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Tips and Tricks for Universal Studios Hollywood: Best Guide for Universal Studios Hollywood

Are you ready to experience the place where movie magic comes to life? Universal Studios Hollywood is located in sunny Los Angeles and offers an experience including theme and fun rides, secret behind-the-scenes, entertaining live shows and meet and greet with different characters. 


Harry Potter Theme at Universal Studios Hollywood
Harry Potter Theme at Universal Studios Hollywood

Let’s find out the tips and guide  for your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood in this blog: 


Reaching Universal Studios Hollywood:


Universal Studio Hollywood is located at Universal City which is around 15 minutes drive from Hollywood and Los Angeles Downtown. You can choose different ways reaching to Universal Studios Hollywood:


Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

By Car:


It’s quite convenient to reach Universal Studios Hollywood using a car and there are multiple parking slots available. 



Public Transportation:


It’s also very convenient to use the Metro Red Line to Universal Studios Hollywood and from there you can take a pedestrian bridge that leads to the theme park or you can also take a shuttle bus to the theme park. 


Jurassic World, Universal Studios Hollywood
Jurassic World, Universal Studios Hollywood

Shuttle Services: 


Universal Studios Hollywood offers shuttle bus services for visitors staying at select hotels in the Los Angeles area. These shuttle buses provide convenient transportation to and from the theme park, allowing guests to avoid the hassle of driving and parking.


Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

To use the shuttle bus service, inquire with your hotel about availability and schedule. Some hotels may offer complimentary shuttle service as part of their amenities, while others may require an additional fee.


Ride-sharing:


You can also get Uber or Lyft for getting to Universal Studios Hollywood. 



Tip:


As we were coming from Los Angeles Downtown, we opted for the Uber ride which cost us around $23 one-way trip. But when we visited on the second day, we took the metro which cost us $1.75 for a single person.


Buying Tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood:


It’s highly recommended to buy the Universal Studios Hollywood online. You can select the admission ticket of your choice from their website.


Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

You can also purchase the ticket from the booth located at the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood but it’s time-consuming as we have to wait in line. 

Different types of Tickets and which one is the best to buy: 


You can choose from the following:


  • 1-day General admission ticket - access to all activities for a day. The cost of the ticket varies but the minimum price is $109  for a day.

  • 2-day admission ticket - You can select the first day of your visit and the second day of the visit should be within 7 days. The cost of the ticket varies but the minimum price is $159.

Princess Peach Castle at Universal Studio
Princess Peach Castle at Universal Studio

  • Universal Express Ticket - provides VIP access to all rides & attractions and a guided tour of the park along with a Special VIP Dining Experience. The cost of the ticket varies but the minimum price is $379



  • VIP Experience - VIP access to all rides & attractions. The cost of the ticket varies but the minimum price is $209 for a day.

  • Annual pass - The price and package of the annual pass depends on the nature of the pass. There are different options depending on your budget. 


In our case, we opted for a 2-day admission ticket. The normal one-day pass cost us $119 whereas we paid $169 for two days and got access to the park for two days. Our first day was a weekday, so it wasn’t so crowded and we also opted for the single rider option which also allows us to save lots of time. We had to wait for one ride for over 45 minutes whereas, the other rides were very quick. 


Dreamworks Studio at Universal Studio
Dreamworks Studio at Universal Studio

But on weekends, it was so crowded that we had to wait for each ride over 40 minutes. We believe that on a normal summer day, also the weekday will be super crowded.


Jurassic World at Universal Studio Hollywood
Jurassic World at Universal Studio Hollywood

It all depends on your preference but we would like to suggest you either visit the park for two days so you have enough time to enjoy or take the VIP experience pass on Saturday so that you can enjoy the ride without spending too much on waiting times. 



Best Tips Before Visit Universal Studio in Hollywood  Los Angeles:


  • Comfortable Shoes:  You have to walk a lot in the Universal Studio - so wear comfortable shoes to navigate the park comfortably throughout the day.

