Valet parking, private dining, skipping the WHOLE line, and more fun facts than you can imagine – these are all included when you purchase a VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood. I recently experienced this tour myself, and let me tell you, it is the way to go! Most theme parks offer VIP tour options, which your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist can help you book, but Universal Hollywood’s VIP Experience is extra special, and you should absolutely consider upgrading your tickets to include this option during your next visit.
It’s no surprise that my main reason to go to Universal Hollywood was to see the brand-new Super Nintendo World, which was "toadally" awesome (toad…get it)? My son loves all things Mario and once he heard about this new land, I knew we would have to go check it out for ourselves. You have many different ticket options for purchase, but Hollywood does things a bit differently from Orlando, which most of us are used to. At Universal Hollywood, you can purchase just an entry ticket or a Universal Express ticket which also includes entry, or the VIP Experience which includes the Universal Express Unlimited and entry into the park. It was a no-brainer for us to purchase the VIP Experience option because of all the things that were included with it. The tour lasts a minimum of 5 hours, but ours went on for 7.5 hours, each tour is different though depending on what your group of up to 12 people wants to see and do. You get to use the VIP credentials all-day which includes using the Universal Express Unlimited. It’s a great way to go back to your favorite rides again and again. In our case, we rode Mario Kart – Bowser’s Challenge 3 times!!!
As mentioned above, complimentary valet parking is included which helps eliminate excess walking both before and after your tour, however you should still plan to arrive 30-45 minutes before your start time. The VIP check-in is at the entrance to the park, so your VIP day starts right away. You are assigned your tour guide then are directed upstairs to the private VIP lounge where you can enjoy a variety of breakfast foods and drinks. The guides walk around the lounge and introduce themselves while waiting for your tour to begin. We couldn’t have been paired better with our guide, Chris, or the other family in our group who had children the same age as ours. Chris was amazing! Not only has he worked for Universal Studios for many years, which made him a wealth of knowledge, but he was also the trainer for all of the VIP guides, so he definitely knew his stuff! My son is filled with tons of tv and movie trivia, so he and Chris shared stories with each other during the whole tour.
Universal Hollywood has 12 rides - during our time with Chris, he walked us to the very front of all but one ride, which our group wasn’t interested in doing. We also had premium seating to WaterWorld – a 20-minute stunt show that is jam-packed with action, explosions, and even jet skis. Halfway through our day, Chris took us to the private VIP dining room, Jardin de Paris – where we enjoyed a gourmet lunch and even some character interactions.
One of the coolest parts of the day started after lunch, the world-famous studio tour – up close. The studio tour is available with regular admission; however, those trams hold about 192 people and don’t make any stops. The VIP Experience trolley combines 2 tours together for a total of about 24 people. Universal Hollywood is an actual working TV and Movie production studio, and during the tour, you get to enter backstage areas that aren’t included in the regular park studio tour. We not only got to see recognizable sets from some of our favorite shows, but we actually got to walk around them! A brand-new studio building recently opened, so we stopped in and took a look inside. We also got to see exclusive areas where they pick out full sets of furniture and accessories for shows as well as costumes. It was so cool! Sometimes VIP groups even see live filming happening, which could include passing right-by famous actors or musicians. We unfortunately didn’t see any live filming during our tour, but the lack of filming that day is what allowed us to go into some of those more secure locations, which was perfectly fine with us.
I can’t say enough good things about this experience, it was incredible! If you want to feel like a real VIP for a day or see how some of your favorite tv shows and movies are made, then the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood is the right choice for you.