Costco, the membership-based retail giant, has long been known for offering its customers excellent deals and discounts on a wide range of products and services. This extends to some theme park tickets, which include Universal Studios Hollywood tickets.
In this guide, I’ll explain what you need to know about purchasing Universal Studios Hollywood tickets from Costco including if their ticket offer is a good deal!
Does Costco Sell Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets?
Costco sells Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in their store but they are not available year-round. They may also be limited to Costco warehouse locations in California only. I found them at 2 Costco locations so far – one is the Simi Valley location (located an hour away from Universal), and the other is at the La Quinta location many years ago (located 2 hours away), but both are located in Southern California.
When you visit a Costco store, you can look for the Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in the Gift Card section. I was able to see Costco Legoland Tickets and Six Flags Magic Mountain Costco tickets (post to follow) there as well.
I believe that you’ll have a better chance of finding the theme park ticket you need at a Costco location near the specific theme park you wish to visit. So if you need Universal Studios California tickets, visit a California Costco. If you need a discounted Universal Orlando ticket, visit a Costco location in Orlando, Florida.
Please keep in mind that product offerings and availability can change. I saw the Universal Studios Hollywood tickets back in February 2023, then again in July 2023 but during this month’s visit (September) to Costco, I didn’t see them anymore.
You can inquire at your local Costco warehouse for the most up-to-date information on ticket availability and any special promotions they may offer.
How Much are Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets at Costco?
Universal Studios Hollywood Costco tickets cost $179.99 plus tax for a Season Pass that allows you to visit the California theme park for 180 days. You can visit on any day for your 1st visit and they are valid for 11 months after the first registered visit. Blackout dates apply for all return visits. Parking is NOT included. Each Costco member can only buy a maximum of 6 Universal Passes.
In case you come across these Universal Studios tickets at the store, you won’t find the actual tickets on open display. Instead, you’ll pick up a cardboard of the ticket deal and take it with you to the checkout. Once you’ve completed your purchase, they will provide you with the physical tickets. If you want to see them terms and blackout dates, just check the back of the cardboard.
Are Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets available from Costco online or in-store only?
Costco used to exclusively offer Universal Studios Hollywood tickets for purchase in their physical stores. However, they are now allowing Costco members to conveniently buy these tickets through the official Costco website.
While I can’t say for certain whether Universal tickets will remain available online permanently, I’m delighted that they are currently accessible online. This accessibility greatly benefits out-of-state visitors, simplifying the ticket-purchasing process for them.
Per Costco’s website, if you buy the Universal Hollywood passes online, you will receive the redemption code, normally within the hour, via e-mail to the e-mail address you have entered. Additional processing time may be required.
For vacation packages via CostcoTravel’s website, you can only find packages for Universal Orlando Resort and not Universal Hollywood.
What are the Pros and Cons of Buying Universal Studios Tickets from Costco
Buying Universal Studios tickets from Costco has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:
- Unique Offer: The Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Passes (180 days) are exclusive to Costco and you cannot buy the same pass elsewhere.
- Cost Savings: The California Neighbor Pass that you can buy directly from Universal costs $179 but is only valid for 9 months while for the same price, the Universal Pass from Costco is valid for 11 months, making it a better deal.
- Membership Requirement: To shop at Costco, you need a paid membership, which could add to the overall cost if you’re not already a member.
- Limited Variability: Costco’s ticket option is limited to a Universal Season Pass with tons of blackout dates. They don’t have 1-day tickets.
- Limited Availability: The Universal Hollywood Costco ticket is not available year-round.
- Refund and Exchange Policies: Costco’s refund and exchange policies may differ from those of Universal Studios, so it’s important to understand the terms and conditions before making a purchase.
- Geographic Limitations: Not all Costco locations may carry Universal Studios tickets, and availability can vary by region. This could be inconvenient if you’re not in California or if they stop selling the tickets online.
- High Amount of Blackout Dates: While you are allowed to visit for 180 days, most of the weekends are blocked off.
- Additional Restrictions: In addition to blackout calendar restrictions, guests on this Pass may be required to make an advanced reservation for each visit date on an available day. Reservations are subject to availability and may be limited to one at a time per pass member with a new reservation becoming possible after the previous reserved date has passed. Reservation capacity for Pass Members may be limited and, within 48 hours of a visit date, reservations for that visit date may close. Reservations once made cannot be rescheduled or reset until the reserved date has passed
What are the Universal Studios Hollywood Costco Blackout Dates
You can visit Universal Studios Hollywood on any date you choose for your first visit using your Universal Costco Pass but blackout dates apply for succeding visits:
2023 Calendar Blackout Dates Are:
September ’23: 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
October ’23: 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
November ’23: 24-26
December ’23: 9, 16, 17, 22-31
Partial 2024 Calendar Blackout Dates Are:
January ’24: 1-6, 13-15
February ’24: 17-19
March ’24: 16, 17, 23-31
April ’24: 6, 13, 20, 27
May ’24: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 23-27, 31
June ’24: 1, 7, 8, 15, 16, 22-30
July ’24: 1-31
August ’24: 1-12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31
Sep ’24: 1, 2, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 23, 28, 29
Are Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets A Good Deal?
The Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Season Pass can be considered a good deal if you are a California resident and plan to visit the theme park at least twice, particularly on weekdays, as weekends are often blocked off.
In terms of pricing, it is also a better deal than buying the California Neighbor Pass that Universal is offering as you get more days of visit with the Universal Season Pass from Costco for about the same price – $179.99.
However, if you merely want to visit for a day, especially since Universal Studios in California is not really that big, a cheaper deal for you would be to buy a discounted 1-Day Universal Studios Hollywood ticket from an authorized ticket seller – tickets are as low as $93.99 for a child ticket (ages 3 – 9) and as low as $99.99 for an adult ticket (ages 10+).
Also, the Costco Universal Studios Hollywood Season Pass does not include an Express Pass, meaning you’ll face long lines when visiting on weekends or during peak seasons. For a more convenient experience, consider purchasing a 1-Day Universal Express Pass for a similar cost to the Costco season pass, allowing you to bypass regular lines though it’s only for 1-day visit. Discounted Universal Express Pass starts at $185.75 per person (already includes admission).
When we last visited Universal Hollywood, our tickets were Universal Express Pass and we had a really great experience. We visited Universal Studios Hollywood on a Saturday during the start of Spring Break season (March 2023) and lines to the rides were at least an hour long and even 2 hours long by noon. Because we had a Universal Express Pass, we skipped all the regular lines and were able to go on the best rides at Universal Studios Hollywood almost instantly.
Finally, if you fall into categories such as being a military member, traveling in a group of 10 or more, or intending to explore multiple attractions in Los Angeles, there may be a better deal for you than the Costco Universal Passes. I recommend checking out our post – Universal Studios Hollywood Discount Tickets for a comprehensive list of 10 ticket deals you can take advantage of.
Have fun at Universal and I hope I’m able to help you save money on tickets!
disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.