Frequently Asked Questions About Universal Studios Hollywood
How many days do you need at Universal Studios Hollywood?
One day will give you a chance to do quite a bit, but two days is optimal to see & do everything. If you are trying to do the park in just one day, you might want to upgrade your ticket to a VIP ticket so that you can skip the lines.
What is the best month to go to Universal Studios?
The best month to go to Universal Studios is in February when the park is far less crowded.
What day is Universal Studios least crowded?
Wednesday is the best day to visit Universal Studios unless it falls on a holiday or during the summer months when people tend to vacation.
Do you need to book Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance?
No, you dont have to get tickets in advance, but if you want the best price, buying tickets online in advance is best.
When is Universal Studios Hollywood open?
The park opening times varying based on the season. Typically, the park opens anywhere between 9-10am each day of the week.
How Is It Different From The Wizarding World In Orlando
Although the two themed areas have the same name there actually have substantial differences. First of all, the one in Orlando actually consists of two areas , which in turn are located in two neighboring but distinct parks , while the one in Los Angeles consists of only one area that shares similarities with the Hogsmeade in Florida. Consequently, you can understand how the Hollywood version is consequently smaller and has fewer attractions than the one in Orlando.
Universal Studios Ca Theme Park Information
Universal Studios CA Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Phone Number: 1-800-UNIVERSAL
Universal Studios Hours: Vary from 10 – 5 off-season weekdays to 8 AM – 10 PM summer weekends. Hours vary each day.
Early Admission – If you purchase a preferred hotel package from Universal Studios online, you can get 1 hour early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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Eat At The Three Broomsticks
The Three Broomsticks is one restaurant Harry Potter fans definitely don’t want to miss at Universal Studios Hollywood. Here, you can try a variety of traditional British foods like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and more. Save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding!
Enjoy a traditional English breakfast at the Three Broomsticks
In the mornings, you can even get a traditional English breakfast here complete with eggs, sausage, black pudding, English bacon, baked beans, grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms and breakfast potatoes.
Get your photo in front of Hogwarts Express at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Managing Your Time In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios Hollywood
You do not have a time turner, so you’ll need to be smart about your time management, especially if you want to explore other parts of Universal Studios Hollywood. Try to arrive right at park opening, which is how you’ll find the shortest lines of the day at any theme park. We love skipping the lines!
Head straight to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We know you are going to be so excited to see it all, but bear with us. Head straight to the back of the land towards the castle. Do not take too much time to explore now. You will have plenty of time for shopping and exploring later. Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey inside the castle first thing. Do not use the Single Riders line for your first ride. If you are a huge Harry Potter fan, you’ll want to hop through the entire queue so you can take in all those cool details. That’s why you want to ride before the line builds up.
Now that that’s done, we actually recommend leaving the Wizarding World for a bit. Wait, what? Yes. You’ll thank us later. Everyone else heads to the Wizarding World, too, first thing in the morning. It gets busy in the first two hours of park opening. The shops are crowded. The lines for a wand pairing or Butterbeer are longest in the morning. Go take advantage of the short lines elsewhere in the park. We like to hop down to the Lower Lot as soon as it opens and knock those rides out while lines are short. Then, we ride the Studio Tour and make our way back to the Wizarding World.
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Purchase A Universal Express Pass
To make the most of your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, consider buying a Universal Express Pass. Lines for rides can be enormous at Universal Studios Hollywood, especially if visiting on summer weekends or during the winter holiday season. During our visit during the first week of January, lines stretched to 2.5 hours+! This upgrade will allow you to get to the front of the line of each attraction once. The best part? The Universal Express Pass can be used on both Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. This will save you valuable time that you can use casting spells in Hogsmeade, drinking Butterbeer or exploring the rest of the park outside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Flight Of The Hippogriff
This ride was a fast but short ride. It was a full roller coaster unlike all the other in universal that use screens and are virtual. There was a mechanical Hippogriff near the beginning of the ride that was quite impressive. This ride was also Cadys favourite ride and she went on it about 10 times in the 2 days we were there. We went twice on the first day all together but on the second day mom and Cady went seven times while dad and I did something else.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Butterbeer At Universal
As you can imagine, for a snack this popular the lines to grab a butterbeer can be long at times. This is especially true if you are visiting Universal Orlando during peak season when kids are off from school. However there are still ways to grab a butterbeer with extremely short lines.
