Summer Amusement at Universal Studios Hollywood

We kicked our first week of summer off with a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood this week and would definitely recommend adding this to your “Summer Fun” to-do list!

My littles are almost 6 and almost 3, and here are some of our top tips for rocking out a trip to Universal.

The tickets aren’t cheap, but they are totally less than some other local theme park alternatives, so that’s a plus.

They do run deals sometimes, so make sure you check Groupon and their website before you purchase tickets. When we got ours in December it was “buy a day and get a year free” so for the price of one day we got season passes!! How cool is that!?

Highlights:

The Tram Tour.

Classic, right? I don’t think I’ve been on the tram tour since I was a kid, seriously. That was one of our first stops, and even on a busy summer week day, the wait was only 5 minutes- so hitting that before noon is a good idea.

Pros: My husband and I loved it! Old school Jaws, Earthquake and an upgraded 3D version of King Kong are still there!!!!

Cons: The first 15, maybe more, minutes or so is a LONG COMMERCIAL for NBCUniversal, so be ready for that, it’s hosted by Jimmy Fallon so it’s cute and funny, but my kids were like “what is happening right now?!”

General: It’s an hour long, so for cry eye GO POTTY first!!!! There is a bathroom right before you get in line, don’t skip it! You might get wet. It’s Burbank in the summer, so you dry quickly, but when they say it, they mean it.

It’s LOUD and for the King Kong, Earthquake, and Fast & Furious parts, the Tram shakes and moves quite a bit. My kids did not love it, and the little one in front of us (my son’s age) was crying through those parts.

Hogsmede

I adore Harry Potter. Big fan. Along with the other 94 million or so people who agree it’s awesome. If you like HP even a little bit, you have to do a dip into Hogsmede and see how incredible every detail is.

Pro: They really nailed it, every little shop, the Butterbeer, really, it’s amazing. There are also 2 rides there, and if you have roller coaster sized kiddos, check them out and let me know! My hubby and I are going to have to go with NO kids sometime because we really want to spend more time checking all the HP fun and rides out!!

Con: CROWDED, like, with a capital C. It’s definitely what you could call the main attraction, we’ve been several times this year so I think my kids are super over it at this point.

General: Get a Butterbeer, take a selfie in front of Hogwarts, you’ve officially lived.

GIANT donut at Moe’s Tavern for a Duff Beer at Universal Studios Hollywood

Springfield USA

Absolutely worth the stop at Lard Lad for a GIANT, and I mean GIANT donut and later in the day, swing by Moe’s Tavern for a Duff Beer!

They also have carnival games, and a ride that my kids refuse to go on.

Pros: Probably our favorite spot to eat lunch, and there is also a boardwalk area with games, there’s also a bathroom behind the Kwik-E-Mart

Cons: None

Minions:

Splash Pad at Universal Studios HollywoodThis is my daughter’s FAVORITE and there is a MASSIVE splash pad!!!

NEED TO KNOW: Pack a swimsuit, towels and WATER SHOES!!! They WILL NOT LET YOU IN THE SPLASH PAD WITH OUT SHOES ON. They sell minion flip flops for $15, so really, hook yourself up by bringing your own water shoes. I would also suggest doing other stuff first, since there is no wait at the splash pad and it can be tough to get them out once they are in there.  Again, a ride my kids are a hard pass on, it is very similar to Star Tours, so if you or your kids like that, go for it!

Pros: fun, wet, great break from the heat

Cons: the shoe thing is major, we went with friends and none of us knew about it so it was $15 minion flip flops for everyone…..except my 2 year old, they only sell “big kid” sizes so she was unable to go play in the water, thankfully she fell asleep right then! Lucky us!!

Universal Studios Hollywood

Animal Show:

For our kids (2-5) this was the best option for the shows, it was cute, short and covered in shade! Highly recommended.

Downstairs:

Meet a very cool animatronic dinosaur from Jurassic World! Both of my kids love this and it’s a must-see every time we go. There is also a little play area/park and you can meet a giant Transformer!

Pros: the park is fun for the kids to climb and play, the giant life like dinosaur and Transformers are awesome photo opps.

Cons: the 18 or so miles of escalator you have to go down to get there….and then back up.

General tips:

  • Bring your own water and snacks.
  • If possible upgrade to the preferred parking, otherwise it’s a pretty hefty walk through the center of City Walk to get from the parking to the park and back.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen, and re-apply often.
  • Keep an eye out for deals on Groupon and on Universal’s site too.
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