The world-famous Universal Studios Hollywood has much more to it than just lights, camera and action. It is the only working movie studio and amusement park in the world. This is where one can relive the popular movies that once hit the box office. The virtual film sets, captivating shows and thrilling action rides literally brings the fictitious world of Hollywood to life. It’s no surprise that Universal Studio Hollywood is one of the most popular theme parks in the world. So, if you want to get a peek into the thrilling world of film-making and experience a day of fun and excitement, this is the place to be.
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Top Universal Studios Hollywood Attractions List
The impressive 415 acres right in the middle of Los Angeles has everything for visitors of all ages. Here’s our pick of the top things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood that will add more fun and excitement to your visit.
Enter The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
The incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter takes you through this one-of-a-kind adventure to experience the magical world of Hogwarts. Take off on a broomstick in the Forbidden Journey which both Potterheads and muggles are sure to enjoy. Explore the magical Hogwart castle, wander down the cobbled streets, see the brand-new light and sound spectacular that brings the castle to life and witness the parade of the spookiest characters from the movies. The adventure takes one through popular rooms in the school, such as Dumbledore’s Office, the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor Common room, and much more. The ride is filled with several twists and turns just like in the iconic book and movie series. Complete your magical experience by stopping at Hog’s Head for a butter beer or pumpkin juice. Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, the Wizarding universe of Harry Potter is a must-see location.
Ride Into The Jurassic World
Enjoy an amazing adventure in the lost world as you cruise through a jungle stream in Predator Cove where you can see dinosaurs in the wild. Originally known as Jurassic Park, this iconic ride of Universal studios Hollywood gives an action-packed and memorable experience for guests of all ages. Be prepared to get very close to lifelike dinosaurs that are roaming freely around the area. The thrilling ride takes you through dark caves to see huge beasts like the Indominus Rex and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The immersive special effects, an 8-yard drop and an action-packed climax is sure to give you an adrenaline rush. Apparently the ride was closed in 2013 for a major overhaul, however after its return in 2018 this exciting ride tops the ranked list of rides at Universal Studios. Don’t miss this thrilling Jurassic World river rafting adventure as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Hop Aboard The World-Famous Studio Tour
The one-hour World-Famous Studio Tour is the heart and soul of Universal Studios Hollywood. It is a working film studio where you can get the inside scoop on movie-making secrets. Hop on to a tram to see the legendary movie sets where your favorite films and TV series were made. It will be a nostalgia-filled snooze fest as the tram passes through sets of popular movies like Jaws, Psycho, Fast & Furious, War of the Worlds and Jurassic World. Ride through the 13 blocks with Jimmy Fallon as your video host provides an unparalleled peek into the magic of Hollywood. Apart from the different movie sets, a 3-D King Kong, burning fire, shark-infested waters, earthquake, flash flood and various sound stages can be seen and experienced as you travel through. Riding in old fashioned trams over four acres is sure to bring Hollywood to life again.
Watch A WaterWorld Stunt Show
Though the Kevin Costner-starring film, WaterWorld failed at the box-office, this stunt show based on the failed film has been a hit among audiences for years. The waterworld stunt show’s storyline starts where the movie ends. An amazing bunch of performers in their live performance displays outstanding death-defying thrills, high-octane action, crazy Jet Ski tricks, aerial acrobatics and jaw-dropping amazing effects. Diving into the water from impossible heights makes you wonder how the stuntman and stunt woman can manage to do this without the help of VFX. To see a flaming seaplane flying over the set to crash land with a big splash is seriously entertaining. The stunning special effects, pyrotechnics and explosions in WaterWorld will blow your mind. This 20 minute live show with deadly stunts, jet skis, plane crash and tons of pyro definitely deserves a top spot in the things to do in Universal Studio.
Get On The Revenge Of The Mummy Ride
Located in the lower lot of the theme park is the Revenge of the Mummy Ride which is a high speed, intense and terrifying indoor roller coaster ride. At times the ride plunges into darkness where you are traveling at 45 MPH speed to save your skin from a tomb having an evil curse that sucked out the souls of people. The dramatic climbing and dropping, Pharaohs, evil spirits, skeletons with blinking lights, mummy warriors, scarab beetles and hieroglyphics on the walls that has spells and curses from the past are the key attractions of this ride. The backwards ride through the tunnels is the most thrilling of them all. Making a high speed escape through the tomb of the mummy is perfect for thrill-seeking families and best to keep it for the adults only. There’s never a dull moment when on this great fun and fantastic ride.
Experience An Action-packed Transformer Ride
A Transformers 3D ride is an absolute must experience not just at Universal Studios Hollywood but at Universal Studios of any other locations. Get ready to enter EVAC the Autobus that will be your vehicle through the journey. Your mission is to navigate to safety during a ride through an action-packed cityscape. The passengers are taken on a 3D ride into the world of the popular Michael Bay movies. Watch out for Megatron, Devastator, and Starscream all of who are attempting to capture you. The ride gets very bumpy as you smash through a glass wall into a skyscraper at high speed. The 3D media and flight simulation technology gives the feel of being in the middle of a war zone. The in-between splashing of water, feeling of steam and heat all adds to the experience. This mind-blowing Transformer ride will leave you gripping on to your seats.
