Newly updated Universal Studios (USJ) guide for those heading there in 2024!

Minion Balloons - Osaka USJ Guide

If you’re travelling to Osaka, spending at least a day at Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is a must! We last visited Universal Studios Japan in 2022, and Super Nintendo World had also just opened — successfully transforming us into literal game characters.

Girl and Boy at Super Nintendo World Entrance - USJ Osaka Guide

Since then, there have been some changes in USJ such as new parades, attractions, as well as certain rides being closed (spoiler alert: Jurassic Park fans may cry!).

The problem with USJ is that it’s EXTREMELY popular with both local Japanese and foreign tourists. Plan your day wrongly and you might end up stuck in the queues for hours instead of enjoying the rides.

Universal Studios Globe - Osaka USJ Guide-3

To help you out, I’ve split this USJ guide into four main sections: New and Closed Attractions in USJ (2024), Pre-USJ Planning, USJ Day Guide, and Frequently Asked Questions. Pay close attention to Section Two!

*Note: Will try updating this frequently so it should stay relevant!

Read also: JR Pass Japan Budget Itinerary: 8 Days 9 Cities for under $1.1k incl. flights and accommodation

New and closed attractions in Universal Studios Japan (2024)

They’re constantly building new exciting rides and doing renovations in the park, so make sure to have the latest news on USJ attractions before you visit.

New attractions

Donkey Kong Attraction - USJ New Attractions 2024

Photo credit: Universal Studios Japan

These are the new and upcoming attractions in USJ for 2024 to take note of. Exciting attractions await for the new year!

AttractionAttraction typeDates
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba XR Ride — Mugen Train Dream RidersVR ride1 Feb – 9 Jun 2024
Monster Hunter 20th Anniversary Festival
Attraction and ride
1 Mar – 30 Jun 2024
My Hero Academia: The Real 4-D4D experience1 Mar – 14 Aug 2024
Donkey Kong CountryNew area (Super Nintendo World)TBA 2024
Detective Conan: The WorldNew worldTBA 2024

Dates are subject to changes and may vary from what is listed in our USJ guide. Check out the official website for the latest updates!

Click “Read More” to see which attractions have closed, or are closing soon.

Read More


Pre-USJ Planning

1) Buy your USJ tickets in advance — Save time and money

Entrance of Universal Studios Japan - USJ Guide

Tickets can be bought on the day itself at the front counter. But unless you are a BIG FAN of queuing, please save yourself some time and buy your USJ tickets beforehand. Don’t be one of the clueless tourists stuck in the queue long after the park has opened.

There are several ways to get your tickets online, either through the official Universal Studios Japan ticketing website or via authorised partners like Klook. We preferred the latter as the process was fuss-free and we were issued an e-ticket instantly. We simply had to scan the QR code at the automated entrance gantry. Talk about skipping the queues!

The best part though, is that the retail price is literally the same!
Single day studio pass at USJ ticketing booth: ¥8,600 or ~S$80
Single day studio pass via Klook: ~S$80

*Pro-tip: For those who want a little more time, there’s a new 1.5day USJ Pass. Start at 3PM on the first day, and enjoy the park for the entire second day.

2) Best time to visit – Wednesdays & Thursdays are best

Jurassic Park Sign - Osaka USJ Guide-21

If your travel schedule allows, try to plan your visit to Universal Studios Japan in the middle of the week. The weekends are usually notoriously crowded, with an influx of Japanese tourists.

According to park officials, the days near the weekends can also be quite packed as locals may take leave for a long weekend, and schools may send students on excursions to USJ.

Of course please avoid holidays! Here’s a list of Japanese public holidays.

3) Decide whether you need the USJ Express Pass

The Flying Dinosaur - Osaka USJ Guide-22

The Flying Dinosaur Ride

If you read this USJ guide carefully and follow the tips from start to end, there is a very good chance that you will not need the USJ Express Pass.

However, if you’re travelling in a big group or unable to avoid the peak days of the week, I definitely suggest getting them to have more time to enjoy the park.

Which USJ Express Pass to Buy (Express Pass 4 or Express Pass 7)

Hogwarts Castle-USJ Guide Osaka

The USJ Express Pass basically gives you the highly coveted timed-entry ticket to Super Nintendo World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (so you don’t have to run across the park to collect your timed ticket on busy days).

