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Play Date at Universal Studios Hollywood

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Shout out to Universal Studios Hollywood…they provided our tickets for our play date!

The husband and I were talking about theme parks a few months back. He was born and raised in San Diego, California, but had never been to some of the parks California is known for. Universal Studios Hollywood came up and he realized he had never visited! To be fair, I had only been once and I was really young. Maybe seven or so? I remember it so vividly though, and vowed we would make the hour or so drive to go and check it out!

We visited the park this past Saturday and it was a perfect February day for California. Off season is the best time to go in my opinion, but there are many perks of going during the summer! Less chance to be rained on is one! Luckily, it rained a bit in the morning but cleared up around 9 a.m. and the rest of the day was perfect.

Directions to the park are super simple and GPS got us right into the parking lot. The park is really organized and has plenty of parking booths to get you in quickly. There are a few different lots, but we picked the Jurassic Lot to park in. We didn’t know we had to walk through City Walk at the time. Despite having to walk a little further to get into the park, we enjoyed being able to check out the shops and different restaurants in City Walk.

We arrived a half hour or so after the park opened. It was surprisingly slow! We expected as much since it was raining a bit. We were able to grab and enjoy our coffee before hitting the attractions.

Our first stop was Kung Fu Panda. We both loved the movies and we wanted to check it out. Our Universal Express Tickets got us right in front even though there was hardly a wait. You get ushered into a giant room before being seated. The show is amazing! It’s a multi-sensory and filled with state-of-the-art visual effects, 360 surround sound and sweeping physical effects! Both my husband and I were blown away! It was like we were really in the middle of all the action! The seats moved too, which gave it a more realistic feeling. I looked over several times and my husband had a big grin on his face, so I know he really enjoyed it!

After Kung Fu Panda we headed over into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To be honest, I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan. That’s only because I’ve yet to read the books or see all the movies. Spoiler…I’ll be reading all the books and watching all the movies after this visit. When entering The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you literally walk into another world. Everyone is creating magic with their wands and totally in the moment. There is magic everywhere! I had to try a famous Butter Beer and it did not disappoint one bit. I opted for the soda and loved every about it! Next time, I’m grabbing it hot! There are three attractions within The Wizarding World of Harry PotterHarry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of Hippogriff and Ollivanders Wand Shop. My favorite ride was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey!

After spending time in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter we ventured into Krustyland and rode the Simpsons Ride. Everything about Krustyland is straight out of an episode of The Simpsons! It was so much fun! We even got ourselves a giant donut!

Next up was the Special Effects Show, which we both highly recommend! It’s indoor and they have bleacher like seating which was nice. The show was amazing too! After the Special Effects Show we went over to the Studio Tour since it wasn’t a far walk.

Our Universal Express Tickets saved us again, and we got right on the Studio Tour. This was honestly one of the best things about the park in my opinion. We cruised the back lots of Universal Studios on a tram and learned tons of interesting facts about filming, sound stages and the history of the property. We got to see sets from popular movies and shows like The Grinch, Desperate Housewives and even the famous Bates Motel! The whole tour takes about 60 minutes, but it didn’t seem like that long at all! King Kong and Fast and The Furious are a part of the Studio Tour and I have to hand it to them, they did an amazing job! The effects were so life like and the technology was mind blowing! Both of us had a blast on the Studio Tour and would definitely recommend!

We then hit the lower level of the park to check out the two rides stashed away down there. It seems like they are under a bit of construction, so we both are hoping for more attraction in the future! Transformers: The Ride 3D and Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride were both amazing! Universal Express Tickets saved us a long wait yet again!

We wrapped up the day by riding Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and watching Waterworld and Universal’s Animal Actors. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem was super cute and fun! I laughed the entire ride! The technology is amazing! Waterworld was just amazing. The actors were wonderful and the show was extremely action packed and well done!

I almost forgot The Walking Dead Attraction! This was one of my favorites, even though it scared me half to death! It’s a walking attraction, kind of like a haunted house! If you have small children, I’d probably stay away. If you scare easy I think you would be okay if you really want to experience it! You walk through in a group of about ten or so, just stick to the center if you’re spooked easily! Universal did a fantastic job with this attraction!!

The husband and I both agree that Universal’s Animal Actors was our favorite show. Maybe it’s because we are total dog lovers! The show was so funny and all the animals were amazing!

We chatted about our day during the car ride home. We both agree that Universal Studios Hollywood was amazing and worth the visit! We loved being able to enjoy every show and ride every ride with the Universal Express Tickets. The Universal Express Ticketss are totally worth the extra money in our opinions. You literally get to pass the normal line and get right on the attraction in most cases. We also agree that the park was well laid out. Restrooms were around every corner and there was food choices for everyone with tons of seating and shade.

Having City Walk connected makes it easy for those who want to eat elsewhere and sit and relax before going home or back into the park. There is so much to do without leaving the property!

We will totally be back and look forward to any new attractions Universal Studios Hollywood might be adding in the future, and I can’t wait for another Butter Beer!

Pro Tips

Don’t hit the Starbucks at City Walk. It’s packed and you’ll be waiting in line a while. There’s a Starbucks right inside the park!!

Speak to someone before entering Ollivanders Wand Shop. If you have someone in your party that is celebrating a birthday, you might be able to get them chosen. I’m not sure if you have to have the VIP package or not, but it’s really neat!

If you don’t want to get wet during Waterworld, stay out of the splash zone and sit higher up in the bleachers. Also, if you want to exit quickly, sit near an exit!

Sit in the front, or as close as possible at the Universal’s Animal Actors. At the end of the show, they allow people to come up and pet the dogs!

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