Universal Studios Hollywood has been introducing a variety of new experiences this year! While one of our top five (Hello Kitty) actually started a few months ago, everything else has been added in the last month or so. We stopped by for a visit a few weeks back and also had a reporter at a press event this week. Universal Studios Hollywood makes for a great day during a Southern California vacation – don’t miss the Studio Tram Tour, that has long been my favorite attraction and is always a little different each visit. I look forward each visit to the Starway escalators too, with stunning views of the area. And of course, all of the other unique attractions!
Here are 5 new experiences to enjoy at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer!
1 – Blue the Velociraptor from “Jurassic World” – Raptor Encounter has been a popular addition to Universal Hollywood since it debuted three years ago, and is a very different experience than the Orlando version. It is definitely worth visiting both parks! Blue is a walk-around dinosaur here and it is very much a show type experience, with guests able to get photos with the dinosaur. You can find this experience outside of Jurassic Park, which will be closing after September 3rd to make way for a Jurassic World ride in 2019.
2 – New DreamWorks Theatre – DreamWorks has been a part of Universal experiences for years, although the company was officially brought into the Universal family in 2016. The Shrek 4-D theater was replaced by the new DreamWorks Theatre, which offers state-of-the art projection mapping and LED lighting effects. Currently the theater is showing “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest”. The theater includes 360 surround sound and the chairs move with the film (there are also non-moving chairs). The pre-show is fun as well, we were able to check it out a few weeks ago. Don’t miss the DreamWorks meet and greets! We met Po and Tigress, Poppy and Branch, and Shrek with Fiona.
4 – Butterbeer Ice Cream in Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Orlando has been serving soft served Butterbeer ice cream (and other flavors) since Diagon Alley opened in 2014; now the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood is serving up the tasty treat hard-packed in a cup. From Universal: The rich palate-pleasing Butterbeer-flavoured hard pack ice cream is a delightful and delicious new addition to the menu of Butterbeer items currently available, including such Butterbeer favorites as traditional, frozen and hot beverages, as well as Butterbeer Potted Cream and Butterbeer Fudge. Butterbeer ice cream can be found in carts around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
5 – Hello Kitty Meets Outside the Animation Studio Store – A few months ago, the Animation Studio Store opened and Hello Kitty meets outside of it. She is in a different costume than we’ve seen before. Hello Kitty and other Sanrio merchandise can be found inside. Hello Kitty and the DreamWorks characters are just some of who you can meet at Universal Studios Hollywood – there are a TON of meet and greets from Despicable Me to the Scooby-Doo gang to The Simpsons and even Dracula and Frankenstein. I am not sure I have been to a theme park that seems to have as many meet and greets and walk-around characters as Universal Studios Hollywood has (and that is saying a lot!)
Pick up tickets ahead of your trip for Universal Studios Hollywood to get the best deal! You can find out about purchasing Universal Express there as well, which can save hours of time on a moderate to busy day (for example, the Studio Tram Tour was nearly an hour wait and we walked almost right on). And save time for Universal CityWalk, I never seem to have quite enough but we did make it to Blaze Pizza, Voodoo Donut and a few shops this trip.
Thank you to Universal Studios Hollywood for having us out!