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Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets – 2023

Costco Universal Studios Tickets

Looking for a deal on Universal Studios tickets? Right now, you can buy discount Costco Universal Studios Hollywood tickets for a super price! Actually, Costco’s Universal Studios ticket deal is better than discount tickets…Costco offers a one day ticket to Uni Studios which you can use any day of your choice (no blackouts!) AND a season pass for 11 months after your first visit! Pair this pre-paid discount Universal Studios Hollywood pass with the Costco LEGOLAND discount ticket deal this summer for tons of theme park fun for kids! Outdoors, screen free, and quality family time for the win!

Our family loves going to Universal Studios Hollywood! Our favorite worlds and rides are the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (walking through it, lunch, and the roller coaster though it’s SUPER short just heads up), the Animal Show, Backlot Tram Tour, and the Jurassic Park ride. The Harry Potter ride is good, but those who get motion sickness BEWARE. I don’t get motion sickness easily, and I couldn’t have taken another minute of it…it’s a long ride so you’re in for the long haul once it starts! I’ll drop some more personal tips for Universal Studios Hollywood below.

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ProTip: Access to the restaurants and shops on Universal City Walk is Free (well, you have to pay for parking…) so if park tickets aren’t in your budget, maybe a dinner out there is. The discount Universal Tickets/Pass offer is just one of many great pre-paid discount gift card deals at Costco – check out the linked post to see more – including restaurants that are on Universal City Walk like Panda Express or Landry’s (Bubba Gump) discount cards which will save you 20% on dining out on Universal City Walk at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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Universal Studios Tickets and Season Pass at Costco Features:

  • Use any day for first visit before 5/3/2023
    • no blackout dates for visit
  • Valid for 11 months after first visit
    • blackout dates apply to return visits
  • Approximately 180 days available after blackout dates are applied
    • most peak season dates are blacked out

Costco Universal Studios Tickets Blackout Dates 2023-2024

To see the most up to date blackout dates for the Discount Universal Studios Tickets and Season Pass, visit the Universal Studios Hollywood Blackout Date Calendar here.

Return Visit Blackout Dates – 2023

2023: Feb 25-26; Mar 4, 11, 18, 25; Apr 1-9, 15, 22, 29; May 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 25-29; Jun 2-3, 9-10, 17-19, 24-30; Jul 1-31; Aug 1-13, 19-20, 26-27; Sep 2-4, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30; Oct 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29; Nov 24-26; Dec 9, 16-17, 22-31

Return Visit Blackout Dates – 2024

PARTIAL 2024: Jan 1-6, 13-15; Feb 17-19; Mar 16-17, 23-31

See complete calendar: Costco Universal Studios Ticket Blackout Days

Costco Universal Studios Discount Pass Versus the Universal Studios California Neighbor Pass

There are a LOT of similarities in the discount season pass to Universal Studios offered at Costco and the California Neighbor Pass offered directly from Universal Studios.

The main differences are these:

Costco Pass is Valid Longer

The Costco Universal Studios Season Pass is valid for 11 months after the initial visit, versus 9 months when you buy a good neighbor pass.

Different Blackout Dates

Although both the Costco Universal Pass and the Universal Studios Hollywood Neighbor Pass have very, very similar blackout dates…they are technically different. There are a few additional weekend days on the Costco calendar, so we lean toward that being the more favorable calendar. If you want to go on a very specific date it might make sense to check both…otherwise they’re essentially the same.

View the Good Neighbor Season Pass Blackout Dates here.

Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets and Season Pass Price and Item Number

Universal Studios Hollywood Season Pass at Costco costs $179.99 and is Costco Item #1689079. You’ll find them in-store at your local Southern California Costco (SoCal), located in the discount gift card area.

Note: The cardboard cutout on the gift card rack is not the actual ticket. For theft prevention, purchasing Universal Studios Season passes at Costco is a 2-step process. Take the cardboard cutout to the register, and check out as usual. After you pay at the checkout, you will take your receipt to the item pick up at the front of the store – they will check your receipt and give you the physical tickets/passes. Most people know this…but if you’ve never purchased them before it’s worth noting 🙂

Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets
Costco Universal Studios Tickets and Season Pass Deal

ProTip: Limit of 6 Costco Universal Studios Passes per Costco member. Tickets may be gifted and used by anyone, regardless of Costco membership.

