Disneyland to Universal Studios: Distance, Transportation, FAQs | La Jolla Mom (2023)

Southern California is a hot destination for families and theme park enthusiasts. One of my frequently asked questions is, “How far is Universal Studios from Disneyland?” It’s not uncommon for people to visit both places, which is entirely possible if you keep the tips below in mind.

In addition to distance, I’ll share your options for getting from Universal Studios to Disneyland (and vice versa). This is all in anticipation of both parks reopening soon (fingers crossed) and for all of you who are ready (based on my inbox there are a lot of you) for this news.


I have tons of advice on how to buy discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets and cheap Disneyland tickets from authorized ticket sellers. Which methods you use depend on the length of stay, if you belong to a particular group, and if you’ll visit other nearby attractions.

How Far Is Universal Studios From Disneyland (and Vice Versa)?

The driving distance from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood is approximately 35 miles.As both parks are near freeway exits, the drive should take just over 35 minutes.

Let’s face it, though. This highway corridor between Los Angeles and Anaheim is famous for traffic. Depending on the traffic at the time, the commute can take up to two hours. You will certainly want to pack a few travel games for kids to keep them entertained during the ride.

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Are There Shuttles From Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood?

There are no free shuttles between Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. Paid shuttle services drive the route between the two theme parks.

Starline Tours runs the most popular private shuttles. A ticket will normally cost you roughly $45 per adult and $35 per child.

Pros: Booking with Starline Tours removes the fuss of having to navigate the journey yourself, and it eliminates the frustration of driving in traffic. As a bonus, you can learn a few fun facts about the city of Los Angeles with the narrative guide.

Cons: You’re limited to the shuttle’s schedule and it may involve stops at other Los Angeles area attractions. So, it’s not a direct transfer between the two Southern California theme parks.

As both parks are closed, these shuttles are not available for booking. I expect availability to resume shortly after they reopen. There are free shuttles that take guests around each resort complex, however, after you arrive.

Can I Take Uber From Disneyland to Universal Studios?

You can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by ordering an Uber between the two attractions. Both Lyft and Uber are available as options.

Pros: You can go directly between Disneyland and Universal Studios without stopping in a car or SUV. Rideshare apps are also easy to use on a last-minute basis.

Cons: Prices vary on how much traffic you hit and what the current demand is like. Without traffic, the cost of Uber from Disneyland to Universal Studios last I checked starts around $90 each way for UberX and go up from there.

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Should I Drive From Disneyland to Universal Studios?

Most people drive. If you want complete flexibility and convenience, then renting a car could be your best option. This is especially useful if you plan to explore the surroundings of Los Angeles during your stay.

Pros: It can be cheaper than taking a shuttle tour and definitely is cheaper than rideshare. You can leave and depart on your own timeframe and make stops at your leisure.

Cons: You may find driving in LA traffic aggravating. There are costs associated with renting a car, gas, and theme park parking. Parking at Disneyland Resort is currently $20/day and Universal Studios Hollywood parking is currently $25/day.

Google Maps will help you mark out the route but these are essentially the very simple directions to Universal Studios from Disneyland:

  • Take the I-5 freeway north (Where you enter the freeway depends on where on the resort you are. Getting to the I-5 takes no more than 5-10 minutes and is possible from Disneyland Drive.)
  • Merge on to US-101 north (This is easy thanks tons of signage.)
  • Take exit 11B toward Universal Studios Drive (The exit street’s name is W.C. Fields Drive)
  • Turn Right on Universal Studios Drive, and you’ll reach the park. Signage will direct you to parking lots.

What Is the Best Time of Day to Drive to Universal Studios?

Los Angeles is notorious for having crazy traffic, and there’s nothing worse than being stuck in the backseat of a car when you should be feeling the wind in your hair on a fantastic ride.

As a guideline, traffic in Los Angeles is worse on Friday afternoons. It peaks between 7:30–10 a.m. and again between 3–6:30 p.m. during the weekdays (these are rough guidelines). Traveling outside of these times is your best bet.

The issue you may have if departing early in the morning is arriving well before the parks open. At Universal Studios Hollywood, you could park for the day and have breakfast at Hilton Universal City or Sheraton Universal Hotel breakfast restaurants or grab-and-go coffee shops (both hotels also offer day parking at slightly higher rates). Universal CityWalk restaurants are typically not open before the park (aside from Voodoo Doughnuts).