As their names suggest, the USJ Express Pass 4 lets you skip the queue for four rides and attractions, while the USJ Express Pass 7 — seven. The specific rides depend on the type of USJ Express Pass you get.

Wand Magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Osaka USJ Guide-28

Unfortunately magic won’t help you cut the queues. Only the USJ Express Pass can.

Something to note is that the price of the USJ Express Pass ranges from ¥6,800-¥10,800 depending on demand and supply — you can buy your USJ Express Pass 4 or USJ Express Pass 7 from Klook to skip the lines in the park. Also take note that there are only limited passes per day, so best to book early!

Keep reading our USJ guide to make sure you don’t have to purchase one!

4) Decide on your route — Gaming, Adventure, Harry Potter, or Cute?

Hogsmeade- USJ Guide Osaka

For those who did not get the USJ Express Passes, here are four possible USJ itineraries or ride routes you can follow to maximise your time at the park.

I’ve split them by interests so even if the park is packed, at least you get to experience the things you are most interested in!

Minion Park Cherie- Osaka USJ Guide-6

For the routes below, prioritise the first three rides before slowing down to explore the decor. If you’re fast, you should be able to finish the first two rides with minimal queuing and the third with a fairly short queue time.

USJ Map - USJ Guide

Read More

Alternatively, plan your own route using the USJ Park Map. Check out the Shows & Attractions Timetable too, as timings and availability are subject to change from day to day!

*Pro-tip: The various photo points clear up near showtimes and towards the evening. So don’t waste time queuing for them in the first half of the day if the line is long.

5) Where to stay near Universal Studios Japan

The Park Front Hotel Night View - Places to stay USJ

Photo credit: Klook

If you want to get to Universal Studios Japan early and easily, it is best to stay near the park. There are a couple of official hotels just outside the park, such as The Park Front Hotel which boasts a gorgeous night view of the park.

J Hoppers Universal Osaka - Osaka USJ Guide

For those on a budget like us, you can also consider staying at J-Hoppers Osaka Universal Hostel, which is only one JR stop (Ajikawaguchi Station) or a 15-minute walk away.

It’s a really beautiful hostel, cheap, and super convenient for getting to and away from USJ. Especially loved the friendly staff and movie screenings every night.

*Pro-tip: Check out our USJ guide to nearby budget-friendly accommodation!

USJ Day Guide

6) Arrive before the gates open 1hr ahead

Flying Fort Anglia - Osaka USJ Guide-24

Try not to crash anything on your way to USJ.

One of the most important tips to remember in this USJ guide is to arrive an hour before the gates open. Even then, expect a small queue in front of you. The Japanese students are pretty hardcore when it comes to queueing! A little bit like Singaporeans. 😛

Universal Studios Japan’s opening hours vary, so check the official site for calendar timings.

Hogwarts Express Train Conductor- Osaka USJ Guide-19

Too bad the Hogwarts Express can’t take you straight into USJ.

Directions to Universal Studios Japan:

By Train
Take the JR Yumesaki Line (also known as JR Sakurajima Line) to Universal City Station. Universal Studios Japan is just a 5-minute walk from the station.

By Bus
Unless you are coming straight from the airport, I don’t recommend taking a bus. Buses from Kansai International Airport take 35-75 minutes (¥1,600) depending on traffic.

But in any case, Klook offers a bus transfer option from Dotonbori and hotels in Osaka.

By Ferry
If you bought the Osaka Amazing Pass (which is a great way to explore Osaka), you can take the “Captain Line” for free (normal price ¥800) from Kaiyukan West Pier (near Osaka Aquarium) to Universal City Port in 10 minutes.

The downside is that the ferry service only starts running at 9:30AM. It is a good alternative for getting away from USJ if you leave before 8PM though!

7) Grab a free timed entry ticket for popular attractions

Hand Holding Super Nintendo World Ticket - USJ Osaka Guide

We highly recommend getting a timed entry ticket for attractions you’d wanna catch, especially when it’s crowded and queues are long.

Some areas, such as Super Nintendo World, also won’t allow you to enter unless you have an entry ticket so it’s best to check beforehand!

By getting a timed ticket, you are assured of an entry time into the themed zone. You’ll have a one-hour window to enter the area, and you can stay for as long as you want after you’re in! Note that the timed ticket is only valid once, and is not applicable for re-entry.

