The Best Things to See and Do at Universal Studios Hollywood
You are in the right place for the ultimate top tips for a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood™ that work every time to make your visit a success. Take advantage of this definitive list of the best things to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood™ and our ultimate guide for a super successful visit every time.
Firstly, you should arrive early at Universal Studios to avoid long queue times, 45 minutes is a good bet. It seems like a lot but sometimes the park gates open up to 25 minutes early and you will be able to stroll right in and take advantage of riding the big coasters with no wait.
You need to buy tickets in advance in order to go straight to the gate. You’ll save time and money if you buy your tickets before time from aRes Travel with up to 28% on walk-up tickets.
Plan your day ahead of time, take a look at this best of guide and decide which rides and shows are your priority. Universal Studios Hollywood™ is built on a hill with the entrance at the top. Many of the favorite rides are at the bottom of the park though so if you reverse the order that you go around the park you should avoid the crowds and have shorter wait times.
Universal Studios Hollywood™ has some amazing rides for both thrill-seekers and tiny tots. The advantage of Universal Studio Hollywood is that it has rides to please absolutely everyone. For a firm-favorite family day out, check out the scoop on the best things to see and do. If you are looking for high octane action swoops and loops then you have a range of amazing options.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged
Any adrenaline junkies in the family must try Fast and Furious – Supercharged. Based on the action movie series it is a thrilling ride that is set in the movie world of fast cars and danger. The amazing special effects put visitors at the heart of the original adrenaline-fuelled story. Supercharged is set up in a huge warehouse in Universal Studios Hollywood™ and tech genius allows 3D-HD pictures to be projected onto a cylindrical screen which encloses the passengers in a wild ride.
Fast and Furious – Supercharged is a good ride on which to take advantage of the Child Switch scheme. If your child can’t go on a ride the family only waits in line once whilst still keeping an eye on the little one. Queue together then one adult waits while everyone else rides. When the ride finishes the person who waited takes their turn without standing in line all over again.
Transformers: The Ride-3D
Transformers™: The Ride-3D allows you to join Optimus Prime and the Transformers™ as they battle to protect the Allspark shard from the furious Deceptions.
You are able to join the team through the magic of flight simulation and 3D imagery which creates an intense high-octane experience. Enter N.E.S.T. (Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty) the military base in order to meet EVAC the Autobot that will be your vehicle through the journey.
This ride gives you an amazing perspective of the gigantic Transformers™ as you smash through a glass wall into a skyscraper at speed. Watch out for amazing special effects such as water splashing and steam and heat which adds to the real-life feel of the ride.
Revenge of the Mummy
Revenge of the Mummy ride is a super speedy roller coaster. This is a pretty intense and terrifying experience so it’s probably best to keep it for the adults in the party. You will dive and swoop through the darkness as you escape from the Mummy of the films.
The coaster is excellently themed with hieroglyphics on the walls that really spell out spells and curses from the past and a replica Egyptian tomb.
After a dark ride start featuring fast drops and turns you will come to a sudden stop as the Mummy lurches towards you, before the seats all spin on a turntable before turning back the other way to end with the final scene. It is great fun and a fantastic high-speed ride for roller coaster fans.
Best Family Rides
As well as being a haven for thrill-seekers there are plenty of family-friendly rides and shows, from favorite tv shows to movie blockbusters, there are a huge range of rides and shows to enjoy with all the family.
Springfield – The Simpsons Ride™
Springfield USA, home to America’s yellowest family has been rebuilt in all its glory. You can wander through town and check out all your favorite places from the animated series.
Have a look at the menu at the Krusty Burger or Luigi’s Pizza and or drop into watering holes Moe’s Tavern and the Duff Brewery to try a duff beer, a flaming Moe or sip a buzz cola. Visitors will feel as though they’ll pass Maggie being wheeled in her stroller, or Bart skateboarding down the street at any time.
The Simpsons Ride™ is the big ride in town and is suitable for all. It is a virtual reality roller coaster which guides you around Krustyland, home of Krusty the Clown in a bid to solve the problem of who is sabotaging the theme park. Turn detective with Homer, Marge, Lisa and Bart and whizz around the park searching for clues before time runs out.
Everyone loves Minions, and the cute yellow creatures are as fun as ever in the Minion Mayhem ride. From the outside, the ride is set up to look like Gru’s house which absolutely delights the children.
Inspired by Despicable Me movies, you will help Gru and his daughters with their latest scheme. You will join the Minion Boot Camp to become the best Minion you can be.
When things go wrong in this HD simulator adventure ride you will have to wend your way out of the super-secret lab via a cool Minion dance party.
Close by you’ll find Super Silly Fun Land, a fabulous outdoor play zone, and the Silly Swirly Fun Ride in which crazy cars lift and spin around. This is also where Gru’s Lab Cafe is housed and you are definitely going to want to stop in and refuel here. Highlights at Gru’s include El Macho’s Nachos and Gru’s Backyard Rotisserie Chicken, then finish your meal with a brand-new Freeze Ray Smoothie if you dare.
