Universal Studios Hollywood | Universal Studios Hollywood is a theme park and film studio (one of the oldest and most famous) located in Los Angeles, California. It was originally created to offer tours of real Universal Studio sets but has since exploded into multiple full-fledged theme parks that are located around the world.
Universal Studios Hollywood is where you can ride the movies!
HOURS & ADMISSION
Park hours vary throughout the year
Click here for Universal Studios Hollywood park hours
Universal Studios Hollywood offers a variety of ticket types based on benefits and seasonal events
Click here for general admission, annual passes and front of the line ticket information
DIRECTIONS & PARKING
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Front Gate Parking | $40 (before 6:00 pm) | $30 (after 6:00 pm)
Preferred Parking | $30 (before 6:00 pm) | $20 (after 6:00 pm)
General Parking | $20 (before 6:00 pm | $10 (after 6:00 pm)
Valet parking is also available
Universal Studios Hollywood can also be accessed by the Metro Red Line subway train
WHAT WE DID
Before we arrived we purchased our tickets online so we could take advantage of early park admission which allowed us to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the park officially opened. *Be advised, early park admission is only available to guests who purchase tickets directly from UniversalStudiosHollywood.com!
And since we had to head back the Vegas later that same day we opted for the Front of the Line so we could enjoy all the park attractions and still head home at a decent time. Front of the Line passes allow one-time priority access to each attraction and priority seating at each show, which ended up saving us hours of waiting in line. *Limited quantities of FOTL tickets are sold each day, so if you want to use this service you may want to purchase them in advance.
If you don’t want to spend the extra money, adults and teens can use the Single Rider Line. Your party will get split up but its the fastest way to get on a ride without a Front of the Line Pass when wait times are high. Attractions with the Single Rider Line include Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Jurassic Park: The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers: The Ride 3D.
Universal also offers Child Switch, which allows one parent to enjoy a ride then immediately switch and allow the other parents to enjoy the same ride without waiting in line again.
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
Before heading to the rides take note that any backpacks, purses and loose belongings are not allowed. Lockers are located near the entrance to Hogwarts Castle, are free for the first 90 minutes and use a fingerprint to lock and unlock it.
Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey is located inside the Hogwarts Castle and has one of the best ride queues ever made. The line winds its way through the Hogwarts Castle grounds including classrooms, Dumbledore’s office, the Castle Hall, Madam Sprout’s greenhouse, talking portraits, the sorting hat, and more.
Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey | Soar above the Hogwarts Castle grounds on an intense, 3-d motion simulator through a game of Quidditch, pass a Basilisk, whomping willows, and spooky dementors. The line can get longer than 2 hours so unless you have a front of the line pass stop here first! *If you are prone to vertigo or motion sickness beware, this ride may bring it on.
Flight of the Hippogriff | This family-friendly roller coaster races through a pumpkin patch and offers views of Hagrid’s Hut, his motorcycle, and Buckbeat the Hippogriff.
Hogwarts Express | As soon as you enter the gates of Hogsmeade you are greeting by the Hogwarts Express. Here you can take pictures with the conductor as steam blows from the massive locomotive. Nearby there is also a mock train cabin where you don props and take photos for an additional fee.
Ollivanders | The interactive wand fitting ceremony takes place in a dusty shop where small groups are taken in to meet a wand maker. The wand maker will choose one lucky individual to receive a wand and show off their spell skills. After the ceremony, the group if free to browse the shop and purchase replicas of the film’s character wands. If you don’t want to watch the wand fitting ceremony you can enter Ollivanders through the Wiseacre’s Shop. *Lines can creep up to more than an hour for the ceremony so if this is a priority for you stop here first, then hit Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey.
Interactive wands run around $50 and come with a map of Hogsmeade shop windows where you can perform magic spells.
Shows | The Frog Choir features students of Hogwarts that sing with large croaking frogs and the Triwizard Spirit Rally showcases Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students as they get ready for the Triwizard Tournament. *Stay after the shows for an opportunity to meet and take photos with the performers.
Three Broomsticks | This English fare quick service restaurant offers breakfast and lunch/dinner menus with indoor and outdoor seating. You can also visit the Hog’s Head bar for alcoholic beverages.
Butterbeer Cart | Butterbeer served frozen or chilled (both non-alcoholic) is a combination of cream soda and butterscotch topped with a special whipped cream. The cart also sells pumpkin juice, Gilley water, and small snacks.