Central Park for Timed Ticket to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Osaka USJ Guide-5

Previously, we’d have to queue at a ticketing site inside USJ at Central Park to obtain our timed ticket, but now you can just do it on the official USJ app. The best part? It’s totally free.

8) Stick to the plan but be flexible

Rides & Shows Timetable Board - Osaka USJ Guide-16

If you followed point four in our USJ guide, you should have a game plan in mind before entering the park.

While it’s good to stick to the plan, keep an eye out for the electronic signboards that show the queue times around the park or just check the official Universal Studios Japan app. You never know as a popular attraction might become available for whatever reason!

9) Queue at Single Rider Lanes

Jurassic Park The Ride - Osaka USJ Guide-23

Jurassic Park: The Ride

Jaws The Ride - Osaka USJ Guide-17


Unless you really need to take the ride with your friends or family, always queue at Single Rider Lanes if the waiting time is long. The Japanese prefer sticking together, so the Single Rider Lanes tend to be emptier and move a lot faster.

Who knows, you might just make a new friend with a stranger screaming your lungs out together.

10) Don’t be shy ask for stickers

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride- Osaka USJ Guide-31

Minion stickers in front of the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride.

USJ Stickers - Osaka USJ Guide-38

Souvenirs and merchandise from Universal Studios Japan can be pretty pricey. If you want something small as a keepsake, do ask the friendly staff for stickers! They’ll be more than happy to oblige.

In case they can’t understand your English, try this with a BIG SMILE:

Sumimasen. Sutekkā ga arimasu ka?
(Translation: Excuse me, do you have stickers?)

*Pro-tip: The Minion stickers can only be obtained in Minion Park!

Minion Park Soft Toy- Osaka USJ Guide-10

Alternatively, you can go window-shopping in the merchandise shops.

11) Stick to the centre in Theatre Shows

For the best seats in the house, try to shuffle your way to the middle of the waiting room when watching Theatre Shows. The staff will usher guests from left to right. By standing in the middle, you will end up close to the centre of the stage for a better experience!

12) Arrive early for popular street shows & parades

Wand Magic Show - Osaka USJ Guide-25

Harry Potter Wand Magic Show.

If you’re interested in catching any of the parades, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the show to get a good view. On our previous trip, we had to catch the Harry Potter Expecto Patronum Night Show twice because our spots were so bad.

13) Explore your surroundings

Minion Park Graffiti - Osaka USJ Guide-12

Minion Toilet - Osaka USJ Guide-33

A visit to Universal Studios Japan isn’t only about the rides. It’s about the atmosphere and vibe too! A lot of attention has been put into the decor so remember to explore your surroundings.

We especially loved the “Bank of Evil” in Minion Park where you can withdraw money from “someone else’s” bank account.

Minion Park Bank of Evil - Osaka USJ Guide-13

You can also hear Moaning Myrtle crying in the ladies toilet inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Do share with us other fun details you uncovered in the comments below. 🙂

14) Dinner at Universal City Walk

Udon - Osaka USJ Guide-37

Udon place at Universal City Walk - Osaka USJ Guide-36

If you don’t want to eat in USJ, there are plenty of restaurants for all budgets just outside at Universal City Walk. The park closes between 7-9PM depending on the day, so you can easily end the day with a meal after maximising your time in the park.

We had dinner at Udon Kineya Mugimaru on the first floor, which serves hearty and cheap udon.

Frequently Asked Questions for USJ

Are the rides and shows in English?

Unfortunately, almost all the rides and attractions are in Japanese. It’s a little odd hearing Harry Potter in Japanese though. However, the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride has English subtitles!

Afro Minion - Osaka USJ Guide-20

Banana? Minion talk is probably easier to understand than the shows.

Should I buy a 1 day or 2 day USJ Studio Pass?

Personally I will get the 1 day USJ Studio Pass because I would like to spend more time exploring other parts of the Kansai region. But if you like to take things slow, it’s also fine to get a 2 day USJ Studio Pass.

Read also: 8-Day Japan Itinerary: 9 Cities in Kansai for Under S$900

Can I re-enter the park after heading outside for lunch?

