly feels that the need to make money has outweighed the need to give the customer an experience to be remembered, at least a good one. I will not be going back until things change..!

1  Thank Stephen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

This was a fun place for families and had quite a bit to do with rides and shows. I loved the Waterworld show and the tram ride, very entertaining. The Simpsons was fun and has a entertaining queue to distract you from the wait - and water misters!. Jurassic Park was visually amazing, although I was terrified of the drop at the end. Wear a poncho if you dont want to get wet. The only ride I would'nt recommend is the Mummy one - it gave me a migraine it was so intense. I regret not being able to try the transformers ride, but my kids just didn't want to wait 1.5 hrs in line.

The food was pricey, which is normal of all theme parks.

We tried to be there at opening, but was stuck in LA traffic for 1.5 hrs so we didn't arrive until 10. By this time, the park was already getting very crowded. By noon, you couldn't even walk down the street, there were so many people. The park is so small, and large amounts of people just dont work. The rides were 45 min - 90 min waits. Too long in the hot sun and it was way too long of a wait for 45 second rides. Seriously Universal rides only last a minute or 2 at the most. Between 12p-4, my family really didn't get to do much of anything - it was just too packed.

If you go to Universal during peak times and cannot make it by opening, I would suggest going later around 5. The crowds got much smaller, and it was cooler in the evening.

1  Thank jenras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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