An annual pass at Universal ($290) is cheaper than one month of rent at my office space ($550).
The park has good WiFi and a lot of spots I can work from. Plus, my pass got me discounts on food.
My lunch breaks and happy hours were much more fun at the park, too.
In 2020, I decided to turn an amusement park into my workspace.
Once I realized an annual pass at Universal Studios cost less than one month of my office space's rent and was much more fun, there was no turning back.
Here's what the experience was like:
Moving from a traditional office space to an amusement park was easy since I just needed solid WiFi
Like many, I left a traditional office space behind because of the pandemic.
To cut my overhead expenses, I stopped renting the office space I shared with one other person that cost me $550 a month. The space was very basic and had fewer than 150 square feet.
My only work requirement is a solid internet connection, so instead of setting up a desk at home, I bought an annual pass to Universal Studios.
It may be surprising to hear, but most theme parks have incredibly fast, complimentary WiFi.
Universal Studios Hollywood's annual gold pass cost me $290
I've had annual passes to Disney parks, but this was my first time purchasing one to Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles.
I bought the second-highest-level annual pass, the gold pass, for $290.
This pass has very few block-out dates — days when annual pass holders can't use their pass to get into the parks — throughout the year. And they were mostly on holiday weekends, when I wouldn't be working or visiting the parks anyway.
Free parking is included with my annual pass, but I usually walked to 'work'
My annual pass included parking, but since I lived within walking distance, I used my commute as an opportunity to get my daily steps in.
I was immediately surprised by the number of outdoor and indoor working spaces
Throughout the park, there are many indoor and outdoor spaces with seating.
Since I work well in more lively settings, I usually found myself outside. One of my favorite spots was the cozy Parisian Courtyard, which is adorned with string lights and outfitted with European Old World charm.
My favorite part of working in the parks was getting to interact with the roaming characters, like Beetlejuice, Frankenstein, and Dracula.
There are plenty of tucked-away spots that offer a quiet setting, too.
The pass also includes discounts on food and drinks — and I often used them to buy lunch
My annual pass granted me 15% off most food, beverages, and merchandise. I frequently purchased lunch while in the park, and I learned a few money-saving hacks along the way.
For the most cost-effective dining option, I often purchased a meal from the children's menu. The kids meals were pretty high quality and came in generous portion sizes for a lunch.
With the discount, these meals averaged about $8 — cheaper than buying lunch from some other popular chains.
My favorite place to get lunch in the park is Three Broomsticks in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To save more money, I'd bring a reusable bottle with me and fill it up at water fountains.
The French Street Bistro was my favorite spot to get caffeinated, thanks to its delicious cold brew.
I also loved getting to explore during my lunch break
The Studio Tour quickly became my preferred way to spend a lunch break.
The 45-minute tram attraction has been in operation since the 1960s and is a relaxing way to unwind while touring Universal's working film and television lot.
The behind-the-scenes tour is included with park admission, and I was able to see a bunch of productions from hit shows, too.
I also loved getting to go on rides and see the park evolve throughout the seasons
One of my favorite parts about being in the park so frequently is getting to see the decor and atmosphere change throughout the year.
Plus, I often ended my workday by taking advantage of single-rider lines, which shorten the wait for those going solo.
Two of my favorite attractions, "Jurassic World" and "Revenge of the Mummy," have these lines, so I was able to get on these popular rides within minutes.
Happy hour was more fun at the park, too
There are many well-themed and immersive locales in the park where you can get a drink.
My regular spots were "The Simpsons"-inspired Moe's Tavern and Hog's Head Pub in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Getting the opportunity to build a relationship with some of the park's team members added to this unique work experience.
Overall, I definitely got my money's worth with the pass
The pass was definitely worth its price, especially since I clocked in countless visits for work.
I also used my annual pass to visit the park when I wasn't working and loved being able to visit any time, even for just a few hours.
Plus, I found that I didn't miss my office space much when I was typing alongside Beetlejuice and going on rides during my breaks.
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