Ranking the Parking Options at Universal Studios Hollywood

photography of parking lot
Photo by Jose Espinal on Pexels.com (Picture is not actually of Universal Hollywood parking structures, although they do look similar to this).

I’m going to go through the list of parking options for Universal Studios Hollywood from the cheapest to the most expensive if you are looking to spend the day there. There is also cheaper parking in the evening that I will not be covering. I highly recommend going to the park first thing in the morning if possible to avoid the crowds.

#1 The Metro Red Line

Technically, this involves not parking at the park, but hear me out. The Red Line drops you off down the street from City Walk and has a shuttle to take you the rest of the way. The shuttle operates approximately every 15 minutes. You also have the option to walk if you don’t want to wait for the shuttle.

You can take public transportation the entire way, or drive part of the way and park in the Park N Ride. Parking at the Park N Ride can be free or paid depending on where you go. But, when it is paid, it is still much cheaper than parking at Universal Studios.

#2 General Parking at Universal Studios Hollywood

General Parking is $30 until 5 PM, after which you can get the discounted price if you want to brave the crowds on days when the park is open later. The only problem is that you have a lot of walking to do. Not quite as much as if you take public transportation and forego the shuttle, but you will have to walk through City Walk on the way in, as well as the way out. This is why I recommend Premium Parking if you are going to park on site.

#3 Premium Parking

Premium Parking is $40 (or at least it was on 2-17-22. The website says $45), and takes you to just outside of the security area. There is very little walking involved to get to the park or to get back to your car after a long day at the park. While I don’t mind the walk on the way into the park, at the end of the day, I’m usually pretty exhausted, and the extra $10 really makes a huge difference in the distance you have to walk.

Update 3-6-23: Premium Parking is now $50, $20 with a Gold or Platinum Season Pass.

#4 Front of the Gate Parking

I’ve never actually parked here, so I do not know if the $60 (as advertised at the park on 2-17-22) for this is worth it ($65 according to the website). However, I cannot imagine that it would be. Premium Parking gets you so much closer to the park for so little more in price that I don’t really know how much closer this final option can get you. I will at some point check this out, so I can let you know for sure whether it is worth it or not. But, at this time, I’m thinking that it’s not going to be.

Update 3-6-23: I parked in Front of the Gate parking at some point after this post was written, and it wasn’t enough of a benefit for the increase in price. It wasn’t really any closer than Premium Parking.

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My Recommendations

As you can see, my clear preference is for the Premium Parking as there is so much benefit to the slight added cost. However, if you are really looking to cut costs at Universal Studios Hollywood, taking public transportation is the best option. Metro fare is $1.75 each way, added with the potential cost at the Park N Ride, you will save a ton of money.

I’ll admit that haven’t taken public transportation to the park recently. I’ve moved since then, and I am not sure of the actual route. Although this is not difficult to figure out, I have never gotten around to it. At this point, my fear is that I will take public transportation to the park, and then opt for ride share to get home. This would ultimately cost more than just paying parking at the park.

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