We recently embarked on a family trip to Southern California – home of some of the country’s most iconic theme parks! After we made our rounds at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, we decided to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. Unlike the Disney parks, Universal Studios Hollywood is not entirely geared towards child-friendly experiences, which can be a challenge for families with toddlers. However, we still managed to have an awesome time! If you’re looking to take your little one to this park, but you’re unsure of what they’ll be able to enjoy, worry not – we have a few great tips for your kiddo’s first trip.
1. USE THE RAMPS
In contrast to Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood is built upon the hilly terrain of California, which means you’ll need to take elevators, escalators, and/or ramps to commute between the different levels. We found that the elevators become quite busy, and often take a very long time to arrive. Due to this, we recommend sticking to the ramps if you have a stroller in tow.
2. MEET THE CHARACTERS
We saw so many amazing characters roaming around the park, including Shaggy and Scooby, Hello Kitty, Minions, and Frankenstein’s Monster! Our encounter with Frankenstein’s Monster was especially cool because he noticed Jackson was a bit nervous to meet him, so he ran off and returned with a yellow flower for him. This was a great example of how the characters will go out of their way to create special memories with guests, including young (and shy) children.
3. RIDE THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash is Universal Studios Hollywood’s newest attraction. It is also one of the most family-friendly rides they have! We were really impressed by the immersive and detailed layout of the queue – it really feels like you’re walking through an apartment. This ride is perfect for the little ones, as it is very slow moving and full of cute puppies and fun imagery. It was obvious that Jackson loved it by the way he looked all around him with excitement and pointed out the various animals. A must-do for kiddos of all ages!
4. VISIT SUPER SILLY FUN LAND
Super Silly Fun Land is Universal Studio Hollywood’s dedicated play area for kids, based on the Despicable Me movies. This colorful, interactive wonderland offers a water zone, carnival-style games, and a playground. There’s even a tot-friendly attraction called Silly Swirly Fun Ride; a Jackson-approved, Dumbo-like spinner that gave us great views of the park. Jackson also had a blast exploring the elaborately themed playground, which included slides, tunnels, and Minion statues. While Universal Studios Hollywood does not offer a ton of attractions that are designed for youngsters, we highly recommend families stop by this area for lots of toddler-safe fun!