The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studio
The Simpsons Ride, Springfield

  • Download the App:  In order to check waiting times for rides, navigate between attractions, and view show times, it’s highly recommended to download the official Universal Studios Hollywood and it will help you plan your day efficiently and avoid long queues.


Rides on Harry Potter theme
Flight of the Hippogriff at Universal Studio

  • Shopping: There are different shops based on different themes at Universal Studios Hollywood which offers unique merchandise and souvenirs. If you want to grab a T-shirt of your favorite character, check out the themed shops. 



  • Opening Hours:  The park has different opening times during the day. Normally, it opens until 10 PM on weekends and closes earlier on weekdays. Check out the timing of the park on the app or the website.

Production Plaza at Universal Studio
Production Plaza at Universal Studio

  • Single Rider Line:  If you're a single rider or comfortable riding alone or don't mind being separated from your group or partner for the ride, you can take advantage of the single rider lines but this line isn’t available for all rides. But this will reduce the wait time.

  • Duration of Visit:  If we tell you honestly, the park isn’t super big - there’s a possibility to explore all the attractions and enjoy all the rides within one day. But in our case, we wanted to enjoy the park at our phase, so we booked a two-day ticket.  

Kung Fu Panda at Universal Studio
Kung Fu Panda at Universal Studio

  • Best Days to Visit:  As we visited the park one day on a weekday and another day on a weekend - on a weekday, despite the fact that the park opens at 10:00 and closes at 18:00 we managed to take all the rides as the waiting time of the rides was not that much. Whereas, on the weekend, most of the rides have a waiting time of 45 minutes to 60 minutes. 


  • Shuttle bus:  There’s a free shuttle that takes you to different parking zones, nearby hotels, and also to the metro station for public transportation. It’s a free shuttle service and normally it comes after 15 minutes but you can also check the schedule on the app. 


Universal Tour at Universal Studio Hollywood
Universal Tour at Universal Studio Hollywood

  • Lockers:  There’s also a possibility to rent a locker for storing personal belongings and you can enjoy the park freely. Apart from this, there are two rides for which it’s mandatory to place your belongings in the locker this is a free locker and you can lock and unlock the locker with your fingerprint so you don’t need to worry about the hassle of saving the key. 

  • Keep in mind that locker availability may be limited during peak times, so consider renting one early in the day if needed.


  • Restaurants and Cafes:  The restaurants are quite crowded throughout the day so it’s better to plan your meals in advance by checking out the various dining options using the Online map. You can also make a reservation for a popular restaurant. During our visit, Toadstool Cafe inside the Super Nintendo Theme was fully booked. I often observed that the Krusty Donut shop also has long queues. 

Restaurants at Universal Studio Hollywood
Restaurants at Universal Studio Hollywood


Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk:


Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk is one of the entry points of Universal Studio and you can also walk through the CityWalk free - you don’t need a ticket.


Universal Studio CityWalk
Universal Studio CityWalk

CityWalk has different dining, shopping, and entertainment options and they also host special events like Halloween Horror Nights and Grinchmas, as well as exclusive movie screenings and celebrity appearances.


Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

Exploring Universal Studio:


The theme park is divided into 2 parts Upper Lot and Lower Lot and each part has different zones featuring different themes based on Universal Studio movies. 




Let’s explore the Upper lot first:


1. Hollywood:


As we walked through the red carpet walk and entered the gates, It gave me vibes as if I was in a Universal Movie set. 


The Universal Boulevard has a very lively feel and you can walk through and enjoy window shopping.


Restaurants at Universal Studio Hollywood
Restaurants at Universal Studio Hollywood

There are also restaurants where you can enjoy the food and You can also do some shopping based on movie and character-inspired apparel, toys, souvenirs, decor, and more.


Universal Studio Hollywood
Universal Studio Hollywood

2. Production Plaza:


The Universal Studio also has a main square of Movie land. I was so amazed to find out such a catchy set that transports to New York or Paris.  



You can also stroll and enjoy one of our favorite areas which depicts Paris Vibes along with the iconic Moulin Rouge windmill.


