Universal Studios Hollywood: Rides, reviews, and recommendations

CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Apoorva Khandelwal, California High School

“Aww,” the crowd said when animal actors came on stage. “Ahhhh,” the audience screamed in excitement when water was dumped on them from WaterWorld. Universal Studios Hollywood is giving their fans a way to reconnect with the world and memories after being in the pandemic for too long. 

On July 29, 2021, I attended Universal Studios Hollywood. In just a day, I got to attend almost all of the shows and rides. Below is the agenda of how the day occurred and my rating on a scale of 1-5. 

(Note: I recommend trying the different food and snacks the park has to offer. You won’t be able to find these anywhere else and will regret not trying them!)

Lower lot

The lower lot consists of three rides: Jurassic World — The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy  — The Ride, and Transformers: The Ride-3D.

Jurassic World Universal Studios Hollywood
The water in the Jurassic World ride at Universal Studios Hollywood splashed the audience, who screamed with excitement. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Jurassic World The Ride 🌍🌍🌍🌍🌍

As I walked toward the waiting line, there were trees and fresh greens in our way. The ride starts off by going uphill slowly, but don’t get fooled because it’s about to go a whole lot faster. The atmosphere created around the ride is similar to what it seems like it would be in the movies: plants, water, and, of course, dinosaurs.

The animatronics are the most stunning thing ever. My favorite animatronic was near the gyrosphere (raptor lookout point). In that place, there are two small dinosaurs fighting over a cloth. Meanwhile, screeching and fighting each other, a different pair of T-Rexes scared the audience as they were right above us. The audience closed their eyes at that part and screamed in terror. My favorite part of the ride was the amount of detail put on the ride, from the dinosaur scratch marks to the individual scale of the creature. 

Keep in mind that this is a wet ride and you may need a change of clothes. This ride was my favorite and I recommend everyone to go even if you haven’t watched the movies. 

A transformer outside the ride at Universal Studios Hollywood showed off his moves. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Transformers: The Ride-3D 🌍🌍🌍

A fight between Bumblebee and Megatron takes place in a city where you get thrown around between the duo. The scary part is that although you are so small, the rest of the transformers are at least 10 times your size. A part that made everything more realistic is when Megatron shoots us and we feel the heat of the bullet. 

This ride was motion stimulation and I recommend going only if you have previously watched “Transformers.” I hadn’t watched it before, so it was a little hard for me to understand what was going on. Additionally, if you get motion sick easily, this 3D-ride isn’t meant for you as you get thrown and moved around a lot. 

Each wall of the queue at Revenge of the Mummy — The Ride is engraved in Egyptian hieroglyphs. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Revenge of the Mummy The Ride 🌍🌍🌍🌍🌍

Goo drips on you and when you look up, hands of dead bodies are waving down on you. This high-speed roller-coaster takes place in the dark and it surely gave me a scare. One part I screamed at was when beetles attacked us and we could feel them crawling up our feet. 

Upper lot

The upper lot is divided into sections, such as Springfield, Super Silly Fun Land, Harry Potter, etc., and I suggest covering each section at a time rather than jumping around. 


Universal Studios Tour
The world famous Universal Studios tour starts to move in its own little city. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Studio Tour 🌍🌍🌍🌍

Ever wanted to feel part of a movie, get background information about the park, or even be able to see where your favorite show/movie was filmed? This one-hour studio tour is the way to go.

The theme park and studios are on opposite sides of Universal Studios Hollywood. This is because there is a high chance that there is filming going on and they don’t want background noise leaking through. A tour guide takes you all over Universal Studios explaining fascinating things. Universal functions like its own city with its own DMV, fire station, and more! I recommend going on the tour so you can get background information about this amusement park and Universal Studios as a whole.

Fans at Universal Studios Hollywood line up in front of Hogwarts to go on a “forbidden journey”. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 🌍🌍🌍

Ever heard of a ride that moves from side to side and all you have to do is look up, down, left, and right? Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the perfect ride for people who hate roller coasters because this one doesn’t involve uphills and downhills. 

