Our first day at Universal Studios was spent primarily in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Once I entered, I didn’t want to leave…EVER!
But near the end of the day I gave into the reality that I’d have to re-enter the muggle world sooner or later, so we exited that part of the park and headed off to explore the remainder of Universal Studios.
The following day we returned to finishing riding the rides we missed the first day, as well as taking the time to enjoy some of the shows offered in the park.
Universal Studios is divided into different “lands” that house rides and attractions inspired by that land.
Upon first entering the park, visitors will find themselves in “Production Central.” This main street area is home to 3-D rides: Despicable Me minion Mayhem, Shrek, and Transformers.
It is also home to this parks largest, most thrilling coaster: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. This was a favorite ride of some of the older kids.
The next area visitors walk through, when moving clockwise through the park, is New York. The building facades of this area of the park make you feel as though you are in New York City. Some of our favorite rides in Universal are located in the New York area.
This includes Jimmy Fallon: Race through New York, a fun-filled 3-D race through New York City with the Tonight Show’s host, and Revenge of the Mummy, in which visitors plunge into the dark and face an army of mummies on this indoor coaster. This ride was the hands-down favorite of the entire family.
The next area of the park gusts will find themselves in is the San Francisco area of the park. Once again, Universal Studios did an amazing job of making visitors feel as though they had stepped into this beloved city with its attention to detail.
It is in this area of the park that guests will find the Fast and Furious- Supercharged ride. This was Ozzie’s favorite ride of the day. My car-loving boy couldn’t get enough of this supercharged ride in which visitors join Dom, Letty and the rest of Fast and Furious family as they face off against an unforeseen enemy.
Even more than the ride itself, Ozzie loved the queue and gift shop that boasted all sorts of sports cars and car memorabilia.
On the other side of the park visitors will find the areas more geared to a younger audience including:
Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone,
Home of Curious George Goes to Town water play area:
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster:
Fievel’s Playland, a playground with a mouse-eye view of the world,
And E.T. adventure:
It is also on this side of the park that visitors will find themselves in Springfield: Home of the Simpsons. We didn’t spend any time here, having never watch the Simpsons and not getting any of the references that delighted other visitors. We did stop for one of the huge donuts for sale, however, when we saw another park guest carrying it.
The huge donuts sold in Springfield: Home of the Simpsons sales for $8.00 and was big enough to be split eight ways. It was the perfect mid-day pick-me-up…Yum!
As fun as the rides in Universal Studios were, I found the best part to be the shows sprinkled throughout the park.
We stopped to watch the Fear Factor show.
This show is modeled after the television show but allows visitors to audition to appear in the live show in from of a park audience. If chosen, guests will have to compete in various challenges including eating gross foods, being shut in a glass box with various creepy crawlies, and extreme physical challenges.
We enjoyed watching as audience members, but were happy to not be in the show!
We also really enjoyed the Animal Actors on Location show. Led by a professional animal trainer, this interactive show allows guests to see how animals are trained for the movies. As a family of animal lovers, we loved this funny show starring dogs, cats, birds, porcupines, skunks, otters, and even a pot belly pig…all of whom have been trained to perform their part in the show.
This was my personal favorite, non-Harry Potter experience of Universal Studios.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is still the showcase piece of this park, but found there were other experienced to be enjoyed if guests can pull themselves away from the magic of Harry Potter’s world of magical experiences.