Universal Studios: The Ultimate Guide

Not only did I visit Disneyland, I spent a day in Universal Studios! It’s a bucket load of fun, but beware! This isn’t Disneyland.

#1 This Isn’t Like Disneyland

Universal Studios and Disneyland may both be theme parks, but they’re way different. For starters, keep in mind that U studios is not really for small children. Most of the rides will not sit well with your wee ones. U studios can also be done in a day without breaking your sanity and destroying your feet. Also, not every ride is open right at the opening time. Lower lot attractions may not open for 30-45 minutes.

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#2 Scores of Motion-Simulator Rides

Motion-simulator rides are the ones where you sit in the little car with your 3-D glasses and the movement corresponds with the action onscreen. I discovered mid-way through Star Tours in Disneyland that I cannot handle those rides. They make my head hurt and my stomach churn, even if I take off the glasses, so I just stare at the floor. Despicable Me, The Simpsons, Transformers, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey are all motion simulators. They also do motion simulation on the Studio Tour.

#3 Revenge of the Locker

In order to ride Revenge of the Mummy, you’ve got to put all your personals in a locker, otherwise they’ll pull you out of line and make you do it. Remember which finger you used to scan for your locker! That’s the only way to get your stuff back after you’ve lost the ability to process what just happened post-mummy roller coaster. I couldn’t remember, so it turned into a big fiasco (it was my right pointer), and my family didn’t speak to me for a while after my little tantrum. Pro tip: when the roller coaster people tell you to lean your head against the little head rest, follow the instructions the rollercoaster goes 40 mph. 

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#4 See the shows

Really, the shows are fun and worth waiting for. WaterWorld was my fave, do not sit on the green benches unless you plan on being drenched. I personally think the show for WW had a better plot than the movie. Animal Actors and Special effects are fun too. Remember: if you sit up high, you’ll have the best view. This is also a good time to much on snacks.

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#5 Harry Potter is Legit

Potterheads will lose their wizarding minds when they enter. All of the employees are dressed in house colors (way too many Gryffindors, I only saw 1 Ravenclaw the whole time), you can get a wand at Ollivanders, and all your super expensive wizarding wear can be purchased with muggle money. All of the stores have all four houses represented, so Huffles and Ravens rejoice! Try the butterbeer, but get one cup and split it among your party. It is so sugary sweet that you won’t be able to drink a whole cup.

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#6 Springfield U.S.A is the Actual Best

Simpsons lovers unite! There may be only one ride in the whole land, but do some exploring. You can get all your merch in the Kwik E Mart, which has all kinds of cool things you don’t need but buy anyway. Lard Lad doughnuts sells hot pink frosted doughnuts for $6, arguably the best snack in U studios. Also, the Simpsons ride is worth riding just to see the queuing area. There are TVs everywhere showing clips of theme park-related Simpsons episodes, and Sideshow Bob (with the silky bass voice of Kelsey Grammer) is the villain! Yays!

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