Universal Studio Hollywood
Universal Studio Hollywood

Even the cafes and restaurants give a literally feeling if you’re on a Parisian street - you can also find an artist who can also do your sketch. 


Cafes at Universal Studio Hollywood
Cafes at Universal Studio Hollywood


There are also different characters who roam around in these streets and you can also get a chance to meet and get the photograph with them. 



During our visit, we encountered the characters from Scooby-do, Adam’s family, and many more. 


Meet & Greet with characters at Universal Studio
Meet & Greet with characters at Universal Studio


Meet & Greet with Scooby-do at Universal Studio
Meet & Greet with Scooby-do at Universal Studio

Attraction at Production Plaza:


a. Kung Fu Panda 3D:


You can also get the chance to enjoy a 3D Movie where you’ll be accompanying Po, Mr. Ping, and Master Shifu to deliver the liquid to the Emperor. It’s a journey taking you on roaring water with some sudden drops. 


Kung Fu Panda Show at Universal Studio
Kung Fu Panda Show at Universal Studio

We had also experienced a similar Kung Fu Panda ride in Dreamwork in Dubai Parks.  



3. Minion Land & Super Silly Fun Land:


This area of Universal Studio has a glimpse of three different themes based on famous Movies including Despicable Me and Secret of Pets.


Minion Land at Universal Studio Hollywood
Minion Land at Universal Studio Hollywood

There are also different restaurants based on Minion themes, and you can also get a chance to shop around and get your souvenirs or cool merchandise based on the Despicable Me movie at Super Silly Stuff.


Super Silly Fun land at Universal Studio
Super Silly Fun land at Universal Studio

The Minion Land also has Super Silly Fun Land next to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. It’s an elaboration of the Despicable theme presenting a Minion-inspired outdoor interactive play area which is a replica of a seaside carnival from Despicable Me. 



There’s a water play area for the visitors and also a zone for the kids to climb, jump, and slide like a Minions. There’s also an arcade game called ‘Super Silly Space Killer’ where Agnes won her Stuffed unicorn - the visitors also have a chance to win the unicorn.


Rides at Super Silly Fun land at Universal Studio
Super Silly Fun land at Universal Studio

You can also get the chance for the meet and greet with Minions and Gru and you can also take a picture with them. 


Characters Meet & Greet at Universal Studio
Meet & Greet with Gru

Rides at Minion Land & Super Silly Fun Land:



a. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash:


It’s a kid-friendly ride based on the theme of The Secret Life of Pets.


Rides at Universal Studio Hollywood
The Secret Life of Pets - Off the Leash at Universal Studio

It’s a theme building where we walked through the different rooms depicting the scenes of Secret Life of Pets and then we reached the starting point of the ride.


Things to do at Universal Studio Hollywood
The Secret Life of Pets - Off the Leash at Universal Studio

We joined Max, Duke, Gidget, and Snowball and traveled through the streets of New York and reached their new home. 


Things to do at Universal Studio Hollywood
The Secret Life of Pets - Off the Leash


b. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem:


In this ride, we were recruited by Gru and went through the transformation of turning into Minions it requires training but things didn’t go as planned.



But at last, Gru and his daughters made everything right and after the ride, we also got the chance to join an interactive Minion-inspired dance party.


Rides at Minion Land Universal Studio
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem


Rides at Minion Land Universal Studio
Minion-inspired dance party

c. Silly Swirly:


It’s also a kids-friendly ride but there’s no harm in getting silly with silly swirly where I was steering the height.



I also enjoy the 360-degree view of  Super Silly Fun Land.


Silly Swirly ride at Universal Studio
Silly Swirly ride at Universal Studio

4. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:


If you are a Harry Potter fan - You shouldn’t miss any chance to visit Universal Studio and experience the Hogwarts castle.


Harry Potter theme at Universal Studio Hollywood
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Once you step into the Harry Potter Theme, you will literally feel that you’re in Hogwart’s world of Magic.