You will not be allowed to re-enter the park. I’m sure if you have a genuine “emergency”, the staff will be able to make special arrangements though.

*Pro-tip: We suggest grabbing breakfast from Lawson before entering the park, munch on snacks for lunch, and have dinner at Universal City Walk.

Minion Bun-USJ Guide Osaka

Minion bao.

Turkey Leg - Osaka USJ Guide-34

Turkey Leg.

What if I need to change my USJ Ticket dates?

Unfortunately, your USJ tickets and express passes are valid only on the specified date so be sure to plan your itinerary well to avoid any cancellations!

What are your favourite attractions in USJ?

Super Nintendo World View - USJ Osaka Guide

If it wasn’t obvious in our USJ Guide, Super Nintendo World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Minion Park, and Hollywood Dream Backdrop the ride!

We love Super Nintendo World and Harry Potter so much that we even bought wristbands and wands at Ollivanders to interact with different zones within the areas.

Girl with Mario Wristband - USJ Osaka Guide

Minion Park on the other hand was just a bunch of cuteness. Be sure to hang around for the Minion Parade and photo-taking ops. Hollywood Dream Backdrop is simply the best ride in the park.

What snacks should I try in USJ?

Super Mario Pancake Sandwich - USJ Osaka Guide

Mario’s Cap Strawberry Shortcake and Luigi’s Cap No-Bake Grape Cheesecake.

Mario’s/Lugi’s Cap Pancake Sandwich, Minion Cookies at Minion Park (though it’s too cute to eat), and frozen Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Minion Cookie - Osaka USJ Guide-8

Minion Cookies.

Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Osaka USJ Guide-27

Butterbeer! Sadly it’s non-alcoholic.

Yummm, maybe it’s time to book your tickets to Universal Studios Japan now 😉

Read also: Universal Cool Japan 2018: 4 New Attractions at Universal Studios Japan To Relive Your Childhood Nostalgia

Minion Park Photo - Osaka USJ Guide-30

Hope you found our ultimate USJ guide and tips for planning a magical experience useful. Do share with us your tips and experience in the comments section below!

This post is brought to you by Klook.

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Co-founder of @TheTravelIntern. Leaving his full-time job to travel, Hendric is also an outdoor enthusiast, entrepreneur, creative, occasional dancer, and human. Join him on his adventures on IG @Pohtecktoes.


  1. Hi! When I purchase the USJ Express Pass ticket on Klook, will it give me my time slot for the Harry Potter ride?

    • Hi June,

      Yes it does! However we got ours in Japanese. You can either ask a staff for help or ask a friend who knows Japanese.

      I used a mixture of copy pasting on Google Translate and a friend to confirm our timed entries.

      • If you drop me a mail on our contact form I can send you a picture of what it looks like. There’s a QR code for scanning but the info is mainly in Jap. Gave feedback for them to improve though!

  2. Hi! Since the USJ Express pass gives you a time slot for the Harry Potter ride, I assume it gives you head of queue privileges to get into the Wizarding World of HP. However, what are my options if my ride time slot is for the morning and I also want to go back in the late afternoon? Can I get in line for a timed entry ticket with the rest of the public? Thanks for your help!

    • Yes you can just queue for a timed ticket as well if necessary. But if you try to go on weds or thurs as suggested there shouldn’t be a problem!

  3. What is your opinion – usj 1.5 day pass vs usj 1 day+express4?

    (My girl doesn’t go for the super thrill rides. Anything that’s similar to USS Battlestar is out!)

    • Hello! It depends on which day you are going. You never really know! I personally think 1day + express is better because you get to spend the other day doing something else.

  4. Hello there! If after i take the time ticket for HP late afternoon slot as suggested, how can i go to the HP Forbidden Journey since you suggested for me to go there after i take the time ticket in the late afternoon?

    • Hi Nami! The idea is to take the timed ticket as backup but try your luck at the HP Forbidden Journey because you never know, there might be no queue!

      • Hi,
        It will be my first time to USJ this Dec. May I check with you (hope it’s not a dumb question) if the timed ticket is required to take the HP Forbidden Journey? If there is no queue, we can take the ride even without the ticket?
        Also if I get the express pass, the timing indicated is purely decided by Klook? Thanks for your time.

        • Hi Cherry,

          Yup if there is no queue you don’t need the timed ticket.
          Unfortunately USJ will be the ones who determining the timing for the express pass.

