CI Center

Special Effects Show

The Upper Lot, near the StarWay to the Lower Lot and The Simpsons Ride.

Universal Express and VIP seating are offered. Download the official Universal Studios Hollywood mobile app or visit for showtimes.

Rider Restrictions
None whatsoever.

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.

Intensity Factor
Appropriate all but the smallest of children. Squeamish children should close their eyes before an intense, bloody Universal Horror sizzle reel. Fake blood appears on stage as a female volunteer’s arm appears to be sliced with a faux knife.

Crowd Patterns & Wait Times
The Special Effects Show enjoys a large, indoor theater that accommodates about 1800 guests. On a lightly attended day, you can probably walk in 5 minutes before the show begins. On a busier day, we recommend showing up fifteen to twenty minutes before showtime. If you’re interested in being “cast” in the show, you should show up twenty-five minutes or more before showtime.

Queue Entertainment
There is no entertainment prior to entering the theater, but once inside and seated, huge screens display Universal Studios fun facts. Two Universal film trailers plays before the show begins.

Length of Experience
The show’s length varies slightly based on the speed of volunteers but generally lasts between twenty and twenty-five minutes.

What To Know Before You Go
Several groups are cast to participate in the show as volunteers prior to seating. Casting directors scour the queue for a middle-aged woman (often a foreign tourist), a family of four or five, and a dating or married couple. Most entering guests gravitate toward the far wings of the theaters, ignoring several rows at the very front of the theater on either side of the stage. These sets are, in our experience, some of the best in the house, allowing excellent, close-up views of the action.

Special Effects Show – photo gallery

Special Effects Show – real guest reviews

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