Universal Studios- Hollywood

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When most people think about Hollywood the image of movie sets, bright lights, and stardom are likely among the first to emerge. Conversely, with the birth of the American amusement park in the mid-twentieth century, people are just as likely to link Hollywood and southern California in general with daring rides and amazing entertainment. At Universal Studios-Hollywood, the combination of these two clichés takes full form at a working movie studio-cum-amusement park that offers visitors of all ages a one-of-a-kind, uniquely Hollywood experience.

History

The link between studio tours and Universal is as old as Universal City itself. Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Pictures, opened his California movie studio in Los Angeles county, just outside of the City of Los Angeles in 1915. Earning the moniker Universal City thanks to the addition of the movie studios to what was then a working farm, its founder immediately thought that offering a chance to get a “behind the scenes” look at how movies were made would help establish his studio in the consciousness and good graces of the American public.

Laemmle’s original tours cost guests $0.05 and included a boxed lunch. Visitors were taken through the dressing rooms and into the studios themselves where the silent films of the era were created. They were also able to buy fresh produce grown on the farm. However, with the addition of audio to films at Universal in 1930 and the expansion of Universal City into a more urban space, the tours ceased.

Years later, in the 1960s, Universal was taken over by the Music Corporation of America. Again, to drum up business and include the general public in their craft, the new team immediately suggested the re-establishment of a studio tour. Originally the tour included a similar dressing room walk-through and set visit structure. Eventually, however, the Universal Studios tour, and its famous tram, also integrated staged events to keep audiences entertained along the way.

It is from this model that amusement park/studio tour at Universal Studios-Hollywood was established. Still a working movie production studio, unlike its most famous sister park in Orlando, Universal Studios-Hollywood began adding additional attractions as early as 1965. Unique among the Universal franchise, however, at the Hollywood location the narrated tram tour still runs daily through the Universal Studios backlot and is a major draw for its guests.

Throughout the decades, many new attractions have been added to Universal Studios, transforming it into a full-blown amusement park dedicated to the magic of Universal films and characters. Woody Woodpecker is the mascot of the Hollywood location, with additional Universal Studios theme parks located in Orlando; Osaka, Japan; and Sentosa, Sinagpore.

Main Attraction

A trip to Universal Studios-Hollywood offers guests three, distinct paths of entertainment and fun. First, as a full amusement park featuring over a dozen rides and attractions dedicated to Universal movies and characters, there is plenty of adventure for kids of all ages. Among the most popular experiences include a Shrek 4D movie, Jurassic Park: The Ride and character meet and greets throughout the park.

Second, the tram-based Universal Studio tour is probably the most popular option among visitors. Lasting between 40 and 45 minutes and led by a live guide, the Studio Tour, also called the Backlot Tour, includes everything from the chance to glimpse a real Universal set and its stars to dramatic reenactments of popular Universal movies like Jaws and The Fast & The Furious. Along the way, guests will be met with a great deal of information, trivia, and history about Hollywood and Universal’s role within it.

The final option for a Universal Studios and Universal City visit is the Universal CityWalk. This area is made up of three blocks of entertainment, dining, and shopping and offers visitors the chance to “live like a local” with a distinct L.A. spirit. Including of over 30 restaurants, six nightclubs, and an IMAX theatre, the CityWalk is located outside of Universal Studios proper and serves as a centerpiece for Universal City. CityWalk offers visitors and locals alike a great place to hang out, shop, eat, and enjoy free entertainment all year round.

Why It’s a Must-See

Going to Universal Studios-Hollywood while on a trip to L.A. offers tourists and guests the unique opportunity to experience the backstage life of Hollywood and some of our favorite movies and stars. Far more than “just” an amusement park, Universal Studios offers a unique blend of all that is magical in southern California (movies and parks) in one great place.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

1. Purchase a ticket from Universal Studios when you get there.

2.   .

3. Purchase as part of a money saving package. Popular examples to the right.

4. Purchase a Tourist pass. Universal Studios-Hollywood is available on the Go Los Angeles Card and Southern California CityPass.