Universal Studios Hollywood

For Christmas last year, my Mom gifted the three of us tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood. We decided to save them for a trip around Cooper’s birthday, so since there was no school on Friday, that became our Universal day! We had never, ever been so we were really excited. We drove straight to LA after school on Thursday and checked into the Hilton Universal City hotel.


We chose this hotel because it sits literally next door to Universal Studios. You can walk from the hotel doors to the park entrance in less than 10 minutes. We checked in and dropped our bags off in our room. I thought it was a really nice hotel! We had a view of the side of a giant Minion face from our window.


We walked directly over to Universal Citywalk, which is a big shopping center with lots of restaurants. We were super hungry so we walked straight to Bubba Gump’s.


We posed for the obligatory touristy pictures because why wouldn’t we? Our food was really good. I have to admit I didn’t have high expectations, but we all left full and happy.

We walked around Citywalk after dinner. We stopped by the candy store It’s Sugar because my husband loves candy stores. They had a lot of fun stuff in there!


We also stopped by the Dodger’s store and did some browsing in the Universal shop. Citywalk is a fun place to walk around!


After we were done checking everything out, we walked back to our hotel and got ready for bed.

The next morning we got up early, got ready, picked up coffee and walked over to the park entrance to be there when they opened.


We were so excited! We took advantage of the Halloween Horror Night photo props near the entrance. Cooper thought these were very cool!


We knew we wanted to head towards the Lower Lot section of the park since that’s where Jurassic World is, so we started walking in that direction. We very quickly got sidetracked by Springfield and all the Simpsons stuff!


Our first ride of the day was the Simpsons ride! It was fun! I love motion simulator rides. As we walked off the ride we saw signs pointing toward the Studio Tours ride, so we headed that way. This was the main thing on my to-do list! It did not disappoint! It’s a long tour- the first part is a little slow and might be a bit boring for kids. You drive through various sets, and talk about movies that have been filmed there. But then they get into the more exciting stuff- there is a huge 360 3-D King Kong experience, an earthquake special effect, a flash flood special effect, Fast and the Furious sequence, Jaws, and more. It’s a long ride! I think it took around 40 minutes or so. Make sure you take a bathroom break before getting in line for this one. We really enjoyed it!

Next we took the long, long, long, escalator down to the lower lot. Cooper really wanted to do the Revenge of the Mummy ride so we got in line for that.


This ride is fun!! It’s a fast dark roller-coaster that goes backwards too! We loved it and ended up riding it twice.

Next door to the Mummy ride is Jurassic World, and we were lucky enough to walk over just as the Raptor Encounter was starting up. We got to meet Blue and her trainer. This guy has the best job- he gets to act like he’s a dinosaur trainer all day!


We waited a few minutes in line and got our picture with Blue. Then a little while later, this big Triceratops came walking through so we had to get a picture! Cooper even got to pet the Triceratops on it’s side.


The movie magic is alive and well here! These dinosaurs look crazy realistic!

We went on the Jurassic World ride next. We thought we’d have a long line to wait in since it’s the newest ride at this park, but we only waited 15 minutes. This ride is awesome! The special effects are so awesome and the drop is fun! I did get a little wet, so be prepared for that. We were in the back row and I noticed that the people in the first two rows got a lot more of the water. Don’t miss this ride!

After riding Jurassic World we decided to grab lunch at the restaurant there at the Jurassic Cafe. Our food was really, really good! It’s Costa Rican inspired cusine. Cody got the Mojo Pork and it was so delicious! I got the Mahi Mahi plate with black beans and rice and it was really good too…but if we go back I’m getting the Mojo Pork for sure. We also shared some chorizo and potato empenadas that were also great. Cooper had the kids slider meal and honestly, it was way too small. I ended up sharing my food with him. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of our food. I’m sorry! I’ll try to get better about that.

After lunch we went on the Transformers Ride! It’s a 4D Motion/Flight Simulator ride and it’s really fun. We also caught a bit of the Megatron and Bumblebee meet and greets. This was a highlight of our day! Those Transformer suits are very cool and Megatron was really funny!

I sure hope these videos upload clearly- these guys were fun to watch!

Next up it was time for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! This land is seriously beautiful! As soon as you enter you can’t stop looking around.


First stop was for a picture with the conductor. This guy was so nice!


Next stop: BUTTERBEER!! Oh my gosh guys- this stuff is delicious! Cooper hated it of course, but Cody and I LOVED it. It’s a slushy that tastes sort of like an apple-ish cream soda, with this delicious butterscotch flavored foam on top. I wish I had one right now!


Next we got on the The Flight of the Hippogriff which is a family friendly roller-coaster. It was fun! Super short ride, but fun. Then we rode the other ride in this land which is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I don’t even know how to explain this ride- all I can say is it’s AWESOME.

After we rode the rides, Cooper really wanted to buy an interactive magic wand so we found the cart that sells them(we didn’t have time to wait in the long line for the actual wand store) and he picked his wand. Then we followed the map around and did the proper “spells” to make all the interactive spots come to life. It was pretty cool! Each stop on the map had a special effect that would happen when you moved your wand in the proper sequence/motion. There were jewelry boxes in one window that opened, flames that would shoot out of a chimney, and a big gate that would rattle and shake and the smoke would billow out! Very cool stuff. Cooper had a fun time with this, and it was the perfect way to end our day at the park.


We had such a great time!! The park closed early at 6pm this day because of their Halloween Horror Nights. But honestly, I think I’d recommend going on an early closing day because the crowds weren’t bad. We waited 15 minutes or less for every ride except Transformers(which was a 40 minute wait), and some rides we walked right on to. I definitely can’t wait to go back.

Thanks for reading guys!


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