We love Universal Studios Hollywood. The vibe is so L.A., with tourists strolling down the red carpet, exploring the Back Lot on the Studio Tour and taking in the sights and sounds of Hollywood, both yesterday and today. We've spent a lot of time at Universal Studio Hollywood's counterpart in Florida, and even with similar attractions, the two parks couldn't be more different. Today we're ranking Universal Studios Hollywood's starring attraction — its rides!
Universal Studios Hollywood Top Rides
This family-friendly roller coaster is the perfect introduction for developing muggle or magical thrill-seekers in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You’ll find it in the Care of Magical Creatures grounds just outside Hogwarts Castle. You’ll walk past Hagrid’s Hut (keep an ear out for Fang barking), and listen to Hagrid’s instruction for the proper way to approach a Hippogriff. What’s a Hippogriff, you ask? It's a magical creature with the body of a horse and the wings and head of an eagle. Bow to Buckbeak the Hippogriff to show etiquette, and you’ll be on your way for a short swooping and diving flight around the pumpkin patch.
It’s not a ride in the strictest sense of the word, but the DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda puts you in the middle of a multi-sensory adventure that uses state-of-the-art visual effects and technology starring Master Po. Plus, the seats do move a bit in relation to what is happening on-screen. Join Po on a thrilling journey of awesomeness that will stimulate the senses and unlock you inner hero through the power of Kung Fu.
One of our very favorite attractions is a motion-simulated wild ride that takes you through a rundown midway (owned by Krusty the Clown!) that has been taken over by criminal mastermind and former Springfield Mayor Sideshow Bob. It's up to the Simpsons to save you!
We frogs are coaster fans through and through. For us, it just doesn't get better than this at times 45-mph coaster ride through the world of Imhotep. Part dark ride, part coaster, Revenge of the Mummy is pure thrills and surprises!
The former Jurassic Park water ride has evolved into the new Jurassic World. No spoilers here, but this new version has some pretty cool added effects and all the thrills of the old ride with a few new ones. It's also the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.
Super sweet like Margo, Edith and Agnes, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a playful, at times nail-biting motion simulator adventure! Gru has invited guests to his house to undergo Minion training, and it becomes clear soon enough that his (evil) intention is actually to turn guests into Minions! Thankfully, the girls are there to help out. For us, this family ride is not to miss, but I must warn you that the first time Lily rode it she was absolutely terrified she would be turned into a Minion.
Using flight simulation technology and 3D-HD screens, Transformers: The Ride 3D puts you right in the middle of the action, battling alongside Optimus Prime to protect the AllSpark. It's one of the most technologically advanced rides of all time, and you don't need to be a Transformers fan to appreciate it.
Weave through Hogwarts Castle while in line. You'll pass though Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and Gryffindor’s common room through the line to reach your enchanted bench deep inside the Room of Requirement. Then, with a puff of magic Floo Powder and Hermione’s “Observatory” spell, you are off on a magical journey. Follow Harry on his broomstick around Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll encounter dragons, whomping willows, giant spiders, dementors and more. You’ll drop, spin, twist and turn — sometimes ending up on your back — but you won’t go upside down. This ride uses the latest technology to take you through animatronics and projection screens. It’s frogtastically fun, but people prone to motion sickness also get a little green on this ride. Flora’s hop tip is to close your eyes during projection scenes if you start to feel queasy.
1. Studio Tour
The park's signature attraction is a 60-minute tour through the Back Lot of Universal's working studios and no. 1 on our list of Universal Studios Hollywood top rides. Yes, you might spot a celeb on set! If not, you'll still tour some of the most famous sets in all of movie and TV history.
Tours vary due to shooting schedules, but scenes may include the courthouse square in "Back to the Future," the airplane crash scene from "War of the Worlds," Wisteria Lane and the Bates Motel from "Psycho." You'll cozy up to Jaws and do battle with King Kong on Skull Island. Finally, the grand finale is the heart-pounding Fast & Furious - Supercharged. Using 3D-HD imagery, you'll be flying along at 120 mph with the cast of the hit movies!
To experience all these Universal Studios rides, plus the shows and characters (not to mention food and treats), you’ll want to skip some lines. The Universal Express ticket definitely helps shorten the amount of time you’ll stand in line so you can get out and enjoy more aspects of the parks.
Well, there you have it — our list of Universal Studios Hollywood top rides. Do you agree? What is your favorite Universal Studios Hollywood Ride? Share in comments below!