This touring plan outlines the ideal way to experience Universal Studios Hollywood in half a day, focusing on thrills. If you’re a thrill seeker interested in rides exclusively, this is the guide for you.
This plan is written for those who do not have Gate A 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.
#2 – Harry Potter & 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; Gate A, 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 – Flight of the Hippogriff
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 across from Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
Restrictions and Access: 39 inches; Universal Express, VIP, and Single Riders lines offered. The Bottom Line: Fly high over Hogsmeade in Universal Studios Hollywood’s first and only outdoor family roller coaster. Hop in a basket-woven ride vehicle and meet Buckbeak, Hagrid’s famous hippogriff.
#4 – Proceed to The Lower Lot
Pass Shrek 4D and through Springfield USA and bear left, taking the StarWay to The Lower Lot.
#5 – Transformers: The Ride 3D
Turn right and go straight to Transformers upon reaching The Lower Lot.
Restrictions and Access: 40 inches; Gate A, 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 first to avoid these waits.
#6 – 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; Gate A, 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.
#7 – Revenge of the Mummy
Head across the square to Revenge of the Mummy, storing your bags in the adjacent free lockers if necessary. Note: Sometimes Revenge of the Mummy will open up to thirty minutes later than the rest of the park. Should you reach it before it opens, enjoy another ride on Transformers or Jurassic Park; alternatively, grab coffee at the nearby Starbucks.
Restrictions and Access: 48 inches; Gate A, 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.
#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 – Universal Studio Tour
Head straight across the Simpsons Ride plaza to the Studio Tour entrance. The tour includes KONG 360 and Fast & Furious: Supercharged. 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: Gate A 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.
#10 – Grab lunch in the park or on your way out at Citywalk
You did it! You’ve hit all of Universal Studios Hollywood’s major rides. 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 Springfield U.S.A.’s offerings.
We hope this touring plan helps you have a great time hitting all of Universal Studios Hollywood’s major rides.