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17 Top Universal Studios California Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

california studios packing list
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Are you planning the next vacation for yourself and the whole family? Universal Studios in California is the perfect place for a family of all ages to relax and have a blast! Including sections like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons, and more, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Below is a list of everything you may want to pack with you on your trip to Universal Studios, what you should definitely leave at home, FAQs and more.

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What to Pack for Universal Studios California- 17 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    While walking around a place as big as Universal Studios, it’s nice to be handsfree, but also have important items available. With this neck wallet, you can keep all your important cards, or maybe you have an express pass (highly recommended) for rides, hotel keys etc. easily accessible and safe right at your fingertips.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 2. Fanny Pack

    Sticking with the theme of hands-free and accessible, having a fanny pack is the easiest way to carry around the rest of your larger items, such as your phone, maps, watches, chapsticks etc. It’s so worth it to not have to reach around for backpacks and so you know everything is safe by your side!

    Fanny Pack

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Traveling in today’s world can be a little scary, with all the computer hackers and credit card hackers. Protect all your electronics with this virtual private network that allows for all your personal identities to be protected wherever you go.


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  • 4. Cooling Towel

    The best time of year to visit Universal Studios is usually the summer when the days are long and the weather is always sunny. However, those California suns can definitely heat up. Having a cooling towel at your side can be a lifesaver for when the suns start to ramp up and those lines are getting long. Simply just dip the towel in water and it will stay cool for up to 60 minutes!

    cooling towel

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  • 5. Portable Charger

    Phones these days tend to lose charge fairly quickly, which can be a bummer when you are trying to take pictures of the rides and your phone is about to die. I always carry around my portable charger to reassure myself that I will have charge for my phone wherever I go. I recommend this charger because it’s compact and is good for 2 full phone charges.


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  • 6. Travel Umbrella

    Having an umbrella is way more necessary than you ever imagined. If you are visiting the studios in the fall, winter, or spring, there is a chance of rain, and it’s so great to pull out this umbrella when the storms start to come. Not only rain, but this umbrella is also great to protect against hot sun rays while walking around the park. At only 1 pound and 1 foot long, this is the perfect travel umbrella.

    Travel Umbrella

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  • 7. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    I always pack my fast-drying travel towels with me whether I am camping, hiking, or just spending a weekend at universal studios! It’s so important to have extra towels wherever you go and these towels are perfect for traveling. They are compact and the microfiber dries 10x faster than a regular towel.

    Blue travel towel

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  • 8. Packing Cubes

    If you are someone (like myself) who stresses out on packing, even for small trips, these packing cubes made my life so much easier and the stress of packing has vanished! This 5 piece packing cube set easily fits everything I need for long trips or just weekend trips. They fit perfectly in my suitcase, and it even comes with 2 laundry bags.

    Packing Cubes

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  • 9. Waterproof Phone Case

    One of the first attractions you’ll come across in Universal Studios is Waterworld. From jet skiers to buckets of water being thrown about, there is a high chance that you will probably get a little wet. You may even choose to go on the Jurassic World ride which is definitely a splash! Don’t get upset about wet devices, and protect your phone before you go in with this waterproof phone case. Easy to carry, and you can even use the screen without taking your phone out.

    Universa Waterproof

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  • 10. Rain Ponchos

    So, as I said, you’ll probably get wet while walking around Universal Studios. If you have a cute outfit on, maybe you just hate walking around with soggy clothes, rain ponchos are for you. Also handy for those sudden rain storms that are known to strike during the spring and fall.

    Rain Ponchos

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  • 11. Universal Travel Adapter

    I don’t travel anywhere without this universal travel adapter. You never know when you may need some extra outlets, and this adapter is small, and compact, making it great for travel.

    Power Adaptor

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  • 12. Toiletry Bag

    Keep all your toiletries in one spot with this super lightweight, easy-to-use toiletry bag! Not only is it a quality bag, it’s also lightweight and great for travel. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, simply just hang it in the bathroom for easy access and all your things stay out of the way. This one also comes in so many cute colors for men and women!

