Universal Studios- Los Angeles

We went to Universal Studios Los Angeles in 2015. And we went on a Sunday, which is not recommended, but I reasoned, it was the Sunday after Spring Break. It was actually quite quiet on the Sunday morning, and only got busier as the day progressed. Unfortunately for us, the new Harry Potter area  and ride was in the middle of construction, so we unfortunately missed out on seeing that. However there was plenty of other things to do. 

There was also a huge water play area for kids too, that I did not know about before our visit. My daughter A.J, just got wet. But if you have kids with you, take a change of clothes!

Activities we enjoyed were the Studio Tour, the Despicable Me 3D ride and The Simpsons ride. The Simpsons ride 3D we were told beforehand is the closest you can get to riding on a rollercoaster, without actually riding on a rollercoaster! Experiencing the ride, I tend to agree. There are only about 4-6 seats in a theatre, and you are completely surrounded by the screen, so the total immersion in the ride is right there in front of you. I also sat in the front row which I think added to the experience. Totally recommend. 

Purchasing anything in Universal Studios was prohibitively expensive. We brought in our own snacks and food. The souvenirs were so expensive I did not buy anything. Interestingly, outside of Universal Studios is a huge shopping area - large LED screens, restaurants and discount souvenir stores. Other then cheaper food, I would look here for souvenirs too. For an idea, inside Universal Studios they were asking for $15 US for a key chain.

My daughter A.J loved the Despicable Me ride so much we went on that 4 times. Its also a 3D ride, but the graphics are so good, you feel like you are right there in the thick of the action.
Despicable Me ride

The Studio tour, this was my ‘must do’ in Universal Studios. It was great to see movie sets of long ago movies like ‘Psycho’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ and see some great effects, where the VIPS stayed like Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock and the battle between King Kong and a Dinosaur (best bit). They also passed by the houses from 'Desperate Housewives'. The tram tour was narrated by Jimmy Fallon.

This was on the Studio Tour, cars from the Back to the Future II movie. It was a bit odd that they weren't under much cover and outside in the elements

Norman Bates Motel - apparently a vacancy!
The Back to the Future Car
Ok, this photo is not that great, but I wanted to show that the timer in the car was set to October 26 1985!



There was a museum inside Universal Studios, and other then the odd 'Oscar' on display it had a fantastic display of props from the 'Back to the Future' movies that I absolutely adored. I did not know about this before our visit so this was a great surprise. There used to be a 'Back to the Future' ride many years ago, unfortunately that was decommissioned many years ago. My DH has been on it and said it was great. However, due to new technology, presumably, it was considered a bit old hat.

Lastly, the shows at Universal Studios are informative and great. My daugher A.J loved the Animal show and Dear Husband D.H liked the Waterworld show. This is exactly the same show as the one in Universal Studios Singapore.



How to see the most in your day at Universal Studios, Hollywood


Universal Studios is on two levels. It is joined by multiple steep escalators. You really don’t want to be double tracking up and down the escalator doing different rides on different levels as this wastes precious time.



Best piece of advice is to go as early as possible.



Use the Universal Studios App and watch the opening times of rides. The rides on the lower level open 1 hour later than the rides on the top level. It has been suggested to ride the lower rides ‘as they open’ as the queues only get longer as the day progresses. Our strategy was to ride ‘Despicable Me’ ride upon Universal Studios opening – and then go down to the lower level rides. An alternative would be to ride the Harry Potter rides first then go down to the Lower Level. Once you have done those lower level rides, come back up to do the upper level rides and the Backlot tour (with the Backlot tour to be done earlier rather then later – so you don’t miss it).



Get the Express Pass (the one that allows you entry once on to every ride, not the unlimited pass).

Don’t miss the Backlot tour! It’s a highlight. The queue builds during the day. Just don’t miss it!
 

To read more about other theme parks in the U.S.A, please check out the following links:


San Diego Zoo  
San Diego Sea World
Anaheim Disneyland
California Adventure Park



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