Universal HP map

Last weekend I made my way over to Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time in over a decade.

(Sorry for cheating on you, Disneyland, but Harry Potter lives here now!)

We decided to be splurgey and do the VIP package, which gets you a tour guide for the day and unlimited “front of the line” access. Totally necessary when, like me, you have the attention span of a 2 month old golden retriever.

Universal
Universal vip
Universal

When you purchase the VIP package, you select a time slot to meet with your host at the Universal VIP Lounge. Which is super adorable, with all kinds of “Old Hollywood” glamour vibes.

Universal
Universal
Universal
Universal trees
Universal Simpsonsland

Our tour started at the Simpson’s themed Krustyland. This area was still Back to the Future the last time I visited, so everything was shiny and new-to-me.

Universal Simpsonsland
Universal Simpsonsland
Universal Simpsonsland

The actual Krustyland motion simulator ride was basically the exact same as the old Back to the Future version. They just painted the Delorean bright colors and changed the video to something Simpsons-y. Enjoyable enough, but nothing mind-blowing.

Universal down to Jurassic

After the Simpsons we took the 6 flights of escalators down to…

Universal view
Universal Jurassic

JURASSIC PARK. Pretty much the only attraction that’s stayed the same since the last time I visited.

Universal Raptor

They did add a ridiculously amazing meet-and-greet, though. #RaptorSelfie

Universal rides

Next up: The Mummy “roller coaster” which lasted all of 25 seconds (E.T. was so much better!) and another motion simulator ride themed around the Transformers franchise (literally one of the stupidest things I’ve ever been on).

Universal Despicable Me

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem was yet another motion simulator ride, but thankfully it was a lot more tolerable than Transformers. Cause: BANANA.

Universal
Universal
Universal VIP lunch

We broke for lunch around 1:30, at a special VIP buffet location right next to the Minion Mayhem ride.

Universal
Universal
Universal

The food was pretty tasty.

Universal dessert

And the chocolate strawberries were on point. But omg, that baby creme brulee was pudding-like sadness.

Universal flowers
Universal bus

After lunch we did the Studio Backlot Tour. The VIP package gets you on your own special tram, with stops along the way for a couple sound stage visits.

Universal tour

It was awesome – mostly cause the seats were crazy comfortable and we got to be lazy for the first time all day.

Universal backlot
Universal backlot
Universal backlot
Universal plane crash
Universal props

They took us inside the Universal prop house at one point, and it hardcore reminded me of my days working in the product placement industry.

Universal props

Except these products = way better.

Universal Shrek

The studio tour took a couple hours, and by the time we were off the bus it was almost 5pm. Up next: Shrek 4D, which is ANOTHER motion simulator ride. (Can you sense my sharp disappointment, Universal?) Super boring, and would not ride again.

Universal Shrek
Universal waterworld

Buuuuut, something that was actually – dare I say – exciting? Waterworld!

Universal waterworld

Mostly cause Mark’s thinly veiled excitement was adorable and contagious. He worked pyrotechnics on the show back when he was a teen(!), and was completely geeking out over how little has changed.

Universal waterworld

The show was #LIT, that’s for sure. 😉

Still to come: THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. *Screams internally*

xo

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