At the entrance, there’s a big steam engine along with different shops and stalls where you can buy your Wand. 


Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studio Hollywood
Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studio Hollywood

Even the staff at Wizarding World also wear costumes like Hogwarts students. You can also get the chance to dine in at Three Broomsticks. 


Harry Potter Theme ride at Universal Studio
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Attractions at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:


a. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey:


This Ride is located in Hogwarts Castle - while we enter the Castle gates and pass by the corridors of Hogwarts School, we reach the start of the ride - it’s a thrilling ride where we join Harry Potter and his friends. 



b. Flight of the Hippogriff:


Do you remember that Harry, Ron, and Hermione first learn of Hippogriffs when Hagrid introduces students to one in his first Care of Magical Creatures class?

This is a roller coaster ride that is friendly for the kids. 


Hogwart Students at Universal Studio
Hogwart Students at Universal Studio

c. Interactive Wands:


There was an interactive wand show with a small group of people where we were shown the interactive wands which ring the bell with just a twist of the wand.


Harry Potter Theme at Universal Studio
Harry Potter Theme at Universal Studio

5. World Famous Studio Tour:


As we watched uncountable movies by Universal Studio, the World Famous Studio Tour took us on the tour of different locations of our favorite movies and series. 


It’s a guided tour on the buggy cart, where we pass by different locations whether there are homes from series like Desperate Housewives or movies like TED.


Hollywood Studio Tour at Universal Studio
Hollywood Studio Tour at Universal Studio

Our guide has shown us different locations. We have also seen different location which depicts different scenes in different cities. 


Hollywood Studio Tour at Universal Studio
Hollywood Studio Tour at Universal Studio

We have also experienced how rain scenes are created in different movies and series.



While enjoying the artificial rain, suddenly there were big water waves started towards us and depicted the scene of an artificial flood. 


Guided tour of Hollywood Studio
Guided tour of Hollywood Studio

We also passed by a lake where we experienced the explosion enactment and how they create Shark attacks in the movies. 


Guided tour of Hollywood Studio
Guided tour of Hollywood Studio

Throughout the tour, we also had the 3D experience of Fast & Furious and King Kong where we were stuck in the fight between King Kong and and Godzilla. 



6. Springfield U.S.A:


If you’re a Simpsons fan, it’s a must to visit the Universal Studio in Los Angeles and enjoy the Real Krusty burger and donuts. 


The Simpsons Ride, Springfield
The Simpsons Ride, Springfield

It’s such a vibrant theme where you can encounter different scenes like catching up to  Sideshow where Bob is making his escape from the Springfield Jail.


Springfield at Universal Studio
Springfield at Universal Studio

You can also take a picture near the Springfield police station and find police officer Eddie.


Things to do in Springfield at Universal Studio
Laed Lao Donuts

You can also do some souvenir shopping and get the shirt of your favorite character.


Springfield at Universal Studio
Springfield at Universal Studio


Rides at Springfield U.S.A:



a. The Simpsons Ride:


The Simpsons Ride takes on a trip to Krustyland on a roller coaster ride where Bob has taken over the Krustyland and Simpsons family crashes through the park.


The Simpsons Ride, Springfield
The Simpsons Ride, Springfield


7. WaterWorld:


We have been to different theme parks and in my opinion, it’s the best show ever. It starts with an interactive session with the audience.


Live Show at Universal Studio
Live Show at Universal Studio

It changes into a craziness of the stunts, the artist jumps from a jet-ski, massive explosions, and you get a water splash if you sit in the front seats at last, even if the plane crashes right in front of you. 


Live Show WaterWorld at Universal Studio
Live Show WaterWorld at Universal Studio

Let's explore the Lower Lot:


After Exploring the Upper lot, it’s time to go to the lower lot and find out what they have there for their visitors and fans. There are 3 different levels of elevators which took us down and you can also enjoy the view of the city from the viewpoint. 


The lower lot has two main themes - Super Nintendo World and Jurassic World and two small theme rides on Transformers Metrobase & Mummy Return. 



