On their Southern California trip, many visitors choose to visit both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, as both parks boast an incredible variety of rides and experiences. If you are planning on traveling between the two parks, there are a variety of transportation options to consider for getting back and forth.
While any of the options below will work both ways, our travel partner Get Away Today recommends staying at Anaheim for a wider selection of great hotels and commuting to Universal Studios Hollywood if you are planning on visiting both parks during your trip. I typically base my Southern California trip around a stay at a hotel near Disneyland and then add on a day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood if I go up there for the day.
When heading to Universal Studios Hollywood for the day, traveling during certain time windows will make your experience smoother, which we will discuss more below. Keep reading for a breakdown of the transportation options between the park, including their pricing, level of convenience, timing, and more to help you decide which one to utilize to get from Disneyland to Universal Studios!
How Far Is Universal Studios Hollywood from Disneyland?
Universal Studios Hollywood is about 35 miles from Disneyland. However, knowing what your exact drive time will be is difficult due to the unpredictable L.A. traffic. On the faster end, the journey could take as little as 40 minutes, but traffic can easily double that drive time if it is severe, so be sure to plan accordingly.
There are times that I have had the drive take me only 40 minutes to get from Disneyland to Universal, but other times the drive takes over an hour of more. The traffic completely depends on the time of day with the middle of the day, very early in the morning, or late at night typically being the shortest.
L.A. Traffic from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood
The best way to work around the traffic is to plan what time of day you’ll be making your drive. In Los Angeles, weekday traffic peaks in the morning (from around 7 am-10 am) and in the late afternoon/early evening (4 pm-7 pm) when people are driving home from work. We recommend avoiding these periods and going for the window between or before if you are able.
Also, make sure not to travel on Fridays afternoon and evening, as it’s one of the busiest times to drive in L.A. Weekends will likely be the travel days with the least traffic, but keep in mind that the parks will be busiest during the weekends.
If you’re spending an entire day at Universal Studios Hollywood, you could depart very early in the morning before the morning rush hour begins to dodge the traffic, but Universal Studios Hollywood might not be open yet when you arrive, so make a plan to have breakfast or explore to fill the time. If you plan on visiting Disneyland in the morning and then heading to Universal Studios Hollywood, aim for the early afternoon period where you have a window between heavy traffic hours. After your day at Universal Studios Hollywood, we recommend leaving no earlier than 7 pm to avoid the traffic during the evenings.
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Transportation Options From Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood
There are several modes of transportation you can use to get from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood, and each comes with advantages and disadvantages. You could use a rental car, utilize a taxi or rideshare, take a shuttle, or opt for public transportation. We will break down considerations for each option and which we would recommend.
Uber/Lyft Cost From Disneyland To Universal Studios Hollywood
Another option is to utilize rideshare (Uber/Lyft) from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood, and we would still recommend traveling during the window before or between the heavy traffic if you choose this option.
The advantage of rideshare is that you don’t have to worry about driving, the drivers are familiar with the area and adept at navigating the L.A. roads, and you can easily summon a ride via the Uber and Lyft apps. A downside is that this will be more expensive than some other options on this list, so you’re paying for convenience. It also might not be the best option for groups larger than 4, as you’ll need to get an XL ride that accommodates up to 6 people and comes at a higher price.
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Rideshare pricing for a standard service (accommodating up to 4 riders) from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood is typically between $60-90 for one way (between a $120 and $180 round trip).
Due to its convenience, Uber and Lyft are also our top recommendation for getting from the airport to your Disneyland hotel when flying to Disneyland from out of the area.
Rental Car from Disneyland to Universal
One option is utilizing a rental car for the journey from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood. This is the most flexible and comfortable option on the list, as you’ll have full control over when you depart. Especially if you’re on a longer trip and planning to explore places besides Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, this is a good option.
The biggest downside of renting a car is the L.A. traffic, which can be quite frustrating and stressful, and driving through this is something that many people don’t want to have to deal with while on vacation. If you plan to avoid the busiest traffic hours, this should be more manageable.
