10 Reasons to Get the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood


Welcome to Universal Studios!

Welcome to Universal Studios!

My wife Natalie and I got invited to check out the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood this past weekend.  The VIP Experience is a six-hour guided tour and it’s a fun way to spend the day, getting a behind-the-scenes look at how some of your favorite movies and TV shows are made.

Here are 10 reasons to get the VIP experience at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0361. Free valet parking. Parking is in the Frankenstein Parking Garage, which is just steps away from the studio’s front entrance. FYI: It’s normally $30 to valet. Directions to the park.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0062. VIP Lounge. You check in at the VIP Lounge located near the Will Call windows and inside are bathrooms, snacks and refreshments, including bottles of water.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0053.  Survival pack. Each guest gets a VIP survival pack that’s filled with hand sanitizer, mints and lip balm.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0104. Get an expert tour guide. Our group’s expert VIP guide was Will G who was very friendly and knowledgeable on the past, present and future of Universal’s back lot. FYI: I suspect most guides, like Will, are actors so they are great at telling stories.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0085. Private trolley: When going on the famous Universal Studio Tour, instead of having to sit in one of those four-car trams, you get to cruise around in a special open-air trolley. Our group had 11 people so we shared a bus with another VIP Experience group that departed at the same time as us.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0076. Visit a sound stage. Unlike the general studio tour, we got to get off the vehicle and walk around the lot and inside one of the studios. There are 35 sound stages at Universal but they have higher numbers than just 35 since they never use the same number of one if it gets closed down. We entered stage 44, which is one of the four stages used for the TV show Parenthood. 44 is the ground floor of the grandparents’ home and we learned the sets don’t have ceilings for lighting and sound purposes. Did you know? Every one minute of the show is roughly one page of script.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0197. Tour the prop warehouse. One of the places we got to walk around was the enormous prop warehouse. This is where set designers go to pick out furniture and props for their sets. They do it on the honor system by placing a label on items they want; if anyone gets caught removing the label from an item because they want it, they get banned from the prop warehouse for life.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0338. Free lunch. VIP Experience guests get to have a gourmet lunch prepared by Universal’s executive chef and served in a private dining room. It was buffet and they had tons of choices to make everyone happy — from kids to vegans.

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -0299. You get to cut the lines. VIP access allows you to get front of line access to all rides and attractions so you get the best seat in the house and not have to wait in line for hours.

Our badge/ticket

Our badge/ticket

10. It’s good all day. At the end of the 6-hour tour, you are allowed to stick around the park and use your front of the line access.

The VIP Experience is the most exclusive way for someone who’s not related to Steven Spielberg, to go behind the scenes at the world’s largest movie studio and theme park. It’s the ultimate way to visit Universal Studios Hollywood but it’s not cheap … it costs $299 per person.

Normal admission costs $80 but discounts can be found on the internet, at Costco and by using cards like AAA. If all you are interested in is not waiting in line then you can get a Front of Line Pass for $129.

Every Studio Tour includes a stop at King Kong’s 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson, a drive by of Wisteria Lane from ABC’s hit series Desperate Housewives, the set of the original Jaws (it’s getting kind of tired), and the eerie plane crash from War of the Worlds (I found it very disturbing).

Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Movie Tour 2013 -026My favorite part of the Studio Tour was coming face-to-face with Norman Bates at the legendary Bates Motel from Psycho. Their actor was spot on just like our tour.

Good to know: Children must be at least 5 years old to attend and at least 17 years old to attend without an accompanying adult. There are 391 acres. Universal Studios originally opened in 1912 in New York and then moved to L.A. in 1915. They started offering tours in 1964. Over 8,000 features have been shot on the Universal lot. They use the same sets over and over but they change the lighting and angles so you don’t notice it.







Get the rest of 2013 for the price of 1-Day admission.


Johnny Jet

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10 Reasons to Get the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood
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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

34 Comments on "10 Reasons to Get the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood"

  1. Are they extremelly strict on ID? Example: If I’m 16 and want to go on the tour myself will they be checking that I am 17 years old. Do you have any idea please, going in April this year!

  2. If the VIP pass is purchased, can it be converted into an annual pass at the end of the day? I’ve asked and some people say that has worked in the past by paying an extra $18 each, and others that work there have no idea or say no.

  3. Does the VIP experience work for the whole year or one day use only

  4. Hi, thanks u for information, but, how can you get free parking lot ? I mean you talk with worker in Universal studios or something , because next year’s, my family have a plan to go in there, and of course, we will take a “vip” !!!!

  5. Is the tour wheelchair accessible?

  6. Hi,
    V’ll be visiting LA in July 2016 from Dubai, its gonna be me, my wife and 10yr old daughter. I just have 2 days to spare and will be staying near the Disneyland at Anaheim. Would u suggest that we use both the days for Disneyland (1 day) and DCA (1 day) or one day for DCA and one day for Universal Studios (with VIP access).

    • It all depends what you like and how many times you’ve been and plan on coming back. Personally, I would do one day at Disney and DCA and the next at Universal.

  7. Hey Johnny, great info! Did you feel like you got to see everything inside the park after the 6 hour tour? Rides, shops, etc? Did your tour guide take you to any particular rides or you do that after the tour? I’m going this fall & want to know what I should expect. Im really excited to see Harry Potter World & want to make sure I actually get to see it.

  8. we just won four vip passes and theres five in our family but one is 4 does he really need it ?

  9. Does the VIP experience include the cost of one-day admission? Or do you have to pay for admission and VIP experience separately?

  10. Does they proivde an interpreter for us? My friend and I are deaf and would be planning to get VIP and need to know everything what an expert tour guide.

  11. We are looking at the VIP tour at Universal Studios California on March 15th, taking my husbands brother since he just went into remission for Cancer so its a celebration, but I don’t want him to walk and want to give him the best VIP experience. My child is not 5 year he is will be 4 years 11 months is he allowed on the VIP tour or will they ask for ID, he is tall at 46 inches.

  12. Can you bail on the 6 hour tour at some point and just go ride all the rides with your unlimited pass? Thanks for any info.

  13. What is your recommendation regarding VIP tour start time? I plan to book online though Universal Studios which allows us to access the park one hour before general admission (park opens at 9 a.m. so we could get in at 8 a.m.) so I am not sure if I should book a VIP start time a little later so that we can utilize this extra hour before our VIP tour checkin. We plan to be there on a busy holiday weekend. I am considering a tour of either 8:45, 9:15, or 9:45 a.m. Which time would you recommend to maximize our one day visit? Thanks so much in advance for your advice!

  14. With doing the VIP at universal studios , is there enough time to do all the rides? Or is a lot of the time taken up with the tour.We are coming over from Australia and are also planning to do the warner bros tour. Just trying to decide VIP or front of line for universal.

  15. Marisa Damiano | March 8, 2018 at 9:21 am | Reply

    With this VIP tour, after they show you the back lot, sound stage, etc. You are allowed to go about the rest of the day and go on ride, see attractions, etc. I have a VIP and im scared I wont be able to visit the rides and attractions I want to see because Ill be with a group from 9:30-3:30pm. Thanks for the info

  16. My wife and i are going in december, is it worth the money? Its $420 each during that time

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