Unfortunately, these Universal Tickets at Costco will be tricky to find if you live out of state – you might consider asking a friend or family member in SoCal to purchase them for you…but I don’t recommend traveling to SoCal in hopes of finding them and using them to go to Universal all in the same trip. It may be possible, but it would be too risky in my opinion.

Purchasing Costco Universal Studios Tickets Online

At this time, Universal Studios Hollywood Season Passes and Theme Park Tickets are only available in Costco stores, they are not sold online at Costco Travel, Costco.com or via Same Day Costco delivery.

You can purchase the similar (see above comparisons) Universal Studios Hollywood Season Pass called the California Neighbors Annual Pass or you can book a complete Costco vacation package to Universal Orlando on the Costco Travel website.

Top Tips for Visiting Universal Studios Hollywood

  • Skip the VIP Parking (it’s barely closer, especially if you arrive early)
  • Bring your own water bottle to refill in the park
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes like tennis shoes
  • Consider a handheld fan or misting fan during July, August or September.
  • Use a hands-free bag like the Lole Bag so you can easily and securely wear it while on rides.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before the park opens so you’re the first in line – this allows time to park, walk from the parking lot to the entrance gate, and line up. The first hour the park is open is the best time to go on rides (shortest lines).
  • Consider buying an express pass to cut the lines.
  • Look at the park map the night prior, and plan your top pick rides (preferably that are close together) and ride those attractions those first.

Our Top Universal Hollywood Ride, Line and Experience Tips

  • We haven’t been since Super Mario World opened, so we don’t have tips on that.
  • The Jurassic Park ride is a water/raft ride – it’s pretty awesome but expect a 90 minute + wait on a summer day – so hit it early in the day if you don’t have express passes. With express passes, the wait was about 20 minutes, which was totally reasonable!
  • The roller coaster in Harry Potter World is fun, and pretty smooth (so far as coasters go) – it’s super short so it’s a good one for kids just warming up to coasters. I think it’s literally under a minute. So that said, I’d have a really (really) hard time justifying waiting in a line to ride it – it just wouldn’t be worth it more than 30 minutes in line.
  • The Harry Potter Ride is long, and cool, so it’s a nice break on a hot day. It’s NOT for those who get motion sickness. I repeat. If you get car sick or sea sickness, think twice before you ride this. We all got off it and thought that was kind of fun but we need to sit down and recalibrate. I made it, but I was ready to for it to end when it did, and I ride roller coasters, and don’t get seasick.
  • Life of Pets was a good ride for toddlers (and one of the few that’s appropriate for toddlers or elderly), but it’s basically just a little cart that moves around and you see scenes from the movie. My kids were not very interested in it at age 8 and 9.
  • Minions is a fun ride, and if you go first thing you can usually get on it pretty quickly because it holds a LOT of people per “ride.” It’s a seat, 3-D glasses, and the seat does move. If you’re super sensitive to motion sickness, it may not be a good choice. But I think if you’re even moderately tolerant, it’ll be worth it, it’s pretty fun.
  • The Tram Tour is a family favorite. The line can get pretty insane…but they have a good system to get people on and off quickly…so I’d say to hit this before lunch, but you don’t need to go first thing. I’d go to Harry Potter and Jurassic first because those lines move slower once they build up.
  • The animal show is really fun. Great for all ages.
  • Water World is also fun – though I don’t suggest Water World for toddlers or little kids who aren’t really into shock/stunts/explosions yet.
  • The water park in Super Silly Funland is great for kiddos – and the perfect end to a hot day – and a great activity for when the lines get crazy long and your kids are too young to wait in them. Bring bathing suits for the kids and towels and keep them in your stroller.

How to Redeem Costco Universal Studios Tickets/Passes

Before you activate and redeem your Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Season Pass, you’ll need to have complete information for each passholder AND know your first visit date.

Costco Universal Studios Tickets

Costco Universal Studios Tickets – How to Book First Visit

Online Registration 5 minutes

  1. Activate your Costco Universal Studios Passes

    Enter your 20 (or 21) digit barcode in the Universal Studios Season Pass Activation System

  2. Enter Passholder Info

    You will be required to enter the following for each pass you activate: First & Last Name (as shown on your government-issued ID), Full Address, E-mail Address, and Birthday (month/day)

  3. Select Your First Visit Date

    You will be required to select your first visit date at the time of activation. All Costco Universal Studios Hollywood passes registered together will have the same first visit date – so be sure to register passes separately if you will not be attending on the same first visit date.