Parking for Universal Studios Hollywood is currently $30 for standard parking and $50 for preferred parking before 5 pm and $10 for standard parking and $20 for preferred parking after 5 pm. Front gate parking costs $70.
If you decide to use a rental car for this particular drive, we don’t recommend keeping it your whole trip for driving from your hotel to Disneyland. Parking fees add up quickly, and the majority of the hotels near Disneyland are either within walking distance of the park or are nearby an Art Shuttle bus stop.
To drive from Anaheim to Universal Studios Hollywood:
- Take the I-5 freeway North
- Marge to 101 Hollywood Freeway North
- Continue on the 101 Freeway and take exit 11B toward Universal Studios Blvd.
- Turn right on to Universal Studios Blvd and follow the signs to Universal Studios Hollywood
Taxi Fare From Disneyland To Universal Studios Hollywood
Taxis will typically be more expensive than rideshare options while offering similar advantages and disadvantages.
A taxi from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood will cost about $125 for a one-way trip, making it one of the more expensive options available. We would recommend rideshare over this given that it will provide all the same benefits at a more reasonable price.
Train From Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood
If you want to avoid the L.A. traffic altogether, you could opt for public transportation via train, as the Anaheim ARTIC train station has routes that link to Union Station in Los Angeles. The trains typically run on a more reliable schedule than the L.A. Metro Bus (which we’ll discuss more below), making this the more time efficient of the two options at about 40-50 minutes for the trip.
According to the Metrolink website, a one-way ticket from Anaheim to L.A. Union Station currently costs $8.75 for adults and $6.50 for youth/students one way and $17.50 for adults and $13 for kids round trip. For Amtrak, tickets cost around $16 for coach and $26 for business class for one way to get from Anaheim to L.A. for an adult ticket and slightly less for kids.
L.A. Union Station is about ten minutes from Universal Studios Hollywood, so there’s a bit of a transportation gap in getting from the station to the park, but you could easily combine this option with Uber for a quick 10-minute ride.
L.A. Metro Bus
This is the cheapest option, costing only a few dollars. However, it’s by far the most time-consuming and can take 2-3 hours, as you’ll have to go through multiple transfers to reach your destination. Especially if you’re traveling with little kids, this might not be the most convenient option due to the patience required, and is a more casual way to get from Disneyland To Universal Studios Hollywood if you’re not on a time crunch.
If you would like to use the bus to get from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood, you will:
- Board the 460 Bus near Disneyland (or the bus nearest to you)
- Get off at Figueroa and 7th
- Transfer to the Metro Red Line (subway)
- Get off at the Universal/Studio City Station
- Ride the complimentary Universal Studios Shuttle to the park
Private Shuttles From Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood
Another option is to take a paid private shuttle from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood. For services like Anaheim Town Car Services, an advantage is that they only offer flat rates, operate 24/7, and give you a ride all to yourself, but a major drawback is the cost of the experience, upwards of $250 for a one-way trip.
We would recommend getting a rental car or rideshare instead of this, as it will provide a similar level of comfort while not costing nearly as much.
What Is The Best Way to Get From Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood?
Some options will be convenient but more expensive, while others will be cheaper but take up a large chunk of your day. For maximum flexibility, a rental car is a good option if you are comfortable driving on your trip and make an effort to avoid the peak traffic times of the day. If you don’t mind paying for the convenience of rideshare, you can also utilize Uber or Lyft for this journey. We typically opt for utilizing rideshare to get around during our Disneyland and Universal trips. Nothing beats the easy of nearly immediate service.
To avoid traffic altogether, taking the train is a good option that won’t be as expensive as utilizing a rideshare option or taxi. Unless you are really keen on taking a more casual approach to save money, we would not recommend taking the bus given how many transfers you will need to go through and the length of time it will take to get to your destination.
For more details on new rides at Universal Hollywood and our full guide to Universal Studios Hollywood rides and entertainment, be sure to check out our guides.
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