          Hope this helps!

  5. Hi, like to find out more about the timed ticket to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter… How does it works? Is it similar to Disneyland whereby there a machine for you to press on for the ticket and time is fixed. E.g. first 5 people who press for it will receive timed ticket for 10:15 to 10:45am and the following 5 people will receive timed ticket for 10:30 to 11am?

    • Hello! When the park is experiencing heavy traffic, the timed tickets will be required. Most of the time it won’t be required especially if you follow the tips!

      However, in the event that you want to get one, the machine will give you options to choose based on what’s available! Hopefully not much has changed since then.

  6. Hi Guy, This is such a useful information that I’ve ever seen before. However, I have a doubt on few points. For the Harry Potter Fan route as you suggested to get the timed HP ticket as late afternoon. Can it be possible us to play HP Forbidden journey in the morning if it is not my time slot to entry HP zone? How many time we can enter to HP zone? Thank you in advance yaaa.

    • If it is not crowded in the morning yes you can! The suggestion is to protect yourself incase the park gets too crowded. You can enter the Harry Potter zone as many times as possible. But if the park is packed and the timed tickets are in place, you will only be able to use your timed tickets once!

  7. Hi, I would like to ask countdown party ticket. I found that this ticket can go inside since 8 PM. till 2 AM of January 1,2018 right?
    But If I just buy normal ticket on the January 1, 2018 I can get in since 2 AM…
    So.. the question is, they just open for just enter and look around or all the ride will open in the night time?

    For the VIP pass, they allow to enter before opening hour right? So if I have it, I can get in and go riding first or just the right for first Q inside?

    Thanks 😉

    • Hi Fah,

      Unfortunately we do not have information regarding the countdown party ticket as we have not experienced it ourselves.
      For the VIP wristband, you will be in a queue that allows you to get into the park earlier. Do still arrive early because if you are at the end of the VIP queue, it will not make much of a difference as being in the normal queue.

  8. Hi, I was wondering after you get the harry potter timed ticket that is for an afternoon entrance will you still be able to go straight to the Forbidden journey or do you have to wait for your timed ticket to go for this ride?

    • Hi danica! It really depends on the crowd that day! The strategy is to try and get the timed ticket, if it’s required.

      The times ticket is for entering that section of park and not for the ride. For the ride, you will need an Express Ticket!

  9. Hello! Thanks for this very informative article!!
    When you mention “timed ticket”, you don’t have to have an express pass to get this timed ticket right?

    Would you recommend express pass if I am travelling in early Feb to Osaka?

    • Hi Cheng Ting,

      Nope you don’t need an express pass for the timed ticket if you get it at the park. But if you buy an express pass, you’ll also be given a timed ticket!

      Early Feb is a good period, though I think avoiding weekends is still key! If you can’t avoid public holidays or weekends, it might be a safer bet to get the express pass. it’s really hard to say though!


  10. Hi, I need your help and advice.

    It’s our first time to Universal Studio Japan and we will go on February 8 (Thursday). Couple and 2 teens.

    I just checked KLOOK for the Universal Express PASS 4 and it is too expensive (SGD128 per person). We will probably just try to get a timed ticket and go early.

    1. Do you suggest us to get the VIP Pass? I’m still not clear how it works? “You can enter USJ 30mins to 1hr earlier than the normal crowd”…. is this PASS just for the main entrance? When you say earlier, do you mean “30 minutes to 1 hour before opening hour?”
    2. Is the timed ticket only for HP? How about other popular rides like Minion Mayhem, Spider-Man, Backdrop?
    3. After getting the timed ticket for HP, do we just do the normal queue for other rides?
    4. Is there something like Fastpass (Disneyland) for each ride for us to get a ticket and go back at designated time?
    5. How long are the queues for other rides other than HP?
    6. Have you tried the outdoor rides on winter season?

    Hope you can reply me, thanks!


    • Hi Mike,

      Hope we can answer your questions here.

