GuideUS

Your Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood

Explore Universal Studios Hollywood, one of California’s oldest film studios transformed into one massive theme park. This world-famous destination is the place to get lost inside Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including Harry Potter and Jurassic Park. Sneak a peek behind the scenes, learn the art of movie-making, and immerse yourself in spectacular special effects. Hop on heart-pumping roller coasters and intense motion simulator rides and zip through stunning studio sets, like Transformers: The Ride 3D and Studio Tour.   

Universal Studios Hollywood Globe (image via Rob Young, Flickr)
Universal Studios Hollywood Globe (image via Rob Young, Flickr)

Here’s your guide to Universal Studios Hollywood with all the things you need to know – from which rides are your best bets, to operating hours and expert tips!

Make the most of your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood:

Hours and Address:

  • Operating Hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm

  • Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA

  • Official Website: http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/

Universal Studios Hollywood Ticket Prices:

Ticket price will depend greatly on what day or season it is. During the peak season (mid-June through early September), tickets will be more expensive. But families can grab a deal starting from mid-September and onwards, during the off-peak season.

Save yourself the guesswork and get discounted tickets online through KKday.

  • Online Resellers (discounted)

One-day Ticket for Adults and Children: ~$91.17

You can book your discounted ticket ahead over here with KKday, and skip the long lines at the park entrance.

  • From Universal Studios Hollywood:

One-day Ticket for Adults: $124

One-day Ticket for Children: $124

  • Special Passes: Get exclusive VIP Perks such as unlimited express access and gourmet lunch by booking VIP passes here

Or if you’re not too keen on the VIP prices, get the Universal Express Pass here. You can skip to the front of the line (once on each ride) and enjoy priority seats on seated rides.

Park Attractions

The park boasts a wide range of blockbuster movie-themed rides and a glimpse into the world of film production. It may not be realistic to ride them all in one day (pssst, buy two-day tickets here), so we’re recommending all the must-try rides and attractions below.

Hogwarts Castle: Universal Studios Hollywood (image via Prayitno, Flickr)
Hogwarts Castle: Universal Studios Hollywood (image via Prayitno, Flickr)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Are you a Potterhead? This zone should be your first stop! Get your own wand at Ollivanders and cast nifty little spells around the shop.

Choose your wand at Ollivanders (image via vagueonthehow, Flickr)
Choose your wand at Ollivanders (image via vagueonthehow, Flickr)
  • Flight of the Hippogriff

Ride on a hippogriff, a magical creature which has the head of an eagle and the body of a horse. Dive through a pumpkin patch and delight in drops and turns over the picturesque Forbidden Forest and Hagrid’s Hut.

Despicable Me Minion Haven

Despicable Me Minion Haven (image via Ana Paula Hirama, Flickr)
Despicable Me Minion Haven (image via Ana Paula Hirama, Flickr)

Enter Gru’s home and start training to become one of his banana-loving minions! Plan an evil scheme and laugh out loud as hilarity unfolds during an interactive dance party.

Jurassic Park: The Ride

Jurassic Park: The Ride (image via Prayitno, Flickr)
Jurassic Park: The Ride (image via Prayitno, Flickr)

Hop on a raft and hang on for dear life as you escape from a ferocious T-Rex! Prepare to get wet – this flume ride features an astounding 84-foot drop.

Transformers: The Ride 3D

Transformers: The Ride 3D (image via Prayitno, Flickr)
Transformers: The Ride 3D (image via Prayitno, Flickr)

Get sucked right into the action on this exhilarating motion simulator ride. Thanks to green-screen technology and immersive sound effects, you’ll find yourself caught in the middle of a heated battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron.

Attractions exclusive to Universal Studios Hollywood:

Simpsons The Ride & Springfield

Simpsons The Ride & Springfield (image via Mathieu Marquer, Flickr)
Simpsons The Ride & Springfield (image via Mathieu Marquer, Flickr)

Explore Krustyland on this motion simulator ride and spot Springfields’ many colorful characters, like Homer and Bart, from the iconic TV show. Relive two decades full of laughter and gags through high-definition videos and miniature sets.

Don’t miss the highlight: Studio Tour

Studio Tour, Universal Studios Hollywood
Studio Tour, Universal Studios Hollywood

Dedicate an hour to ride through this massive, four-acre lot with your cool video host, Jimmy Fallon. Slip on your 3D glasses and hop aboard a tram that’ll take you through Hollywood’s best classics. See movie magic happening right before your eyes as you hurtle through the sets of films like Jaws, War of the Worlds, and The Fast & The Furious. Spoiler alert – watch out for King Kong as he tackles dinosaurs and sends your ride off course at breakneck speed!

Food & Souvenirs

Universal Studios has got plenty of options to fill your belly with around 27 restaurants and food stalls. For our insider tip, have lunch during off-peak hours in Hogsmeade and cap off your meal with sweet Butterbeer. Score chocolate frogs in Honeyduke or head to Citywalk for adorably pink Voodoo Doughnuts. Visit Moe’s Tavern and chug down an iconic Duff beer just like Homer Simpson. Or chomp into a delicious Krusty burger!

Honeydukes and Zonko's (image via Ruth Hartnup, Flickr)
Honeydukes and Zonko’s (image via Ruth Hartnup, Flickr)

The park also boasts over 18 themed merchandise shops, so we recommend to drop by your favorite movie attraction’s designated souvenir store. Get your fill of Harry Potter-themed items – aside from wands, you can get colored tumblers and scarves representing the 4 Hogwarts houses. Try sending a personalized letter from the Owlery.

Similarly, Kwik-E-Mart sells Simpson shirts and frames or donut-themed pillows and refrigerator magnets. Lastly, Hollywood-themed knick knacks can be found in Production Central, a boutique shop.

How To Get There:

By Train

Ride the Metrolink train (which is accessible from wherever you are staying in LA) to the Union Station in LA. From there, head in the direction of North Hollywood, but don’t forget to exit at Universal City. Disembark and ride a free shuttle to the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood.

  • Average fare (USD): ~$10
  • Duration: 25 mins
  • Get your Metrolink tickets here

Tips & Tricks:

  • Arrive early to be one of the first people in the park (8:00am) and experience almost zero waiting time for the first few rides!
  • Buy your tickets and Universal Express Passes in advance. The line to the entrance at the park’s opening hour will be the first of many (be warned!)
  • What to bring: Shades and a water bottle. Outside food and non-water drinks are not permitted, except for baby food
  • What to wear: Stay cool in the California heat by wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, and comfy shoes during the summer. Only add layers starting from October and onwards to winter, when the temperature drops to around 14°C
  • Best times to go in 2018 (avoid the crazy lines!): Non-holidays and Mondays through Thursdays. Expect most of the Fridays to Sundays and holiday season to pack the park full of tourists
  • Download the app: USH has its own mobile app to help you navigate via interactive maps and to help calculate waiting times

Fulfill countless Hollywood movie fantasies that you could only dream of before. Step into multiple worlds and relive iconic moments all in one day. Meet your favorite characters growing up or delve deeper into lands from the past and future. Grab your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets and embark on a star-studded adventure with KKday!

 
Tags: