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5 Tips on How to Avoid the Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood (Without buying an express pass)

For those of you who have been following me, you probably know that I love Universal Studios. And, I also love being able to do things on a budget. I also hate waiting in line. So, here are my tips how to avoid the lines at Universal Studios Hollywood without buying an express pass.

Tip 1 on How to Avoid the Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood: Go When It’s a Ghost Town

I pretty much never go when the part is crowded. You can find out what the expected crowds are going to be by checking the is it packed website. There are four different designations for the crowd level: Ghost Town, Hey, It’s All Right, Yup, it’s packed, and Forget about it.

I prefer to go when it’s a Ghost Town, because that generally means 5-15 minute wait times across the board. Unfortunately, most of these occur during the week. So, if you do not have a flexible schedule or work during the week, this may not work for you. There are weekends, however, where the designation is ‘Hey, it’s all right.’ This means 15-30 minute waits much of the time, which is better than what it is on the more crowded days.

Tip 2: Go as Soon as the Park Opens

Most of the people that go to Universal Studios Hollywood are locals. So, they frequently come after work or after getting things done earlier in the day. Because of this, if you go early in the day, the park will be rather quiet. Things start to pick up in the afternoon.

Tip 3: Go on a Rainy Day

Rain tends to chase people away, so if you want a wait-free experience, I recommend going when it rains–just make sure to bring a poncho or an umbrella! I went on Christmas Eve this past year, which was a rainy day. And, I was able to walk right onto some of the rides or had a 5 minute wait at the longest.

Tip 4: Start on the Lower Lot

Transformers entrance, immediately after opening Feb 2022

Most people go on the first ride they see, or they make a beeline for Hogsmeade. This creates lines on the upper lot first thing and lines on the lower lot later in the day. However, if you go to the Lower Lot first (hit Simpson’s on your way down if you’re a fan, because that one will get a line pretty quickly as well), you can walk right onto the rides. Make sure to go on Transformers as soon as possible though because that one also fills up fast.

Tip 5: Use Single Rider Lines When Available

Unfortunately, most of the single rider lines are closed at the time of writing this and are being used for the VIP Tours. That said, if they are open (Forbidden Journey single rider line is still open!), they can save you significant wait time–particularly on a slower day. I never wait for Forbidden Journey.

Thank you for reading my tips on how to avoid the lines at Universal Studios Hollywood without buying an express pass. Here are some other posts you might enjoy:

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