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Review: the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood

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This is our review of the American Express lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Yes, you learn something new every day.  It turns that American Express has its own lounge inside the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood.  

EDIT: Reports in 2022 suggest that this lounge has now closed, sorry

Reader Richard recently went to Universal Studios Hollywood and had a look at the American Express Lounge. He kindly sent us a few pictures and a short review of the lounge. Over to Richard:

“The American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood is only accessible with the American Express Platinum or Centurion card.  Most importantly an Amex card must be used when purchasing the tickets for Universal studio’s park in order to gain complementary access.

(Anika’s note: this page of the Universal Hollywood website implies that you can also get in if you bought a VIP Experience or Universal Express ticket on ANY American Express card.)


The lounge is located between the Revenge of the Mummy ride and Starbucks on the lower lot.

Review of the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood

The entrance is via a very plain blue door. The lounge is on the first floor and accessed via a lift.

Review of the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood

Getting in

The Lounge is open seven days a week from midday until 5pm and entrance is on a first-come first-served basis.

Signing in is very easy and the lounge host is very helpful and has information on any special events that are taking place at the park on your day of visit.

Up to six family members are admitted and the lounge holds a total of 30 people.  It was very quiet when we arrived at 1pm but I believe it would be very full when at capacity as its only a small lounge.

Review of the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood

There are several phone charging stations which charge all modern phones both wired and wireless.

The décor is bright and modern and several shelf units contain memorabilia from the studios which is a nice touch.

Review of the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood


Review of the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood

There are a mix of sofas and chairs and coffee tables throughout the lounge.

There are complimentary chilled bottles of both still and sparking water in a handy pocket size which can be taken back into the park. Other snacks on offer are plain crisps and muesli type bars. There are also nicely finished unisex toilets for guests use.

Review of the American Express Lounge at Universal Studios Hollywood

Unlike most airport lounges where guests stay for around an hour, the Amex Universal Studios Hollywood lounge is aimed at guests who want a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of a busy hot theme park. This was confirmed by the host who explained that he has a high throughput of visitors who usually stay for around 20 minutes.

Anyone visiting who is expecting a fully functioning airport lounge will be very disappointed. We wouldn’t have missed anything at the park to spend time here but that isn’t its purpose. If you find yourself in the bottom lot of the park in need of cooling, refreshments or a few minutes peace then this lounge is perfect.

You wouldn’t want (or need) to spend too long here as, although comfortable, it is fairly basic in terms of amenities. All in all it performs its function as a cooling down rest spot very well and on that basis I would recommend it.”

Thanks Richard.  If anyone is visiting the Universal Orlando Resort and wants to write a quick review of that lounge, we’re happy to publish it.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (March 2023)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Universal fan says:

    In the Universal Orlando lounge, its opposite the exit to the Shrek ride, and is available to anyone who bought their admission with any AMEX card (which they do check). Inside, there are small refrigerated bottles of water and potato chips. (And that is all) It’s very small, but a nice way to get fresh cool water in the park.

    • Universal fan (again) says:

      Ps there is virtually no need to publish a review of the Orlando lounge as it looks nearly identical to this one pictured above!

    • Gareth Oakley says:

      We got into the Orlando resort with a BAPP card so can confirm it’s less restrictive in that respect. I think the tickets are supposed to have been purchased directly from Universal to qualify, but given on the UK site they just redirect you to a reseller this didn’t seem to be checked thoroughly – our tickets from Orlando Attractions were accepted. Not been to the Hollywood park but it looks very similar.

  • Will Hughes says:

    Yes, the Orlando lounge is very similar, and you only really pop in for the toilets and water. I’ve never had any problems getting in showing either a BAPP or Gold.

    Going back in November if you want some snaps?

    • TripRep says:

      Will – any cheap deals on Universal that you know of?

      ps November is a great time to visit Florida, dry weather & temps in mid 20s, quieter at parks, so much less queues/hassle, especially if you stay away from Thanksgiving weekend.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, happy to do so if no-one else sends anything in before then.

  • Alan says:

    I wouldn’t bother with publishing an article on the Orlando one, it’s almost identical to this one except its on the ground floor! Can send you some photos if you want from when I last visited a couple of years ago but the offering (water/crisps/muesli bars) is the same. Theoretically you need to buy your tickets on an Amex but we managed in without doing so.

  • Andy says:

    I used last summer, on an BA Amex card, though had bought VIP tickets. With it being around 110 degrees that day, it was a very useful pit stop for some respite from the heat. Obviously not for dawdling, given things to do in the park

  • Alex W says:

    Sorry for the OT – when doing a one-way car rental, is getting a baby seat an issue? Does anyone know which (if any) car rental companies allow this?

    • TripRep says:

      Try VS/Alamo.

      • Charlieface says:

        @TripRep : I’m not sure what you could be referring to but it’s unlikely to have anything to do with the question re baby seats.
        I think all companies would normally allow this as they’re anyway ripping you off big time for the seat. They may charge extra one way fee for it. I did this a few weeks ago in Italy with Hertz and wasn’t charged extra.
        Most airlines allow you to take your own seat for free.

        • Alex W says:

          Good point, thanks. Was hoping not to have to take the baby seat on the plane as it would mean bumping another piece of luggage to the hold. However, that’s probably cheaper than hiring a baby seat by the sounds of it.

  • Big dave says:

    I tried to get into the Orlando one this summer – it opens at midday for a few hours only
    They only let you in if you bought the tickets on the Amex card directly from Universal studios – it did not count that I had bought my entire holiday including park admission with my amex from BA.
    I kind of knew that was the rules but I had heard of people getting in that way.
    The staff were ever so apologetic and though I couldn’t stay they leet me take some water and snacks.
    with the heat outside and waiting for the kids to do some rides it would have been nice – oh well

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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