Our favorite time is during early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The main reason is we have found that most people have their heart on getting onto one of those amazing Harry Potter rides. Which has always resulted in almost no wait to grab a butterbeer. Now of course we understand this might be a bit too sweet in the morning, or you might have your heart set on going onto one of those amazing rides as well. However, we did just want to make sure to mention this tip as it really can be a huge time saver.
The Wands At Harry Potter World
Wands are a big deal at Harry Potter World. Long before I even knew I was going I knew if I did go that I would be purchasing a wand. I imagine many big fans feel the same way. You can purchase a wand from Ollivanders shop, but first you will need to stand in line to get inside for the Ollivanders experience.
Some people dont want to stand in line for this, but those are probably not the people who want to buy wands. Once you get inside Ollivanderss you will be with a group of about 20 or so people. One of them will be chosen to have a wand fitting. They normally choose a child for this experience. This is quite fun to watch as they will have the child try a number of wands until the right one is found.
After you have seen a wand fitting you can go into a shop filled with all kinds of wands you can buy. Some of these are character replicas from the movies, but most of them are interactive wands of various wood types.
Interactive wands cost $50, which is obviously very expensive. If you are a big fan it will probably be worth it to you. If you are not a big fan you should not spend money on it. I am a big fan, and I bought a beautiful wand of vine wood. These interactive wands can be used at various spell points throughout Hogsmeade to make things happen inside of shop windows. While this gimmick is fun it doesnt justify the purchase of the wand itself, you need to really want a wand for its own sake. Harry Potter World is fully enjoyable without a wand .
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Ready To Plan Your Next Universal Orlando Trip
Beat the crowds with our discount Universal Orlando tickets! All guests who purchase their tickets from The Park Prodigy will get EARLY PARK ADMISSION to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter absolutely FREE! This could save you a ton of time in the parks and avoid buying express passes!
Make sure to check out our friends at Theme Park Todayfor great tips on how to have the best Universal vacation!
Ride The Two Harry Potter Rides
Curious or worried about the rides? Look up point-of-view videos on YouTube for spoilers.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a 4-D motion simulator, meaning you sit in a chair that tips you on your back and twists around while you watch a big screen and get sprayed a bit. Youre not physically careening through space, but it is dizzying. Flying on a broom looks so much easier when Harry does it. There are also dementors to watch out for, giant spiders, a dragon and the Whomping Willow.
Flight of the Hippogriff is a family-friendly roller coaster with no inversions. Its a tame and short ride as far as roller coasters go. When you pass by Hagrids hut, youll hear Fang barking inside.
Team members are serious about height requirements . Theres a chair outside the ride that you can try out to check if youll fit with the safety harness on.
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Harry Potter World Is Inside Universal Studios
Unfortunately Harry Potter World is located inside of Universal Studios Hollywood. It is not a stand alone theme park. To get into Harry Potter World you will have to purchase tickets to Universal Studios. This is a real downside because the rest of Universal Studios is really not worth seeing. Especially if you are coming from Disneyland, the Universal Studios park feels like a cheap a gimmick. But you can save some money by using our affiliate link with Get Away Today!
My advice is to walk as quickly as you can through the rest of the park until you get to the gates of Hogsmeade. The only thing you dont want to miss is the Weaslys car just inside the entrance to the whole park. This is one of the actual cars used in the movie, so it is your first good photo op.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios Guide
One of the best additions ever made to the Universal Studios theme parks was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando have areas dedicated to the Boy Who Lived. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an immersive experience so that once fans step foot into the land, they will feel like they have stepped into the movies and books.
Universal Orlando has two Harry Potter themed lands: Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade is located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida. The Hogwarts Express connects both of these Harry Potter themed lands- you will need a Park-to-Park ticket in order to ride though since it transports you between the two main theme parks at Universal Orlando.