Explore The Simpsons City Of Springfield
There are two things that are very popular here: the famous Simpsons Ride and the food. The Simpsons Ride is a virtual reality roller coaster ride through Krustyland. The ride is based on one of the most famous animated series ‘The Simpsons’. Exciting cameos from the favorite Simpsons characters will be waiting to greet you as you slide by. As the ride is quite big, be prepared to experience some incredible high-speed twists and turns. After the roller-coaster ride, wander through the Simpsons City and check out all your favorite places from the animated series. This place also happens to be the best place for food in the entire area. From eateries like Krusty Burger to Luigi’s Pizza, from Cletus’ Chicken Shack to Duff’s Brewery, everything about this place makes one feel like you are in ‘The Simpsons’ hometown. Highly recommend you visit this award-winning animated series city!
Dive Into The World Of The Secret Life of Pets
The Secret Life of Pets is probably the park’s most charming attraction as it is a family-friendly adventure that can be enjoyed by all. This ride, inspired by the film with the same name, lets visitors take on the role of a stray puppy in search of a home. Passengers are transformed into puppies and sent to a pet store to be adopted. On your way meet some four legged friends like Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe, Duke, and a host of other animals. During the ride through the streets of New York you will get to see things that you have never seen before: cats hanging from clotheslines, pets playing with firecrackers, dogs doing yoga and much more interesting and crazy stuff. This slow yet immersive adventure in search of a forever home will keep all happy and excited.
8 Universal Studios Hollywood Tips To Maximize Your Experience
Save your time and money with our top tips that will help not just first time visitors but also seasoned theme-park goers alike.
Book Tickets In Advance
You can always show up at the theme park and purchase the ticket on the day of visit. However booking your tickets well in advance helps to skip the long line at the ticket booth and also saves a lot of your time. Pre-book tickets online or ask your tour operator to arrange for the same at the best price possible.
Check Out For The Perfect Time Of Visit
While all days are great days to visit, some days are definitely better than others. There are days when it’s completely packed with people, like on weekends and public holidays. There are different sites where you can check for the best days. The Los Angeles Crowd Calendar can also help with the crowd predictions. Some of the busiest times are the first week of January, MLK Jr Day, Spring break, 4th of July, entire summer months, and the Christmas week.
Get An Universal Express Pass
If you are planning to visit during the busiest times, consider purchasing a Universal Express pass. There are two options here to choose from: a regular Universal Express Pass that lets you bypass the lines once and a Universal Express Unlimited Pass that will let you bypass the lines as many times as you want. With this pass one can see most attractions even on super busy days.
Get To The Park Early
Make sure you are at the park at least thirty minutes early so that you get to park and start your day ahead of the crowds. When you are the first people inside the park take advantage of the first couple of hours to ride some of the busier attractions. One of the top Universal Studios Hollywood tips is to knock out those rides in the lower lot early in the day as they generally have the longest waiting time.
Bring All That You Can Take In
Take advantage of the situation and carry as much as you need. Things allowed inside are 2 liters of water, snacks, food required for special dietary needs, medically-indicated nutritional supplements and baby food. Things that are not allowed inside are alcohol, marijuana, glass containers, larger quantities of food, suitcases, and bags with wheels.
Schedule Your Day As Per The Shows
To schedule your day around the shows you want to see use paper maps or download Universal Studios Hollywood California Super Nintendo World App. This app has all the latest updates which will guide you throughout the day. Shows like the WaterWorld and The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle take place during certain times of the day, make sure you plan out your own itinerary according to the show schedule. Do make a note that they provide free Wi-Fi.
Dine Outside Of Peak Hours
Dine outside of peak meal times by grabbing an early lunch or dinner. By doing so you can save a lot of time by not waiting in the long queues for your turn. It’s also advisable to eat breakfast before you head to the park so that you can use the breakfast time to experience the rides, shows and entertainment.
Keep Your Shopping For The End Of The Day
Either shop at the end of the day as you don’t want to burden yourself with all the bags and packets or hold and pick up packages at the Universal Studios Store near the exit. The second option sounds good, right? Shop and send your items to wait for your retrieval at exit which can be carried straight to the car or hotel. So now you don’t have to think twice before picking the giant chocolate frog or Hogwarts house gears.
Also Read: The Top 7 Theme Parks In California
With approximately 30 thousand visitors visiting the theme park every day, a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood is a must on your bucket list. Now that you are ready to conquer Universal Hollywood Studios, add this to your itinerary while on a trip to Los Angeles. Do let us know about your experience and what you loved the most in the comment section below.
Some FAQ’s On Universal Studio Hollywood
Universal Hollywood is a working film studio and theme park situated in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California. To be precise, 70% of the studio lies in Universal City while the remaining 30% lies within the city limits of Los Angeles.
Universal studio ticket prices can range anywhere between $109 to $159 for people above 10 years and $104 to $154 for children between the ages 3-9 years. Factors that affect ticket pricing can be due to the day and time of year, multi-day tickets, purchasing in advance or due to some special events.
One entire day is good enough time to see & do almost everything in Universal. It’s advisable to upgrade your ticket or get an express pass so that you can skip the lines and experience them all.
Currently there are 12 rides and 3 shows at Universal Studios Hollywood. Out of the seven rides, seven of them are simulator experiences, two of them are roller coaster rides, one immersive tram tour, and one water and one spinner ride. In the Lower Lot, you’ll find Jurassic World, Revenge of the Mummy and Transformer rides. The Upper Lot has Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Silly Swirly Fun Ride, The Secret Life of Pets, The Simpsons Ride, Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the world-famous Studio Tour.
The theme park is typically open between 10:00 am – 06:00 pm on each day of the week. However on some summer and winter days the opening time is one or two hours earlier than the usual time. To know more, visit the official website.
The best months to visit are: February, May, August and September. The best days would be on a weekday or school days where the crowds are much lesser than weekends.