There's a place where your tadpoles can chill with adorable cats, hug giant stuffed animals AND mingle with wizards. At Universal Studios Hollywood, your tadpoles — as well as your whole frog squad — will have loads of fun. Today, we're going to show you how to have a great time with small children at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal parks cater to an older and slightly different crowd than Disney. The majority of the rides are thrills. But more and more family-friendly experiences are being added. So read up on our tadpole-tested tips and then purchase discounted Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. Don't forget to download our Universal Studios Hollywood 1-Day Park Plan and check crowd levels during your visit . As they say in "the biz"... action!
Tips for Entertaining Small Children at Universal Studios Hollywood
Ride On ... But Look Out for Potentially Scary Rides
There are six rides that allow children at or under 40 inches at Universal Studios Hollywood:
- Studio Tour - No height requirement
- Flight of the Hippogriff - 38"
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem - 40"
- The Simpsons Ride - 40"
- Transformers: The Ride 3D - 40"
- Silly Swirly Fun Ride - Kids under 48" require supervising adult
Children at least 40 inches will most likely enjoy Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Never mind that Lily was scared she was going to be turned into a minion the first time she rode it. The Simpsons Ride and Transformers: The Ride 3D may also be scary for younger kids.
The famous Studio Tour does not have a height requirement. That doesn't mean it's a calm ride. Little ones may get scared during King Kong 360 3-D and Fast & Furious — Supercharged. If you are taking tadpoles on the tour, follow our advice on where to sit so your kids are safe. Here is more on Universal Studios Hollywood's height requirements.
Meet Despicable Me Pals and Other Friends
Meet a minion outside of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. You'll usually find Kevin or Bob. We've seen them near the gift shop right where the Minion ride exits in Super Silly Fun Land. You can also meet Margo, Agnes and Edith just outside Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls at certain times throughout the day.
Around the park keep your eyes open for classic characters such as Betty Boop, Dracula and Doc Brown from "Back to the Future." Your little ones may not know them, but they are fun to meet. We've spotted Dreamworks favorites such as Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and Po. Check out our guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Character Spotting.
Meeting favorite characters can be a memorable moment for small children at Universal Studios Hollywood. Sometimes it can also be scary. If this happens, don't force an encounter. You can try holding your little one while you approach or try again later. Talk to your child in advance about the very tall characters they may see. For Lily, some characters may always be too scary (hello, Jack Skellington).
The Wonders of The Wizarding World
If you've introduced your tadpoles to Harry Potter, a visit to Hogsmeade is definitely in order. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a wondrous place. Little ones may not be ready to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. See if they are ready to tame Flight of the Hippogriff. Aspiring wizards will love the interactive wands and the Ollivanders wand selection show. Little ones are sure to be dazzled by the Frog Choir show, as well as the Triwizard Spirit Rally. Go, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic!
There are plenty of wizards and villagers for your kids to chat with. A photo with the Hogwarts Express Conductor and the Hogwarts Express makes for a fun memory too. If you're OK with letting the tadpoles enjoy some sweets, have them choose a treat inside Honeydukes. Chocolate Frog, please. Don't forget, there's always fun with small children at Universal Studios Hollywood when Butterbeer is involved.
Let Them Get Wet
One sure-fire way to entertain small children at Universal Studios Hollywood involves a swimsuit, towel and sunscreen. Your little minions will love to jump and splash in the Super Silly Fun Land spray area. It equipped with over 80 water play features and slides. There is a changing room nearby. For more water fun, there are water features in Universal Plaza and Universal CityWalk. Water may be an odd way for you to entertain small children at Universal Studios Hollywood. But sometimes a little soaking is all the thrill your tadpoles need.
Walk and Climb with the Dinosaurs
For tadpoles who love dinosaurs, there's one area they are sure to "dig." Visit the Dino Play climbing and play area next to Jurassic Park — The Ride in the Lower Lot. This spot lets little ones burn off energy while other family members go on rides. It's fun to watch the boats make a splash at the end of Jurassic Park.
Use Child Switch and Single Rider
Entertaining small children at Universal Studios Hollywood can get awkward when it's time to hit the rides. What happens when your party wants to ride something that your tadpole isn't tall enough for? Enter child switch! This program lets family members ride the big rides while someone waits with the baby or toddler in a child switch room. When the riding party is done, the person that waited with the tadpole can take a turn. BONUS — they do not need to wait in line again! Ask employees near ride entrances about it.
You can also take advantage of single rider lines. Leap and Tad went on the single rider line for Jurassic Park while I played with Lily in the Dino Play area. They hopped out of the boat, refreshed and exhilarated before we knew it. Both child switch and single rider options are great ways to manage crowds in the Lower Lot and manage your time in the park.
See a Show
One of the best shows for entertaining small children at Universal Studios Hollywood is Universal's Animal Actors. Try to arrive early to get a seat closer to the front. This seating will allow little ones to see the dogs, cats and small animals up close. You may even meet a famous animal star. Tad enjoyed meeting an owl from a Harry Potter movie. If you buy a Front of Line Pass you’ll have special perks at this show, such as special seating. These pass holders also receive an intimate meet-and-greet with some of the animal stars after certain showtimes.
Kids may find the Special Effects Show interesting or maybe a little scary. Let your tadpoles know that the stunts in the show are done by professionals. THEY SHOULD NOT TRY THESE AT HOME, TAD. WaterWorld is the park's most popular show. There are loud noises and explosions, so prepare your tadpoles. If it's hot when you visit, consider sitting in the splash zone. Seeing mom or dad get soaked with water is a great way to entertain small children at Universal Studios Hollywood. We frogs have no fear of the water. If wet isn't your thing, choose your seat wisely.
Super Silly Fun Land and Springfield U.S.A. have carnival games that kids can enjoy. Perhaps you can win your souvenir? Lily won a fluffy unicorn like the one Agnes from "Despicable Me" owns. "It's so fluffy!" Interested in a money-saving secret? If you make a purchase at one of the stores, you receive a voucher for two-for-one carnival games. We used that puppy multiple times. Ask about this in the gift shops before you play.
Things to See With Small Children at Universal Studios Hollywood
Beyond shows and rides, there is plenty to see at Universal. Browse the gift shops in the park and at Universal CityWalk. Take selfies near the Hollywood sign by the Studio Tour trams. Have fun with all the colorful details in Springfield U.S.A. Pull up a table in Three Broomsticks and enjoy the atmosphere of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Your little ones may not have seen most of the movies at Universal Studios Hollywood. My little girl doesn't mind. It's doubtful yours will either. They will have fun spending time with you. That’s the ticket to entertaining small children at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Have any tips to share on entertaining small children at Universal Studios Hollywood? Let us know in comments below! Making a visit to Disneyland? Be sure to check our advice on bringing a toddler or baby to Disneyland.