Downtown Disney shops and restaurants are just steps from the entrances to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. You can relax with breakfast from one of the two Starbuck’s there and walk around in preparation for your day.

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Waiting out traffic at the end of the day is less of an issue because the parks stay open into the evening. And, you’ll be able to find plenty of places for dinner in or near the parks.

Can You Take the Bus to Universal Studios?

Yes. It is possible to take the L.A Metro bus from Anaheim to Universal Studios. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Pros: It works for people who want to go carless or do not have time constraints. The entire journey costs just over a few dollars, so it is cheaper than driving.

Cons: Although this may be the cheapest option, what you save in money you pay for with time. The trip will take approximately 2.5–3 hours each way, and it involves multiple transfers.

There are a few stops included on the public transport route, and will follow the basic structure:

  • Board the bus nearest to you (most likely 460 Bus near Disneyland)
  • Disembark at Figueroa and 7th
  • Transfer to the Metro Red Line (subway)
  • Get off at the Universal/Studio City Station
  • Hop on board the free Universal Studios Shuttle to the park shuttle

You can plan your route directly on the Metro website.

Can I Take the Train from Disneyland to Universal Studios Hollywood?

Yes. It is straightforward to reach the Anaheim ARTIC train station from which Amtrak and Metrolink trains depart. Metrolink is a commuter train while Amtrak trains go further afield. In fact, I take Amtrak from San Diego to Disneyland all the time.

Both trains go from ARTIC to Union Station in Los Angeles. From Union Station, if there’s no traffic it should take 10 minutes in an Uber to reach Universal Studios Hollywood.

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Pros: Train tickets each way are less expensive than shuttle tours. Trains typically run on schedule and eliminate the risk of sitting in freeway traffic. Union Station is a neat historic building (though it’s a hub for the homeless in certain spots) next to Olvera Street, a fun Mexican Marketplace to browse. Power outlets and WiFi are available on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains (which you would take) while there are power outlets (no WiFi) on most Metrolink trains. You may also opt for business class on Amtrak.

Cons: You’re limited to train schedules. Taking public transportation to or from Union Station adds significant time. Train WiFi can be spotty in places, but it’s enough to check emails and surf the internet.

Is There a Pass for Disneyland and Universal Studios?

Yes. Both parks are closed right now, so this ticket is not available. But, if you bundle both parks together in a combo pass, you will save money. I’ll post them here when they resume sales.

Should I Just Spend the Night?

It depends. If you’re not up for a long day, then I would spend the night. The closest hotels to Universal Studios Hollywood are within a short walk of the park. Spending the night can give you more time to experience LA. One day though, is enough to experience everything Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer. You can see my list of things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Most people traveling to Southern California spend at least one night, usually two or more, at Disneyland Resort. If you can stay at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels, I’d recommend it.

Not only are they a fun chance to immerse in all things Disney, but you receive Extra Magic Hour, where you receive park entry one hour before it opens to the public on the day you check-in and the day you check-out. Which park Extra Magic hour applies to depends on the day, but the current schedule is:

  • Disneyland: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
  • Disney California Adventure: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays

You can get a lot done in the parks in one crowd-free hour, trust me. However, there are also plenty of excellent hotels near Disneyland that are walkable and easier on the wallet.

The Bottom Line

These transport options cover the distance from Disneyland to Universal Studios in style and are well-versed in making the journey comfortable and efficient.Los Angeles is a vibrant city that promises countless members for families, individuals, and partners alike. With so many incredible Los Angeles family attractions, you may have a tough time fitting in all of the fun things to do.

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Luckily, there’s no need to choose between Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, as you can get between the two attractions, using various transportation options. How you cover the distance from Disneyland to Universal Studios depends on your budget and timeline.


Is there a shuttle between Disneyland and Universal Studios? ›

Given Disneyland and Universal Studios is so popular among tourists to Los Angeles, you'd think there would be a shuttle from Disneyland to Universal Studios – but there isn't. However, you can book a private Disneyland to Universal Hollywood shuttle with a private vehicle and driver.

How far apart is Disneyland from Universal Studios? ›

Distance from Universal Studios to Disneyland

Disneyland Park in Anaheim is approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Universal Studios Hollywood, and since both parks are near freeway exits, driving time should usually be 35 to 40 minutes.

