OverviewThe granddaddy of movie theme parks, Universal Studios Hollywood opened in 1964. It evolved from a quaint backstage tram tour that allowed guests to ogle Lana Turner's dressing room to a high-tech playground. Unlike Universal Studios Florida, the Hollywood park is an actual working movie studio, and the tram tour is still a vital part -- if not the highlight -- of the experience. (USF included a "studio" tour when it first opened but quickly abandoned it.)
Some of the featured attractions are Florida clones, including Shrek 4-D and Jurassic Park...The Ride, and some are unique such as the WaterWorld show. Other highlights include Revenge of the Mummy and The Simpsons Ride.
Universal Studios Hollywood is first and foremost a theme park, but its Hollywood pedigree lends it some credibility. You almost expect to run into Russell Crowe at one of the food stands.
LocationIt isn't in Hollywood exactly. It's in Universal City, Los Angeles, California.
TicketsDiscounts for children under 48"; free for under 3 years old; annual passes are available. The park also offers front-of-line passes for priority access to attractions and shows as well as guided tours.
Save money and time. Get discounted Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance of your visit. Buy direct from Kijubi.
Get the lowdown on other deals, discounts, and ways to purchase passes at About.com's Universal Studios Hollywood tickets overview.
When to GoThe general rule is to zag when everyone else is zigging. If possible, try to plan your visit away from weekends, holidays, and the early summer. For more info, go to Making the Most of your California Theme Park Vacation.
Getting to the ParkThe physical address is 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA.
- Driving: US-101 to Exit 11, Universal Studios Boulevard
- Metro: Red Line station at Universal City. Take free shuttle to park.
Hotel InfoThe park has two onsite hotels:
Compare rates for other Universal Studios Hollywood-area hotels at About.com's booking partner, Kayak.
What's New at the ParkHarry Potter and the gang are on their way. In late 2011, the park announced that it would be developing attractions based on the books and movies about the boy wizard. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando has been getting rave reviews and is enormously popular. Read more about the Potter plans for the Hollywood park.
Transformers (new in 2012)
Read about the ambitious ride that uses a roving motion simulator base to transport guests into the world of the popular films and toy franchise.
- Review of Transformers: The Ride 3D
- Interview with Universal Creative's Thierry Coup about the Transformers ride
New for 2010
King Kong 360 3-D
The fire that swept through the faux streets of Universal Studios' storied backlot in 2008 leveled building facades and sets and turned the mighty King Kong into a pile of ashes. The big ape will rise from the ashes this season to once again terrorize riders aboard the park's tram tour. Instead of an animatronic figure, however, Kong will go digital 3-D and be projected on wraparound movie screens. In order to experience Kong 2.0, guests will have to don goofy 3-d glasses.
Halloween Horror Nights
Overview of Universal's annual scare-fest.
Overview of Universal's annual Christmas-themed event.