Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook
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Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood
If you’ve been to the huge Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, you’re in for a completely different experience here in Hollywood (well, it’s actually in “Universal City”—no kidding!). This 415-acre theme park and production studio (the world’s largest) is a movie mecca—you won’t find many big roller coasters, just live shows, 3-D films, tame rides, and their famous guided tram tour through the production studios area. The theme park is perched on a terrace that overlooks the studios below, all of which are located in the hills above Hollywood, 35 miles northwest of Disneyland.
Universal Studios Hollywood wants to immerse you in the movies, though they come closer to achieving this goal when you’re experiencing an attraction, not just walking about. No organized lands or themes dominate this park. The slight attempt at theming is limited to what look like studio backlot sets and carry names such as Old West, Cape Cod, Baker Street, and Moulin Rouge. We found some magic in knowing this theme park was the first of its kind and was the inspiration for other movie-oriented parks like Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios Florida, and even parts of Disney California Adventure. Expect to find a little Hollywood and plenty of entertainment at this park.
Upper Lot: The original section of the theme park as well as the entrance to the Studio Tour.
PARK LAYOUT AND HIGHLIGHTS
You can divide the park into two major sections—the upper lot and the lower lot (which is accessible by a series of escalators). By far the largest of these two is the upper lot, which is home to most of the park’s signature attractions arrayed around the perimeter. This park grew organically over the years (it began as a simple studio tour in 1964) and structures appear to be almost randomly placed. We got turned around several times on our first visit. We suggest you study our park map on page 147 prior to your visit. See our attraction descriptions starting on page 148 .
Lower Lot: Descend down the Star Way escalators to the smallest part of the park where you’ll find two of the most expensive-to-build rides available!
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 52870) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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