These pictures will give you an idea of what to expect when you visit Universal Studios in Hollywood California.
You could be standing just below this big globe, smiling because you read the Universal Studios visitor guide and knew how to make the most of your day.
Universal Studios has gotten into character greetings in a big way in the past few years, and you'll find them out and about during your visit for sure.
Gru can be found (as you would expect) outside the Minion Mayhem ride. Optimus Prime and other Transformers also put in an appearance outside the Transformers 3-D ride.
Inside Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Is one of the most fun rides in the park, which often means you will be standing in line for a while. Fortunately, there's plenty of entertainment so you won't be bored.
In the last stage of the entry queue, Gru tells the minion recruits (aka everyone in line) about what's going to happen.
Upper Lot Attractions
The Simpsons Ride, which takes place in the fictional Krustyland, is one of the attractions on Universal's Upper Lot. Here's a full list:
- Studio Tour
- Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
- Super Silly Funland
- The Simpsons RideTM
- Universal's Animal Actors
- Special Effects Show
- Kung Fu Panda
- The Blues Brothers®
- AMC Walking Dead Attraction
- Water World®
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is also on the upper lot, where you can ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and the Flight of the Hippogriff.
This is just one of the series of escalators that carry visitors between Universal's upper and lower lots, a trip that takes 6.5 minutes each way. Universal calls it the "StarWay Escalator." You can also take the steps, but you might need the endurance of an Olympic marathon runner to do that going up.
Lower Lot: Transformers and More
Transformers is one of the most fun rides at any California theme park, but it's not the only thing to see and do on Universal's Lower Lot. Here's a full list:
- TransformersTM: The Ride-3D
- Revenge of the MummySM- The Ride
- Jurassic Park® - The Ride (which is currently closed for renovation)
Back Lot View
The Universal Studios backlot is in the foreground, but they're not the only studio in town. Just beyond the trees is Warner Bros. Studios. This photo is taken from the vista point on the way down to the studio tour.
The entrance to the Studio Tour is on the upper lot, but you'll go down an escalator to get to this entrance area.
This view shows some of the new exterior sets built after the fire. On the left, you can see that they're just a facade, all front with nothing behind it.
Just one of several effects trumped up especially for the tour, and this one features a torrent of water that appears from nowhere.
Six Points Old West Set
It's called Six Points because six streets meet in the middle and it was the scene of many gunfights, stampedes and other Wild West goings-on. According to our guide, some of the buildings have shorter-than-normal doors to make height-challenged actors placed in front of them look taller.
It starts out innocently - you're going inside one of the big stage buildings to see the set of a film that's being made. Next thing you know, there's an earthquake, and the building is rocking, sparks flying and then - there's the flood. The photographer didn't even get wet taking a picture of this one.
By now, almost everyone must know that the shark is going to pop out of the water at some time during the tour, but many people still seem surprised.
Its most recent use was as the Young/Shepherd/Bolen house on television show Desperate Housewives, but they weren't the first housewives to occupy it. June Cleaver also presided over this abode in Leave it to Beaver.
This set from the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the most colorful on the whole back lot.
This set from the film Psycho is a Universal Studios tour classic. In the most recent version, Normal Bates can be seen carrying a body out of the motel to put it in his car. Autograph-seeking is NOT recommended.
War of the Worlds Set
The studio tour takes you through this scene from the Steven Spielberg film. It cost $2 million just to get the full-sized airplane to the set.