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UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOODSM

The world’s largest movie and television studio sprang from the imagination of cinema pioneer Carl Laemmle. In 1915, he bought a former chicken ranch, brought in cameras, lights, and actors, and started making silent films. The theme park began taking shape in 1964. Today, Universal Studios HollywoodSM gets more visitors (about seven million a year) than any other attraction in LA County.

NEED TO KNOW

prac_info 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City • 800-864-8377 • www.universalstudioshollywood.comOpen seasonal hours vary; call for details • Adm adults $124; adults or children under 4 ft (1.2 m) tall $129; under-3s free; discounted tickets are available online

Google Map

  • Dining inside the park is limited to snack bars and self-service cafés and restaurants. For a proper sit-down meal, get your hand stamped to allow re-entry and then head to one of CityWalk’s many superb restaurants.
  • Beat the crowds with the Front-of-the-Line Ticket or the guided VIP Experience, which includes an expanded Studio Tour (tours also in Spanish). Prices vary.
  • Print-at-home tickets are available online.
TopTen

Map of Universal Studios HollywoodSM

1. King Kong

Google Map

The King Kong 360 3-D is the first theme park attraction created by Peter Jackson, who directed the Oscar-winning 2005 film upon which it is based. Guests enter into a world where the film and tram are tied into a simulator that creates a titanic struggle between the 30-ft (9.1-m) tall gorilla and gigantic dinosaurs. It is billed as “the largest, most intense 3-D experience on the planet.”

TopTen

A tourist bus at the King Kong theme park

2. CityWalk

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A lively carnival atmosphere reigns along this studio-adjacent promenade with its mix of restaurants, shops, neon signs and entertainment venues.

3. Studio Tour

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For a look at movie-making, this 45-minute narrated tram tour of the actual working studio is a must. Cruise past 35 soundstages to the vast backlot and outdoor sets.

TopTen

Taking a tour of the actual studio is a must

4. The Simpsons Ride™

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Join the Simpsons in the Krustyland theme park as they try to save Bart from Sideshow Bob. The characters are all voiced by the original actors.

5. Jurassic World – The Ride

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An upgrade to the previous ride, this is part expedition and part thrilling water ride based on the film franchise.

TopTen

The imposing gates of Jurrassic World–The Ride

6. Revenge of The MummySM – The Ride

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The park’s first ever roller coaster is a psychological thrill ride that will bring you face to face with the fear of darkness, insects, speed, and heights.

7. Transformers™: The Ride 3-D

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Get caught in an intergalactic war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons in this popular ride.

8. DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung-Fu Panda

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This new multi-sensory experience uses groundbreaking interior projection mapping, 360 degree surround sound and a multitude of special effects on a trip with Master Po and his entourage.

9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Marvel at the remarkable detail in Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts Castle. The 3-D ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster will keep you happy.

TopTen

The Hogwarts castle from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

10. Water World®

Google Map

For the best stunts, catch this show where the polar ice caps have melted and all land lies beneath the sea. Memorable moments include a crash-landing seaplane and fireballs.

STUDIO GUIDE

Universal Studios is divided into upper and lower sections linked by a long, multisegmented escalator. All visitors receive a map that also lists that day’s show times. Note that it’s about a 10-minute stroll along CityWalk from the parking lot to the box office. The park is least busy midweek in the off-season (October to April). In summer, arrive before the doors open and race to the most popular attractions first.

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