    Toiletry Bag

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  • 13. Life Straw Water Bottle

    Let’s be honest, the price of water bottles inside the park is a bit too crazy. An insider tip-never travel to Universal Studios without packing your own water bottle. With this life straw water bottle, you can fill it up wherever and you won’t have to worry about the quality of the water with its magnificent filtration system. It’s also lightweight and perfect for carrying around.

    LifeStraw Water Bottle

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  • 14. Stroller

    Universal Studios isn’t as large as the other Universal parks, but it is still a very large place and for a young child, walking around a place so much can be exhausting. If you have small children, even ones that may not use strollers often, bringing a stroller is a must for this trip. I highly recommend getting travel insurance, especially when you are spending so much on park tickets, possibly plane rides, etc. If you happen to miss any dates or can’t make the trip, whatever problem may occur, travel insurance has you covered.


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  • 15. Travel Insurance

    I highly recommend getting travel insurance, especially when you are spending so much on park tickets, possibly plane rides, etc. If you happen to miss any dates or can’t make the trip, whatever problem may occur, travel insurance has you covered. We like to use to compare plans from top companies to find the one that’s best for us and our travel plans.

    Travel Insurance

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  • 16. Day Bag

    If you aren’t a fanny pack person, or maybe you need more room than a fanny pack, you should probably bring a day bag or a small backpack. Universal Studios does allow everyone to carry one backpack, though they will check it through security, so don’t bring anything suspicious. Pack a few snacks, water bottles, and anything else you may need.

    Day Bag

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  • 17. Hand Sanitizing Wipes

    Any theme park is known for being riddled with all sorts of germs. If you have children, you know how susceptible they are to catching everything under the sun. I like carrying these hand sanitizing wipes with me to wipe down, well literally everything and anything. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Hand Sanitizing Wipes

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What to Wear to Universal Studios California

Typically Universal Studios is visited when the weather is nice, warm, and dry. Luckily, being in Southern California, the weather is almost nice, warm, and dry. Though there are chances of rain throughout the spring and fall months. Always be mindful of the seasons and look ahead at the weather forecasts before you pack for your travels.

Dressing lightly and comfortably is what you’ll want to think about for packing to Universal Studios. Make sure you have good walking shoes, sun hats, and sunglasses, and pack some light layers for the chilly mornings and evenings and restaurants.

What should WOMEN wear in Universal Studios California? – (Click to expand)

As a woman packing for Universal Studios, be mindful of the weather. Since you will probably want summer-style clothing, think carefully about if you want to be walking around in either skirts or shorts, sandals or sneakers. There will be lots of pictures, so wear something cute, but comfy.

Although it hardly rains in Southern California, you should be cautious and bring a rain jacket just in case. Make sure to pack a few lightweight layers for the chilly mornings and evenings and for those cold restaurants. Be mindful of quality, especially when you are packing your footwear! Whatever shoes you bring, you will be doing lots of walking this trip, so quality footwear will be very important.

What should MEN wear in Universal Studios California? – (Click to expand)

There isn’t a whole lot in the style difference between what men and women should wear on their trip to Universal Studios in California. Men should also dress comfortably, and fashionably (if they are going to be in a lot of the pictures.) Pack for the hottest weather, but remember to bring light layers for chillier moments.

You don’t have to bring your nicest clothing, but bring clothing that is quality and will suit you for lots of walking, and lots of sun.

Packing for the Seasons

Dry Season – April, May, June, July, August, September, October:

In Los Angeles, there isn’t the traditional summer, fall, winter, spring. The year is really broken down into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons. The dry seasons would be considered the summer and the spring, or April through October. The hottest month on average is August. The average temperatures during these months are a high of 90 degrees fahrenheit and the low getting to mid 60’s.

