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Universal studios LA how are the rides? Is it worth it

(6 Posts)
Ooogetyooo Fri 20-Nov-15 12:12:22

We are doing a road trip next Easter along the California coast and I am trying to weigh up whether the studios are worth it, some of the reviews are a bit mixed. are the rides actually like roller coaster type rides or are they rides where you just wear 3 d glasses and ride around in front of screens and effects?My kids will be 8 and 11. Also if you did go here where did you stay and is one day at the studios enough?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 20-Nov-15 13:36:45

We stayed in the Universal City area this past summer.

Why are the reviews a bit mixed; what are people mainly complaining about?. If it is the lines I could understand that because waits of 60 minutes upwards are commonplace particularly in high season (and Easter is one of their peak times). If you do go you want to arrive there for opening.

Some of the rides there are common to the ones at their Orlando park; the Despicable Me Minions Mayhem (a 3D simulator that does move as well), Shrek 4D, the Simpsons ride and animal actors but the Waterworld attraction there is unique for this park. This is a stunt show and is well worth watching. The Harry Potter world part is being constructed.

You could possibly do this park in a day BUT if you do decide to do this I would suggest you invest in their VIP Experience; its expensive but its worth it (breakfast and a decent buffet style lunch is included and you will also get access to some parts of their studio tours not accessible to the public tours. You will get escorted around the park afterwards and will also get front of line access to rides. That saves lots of time).

SquirrelledAway Mon 23-Nov-15 11:27:02

The wait times are long at peak times (60 to 90 minutes), but you can often use the singles line where you can take the odd seats left after groups have been seated which cuts down on the waiting (did it with a 10 yr old and a 17 yr old, you generally end up on the same ride at the same time just not next to each other, one might be in the row ahead and one in the row behind).

There aren't that many rides, to be honest:

Fast & Furious (at the end of the Studio Tour)
King Kong (part way through Studio Tour)
Despicable Me
The Simpsons
Shrek
Jurassic Park
The Mummy
Transformers
Harry Potter (opening Spring 2016)

Most of them are simulator type rides, although The Mummy is like a very short rollercoaster and Jurassic Park is more like a log flume.

Me, I think it's expensive for what it is - £55 or so per person for a standard ticket (which does give you free entry for a second day), £95 for a front of line (which works once per ride) and £200 for a VIP ticket. We did a day in July with standard tickets (so still over £200 for a day out for 4 of us) and did all of the rides except Jurassic Park, which was either closed or had 90 minute wait times.

The VIP experience would set you back £800 for a family of four!

Ooogetyooo Mon 23-Nov-15 17:09:07

Thanks. I think we will give it a miss unless we have time on our hands. Have been looking at six flags at Santa Clarita which has loads of roller coasters which I think will be more my kids type of thing.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 23-Nov-15 19:28:48

I like this park a great deal, we had a great day there. Six Flags is a nice park (the employees we saw were all helpful) and the food served there is not bad considering it is a theme park.

There are plenty of Youtube videos online re the rides at Six Flags; would watch those. X2 is a very popular ride, Green Lantern is very intense!. Their target audience is really teens and up.

Do check height requirements carefully beforehand; many of their rides there do have a specific height requirement in order to ride. Your children would probably like this park but its pretty much spread out and you can do a lot of walking. It can get very crowded in peak season with long lines (minimum 90 minutes with little to no shade) for rides; I would arrive there for opening. They also sell front of line passes (Flash passes) which can be invaluable on the weekends and even on weekdays because those can and do save a lot of time.

SquirrelledAway Tue 24-Nov-15 12:18:57

If you're going through Santa Cruz you should stop at the boardwalk - it's got a fantastic 1932s wooden roller coaster.

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