If you are planning a trip to California, you must check out the best things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood as you prepare for the time of your life!
Disclosure: I am a partner of Universal Studios. All opinions are my own.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Nestled in San Fernando Valley hills is the awesome theme park and film studio that has brought decades of entertainment to people all over the world. Our family made sure to add this stop on our California vacation a few months back and we truly had a fantastic time.
Universal Studios Hollywood not only has rides and shows but also gives guests a backstage experience like no other. I love that each time we head into the park, there are new things to see, do and even eat!
Best Things to Do at Universal Studios Hollywood
You can literally spend an entire day at the park and not experience everything. If you are like our family we often have short trips and we want to get the most out of them. I decided to pull together the 5 best things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Most theme parks have quick rides that stand alone as roller coasters, water rides or some other topsy turvy type of ride. Universal Studios Hollywood continues their epic storytelling with the thrill rides and themed lands.
I think what makes the thrill rides at Universal Studios Hollywood unique is that they are not your typical rides. They take you into the story and make you feel like you are literally in the movie. It is so cool to walk into Jurassic World and jump on the ride which essentially puts you in that tourist mode, listening to the soundtrack from the movies, while a exciting narrator guides you through and you take in the sights and sounds that you have only seen on the big screen.
The Forbidden Journey located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter allows guests to literally walk through hogwarts, watching the paintings move, the sorting hat interact and more. Guests are placed on the ride which puts them directly in the movie in an immersive ride like no other. Universal Studios makes sure that the thrill of the ride and the story are both interactive and epic.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Ollivanders
We could quite literally spend an entire day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Between the rides, the sights, the food, the shopping and the spells, of course this land makes the list of best things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood. However, you MUST make a stop at Ollivanders to get your wand so you can make the most of this magical experience.
Ollivanders offers and immersive experience which then allows guests to step into the shop with floor to ceiling wands of some of our favorite characters from the movie. However, what is so special about these wands is that they are interactive. Throughout the land there are medallions in the pathway which directs wizards young and old on how to cast a spell and if done correctly actual magic happens right before your eyes!
Character Meet and Greets
One of the experiences that Universal Studios does the best is their character meet and greets. Characters are literally everywhere and they are non-stop. Getting pictures with your favorites is quick and often very personalized.
I love that you hardly had to wait to snap a photo and that the character actors not only are great but also take a full interest in the people they are there to entertain. We have been to other character parks where you have to wait sometimes hours to meet characters which takes away from your time experiencing the rest of the park, however, Universal Studios has made this experience a top priority and it shows.
One of the absolute best things to do at Universal Studios is the studio tour hosted by Jimmy Fallon (well some pre-recordings of him). This is about an hour long experience but let me tell you that it is totally worth it!
Not only are guests driven around Universal Studios sound stages and film lots but they have also made sure to make this a bit of an exciting ride with unexpected twists and turns. You are able to see classic movie sets and props while learning about movie secrets.
You also might get some sneak peeks of current movies and shows that are filming right there on the lot. While we were there, they had 2 shows filming live and we even saw the actors moving through the sets!
Always Something New
I mentioned above that no two days at Universal Studios Hollywood are ever the same. There is literally always something new and exciting either coming or happening. From new lands like Super Mario World slated to open in 2023 to Halloween Horror Nights and more.
Universal Studios is always innovating, changing and working hard to bring the best experiences for their guests! You can check out their event calendars, hours of operation and even purchase tickets on their website.