Universal Studios Florida vs Universal Studios Hollywood

Better park?


  • Total voters
    22

ChanaC

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
This is hard, but I voted USF. To break it down into a pros/cons list:

USF:
Pros:
More rides and attractions
Also has Islands of Adventure next door
Feels more like a theme park/has better theming
Close to Disney and SeaWorld which makes it easier to go to all the area theme parks
Has (mostly) the better version of the rides and attractions (ex. The Mummy, Hogsmeade as a whole)

Cons:
It lost a lot of the "we make movies here" vibe, and nothing is filmed there any more

USH:
Pros:
The studio tour itself is worth a ticket, it's really such a cool attractions/tour
You can tell it's a real, working studio
It's smaller and easier to navigator, minus the escalators
The views of the valley are really cool
Close to Hollywood and other studios (like Warner Bros) if you want a big "Hollywood" type vacation
It's the OG park, and that's worth bonus points

Cons:
Because you can see the backlots, office buildings, and valley, you do lose that magical "we're in another place" theme park vibe
Lesser attractions
Far from Disneyland and Knotts, which makes it hard to have a theme park heavy vacation
From the two times I've been, I've felt like there has always been longer lines than at USF. I think because there are less "E Ticket" attractions so you have a lot of people funneled into not a lot of queues.
Escalators

As a note, I've been to USF a bunch before I went to USH for the first time. I was at first disappointed to see so many duplicate rides, but if you went to USH first you would be delighted to see all the new things to do. Perspective is probably a big part of your opinion of it.
 

mamapenguin

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
I can’t seem to get excited about going to Universal Hollywood, because I’ve been to Universal Orlando and there is so much more to do there. I have heard good things about the tour and remember going on it as a kid, but I need more. If I was local I would do it, but not sure I could justify airfare and hotel.
 

ChanaC

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
I can’t seem to get excited about going to Universal Hollywood, because I’ve been to Universal Orlando and there is so much more to do there. I have heard good things about the tour and remember going on it as a kid, but I need more. If I was local I would do it, but not sure I could justify airfare and hotel.
As a current LA local and a previous Orlando local, I agree. It's a fun thing to do if you happen to be in LA for something else, but the park itself doesn't have enough to justify a trip out to solely visit it. It's not like how people will plan their vacation around just doing Universal Orlando. It's also hard to justify going to USH on a Disneyland trip. Assuming you want to be there from park open to close you'll be dealing with 1-1.5 hours of traffic in each direction. What people take for granted in Orlando is how Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal are all like two exits away from each other on I-4.
 

cfoxga

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
The nostalgia of the UH Studios Tour is about the only positive for us, so it is worth doing one. We prefer the bigger UO parks for pretty much everything else. CityWalk was a wash for the two. The real winner is the onsite resorts at UO, especially the deluxe resorts. You don't need to drive anywhere, just take the boat or a short work.
 

tink2424

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 28, 2019
I agree with the previous posters. For a theme park Orlando is better but for a working studio Hollywood is better. I did the group VIP tour the only time I have gone a few years back and it was really fun & very much worth the price of the ticket. So if you do happen to go that is the way to do it...
 
  • mtrib

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2017
    I agree with the previous posters. For a theme park Orlando is better but for a working studio Hollywood is better. I did the group VIP tour the only time I have gone a few years back and it was really fun & very much worth the price of the ticket. So if you do happen to go that is the way to do it...
    Can you tell me more about the VIP tour? Is this a VIP tour specifically of the studio or for the whole park? We’re venturing to CA in June and all the other studio tours will still be on hold. Considering going to UH so we can take their tour. Trying to decide if it’s worth it.
     

