Title: Universal Studios Hollywood with Itinerary, Los Angeles, California
Preparation: (cont.) http://www.youishare.com/search/yanz/Disneyland_and_Universal_Studios_Hollywood_Family_Trip_with_the_Itinerary___Los_Angeles__California/MTQ0OnlhbnotMTA1 Address: Universal Studios Hollywood: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608 Hours: Friday 9 AM–9 PM Saturday 9 AM–10 PM Sunday 9 AM–10 PM Monday 10 AM–7 PM Tuesday 10 AM–7 PM Wednesday 10 AM–7 PM Thursday 9 AM–9 PM The Early Entry can be 30 minutes earlier than the above start time. Parking: there are general parking, $25, preferred parking $40 / day. Preferred parking is very close to the entrance. If you could, choose the preferred parking. There are many universal studio parking staff to guide you to get to the right garage. see https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/plan-your-visit/directions-parking/ Bought the CA residents ticket from its website. About $125/person. total for 4: around $500 This ticket does not come with Fastpass. Upgrade to have express access, it might cost you extra $110 - 170 / ticket. If you could afford, it will be much better to buy express tickets that will save you many hours of you and your family waiting in the very very long line. Eg. On Saturday, Harry Potter ride lines could be 80- 200 minutes waiting, universal studio tour could be 90 minutes; Kung-fu Panda Dream Works can be 40 minutes. Jurassic World can be 180 minutes.
General opinion: I have talked with a 10-year experienced travel agency guide Yong, he said if you visited the following 3 tours, 1. Universal Studio tour 2. Springfield or Simpson tour 3. Harry Potter and the Forbidden journey tour Then it is worth the money you paid for the tickets. I would add one more: 4. DreamWorks's Kung-fu Panda tour is really a must-see. https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/things-to-do/rides-and-attractions/dreamworks-theatre/
Attractions and activities: Universal Studio has The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Lower Lot, Upper Lot. See details in the Map. A few rides I liked: 1. DreamWorks 4D Theater: Featuring Kungfu Panda show and experience: It is the best, in my opinion. Only 100 audiences are allowed one time in the theater. The front has the big widescreen stage, but the whole left side wall and right side wall are also movable projection screen. It uses multi-sensory technology, the interior projection mapping, 360 surround sound audio, sweeping physical effects. During the ride, the audience's chair is moving, tilting, with the music, sound, and the big screen scene. You feel like you were really in Kungfu Panda Po's boat and being through the falls, the torrent of the river, etc. The VR, 360 projection mapping, sound make the experience so real. 2. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: The line is long, the waiting time can be 80 - 200 minutes. It's a 4D VR ride. It might be because the high expectation that we expected a similar kind of experience for the Quidditch fictional sports game we've seen in the Harry Potter movie, the experience of this ride seems OK but not very excited as we expected. Minimum Height 48'' (122cm) See https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/things-to-do/rides-and-attractions/harry-potter-and-the-forbidden-journey/ 3. Jurassic World: on Saturday, we almost waited 3 hours in the line. It is a boat ride with the indoor water creek. In the end, it has an 84 feet drop which makes people want to try it. During the Journey, it has dinosaurs, motion, sound, water. You will get wet. It is a good one. But if you need to wait for 3 hours, I suggest you skip it. 4. Universal Studios Ride Tour: this is a good one. You need to take the tram and go through several miles, pass through the places where the movie scenes made, eg. how to make the rain, flood, fire scenes; also there are 3 or 4 AR spots the tram goes through such as the Jurrasic Park.
Dining: There are plenty of restaurants in Upper Lot, and Lower Lot. We ate at "Three Broomsticks" restaurant where has a unique decoration similar to the Harry Potter movie scene. Food costs about $20 / person, bought popular rootbeers, about $9 / cup. Food is England traditional food. They tasted good.
Commute: We drove to Universal Studios Hollywood and parked in "Preferred Parking". $40 / day. In Holiday Inn North Hollywood, $9 / night for a car.
Lodge: Hotel: Holiday Inn Express North Hollywood. Queen double beds, about $250, including free breakfast, booked from priceline. Called the hotel and confirmed 2 adults and 2 kids were OK. If a kid is older than 17, then he / she needs to have a separate room. It's very spacious and good. We like it. Address: 11350 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Things I wish I had known before: We thought one day is not enough to visit all the rides or attractions in the studios if you have never been there before. The popular lines are very long. Eg. Jurrasic Ride was 3 hours that is insanely long. If you are able to buy express tickets, do it. For the whole trip itinerary of Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood: http://www.youishare.com/search/yanz/Disneyland_and_Universal_Studios_Hollywood_Family_Trip_with_the_Itinerary___Los_Angeles__California/MTQ0OnlhbnotMTA1