HARRY POTTER, HARRY POTTER, HARRY POTTER.
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.
Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system! As you may be able to guess, we are massive Harry Potter fans! BUT, we are also massive Disney fans. This left us with a difficult choice to make when we were in the planning stages of our Californian roadtrip. We were only visiting for seven nights and we also had to keep a reasonable budget. We had not long come back from Walt Disney World a few months before, so we (eventually) decided upon Universal studios.
We didn’t have in mind which rides or what things we wanted to experience, so we just turned up and got stuck in.
Hogwarts Castle is just incredible. In fact, the theming in this area of Universal Studios is perfect. The attention to detail is mind blowing! It really is an immersive experience. It transports you from California to Hogsmead and Diagon Alley!
When we were here, in late October the queue lines were thankfully short. The maximum time we waited for a ride was ten minutes! This allowed us to do more in a shorter space of time, which was unexpected. We enjoyed The Flight of the Hippogriff three times in a row, without having to get off and re join the line (because there wasn’t one!). Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was also just walk on, so we went on that a couple of times. You have to be slightly taller for this ride so we used the parent switch, which is available for some of the rides.
We couldnt leave Hogsmede without stopping off for a delicious frozen Buterbeer. It is the best thing ever! Cools you down, tastes great and you can pretend to be a wizard…
The park is naturally split into two different areas, the upper and lower lot, because Universal Studios Hollowood is situated on a hill – a very big hill. They are connected by escalators, called the Starway. You wouldn’t want to walk it!
Down to the lower lot, we experienced the parks most iconic and unique attraction, the Studio Tour. This takes you behind the scenes, to Universal Studios back lot, which homes sets and backdrops used in lots of their films. It is a working studio, so each experience may be different, depending on what is being filmed on the day. When we did this a lot of the sets and back drops were set up for halloween. During the tour you also experience King Kong: 360 3D and Fast and Furious: Supercharged, which are both 3D experiences.
We stayed on the lower lot to do the rest of the rides including Transformers, Curse Of The Mummy and Jurrasic world. There are good charachter meets for transformers and Jurrasic park outside the rides.
Whilst we were visiting, the park was closing early for Halloween Horror Nights. This suited us, because we were all tired from travelling.
We decided to eat out of the park, so we took a walk through Citywalk to find some dinner. We decided on Hard Rock Cafe, which is normally a bulletproof option.
One of the perks of visiting a theme park with children is the excuse to go on things that you may class as ‘kids rides’. We personally have no shame and will ride things with or without our kids! Universal Studios has lots of things for children of all ages to do. Super Silly Fun Land is, well, exactly that! Its theming is all things Minion! It will certainly catch your eye, with its colourful attractions and catchy music playing in the background. Most childrens dreams or most hungover adults nightmares could be realised here! Our favourite part of Super Silly Fun Land was the wet play area inspired by the carnival scene in Despicable Me. Being from the sometimes (mostly) chilly UK this was the perfect way to let the children cool off! This area comes with a changing area and lockers, because swim wear is a must.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is just across the way from here, which fits in nicely with the themimg. Side note- if you get motion sickness remember to take your anti sickness before attempting this ride!
Another great area for children is the Simpsons area. The Simpsons ride is a 3D adventure, where you are taken along for the Simpson family day, out at the fair. If you have ever watched the Simpsons you will know that this will not be a straight forward trip! The minimum height for this attraction is 40″, but our five year old measured up ok!
Across the two days, we had lots of character interactions, which is always great for a photo opportunity!
During our two day visit we went to see the WaterWorld show. It was brilliant! It had explosions, jet skis, fighting and a (*SPOILER*) epic plane crash! This is something you just have to see if you visit Universal Studios Hollywood. we didnt get many pictures because our eyes were firmly glued on the action!
All in all we had a great couple of days here.We could have rushed it all in one day because of the small crowds and short queue lines, but were able to take our time.
If you get the chance to visit it is definately worth a day trip.
Don’t forget the anti-sickness!!