Universal Studios Hollywood Preferred Parking | Parking Guide & Tips

Preferred Parking at Universal Studios Hollywood is a premium parking option that provides you with better spots and shorter walks, but is it worth the price?

Parking options at Universal Studios Hollywood at first glance might be a bit overwhelming with multiple options including General Parking, Preferred Parking and Front Gate Parking, but we're here to steer you to the best option for your visit! 



What Is Preferred Parking at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Preferred Parking is a premium parking option at Universal Studios Hollywood that provides you with more ideal parking locations than the basic option, General Parking, provides.

Preferred Parking spots are going to be closer to the entrances and exits of select parking garage which means less time walking to the park and more time having fun!

These closer spots also mean less time walking back to your car after an already long day on your feet.

Depending on the time of day you arrive and what parking structure you're guided into by the parking attendants will dictate exactly how much time you'll save on walking as some garages are closer to the park than others, but no matter what you'll be placed in a better spot than those who opt for General Parking and arriving at the same time as you. 

TIP: Just because you arrive first thing in the morning doesn't mean you'll be getting the best spot or garage! If you truly want to walk as little as possible consider Preferred Parking or Front Gate Parking (which we'll cover later on!)


universal studios hollywood parking lot

How Much Does Preferred Parking Cost?

Parking rates as of September 2021 are below. Note that prices do vary depending on when you arrive at Universal Studios Hollywood. 

  • General Parking Before 5PM: $28
  • General Parking After 5PM: $10
  • Preferred Parking Before 5PM: $40
  • Preferred Parking After 5PM: $20
  • Front Gate Parking: $60

Where Is Preferred Parking?

Preferred Parking spots are typically going to be closer to the entrances and exits of each parking garage. General Parking spots can sometimes be very far from the parking garage exit if you're placed in the back of the row.

Choosing Preferred Parking will prevent you from getting these less desirable spots as most Preferred Parking spots are specifically reserved to keep walking times minimal. 

Regardless if you choose Preferred Parking or General Parking, you still need to park where the parking attendants guide you to, but Preferred Parking will always save you some walking vs the best available General Parking spot.

Differences Between Preferred Parking and General Parking

Preferred Parking will come with a larger price tag than General Parking as detailed below, but you won't be walking nearly as much:

  • Preferred Parking Before 5PM: $40
  • Preferred Parking After 5PM: $20
  • General Parking Before 5PM: $28
  • General Parking After 5PM: $10

Preferred Parking will typically save you somewhere around 5 minutes of walking time vs General Parking, but you could save even more time depending on where the Parking Attendants are placing cars at the time of your arrival.

Differences Between Preferred Parking and Front Gate Parking

If you really want to avoid a long walk to the park then Front Gate Parking is going to be your best option. While Preferred Parking gets you the best spots in the parking garages and lots, Front Gate places you quite literally at the front gate. 

Front Gate Parking spots are typically only two or three minutes (or less!) away from security check and the main entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood while Preferred Parking is usually around seven or eight minutes depending on which garage you end up in.

Of course the convenience of Front Gate Parking comes with a much larger price tag as we've detailed below:

  • Front Gate Parking: $60
  • Preferred Parking Before 5PM: $40
  • Preferred Parking After 5PM: $20

Is Preferred Parking Worth It?

If your priority is to get to the park fast and then get back to your car fast at the end of the day then Preferred Parking is absolutely worth it.

General Parking leaves a lot up to chance and you never know how long of a walk you might be faces with. The difference of two or three cars ahead of you could mean being places in the back of a row instead of the front which will add an additional few minutes of walking time to your day.

VERDICT: Preferred Parking almost guarantees you one of the best parking spots available and you'll have a bit more piece of mind that you won't be needing to spend so much time on your feet if you're looking to avoid doing so.

But if you're fine with walking no matter what distance, usually no more than 10-15 minutes, then General Parking is the way to go.