This is a one-day touring plan intended for families traveling with young children that do not plan to experience rides with height requirements. This plan also skips the Lower Lot, as in our opinion Dino Play isn’t enough of an incentive to traverse the lengthy StarWay. If you intend to experience Jurassic Park: The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy, The Simpsons Ride, or Transformers: The Ride 3D, please check out our Ultimate One-Day Touring Plan and use Child Switch on these attractions as necessary.
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. A ticket booth attendant should provide you with a map and showtimes guide as you enter. Rent a stroller in the entry plaza if necessary.
#2 – Universal Studio Tour
Head straight to the back of the Upper Lot through Springfield U.S.A. to reach the Universal Studio Tour. You should be able to hop on in less than ten minutes. Make sure to take a bathroom break beforehand!
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.
#3 Super Silly Fun Land & Silly Swirly Fun Ride
Travel through French or Baker Street toward Minion Way. If your child isn’t tall enough to enjoy Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, spend some time in the adjacent Super Silly Fun Land play area and enjoy the Silly Swirly Fun Ride, if you so desire. Characters often meet in front of the ride’s facade.
Restrictions and Access: Universal Express and VIP lines offered for Silly Swirly Fun Ride. The Bottom Line: Explore the seaside amusement park with the infamous Minions in a dry playground and water play area. Then, try the Silly Swirly Fun Ride, a simple-but-fun aerial gondola ride. Wait Times: Super Silly Fun Land is an open area; Silly Swirly Fun Ride’s waits rarely exceed 15 minutes even on the busiest days.
#4 Determine your show schedule over lunch.
Animal Actors, Special Effects Show and WaterWorld will all be starting their first performances around this time. While eating lunch, determine which you’d like to see (all are appropriate for most children) and plan the rest of your day around showtimes. Of the park’s restaurants, we recommend Springfield U.S.A. (which includes Krusty Burger, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, and Bumbee Man’s Taco Truck) and Gru’s Lab Cafe.
#5 – DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda
After experiencing the shows, 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 around 6pm-park close.
#6 Ollivander’s Wand Experience, Interactive Wands, and Hogwarts Castle tour
Ollivander’s Wand Experience is located inside of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, on the left side of the street next to The Three Broomsticks restaurant. One lucky wizard or witch in the group will be selected to be a part of the show, where he or she will be participate in a series of spells to do, and then is paired with one at the end. You have the option to purchase it or not.
If you decide to purchase an Ollivander’s interactive wands, there are 11 different windows and 13 spells around The Wizarding World where you can perform spells and perfect your wand magic skills.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey does offer a tour of the castle, using the Universal Express queue. You will peruse through the portrait gallery, Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the Gryffindor Common Room. You can spend as much time inside, but we ask that you move towards the sides of the queue so guests riding the ride can bypass freely.
#7 Frog Choir and The Triwizard Spirit Rally
After you have witnessed a wand fitting ceremony and done some wand magic around The Wizarding World, you can watch the Frog Choir or the Triwizard Spirit Rally shows. There is a meet-and-greet opportunity after each performance.
#7 Meet characters around the park.
Between shows, check your park map or Universal’s mobile wait time website to see what characters are meeting in the park that day. Determine your child’s must-sees and seek them out. Note that Transformers and Dora the Explorer exclusively meet in The Lower Lot.
#8 Revisit your favorites, grab dinner in Citywalk.
You’ve experienced every young child-friendly attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood! Enjoy any other scheduled shows you’d like to see, revisit favorite attractions, and head out to Citywalk for a great dinner. Note: Most in-park counter service restaurants close at least an hour before the posted closing time. There are no full service restaurants inside the park.
We hope this tour guide helps you and your family have a great day at Universal Studios Hollywood.