What you need to do at Universal Studios Hollywood

If you’re planning a trip to California, Universal Studios Hollywood must be on your list.

This incredible themepark is just 10-20 minutes from Hollywood Boulevard. 

Universal Studios Hollywood.
Entrance gate for the Universal Studios Hollywood. Picture: pablopicasso / Shutterstock

Once inside, families can soak up the glamour and excitement of Hollywood. You will be transported into the world of movie magic with rides inspired by popular films and television shows. This place will be a highlight of any California family holiday. 

A real working studio

Universal Studios Hollywood invites guests to go behind the scenes at the largest and busiest motion picture and TV studio in the world.  

The theme park’s world-famous Studio Tour gives families up-close access to soundstages, outdoor sets and rides, including King Kong 360 3D and Fast & Furious-Supercharged. With guides who are well-versed in the history of filmmaking. Guests can laugh along with the tour’s video host, comedian Jimmy Fallon, encounter the smouldering wreckage of the Boeing 747 from The War of the Worlds and come face-to-face with Amity Island’s most famous resident.

King Kong 360 3D will blow your mind. Photo: Universal

Don’t miss the Special Effects Show. Real Hollywood stunt actors recreate the sounds, sights and illusions that fool the cameras and create unforgettable moments on the big and small screen. Learn the secrets behind realistic physical combat sequences, horror scenes, zero-gravity space travel and even live animation.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

One of the park’s major drawcards is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, the land that celebrates J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters brought to life in the Warner Bros. films.

Universal Studios Hollywood Hogwarts Harry Potter
The kids will love Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios Hollywood. Picture: Universal

Hogwarts™ castle serves as the focal point. Just watch your kids’ faces when they see it. The castle is a breathtaking reproduction of the movie. Its narrow stone passageways and chambers invite guests to walk in the famous footsteps of the film’s heroic characters. They’ll encounter many familiar places along the way, including Dumbledore’s office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom,Gryffinfor™ common room, and the Sorting Hat.

Head into Hogsmeade™ to buy wands at Ollivanders™ and cast spells all over the land. Universal Studios Hollywood has two new spell locations, taking the total number in California to 15. 

Honeydukes™ is a must. Kids can actually taste the candy they have seen in the movies. Shop for Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Peppermint Toads, Fudge Flies, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs. 

Butterbeer Harry Potter world
When in Harry Potter World – you need to try butterbeer. Picture: Shutterstock

Butterbeer™ is essential. Dining options include the Hogs Head Pub and Three Broomsticks. We also recommend trying pumpkin juice. 

For thrill seekers, Harry Potter Wizarding World California has two thrill rides – Flight of the Hippogriff™ and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Flight of the Hippogriff is a family-friendly outdoor roller coaster which spirals and dives around Hagrid’s pumpkin path. Children must be taller than 93cm to ride.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a 4D experience ride. Expect to feel the dragon’s heat and the chill of the dementors.  The ride’s movements are synchronised with the visuals to give you a full 360-dimensional experience. We can’t tell you too much because it will spoil the ride. Children must be at least 122cm tall to ride. 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. Photo: Universal

Kung Fu Panda

Universal Studios Hollywood’s new multi-sensory attraction, DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda, takes guests on a journey that fuses captivating storytelling with state-of-the-art visual effects. This ride features the first-ever interior projection mapping, 360 surround sound audio and sweeping physical effects, to engulf you in a world of adventure. 

On the morning of The Emperor’s Great Feast of Heroes, dragon warrior Po embarks on a wild and perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the palace. Po enlists guests to join him on the exciting adventure filled with raging rapids, river pirates, awesome magic and kung fu.

The Simpsons

Universal Studios Hollywood
The Simpsons ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. Picture: Alkhutov Dmitry / Shutterstock

Another highlight is The Simpsons Ride, a virtual reality rollercoaster. As the journey begins, someone is sabotaging Krustyland, Krusty the Clown’s low-budget theme park, and you’ll smash and blast through the park with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie in an over-the-top non-stop adventure. Universal’s award-winning creative team collaborated with ‘The Simpsons’ Creator and Executive Producer, Matt Goening, and Executive Producer, James L. Brooks, to create and open the first ever mega attraction based on the blockbuster TV series. It features the shows classic humour and many of its instantly recognisable characters, all voiced by the original actors. Kids will need to be at least 102cm tall to ride.

Transformers

Transformers™: The Ride-3D is based on the hugely popular brand from Hasbro and film franchise directed by Michael Bay. It’s an immersive thrill ride blurring the line between fiction and reality. Fusing 3D HD media and flight simulation technology, this attraction puts you in the middle of the battle zone with spectacular action sequences and special effects..

Meet Prime and Bee at Transformers The Ride 3D. Photo: Universal

See if you can count the Autobots and Decepticons throughout the ride. In addition to Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron, you should see 13 more.  Kids will need to be at least 102cm to ride. 

Revenge of the Mummy

You have to be brave to board Revenge of the Mummy℠ – The Ride. Based on the popular “mummy” films, this ride will catapult you at speeds of up to 70km per hour in virtual darkness.

Unsuspecting guests are swept into a terrifying underworld of ancient Egypt, awash in deadly curses, powerful forces of nature and vengeful creatures intent on wreaking havoc. If you can open your eyes, you will see Egyptian hieroglyphics on the walls spelling out real words and ancient warnings. Kids will need to be at least 122cm to ride. 

Jurassic World

The ‘Jurassic World ride’ will open in 2019. Expect new colossal, dimensional dinosaurs to roam the Earth in a technologically advanced epic adventure inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster film Jurassic World. The ride captures elements never experiences within a theme park, including never-before-seen dinosaurs, an entirely new colour scheme, lush scenic design and state-of-the-art technology.

Entertainment

If that’s not enough, Universal CityWalk, an entertainment, shopping and dining complex is right next door. The CityWalk includes the all-new multi-million-dollar redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema and the 5 Towers state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

Street views of Universal CityWalk Hollywood. Photo: Universal

More information: universalstudioshollywood.com

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