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Universal Studios Hollywood - Top Tips

Hogwarts at Night

Photo by Elizabeth Bickford

Universal Studios is quickly growing in notoriety in Southern California. The reasonably priced SoCal tickets and year round rates are great reasons for locals to stop in regularly. I have been visiting the park regularly over the last two years and I must say I have carved out some favorites: MUST see, do, and EAT!

Photo By Elizabeth Bickford

Tips for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

People who love Harry Potter will be sucked into this land and you will not want to leave! When the time finally did come for me to return to reality I kept glancing back over my shoulder for one more look! While you are there it is important to go into every corner of this land. Even the bathrooms have that something extra (Moaning Myrtle resides in the ladies room).

#1 Go straight to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey first - the line can become very long and the earlier the better for this one!

#2 Head to the second Butterbeer cart - located between Ollivanders and the entrance to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - this line is usually shorter than the one on main street.

#3 If you prefer to skip the Ollivander interaction you can enter the shop though the side entrance or pick up your wand at the cart located near the exit for the Flight of the Hippogriff.

#4 If you have a little one with you they can take a walking tour of the Castle without going on the ride - the line is non-existent and you get to see all of Hogwarts!

Photo by Elizabeth Bickford (I also ate the whole thing)

Tips for Upper Lot

The Upper lot is the best place to grab a meal! Don't get me wrong there are some great snacks and treats on the bottom lot but the food options are plentiful up top.

#1 Breakfast is your friend at the Three Broomsticks! I am in love with the Full English Breakfast! It is the best time to dine at the restaurant and there is not much of a line. TRICK - I recommend getting a frozen Butterbeer with your is included!

# 2 Super Silly Fun Land's play area is a great option for letting the kids get their wiggles out from waiting in line or sitting in strollers . TRICK -The playground is wet in the summer and dry in the winter - bring a change of clothes in summer!

Photo by Elizabeth Bickford

Tips for the Lower Lot

Lower lot is a great place for fast rides and unexpected character meets -Transformers and Dinosaurs rule over this lot!

#1 Head over here as soon as you finish with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. By the time you finish all the rides on the lower lot you will notice substantially higher wait times - this is a time saver!

#2 Prepare for a wet ride on Jurassic park - TRICK - I always bring a poncho from the dollar store for this ride because I hate walking around damp!

Photo by Elizabeth Bickford

Tips for the Studio Tour

I absolutely love the studio tour. I used to think "the tour...once you have done it, no need to do it again', but that is not true! Every time I ride the tour I see something new! In fact, the last time I was on the tour I saw the lot set up for "The Good Place" and the time before that I saw them filming "Revenge". It just blows my mind thinking about all the great things you can see on this tour!

#1 Don't Skip it!

#2 Don't sit in the cart behind the motor...You cannot hear the guide and that is KEY!

#3 Always have your phone ready and hold on to it tight!

Photo by Elizabeth Bickford

Tips for City Walk

There is always live music and tons of things to see! This is also a great place to grab dinner at the end of the night.

#1 This is the final place you want to explore. Its a good place to get souvenirs and treats.

#2 Donut miss Voodoo Doughnuts! (see what I did there...) These amazing treats are definitely something to write home about! Eat one in shop and take a few home!

With special events and new additions always coming up at Universal Studios Hollywood there is never a bad time to start planning your trip.

Photo by Elizabeth Bickford

News for Universal Studios Hollywood

Check out some of the newest things coming up (regularly updated):

Jurassic World Photo Opp - June 21st - Take advantage of the Jurassic World Premiere and head to Universal CityWalk to celebrate! Props and movie memorabilia will be on display for the event. Voodoo Doughnut will also be getting into the action with a limited edition Raptor Claw doughnut - only available until July 7th!

Photo by Anastasia Lee/NBC Universal

DreamWorks Theatre featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest” is officially is planned to open on June 15. This immersive mapping experience will be the first of it kind and state of the art. This technology would literally out the audience into the show! Plan your summer trip to Universal Hollywood around this opening date!!**

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