♥ Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles ♥

The place that I think should be renamed Harry Potter Land.

When preparing for California, I had only one real request: that my boyfriend took me to the Universal Studios. Being the big Harry Potter nerd that I am, there was no way I missed seeing Hogwarts for real. So there we went, arriving from San Diego to LA at six in the morning to have access to the park as early as we could and beat traffic. 
I didn't take a lot of photos in the park, but I really wanted to share about this experience and maybe give a few tips and tricks for those planning a visit in the future. Universal Studios Hollywood are a fun amusement park and if you love cinema, you'll enjoy exploring it. Now, should I start with my favourite area? Oh yes.

YES. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The place where the dreams of thousands and thousands of fans come true. This had been on my bucket list ever since the park opened in Florida, and being able to visit it in LA this year is something I never thought would happen. Being a Harry Potter fan since the Philosopher's Stone film came out, this is a pretty big deal to me. It felt magical to walk around Hogsmeade, wander in the perfectly-recreated streets, get some sweets in Honeydukes and even buy your own wand at Ollivander's.

Working on my Beauxbâtons moves.
By the way, I've said this on my post about the Warner Bros Studios in London (post), but Butterbeer is sickly sweet and you probably won't drink more than one sip of it. While you're there, make sure to check out Honeydukes, where you'll find the most amazing sweets and extravagant displays. Ollivander's is also rather impressive, I got my boyfriend a wand there (living the geek life to the fullest haha) and you're sure to find the one that matches your personality.

As for the rides, there are two: The Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. The latter is children-friendly and gives you a nice view of the whole area, but the real star is of course The Forbidden Journey. Set inside the castle, you'll walk around beautiful decors before reaching the ride proper. The waiting line goes through corridors full of moving paintings, passes by the Sorting Hat, Dumbledore's office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts room, and so on. The ride itself is an amazing journey in which you fly over the castle and on the Quidditch pitch, through the Forbidden Forest and live all kinds of fantastic adventures which I won't give too much detail about, because keeping the surprise is even better. A magical ride in a magical setting, from start to finish. 

The rest of the park is amazing too of course. The Universal Studios are fairly small, and you'll easily walk around to reach the different rides. My favourite was the Jurassic Park Ride (which leaves you completely soaked, perfect on a warm summer day), while my boyfriend's favourite was The Mummy Ride. 

My advice for visiting Universal Studios Hollywood...

Buy your tickets online on the Universal Studios website, and you'll get early entry in the park to explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. People who get their tickets on the website get to enter the Studios one hour early, but only to visit the Harry Potter area. This means Hogsmeade and all the rides without the crowds. That is what we did during our visit, and it saved us a lot of time for the rest of the day.

One full day is more than enough to visit the whole park and do all the rides once. Granted you probably couldn't see all the shows, but you could squeeze in one or two (we saw Waterworld and it was awesome.) Don't bother getting VIP tickets and all that, if you arrive at the opening, you've got the whole day to see everything. As I said, the Universal Studios isn't a big park like Disneyland can be, so trust me and you'll save money!

Try and do as many rides as possible in the morning, when the lines aren't too long and you'll wait only about twenty minutes for any of them. The most popular rides, from what I've seen, are The Forbidden Journey, The Jurassic Park Ride, and The Simpsons Ride. In the afternoon they'll most likely have a waiting time of more than an hour. So do them all before noon, and you'll have time in the afternoon to walk around, do the less popular attractions, and watch shows, which are set on specific times.

The food inside the park doesn't seem spectacular. They do have a Starbucks, but the prices are higher than usual there (not surprising). However, right outside the park is the really cool Universal CityWalk, where you'll find plenty of restaurants and coffee places. We skipped food in the Studios and went to the CityWalk for dinner. Even if you don't plan on eating there, just go for the sights because it's a really cool area.

If you are around LA, make sure to visit the Studios. It's such a fun, well-made park and the rides are all really fun and I was pleasantly surprised by the technology used for the most recent ones. If you feel like Disney isn't your thing, try out Universal - it's all cinema related and a whole lot of fun. I couldn't stop smiling and jumping around from the moment we entered the park. We're never too old for stuff like that!

Do you like theme parks? Have you ever been to the Universal Studios?


  1. This post made me want to cry. I visited Universal Studios in Florida around this time of the year in 2011 (!!) - I still remember everything as if it had happened last Summer. I am a big fan of theme parks and I have visited quite a few - I have been to Universal Studios in LA as well, but back then they didn't have the Harry Potter section of the park.

    The Jurassic Park ride and the Mummy one are some of my favourite ever as well, and I didn't like Butterbeer when I tried it - I feel like we had a similar experience at the parks, although we visited at different times/different locations.

    Martina | paperplanepond.co.uk

    1. Oooh lucky you, even without the Harry Potter section, the Studios in Florida must have been awesome! Theme parks are amazing because you just feel happy and carefree there. It's fun that we had similar experiences, and I'm not surprised you enjoyed the Studios in LA as much as I did! x

  2. I would have wanted to go there as well, even though I am not as big a fan as many others.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    1. Just for the whole experience, theme parks can make for a fun day out! xx

  3. Replies
    1. Definitely make it happen, you'll love it! xx

  4. Looks like an amazing time!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    1. I really did, one of my best discoveries in the US! xx

  5. Ohhh wow, this looks amazing! The little shops are so cute and everything looks so perfect :D it looks such a dream to photograph! Such great advice too, I am longing to visit! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

    1. The shops are indeed super cute, especially in the London and Paris section - even though it seems like they've never actually checked what the cities look like haha. It's all cliché but that's part of the magic! xx

  6. This is so helpful! I'm desperate to visit Disney and Universal studios! I love that you can get let in one hour early if you book online, that's so good <3 xxx

    1. I haven't been to the Disney park, but it must be just as great as the Studios! I hope you'll get to visit both of the parks one day! xx

  7. Ohhh my gosh, this looks amazing! Visiting Universal Studios is definitely on my bucket list <3

    Andini xx | Adventures of an Anglophile 

  8. I have always wanted to go hereeeeee
    -Ellie x


  9. I love Universal Studios! The photos are so fun!
    Have an awesome day!
    xx Kris


  10. The last photo is amazing, I love it. I saw recently all the Harry Potter movies, so I was thinking of going to the one in London. It's so nice to see all your pictures, it must have been great to visit it. x