Keep this in mind for traveling to Universal Studios. You may not need to pack so much rain gear for traveling during these months, but still bring a rain poncho for walking through Waterworld if you don’t want to get wet. High SPF sunscreens are very important during these months. Keep your outfits comfortable and light for walking around the hot pavement. Comfortabl sandals will be fine for this time of year, but you could also wear breathable sneakers. Don’t forget a good sun hat!! They can be lifesavers sometimes.

Wet Season – November, December, January, February, March:

The wet seasons of the year are considered to be November through March. They typically never get too cold, and although they are called the rainy seasons, the chance of rain is still pretty slim. The coldest month in LA is, on average, December. The average temperatures during the wet season are highs of 65 degrees fahrenheit and lows of 48 degrees fahrenheit.

Of course, the rain still may come so be prepared and bring a waterproof jacket. It doesn’t get too cold, but do bring a sweatshirt and another jacket especially for the chillier evenings. Jeans, or leggings and some comfortable sneakers are most likely all you will need for layers if you are in Universal Studios during the “winter” months.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activities – (Click to expand)
Universal Studio Tour: Arguably one of the main attractions in Universal Studios Hollywood, is the famous Studio Tour. Sitting inside a tram car, the ride goes through real film sets from movies like War of the Worlds, Back to the Future, 101 Dalmations and more! Make sure to bring your camera! The tour is covered, so you won’t have to worry so much about the sun beaming down on you, but sunglasses are a must.

Dining: At Universal Studios Hollywood, there are 56 places you can choose from to sit down and eat delicious food for all meals! There are simple places like City Snack Shop and Ben and Jerry’s, to places like Cocaina Mexicana for some amazing Mexican food. My favorite (being a Harry Potter lover) is hands down The Three Broomsticks. There isn’t much in the way for fine dining, so you can leave that fancy tux at home. You can stay comfortable in your comfortable jeans and comfortable jeans. Remember to bring a light sweater in case the AC is blasting!

Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts: One of my favorite events at Universal Studios, is the night time lights that occur at Hogwarts every night from dusk to park close. This is a magnificent light show and such a fun way to end a long day in the park. Being that it is evening, you may want a sweatshirt or a hoodie, if you are there during the “winter” months, you may want a jacket and long pants.

Jurassic World – The Ride: Another one of the most popular spots at Universal Studios. With amazing drops, baby dinosaurs, and lots of splashing, you are sure to have lots of fun and probably get a little wet on this ride. Don’t forget your rain poncho if you don’t want to be walking around soaking wet! I definitely prefer to be wearing quick drying sandals when attending this ride as well, and I recommend putting your phone in a waterproof case for this one.

What NOT To Bring To Universal Studios California

  • 1.DON'T Bring Expensive Items

    Universal Studios is not a place where there is any need for expensive clothes or jewelry. Leave the pricey things at home so you’re not carrying around valuables.

  • 2.DON'T Bring Your Pets

    This is an adventure that unfortunately will not involve your furry friend. Universal Studios has a strict no pet policy unless they are service animals. You must stop by guest relations to show the paperwork for your service animal and register them for walking around the park.

  • 3.DON'T Bring Lots of Layers

    Save room in your suitcase by leaving all those extra layers behind. A pair of jeans, a pair of leggings, t-shirts, and a jacket are all you really need for layers.

  • 4.DON'T Bring a Lot of Electronics

    Of course, bring your phones, cameras etc. But I would recommend leaving the iPads and other expensive electronics at home or in the hotel room. I have just seen way too many things get lost, stolen, or broken while walking around the park and it’s better to just leave all that somewhere safe.

  • 5.DON'T Bring Large Coolers

    While you are permitted to bring soft-sided coolers, they must be 8.5” wide and 6” high, and 6” deep or smaller. Anything larger is not permitted inside the park.

  • 6.DON'T Bring Glass Bottles

    Glass containers of any kind are not allowed inside the park. Cans and plastic water bottles are welcomed.

