If you love movies, you have probably fantasized about immersing yourself in them. Maybe you have wished you could see a real dinosaur like they did in Jurassic Park (and World), or you have wished to see a cute Minion up close and personal, or to enjoy the same donut that Homer does from The Simpson’s. Maybe you have wished you could walk right onto a movie set and see the magic behind the camera, and all the work that goes into making your favorite films. Believe me when I tell you, there is a place to do all of this, and so much more!
While going to Hollywood, California puts you right in the middle of all the movie making, Universal Studios Hollywood puts you in the middle of all the movie magic. They take the art of movie making and turn it into a wild ride, literally! With incredible amusement rides, like Jurassic World and Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey, you get to be in the shoes (or in this case the seat) of the characters from the movie. A T-Rex comes within feet of your boat and you soar on a broom high above Hogwarts. There is a little bit for every type of movie fan at Universal Studios Hollywood. From the little ones in your family who love the Minions, to the teens who like the thrill of Transformers, to the adults who enjoy the nostalgia of WaterWorld, there is something for everyone.
My favorite ride is the Studio Tour. This is where you really get to be immersed in the movie making side of the park, with a tour of the actual Universal Studios lot – both the front (sound stages) and back (city scenes) lots. While movies and TV shows are filming, you get to ride a tram through the lot and see the action that is happening behind the cameras in Hollywood. You never know who you might see strolling the streets! And what starts out as a simple tram tour turns into a thrill ride as you come upon King Kong, Jaws and the Bates Motel. It’s 60 minutes of true immersion into the world of movie making.
To make your visit as enjoyable as possible, and really allow you to relax and step right into the movies, follow the tips below…
- Utilize the Single Passengers Line. If you don’t mind riding solo, this line can shave off tons of time spent standing in line. On my last visit, this line got me onto the rides pretty much immediately, and sometimes, my sister and I still got to sit together.
- Visit in February. While it’s a cold, snowy month is most of the country, February in California is usually perfect theme park weather. It’s not too hot and not too cold. Plus, it’s right after the crowds the holidays bring, and right before spring break, so it’s less crowded.
- Take advantage of the Child Switch spaces. If you are parents of little ones, who maybe cannot go on every ride, you can still enjoy the park to the fullest. Most rides have a place where a parent can wait with children, until the other gets off the ride, then you just swap. That way, you only have to wait in line one time.
- Download the app before your visit. It not only has a park map, it shows the wait time for each ride and lets you set up alerts when the wait time drops. You can even check the menus of all the food stands and restaurants to find out where you might want to take your snack breaks.
- Check the calendar and see what fun events are coming up. Throughout the year, Universal Studios Hollywood puts on a lot of very cool events, like the Lunar New Year celebration I enjoyed during my last visit. Coming up, there is a Food & Wine Festival, as well as the famous Halloween Horror Nights.
- Go to Universal City Walk in the evening to enjoy a fun night out after your day at the park.
- See more tips from the pros at Universal Studios Hollywood here.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get into character and head to Universal Studios Hollywood to start enjoying all the magic of the movies!
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