Universal Studios Hollywood Adds 5,000 Parking Spaces, Before Potter Rush
Getting into and out of Universal Studios Hollywood ought to be easier than ever this summer, as the park has opened its massive new E.T. parking structure.
Standing eight levels tall and housing nearly 5,000 parking space, the E.T. garage is as about the size of one half of Disneyland's Mickey and Friends parking structure. (E.T. has more levels, but isn't as long as Mickey and Friends.) And with new ramps connecting the garage to U.S. 101 via a short drive on Universal Boulevard, people driving to Universal from downtown Los Angeles should find it much quicker getting into and out of their parking space at Universal.
The E.T. parking garage stands east of the drop-off/pick-up circle, next to Buca de Beppo, just south of the Curious George parking garage and across Universal Boulevard from Jurassic Parking. It's a farther walk to the Universal Studios Hollywood front gate from the E.T. lot, but that's the trade-off for what should be a much swifter flow of traffic into the garage.
Universal's installed about a dozen parking toll booths on the garage's first level, which also includes bus parking and electric vehicle charging stations. The garage's pretty much empty now, as crowds continue to be relatively light in the park during this (relatively) rainy winter off-season, with construction ongoing in and around the park.
But when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens on April 7, expect the E.T. garage to start getting put to full use.
I parked in the Universal Studios Jurassic lot for the first time this past summer. Compared to other Southern California theme park lots I have parked in, it was the least efficient parking lot one could imagine (especially compared to the Mickey and Friends structure at Disneyland, which is also a multi-story parking structure).
The parking garages have been a mess over the past year or so, as the construction of the ET garage took out some employee surface parking, and Universal's been changing/painting/otherwise messing with the rest of the garages. Things are pretty smooth now, mostly because the crowds are relatively small, but the ET garage looks pretty slick.
What's the total number of parking spaces? They have a lot of parking structures.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the problems have been sorted out.
I remembered one other thing.
I'm sorry, but there's an elephant in the room I feel needs to be addressed: why now of all times name a parking structure "ET?" Didn't USH recently close their ET ride? I know that UOR has a parking structure entitled "King Kong" despite the fact that they have been without a King Kong attraction for over a decade; and I know they also have one entitled "Jaws" despite the fact that their Jaws ride closed down a couple years ago; but both of those rides were still around when the parking structures were built! So, again, why ET?
@188.8.131.52: I don't think it's odd to name a parking lot after E.T., it's Universal's top-grossing film, and the #4 movie of all-time on the inflation adjusted charts (still #12 in real dollars, which is even more amazing given today's ticket prices).
Well, ET is a classic Universal film. Even though the ET ride has been closed for about a decade the name still is legendary. People know ET and it's easy to remember after 8 hours of tromping around a theme park, so you can easily find your car.
Agree with Spaceman Spiff. I visited USH during HHN last year and oh boy was parking disorganized. I showed up 1 hour before early entry and it literally took me almost an up hour just to park. There were very few employees directing traffic and once inside the garage, there were even fewer employees. It was basically like trying to park at a really crowded mall, except 10X worse. Hopefully with this new ET structure, they finally get their act together. On a different note, before USH announced the MASSIVE AP price increase, I was actually considering buying my first USH AP. But after they announced that there won't even offer an AP that has no block out days and the closest AP to it was $300, I have officially decided not to purchase one. Honestly there "Gold AP" is basically Disney's deluxe AP, except half the cost. That's such a ripoff, so they're have the price of DL but yet they only have 1/5 the attractions of DLR (counting WWHP). Honestly the most I'm willing to pay for a USH AP with no block out days is $200. The only way they can sell me on the "Gold AP" for $300 is if they include unlimited admission to HHN. Other than that, I think that I'll just stick to my twice a year visit during HHN.
I also think it's great that a pedestrian bridge is being built over Lankershim, so those who take the subway can travel in droves without waiting for the traffic lights.
Hopefully this will improve the parking situation at USH. When I visited last summer it took over 30 minutes from when I exited the freeway until I was parked. Even on a busy day at Disneyland it usually takes less than 20, and USH is going to be breaking attendance records this year for sure. I guess I'll have to wait until this summer to find out.
I was going to ask about the subway, because I know it stops close to Universal. Hearing about the pedestrian bridge over Lankershim is great news! I'm not a local, but I'd be inclined to find a solution that allowed me to park near a subway stop, like at say...Target or Best Buy, hop on the subway, and then use the pedestrian bridge to get over to the park.
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