Top 10 Must Sees at Universal Studios Hollywood

The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood
The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood  |  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 | Photo: 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 from $349 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™ | Photo: 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.

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.

Water drop at Jurassic World - The Ride | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Water drop at Jurassic World - The Ride | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Raptor Encounter at Jurassic World - The Ride | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Raptor Encounter at Jurassic World - The Ride | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

2. Jurassic World - The Ride

Now open at Universal Studios Hollywood, Jurassic World - The Ride is more real, more intense, thrill ride than ever before! Besides the ride itself, highlights of the experience include:

  • Raptor Encounter - Meet Blue the Velociraptor and the friendly new Triceratops at the Raptor Encounter.
  • DinoPlay - Discover the interactive DinoPlay for kids area with new activities for our younger guests.
  • Isla Nu-Bar - Enjoy a selection of tropical inspired refreshments at the Isla Nu-bar with a tiki cocktail beneath the shady thatched roof.
  • Jurassic Café - Whether you have the appetite of a T. rex or just want to nibble, Jurassic Café is the perfect spot for a tasty bite of Costa Rican inspired cuisine.
  • Jurassic Outfitters - Commemorate the day you survived Jurassic World – The Ride with collectibles from Jurassic Outfitters, including t-shirts, hats, drinkware and jewelry.
Fast & Furious - Supercharged | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Fast & Furious - Supercharged | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

3. 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™ | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
The Simpsons Ride™ | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

4. 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 | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood
The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

7. 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.

Halloween Horror Nights featuring Stranger Things | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights featuring Stranger Things | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

8. 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 the most intense, spine-tingling event to besiege Southern California – now with more mazes than ever, on select nights starting in September.

WaterWorld® | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
WaterWorld® | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Special Effects Show | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Special Effects Show | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

9. Entertainment

Besides the incredible attractions and world-famous Studio Tour, the whole family will love the numerous entertainment options, including:

  • 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!
  • 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 | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal CityWalk | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

10. Shopping and Entertainment at Universal CityWalk

With over 30 stores, 30 dining options, six 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.