Can you do Disneyland and Universal Studios in one day? ›

Unlike the lands of Disneyworld in Orlando, one can easily go back and forth between the original Disneyland Park and its newer sibling, California Adventure. They are separated by a small plaza. With a one-day Park Hopper ticket, you can cherry-pick the best attractions, parades, shows, and dining at both parks.

How much does it cost to Uber from Disney to Universal? ›

Uber Universal to Disney World

The average cost of Uber from Universal Studios to Disney World is generally between $15-$35 each way, depending on the time, day, and season. It's helpful to check the app throughout the day, and plan your travel for a less busy time of day.

How do I transfer from Universal to Disney? ›

No shuttle service is directly through either Disney World or Universal Studios, which will transport you between the two properties, but there are third-party shuttle services that will transport you between parks. The most popular shuttle service around Orlando is the Mears Transportation Group.

How to do Disney and Universal in one trip? ›

Stay a few days at a Disney resort and visit those parks, and then move to a Universal resort for the rest of your stay. This will give you the full experience of both destinations. And if you stay at a Premier Universal resort, you will receive the Unlimited Express Pass for free!

How close is Universal and Disney? ›

The distance between the Universal and Disney theme parks is just nine miles, so it's not far to go at all during your stay in Orlando. If you rent a car, the drive should take about 15 minutes in good conditions, but of course, you'll need to add on extra time during the peak morning and evening rush hours.

How far is Anaheim from universal studio? ›

The distance between Anaheim and Universal Studios Hollywood is roughly 35 miles and takes around one hour in a car.

Is Universal cheaper than Disneyland? ›

If you're trying to decide between the Universal Vs. Disney parks, do both. If you have to choose one, narrow your choice down to the following deciding factors: Price: Universal Studios Hollywood is more affordable.

Is 1 day enough time for Universal Studios? ›

Most people would say 6-7 hours is the average time needed to see the best of Universal Studios, so pretty much one full day. You could certainly spend multiple days there seeing all the theme park has to offer but 6-7 hours should cover the main sights and experiences to get through that you are interested in.

Do you need 1 or 2 days at Universal Studios? ›

Spend At Least Two Days At Universal Studios Florida

The very minimal amount of time visitors should spend at Universal Studios Orlando is two days. They can spend one day at Islands of Adventure and the other at Universal Studios.

Is it possible to do everything in Disneyland in one day? ›

You can't do everything at Disneyland in a single day, and you shouldn't feel pressure to. You can ride all the rides without much difficulty many days, but you'll miss out on some other attractions, entertainment, and characters. You'll want to know what your priorities are before you get to the park.

What is the easiest way to get from Disney to Universal? ›

Rideshare. For most guests, a rideshare like Lyft or Uber is the best transportation from Disney to Universal and the simplest answer to how to get to Universal from Disney as well as how to get from Universal to Disney.

Can Uber drop me off at Universal Studios? ›

Yes, Uber is able to drop you off at two different locations within Universal Studios Hollywood. Either at the entrance of the theme park or at the back of CityWalk.

Can an Uber pick you up from Disney? ›

Uber drivers can drive wherever regular guests can go at Disney World. This means they can pick you up from Disney parks, hotels, and Disney Springs. But there are designated pickup spots at theme parks.

How do you split time between Disney and Universal? ›

One of the questions I get asked most is “how much time do I need at Universal?” Several factors do come into play here, but I generally recommend 3:1. For people doing three days at Disney, add 1 day at Universal and for six days at Disney, add 2 days at Universal.

Does Mears go to Universal? ›

Mears Orlando attraction transportation services include theme park transportation to all Orlando area theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, SeaWorld® Orlando, Legoland® Florida Resort as well as an exclusive Mears Shuttle to Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay.

How do I get from Disney to Universal Endless Summer? ›

The cost-effective way to get from Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites, Orlando to Disney's Hollywood Studios is to line 303 bus via Epcot Resorts Boulevard And E Buena Vista Drive, which costs $2 and takes 1h 6m.

What is the cheapest way to do Disney and Universal? ›

Passholder deals

Not only can an Annual Pass get you into the park almost whenever you want, certain tiers also offer free parking and discounts on merchandise and hotels. Getting an annual pass is one of the cheapest ways to do Disney and Universal if you're a frequent theme park enthusiast.

