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Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood

Lights, camera, action – it’s your guide to Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal Hollywood is built right into the hills of Hollywood, with beautiful views, fun rides, and a lot of history that theme park lovers will enjoy. So, if you want to learn more about Universal Studios Hollywood, keep reading.

Our guide is going to dive into the details of Universal Hollywood, so keep reading. If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your next theme park vacation and need additional help or are looking for discounted theme park tickets, check out our trusted travel partner The Park Prodigy!

Universal Studios Hollywood

Do you like classic films like Back to the Future, Jaws, or Jurassic Park? Universal Studios Hollywood is a theme park that has access to “hot sets” on the studio lot that gives film lovers a peak behind the curtain. This theme park is surprisingly accessible, due to its size and construction, there is very little walking with a lot of escalators or elevators. We love that USH (Universal Studios Hollywood) has kept the old charm of the park with the Famous Lot Tour but blends new technology and themes to keep it exciting.

What are the best things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood?

  • Check out the new Super Mario World
  • Classic rides – Famous Studio Lot Tour
  • Enjoy a less crowded Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Try some of the restaurants
  • Hang out with the characters
  • Watch a show or two – You’ve got to check out Waterworld, just avoid the green seats if you don’t want to get wet

Related post: The Top 8 Restaurants at Universal Studios Hollywood

Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World was the highlight of our trip when we visited Universal Studios Hollywood, even though it is smaller than it’s counterparts. You can ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, which combines AR (augmented reality) goggles, familiar Mario Kart tracks and all the characters you love. You can also participate in the Power Up Band challenges, which had us running around the park like kids again.

What to do at Super Nintendo World Hollywood:

  • Ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge
  • Do all 4 Power Up Band challenges to the final Bowser Jr. Showdown challenge (which was our favorite)
  • Get the Princess Peach cupcake at Toadstool Cafe
  • Meet Toad, Mario, Luigi or Peach

Related post: Complete Guide to Super Nintendo World Hollywood

Universal Hollywood Rides

We’ve already mentioned the Mario Kart ride in Super Nintendo World, but there are actually plenty of really fun rides to do in USH. There are unique rides from the Universal Orlando park, like Secret Life of Pets, which is one of our favorites and Jurassic World the Ride.

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is the exact same no matter what park you visit, so if you’ve done it once, you don’t have to ride again. Our favorite ride is The World-Famous Studio Tour ride, which is a longer ride that has a guide that brings you through the Universal Studio lot sets.

Universal Hollywood rides:

Universal Studios Hollywood features a variety of exciting rides that cater to all types of thrill-seekers. Here’s a list of the rides you can enjoy at the park:

  1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – A thrilling ride through Hogwarts Castle.
  2. Flight of the Hippogriff – A family-friendly roller coaster.
  3. Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride – A high-speed indoor roller coaster.
  4. Jurassic World – The Ride – A water ride with realistic dinosaur animatronics.
  5. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash – A cute ride based on the animated movie with an incredible queue
  6. The Simpsons Ride – A 3D motion-simulator ride.
  7. Transformers: The Ride – 3D – An immersive 3D ride featuring the Transformers.
  8. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – A fun ride based on the Despicable Me movies.
  9. DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda – A 3D theater experience. We took a nap during this ride because the air conditioning was incredible
  10. Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge – The AR Mario Kart ride in Super Nintendo World.
  11. Silly Swirly Fun Ride – A spinner ride for kids.
  12. The World-Famous Studio Tour – Brings you around the Universal Studio sets with other fun immersive experiences.

Related post: Ultimate Guide to DreamWorks Land in Universal Studios Florida

Low Crowds in Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you’ve been to Universal Orlando, you’ve probably had the intense anxiety we have with the crowds. While the Universal Hollywood version does not have Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, everything else is the same. So, if you want to see the shops or views of Hogwarts Castle without huge crowds – you’ll love Universal Hollywood!

Related post: All Universal Orlando Events You Need to Know About

Universal Hollywood Restaurants

Not everything is a hit at Universal Hollywood, but we had an incredible time trying Toadstool Cafe and Minion Cafe. Universal CityWalk also has great choices, which are attached to the park for extra fun and dining.

