A visit to the original movie park

Upper-Lot

WaterWorld

The entrance to the WaterWorld stunt show, which is based on the film of the same name, is located directly at the entrance to the theme park. The show features an extremely interesting villain, plenty of action, lots of fire and a crashing aeroplane. Enough elements for an amazing and absolutely entertaining spectacle.

DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda

Meanwhile, in the DreamWorld Theatre at the end of Main Street, a Kung Fu Panda film is shown instead of Shrek 4D, where we go on a wild ride down the river with Po, his father and Shifu before being attacked by pirates. Towards the end, there is an impressive fight that even takes place on the walls to the left and right of the actual screen.

Minion Land

The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the fairly new dark ride The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, as there was no longer a Virtual Ticket that would have entitled me to a ride and I honestly didn’t have it on my radar at all. The ride itself is a classic dark ride that I would have loved to have experienced.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

The Despicable Me films are among the most successful animated films of all time, which is mainly due to the funny Minions. In Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, we become Minions ourselves and are sent on a crazy journey to test our suitability as Minions. At the same time, the three children lose their gift to Gru and now it’s time to get it back. The ride in the simulators and the film shown are extremely entertaining, which is why I can highly recommend a visit to the Minions.

Super Silly Fun Land

The Super Silly Fun Land is an amusement park from the first Despicable Me film and features a large water playground in addition to a large-scale carousel. Interestingly, one of the theme park’s large car parks is located underneath this area.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Flight of the Hippogriff

The Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster is the newest roller coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood to date. The 300 metre long family roller coaster from Mack Rides offers a wonderful 540° downward helix at the beginning of the ride, several beautiful turns and numerous curves close to the ground, which make the ride somewhat more interesting than its Vekoma counterpart from the other Universal Studios theme parks. Unfortunately, the ride ends after just one lap.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

The wild ride through Hogwarts begins with Hermione’s generous use of floo powder, which we soon find ourselves in the observatory. In the observatory itself, we join Harry and Ron and experience a fabulous ride over the rooftops of Hogwarts towards the Quidditch match. Meanwhile, we meet Hagrid, who asks us if we have seen the dragon, only to meet said dragon a few moments later. Pushed by the dragon, our path leads us into a bridge, where the dragon is waiting for us as an animatronic, but we manage to escape.

Shortly afterwards, we find ourselves in the Forbidden Forest, where we immediately encounter Aragog. Hermione rushes to our aid and chases him away while we continue our escape. More spiders get in our way, but we manage to leave the forest. The whomping willow awaits us in the clearing, although we manage to avoid it quite well, it does eventually catch us and we are thrown into the Quidditch stadium. So far so good, after all it was our goal and we are right in the middle of the action – which is much cooler than the trendy muggle sport.

When Slytherin, of all people, scores a goal against Gryffindor, dementors get into the arena and Harry escorts us out. We are separated from Harry and soon find ourselves in the Chamber of Secrets. Another Dementor chases after us and even Lord Voldemort gives us the slip. We manage to escape, but a horde of Dementors is already waiting for us. It’s getting cold, the gondola bearer’s movements are noticeably slow and a heartbeat can be heard from the subwoofers on the benches. At the last possible moment, Harry chases the Dementors away and we follow him through the collapsing entrance towards Hogwarts. In the main hall leading to the grand staircase, we meet all sorts of students and teachers and, last but not least, Albus Dumbledore, who uses floo powder to transport us to the Room of Requirement, i.e. the ward of the ride, and the still very good ride comes to an end.

Spingfield, USA – Home of the Simpsons

The Simpsons Ride

One of Universal Studios’ most iconic attractions was Back to the Future: The Ride, where you went on a hectic journey through time in replica DeLorians to bring Biff back to the future. The ride was replaced in 2008 both in Hollywood and at Universal Studios Florida by the Simpsons Ride – an IP that was still very relevant at the time. The ride is quite impressive due to the simulators used and the pre-shows are very entertaining. The film itself is hectic and overloaded. Furthermore, the 3D look doesn’t really do the familiar characters from the series any favours. All in all, however, the ride is definitely entertaining; now that the rights are with Disney, you should definitely take a ride while you still can.

