Discounts & Rewards

Universal Studios Hollywood's VIP Experience upgrades your visit in 3 big ways

A VIP Experience bus

A visit to Universal Studios can make you feel like you’re in the movies, so why settle for a bit part when you can be a star? 

That’s the rationale behind the VIP Experience, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the studio grounds led by the people who know it best, along with other exclusive benefits. Even if you’re a frequent visitor, the VIP Experience adds something new to the Universal Studios experience, especially in 3 areas.

Step off the tram & on to real movie sets

War of the Worlds set

The Studio Tour, with its iconic blue and white trams, is the park’s most famous attraction, but guests can only get off the ride once: at the end. The VIP Experience not only upgrades your vehicle to a private tour bus with comfy leather seats and free water, it also lets you see select parts of the backlot on foot. Those include the plane-crash set from 2005’s War of the Worlds and the Old West streets that once hosted stars like John Wayne and Audie Murphy.

Old West set

Seeing sets up close is a different experience. For example, being on foot in the Old West area makes it easier to appreciate how differently sized doors create movie magic: small doors make imposing characters look bigger, and big ones make wimpy characters look tiny—even if the actors are the same size. Guests may also get to touch certain sets to see how they simulate materials like brick without the weight or expense.  

A Westworld prop

The VIP Experience also takes visitors behind the scenes of the Property Department, which works like a giant lending library for Universal Studios’ movie props. Row after row of shelves hold everything a scene might need, from regular office furniture to old-timey switchboards and Emperor Commodus’ throne from 2000’s Gladiator. Keep an eye out for reservation tags: they can tell you which shows and movies might be using a prop. 

Treat your taste buds with a star-worthy buffet

Meat selection at the buffet

Movie stars get to enjoy fine catered lunches on-set, and the VIP Experience is no different. When lunchtime rolls around, the VIP group stops at Le Petit Jardin buffet, where an awe-inspiring array of hot and cold dishes awaits. The spread includes classics like Caesar salad, mashed potatoes, and steak fries, but also dishes fit for an A-lister: Japanese eggplant with miso glaze, Thai barbecue salmon, glazed pork belly, and snow crab legs are just some of what might be served up.  

Desserts at the buffet

The drinks offered are similarly varied, with the usual assortment of sodas plus fancy imported European fruit drinks. And the indulgence doesn’t stop with lunch: there’s also a dessert section, where you might find mini eclairs, cheesecake bites, cookies, and fruit tarts, as well as crepes made right on the spot. 

Smartphone charging station

The buffet is a chance to recharge, and not just for humans. If your smartphone is low on juice, or you just want to top it off to make sure it lasts the rest of the day, Le Petit Jardin has you covered with a free charging station that even includes cables. There’s a Wi-Fi hotspot as well, the perfect opportunity to show off your behind-the-scenes shots on social media.

Get VIP access to rides & shows

A Gate A sign

Hollywood celebrities don't have to wait in line to get into parties; likewise, Universal Studios’ VIP guests get express access to all of the park’s attractions. That’s because the VIP Experience includes Universal Express Unlimited. During the tour, your VIP guide will take you to the express entrance at all the rides and shows the group visits. Once the tour is over, VIPs are welcome to use their express access at any rides as many times as they like.

A sign for Flight of the Hippogriff ride

When it comes to rides, the VIP Experience is an upgrade over even the regular Universal Express ticket, which only gives guests express access once at each attraction. At the park on a hot summer day? With the VIP Experience, you can get soaked on Jurassic World: The Ride 3 times in a row, using your express pass each time. Can’t get enough of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey? Make the trip to Hogwarts Castle as many times as you like.

Stage for the WaterWorld show

The VIP treatment isn’t limited to rides: VIP guests also have their own seating section at the WaterWorld show, set far back enough from the “splash zone” to enjoy the show without becoming a part of it. (Want to get wet? Just let your tour guide know.) VIPs also get express access to Universal Studios Hollywood’s other stage shows, the Special Effects Show and Animal Actors.

Ready to get VIP treatment?

AAA members can save on the VIP Experience when they purchase online or at a AAA branch. 

Buy VIP tickets | Find a branch

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