1. Revenge of the Mummy:


As we reached the Lower lot, we started with the first ride based on Mummy’s Theme “Revenge of the Mummy”. Rather than having a full zone, it’s only one ride based on the Mummy’s movie. 


It’s required to keep the bag and belongings in the lockers which are at the start of the ride, note that if you have the bags with you, the staff will not let you ride. 


Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studio Hollywood
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studio Hollywood

As we entered we were transported back to 1926 into the tomb of Imhotep and we walked through the dark corridors and reached the starting point of the ride. It’s an indoor high-speed roller coaster. As we sat on the roller coaster the thrill started in a dark cave with light effects with fogs, jolting twists, and turns. When you feel like you’re about to escape, it takes a backward gear. WHAT A FUN RIDE! 



2. Transformers Metrobase:


Even though it’s a relatively small theme zone as compared to others you can still few activities including trying out the food at the cafes, doing souvenir shopping, and getting the T-shirt of your favorite character most importantly, you can also get a chance to meet with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee and take the picture with them.


Transformers Metrobase, Universal Studio
Transformers Metrobase, Universal Studio


Rides at Transformers Metrobase:


a. Transformers: 3D Ride:


It’s a 3D ride where you experience the thrill of fighting with Megatron and his villainous Decepticons and you’ll be alongside Optimus Prime and Bumblebee and save the earth from Megatron's rule. 



3. Jurassic World:


Being a fan of the Jurassic World series it’s the second most favorite theme in the park. We literally felt that we were on the Island and ready for face-to-face encounters with Dinosaurs. 


Jurassic World, Universal Studio Hollywood
Jurassic World, Universal Studio Hollywood

This zone is like a natural beauty with green rush trees and waterfalls.


Dino Encounter, Universal Studio Hollywood
Dino Encounter, Universal Studio Hollywood

We had our first encounter with Blue the Velociraptor how was it with her trainer - we also got the chance to take the picture with Blue. 



There’s also an interactive Dino Play area for the kids where they can excavate dinosaur fossils, T. rex skulls, and dinosaur eggs and play and climb. 


Dino Play at Universal Studio Hollywood
Dino Play at Universal Studio Hollywood

Ride at Jurassic World:


a. Jurassic World - The Ride:


It’s our favorite ride as we started with a relaxing cruise to watch the dinosaurs into the lush greenery the ride changed into craziness when the alarm started blowing and Indominus rex escaped from her paddocks.


Jurassic World Ride
Jurassic World Ride

We had to escape from being her food luckily we survived after the sharpen drop into the water. 



4. Super Nintendo World:


The Super Nintendo World opened its doors for the first time in 2023 to visitors. This took us to the world of Super Mario and reminded us of our childhood when we used to play Mario.


Super Nintendo World at Universal Studio
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studio


It’s so magical Mushroom Kingdom, Peach's Castle, and Bowser's Castle. 


Super Nintendo World at Universal Studio
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studio

There are different interactive activities and you can buy the Power-up band and collect the coins and mushrooms from the different areas of the theme.



You can also get an ultimate dining experience at Toadstool Cafe and you can also do some shopping at 1-UP Factory Store. 


Super Nintendo World at Universal Studio
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studio

One of the things, you shouldn’t miss is meet and greet with Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach and get a picture with them.


Lower Lot Universal Studio
Lower Lot Universal Studio

Ride at Super Nintendo World:


a. Mario Kart: Bowser Challenge


We entered Bowser’s iconic castle and passed through the hall of medals and trophies put on the goggles and joined Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach in Mario Kart to compete with Bowser.



It’s a 4D ride. Throughout the ride, we passed by underwater clouds and collected coins.  


Mario Kart Bowser Challenge at Universal Studio
Mario Kart Bowser Challenge at Universal Studio

Ending  note: 


After spending two amazing days at Universal Studios Hollywood, our experience of adventure and fun comes to an end. During your trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, don’t forget to snap some photos at iconic spots like in front of the famous Universal Studios globe or with your favorite movie characters roaming the park.

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