Willing to spend extra and not willing to wait in long lines? Want a more expedited or personal experience? Universal has two options for you: the Gate A Pass and the VIP Experience.
Gate A Passes
Unlike Universal Orlando, which offers a Universal Express pass as an add-on to base single or multi-day tickets, Universal Hollywood’s “Gate A” pass includes park admission. You do not need to purchase a single-day and a Gate A pass.
What does it do?
Gate A passes entitle to you the aforementioned park admission as well as either one time or unlimited access of the “Gate A” queue for each attraction. This is just fancy terminology for a “front of the line” pass, similar to Universal Express Plus at Universal Orlando.
Here’s how it works: you’ll receive a Gate A pass & lanyard. Present your pass at each participating attraction (currently every major attraction in the park). You get to “skip” the main standby line via the Gate A queue. Since there are two tiers of the front of the line passes, be aware of which one you have purchased. As said earlier, there is one time use per attraction (purple color) of unlimited priority access (red color) to each attraction (except for Ollivander’s Wand Experience). You can’t swap one ride for another, and keep in mind every person in your party will need a Gate A pass.
Gate A also entitles you to preferred seating at the park’s various shows. Look for the Gate A star sign at the entrance to each show; you’ll be let in first and shown to the exclusive best seats in the house.
Will Gate A work at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
Different Gate A pass tiers
There are currently two different versions of the Gate A pass available for purchase. The two passes have different colors to distinguish one from another. The purple FOL pass is only valid one time priority access per attraction. The red FOL pass is valid for unlimited priority access for all attractions in the park.
How much does it cost?
Similar to general admission, Gate A pass prices fluctuate based on projected attendance. The purple ones start at a minimum of $179 per person on slower days and up to $244 per person on the busiest days for the purple ones. The red ones start at $219 per person on slower days and up to $259 per person on the busiest days. While those bigger numbers may be hard to swallow, keep in mind the higher the cost, the more useful this pass becomes!
Is the Gate A pass worth getting?
In our experience, it is possible and practical to complete all of Universal Hollywood’s attractions within a single day, open-to-close, with proper planning and pacing. On the busiest days, however, lines can grow faster than you can manage. If you’re visiting on a major holiday weekend, in the middle of the summer, or just can’t stand lines in general, we recommend investing in the pass.
This is Universal’s top offering, a pricey but incredible experience that will truly make you feel like a very-important-person.
What does it include?
The VIP Experience includes the following:
- Admission to the park (don’t buy an additional ticket!)
- Valet Parking
- Continental breakfast
- Unlimited access to Gate A, front-of-the-line queues
- Intimate guided tour through the park and Universal backlot on an exclusive tram
- Buffet-style lunch in a private dining room
What’s the deal with the exclusive tram?
We’re glad you asked. The majority of guests ride in Universal’s multi-car trams that weave in and out of the backlot and through the various show stops. VIP Experience guests will board an exclusive, one-car trolley that will take them on a personalized trek through the backlot. Each tour holds between 10 and 15 people. Schedule permitting, you’ll actually be permitted to get off your tram and roam areas of the backlot on foot!
Does the VIP Experience include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
Yes! Gate A access is honored at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. It is not honored at the Ollivander’s Wand Shop experience. But your VIP guide will provide a private Ollivander’s wand experience at some point during the guided portion of the theme park.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the VIP Experience fluctuates based on projected crowd attendance. It costs $349 per person on slower days and up to $409 on the busiest days. Bear in mind that the cost includes park admission, two meals (breakfast and lunch), valet parking, unlimited front of the line access, and the exclusive tour itself.
Is the VIP Experience Worth It?
If money is no object or you want the absolute most exceptional, special Universal Hollywood experience, then yes, the VIP Experience is worth it. Factoring in the costs of valet parking, unlimited Gate A access, and two included meals, the Experience is a fairly strong value even at its most expensive price. Furthermore (and unlike the traditional Gate A pass), the VIP Experience offers you the chance to experience parts of the backlot on foot, something no other ticket option offers. To some movie buffs, this alone will be worth the price.
Private VIP Tours
If you’d prefer to tour with just your party, Universal Hollywood also offers private VIP tours on a case by case basis. To inquire, call Universal at (818) 622-8477.
Ready to go? Great! Purchase Gate A passes or VIP Experience tickets at the Universal Hollywood Official Ticketing Website.