Lower-Lot

Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride

Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride has been the rollercoaster at Universal Studios Hollywood for almost 20 years. After a dark ride section that is absolutely worth seeing, Revenge of the Mummy gets you going via LSM. A bumpy climb is immediately followed by a very steep left-hand bend that takes us to the bottom of the hall. After a sweeping climb, we then enter a wide combination of left and right-hand bends. We then reduce our speed slightly on a long straight before taking a steep climb and coming to a halt in a cul-de-sac. After a whole host of scarabs appear, our only option is to flee backwards. We now head backwards over numerous small, gently rolling hills. After a slightly longer bend, we reach the brakes. In another scene, we are quickly turned back in the direction we started, just before a curtain rises and we immediately find ourselves in the station of the ride.

I would never have thought that the ride on Revenge of the Mummy would be so different from its sister ride at Universal Studios Florida. There are several launches, but no real height difference and the ride itself is also much shorter. Nevertheless, a ride on Revenge of the Mummy is highly recommended.

Jurassic World – The Ride

The Vekoma Shoot-the-Chutes Jurassic World – The Ride is also one of the best rides of its kind. The ride through the modern dinosaur park has been one of the most famous water rides in the world since it opened as Jurassic Park – The Ride.

After leaving the station, a short lift hill takes us to an intermediate level. Up here, the path leads us directly into the stunning Monosaurus Aqaurium, which offers all kinds of surprises. After a short trip through a cave, we travel through a tropical enclosure where we encounter a Stegosaurus mother and her baby, as well as a Parasaurolophus. At the predatory dinosaurs we then learn that the Indominus Rex has escaped from its enclosure. Of course, the path then leads us straight to the Tyrannosaurus Rex Kingdom. After we have climbed the lift, the big showdown with the Indominus Rex follows, as well as the iconic encounter with the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which introduces our fast-paced shoot-out from the building.

Jurassic World – The Ride offers some impressive new features compared to the original version. However, the ride is now less rounded, as the focus is more on the action than on a consistently told story. 

Transformers: The Ride 3D

Like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, Transformers: The Ride 3D scores particularly well with the ride system used. The ride offers a successful mix of film sequences and very well staged backdrops that take the action-packed ride to a higher level. As in the Transformers films, there is hardly a quiet second during the ride. There’s shooting, fighting and cool jokes thrown around wherever possible. Every few seconds, the next scene begins, with the transitions taking place absolutely smoothly, leaving an extremely coherent overall impression at the end – in other words, Transformers: The Ride 3D is an absolutely awesome ride.

Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World is currently the hottest thing when it comes to areas in theme parks. The rather small themed area is reminiscent of the levels known from Super Mario World and has all sorts of gimmicks to offer, for which you need a power-up band, which you have to purchase beforehand. Basically, the themed area looks really good, but if you can’t get an early reservation for the Toadstool Café and the interactive games are of little interest to you, then it will be really difficult to spend a long time in this themed area. The Yoshi dark ride is also missing compared to the Japanese original.

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

The main attraction at Super Nintendo World is the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge dark ride. The queue alone is a dream and offers lots of little allusions for Nintendo fans, which makes the waiting time pass very quickly. The Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride offers an entertaining augmented reality experience, but it has little to do with the actual Mario Kart. Although you drive in karts and shoot the virtual opponents in front of you with items, there is never a real racing feeling apart from the start.

Basically, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is a very solid interactive dark ride with an unprecedented driving system. The use of augmented reality makes the ride feel very lively. However, it lacks a little narrative depth. Also, Mario Kart was never a competition of good versus evil, so why can’t you just drive as Team Bowser? You have two lanes, so it would have been easy to compete with the other lane for more points, similar to the team competitions in Mariokart Tour.

Studio Tour Plaza

Studio Tour

The main attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is certainly the Studio Tour. The tour offers an insight into Universal City, where many of the well-known Universal blockbusters are filmed. In addition to the informative ride around the studio grounds, you will also drive past some of the scenes built especially for the Studio Tour. Here you meet the Jaws, experience King Kong fighting dinosaurs and finally find yourself in the middle of a Fast & Furious scene that is just as outrageous as the entire Fast & Furious Supercharged attraction at Universal Studios Florida. All in all, a really great attraction and the main reason to visit Universal Studios Hollywood.

Pictures Universal Studios Hollywood

Conclusion Universal Studios Hollywood

If it weren’t for the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, there would be no real reason to visit the park at all. With the exception of the dark ride The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, there is nothing here in the park that you can’t also experience in the other Universal theme parks. These are also significantly larger and simply offer far more experiences. Universal Studios Hollywood lacks a unique selling point; a gap that the new Fast & Furious will certainly close in two years’ time. Thus, we can be curious.


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