Universal Studios Hollywood only has Hogsmeade but with a larger amount of shops to compensate for Hogsmeade being the main focus. Universal Studios Hollywood is a working studio and doesn’t have the same capacity as Orlando to expand. Despite that, the experience of Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood is just as amazing and immersive as its counterpart in Florida.
Our guide covers everything you need to know about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both the locations in California at Universal Studios Hollywood and in Florida at Universal Orlando. From British dining options to magical rides to the castle of Hogwarts guests can partake in their own Harry Potter themed adventure.
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Choosing A Wand In The Wizarding World At Universal Studios Hollywood
As all wizards know, the wand chooses the wizard. And where do wizards buy their wands? At Ollivanders, of course ! In this unique, interactive experience, you can watch one child or young adult selected from the audience work with the wandmaker to be paired with just the right wand for them. Brace yourself if your tadpole gets chosen. He or she may want to buy the custom interactive wand that lets you cast spells around the Wizarding World. The interactive wands are about $52, so you might want to set up expectations before entering.
There is usually a wait to take part in a wand-choosing ceremony, so keep your eye on that. We find that the wait time is highest in the morning and dips in the afternoon. Find out more about choosing a wand in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Save On Universal Studios Tickets & Packages
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More about Universal Orlando
- Why I dont recommend usually buying the Universal Express Pass online before your trip to Orlando.
- Springfield U.S.A. is Universal Studios Simpsons land
This post was originally published November 25, 2019. I received complimentary media admission in order to share my experience with you.
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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
The idea of âHollywood magicâ takes many forms at Universal Studios Hollywood, but it seems especially apt in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Even if you donât know all of the nuances of the bespectacled kid with a lightning-bolt-shaped scar, this six-acre attraction offers an abundance of whimsy and fun. With world-class action rides, wizard-worthy shops, and no shortage of Butterbeer, youâll find your disbelief suspended in no time at all.
The eye-popping centerpiece is 200-foot-high Hogwarts Castle, home of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Pass through the castle gates and wander the hallowed halls lined with portraits that talk, just like in the books and movies. Peruse the office of headmaster Albus Dumbledore, peer into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and scope out the Gryffindor Common Room, where Harry and his fellow housemates have been known to dish about those sullen Slytherin kids.
Then itâs time to board the siteâs signature attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Youâll ride on your own broomstick for a set of thrills that combines a robotics system, elaborate filmed action sequences, and immersive visceral effects. Expect to be as impressed as the stars of the Harry Potter movies who have also ridden it. âItâs so immersive,â reports actor James Phelps, who played one of the red-haired Weasley twins. âWhen youâre in it, you canât see anyone else riding the ride as well. Itâs just you.â
Linger And Take In The Ambiance
Rather than rushing to the Forbidden Journey attraction and skedaddling on to another area at Universal Studios Hollywood after it’s over, visitors, especially diehard Potter fans, should take the time to linger in Hogsmeade Village. The level of immersive themeing is incredible. You’ll feel as if you have truly entered the Scottish village depicted in Rowling’s books and the movies they inspired.
There are actual props from the movies embedded around the land. The “ancient” buildings look as if they have endured centuries of wear and lean this way and that from settling. Window displays spring to life when activated by specially equipped wands that are available for purchase. Even the bathrooms are themed. Tanks are mounted above the toilets as if they were installed eons ago. And if you listen carefully, “Moaning Murtle” can be heard lurking in the loos.
At the front of the land is Hogsmeade Station and the Hogwarts Express. Stationed in front of the train’s smoking engine, a conductor greets guests as they enter. The train, however, never leaves the station. Inside the station is a reproduction of a Hogwarts Express passenger compartment in which guests can have their photos taken.
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What Are The Different Types Of Universal Butterbeer In 2022
- Frozen Butterbeer
- Butterbeer ice cream
- Butterbeer fudge
There are at least five different forms and types of butterbeer you can enjoy while inside of either Wizarding World land in Universal Studios. All of these are available to purchase, and we will share where to get butterbeer in Universal later on.