Guides and Tips

Guide to Pass Member Perks at Universal Studios Hollywood

May 10, 2024
3 people posing for a selfie in front of the Universal Studios Hollywood arch.

Every relationship has that moment. That moment when you know it’s the right time to take things to the next level. That moment when you go from casual to serious. That moment when you go out on a limb and ask yourself…am I really ready to commit? Am I really ready to become a Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member?

The answer, of course, should be a resounding YES. Being a Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member means you get to bop into the theme park at your leisure, sure. But the perks of having an Annual or Season Pass go way deeper than that. Being a Pass Member means you get to taste, discover and nerd out on aspects of Universal Studios Hollywood exclusive only to passholders. With your pass, you ascend from being a casual theme park-goer to a bona fide member of the Universal Studios Hollywood family.

Enough waxing poetic, let’s get into it! Here’s the scoop on Pass Member perks at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Four Types of Passes

Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member Holiday Park Takeover entry way.

Universal Studios Hollywood Passes are divided into four tiers: the California Neighbor Pass, the Silver Annual Pass, the Gold Annual Pass and the Platinum Annual Pass.

The four passes offered each have different price points, slightly different perks, and slightly different blackout dates. You can get into the nitty-gritty details of those four types here. Whichever pass makes most sense for you, one thing’s for sure: you’ll get a whole lot more Universal Studios Hollywood with an Annual Pass. Not only do they get you into the theme park hundreds of days a year, but they  come with cushy insider perks to sweeten the deal.

Drop in (Almost) Whenever You Want

A man looking at the Universal Studios arch wearing a denim Universal Studios jacket.

First, the most fun and obvious part: Annual Passes come with theme park admission for hundreds of dates throughout the year! (Keep in mind that California Neighbor, Silver and Gold Passes do have some Blackout Dates.)

All those included entry dates mean you can enjoy no-pressure trips to Universal Studios Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I love a jam-packed day at the theme park — I even wrote up my ideal itinerary at Universal Studios Hollywood. But being a Pass Member means you can drop in, try the newest menu additions, ride a ride or two, snap a selfie with your favorite character, then head out. And then come back and do the same thing next weekend. And the weekend after that. And, you know what? Maybe on a Wednesday after work. You’re a Pass Member, after all!

Enjoy Pass Member-Only Events

Two women holding up Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member Takeover badges.

Pass Members often get access to a slate of exclusive insider events. If you become a Pass Member, those might include:

  • Pass Member Previews. Annual and Season Pass Members often get sneak peeks at the latest that Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer. Whether it’s a brand-new land or the hottest attraction, Pass Members generally get invited to exclusive preview events. Whenever Universal does have an upcoming Pass Member Preview, you can learn about it right here.
  • Pass Member Park Takeovers. Have you ever wished you could have the theme park all to yourself? Well, an Annual or Season Pass doesn’t get you that – but it could get you a little closer. Every so-often, Universal Studios Hollywood closes its doors to everyone but passholders, giving Universal superfans the theme park all to themselves. Think: shorter lines, sky-high enthusiasm and more surprise perks along the way. To see if there are any Pass Member Park Takeovers coming up, click here.
  • Bonus Benefits & Pass Member Appreciation Days. Twice a year, Universal Studios Hollywood throws stretches where it’s extra sweet to have a pass. The first is Bonus Benefits, which happens in late winter; the second is Pass Member Appreciation Days, which happens in late summer. The exact timing is subject to change each year.

Not every program is guaranteed to happen every year, and the program details vary from year-to-year. But generally speaking, as a Pass Member, you can expect giveaways, exclusive food and drink items, merch discounts and more fun little surprises along the way. Y’know, just because Universal loves its Pass Members.

Collect Awesome Giveaways

Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member magnet.

Have you seen these enviable magnets floating around social media — or even on your neighbors’ bumpers? Well they’re a (delightful) perk of having a Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Pass. Passholders of all tiers can simply show their pass at the Universal Studio Store register and pick up their exclusive collectible. A new magnet drops every few months, and is often tied to a new attraction or celebration. But most importantly, they’re bragging rights for any Universal superfan.

