“The Entertainment Capital of LA” is a live, working TV & movie studio and theme park in the unincorporated hillside town of Universal City. Initially created as a place where guests could tour film and TV sets, cutting-edge rides based on blockbuster films, exciting live shows full of stuntwork and pyrotechnics, and a vibe of showbiz glamor and Golden Era excitement now permeate the park, which has significantly expanded over a near-century. Other Universal Studios parks have since opened in Florida, Japan, and Singapore, but the Hollywood location is where it all began.
The Tram Tour is Universal’s signature attraction, taking guests on a guided journey through some of Hollywood’s most legendary sets and among props and vehicles seen in countless films and television shows. Unique to the tour are the King Kong 360, Jaws, and Earthquake attractions. Transformers: The Ride-3D opened in May of 2012, and features an intense combination of sensory effects, unexpected twists and turns, and immersive 3D film to carry guests through an epic battle between the righteous Autobots and the evil Decepticons. Jurassic Park – The Ride is a water ride where animatronic dinosaurs from the worldwide blockbuster film menace raft-riding passengers before they’re sent screaming down an 84-foot plunging drop. The Simpsons Ride is a treat for both casual viewers and hardcore fans of the beloved series, as Sideshow Bob hijacks Krusty the Klown’s new amusement park to send riders careening from the tiny town of Springfield to the farthest destinations imaginable, and back again.
General admission is $84, with discounted admission of $76 for guests 48” tall and under. Two-day passes are $89 for general admission, and $81 for guests 48” tall and under. 12-Month Annual Passes range from $109 to $159, depending on whether the pass has black-out dates and/or VIP privileges. Front of Line Passes, which cut down on waiting times, are $139, and VIP Experience tickets, which add visits to closed sets and escorted priority access to all rides, shows & attractions, are $299.
Best time to visit
Halloween Horror Nights, an event that takes place Thursday through Sunday, from late September through early November (and always on October 31), has become Southern California’s premiere Halloween-themed event. The entire park, including the backlot tour, becomes a world of mazes and “scare zones” based on famous horror films and monster movies, with an intensity strongly recommended for guests aged 13 and up.
Near by POI
Universal CityWalk is an entertainment and retail complex with many themed restaurants and shops, including Wolfgang Puck Bistro, Hard Rock Café, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and an AMC Theatre with IMAX. Its newest feature, 5 Towers, is an interactive outdoor concert venue. Warner Bros. Studios, in nearby Burbank, offers group, deluxe, and VIP tours of live sets where current television series’, talk shows, and feature films are in production.