      1) The VIP pass allows you to enter via a separate queue beside the normal USJ gates. The opening times vary everyday, and it’s up to USJ to decide. How it works is that after collecting the pass, you need to log-on to the USJ website using the pin-code given to access the timing for the VIP passes. Even with the VIP Pass, I recommend that you arrive 45mins before the opening timing on your pass. If you are at the back of the VIP queue, it’s the same as entering with the normal queue. (
      2) The Timed-ticket mentioned in the article is specific for HP. However if you get the Express Pass, you will also get a timed ticket for the popular rides.
      3) Yup!
      4) No USJ doesn’t have what Disneyland has. The only way to fast track is using the Express Pass. However if you follow our tips and pick a good day to visit, it is likely that you won’t need the Express Pass
      5) It can be as long as 4hrs or as short as 15mins. Really depends on when you go.
      6) Not yet but the team is heading there in a few days! Cool Japan is back and refreshed for 2018.

      • Sorry, more questions and advice. : )

        If we get the VIP Wristband for early-entry…. should we go immediately to take the HP ride?
        Or can we first get a timed ticket for HP (afternoon slot), and then go to Minion Mayhem first.
        Will the queue for the timed ticket also long?

        What is the best plan having a VIP Wristband.



        • Hi Mike,

          The timed ticket for HP will only be up when the park is too crowded. So if you head straight for Harry Potter world, there shouldn’t be a problem.
          The idea of the VIP wristband is to arrive early and try to complete 2 rides before the real crowd comes.

  11. Hello, is the Harry Potter and the forbidden journey claustrophobic? I have a major fear of enclosed space. That being said so, i managed to get through the transformers ride in Singapore Universal Studios, just barely however!

    • I think you’ll be fine! This ride isn’t exactly in an enclosed carriage. You sit sideways in a row with nothing in front of you except the safety bar. Turned out of be one of my favourite rides! Hope you’ll enjoy it too 🙂

  12. Hi, love this post and a lot of information (especially the pre-planning part) before heading there in mid-May. I got questions here to check with you guys.

    1) If I purchased the Express pass, means I don’t need to get the timed ticket for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I just go as per schedule on my Express pass right? Unless I want to go for Expecto Patronum Night Show, then I will need to get timed ticket for late afternoon?

    2) Because I am bringing my mom (she is 50 year old) together, any advice or suggestion like which ride is suitable for elderly?

    Thanks in advanced 🙂

  13. hello!! thank you for this informative post! it really helps for the first timers. I have some questions. We are going there on Mar29 (which is Thursday, but school spring break 🙁 We expect massive crowd that day. So my question, what if we just go there during midday, will the crowd pass by and possible to enter the park? and HP? thanks dear

    • Hi Bea! Glad you found it useful. That might be tricky because people usually stay in the park the entire day so arriving in midday might not make much of a difference. Would suggest getting the Express Pass via the link on the site!

    • Hi Adam, based off our understanding I don’t think so! Perhaps you can try asking the company you bought it off from?

  14. Hi ! Do you know what the exact time for the Harry Potter Expecto Patronum Night Show ? Because I got the 3:30 timed entry (express pass), and planning to get another one for the late evening one, so I can enjoy the world at night and watch the show.. Thanks !

    • Hello, from memory there’s a few shows starting from 530 and lasting till 730.
      The schedule changes according to the season so it’s best to check on the day itself! Can ask the staff there or pick up the leaflets near the entrance.

  15. hello i need usj express ticket on 11, july. can you check if it’s available? i want express 7 backdrop or anything else. thankyou! mail me please

    • Hi Shina, sorry but we are unable to advise as we do not work directly with USJ. Have you checked the link on Klook?

  16. HI PuppetMaster,

    Thanks for all the tips. I’m a HP lover and will follow your suggested route in USJ.

    Just 2 questions:
    1. As at Nov 2018, I don’t seem to be able to find the “Expecto Patronum Night Show” you mentioned here. Instead, there is the “Hogwarts Magical Nights”. Has the latter show replaced the former?
    2. Where is the best place in your opinion, to stand to catch the “Universal Spectacle Night Parade – The Best of Hollywood” parade?

    Thanks so much!

  17. USJ is fantastic. I’ve done USO, USS as well. and USJ competes with USO and Islands of Adventure, which is saying something.

    All of the tips above are great, here are my suggestions: If you are paying the money to go here you HAVE to get the Express Pass. I’ve never got an Express Pass before, since I have just done Single Rider, but forget the Single Rider being an adequate alternative for the popular rides.

