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Universal Studios Hollywood

Home > Los Angeles > Theme Parks | Fun Things To Do | Fun for Children | Family
by Beth McGowan (subscribe)
I am a British traveller with a love for writing, photography, and fun! Hoping to share some of my experiences with the world. :)
Published May 14th 2013
For Movie Magic and Magic Movies
After the fond childhood and well adult memories of universal studios Florida, I was very excited to have the opportunity to go to universal studios in Hollywood.

We stayed in Banana Bungalow Hostel in West Hollywood and not having a car I thought would be a big problem getting around. However I was pleasently suprised when it came to getting to Universal. A bus stopped just up the road from our hostel which took us straight onto Hollywood blvd where we caught the metro one stop to universal city and across the road from the station there was a shuttle ready to take us up the hill to the park and city walk.

universal studios
A brilliant view of the studios in the valley


Apparently the end of April is a perfect time to hit the park. We queued for no longer than 10 minutes to get in and were offered a year pass for the same price as a day one. The weather was sunny but not too hot and the longest we queued for a ride was 20 minutes for the studio tour where the queue was well designed in the shade with fans and mist sprays.

We headed to the famous studio tour straight away, and having seen the universal Florida studio tour I expected to be amazed. However, this blew the Florida tour out of the water... quite literally. The tour was about 45 minutes long, not only showing props and sets from movies and shows including Desperate Housewives, The Grinch, Pyscho, War of the Worlds and Back to the Future, several interactions including a breath taking 3D adventure to King Kong's Skull Island, it also included detailed and interesting history on the actual studios. There was even a section where we had to be extra quiet as we passed a live set.

Munsters house
The orignal 'The Munsters' house now used in desperate housewives


We then headed to the special effects show which again was especially interesting and entertaining with demonstrations of basic camera tricks to green screens to the amazing CGI technology used these days and the progression of tricks of the trade.

We were then able to catch the animals of universal show which I especially enjoyed. This included birds from the remake of 310 to Yuma, and the adorable dog from Marley and Me. Great family fun.

After seeing the shows we wanted to watch we then chilled out for lunch preparing ourselves for scary overpriced theme park food and were pleasantly surprised. (Maybe this was because we had just come from expensive Australia). But the only thing I'd say was 'overpriced' was my water bottle which I kept with me and filled up throughout the day.

So we had the rest of the day to get on rides. We queued no longer than 10 minutes for any of the main rides, all of which were fantastic. Jurassic Park, The Mummy Returns, The Simpsons ride and my favourite; the Transformers ride which words cannot describe how good it was. AND to top it off I was able to meet Megatron when we came out.

megatron
I was one happy bunny helping Optimus Prime defeat Mega Tron


Finally after a bit of shopping we entered the 'house of horrors' which I thought was a show. Entering the house you are chased and jumped out on by actors dressed as universal's famous monsters. (Which took me about half way around to realise as I mainly had my eyes closed). But once I realised, I also saw the effort that went into this amazing maze of Frankenstien, Wolf Man, Dracula, Phantom, Egor and Norman Bates' shower scene. A definite highlight of the day and I only wish I'd been a bit braver in the beginning.

frankenstien
Us hanging out with Frankie


Overall this Universal didn't have as many attractions or rides as Florida Universal but the overall vibe of being in hollywood standing in studios where your favourite movies have been made and learning how it was done then and now truly made up for it.

After a busy day, we walked along city walk, had a lovely meal in the HardRock Cafe and a drink in the great atmosphere created by Howl at the moon.

So if you're heading for Hollywood definately hit up Universal.

dinosaur
Run Andy
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Why? For movie magic and magic movies
When: all year
Phone: 1-800-UNIVERSAL
Where: Hollywood
Cost: $80 for day pass
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