    maverik85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2016
    I haven't been to Hollywood's but I feel like it is a very close call between the two.
    Attractions wise, Florida has Diagon Alley which is a huge plus, as well as MiB. Most of the other attractions are at both or nothing that special like Jimmy Fallon and Fast and Furious.
    Hollywood has Hogsmeade so it counterbalances Hogsmeade a little bit but think Diagon Alley is the better area of the two. However, Hollywood has a lot of the same big attractions like Transformers and Mummy, along with Dreamworks theatre beating Shrek, the Minions flat looks better than Kang and Kodos, plus the additions of Jurassic World, Waterworld, Secret Life of Pets, and the Studio Tram tour.
    So looking at what they offer I am tempted to say Hollywood's park is the better Studios park when looking at them in a bubble. But Florida as a resort blows it out of the water as it has so much more around it with IoA and VB, better CityWalk, and all the resort hotels. You could spend your whole trip at the resort whereas I feel Hollywood's park is a day detour to an LA trip.
     

    tink2424

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 28, 2019
    Can you tell me more about the VIP tour? Is this a VIP tour specifically of the studio or for the whole park? We’re venturing to CA in June and all the other studio tours will still be on hold. Considering going to UH so we can take their tour. Trying to decide if it’s worth it.
    Sure! We did the group VIP tour which included a continental breakfast (pastries & such, Coffee, tea, water) & a buffet lunch (I think right now they are doing this a little different with COVID but I'm sure it's still good). It also included valet parking. You would see all of Universal (all the rides & priority access to a show - we did Waterworld which was very good). You also have a much extended studio tour (the tram ride for everyone else) with a special tram (much nicer and smaller so you can see more) which you got to get out on the actual studio as well as you get a tour of the props house and one of the tv sets. They tell you all about the studio and how it works. When going to the rides you get true front of the line access while with the tour guide. Then after you are done with the group tour your badge works as an express pass for the rest of the day. When we went it was ~$300/pp but with everything we got it was well worth the money.

    With the better studio tour for the VIP tour I would highly recommend you doing it at Universal Hollywood. It is was much better than just the regular tram tour. And our tour guide was great. We got to do everything we wanted. Oh and they give you unlimited water while on the tour. Well worth the money.

    Hope you have a GREAT time!!!
     

    mtrib

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2017
    Sure! We did the group VIP tour which included a continental breakfast (pastries & such, Coffee, tea, water) & a buffet lunch (I think right now they are doing this a little different with COVID but I'm sure it's still good). It also included valet parking. You would see all of Universal (all the rides & priority access to a show - we did Waterworld which was very good). You also have a much extended studio tour (the tram ride for everyone else) with a special tram (much nicer and smaller so you can see more) which you got to get out on the actual studio as well as you get a tour of the props house and one of the tv sets. They tell you all about the studio and how it works. When going to the rides you get true front of the line access while with the tour guide. Then after you are done with the group tour your badge works as an express pass for the rest of the day. When we went it was ~$300/pp but with everything we got it was well worth the money.

    With the better studio tour for the VIP tour I would highly recommend you doing it at Universal Hollywood. It is was much better than just the regular tram tour. And our tour guide was great. We got to do everything we wanted. Oh and they give you unlimited water while on the tour. Well worth the money.

    Hope you have a GREAT time!!!
    Thank you so much! This is very helpful!
     
  • PirateBoatDropRide

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2013
    Speaking as someone who lives in Los Angeles and has been to both Hollywood and Universal Orlando several times, once you take the tram tour out of the equation for Hollywood (which is great and unique), Orlando is better and it's not very close. Hollywood does have Secret Life of Pets (which I have heard is really cute for what it is) and the classic Waterworld show, but Orlando offers so much more when you combine UO and Islands of Adventure (plus Volcano Bay, not a 3rd theme park, but a very good water park by most accounts). You could easily spend a few days at UO and not get bored. One day at Hollywood is usually enough.

    All this said, if I'm interested in theme park going for a few days vs. having a 5+ day vacation, I also think Disneyland in California is a much better experience and the place to go over Disney World.
     
    Last edited:

    cfoxga

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2009
    Yeah, we stayed on property at DL a couple years ago and we really enjoyed it. It felt a lot like staying in the deluxe resorts at UO, being able to walk to all of the parks.

