Families come from all over the world to Los Angeles to see the places where stories come to life on screen. From Hollywood’s Walk of Fame to the chance to see one of your favorite stars’ homes, LA is the film and entertainment capital of the world. One of the best places to be immersed in the world of film is at Universal Studios Hollywood. With the long-awaited return of the Special Effects Show and a permanent addition to the world-famous Studio Tour, here are 5 films movie buffs can immerse themselves in at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Consideration provided by Universal Studios Hollywood, who supplied the tickets.
Universal Studios Hollywood
The working film studio and movie-based theme park is one of our favorites because it is so unique and immersive. Fun fact: my very first paid job was at Universal Studios in merchandise. It was an excellent place for a teen’s first job and it increased my fondness for the park. Whether you are a movie buff or simply enjoy film and television, Universal Studios Hollywood is your destination! With every land highly immersive and engaging, here are 5 movie-themed lands you do not want to miss, inspired by your favorite films.
5 Immersive Film Experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Before my son entered high school, he had already read the entire Harry Potter series authored by J. K. Rowling, which follows the lives of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends who are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. All eight of fantasy films are on the list of highest-grossing films of all time and are now a global phenomenon.
Six years ago, the world of Harry Potter came to life at Universal Studios Hollywood. Walking into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter feels like you’ve stepped into the pages of her books and the films inspired by this phenomenon, and for good reason. The land is faithful to the visual landscape of J.K. Rowling’s books and the Harry Potter film series, with Hogwarts castle the pinnacle of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Be sure to grab a cup of hot or frozen Butterbeer as you stroll the cobblestone streets. As you walk through the archway, you are transported to this fantastical land where a train conductor welcomes new arrivals, merchants are hard at work, and the pub is packed with locals.
Don’t Miss: The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle returns , showcasing the four houses of Hogwarts including Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. The stunning light display and special effects projection are accompanied by a special musical arrangement by composer John Williams.
Jurassic World—The Ride
I was just a teenager when I read Michael Crichton’s, Jurassic Park. The thrilling sci-fi novel was both fascinating and terrifying. I’ve seen nearly every film inspired by the sci-fi series, the latest, Jurassic World Dominion which was released this summer. Three years ago, Universal Studios Hollywood reimagined their original Jurassic Park: The Ride to reflect an original storyline. Jurassic World – The Ride takes families through the theme park depicted in the film Jurassic World where dinosaurs roam, including the colossal Indominus rex and the magnificent aquatic Mosasaurus in her natural habitat. The ride takes the thrill of Jurassic World to new heights with an exciting 22-foot plunge.
Don’t Miss: After you’ve cooled off on Jurassic World – The Ride, head on over to the Raptor Encounter where you will meet Blue, the Velociraptor from Jurassic World, a friendly Triceratops and a Baby Raptor.
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!
If you’re a pet owner, you might wonder what your favorite furry friend does when you are away. The Secret Life of Pets is an imaginative story about the mischief and mayhem Max (a Jack Russel Terrier) and his friends get into while his owner is away.
The dark ride, inspired by the film series, combines 64 technologically-advanced animated figures with hyper-realistic
media and projection mapping designed to take families on a journey to meet some of their favorite characters from the movies, including Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe, and Duke. Both the preshow queue and the ride are highly detailed, from blinking eyes and smiles to head tilts and nods. As you walk through the apartments, look carefully for the hidden Easter Eggs. As you proceed through the queue, you learn that you are a stray puppy in need of a forever home. Fortunately, there is an adoption event at the pet store.
Need to know: The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! uses virtual line technology, to help families maximize their time at the park. The virtual line is accessible via the Universal Studios Hollywood app or in the New York City subway station next to the ride.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem / Super Silly Fun Land
We just saw the latest Minions film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, so the movie franchise was at the forefront of our minds during our last visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. My kids still really enjoy the Minions’ zany antics and comic relief. In honor of the latest film, the Minions have taken over Universal Plaza. In addition to meeting your favorite Minions, you can interact with a 16-foot Minion squishy and play a themed game through August 14th, 2022.
Universal Studios Hollywood also offers several interactive Minions experiences and Super Silly Fun Land, including the Ultra-HD adventure Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. After perusing Gru’s iconic house and laboratory, you’ll soon discover that Gru’s secret mission is to create as many mischievous Minions as possible from human recruits. After journeying through the world of Minions, stop by Super Silly Fun Land for the theme park’s interpretation of the seaside carnival from the film featuring more than 80 unique water play features. A dry zone includes spaces for kids to climb, jump, and slide or hop aboard the Silly Swirly Fun Ride for 360-degree views.
Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride
Just like the films, Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride is the experience that will tap into the things you fear. Dark, speed, and heights converge on the park’s first roller coaster. Inspired by the Mummy films, this dark ride immerses you in a complete, multisensory environment.
What’s New at Universal Studios Hollywood – 2022
Special Effects Show
The last time I saw the Special Effects Show was when it was located on the lower lot. The show moved to its current location on the upper lot, Stage 56 after undergoing renovation in 2015. Closed due to COVID-19, the Special Effects Show is back and will run daily through August 14th, then weekends beginning August 20th.
Much has changed since the original show, but I promise you’ll be mesmerized by the magic that goes into the art of filmmaking. Audience participation allows the recreation of pivotal scenes from Universal’s most memorable films. And there is a fire stunt you absolutely do not want to miss.
Jupiter’s Claim (from the film Nope)
Timed to the film’s release, the original Jupiter’s Claim set from Jordan Peele’s horror film Nope will be featured exclusively on the world-famous Studio Tour. Jupiter’s Claim is a family-fun theme park set in the Santa Clarita Valley of Southern California and inspired by the history and aesthetics of the California Gold Rush. This pivotal location in the film is where the characters investigate mysterious, unexplained phenomena.
Super Nintendo World
As a child growing up in the 80s, I absolutely believe I am more excited than my kids about the opening of Super Nintendo World. The very best view of its progress is from the StarWay as you head down towards the Lower Lot. This will be the first Super Nintendo World to debut in the US and will transport families and Mario fans into the world of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach to be part of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Recently, Universal Studios Hollywood revealed details about “Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge,” one of the world’s largest, most interactive rides ever experienced. The ride will fuse augmented reality with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a moving ride track…unparalleled anywhere within the theme park industry. As more details are revealed surrounding the opening Super Nintendo World, I’ll be sharing them here and on Facebook and Instagram.
Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets + Universal Express
The best way to experience Universal Studios Hollywood is to add Universal Express to your ticket. I have utilized express ride passes at theme parks across Southern California, and Universal Express really is one of the best. For an additional fee, you will receive one-time express access to every ride, attraction and seated show at Universal Studios Hollywood. I don’t know of another theme park that includes show access. This is the best way to maximize your time at the park, particularly during the summer months when crowds are larger and wait times are longer.
The best prices for Universal Studios Hollywood tickets are found online, and if you are a Southern California resident, you’ll receive exclusive pricing. If you are planning to spend more than a day at the park, Getaway Today is offering a deal where you can Buy a Day, Get a 2nd Day Free Universal Studios Hollywood ticket. Your visits must be completed before December 15, 2022.
For more information or to purchase Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, visit UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.
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