Universal Studios Tips & Tricks

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March 30, 2015
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April 1, 2015
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Universal Studios Tips & Tricks

If you’re planning a family vacation to CA you’ll want to make sure to add Universal Studios to your trip plans!  Today’s post is about some tips and tricks we learned at our visit for our Family Friendly Vacation Ideas & Reviews.  Universal Studios is one that older children and adults will really appreciate and enjoy, however there are rides and things for younger kids- especially if they like Despicable Me.
Parking:
You can pay $8 extra to get premier parking that’s closer to the park….. Worth it! Especially after a long day it’s nice to have less to walk to your car.

Front of the Line Pass:
This is an add on to your tickets, it costs about $30-40 extra per ticket but it is WELL worth the money!  With our front of the line passes we never had to wait longer than 10 minutes for any ride the entire day.  Usually we went right onto the ride.  And we had preferred seating at the shows.
The down side is the front of the line passes are only good for each ride once, but using the trick we discovered below we were still able to go on lots of rides.

There’s a secret to these we learned…. If you are going with a baby or small child, you wont need a front of the line pass for everyone going, but can still get the benefits!  Just like with the fast passes at Disneyland- this is what you do:
For our family we had 8 of us and 4 front of the line passes.
Since the baby and Addie (our 3 year old) couldn’t go on a lot of the rides what we did was 4 of us take the front of the line passes to the ride, once there we’d ask for a “stroller swap” (basically the same thing as a “child swap” at Disneyland)  After 4 of us went on the ride the rest would go using the stroller swap ticket which functioned just like a front of the line pass!

If you’re going to a show and only some of you have front of the line passes for the prefered seating (or the studio tour) just ask one of the staff and they will usually let you go together with your group. (especially if you have little kids with you)

Studio Tour:
This is one thing you will definitely want to do!  Riding a trolley through the studio sets you get a cheeky tour guide who will give you all sorts of really neat information on how they make the sets, and you get to see quite a few different sets from movies you’ll know such as Psycho, War of the Worlds(the picture above is from the scene where Tom Cruise goes outside in his neighborhood- it also reminds me of my kids’ bedrooms!), Jaws, and some awesome props and effects used.
The tour will also take you on an amazing motion ride where you get caught in the middle of King Kong and a T-Rex fighting.

Shows:
The shows are a fun way to learn more about movies and how they’re made.  There is a Animal show that’s really cool and shows how they train animals for movies.  There’s also a sound effects show that shows you how some effects are done.

The Waterworld show is more like a live movie show.  It’s not educational like the others, but more like watching a mini play- full of water and fire effects, and lets not forget the awesome stunts!  It’s worth seeing for sure.

(waiting to go into Minion Mayhem)

Rides:
Most of the rides are motion type of rides.  The newest ride is Minion Mayhem from the Despicable Me movies.  It’s a motion ride that takes you through Gru’s minion training program as you prepare to become one of his minions.
Aside from the Minion Mayhem ride there is also a whole carnival type area devoted to the Despicable Me theme with other rides and games for smaller kids.

(In front of Gru’s house)
(waiting for the boys at the Transformer ride)

In the lower level of the park there is the Jurassic Park, Mummy and Transformer’s rides.  Sadly Jurassic park was closed while we were there but I have gone on it before and it’s a lot of fun.  The Mummy and Transformer’s were awesome though!  I really enjoyed the Transformer’s ride- it was like a combination of Indiana Jones (moving around in a car) and Toy Story Mania (3D glasses and screens with stuff going on) at Disneyland.

The lower levels are about 5 very steep escalator rides down, and I mean steep!

There is a Simpson’s ride and area devoted to them, but since we’re not big fans we didn’t spend much time there and didn’t go on that ride.
Shrek 4D is kind of a combination of a ride and a show- it’s about 20 minutes long. You’re standing in a torture chamber for the first 10 minutes then go into a movie theater type of room where the seats do a little moving and have water/air effects while you watch a 3D movie.

Food:
If you are going to eat there you HAVE to try the Gourmet Grab & Go! That place was by far the best food we had our entire vacation! The kids got mac & cheese and it was the best my hubby said he’s ever had in his life…. it was pretty amazing. They had a lot of healthy foods like salads, fruit, sandwiches, etc. too- rather than the typical burger, hotdog, pizza stuff.  And I got a brownie- and let me just say…. the heavens were singing with each bite!
Everything will be expensive just like at all theme parks, but this place was definitely worth it! And we found that the food was also very filling.

And a little sneak peek for next year- we can’t wait!! We hope we get to go again because this new attraction has all of us giddy with excitement!

We’d like to thank Universal Studios for providing some of the tickets and front of the line passes so we could do this review 🙂

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