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    31 Universal Studios Hollywood Tips And Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Your Experience

    How to save time, money, and sanity at Universal Studios Hollywood.

    by ,

    1. If you want to check out the park when the lines are shortest, definitely go in September!

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    That time of year is typically less crowded β€” so, less time waiting in line!

    2. Get to the park at least thirty minutes before it opens.

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    General parking is in a separate structure, and it's about a 10-15 min walk through Universal City Walk to get to the park, so you'll want a headstart.

    3. Take a picture of where you park because it is VERY easy to get lost.


    If you get lost, you'll be able to show security exactly where you are and there's no chance of forgetting.

    4. Buy tickets online ahead of time so that you don't have to spend time waiting in line to buy them there.

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    Super expert tip: Btw, if you buy your tickets online, you get early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter thirty minutes before the park opens!

    5. You can rent a stroller β€” single or double β€” near the front of the park, if you didn't bring one.


    Strollers cost $15/day and $25/day, respectively.

    6. Strongly consider purchasing a Universal Express ticket – it lets you skip to the front of the line of any ride once.

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    If it's within your budget and you're only going for one day, it is definitely worth it so you can see everything. But most rides also have "single rider" options also, which can cut your wait time in half.

    7. If you don't want to carry around a map, download the Universal Studios Hollywood app.


    The app also shows wait times, show times, ride updates and closings, and even restroom locations.

    Super expert tip: If you forget your phone charger, Guest Relations has chargers for a variety of phone types that you can borrow. Win!

    8. The app can also point you towards the food locations that have options for anyone with dietary restrictions.


    Whether you're a vegetarian or vegan, or eat a gluten or peanut-free diet, the app has you covered.

    9. If you didn't do early entry, definitely head to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter as early in the day as possible β€” it's at its busiest around lunchtime. And look for the conductor of the Hogwarts Express right near the entrance for a super-cute photo opp!


    Super expert tip: Ollivander's wand demonstration is busiest right after opening, so this is one thing you might want to circle back for later in the day.

    10. And Wizarding World also has a ton of Instagrammable places where you least expect them, so if that's your thing, insta away!

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    11. You'll find the most popular ride in Wizarding World β€” Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey β€” inside this castle. But proceed with caution β€” the effects might be a little intense for young children.


    Also, you can't take anything on the ride with you. There are lockers outside the line queue for your things, but it gets congested fast. So knock this ride out first.

    12. But the very kid-friendly rollercoaster across the way β€” Flight of the Hippogriff β€” is a must-ride!


    It's short, has the perfect amount of thrills, and got a thumbs-up from both a Kindergartener and a 4th grader. Oh, and their moms!

    13. To save a little time, skip Harry Potter souvenir shopping until you're on your way out, when you can grab your souvenirs at the similar Harry Potter gift shop near the park entrance or the one in CityWalk.


    And you won't have to carry another bag around all day.

    14. But do check out the main restaurant in this area β€” Three Broomsticks β€” where you can get a cool patio view of Hogwarts Castle.

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    Three Broomsticks serves traditional English faire β€” and American breakfast! β€” that's supposedly pretty good.

    15. And don't forget to grab a "butterbeer" while you're in Harry Potter World β€” your kids will love it!


    You can get regular butterbeer or a slushie version (or the seasonal hot version!) β€” and they also sell pumpkin ale and lemonade, if butterbeer is a little sweet for your taste.

    16. But if you're looking for something a little more adult, there are several locations inside the park where you can get a beer or cocktail, including Hogs Head in Wizarding World and Moe's Tavern in the "Springfield" area of the park.



    And if you sit near the phone in Moe's, you or your kids might just get a hilarious prank call from Bart Simpson himself.


    17. While you're in Springfield, check out The Simpsons Ride β€” but be warned, it's another one that might be intense for younger kids.

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    Try the less-intense Kung Fu Panda ride first, to see how your kiddo responds to motion simulator rides before deciding on this one.

    18. And a visit to Springfield isn't complete without a stop at Lard Lad donuts for a GIANT donut!


    At about $6 or so, it's a bit of a pricey treat, but so melt-in-your-mouth delicious that it's totally worth it!

    And it's definitely enough for two...or more!


    19. If you'd like a cup of coffee with your giant donut or just need a quick pick-me-up, there are several Starbucks locations inside the park for your convenience.

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    There's one on the upper lot, and one on the lower lot.

    20. Despicable Me Minions Mayhem is a must-ride for anyone at least 40 inches tall.


    This is a good, mild ride that's sure to be a hit with the younger kids.

    21. But if you decide to skip the motion simulator rides altogether, Super Silly Fun Land is a great alternative for little ones!

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    There's a cute playground, a smaller kid-friendly ride, and a handful of carnival games.

    22. But be sure to bring your kid's swimsuit! Because Super Silly Fun Land is also the home of the hugely popular water play area.


    You'll want to bring water shoes or extra shoes for your kid to change into. Bare feet are not allowed, and your kid won't want to walk around in wet, squishy shoes for the rest of the day.

    23. If you want to check out a show, the Animal Actors show is a great option for all ages. Sit near the bottom and have your kiddo show a lot of energy, and they can get chosen to participate in the show!


    Super expert tip: Sitting near the end of an aisle gives you the best view of the birds the trainers carry up the stairs for the audience to see.

    And be sure to stick around after the show when you can get up close and personal with one or two of the animal actors β€” they're super friendly!


    24. The escalator to the lower lot is really long β€” roughly 7 minutes one way! β€” so it's the best use of your time do everything on the lower lot while you're there, so you don't have to go up and down.

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    Super expert tip: If Harry Potter's not for you, start your day on the lower lot. Most visitors will begin at the top, so you'll get a head start on those popular lower lot rides, and going back up those long escalators won't be as painful as it will after a long day.

    Btw, there are stairs next to the escalator, if that's your thing.

    25. The stopping areas between escalators have great views of the San Fernando Valley. So if you're taking the stairs, use these sections to catch your breath!


    26. Once you're on the lower lot level, the backlot tram tour is not to be missed β€” it's 45 minutes long or so, but you'll get to see all sorts of movie magic that'll impress even the younger kids!

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    Be sure to give them a heads up on what they'll see. King Kong and Jaws, for example, might startle younger ones.

    Super expert tip: Plan on riding the tram during that afternoon slump, when you're tired and could use a good 45 minute break from walking.

    27. Take advantage of the "child switch" program every ride has for kids that aren't riding β€” and a family room in which one member of your party can wait with your kid while the other rides the ride.


    Oh, and they show kid-friendly movies in there! Score!

    28. "Dino Play" is a great area for younger kids to play while older ones ride the Jurassic Park ride, which is directly adjacent.


    29. But know that the Jurassic Park ride has just closed and will re-open in 2019 updated as "Jurassic World", so you'll have to wait a while before getting your T-Rex fix.


    30. And don't forget to grab a photo with a character before you leave! Universal Studios' characters don't usually sign autographs so those lines for photos move pretty quickly.

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    Also, if you give a minion a banana – they'll go NUTS!

    31. And if all else fails β€” or you miss visiting the water play area during your park day β€” there's a splashing fountain in CityWalk that kids totally love.

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    If you check it out at night after the park closes, you'll catch a gorgeous light show while you're at it. Which can definitely end your trip on an amazing note...if you have a towel, of course.

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