Travel info for visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood

The hidden side of American cinema


100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States

GPS: 34.139383437493, -118.35182554715

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Built alongside legendary Hollywood film studios, Universal Studios is a theme park with attractions and animations based on legendary films that have marked several generations of moviegoers (Spider-Man, Back to the Future, King Kong…). Universal Studios Hollywood is also working to restore the atmosphere of American series that have become cults all over the world, such as the Simpsons or The Walking Dead.

The Universal Studios Hollywood recreation complex was created in 1964 to set the scene for films made in the United States to the public. At that time, visitors can attend scenes shot in real situations. A few years later, the American professional union of actors and extras (SAG-AFTRA) opposed this idea and established a rule aimed at prohibiting access to most studios. At the same time, Universal chiefs are developing the first attractions for families with children, starting with a zoo. Then the philosophy of the park resolutely turns to shows, rides and new experiences in connection with films already broadcast in theatres. The concept is born and a leisure industry is developing around the Universal Parks & Resorts brand. Other Universal Studios parks are emerging in Orlando (Universal Studios Florida in 1990), Japan (Universal Studios Japan in 2001) and Singapore (Universal Studios Singapore in 2010).

A real invitation to discover the film sets and the backstage of the largest productions in the United States, this lair of Hollywood cinema will reveal to you how certain tricks, special effects and film sets are produced. Just recently, and as Universal Studios Florida had done before him, this Californian park offers a special immersion in the world of Harry Potter films. Universal Studios Hollywood, with its multiple rides, shows or attractions in 3D and 4D, constitutes the essential stage of any stay in Los Angeles. Still used as a film production studio by Universal Pictures, it remains the oldest American film studio still active in the United States. Almost 25 years after its inaugural opening, the emblematic attraction of Jurassic World – The Ride offers a new youth. She leads her visitors on a dangerous cruise to meet the dinosaurs in a completely redesigned scenography in 2019. Among the other novelties of the park, it is possible to cite The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! inspired by animated films produced in 2016 and 2019 as well as the night show Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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  • Immersion in historic Hollywood film studios (more than 150 hectares of filming locations punctuated by special effects and animations of all kinds)
  • The quality of the decor; original attractions unique in the world
  • The virtual visit of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • 3-D and 4-D films and animations (including King Kong: 360 3-D or Transformers: The Ride-3D)
  • The water show evoking the film Waterworld; the show Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • CityWalk pedestrian areas (large choice of shops, restaurants and entertainments)
  • The possibility of booking your entry ticket in advance
  • The more expensive but advantageous VIP Experience and Front of Line Ticket packages
  • The proximity to Hollywood and Los Angeles
  • Cinema studios were created by Carl Laemmle during the First World War in 1915, in the infancy of the world film industry. From the start, this German expatriate had the idea of showing his premises and filming locations by making spectators pay for entry to diversify his income. The recording of silent films at the time therefore takes place with the public, but the nuisances generated by their presence on stage force them to stop this practice. This returned to the agenda in the 1950s by organizing bus circuits and allowing visitors to attend the corporate restaurant.
  • It was not until 1964 that the park developed the Studio Tour, a permanent circuit aboard a tram. It will be continuously embellished with new animations and scripted attractions to eventually form a real experimental leisure park.
  • The immersive tour of film studios and backstage is a concept that will be taken up later by Warner Bros and then The Walt Disney Company.
  • In 2008, a fire ravaged Universal Studios in Hollywood and destroyed filming halls and film equipment. The greatest loss comes from the hundreds of thousands of original master’s recordings of music accumulated since the 1940s by Universal and which were reduced to smoke while they were archived in a warehouse.
  • A new themed area is being built within Universal Studios Hollywood. This is Super Nintendo World, which will be dedicated to the star characters of the Super Mario platform (Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Bowser…) and to the world of the Nintendo game console. This entertainment zone was first created in Universal Studios Japan in 2021.
  • To save time and save money, buy your ticket online without forgetting to bring water with you and possibly prepare your picnic.
  • Borrow the Studio Tour train as soon as you arrive to explore the authentic film studios still in operation (including the last attraction Fast & Furious: Supercharged).
  • Be sure to plan your visit in advance to maximize the number of attractions and shows you want to attend on site.
  • The park has created a mobile application, The Universal Studios Hollywood Mobile App, available on Android and iOS, for its visitors. It includes everything you will need on site: park maps, attraction wait times, show times and where to access Wi-Fi for free.
  • About sixty kilometres separate Universal Studios Hollywood from its eternal competitor Disneyland Park (between 1:30 am and 2 hours drive depending on traffic conditions in Los Angeles).

Where to eat

  • Bea Bea's
    (beefy breakfast)
  • Stout Burgers and Beers
    (burgers' pub)
  • SunCafe Organic
    (vegan food)

Where to go

  • Griffith Park
    (multi-activity site)
  • Getty Center
    (superb artistic collections)
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
    (architectural jewel)

Where to stay

  • PodShare
    (inspired inn)
  • El Royale Hotel
    (close to Universal Studios)
  • Kimpton Everly Hotel
    (ideal cocoon)