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 DinoPlay 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.
Finally, keep in mind this plan does not include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Wizarding World is scheduled to open on April 7th, 2016, but may “soft open” (also known as a technical rehearsal) before that date. Should this happen, we will upgrade our touring plans accordingly.
#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: 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.
#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: Gate A 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 Shrek 4D
Between scheduled shows, catch Shrek 4D, which runs continuously.
Restrictions and Access: Gate A and VIP lines offered; stationary seating available. The Bottom Line: Join Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona on a new fairy tale adventure, featuring 3D effects, motion simulated seats, and other sensory surprises. Wait Times: On most days, you shouldn’t have to wait more than 20 minutes. On the busiest days, expect to wait up to an hour.
#6 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.
#7 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.