Flight of Hippogriff 🌍🌍🌍🌍

On this short but fast ride, you get to see the whole land up from above. It feels like flying. Additionally, a hippogriff lays in its nest with its eggs. It is one of the closest animatronics near you. I advise to always look forward and above on this ride so you don’t miss the amazing views. 

Waterworld Stunt Show Universal Studios Hollywood
WaterWorld is a show at Universal Studios Hollywood known for its stunts. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

WaterWorld 🌍🌍🌍

Waterworld is a live show in Universal Studios Hollywood that is energetic, active, and fast. This show involves a lot of water, hence the name WaterWorld, so if you are interested in getting soaked, I definitely recommend sitting in the first few rows. This show is best known for its stunts, so be ready to be impressed with the actions. 

Kung Fu Panda Adventure 🌍🌍🌍🌍🌍

A moving movie theater. Ever heard of that? This high-tech concept takes place right at Universal Studios! I was easily fooled by the illusions that they created. You are part of a movie, not merely just watching it. You first start off by standing in a queue to get background information on what is going to happen, and then you enter a movie theatre format and sit in chairs to enjoy and be part of the experience. I would recommend putting this ride at the end of your day because it calms you down and refreshes you.

Silly Swirly Fun Ride
The color and fun of the Silly Swirly Fun Ride enhances a bright spirit in the audience. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Silly Swirly Fun Ride 🌍🌍🌍

This ride takes place in Super Silly Fun Land. This land is particularly structured for a younger audience, however everyone can enjoy the experience of laughter and color. This ride involves “bee capsules” with a pair of people inside each bee. On the bee there is a control panel where you get to pick how high or low you want to be. When you get as high as possible, you can see the whole land. Colorful and playful is how I would describe my experience. 

When entering the queue for Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, there are arrangements of images on the wall including a family tree, Gru with the minions, and a drawing of Gru’s daughters. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 🌍🌍🌍🌍

“Are you sure it wasn’t a roller coaster?” my sister asked after we got off Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. We were put into a seat that moves but stays in the same spot. It felt so realistic that my sister didn’t even know we didn’t leave the building. 

When I entered the door for the attraction, everything was orderly, like how Gru would want it, like a real lab. This ride is similar to the Transformers one, so I recommend going to Transformers or Despicable Me. The main difference between the two is that Despicable Me is more tolerable, making it more suitable for a younger audience and for those who get motion sickness easily. 

Animal Actors at Universal Studios
A dalmatian from Cruella appeared for the Animal Actors show at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Animal Actors 🌍🌍🌍🌍🌍

This must-watch show was filled with humor and cuteness. This interactive show is filled with animal actors that have been on your favorite shows and movies, such as Harry Potter owl and Cruella’s spotted dogs. 

Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash photo
The queue and ride at “Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash” both involve detailed animatronics to display. (Apoorva Khandelwal)

Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash 🌍🌍🌍

The queue itself deserved the hype, but the ride is even better. When we waited in line, we were taken into the pets’ house, which was wonderfully decorated and unique. When we got on the ride, we were put into boxes that us pets go into. This heavily animatronic ride was filled with wonderful props surprising the audience, both young and old. 

The Simpsons Ride 🌍🌍🌍🌍

Baby powder? That was the smell that came when we were put into the baby’s mouth. This is a virtual reality roller coaster with a story line in which someone is destroying Krustyland. This was a funny ride, especially at the part where Homers states that the “ride just keeps getting better and better” when he lost the children. 

This is an extreme and intense ride so be ready for it. For people who get motion sickness quickly, this ride isn’t meant for you


My experience at Universal Studios Hollywood was marvelous. From when I arrived until I went back home, I was filled with joy and wonder. Universal Studios Hollywood was a way for us to reconnect us to our childhood memories, dream treats, and people. Since we are just making way out of the pandemic slowly, we all can reunify with these again. 

(For more information about Universal Studios Hollywood, check out its website HERE.)

–Aug. 29, 2021–