Top 10 Must Sees at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood Tour

 |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa

Universal Studios Hollywood™ is the only authentic, working movie studio and theme park in the world. It's as much a can’t-miss for visitors as it is a popular weekend attraction for L.A. locals.

From the world famous Studio Tour to thrilling rides and family friendly attractions, the magic of moviemaking is made real for everyone who comes to experience it. We round up our top ten Universal studios attractions for your next visit.

VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood

VIP Experience | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

VIP Experience

Book the VIP Experience for the ultimate behind-the-scenes visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. Tickets to the VIP Experience are about $399 per person (with discounts available various times of the year), and include exclusive features such as:

  • Tour the backlot in a special trolley that lets you disembark and explore areas not open to the general public.
  • VIP guide who immerses you in Universal Studios history, gives you no-wait, front-of-the-line access to all rides, and finds the best seats at any show.
  • Gourmet lunch in the private VIP dining room, valet parking, and VIP entry and exit from the park.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal Studios Hollywood

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

HOGWARTS IS NOW IN HOLLYWOOD! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is one of the West Coast’s greatest entertainment experiences. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Soar above Hogwarts with the thrilling Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, or spiral and dive around the pumpkin patch when you ride the family-friendly Flight of the Hippogriff™ roller coaster.

Coming soon, the all-new “Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle” projection display brings to light an exciting new dimension of sorcery within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  A mesmerizing pageantry of light, music and special effects will unleash the darkest creatures and villains from the Wizarding World, including the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort™.  Accompanied by an atmospheric music score created by John Williams, this powerful spectacle is an unforgettable end to your day.

Preview the show starting April 13 during select nights: April 13-28, May 25-27.

Universal Studios Fast and Furious Supercharged

Fast & Furious - Supercharged | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

2. Fast & Furious - Supercharged

Based on the Fast & Furious action movie series, Fast & Furious - Supercharged is a dynamic hydraulic-motion based ride that catapults guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars. Fast & Furious - Supercharged is housed in a 50,000 square-foot building and tells an original Fast & Furious story with hyper-realistic special effects that immerse guests in the adrenaline-fueled Fast & Furious universe. State-of-the-art 3D-HD imagery is projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen, spanning nearly 400 feet in length to encircle Studio Tour passengers.

The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood

The Simpsons Ride™ | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

3. Springfield - The Simpsons Ride™

A more family-friendly attraction, The Simpsons Ride™ takes you on a virtual reality roller coaster ride through Krusty the Clown’s low-budget theme park, Krustyland. The Simpsons' hometown, Springfield comes alive with favorite locations from the award-winning animated series. From famous eateries like Krusty Burger, Luigi’s Pizza and Phineas Q. Butterfat’s 5600 Flavors Ice Cream Parlor to iconic watering holes like Moe’s Tavern and Duff’s Brewery, guests will feel as if they’ve stepped through their TV and into the colorful city of Springfield.

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

4. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Inspired by the blockbuster Despicable Me animated movies, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is an Ultra-HD movie motion-simulator ride and along with Super Silly Fun Land, an outdoor family play zone, two of the best attractions for kids at Universal Studios Hollywood.



Tighten your laces and stretch your hamstrings, the first-ever Running Universal kicks off on May 11 featuring the mischievous Minions! As your 5K adventure begins you'll rush through the Front Gate and Upper Lot of the theme park. Next, you'll find yourself at the Universal Backlot where you'll run past some of the most iconic film sets in Hollywood. Finally, race to a picture-perfect finish at the 5 Towers on Universal CityWalk™ which will host a spectacular party with live music, food and post-race swag.

Transformers™: The Ride-3D at Universal Studios Hollywood

Transformers™: The Ride-3D | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

5. Transformers™: The Ride–3D

Transformers™: The Ride-3D is an immersive, next generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality. Fusing HD 3D media and flight simulation technology, this epic ride creates an experience that's unlike anything this planet has ever seen. Based on the popular movie franchise, this mind-blowing Transformers adventure puts you in the middle of the ultimate war zone.

Universal Studios Hollywood Tour

Universal Studios Hollywood Tour

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

6. Studio Tour

The world-famous Studio Tour is perhaps the most legendary attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. Narrated by Jimmy Fallon, the Studio Tour offers guests the chance to explore the working backlot of a real Hollywood movie studio. The tram ride takes visitors past sets from films like War of the Worlds, Psycho, Jaws and others, with a fiery special effect or two thrown in for good measure. The tour also includes filmmaker Peter Jackson’s heart-pounding King Kong 360 3D, the world’s largest 3D experience.

Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

7. Halloween Horror Nights

From the movie studio that invented the horror film genre, L.A.'s premier Halloween event turns up the terror like never before. Based on the most frightening films and television series, Halloween Horror Nights feature all-new mazes, scare zones and the Terror Tram on select nights starting in September.

WaterWorld® at Universal Studios Hollywood

WaterWorld® | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

8. WaterWorld®

If you’ve ever wanted to see an action movie in real life, this is your chance. The top-rated WaterWorld® show features wild jet ski tricks, massive pyrotechnics, and an unforgettable plane crash. Pro tip: don’t sit in the front “Soak Zone” unless you’re prepared to get waterlogged. With new sets, a new cast, and all new action, WaterWorld is one show at Universal Studios Hollywood you can’t miss!

Universal Studios Hollywood Special Effects Stage Show

Special Effects Show | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

9. Special Effects Show

How do they make monsters come to life? What is CGI? And how do those 3D images pop out of the screen like that? Audiences at the Special Effects Show will find out all the answers when they get a behind the scenes look at these amazing filmmaking secrets and more.

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

10. Shopping and Entertainment at Universal CityWalk

With over 30 stores, 30 dining options, 6 nightclubs, live outdoor entertainment and a 19-screen movie theater - including a seven-story IMAX - Universal CityWalk is a one-stop destination for entertainment that's located just steps from Universal Studios Hollywood. Be sure to check out the state-of-the art 5 Towers concert venue which showcases live, free entertainment all year long.


TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2013 Hasbro. © 2013 DreamWorks, LLC and Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved. THE SIMPSONS TM & ©2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved War of the Worlds ©2012 by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks LLC. All Rights Reserved...©2013 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.