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Top 10 Must-Do's at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood opened in 1964 with one attraction, the now World-Famous Studio Tour. Today, the theme park has 10 out-of-this-world themed lands across the Upper and Lower lots, plus Universal CityWalk, an entertainment, dining and shopping destination to explore. The themed lands include Minion Land, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hollywood, Jurassic World, Production Plaza, Springfield, Studio Tour Plaza, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, Transformers Metrobase and WaterWorld. 

If you've been to Universal Orlando Resort, you may think the attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood are a carbon-copy of their Orlando counterparts but you'd be wrong. Universal Studios Hollywood offers some familiar attractions to Orlando, but they aren't identical. There are also themed lands and attractions that are unique to Hollywood and are absolutely worth a visit to the west coast to experience! 

Here's my list of the top ten Must Do's at Universal Studios Hollywood.

10. Raptor Encounter
You may have experienced the Raptor Encounter at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando but here's one of the attractions that is different on each coast. This Raptor Encounter is located next to the Jurassic World attraction and is more of a group viewing experience. Here, you can not only encounter Blue, perhaps the most famous Velociraptor, but you can also meet a friendly Triceratops and a baby raptor! 

9. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash
This unique to Universal Studios Hollywood attraction transports you to the exciting world of Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets. It's a kid-friendly attraction with a minimum height requirement of 34". The attraction is super cute and is a fun must-do for the whole family!

8. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™
This thrilling, motion simulator attraction isn't unique to Universal Studios Hollywood but it's still a must-do for fans of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Enter Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where you'll soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry, Hermione and Ron on a thrilling adventure. This ride has a minimum height requirement of 48" so it's not suitable for little ones but Child Swap is available. Universal Express Pass is also available. 

7. Jurassic World - The Ride
This attraction may look very familiar but it's not quite the same as Jurassic Park River Adventure in Orlando. You'll see a few different scenes with some different dinos, including the Indominus Rex from the Jurassic World movie. This is a water ride so be prepared to potentially get wet! There's also a 42" height requirement, with Child Swap, a Single Rider Line and Universal Express accepted. 

6. Revenge of the Mummy - The Ride
Located on the Lower Lot, you'll find Revenge of the Mummy - The Ride. It's another familiar attraction that's just different enough to provide some fun surprises for guests who love it's Orlando counterpart. Guests must be at least 48" tall to experience this attraction and even if they are tall enough, it might be too scary for younger guests. Child Swap is available for guests who are too short or too scared to ride. A Single Rider Line and Universal Express are also available.

5. The World-Famous Studio Tour
The original and only attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood when it opened, the Studio Tour is an approximate 60 minute tour of an actual working film studio. Go behind the scenes and see where some of your favorite films and television shows were (and are) filmed. The tour is quite long but it's jam packed with a ton of behind the scenes action! You'll experience King Kong 360 3-D and Fast & Furious - Supercharged. You'll also see the original Jupiter's Claim set from the horror film, NOPE, and see the most famous resident of Amity Island, "Jaws." From the clock tower in Back to the Future to sets from The Good Place, the Studio Tour is not to be missed! 

4. WaterWorld
You won't want to miss Universal Studio's #1 rated show! This show is enjoyable, even if you aren't familiar with the 1995 film. You'll experience wild stunts featuring jet-skiers, massive explosions and intense thrills, including a plane (no spoilers here as it's a must-see moment you have to see to believe!) There are usually several show times a day with the total runtime lasting around 20 minutes. You'll want to arrive early to grab a seat and watch out for the green bleachers as those are the wet zones where you absolutely will get wet. (More accurately, will get drenched!)

3. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle or Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle
If you love the Wizarding World and projection shows, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is not to be missed! Grab a spot in Hogsmeade Village to watch as projections are cast against Hogwarts castle inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle celebrates the four Hogwarts houses. During select times of year, you can also experience the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle. This show is filled with Dementors, Death Eaters and other dark creatures. The music and special effects are truly amazing!

Get ready to step into the world of Super Mario! SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ is one of the most immersive, interactive and amazing lands I have ever seen at a theme park. Level up your experience in SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ with an interactive Power-Up Band that you can use to collect digital coins and keys located through the land. Collect 3 keys and you unlock the chance for a final showdown against Bowser Jr. Although you could still enjoy the area without a Power-Up Band, I highly recommend purchasing a Power-Up Band to get the full experience. You can track your score against other teams on the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile app. I could spend all day in this land with my Power-Up Band! 

1. Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge
If you think SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ is cool, just wait until you experience Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge! I am not even sure how to adequately describe this attraction. The best I can do would be to say it's stunning, amazing, one-of-a-kind and truly remarkable. (Even with all of those adjectives, I don't think I've over sold the amazingness of this attraction!) The ride features cutting-edge technology and again, I can't even describe what I experienced except that it was amazing. The queue for this attraction could almost be it's own attraction! There are so many amazing details in the queue that it made the 120 minute wait time fly by! (I'm being totally sincere here. The wait really didn't feel that bad with so much to see throughout the queue.) If you visit Universal Studios Hollywood for any reason, make sure you do not miss this attraction, no matter the posted wait time. Trust me, it's worth it. 

Universal Studios Hollywood is sure to provide an absolutely awesome day filled with movie-based thrills and experiences that you can't find anywhere else in L.A. From Minions to Mario to mummies, Universal Studios Hollywood offers something for each member of the family to enjoy!

What are your Must Do’s at Universal Studios Hollywood?

Ashley is a Hufflepuff who loves rollercoasters and thrill rides. You can email Ashley at


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