    DW has more than the other 3, but it is a much more stressful vacation with all of the planning needed. From my research trying to plan a trip there now, it seems like things have gotten more complicated than our last trip 8-10 years ago.
     

    maverik85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2016
    I loved the convenience of Disneyland, and agree with the comparison to Universal Orlando. The parks next to each other with the Downtown Disney right there made it so convenient. I still preferred Disney World over Disneyland though just because of the amount of stuff to do but loved that aspect of it, and was still a great trip. I haven't been to DW in about 7 years and was a combined trip with friends where we only planned one park a day from the start. I really want to go back for a full WDW trip onsite but am dreading the planning involved for it now with having to reserve parks for specific days and Fast Passes months out. Wish it would go back to FP in park only (can still do through app but only day off and need to be onsite like with boarding groups for RotR). Just be able to go where you want when you want and not worry about making a detailed itinerary for the entire trip.
     

    PirateBoatDropRide

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2013
    I loved the convenience of Disneyland, and agree with the comparison to Universal Orlando. The parks next to each other with the Downtown Disney right there made it so convenient. I still preferred Disney World over Disneyland though just because of the amount of stuff to do but loved that aspect of it, and was still a great trip. I haven't been to DW in about 7 years and was a combined trip with friends where we only planned one park a day from the start. I really want to go back for a full WDW trip onsite but am dreading the planning involved for it now with having to reserve parks for specific days and Fast Passes months out. Wish it would go back to FP in park only (can still do through app but only day off and need to be onsite like with boarding groups for RotR). Just be able to go where you want when you want and not worry about making a detailed itinerary for the entire trip.
    For a longer trip (5 or more days), I'll take DW, but if a trip of 3 days or less, DL is a much, much better experience when talking about wanting to go to the theme parks. You just have to get used to some different things at DL if you're a DW regular. Perhaps this is why I really like UO-- it feels a lot like DL in layout. UO doesn't do some things as well as Disney, but for a quicker trip, UO fits the bill better than DW IMO.
     
    Last edited:

    mtrib

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2017
    I hope they have it when you go. If not I would think the private VIP tours would be the same (not sure how much they cost though...).
    Bummer. No regular VIP tours and the private one with the extended studio tour is $6000! Guess we’ll have to go back another time.
     

    keishashadow

    Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2004
    One thing to consider re USH is they have a wealth of professional actors. Love the Orlando troupe, especially the old school chain saw wolf brigade. However, USH puts on a heckuva HHN performance.
    Far from Disneyland and Knotts, which makes it hard to have a theme park heavy vacation
    We’ve managed nicely via split type trips.

    Fly into LAS for a night from east coast.

    onto BUR to USH. Stay at hotel there for 2nights

    Mid am on Saturday down to do scary farms pkg at the knotts hotel with moderate traffic

    Sunday am onto DL for 4 or 5 nights, flying out of SNA noonish at end of trip using a shuttle to get there easily

    if non fall trip we generally just do Vegas/DL

    It's also hard to justify going to USH on a Disneyland trip. Assuming you want to be there from park open to close you'll be dealing with 1-1.5 hours of traffic in each direction. What people take for granted in Orlando is how Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal are all like two exits away from each other on I-4.
    So true. Was difficult fir me to wrap my head around those highway commute times

    However, did do some research and managed to hit the traffic fine on a handful of trips (black car Uber).

    Another was a nightmare commute. got stuck in late rush hour traffic on a Friday night (since my pokey family took forever touring Hollywood). Left dinner in West Hollywood around 7 pm & didn’t hit garden grove great wolf till almost 10 pm
    I also think Disneyland in California is a much better experience and the place to go over Disney World.
    DL is a very special place, however, WDW has more offerings as to quantity and immersion IMO
     

    tink2424

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 28, 2019
    Bummer. No regular VIP tours and the private one with the extended studio tour is $6000! Guess we’ll have to go back another time.
    So sorry to hear that... Hopefully next time you can take advantage of the non-private VIP tour.
     

    PirateBoatDropRide

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2013
    DL is a very special place, however, WDW has more offerings as to quantity and immersion IMO
    I agree that WDW has more offerings as a whole, but what I was pointing out was that if you want a 3 day vacation or less, DL is a much better experience if you are theme park focused versus WDW.
     

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