IMG 0257No trip to Hollywood is complete without spending an action-packed day at Universal Studios Hollywood. The park specializes in “experiences” and transports you somewhere new and exciting at every attraction, the same way a good movie does, only better.

When you visit, make the Studio Tour your first stop. Jimmy Fallon is the new video host along with your tour narrator on the famous tram ride through the backlot where you’ll take a leisurely drive down Wisteria Lane, and also encounter King Kong and T-Rex in a ferocious battle with you caught in the middle. The entire King Kong 360 3-D experience takes place in the largest soundstage ever constructed in Universal’s history and is the world’s largest 3-D projection installation ever produced.

IMG 0251After de-boarding the tram, it’s a short walk to Krustyland and by far my family’s favorite ride: The Simpsons Ride. This virtual roller coaster inside a giant 80 ft. diameter dome was so intensely visual and hilarious, you’ll find yourself laughing and screaming all at the same time. The elaborate Krustyland setting for the ride, complete with Kwiki-Mart and photo opps with Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa should make The Simpsons Ride part of any Simpsons fan’s bucket list. My daughter will never forget Homer belching on her head after getting her picture taken with him. That Homer!

Looking for a real roller coaster ride? Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride will get your heart pounding as you hurl through virtual darkness at speeds up to 45 mph pursued by the Mummy seeking his revenge.


Cool off in Spring and Summer at two fun water play areas for the kids, and all of us really, who can’t help but become kids for a day. Monkey around with Curious George in his very inviting and wet spray ground or get soaked at the refreshing Coke Soak area on the other side of the park.

You’ll also get wet when you plunge straight down an 84-foot high waterfall in your raft on Jurrasic Park – The Ride while trying to escape the jaws of T-Rex. And, if you really want to get drenched, sit in the splash zone at one of the most spectacular shows on land or water: WaterWorld.

Hard Rock Cafe HollywoodTo really do Universal Studios Hollywood right, you’ll want to give yourself an entire day, open to close, to get in all the excitement. Or, consider a 2-day visit to leave time to enjoy Universal City Walk too. Just outside the park, Universal City Walk is packed with colorful, trendy stores and delicious theme restaurants like the famous, HardRock Café Hollywood, where we ended our fabulously fun day on a high note.

We can’t wait to return to see the newly announced Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it arrives at Universal Studios Hollywood!

For hours, hotel and ticket information, visit

Chris is a designer, WAHM and pilot’s wife living in Colorado. She writes as Standby Traveling Mom as well as at Follow her on Twitter as @BirdBanter.

Disclosure: My family and I were provided four, Front-of-the-Line passes to visit Universal Studios for the purpose of writing this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own and without influence by Universal Studios Hollywood.