Can you do all rides at Universal in one day? ›

Universal Studios Hollywood is a relatively small theme park and therefore can often easily be completed in a single day without significant compromise on the rides and attractions you experience during your trip to the park.

Can you do Universal and Disney in 3 days? ›

You can do three days without park hopper and skip one park, or you can get park hopper and visit all four parks. We discuss these options more below. Either way, we recommend buying three-day tickets from an authorized seller of discount Disney World tickets, like Undercover Tourist.

Is Disney still free on your birthday? ›

As of right now Disney does not give free admission on your birthday though they will help you celebrate it. Be sure to stop by Guest Relations and pick up a free birthday button. You're sure to receive lots of birthday wishes from Cast Members and guests alike.

Is Universal Studios more crowded than Disneyland? ›

Both parks can experience high crowds. Disneyland tends to get more visitors but Universal Studios Hollywood will get busy too. If you are visiting during spring breaks and other school holidays the parks will be busy.

What city is between Disneyland and Universal Studios? ›

DOWNTOWN Los Angeles is between Universal & Disneyland!

How many days is ideal for Universal Studios? ›

Five days is ideal, but you can optimize shorter trips with Express Passes, early entry and park-to-park tickets.

Is it worth going to Universal Studios in California? ›

Being a movie-making geek, Universal Studios Hollywood is an entertainment mecca for me. From blockbuster, thrill rides to shows that light up the night, there's something for everyone, and I would recommend going. Just make sure to do some research and plan your trip, especially if it's as packed as it was for us!

What time does Universal Studios open in Anaheim? ›

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During high season and weekends the Park stays open as late as 9 p.m. Some days, the Park opens at 8 or 10 a.m.

Is it better to go to Disney or Universal? ›

Walt Disney World offers more theme parks, dining options, entertainment outside the theme park, hotels, and just more to do. The land owned by Walt Disney World dwarves the area used by Universal Orlando Resort. This disparity will reduce some when Universal's Epic Universe theme park opens in 2025, but not much.

Is Disney or Universal more fun? ›

Universal is more thrill-focused.

You could quibble over what counts as a thrill ride, but I'd say the two resorts have about 15 each, with Disney's scattered across four parks versus Universal's two.

How many days do you need to see Disneyland? ›

Ideally, you should plan on spending a total of 3-4 days in the parks to cover most everything, including rides, characters, shows, and fireworks.

What day is least crowded at Universal Studios? ›

As a general rule of thumb, the least busy days at the three Universal Orlando parks will typically be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Mondays, in that order.

What time is Universal Studios least busy? ›

The period just after New Year's and before March first is historically the least crowded time of the year to visit Universal Studios Orlando. Crowds increase on certain long weekends, like Martin Luther King Jr. Day (the third Monday in January) and President's Day (the third Monday in February).

What is the least busiest time to go to Universal Studios? ›

Least busy days at Universal Studios Hollywood 2023

Historically, weekdays in the morning to mid-afternoon are the best days to go to Universal Studios Hollywood 2023. Just remember, weekdays can still fall on certain holidays or special events, which would make them Universal Studios Hollywood peak times.

Can you ride Hogwarts Express without park to park? ›

You'll need a Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwarts™ Express and visit both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™.

Which Universal park to go to first? ›

The truth is it really doesn't matter which park you visit first. There isn't an advantage to starting your day with one park over the other. However, it comes down to the rides that you want to do the most. Our favorite ride is the VelociCoaster, so if we were visiting the park, we'd go to Islands of Adventure first.

How many days do you need at Disney? ›

Most Common Trip Length – 4 or 5 Days: This trip length works well for most people because you can visit all four Disney World theme parks, even possibly enjoy a second day at a favorite park, and it fits within most people's work vacation limits.

What time should I get to Disneyland in the morning? ›

Arrive Early

Disneyland opens at 8am most days, you should be at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to open- if not an hour early on busier days of the year. This will allow you to be at the parks for 'rope drop' where you can be first in line at the 'ropes' blocking off each entrance to the lands.

Can you do Disneyland in half a day? ›

Unfortunately, there are no half-day ticket options. Theme park tickets are sold in full day increments – there are one-day tickets and multi-day tickets. There is so much to see and take in, you'll need at least one full day, even if you visit only one park!