But that’s not the only fun perk for Pass Members. The theme park offers special insider experiences so Pass Members can totally geek out on all things Universal Studios Hollywood. Take, for example, the Bonus Benefits Scavenger Hunt, where Pass Members receive a list of Universal Studios Hollywood trivia and Easter eggs to discover. (Do you know the name of the shopkeeper who owns Le Fleuriste on French Street? If you do, dang, I’m super impressed.) When Pass Members complete the hunt, they earn a collectible button — a.k.a., massive bragging rights.

Dig Into Exclusive Food and Drink Items

A man smiling while holding a milkshake from Toothsome Emporium.

Think you’ve tasted every delicious bite the theme park and Universal CityWalk Hollywood have to offer? Well, maybe. But that can only be true if you hold an Annual or Season Pass.

Pass Members get exclusive access to a rotating selection of treats and drinks made especially for them. (Most recently, those included a Strawberry Spiral Croissant and a Cotton Candy Sparkling Lemonade, both delicious!) CityWalk is full of Pass Member surprises, too, from a (shhh — secret!) Voodoo Doughnut to a special milkshake from the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, and more. Check out the latest Pass Member food and beverage items here.

But wait, there’s more! Gold and Platinum Pass Members get 15% off in-park food and (non-alcoholic) drinks year-round, and 10-15% off participating CityWalk restaurants.

Plus, during special events like Bonus Benefits and Pass Member Appreciation Days, all pass types get additional discounts at participating CityWalk restaurants, as well as on collectible popcorn buckets, drink sippers, photo packages and eligible merchandise both inside the theme park and on CityWalk. Not too shabby.

Cash In on Special Ticket Discounts

A couple smiling surrounded by colorful walls.

Somedays, being a Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member means swinging into the theme park for a casual drink with friends, then heading out. But other days, being a Universal Studios Hollywood Pass Member means absolutely balling out.

Why? Because Universal makes it super easy for Pass Members to upgrade their experience at the theme park. During various times of the year, having an Annual or Season Pass can score you discounts on Universal Express upgrades, VIP Experience upgrades, Halloween Horror Nights tickets and additional GA tickets for (non-pass holding) friends and family. From the casual to the VIP to the spooky, there are so many different kinds of days you can have at Universal Studios Hollywood. Having an Annual or Season Pass makes it easier to have all of ‘em.

Again, these perks don’t come with the Pass all the time. They’re usually just during Bonus Benefits and Pass Member Appreciation Days. But you can always check up on the latest perks right here.

Plus: The Extra Cushy Perks

HNN entry way at Universal Studios Hollywood.

OK, so you read the letters “VIP” and want more of that, right? Let’s talk about the Platinum Annual Pass for a hot sec. As you might imagine, the pricier pass option gets you some pretty swanky treatment at Universal Studios Hollywood. That includes:

  • No Blackout Dates. “No” as in, “none.” Weekends, holidays, middle-of-summer madness, you name it — just flash your Platinum Annual Pass at the gates to Universal Studios Hollywood, and you’re in.
  • Universal Express Pass after 3 p.m. Like magic, your Platinum Pass transforms into a Universal Express Pass every day at 3pm. For the impatient thrill-seekers, this is the perkiest of perks.
  • Free Parking. Yup. The two words that make every Angeleno’s heart flutter. As long as you get there before 6 p.m., you can park at CityWalk without charge.
  • Complimentary HHN Ticket. Universal turns into a whole new park during spooky season nights, and no Pass Member should miss it. With a Platinum Pass, you get one free ticket for entrance to Halloween Horror Nights on select nights — just make sure you reserve your spot ahead of time.

Whew, that’s a ton of perks! What’s your favorite part of being a Pass Member at Universal Studios Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Reply Maria May 10, 2024 at 6:03 pm

    I love universal! its always so much fun

    • Reply Digital Guest Communications May 10, 2024 at 6:06 pm

      We hope to welcome you back again soon, Maria!

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