What NOT To Wear To Universal Studios California – (Click to expand)
Unless you plan on leaving the park at any time to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant, there really is no need to bring your best dress to Universal Studios. All of the restaurants in the park are casual and there is no dress code policy. So you can leave your expensive jewelry and fancy clothes in the closet for this trip. You also don’t need to bring heavy winter layers, because as I mentioned above, the lowest temperature all year round is around 50.

FAQs about Universal Studios California

  • 1. How many rides are at Universal Studios Hollywood?

    There are 13 exciting rides inside Universal Studios Hollywood. It is the smallest of the three Universal Parks, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed full of other thrilling sights and events to see and do.

  • 2. How long does it take to visit Universal Studios Hollywood?

    You will definitely need one full day to fully explore and walk around the park. It is highly recommended (and so worth it) to get the express pass so you don’t have to wait in any lines and you can spend more time exploring and less time waiting around.

  • 3. Where do I stay when visiting the park?

    There are plenty of wonderful and accommodating hotels right next to the park, and they work directly with the park. These are the top 5 best hotels to stay in while visiting Universal Studios Hollywood.

    • Hilton Universal City
    • The Garland
    • The Hollywood Roosevelt
    • BLVD Hotel and Suites
    • Sheraton Universal Hotel
  • 4. Where is the best place to buy souvenirs?

    Where is the best place to buy souvenirs?

    There are lots of little knick-knack stores in each part of the park, and each one has a little something different. The Kwik E-Mart located in the Simpsons part of the park is everything Simpsons-related. Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods in the Harry Potter section is everything Harry Potter-related. My favorite souvenir shop is the Universal Studios Store on your way out of the park. This shop has a little bit of everything from all over the park.

  • 5. How much does it cost in total to visit Universal Studios?

    For general admission tickets, it is between $109 and $119 when tickets are purchased ahead of time. Express pass tickets cost an extra $189 per person. Expect to be paying that for each person above the age of 10. Hotel rooms cost, on average, around $150 a night and this doesn’t include the cost of food and other expenses.

  • 6. What is the best time of year to visit Universal Studios Hollywood?

    If you are trying to beat the crowds, the best time of year to visit the studios is sometime during the off-seasons. The first half of December, (around Christmas things start to pick back up) January, and February are the quieter times with fewer crowds. The weather is a bit chillier during these months, but it’s worth it if you want fewer people. You can also beat the crowds if you visit Mondays-Thursdays.

  • 7. What is a MUST-see at Universal studios?

    What is a MUST-see at Universal studios?

    For different people, there are always going to be different things that are a must-see in the park. For me the best part of the park is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, being a huge Harry Potter fan myself. The roller coaster is so fun, and I love the shops and restaurants inside the Harry Potter world. Another super fun part of the park is Jurassic World. Jurassic World- The Ride is one of the best rides in the whole park and there is a great tiki hut after the ride where you can enjoy delicious cocktails. The best place to go with a small child is definitely Super Silly Fun Land.

  • 8. How to get around with younger kids?

    How to get around with younger kids?

    Universal Studios is a great place for kids around 10 when they can start riding the rides and seeing all the characters. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun for the younger kids as well. They will still love seeing the characters, going to fun restaurants, and visiting places like Despicable Me world and Super Silly Fun Land, where there is fun for all members of the family. In parts of the park-like Jurassic World and Harry Potter World, Universal has set up a great ChildSwitch center. One adult can stay with the young child in the movie room (of Harry Potter world, inside Hogwarts) while the rest of the family goes on the rides. Then you can switch the family members when you are ready. Jurassic World has a dinosaur room set up for the young kids while the rest of the family goes on the Jurassic World ride. I have personally used this system before and the little ones love the rooms they have set up for them.

  • 9. Do I have to bring my own stroller?

    Maybe you’re traveling in a small car, or flying in and couldn’t bring your own stroller. Don’t worry! The park has great stroller rental services upon entering the park where you can rent single or double strollers. You can also rent wheelchairs here as well.