    If you are going to spend on the express pass and tickets, get the VIP wristband. It sounds confusing as to what the advantage is. But its simple, even though you and the regular entrants get in the same time officially, you have a head start as they pre-scan your tickets and you are siting in a gift store. Therefore when the gates open you just go in the park. Normal entrants still need to wit their turn to get their tickets scanned.

    Because the lines are long its a big advantage. I guess if you are first 5 in line at each turnstyle for the normal entry you have the same advantage, but to get that you need to be there maybe a few hours in advance. So get the VIP pass and come about 1/2 hour or so before the time they give you. I did and as literally near the door.

    It was fun to sprint out with the others…even though I had no need to sprint :D. Next, my advice is to use that opportunity to ride the best rides that is NOT on your express pass. I had the Flying Dinosaur 7 pass and used the time to ride Hollywood Dream Backdrop. I was tempted to go to Harry Potter but figured not to since It was already on my pass. Now if you are a Harry Potter FANATIC and need to ride Forbidden Journey twice, I guess. but I’ve rode it twice at Orlando and Backdrop is a tremendous ride and a fantastic way to start the day!

    Also dont waste the express pass on the rides which have shorter lines or that can take a lot of people like Jaws, Backdraft , and Terminator (unless you want to be in the front) if you have the option of a more popular ride like Spiderman, regular Hollywood Dream, etc.

    • There are no individual express passes however, you could head to the park early (be one of the first few in line!) and go straight for Harry Potter’s world to get your timed ticket.

  18. Hi,
    I am planning on buying the express pass 4 – minion ride from the USJ Japanese website for our visit. It seems you can select the timed entry options for the HPW entry, the Forbidden Journey ride and the minion ride Iwhereae you cannot on Klook/Voyagin) . It think you said you bought tickets this way before. Which timed combo did you pick? There are several combinations. My dilemma is whether to choose the options to go to HPW first thing or later in the afternoon. My daughter loves HP, so we will want to spend a lot of time there. But since the Minion Ride is outside of the HPW, if I choose to go HPW in the morning and my timed minion ride in the afternoon, that means I must exit the HPW with a risk of not being able to go back in. What would be your recommendation?
    1. 9.10am HPW entry, 9.30 Forbidden Journey Ride, 3pm Minion Ride (This selection means I am in HPW for 5 hours and 50 mins. Is that enough time to complete HPW?)
    2. 9.50 Minion Ride, 11.40pm HPW entry, 12pm Forbidden journey ride
    3. 10am Minion Ride, 1.30pm HPW entry, 1.50pm Forbidden Journey ride

    I know my daughter is going to want to go straight to HPW upon getting into USJ, but would you say the better strategy is to explore the rest of USJ in the AM and then go into HPW in the PM? Are the crows heavier in the AM or PM? And is it true that there are only 2 restaurants in HPW, so better to have lunch before going in?

    Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

    • Hi Joanna,

      Yup you are right in saying that the timed entry ticket can only be used once.
      It really depends on the crowd that day but I think your strategy is safe if you want to spend a lot of time in HPW. So I would suggest that you do Minion and the rest of USJ first before heading into HPW.

  19. Great article! I’d like to ask what are the average costs of the souvenir photos? Are there staff stationed around the theme park to help with photos?

  20. Thanks for this article! It’s so helpful!

    I’m planning to go USJ mid May, and seems like it’s best to pick either a Wed/Thurs to go where it’s less crowded. I’m a huge HP fan but I’m so confused with the timed entry tickets. Am I right that the timed entry is for entering to the entire Wizarding World, and not just limited to the rides? So potentially if I have a timed entry for mid morning, and I leave, then I might be denied entry to watch other shows at Wizarding World? There’s a new Hogwarts Magical Celebration at the Castle now but it’s only at these timings: 19:40 / 20:05 / 20:30 / 20:50, so I wonder if I need to get a second timed entry ticket to go back in the evening to watch these shows.

    Also, do you know how would we know if a timed entry ticket is needed? I went to the USJ website and it mentioned “during peak periods”. Any advise is greatly appreciated 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi Eunice!

      Timed entry tickets are only for entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The purpose of these is to control crowds going into that section of the theme park. So yes if you enter in the morning and leave to come back later, you may not be able to enter again if there are too many people (unlikely though on a Wednesday as long as it’s not a public holiday).

