Events, L.A. Local, The Inside Noise
Apr 4, 2023

About Town: Universal Studios

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a proper park review and now that the rain has gone, it’s time to take a trek over to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Image Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

The rotating globe that greets you as you enter Universal never gets old. It’s one of those timeless staples that really makes the magic of Universal so memorable.

Image: L-R: Princess Peach; Shigeru Miyamoto, Representative Director and Fellow, Nintendo Co. Ltd.; Mario; Scott Strobl, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Universal Studios Hollywood; Luigi at the Super Nintendo World Grand Opening on February 17, 2023

Quite a few new things have come to Universal since our last trek around the park. It’s great for a daycation type getaway and is so easily accessible for those in Los Angeles, that a day trip is really a no-brainer. Of course the latest craze is the brand new Super Nintedo World in the park’s lower lot. You do have to buy these amiibo, bracelets to fully enjoy the experience. And yes…the bracelets are extra. The come in a range of characters, we went for Princess Peach and Toad. The bonus however is that aside from using these bracelets in the park you can bring them home and use them as amiibo on your Nintendo Switch which makes the purchase totally worth it. You get to enjoy the mini games at the park as well as the surprises and bonus chests they provide in-game on your Switch console at home. The bracelets are also pretty fun because you slap them on like those popular 80’s-90’s slap bands. Not to mention that the next time you come to the park you’ll have coins and stars saved from your last play. Pro-tip don;t make it your first stop of the day. Your express passes don’t work here and everyone seems to have the same idea of going to Super Nintendo World first. Don’t. It’ll be so crowded. Instead plan your day out throughout the park and then return to grab a bite that you can schedule on the Universal Studios app and enjoy the new attactions later in the day. Don’t go too close to closing though. We came back to finish rides that were too busy the first time we went in the morning and saw that Super Nintendo World was closing a full hour before the rest of the park to accomodate for all the guests wanting to play the mini games and ride on rainbow road for the parks live version simulation ride of popular Mario Kart.

Check out this video that Universal put together for the new Super Nintedo World below:

Universal Studios Hollywood Introduces Jupiter’s Claim, An Original Film Set from Jordan Peele’s Expansive New Horror Epic, Nope, as a Permanent Attraction on the World-Famous Studio Tour

One of our favorite rides at Universal is their Studio Tour which takes you through all the movie making magic. It’s also cool to note that the Studio Tour is conducted on an all electric tram! We hadn’t been in years and it was so fun to drive through the set of NOPE. In addition to movie sets, you’ll also get to see how special and practical effects come to life. Not to mention really cool movie props in the flesh including a massive collection of movie cars that had quite a few new additions. We don’t want to spoil what was added and would instead like to encourage you to take the tour to see for yourself. The tour guide is a combination of a guided video with Jimmy Fallon and a tour guide who rides up front with the driver and shares fun anecdotes and stories about the lot. Did you know Universal has their own Fire Dept? When you take the tour you even get to see them (though hopefully never in action).

Image: Entrance to Hogwarts castle and “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride – WWoHP at Universal Studios Hollywood

Of course The Wizarding World of Harry Potter continues to be as magical as you can expect. We hadn’t popped in for a wand choosing in awhile and it’s such a fun process to see them re-create and personalize that moment when Harry finally finds his wand with Ollivander. You can buy interactive wands there that make the park come alive. Don’t trust anything in the windows they’re just waiting for you to cast a spell on them. The Butterbeer is the best if you grab it inside the restaurant there, it’s colder and always seems to be foamier too. And we can’t forget to mention that Butterbeer is also now available as Vegan! How yum!

Image: DreamWorks Theatre Featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest”

Dreamworks also has a Kung Fu Panda ride which is suitable for younger attendees while also being fun and engaging for adults as well. It’s a short film that takes you along for the ride as if you’ve joined in on the adventure with the gang.

Image: Universal Studios Hollywood

One of our absolute favorite and can’t be missed attractions at Universal is their Water World show. It’s comprised of Hollywood stunt actors who really make the show come alive and just pop. Watch out for the green seats if you don’t want to get wet though. It really is such a spectacular and well done show, we can’t imagine anything ever replacing it. You can also track show times and even set reminders inb the Universal app which we had never done before and now we can never manage the park without it. Water World is such a cool show, you’ll feel like you’re watching an action movie being shot in real time.

For fans of all things horror The Walking Dead maze that used to take up permanet residence is gone, and we are excited to see what will be switched out to take it’s place. What do you think Universal should dedicate the old Walking Dead space to? Let us know below, and we’d love to hear what your favorite part of the park is.