This week my family and I visited Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. I think we had the perfect weather, because it was the day it was overcast. It sure was a nice break from the heat wave. We have been several times before with the children, and every time it feels different. Each time they’re a little older, a little wiser, a little braver, and they enjoy revisiting their favorite attractions to make new memories. For example, we still go on the The Studio Tour Tram Ride which takes us behind the movie scenes, because it helps us appreciate how films are made. You might want to know that they have a strict mask policy for indoor rides, however, it is optional for outdoor rides and when you are walking around the park. We recommend the Express Pass upgrade, because it helps you cut the wait times. Universal Studios Hollywood is constantly adding new shows and rides. This time we experienced their newly opened “Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” ride and new Minion Cafe. Other new additions include a new Indominus Rex feature in “Jurassic World – The Ride” and a new restaurant in CityWalk, NBC Sports Grill & Brew. You can learn more about them below! It felt great being able to visit again as if things are almost back to normal. I said almost. Make sure you bring a mask!
Jurassic World—The Ride
“Jurassic World—The Ride” takes guests on an excursion through the theme park as depicted in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s film, JURASSIC WORLD… Breaking new ground with highly complex innovations, this fully-articulated lifelike Indominus injects intense new thrills, excitement and intrigue to the already dynamic ride. Spanning nearly 55 feet horizontally from head to tail and over 22 feet vertically, the Indominus’ imposing presence will be amplified by the fluidity of her motions and synchronized movements that deliver an unprecedented level of authenticity. From the subtle blinking of her eyes, the flexing of her arms and claws and clenching of her jaw as she bears her razor-sharp teeth, the colossal Indominus rex will lunge from her hillside setting, stalking guests just before they descend the giant waterfall drop to escape her grasp.
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!
“The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” brings guests to the front of Katie’s NYC apartment building. This all-new tech-savvy adventure inspired by Illumination’s blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets films, answers the question, “What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home?” This new ride combines 64 technologically-advanced animated figures with hyper-realistic media and projection mapping designed to take guests on a journey to meet some of their favorite Illumination characters from the movies, including Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke, along with a host of other animal friends, who have all been transformed and transported into the live-action world. From blinking eyes to eyebrow movements, head tilts to head nods, moving mouths to smiles, ear curls to lip curls, and full torso twists to physically walking, the depth of mobility and function programmed within each of these loveable characters creates an experience unlike any other theme park ride.
NEW! Virtual Line
Virtual Line technology is designed to help guests maximize their leisure time at the theme park. Guests can access Virtual Line via the official Universal Studios Hollywood app, available for free in the App Store and on Google Play or they can visit the Virtual Line kiosk located in the New York City subway station, situated adjacent to the ride. Both provide guests with options to experience the ride based on the next available times and will be available to guests within the theme park as needed.
Other Famous Attractions:
- DreamWorks Theatre featuring Kung Fu Panda Adventure
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Fast & Furious—Supercharged
- Springfield / The Simpsons Ride
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem / Super Silly Fun Land
- King Kong 360 3-D
- Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride
- Special Effects Show
- Studio Tour – Behind-the-Scenes Tram Ride (Earthquake—The Big One, Famous Cars, Flash Flood, Jaws Lake, War of the Worlds & Other Famous Movie Sets)
- Transformers: TheRide-3D
- Universal’s Animal Actors
Universal Studios Hollywood sits adjacent to Universal CityWalk, an entertainment, shopping and dining complex that includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage. NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood is reflective of NBC Sports’ award-winning coverage and unparalleled collection of media partnerships that include the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the NFL, NASCAR, INDYCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, Roland Garros, and many more.
With an array of HDTV screens broadcasting continuous, in-depth sports coverage, NBC Sports Grill & Brew is prepared to offer guests the MVP treatment. Visitors can enjoy dining upon converted shuffleboard and foosball tables amid sports-inspired décor, including specially commissioned art pieces and a custom neon NBC peacock logo.
Universal CityWalk spectators and al fresco diners alike will also be awed by the giant media wall located at the restaurant’s front exterior. Measuring a whopping 23 feet by 13 feet, the HDTV monitor will put guests at the front row of the latest sports action.
A look at the restaurant’s expansive menu, curated by Universal Studios Hollywood’s Executive Chef Marie Grimm, NBC Sports Grill & Brew covers all the bases by providing a fresh take on traditional pub fare, including tasty appetizers, flavorful sandwiches and burgers, fresh salads, hearty grain bowls and indulgent desserts. The inspired menu includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well as traditional fare with an array of cleverly themed courses. These include: The Starting Lineup features mouthwatering appetizers from Wings and Fish Tacos to Loaded Nachos and an Artisan Pretzel. Home Run Handheld takes burgers to new heights with such tempting fare as Roadside Chili Burger, Gruyere Burger, Beyond Burger, Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Brat Pretzel Press. The Chili Bowl and The Grain Bowl add tasty twists to The Bowl Games menu section. In the mood for a crunchy salad, On The Green pleases with Classic Chicken Caesar Salad, Grilled Steak Wedge and Nashville Hot Chopped Chicken Salad. Game Time is serious with Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs, Farmhouse Fried Chicken, Broccoli & Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese, NY Strip Steak and Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon. Final Play rounds out the meal for the home stretch, including Warm Apple Strudel, Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie with Stout Ice Cream and a variety of Floats. A la carte Side Lines add even more options to the extensive menu with extras including Tater Tots, Crinkle Cut Fries, Grilled Vegetables, Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Cornbread. A refreshing complement to the menu, the restaurant also features a full bar and an extensive selection of over 40 beers, including the 862 as an IPA or seasonal draft custom-made to the Universal CityWalk Hollywood location. Looking to customize their beverages, diners can create their own beer flight, build their own mule cocktail or select from a list of craft cocktails and wines.