Our 8 Top Tips For A Family Adventure In Universal Studios, Hollywood

We loved having fun at Universal Studios, Hollywood.

The themed rides and other attractions make for a wonderful family trip.

But there are a few things you can do to make your time in the park even more fun.

Here are our Top Tips for a family adventure in Universal Studios Hollywood.


About To Have Fun At Universal Studios Hollywood

Tip One – Book Your Tickets On Universal Studios Hollywood, Website

Instead of waiting until the day and buying your tickets at the gate or purchasing them through an agent in Hollywood, buy them online in advance.

If you know the day you want to visit then we think this is the best choice.

There are two advantages of booking through the Universal Studios Hollywood website.

Firstly they have regular special promotions on offer.

We got a 2 for 1 deal which meant we paid for one day and got a second absolutely free.

That’s not a bad deal at all, is it?

Our first day had to be on the date we specified but then we could choose our second visit within a certain amount of days.

So it’s worth keeping an eye on their promotions.

Secondly, by purchasing online, we were eligible for early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Early entry means you get to enter the Harry Potter area 30 minutes before official opening time.

The Wizarding World is one of the most popular areas of the park so getting in early is definitely a bonus as far as we’re concerned.


 Universal Studios Hollywood

Tip Two – Plan Your Day, But Not Too Much

You want every member of your family to get the most out of your visit to Universal.

It’s not fair if someone misses out on their favourite ride or attraction so a little planning helps everyone enjoy their day.

Don’t plan everything, you still want to make it fun and as spontaneous as you can but just give yourself a heads up on the park and rides.

We usually have some idea of what we want to do the most and the least in the park.

Familiarise yourself with the rides and where they are in the park.

To help you we’ve written a Family Guide To Universal Studios

What are the height restrictions or recommended minimum ages for the rides/attractions you want to go on?

Did you know that the park is set out over two levels and the lower level opens later than the upper level?

Once you’re in the park ride wait times are displayed on electronic boards to help you decide what to do next.


 Plan You Day Of Fun

Tip Three – Ride When The Shows Are On

So this tip is especially important if it’s a busy day in the park.

There are three main shows in Universal Hollywood so while people are watching those, the rides may become quieter.

The stunt show and the special effect show have big audiences so that takes quite a few people away from the rides.

Take a look at the timings for the shows and do some planning.

You could always see the shows at the less popular times when other people want to do the rides.


 You May Just Get A Ride All To Yourself

Tip Four – Utilise The Child Switch Service

So you want to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey but your children don’t meet the height restriction and you want them to see the inside of Hogwarts ( it is amazing ).

You and your partner could queue individually in the single rider line but that would take so long.

What to do?

Use the Child Switch, facility, that’s what.

This means that you can line up in the normal queue and when you get to the front, one parent boards while the other parent waits with the children in the Child Switch room.

Number one parent enjoys the ride and when they get off they go to the room and number two parent boards the ride without having to queue at all while number one parent takes care of the children.

Many moons ago we used this in another park and it worked out really well and saved us a lot of queuing time.

Most rides will have this facility but check before you get to the park to be sure.


 Get To Ride The Big Attractions Using Child Switch

Tip Five – The Question Of Food

There’s no getting away from it, food in the park is very expensive.

So if you don’t want to pay the inflated prices then you need to plan ahead.

Don’t get yourself into the position of having no choice but to eat in the park and pay the prices because you didn’t plan ahead.

Universal’s website states that you are allowed to bring small snacks and up to 2 litres of water into the park with you.

I don’t suppose that anyone is going to stop you eating food you brought in unless you start laying out a five-course meal with all the trimmings.

We didn’t want to carry much with us so we decided instead to have plenty to eat at breakfast and then have a larger meal out of the park in the evening.

We did get peckish though and purchased a couple of bags of crisps/chips which were about the cheapest thing we could find but were still outrageously expensive.

The only other food item we bought was a Giant doughnut from Lard Lads for Annabel’s birthday.

Of course, eating a nice meal in one of the themed restaurants in the park might be part of your plan so go ahead and enjoy.


 We Treated Annabel To A Giant Doughnut From Lard Lads ( It Was Her Birthday After All )

Tip Six – Choose A Quiet Time If Possible

This may seem a bit obvious but do your research on busy and quiet times in the park.

There are tons of online Universal Studios Hollywood busy day calendars that will give you an idea of the busiest and quietest days throughout the year.

Sometimes they can contradict one another a bit so just use them as a guide and not the absolute truth.

We were lucky in that we could be flexible with the timing of our visit although we wanted to be there for Annabel’s birthday if possible.

So we chose a Monday and Tuesday in mid-December.

No word of a lie, most rides had no lines at all so we just kept going around and riding again and again.

Early December seems to be a great time as schools aren’t out yet but all the festive decorations are up in the park.

Holidays are of course very busy as are weekends and if you don’t have a choice but to go then, just plan as much as you can for a great trip.


 Not Too Crowded In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Tip Seven – Celebrating, Then Shout It Out

Universal loves celebrations so make the most of it.

Annabel had her birthday celebration at the park so I’m going to talk about birthdays first of all.

Before you even step foot on the rides, pay a visit to the guest Services by the main entrance and ask them for a badge.

Tell them what you are celebrating and they’ll give you a badge that reflects the celebration.

So it could be your birthday or just your first visit to the park or any other number of special days.

Get your name written on it and if it’s your birthday, you’ll be wished a happy one all day long by park attendants.

One kind ride attendant even let us through the fast-track line for one attraction.

Bonus Tip – If it’s your birthday make sure you visit Honeydukes Sweet Shop in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and let them know it’s your birthday.

You may just get a bigger happy birthday than you expected.


 A Celebration At The Park Is So Much Fun

Tip Eight, The Final Tip – Remember To Enjoy Yourself

This may seem obvious but in all the stress of trying to have a great time, it’s sometimes easy to forget to just enjoy yourself.

Time at Universal Studios is all about having fun, not just the children but the whole family, and that includes you.

So even if the lines are long or there are disagreements about what to do when, remember what the trip is all about and enjoy it.

To have even more fun in the park you might like to read our Family Guide To Universal Studios Hollywood for more in depths details about the park.


 Having Fun On Hagrid’s Motorcycle