This touring plan outlines the ideal way to experience Universal Studios Hollywood in half a day, focusing on film content. If you’re a film fan interested in peeking behind the scenes and riding top film based attractions, this is the guide for you.
This plan is written for those who do not have Universal Express or VIP passes. On a very busy day, however, an upgraded pass may be necessary to experience everything included on this list. You can learn more in our guide on upgraded tickets.
There are information booths situated at high traffic areas throughout the park distributing current wait times and show schedules. You can also check current wait times, showtimes, and character greeting times on your mobile phone at universalstudioshollywood.com/ushwaittimes. Note that should you experience slow cell service, free WiFi is offered under the network name UNIVERSAL.
#1 – Park Entrance
Aim to be at at the Universal Studios Hollywood turnstiles at least thirty minutes prior to the posted opening time. Allow at least twenty minutes to park, walk through Citywalk, and get through security. Grab a show schedule and note the two earliest showtimes for the Special Effects Show.
#2 – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
For guests who have purchased tickets through the Universal Studios Hollywood website have early entry access to the land beginning one hour prior to posted park hours. The ride is located inside of Hogwarts Castle. Make a bee line for Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey as you enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Restrictions and Access: 48 inches; Universal Express, VIP, and Single Riders lines offered. The Bottom Line: Soar above Hogwarts Castle and experience an unforgettable thrilling adventure with Harry Potter and his friends. Wait Times:Up to 15 minutes on slow days, up to 140 minutes on the busiest days.
#3 – Universal Studio Tour
Head through Springfield U.S.A. and bear right to the Studio Tour entrance. If you would like a tour in another language, check your showtimes handout and adjust this plan accordingly. Note: The Studio Tour lasts anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, so grab a snack if necessary. Restrooms are located directly next to the tour entrance.
Restrictions and Access: Universal Express and VIP lines offered. The Bottom Line: The crown jewel and foundation of Universal Studios Hollywood, the world-famous Studio Tour allows you to visit the venerable backlot, front lot, and numerous other experiences, including Fast & Furious: Supercharged, Kong 360, and more! Wait Times: At this point on most days, the posted wait time will be in the neighborhood of 30 minutes. The line moves quickly and often the wait is less than advertised.
#4 – Proceed to The Lower Lot
Head across The Simpsons Ride plaza and take the StarWay to The Lower Lot.
#5 – Revenge of the Mummy
Upon reaching the Lower Lot, make a hard into Revenge of the Mummy, storing your bags in the adjacent free lockers if necessary.
Restrictions and Access: 48 inches; Universal Express, VIP, and Single Rider lines offered. The Bottom Line: Escape Imhotep’s cursed tomb in a harrowing roller coaster-dark ride hybrid. Travel up to 45 mph traveling forward and backward as you escape scarab beetles, warrior mummies and other ancient dangers! Wait Times: Up to 45 minutes on slower days, up to 120 minutes on busier days. The Single Rider line will dramatically reduce wait times if you’re willing to split your party.
#6 – Transformers: The Ride 3D
Turn right and go straight to Transformers upon reaching The Lower Lot.
Restrictions and Access: 40 inches; Universal Express, VIP, and Single Riders lines offered. The Bottom Line: Prepare for battle with the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, as you evade the nefarious Megatron in a 3D motion simulated dark ride. Wait Times: Up to 30 minutes on slow days, up to 140 minutes on the busiest days. Hit it early to avoid these waits.
#7 – Jurassic Park: The Ride
Head back to The Lower Lot’s main square and enjoy the River Adventure. You may get wet.
Restrictions and Access: 42 inches; Universal Express, VIP, and Single Riders lines offered. The Bottom Line: Tour the iconic Jurassic Park in a river tour, encountering various gentle herbivorous dinosaurs before flying off course into carnivorous dinosaur enclosures and flying down an 84 foot plunge. Wait Times: Varies wildly by weather conditions. Note that the size of the splash is typically reduced in colder weather.
#8 – Return to the Upper Lot
Get any re-rides of your favorites in, as this is the last time you’ll be in The Lower Lot. Head back up the StarWay.
#9 – Special Effects Show
Attend the next scheduled Special Effects Show, located near the StarWay.
Restrictions and Access: Universal Express and VIP lines offered. The Bottom Line: Get an inside look at some of the most common special effects and stunt techniques used in over a century of moviemaking, including miniatures, foley artists, fight choreography, horror makeup effects, motion capture, and stunt work. Wait Times: We recommend showing up fifteen to twenty minutes prior to showtime.
#10 – DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda
After experiencing Special Effects Show, make your way towards the front of the park and experience awesomeness at the DreamWorks Theatre.
Restrictions and Access: Stationary seating available; Universal Express and standby lines offered. The Bottom Line: Join Po and the gang on an epic journey to the spirit realm in this fully immersive adventure using the first-ever integration of interior projection mapping. Wait Times: It is most busiest in the morning; recommend visiting in the PM hours before the last posted WaterWorld show of the day.
#11 – WaterWorld
Located to the left of Hollywood and Dine as you’re approaching the main entrance to the park.
Restrictions and Access: Universal Express and VIP lines offered. The Bottom Line: Experience a live sea war spectacular based on the 1995 film WaterWorld, with explosive action and live stunts, making it the most thrilling show you’ve ever witnessed. Wait Times: We recommend showing up fifteen to twenty minutes prior to showtime.
Restrictions and Access: Stationary seating available; Universal Express and standby lines offered. The Bottom Line: Join Po and the gang on an epic journey to the spirit realm in this fully immersive adventure using the first-ever integration of interior projection mapping. Wait Times: By this time, it’ll be close the end of the park’s operating hours. Wait times should be minimal, no more than 30 minutes on most days.
#12 – Grab lunch in the park or on your way out at Citywalk
You did it! You’ve hit all of Universal Studios Hollywood’s filmic headliners. Feel free to revisit any favorites as time allows and grab lunch as you leave. If you’d like to dine in the park, we recommend the Springfield U.S.A. restaurants.
We hope this touring plan helps you get your fill on film based content at Universal Studios Hollywood!