The Harry Potter Experience
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ has arrived and is one of THE most popular spectacles. Step into the movies and explore Hogwarts™ castle, wander down the cobbled streets into Hogsmeade™, and maybe stop by Ollivander’s wand shop.
The wand shop truly is an awesome intimate experience where you can take part in a spine-tingling wand ceremony where the wand chooses its wizard.
Check out the cute Flight of the Hippogriff kiddie coaster, a gentle ride around the pumpkin patch outside Hagrid’s cottage or take off with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ or take in one of the shows in the Wizarding World. There are two live shows, the Triwizard Spirit Rally and the Frog Choir which happen each day and add to the festival atmosphere.
A brand-new light and sound spectacular has joined the Wizarding World line up, Dark Arts at Hogwarts is a parade of the spookiest characters from the movies. Lord Voldemort and a cast of his dark and terrifying brethren come to life through music, light and incredible special effects.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ is the top ride at Universal Studios Hollywood.™ The ride will take you on an unforgettable journey above the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry through the magic of the Floo Network. This is such a popular ride that lines can be long but through aRes Travel you can treat yourself to the express experience and snag one-day general admission, plus one-time express access to each ride and even take advantage of priority seating at some shows, by buying the Universal Express ticket.
You will enter the Room of Requirement where Hermione sprinkles you with floo powder so that you can join Harry in the air. During the ride, you will see iconic characters such as Hagrid and Ron Wesley and narrowly avoid getting blasted by the fiery breath of a dragon. As part of the ride, you will also take in a quidditch match from above and twist and turn around the Whomping Willow and through the Forbidden Forest.
Although Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is not a traditional roller-coaster it does use robocoaster technology to make the seats move and rock in place. You won’t do a full loop the loop turn but the seats to pivot to lie you almost completely flat at one point. A cute touch at the end of the ride is the souvenir shop in the form of Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods. Pick out a wand a see if you’re a wizard or a squib!
Celebrate your success in fleeing the Dementors by making a pit stop for a wizard snack at the Three Broomsticks. This cozy pub is housed in a snow-capped building in Hogsmeade™ and is modeled on the tavern where Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger had their first taste of Butterbeer.
The atmosphere is created in the rustic details such as low beams of dark wood and the details of books and memorabilia scattered around. Pull up a chair and enjoy a classic British meal of Shepherd’s Pie or Fish and Chips.
A fantastic touch in the Hog’s Head is the animatronic stuffed hog’s head mounted over the bar, keep an eye on him, you never know what he’s going to do. The Hog’s Head is a private bar tucked away in the back of the Three Broomsticks where you can drop in for a drink of Pumpkin Juice or Gillywater, or even the exclusive Hog’s Head Brew beer.
The World-Famous Studio Tour is the highlight of the whole Universal Studios Hollywood park and features 13 city blocks built along with creative advice from Steven Spielberg no less! Enjoy riding in old fashioned trams over four acres with Jimmy Fallon as your virtual host in addition to the live narration by fun tour guides.
You can enjoy special effects demos and 3D movies as you enjoy the tram tour, such as the terrifying King Kong, the world’s biggest 360 3D spectacular. You will also take in the sets from tv shows and movies you have seen on the big screen, like Jaws, Psycho and Jurassic World. Real sound stages with contemporary movie making is also part of the ride and you’ll pass current productions and get an insight into the real business of how movies are made.
Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest
The Emperor’s Quest tells the story of Po the Panda setting off on a vital mission to deliver to the emperor ‘the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power’. The show encompasses visitors in 180 degrees of adventure via a screen and chairs that move and shake as you bounce and tumble down a stream to reach the emperor himself before spinning off into the spirit world to complete your quest.
This cinematic experience replaces the Shrek ride and is much fresher with other themed developments in the pipeline.
Another do-not-miss on the list of things to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood is WaterWorld®. A top action movie comes to life and you have a unique view of all the special effects used on the big screen. Brand new action sequences involving a plane crash, and a fabulous pyrotechnic display come together with some crazy jet ski tricks to excite and astound the audience.
Once you have seen all the live-action shows and ridden the awesome rides check out the Special Effects Show. Find out about the magic of CGI and how it works to create the characters you see on screen. Get an insight into how 3D images appear when you put the colored glasses on. The team in control of this show will reveal all the secrets of your favorite special effects movies.
Los Angeles has a host of attractions for families but Universal Studios Hollywood is second to none. Harry Potter is the current big draw for the whole family but there is so much more to see and do. Check out the exclusive behind the scenes shows and rides and you will see that there truly is something for all the family.
For special offers, amazing savings on packages and hotels, and some of the lowest prices on travel call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use +1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.
Get access to exclusive promo codes, limited-time offers and deepest discounts on vacation and ticket offers.