Fine Print Notes:

Be sure to read all the fine print on the Universal Passes at Costco before purchasing. While most of these rules are pretty standard and straightforward, if this is your first time purchasing a discount theme park season pass with blackout dates, reservation requirements and restrictions…better safe than sorry…read it all on the actual packaging (it may change from mine) so you know what you are buying!

Discount Universal Studios Tickets at Costco
Costco Universal Studios Tickets & Season Pass Deal

Our Takeaways:

You need to make a reservation in advance – popular dates may fill up several days in advance – so keep that in mind and book your first visit reservations well in advance.

Because the pass isn’t blacked out on a specific date doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed you can go. There are capacity limitations and reservations for Universal Studios passholder entry may be required. The ticketing reservation system won’t allow you to make multiple days of reservations, only a one day visit may booked at a time.

Pass does not include free parking, which was about $25 last time we visited Universal (August 2023).

The Costco Universal Annual Pass includes a number of rides, attractions, shows and experiences. It excludes Halloween Horror Nights and most special events, though discount tickets may be available to passholders. In our experience, we think it’s worth upgrading at least one time to express passes or the VIP experience, but that’s optional of course.

We haven’t had an issue with these, but it’s worth mentioning. Although the Costco Universal Season Pass doesn’t make mention of California residency requirements, because of the potential inability to book specific dates or multiple dates in advance, we can see how this pass will best serve SoCal locals who can be flexible on when they can use it, and thus be able to use it enough to get their money’s worth.

More Family Fun Near Universal Studios Hollywood

Wondering what else there is to do in Southern California near Universal Studios Hollywood? Here is a list of recommended fun destinations, theme parks, and activities for kids in and around Los Angeles

  • Go to Disneyland
  • Go to Magic Mountain
  • Visit Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Visit the Los Angeles Zoo
  • See a show at the Pantages Theatre
  • Spend the day at the Santa Monica Pier and Beach
  • Take a Hollywood tour
  • Watch a movie at Mann’s Chinese Theater and explore Hollywood Boulevard
  • Check out the Griffith Observatory and go for a hike
  • Explore the La Brea Tar Pits
  • Go on a whale watching tour and visit the Long Beach Aquarium
  • Visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
  • Visit the Getty Center
  • Go to Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center (for toddlers and little kids)
  • Visit the Petersen Museum (for automotive/car fans)

Universal Orlando Resort

Costco warehouses do not offer tickets or season passes to the Universal Studios Orlando Resort in Florida, but you can book Universal Studios Florida travel packages at Costco Travel. They also offer Walt Disney World vacation packages.

More fun travel and adventure ideas to read next:

All opinions expressed on CostContessa are our own. Product features and nutrition information provided on our site is provided to us by third parties, and we do not independently verify its accuracy. Consumers should verify all information. Our content is not intended as a substitute for medical counseling or reading packaging yourself. Please always see actual package information yourself (it can and does change!) and consult your doctor with all questions.

7 Comments

  1. Wow! So happy I stumbled upon your website while trying to get more information on these passes. It was thoroughly informative and greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

    1. We’re so happy it was helpful! Let us know how it works out purchasing and using them – we’d love any tips from you (we get a lot of questions on them, so we know others are looking for this info too!). We haven’t been to Super Mario world yet, we’re jealous!! Have fun!

  2. What if I forgot to register my passes before date on season pass can I return or get a an exception

    1. Generally, event tickets are one of the few exceptions to the Costco return policy so most likely you cannot return them. That said, you can always try…have you tried to register them and it gave you an error? If you reach out to the Universal Studios customer service they would probably be the best shot at getting them extended. If the 180 days hasn’t fully passed it seems fair that you’d still be entitled to using the remaining time on them, if nothing else. Sorry I don’t have a concrete answer for you, but please let me know how it turns as I’m sure you’re not the only one who has (or will) miss a registration date for tickets!

    1. I believe that you can, however that’s definitely something to check directly with Universal on to confirm – the upgrades offered at the box office at the park are about $100-$170 per ticket, depending on which express pass you get. It’s a hefty price, not going to lie…but the lines can be 2 hours on busy days. Since we live driving distance, I view it as still cheaper than having to fly, rent a car, stay in a hotel, etc. which other people do to vacation here…but we’ve only done it once because it sure is an expensive day!!

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