One of the world's oldest continuously operating movie studios, Universal Studios Hollywood presents an entertaining mix of thrill rides and live action shows, plus a tram ride. The large California theme park cleverly integrates the shows and rides with behind-the-scenes presentations on movie-making.
First-timers should head straight for the tram tour, which takes visitors around the sound stages in the front lot, then heads to the backlot past the crash site from War of the Worlds, the vehicles from Jurassic Park, and the spooky Bates Motel from Psycho. Also prepare to face down King Kong, brave a flash flood, and survive a shark attack, a spitting dinosaur, and an 8.3-magnitude earthquake. The Studio Tour includes live commentary from one of the park's tour guides.
The Jurassic Park ride is a gentle float through a prehistoric jungle, while Revenge of the Mummy is a satisfying indoor roller coaster romp through Imhotep's Tomb. Fans of The Simpsons should not miss The Simpsons Ride, where you'll join Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie to soar high above the fictional Krustyland theme park in a virtual roller coaster. Other attractions include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can experience the magic like everyone's favorite wizard, and the fully immersive The Walking Dead attraction, which allows you to fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Get face-to-face with the famous shark from Jaws, experience Minion Mayhem, and visit the Desperate Housewives' Wisteria Lane.
Things to Know Before You Go
Some tours include a combination of tickets to Universal Studios and Anaheim theme parks or transportation from downtown LA.
Snack food and drinks, including beer and margaritas, are available throughout the park. The best choices, however, can be found at the adjacent Universal CityWalk, a promenade of restaurants, shops, bars, and entertainment venues.
How to Get to Universal Studios
Universal Studios is located in Universal City, west of Griffith Park, near Los Angeles. To get there, take the Hollywood Freeway and get off at either the Universal Center Drive exit or Lankershim Boulevard exit.
When to Get There
Universal Studios Hollywood is open year-round with varying opening hours. As with most popular attractions, you'll beat the crowds and get the most out of your ticket by arriving when the gates open.
Universal Studios Hollywood Options and Upgrades
Sign up for the VIP Experience to get behind the scenes and see the Universal Studios backlot. Stops on the tour are dictated by television show production schedules, but you'll be able to see what goes on at a working movie studio.