Long lines are simply no fun, especially at theme parks. Universal Studios has taken notice and capitalized on those of us too impatient for ridiculously long wait times. The solution? Just skip the line!
Getting that movie-star treatment at Universal comes at a price, though.
“Skip the lines” tickets and passes are wildly popular, and for good reason. Hour-long waits for rides and attractions can suck all the fun out of a trip, so the perk of skipping the lines altogether is worth it for many park-goers. These passes are common at most parks across the country. Six Flags has the Flash Pass, Cedar Fair sells the Fast Lane Pass, and Disney offers its free Fastpass.
Universal Studios’ version is aptly called Front of Line (FOL), but is it really worth it?
It’s a question we hear everyday from guests to Universal Studios Hollywood. After all, Front of Line is pretty expensive — more than double the price of regular admission on some days. Can that hit to your wallet be justified?
Here’s the good news: Unlike other places (*cough* Six Flags *cough*), 1-day park admission is included with Front of Line. The bad news? FOL will cost you about $100 more on average than a general admission ticket. Prices do fluctuate all the time, but expect to pay around $80 more for FOL during the off-season and upwards of $130 more on crowded days during the peak season.
Front of Line grants you just one-time access to each ride or attraction. In other words, you can’t use your pass to skip the line for the same ride twice. FOL also includes priority seating at each show, which is a nice perk.
Is It Worth It?
So, is Front of Line really worth dropping that extra $100 for? Yes and no.
We’ve been tracking the crowds and lines at Universal Studios Hollywood for years now, and here’s the bottom line: Whether Front of Line is worth splurging for or not depends on what day you’re visiting the park.
Check out the Universal Studios Hollywood Crowd Calendar forecast to find out when FOL is a good idea and when you should probably just save your money.
If you’re going during the summer or on a crowded holiday weekend, Front of Line can be a lifesaver, instantly sending you to the front of that 90+min line for Harry Potter. Go on weekday in the off-season, however, and that FOL pass is more like a “Front of No Line” pass. It’s just hard to justify spending $100 to skip a 5-10 minute wait. Universal Studios Hollywood is actually very manageable many days of the year, with light crowds and short lines for everything (we call those “Ghost Town” days).
Universal Studios gladly sells FOL tickets to guests everyday of the year, but it’s just not worth it on some days. Don’t get us wrong. We think Front of Line is a great value, especially for those who despise long lines (like us). It can save you from the agony of standing in lines for hours on crazy packed days. We also think it’s one of the best “skip the lines” tickets in the theme park industry, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s necessary everyday. It’s not.
When to Buy:
- “Yup, It’s Packed” or “Forget About It” days on Crowd Calendar
- During summer season (especially on weekends)
- During Spring Break season
- During holiday season (around Christmas)
- Holidays and holiday weekends
When NOT to Buy:
- “Ghost Town” or “Hey, It’s Alright” days on Crowd Calendar
- Rainy days/inclement weather
If you’re still unsure if Front of Line is worth getting or not, you can always buy or upgrade your tickets at the park if needed. We don’t recommend doing this on days that are very likely to be crowded though (like a “Forget About It” day) since FOL ticket sales are limited and they may sell out.
Front of Line vs. VIP Experience
If Front of Line isn’t enough for you, Universal Studios Hollywood also offers what they call the VIP Experience.
Consider this Front of Line on steroids. For about $150-$200 more than FOL, you get unlimited front-of-line privileges to all rides and shows, a personal tour guide (including a tour of the backlot), continental breakfast, gourmet lunch in the exclusive VIP dining room, and valet parking.
What do you think of Universal Studios Front of Line? Is it worth it? What has your experience with FOL been like? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!