We tried nearly the entire menu at Toadstool Cafe and were surprised by the taste and quality of the food. We LOVED the garlic fries and recommend the Princess Peach cupcake to anyone who likes sweets! Minion Cafe also had some great grab-and-go options with cool theming and decent pricing for those who love Despicable Me.

The best restaurants in Universal Hollywood

  1. Three Broomsticks: Located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this restaurant offers traditional British fare like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and the famous Butterbeer.
  2. Krusty Burger: Found in Springfield, this spot offers themed burgers, including the “Krusty Burger” and the “Clogger Burger”​
  3. Toadstool Cafe: Part of the Super Nintendo World, this restaurant features Italian dishes with a playful Super Mario theme​
  4. Jurassic Cafe: This quick-service spot in the Jurassic World area serves American fare, including burgers and salads
  5. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.: Located at Universal CityWalk, this seafood restaurant is themed after the movie “Forrest Gump” and offers a variety of shrimp dishes
  6. Hollywood and Dine: This cafeteria-style restaurant offers a variety of dishes and changes its menu seasonally​
  7. Luigi’s Pizza: A quick-service spot offering pizza slices and other Italian favorites, conveniently located inside the park
  8. Minion Cafe: Located in the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem area, this cafe serves fun, themed food like the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac ‘n Cheese, and Minion-themed desserts

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Universal Hollywood Characters

We love the characters at Universal Hollywood, and have met a handful of them (with Toad being our favorite). You can find characters in every single land depending on who you’re looking to meet.

Super Nintendo World Characters:

  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Toad
  • Princess Peach

Upper Lot Characters:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Woody Woodpecker
  • Dracula
  • Frankenstein’s Monster
  • A Mummy
  • Doc Brown
  • Betty Boop
  • Scooby Doo and friends at the Mystery Machine
  • Hello Kitty
  • Curious George
  • Shrek and Donkey
  • Gru and the Girls (Margo, Edith, Agnes, Dru) Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls
  • Regular Minion and Purple Minion (outside of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem)
  • The Simpsons, Krusty the Clown and Sidecar Bob in Simpsons Land

Lower Lot

  • Bumblebee, Megatron, Optimus Prime
  • Jurassic Park and World Dinos – Blue the Raptor, baby raptor Tango and Juliet the triceratops

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Universal Studios Hollywood Shows

The shows are unmatched at Universal Hollywood, with WaterWorld shocking us with how action-packed it was going to be. We also were soaked in the green seats while seeing WaterWorld – so know – they are not lying YOU WILL GET WET!!!!! With that being said, you should go see it if you want to be dazzled with pyrotechnics, stunts and more.

Universal Hollywood shows:

  1. WaterWorld: This live-action show features jet skiers, firefights, explosions, and a giant plane crash, based on the events of the movie “WaterWorld.” It’s a must-see for its impressive stunts and special effects.
  2. Harry Potter Ollivanders Wand Shop: An interactive demonstration where the wand chooses the wizard. Guests can purchase souvenir wands, including interactive ones that work in various locations around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  3. Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle: A nighttime projection show on Hogwarts Castle, celebrating the four Hogwarts houses. There is also a holiday-themed show during the Christmas season.
  4. Raptor Encounter: Featuring Blue, the popular raptor from “Jurassic World,” as well as a baby raptor and a life-size triceratops. It’s a thrilling character meet-and-greet experience.
  5. DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda: A 4D experience with seat vibrations and water mist (we napped on this ride because the AC was incredible)
  6. Universal’s Animal Actors: A live show featuring trained animal performers from various movies and TV shows.
  7. Special Effects Show: This show gives a behind-the-scenes look at how special effects in movies are created, featuring demonstrations of pyrotechnics, makeup effects, and more.

Related post: How to Ride A Universal Mardi Gras Float

Ready to Go on a Magical Theme Park Journey?

We hope this guide sprinkles a little magic on your plans for Universal Hollywood. Our insights come straight from the heart of the parks, where the magic happens every day. We’re thrilled to share our firsthand experiences and tips to help you create unforgettable moments!

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