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Family Things To Do In Southern California – Universal Studios Hollywood

If you’re planning on visiting Southern California with your family I highly recommend taking the kids to Universal Studios Hollywood. I grew up in Southern California and I’ll be honest, I have never been to Universal Studios Hollywood until our visit in late December. I’ve been to all kinds of theme parks but nothing is quite like Universal, The Entertainment Capital of the World.

The first thing we did was the Studio Backlot Tour which is world famous. You are able to drive through real movie sets like a mini city. That are actually used for all kinds of movies and tv shows. There are some sets that are currently in use and some that are from the past. You can actually see Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives, but you probably don’t know those houses have been used for many shows over the past 20 years.

It is a theme park so there are a few additions to the tour. A subway floods, cars come at you, King Kong gets into a fight with a Dinosaur. All while you sit in the car. There’s a lot of special effects, like they show you how they make rain and control a flood. Don’t worry the water is recycled!

I’ve never done anything quite like the Backlot Tour and Universal seems to have thought of it all. There are live performers through different parts including The Grinch and Whoville!

But don’t think Universal is without rides! There’s a few rides which Kaila was not able to go on. Universal is great for kids over the height limit of 46 inches. With rider swap it was really easy, and what I like about Universal was the rider swap rooms.

The rider swap inside The Revenge of the Mummy has a TV, toys, and the door shuts. Which for a roaming toddler who just wants to go through any door she sees, was really nice to have. Plus we were nice and warm inside. It made waiting not that bad, and my husband and I both were able to enjoy the ride.

Another thing I noticed about Universal is it’s all about the special effects. In the ride The Simpson’s Kai and I literally felt like we were on a roller coaster. They combine robotics and visual to create these amazing attractions. It’s a great place to take your kids, or even go by yourself. Theme parks can be quite romantic.

Don’t forget parking! I wanted to give this little tip about parking. We paid $20 for preferred parking which allowed us to bypass the long parking line. We also were able to park, right next to the park! Getting to the car was so easy, and it was well worth the added cost. I highly suggest doing it that way if you are driving in. We stayed nearby and it was so easy to get to and getting around the area was simple.

Be ready to wear your 3D glasses and enjoy!

Universal was kind enough as to give us free media passes to check out the park. We had a wonderful time!


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  2. Haven on January 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve been to a lot of theme parks and I think Universal Studios is actually my least favorite…

    The backlot tour was cool. But I think as a teenager I just wanted more rides and action, like six flags has.

    I might enjoy Universal Studios more now that I’m older or as a place for younger kids.

    Very cool that you got to do this with your family! How fun!

    And I agree that theme parks can TOTALLY be romantic. 🙂

  3. LindsayDianne on January 13, 2011 at 10:57 am

    That’s really great. Universal is an amazing experience.
    I loved the Jurassic Park ride, but I really miss ET.