      Timed tickets will only be issued on the spot if the park is too crowded! So most of the time you don’t really need it.

      For rides, you actually have to look at express timed tickets from the Express Pass.

  21. Hello! Thankful for this guide that I can start planning my USJ route in advance.
    However I have some doubts about Timed Entry Ticket with the Express Pass Rides. Hope you can guide me along the way.

    I will purchase a Express Pass-4/7 with the USJ entry pass. So it will contained 1 timed entry to HPW right?

    Will the timed entry to HPW same as the forbidden journey ride express time or different?
    If same, is it possible to get another timed entry ticket to enter in the evening to catch the show if our express pass time and timed entry is in the morning?
    If different, I can enter the HPW with the express pass time and re-eneter again in the afternoon with the timed entry ticket?

    Is it possible to get another timed entry ticket for late evening when we first enter the USJ (even though I have already have it with the express pass)?

    Hope you can clarify my doubt or if you dont understand you can email me!.
    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Charlotte!
      The algorithm should give you a timed entry to HPW before your Forbidden Journey Express Ride unless something went wrong. Unfortunately you will not be able to select the timed entry nor will USJ allow you to choose. However we haven’t heard from anyone who has a screwed up schedule with their timed entry and express ride pass so I think it should be ok! Do let us know how it goes!

      • Hi! Thanks for the reply! Appreciated much!!
        Can we still get another timed entry to HPW at the USJ central park itself ? (even though i have bought the express pass and it comes with the timed entry too)

        • Hi Charlotte,

          Years later, i have the same questions as u. I bought the Express pass 4 and they have given me a 4pm entry to Nintendo world. I wonder can i come early in morning and try get a timed entry, then re-enter at 4pm.

  22. Hi, I am heading to USJ with my hubby and taking our 1 year old daughter, 9 year old son and 72 year old dad with us. I presume most of the rides won’t be suitable for my 1 year old. I was thinking of taking turns with my hubby to ride on the adult ones. In this case, i shouldn’t buy any express nor VIP passes? Doesn’t make sense does it? Which route would work best for us? Thanks much! 🙂 I was thinking of visiting the park on Wed, 20th Nov.

    • Hi Gillian,

      Express Passes might still be useful for yourself and your hubby so you guys don’t have to be apart for too long while waiting for the rides! Route wise it really depends on your interests!

  23. Hello,

    I see a lot of questions on times entry tickets. Mine too, How will I know whether will there be timed entry tickets available on the day I am going?

    If the crowds are less, there wont be any timed entry tickets?

    • Hi Anan, if you are referring to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s no way you will know. It really depends on the crowd. If there is less crowd, they will not give our timed entry tickets to Harry Potter World! Hope this helps! 🙂

  24. Hi, great info. Are there age/height restrictions on the rides? We have a 10 year old who is approx 140 cm tall. We would hate to go there and then he would not be allowed to ride…

  25. Hi! Do I still need to pay before getting into the rides, or does the admission/entrance ticket cover all the rides? 🙂

    Also, can I use my ICOCA card when purchasing/paying inside USJ? How about credit card? Debit card?

    Planning to go to USJ this April 2020. This post was quite informative. Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Anne! There are a few seasonal rides that require a top up but the regular ticket gets you access to most of the rides in the park. Not too sure if they accept ICOCA cards but credit/debit cards backed by Mastercard and Visa are definitely accepted! Glad you found this guide useful 🙂

  26. Hello! I will be heading to USJ in Jan. Was wondering how do I make my way form the entrance to central park to get the timed tickets to enter Nintendo world/Harry Potter.

  27. Hi there,
    its my first time to USJ. I bought the Express pass 4 and Studio pass. It has given me a timing to enter to Nintendo World at 440pm. If i arrive early at USJ, can i use the app to get an area timed entry ticket first in the morning and then re-enter at 440pm?

  28. If I purchase express pass, it guarantee me a timed entry to Super Nintendo world , but does it guarantee me a table at the cafe in Super Nintendo world? How can I do a reservation to ensure I am able to dine inside one of the restaurants in Nintendo world?

    • Hi Teo, based on what we are aware of, the cafe doesn’t allow reservations. You’ll need to queue up outside the cafe to get a time slot to enter the cafe. Hope this helps!


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