How much do you walk in a day at Disneyland? ›

An average day at Disneyland Resort means you are walking between 6-10 miles. However, we have certainly had days where we have clocked in 12-13 miles. But of course, the amount of time you are in the park, and whether or not you have a park hopper ticket will impact the total distance you have to walk each day.

Can you park hop from Disney to Universal? ›

Since the two theme parks are competitors there is no shared transportation between the Universal parks and the Disney World parks. You can, however, take an independent shuttle to Universal if you're staying at a Disney-owned hotel, and you can get to Disney from a Universal hotel in the same way.

Does Universal get as crowded as Disney? ›

2 – Is Disney or Universal More Crowded? Once again, the short answer is that Disney would technically be considered more crowded than Universal. Disney World's Magic Kingdom tends to be the most crowded of all Orlando Parks, no matter the time of year you visit.

What do you do with your phone on rides at Universal? ›

Loose articles like cell phones, cameras, umbrellas and keys are prohibited at most attractions, and should be left with a non-rider or secured in a locker.

Does the Harry Potter ride at Universal have a drop? ›

There is one decent drop near the beginning of the ride. Official stats about its height or length are unknown (Universal remains mum on a lot if its ride specs), but estimates put it around 30 feet tall. (The big drop on Disney World's Splash Mountain, by comparison, is approximately 50 feet.)

Can you ask Uber to drop something off? ›

What is Uber Connect? Uber Connect is an option that allows you to request a driver to transport your package(s) to a person waiting at a designated dropoff location. You can also request a package to be sent to you from a designated sender.

How much is an Uber from Disney to Universal? ›

Uber Universal to Disney World

The average cost of Uber from Universal Studios to Disney World is generally between $15-$35 each way, depending on the time, day, and season. It's helpful to check the app throughout the day, and plan your travel for a less busy time of day.

Where does Uber drop you off for Disneyland? ›

In the Uber app, you can use the address 1559 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, California to get the correct destination. This location is mere steps away from the entrances to both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Where do Ubers pick you up at Disneyland? ›

*Taxis & Uber: Take a look at this map for the main taxi pick up for off-site hotels. I recommend Uber over traditional taxis, but both will pick you up at the “Taxi Pick Up” area. You may also catch a taxi or Uber from the Downtown Disney drop off location, located in between Rainforest Cafe and the ESPN Zone.

Are there free shuttles between Disney parks? ›

Yes. All Guests have complimentary access to our network of monorails, buses and boats. If you would like to visit multiple parks, enjoy a nice dinner at one of the Disney Resort hotels or shop at Disney Springs, you can leave your car parked in the theme park lot and use our transportation network.

How much is universal super shuttle? ›

The cost of a roundtrip ticket on the SuperStar Shuttle is $39 per adult and $29 for children ages 3 – 9. The SuperStar Shuttle whisks you from the airport to your hotel with ease and comfort. When your stay is over, the shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and return you to the airport.

How far is Universal from Disney? ›

The distance from Disney World to Universal Studios is 9.2 miles. The majority of the trip is on the I-4 highway with a travel time of around 20 minutes with minimum traffic. It takes longer during rush hour, early morning, weekends, holidays and when the parks close.

How much does Disney shuttle cost? ›

Standard service is shared with large/small vehicles, monitored wait time, and limited stops.
One Way$16$13.50
Round Trip$32$27

Do the Disney shuttles cost money? ›

This is a free shuttle and runs almost every 5 minutes. It is free and perfect! This parking lot is where people driving cars park and so you'll see them paying for the parking. But anyone can walk into this parking lot to catch the shuttle.

Do you tip universal shuttle drivers? ›

Those courtesy shuttles you take from the airport to the car rental parking lot and from your hotel into town shouldn't be viewed as a completely free ride. Whether there's a jar for tips or not, you should hand off a dollar or two to the driver as you're getting dropped off.

Do you have to pay for the Universal City Shuttle? ›

Public Transportation and FREE Shuttle to Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk.

Why is super shuttle shutting down? ›

You have options, but, soon, not Supershuttle. The letter to the franchisee cited “a variety of factors” for the company's closure, “including increasing costs and changes in the competitive and regulatory landscape” that “have called into question the economic and operational viability of the company's operations.”


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