Do not leave Hogsmeade without trying the famous Butterbeer, it is amazing!
Honeydukes | This legendary candy shop offers a variety of sweets from the series including Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Fizzing Whizzbees, Chocolate Frogs, and Cauldron Cakes.
Owl Post | Send a letter from inside the Owl Post (watch for owl droppings) and get a free Hogsmeade postmark. *If you wish to send your letter from inside the park you will have to bring/purchase a standard postage stamp.
And don’t miss Moaning Myrtle and rattling pipes in the men’s and women’s bathrooms!
THE UPPER LOT
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem | A mild, 3-D motion simulator ride where guests are transformed into minions and navigate through a virtual obstacle course.
Super Silly Fun Land | Located adjacent to Minion Mayhem, this outdoor, carnival themed play area includes an interactive water play area, arcade games, and the Silly Swirly aerial carousel.
Shrek 4D | A theater show starring the movie’s original cast with 4-D OgreVision glasses and special effects. The adventure continues as you enter Lord Farquaad’s dungeon (who is now a ghost) as he searches for Princess Fiona.
Springfield | Visit Springfield, the hometown of the famous Simpsons including the Kwik-E-Mart gift shop, the Krusty Burger, Moe’s Tavern, and huge Homer-sized donuts and Lard Lad.
The Simpsons Ride | Join the Simpson’s family on a carnival ride through Krustyland on this motion simulator ride with an 80-foot diameter screen.
Studio Tour | The legendary Studio Tour gives guests a behind the scenes look at Hollywood’s most famous backlot including backdrops, sets, and props used in films and TV shows. The tour lasts approximately an hour, is available in English, Spanish and Mandarin and closes before the park so keep an eye out on the last tram departure time.
Special Effects Show | A behind the scenes look at stunts, special effects, combat sequences, and live animation used in big blockbuster movies.
Universal’s Animal Actors | A 20-minute live show that features stunts and tricks from Hollywood’s famous animal actors.
The Walking Dead Attraction | An interactive, walk-through maze that takes you through the post-apocalyptic world of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” that mixes animatronics with real actors.
Waterworld | Based on the Kevin Costner film Waterworld this high energy show features jumping jet-skiers, stunt fights, pyrotechnics and an out of this world plane crash. *Don’t tease the “smokers” you or may get wet!
The Upper Lot and Lower Lot are connected by a series of four massive escalators called the Starway and can take 10-15 minutes to complete each way. For convenience and time management purposes it’s best to complete all Lower Lot attractions before heading back up.
THE LOWER LOT
Jurassic Park: The Ride | A river raft ride adventure through dinosaur exhibits ending with an 84-foot drop as you barely escape a 50 foot T-Rex.
You can also check out the Dino Play interactive area or the Raptor Encounter where a 9-foot tall Velociraptor and “raptor handler” hangout.
Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride | Race forward and backward at 45 mph through the complete darkness on this indoor roller coaster as you escape the Mummy’s revenge.
Transformers: The Ride | Flight along Optimus Prime on a 3-D motion simulator and protect the AllSpark from the Decepticons.
Located near the ride entrance you have the chance to interact with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron.
Universal Studios also has a number of characters that roam the park grounds and interact with the guests. Locations and times vary by day so ask a park employee or download the official Universal Studios app for more information. *Woody the Woodpecker is the official Universal Studios Hollywood mascot!
UNIVERSAL CITY WALK
Universal CityWalk | Located directly next to Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City Walk is a 3-block entertainment, dining, and shopping promenade. The area offers indoor skydiving, 3 nightclubs, an IMAX movie theater, multiple casual and quick service dining options and more than 30 unique shops.
Johnny Rockets | A casual dining spot known for its yummy burgers, chili cheese fries, and milkshakes.
VooDoo Doughnut | A Portland-based doughnut shop that offers more than 50 unique doughnuts including vegan options.
TIPS FOR VISITING UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
Arrive before park opening to get inside before the crowds and enjoy the lowest wait times of the day
Download the official Universal Studios Hollywood app or check USHWaitTimes.com for current wait times
Plan to have your bags checked by security before entering the park
Coolers, large bags and outside food or drink is not permitted with the exception of water, baby food, light snacks
Check the event calendar for upcoming celebrities and live filmings
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HAVE YOU VISITED UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD? IF SO, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY?