Myriads of Hollywood icons are represented at Universal Studio Hollywood in LA: the classic King Kong, the wizardry of Harry Potter, the mega-sized fiends of Jurassic Park, the speed of Fast & Furious, the despicable yellow minions, Shrek, mummies and more.

If there ever was a theme park that had all the top movie characters, it has to be Universal Studios Hollywood. Aside from the heart stopping rides and thrilling shows, one can tour a working studio; enjoy some of the best restaurants and shops at CityWalk. Take a day or two to visit all the attractions this super-sized amusement park has to offer.



This is what you and your family have been waiting for; all day long, non-stop laughs, great funand adventure.Before you head out, make sure your smaller kids know they cannot go on every ride. Some rides have height requirements; if they don't meet the requirement an adult needs to accompany them. So, without further adieu, let the adventure begin.

. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - The Harry Potter attraction brings you to Hogwarts castle and Hogsmeade. Experience two great rides: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (must be 48" tall to ride) where you will soar through Hogwarts and experience the magic, mystery and thrills; and Flight of the Hippogriff a family friendly roller coaster.

. The Walking Dead Attraction -New in 2016, walk among the zombies of this set and run for your life. This action packed journey in post-apocalyptic times is sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

. Studio Tour - Enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at a working studio. See famous sets. Maybe spot a celebrity. Located within the tour are the King Kong 360 3D venue and the Fast and Furious - Supercharged venue.

. King Kong 360 3D - See the world's largest 3D event on mammoth-sized screens equal to 16 movie theater screens

. Fast & Furious - Supercharged - This is the finale to the Studio Tour. Living up to its name, this ride travels over 120 miles an hour and loops around all the villains in the movies. Special effects and 3D imagery top off this thrill ride.

. Nighttime Studio Tour - If you enjoyed the daytime tour, come back for the night time tour. Visit the famous Backlot and soundstages, watch some historic movie scenes. Visit the Bates Motel. King Kong and Fast & Furious are part of the night tour as well.

. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem - Enjoy a 3D ride through Minion-land. The ride ends with a dance party of minion proportions. Let the laughs roll.

. Super Silly Fun Land - This venue is a fantastical play ground featuring over 80 different water works and a dry zone with playground equipment and arcade games. This place is fun for the whole family.

More vacation ideas: Santorini, Melbourne, Jamaica, Fiji, Machu Picchu, Dominican Republic

. Transformers™: The Ride-3D - this ride brings together HD and 3D that puts out a ride like never before. Join Optimus Prime as he defends the AllSpark.

. The Simpsons Ride™ - Take a ride with the Simpsons as they tour Krustyland. Then step into Springfield to visit some of your favorite establishments: Krusty Burger, Lard Lad, and Duff Brewery Beer Garden.

. Jurassic Park: The Ride - Join the fearless for a fantastic raft adventure among creatures of days gone by. Meet a 50-foot T-Rex, plunge to safety; this is not for the faint of heart.

. Revenge of the Mummy SM: The Ride - thrown into darkness at speeds up to 45 miles per hour, guests will ride with their eyes wide open to escape the Mummy's vengeance. (Must be 48" tall to ride.)

. WaterWorld - A spectacular water war acted out right before your eyes; stunts and action galore.

. Shrek 4-D™ - Watch the 3D action but feel the effects; moving seats, wind, water, and more special effects.

. Special Effects Show - Witness some of the best stunt actors pull off fantastic stunts; watch and listen for other special effects using state-of-the-art technology

. Universal's Animal Actors - observe some of your beloved animal actors perform tricks

. Characters in the Park - watch for your favorite characters wandering through the park. Make sure to get your picture taken with for that memorable keepsake.

Top attractions in: Healdsburg, Corpus Christi, Bakersfield, Arlington, Scottsdale, Provincetown



There are numerous dining opportunities located throughout the park. Stop at a movie-theme diner; enjoy a coffee, dessert, ice cream; find your favorite ethnic dish - pizza, tacos, and Chinese. It's all here at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal CityWalk Hollywood

Adjacent to Universal Studios Hollywood is this delightful shopping/dining/entertainment extravaganza known as Universal CityWalk Hollywood. The fun includes dining, night clubs, shopping, theaters including IMAX and a concert venue.

Universal Studios is home to the popular television show EXTRA. Guests to the park may catch a live celebrity interview or see the hosts broadcasting from various hotspots through the park.

There are many hotels that offer special package deals. Some offer free shuttle service to Universal Studios; others have location on their side, being right near the front gate.

Youth and Education

Universal Studios offers learning opportunities that will bring them behind the scenes. Interactive workshops such as working on sound stages, visiting the prop warehouse, and learning the technology behind the special effects; performance opportunities such as acting, singing, dancing and cheering; and even graduation celebrations.

Universal Studios is open to host corporate and social events. Catering is offered by Wolfgang Puck. Maybe your business or social club would like to hold a special event at the exciting Universal Studios Hollywood.

A visit to Universal Studios Hollywood could very well be a trip of a lifetime for you and your family. Whether you get the basic ticket or the VIP ticket, you are sure to have fun.

Get the most out of your trip by planning ahead. Find lodging that will meet your needs. Familiarize yourself with the park by viewing the map on the website; know where to park, where the restrooms are; where you can rest, etc. Make sure you bring water, sunscreen, jackets, and whatever you know you family will need while spending one of the most exciting days of their lives at Universal. If you have kids, make sure they are well rested beforehand.

When you see the smiles on the faces of your loved ones, you will be glad you planned ahead for a successful day of family fun.

Fun things to do in: Eureka, Florence, Hudson Valley, Naples, Oxnard, Gettysburg

Located about 18 miles northeast of Los Angeles International Airport and just off of Hwy. 101 in the shadow of the iconic Hollywood sign, take exit 12. Follow the signs to the parking areas. Peak front gate parking before 5 p.m. is $40; after 5 p.m. it is $30. General parking is $18 before 5 p.m. and $10 after 5 p.m.

The park hours are daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Ticket prices start at $95 depending on the days one is planning to attend. Packages are available. If you live in the neighborhood, season passes start at $119. Buy tickets on-line and one can get early admission (7 a.m.) and save money as well.

If one wants VIP treatment, buy the VIP tickets starting at $359 per person; the price may seem high but the benefits are well worth it. This is the top of the line personalized tour, no holds barred. Meals are included with this package. Other benefits include valet parking, personal tour guide, VIP entrance, exploration of the studio and backlots. Your tour guide will take you to the front of the line for all rides and you will get the best seats in the house for all shows and attractions.

This park is very large with a lot of opportunities for fun. Your group, however, may like different types of rides and adventures. The park has set up some great guidelines on their website to help one navigate the park and get the most out of it for everyone. You may have little ones in your group or thrill seekers or movie buffs, know how to proceed even before you get there.

Child Switch

This program is great for families with small children that don't meet the height requirements on some rides. One adult would stay back with the child while the others go on the ride. At the conclusion of the ride, the adults switch and the remaining adult can go on the ride without having to wait in the long line again.

Back to: 25 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, website, Phone: 800-864-8377

More vacation ideas: East Coast Beaches, Christmas Getaways, San Juan Hotels, Holland, MI, Laguna Beach Restaurants, Beverly Hills