We sure love summer, I know I do. It means vacation time for students and college students. Summer time work can sometimes be less hectic versus colder seasons. However that is not true for theme parks across the world, especially in my home state of California. We have it all here. From studio tours to Universal Studios/Citywalk. Summer is the best time to visit all these places. Not only that sometimes they have special events just for the summer. Here is my tour guide to Universal Studios and Citywalk from a SoCal resident. If you happen to know a SoCal resident it is best to ask us the tourist questions, I know I do not mind helping out people who aren’t from here.
In my previous post I posted the actual map visitors can get at the front gate when the employees scan your tickets and or pass. If you are interested in the Pass please check here as prices vary on which package you select and it does include blackout dates (Platinum Pass does not). Regular ticket prices vary on which day you are visiting. Click here to open the page and so you know the passes are monthly paid membership. If you are a SoCal or live in Cali it is best to buy the pass if you plan on visiting a lot, it saves you a lot of money. If you buy online you save money versus front gate because front gate they charge more.
The Universal Studios Map was updated back in April 2016 because of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Do note the map will be updated again once the Kung Pu Panda Theatre opens this month. The former Shrek 4D ride was closed down last year during Christmas. I was there during Christmas so having that huge construction area was a bit of a annoyance for visitors because we had to take the long way for just to enter the Harry Potter attraction. Luckily once it opens things can go back to normal.
One of the first things to do is take a photo at the famous globe fountain if this is your first visit. It’s located outside of the park. Once you enter in the park there is another famous landmark of a statue that mostly tourists like to take photos. The first stretch of Universal Park is the shopping area, food area and Water World. Water World is the perfect show for the summer and so much fun to watch. It’s very high energy, you get to sit outside (make sure you are wearing good sunscreen), and get there early for the good seats because it packs up very quickly. The audience in the middle section gets to participate and typically everyone gets wet. That’s the fun part and why the show is called Water World.
Especially during very hot days make sure you drink lots of water. SoCal can get as hot as a desert in some areas, after all California was all desert once. I love to take a nice break around afternoon time or also known as lunch time. My family and I prefer to sit outside under the umbrella section because it’s relaxing. We do love to walk but even we need breaks in between. Side note if you are getting your pass for the first time or upgraded your pass you must visit the Universal Box Office, which the tall building in the middle of the park. Platinum Pass holders now receive free lanyards.
This is all located in the Upper Lot section. It also includes the Despicable Me and Animal Actors. All shows have their own times and it is posted in front of each show on a billboard. I however just check schedules and such through the app. Do not get it mixed up with the Universal Studios Orlando in less you are actually visiting there. I have personally never been there but if I ever get the chance to go that would be nice since they do have there own attraction for Harry Potter. There is also an attraction on London, England for those who are traveling to Europe.
In the Lower Lot section is all rides that include Transformers, Jurassic Park, and The Mummy. I happen to like all three films and especially The Mummy since I happen to like Ancient Egyptian history but I would not recommend that ride if you are not a horror fan. This ride is also NOT for underage children. You can take the escalator for easier access to that area.
The other half of the Upper Lot area includes the Special Effects Show, The Simpsons Ride, Springfield (connected to The Simpsons) and the Studio Tour. I suggest taking the Studio Tour last because it is the best and most fun you will have. As a movie junkie since childhood I have always been fascinated by studio lots and how things work behind the scenes. No matter how times I have visited I always go with a clear mind and excitement because things always change at studios. As for the Fast and Furious Supercharge fans, this part of the tour is a lot of fun but I do wish it was a little longer and more things added.
I do not want to give away everything about the tour because that just spoils all the fun. However I am happy to help with any curious questions. Something to do last is shopping because you do not want to carry all that stuff during the day. Even if you happen to have taken a backpack with you. I would not want to make my backpack heavier in less it’s just light items. Best months to visit for the summer is between June through August. Once September comes that’s when things change. Things do not change much at Universal Studios until Halloween Horror Night in October. After that in November they begin the Christmas themed decorations for the park. The only place however that might get the most decorations might be The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the outdoor theatre area in which they do hold live shows. Be on the look out for The Grinch during the day because they usually let him out only during Christmas. The other characters you might not see as much during colder seasons but in the summer time you do.
Best to plan before you visit as well. This is especially smart for tourists and those who do not speak English. They provide translators for anyone who needs them in most languages. However if said tourists are coming with a group then they have their own system they provide. Remember to have fun, stay hydrated, wear sunglasses, hats, hand sanitizer (I am a little bit of a germophobe so I always have this) and put on lots of sunscreen.