I received media passes for our visit, but all opinions are my own. Today I am sharing the ultimate guide to Universal Studios Hollywood so you can enjoy it like a pro, and take in everything possible! First of all, you will want to get your Universal Studios Hollywood 2018 Tickets! And you can stay at a preferred hotel and you will get early admission to the park!
A couple of weeks ago I was able to go back to Universal Studios Hollywood. I had such a great time (without my kids) and I was running from ride to ride having a blast. I love going with my kids and would have enjoyed having them there, but it was fun to go and enjoy myself and not have to worry about anything else.
Universal Studios Hollywood is the perfect place to have a girls day, so I grabbed a couple of my girlfriends and we had a blast exploring the park. It was their first time going, and that made it even more fun!! You will want to check the schedule for showtimes. There are several great shows throughout the day. My personal favorite is WaterWorld. You can also enjoy The Walking Dead Attraction, the Special Effects Show, and the Universal’s Animal Actors.
The Upper Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood (pt. 1)
There are a lot of shops as you enter the park and a lot of fun photo ops, so be sure to soak it all up and take it all in. While we were there we were able to enjoy a special preview of the new Kung Fu Panda experience in the DreamWorks Theater. I loved it and highly recommend you make it one of the first stops during your visit. The animation is incredible, and the interactive experience is great for all ages.
After you do Kung Fu Panda, you will want to make your way into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There is so much to see and do there. While you are wondering around exploring all of the shops, make sure you grab a Butterbeer to drink. My favorite is the Frozen Butterbeer. INSIDER TIP #1: Grab a Frozen Butterbeer to enjoy while you are on the Studio Tour. They now have Butterbeer Ice Cream that you can enjoy!
You can read all about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and what you can see and do there in our other post. Be sure to step into Honeydukes and grab a treat, and just smell how yummy it smells! You can also participate in the wand choosing ceremony and pick put a wand in the wand shop. INSIDER TIP #2: Get a wand and look for all of the interactive features around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and try them all. The wands also work at Universal Orlando Resort.
From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, head out and do the World Famous Studio Tour. Depending on when you go the wait can be kind of long, so be sure to get a FastPass that will cut your wait time by at least half! The Studio Tour is one of the most fun things we did there. It takes you on a tram all around the actual lots where they film all the movies, through old sets (like War of the Worlds, The Grinch, Bates Motel and more!), you see original props like cars and other things as well as experience some amazing 3-D shows with King Kong 360 3-D, Fast & Furious – Supercharged!, and more.
The tour will take about an hour (give or take) so this is a great way to relax and soak in everything that is Universal. When you get back, you will head out and come right into Krustylad. Here, there are a lot of photo ops, games, the Lard Lad Doughnuts, and you can join The Simpsons™ on a virtual reality roller coaster ride. You need to get a doughnut and try it. They are delicious (and big) so you can share them. INSIDER TIP #3: These doughnuts pair really well with the frozen Butterbeer.
The Lower Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood
Now you will be right about the entrance to the lower lot. Take the escalators down there and get ready for some action! INSIDER TIP #4: The single rider lane will get you through the rides in 1/4 of the time. We were on a limited time frame, so we wanted to get through as much as we could. You can do single rider lanes on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Jurrasic Park – The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride, and Transformers: The Ride 3D. 3 of the 4 of these are on the lower lot.
The lower lot is a lot smaller than the upper lot, but it is my favorite place to be. With three of the major rides down there, you can stay and play for a while, eat, enjoy the photo ops at the Raptor Encounter, the Transformers, and occasionally other characters that come out. All three of the rides down here have single rider lanes, while help substantially if you don’t mind not riding next to your group. Your wait time will be quite a bit less.
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Jurrasic Park: The Ride is a ride that you will probably get wet on. It might be a little and it might be a lot, so keep your bag on your feet if you are putting it down by your legs. The raptor encounter is REALLY COOL and worth seeing if you are around when they come out.
This thrilling river raft adventure, based on Jurassic Park, the inspiration for the hit movie, Jurassic World, where you’ll see dinosaurs in their natural jungle habitat. And hold on tight as you narrowly escape a life-sized T-rex as your raft makes an exhilarating 84-foot plunge to safety.
Be sure to experience Jurassic Park®- The Ride before it goes extinct on Sept. 3, 2018, to make way for the new Jurassic World ride opening in 2019!
The Transformers: The Ride 3-D is incredible! Fusing 3D HD media and flight simulation technology, this epic ride creates an experience unlike anything this planet has ever seen. Based on the popular movie franchise, this mind-blowing Transformers adventure puts you in the middle of the ultimate war zone. Don’t miss out on the photo op here with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron.
I recommend going on each ride down here at least twice, if not more. INSIDER TIP #5: There is a great rider switch area in each ride so if you have littles, you don’t have to wait in line twice. You can just switch out and your partner can ride with the kids.
The Upper Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood (pt. 2)
After we had a ton of fun on the lower lot we headed to the upper lot and finished exploring the rest of the park. You will be able to go to The Special Effects Show, Universal’s Animal Actors show, Super Silly Fun Land, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Walking Dead Attraction, as well as explore the shops and delicious eats. The Super Silly Fun Land has a splash pad, rides and many things for your younger kids to do. INSIDER TIP #6: Visit the Super Silly Fun Land after you go on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. It lets out right in the middle of it.
This colorfully themed, interactive Minion-inspired outdoor venue is a literal interpretation of the seaside carnival from Illumination’s “Despicable Me,” designed to entertain guests of all ages with its more than 80 different water-play features. A nearby dry zone invites guests to climb, jump and slide, while the Minion-themed ride, “Silly Swirly Fun Ride,” will soar and spin guests around for a 360-degree view of “Super Silly Fun Land” aboard a fleet of uniquely styled ride vehicles.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is another fun ride that the whole family will love! Join Gru, his daughters and the mischievous Minions on a heartwarming and thrilling 3-D ride. Start your adventure in Gru’s home, where you’re recruited for his latest scheme – one where you’ll become an actual Minion. After making it through “Minion training” things don’t go as planned! Within moments, you’re launched into an unforgettable trip through his super-villain laboratory. The laughs keep coming after the ride with an interactive, Minion-inspired dance party.
Be on the lookout for great photo ops with the girls, Gru and the minions throughout the day as well as all of the other characters like Frankenstein, Maralyn Monroe, and many others!
You will also want to take time to explore City Walk while you are there. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, a theater and more to explore. If you are staying close you can also ride the free shuttles to and from the park to avoid having to pay for parking (and walking forever, lol). I hope you found all your answers here, but if not, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer!