After visiting Universal Orlando a few times recently with my family, I was excited to head back to Universal Studios Hollywood so I could compare the two locations. I already knew Hollywood is much smaller having visiting in my youth. So there are a lot fewer attractions but more isn’t always better though. So I am sharing 5 reasons why Universal Studios Hollywood is better than Universal Orlando.
Why Universal Studios Hollywood Is Better than Universal Orlando
1. Universal Studios Hollywood: The Studio Tour
The iconic Universal Studios Tour is not offered at Universal Orlando making it a must visit attraction for all guests. Jimmy Fallon acts as the video host in conjunction with the live tour guide that offers insight into the various sets and sound stages along the tour.
There is no guarantee that you will see anyone famous but because it’s a working studio lot, it is possible. We saw George Eads from the tv show CSI once while taking the tour. There is always TV show and movie filming happening so there’s always a chance you can see a famous actor at work.
The one hour tour has been upgraded over the years and now includes a few 3D experiences including one from the Fast & the Furious franchise. Personally I am not a huge fan of 3D/4D rides but I think this addition is great for everyone else.
2. Universal Studios Hollywood: Super Silly Fun Land
Both parks offer the 3D minion ride but only Universal Studios Hollywood has Super Silly Fun Land. What is Super Silly Fun Land? It’s an interactive kids playground and splash pad and includes Silly, Swirly Fun Ride. It can be a quick stop for little kids that can’t or don’t want to ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.
My kids love visiting Super Silly Fun Land and have no problem playing there for most of the day. Be sure to bring a towel or change of clothes if you plan on letting them loose in the water area. Otherwise, yourself buying obscenely overpriced Despicable Me towels in a pinch, don’t ask me how I know this. 😉
3. Universal Studios Hollywood: The Walking Dead Attraction
The Walking Dead Attraction is awesomely fun for any fans of the The Walking Dead or zombies in general. It takes less than 5 minutes to walk through the attraction but includes live zombies and is not for the faint of heart. The attraction also includes 18 artifacts from the TV show for super fans of the show to spot. Keep in mind that this attraction will be closed on certain days during the Halloween season, basically any day that a Halloween Horror Nights is scheduled. Apparently they don’t have enough zombie actors to work both the day and night shift.
The Walking Dead Attraction very close to Super Silly Fun Land and the 3D Despicable Me Minion Ride, making this a great area for the whole family to find their version of fun. By the way, the line for the attraction tends to get smaller later in the day.
4. Jurassic World
Jurassic Park: The Ride was updated and reopened this summer as Jurassic World: The Ride. We rode it during our fall break trip last month. The ride is definitely updated but still expect dinosaur scares and getting wet. In fact you get wet pretty early on in the ride, it was unexpected and hilarious. I don’t want to explain exactly how it happens and spoil it for you.
I do recommend wearing a poncho to help minimize how wet you get. Also if you will be there when it’s busy or if you are short on time, be sure to buy a Universal Studios Express Pass. The Express pass grants you express access to each ride, attraction and seated show one time, basically it minimizes your wait time.
5. Universal Studios Hollywood: Lard Lad Donuts
Springfield, U.S.A. is a great stop in either park for any Simpsons fan. The whole area is completely immersive, featuring locations you’d expect Homer or Bart to visit on the show. The Lard Lad Donuts in Hollywood features the iconic Big Pink donut, plus several other gigantic varieties that change daily.
We tried a couple of different crazy huge donuts during our visit, they were delicious. Lard Lad Donuts in Florida only offers the giant pink donut, you can also buy other varieties of regular sized donuts in Florida.
Super Nintendo World – Under Construction
Bonus Reason – Super Nintendo World is under construction right now in the lower lot at Universal Studios Hollywood. We caught a sneak peek of the work underway behind the Halloween Horror Nights Stranger Things maze entrance. My boys are super excited about this new area coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. An opening date hasn’t been announced yet, I will update this post when we have a better idea on when Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is set to open.
Why Universal Studios Hollywood isn’t better than Universal Orlando
1. Wizarding World of Harry Potter
If you haven’t been to Universal Orlando to see their Wizard World of Harry Potter, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is amazing. It features two rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff, Plus Hogwarts Castle and the shops of Hogsmeade. Any Harry Potter fan would enjoy immersing themselves in Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando is really better though. The Hogsmede locations used to be on part with each between Hollywood and Orlando but that all changed this summer with the opening of a new ride in Orlando. Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure just opened up in Hogsmede at Universal Orlando and while I haven’t ridden it yet myself, it looks super fun.
Plus at Universal Orlando, there is a second Harry Potter ‘land’. You can also explore Diagon Alley which is full of different shops, experiences and the ride, Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts. Diagon Alley is actually way cooler than Hogsmede in my opinion.
With two distinct Harry Potter areas at Universal Orlando, comes an additional ride. You can actually ride the Hogwarts Express train between Hogsmede and Diagon Alley. At Universal Studios Hollywood you can only take a picture with a conductor in front of a replica Hogwarts Express train.
Universal Orlando offers a much more amazing experiences for any Harry Potter fan. Beyond the addition of Diagon Alley, there are definite other attractions at Universal Orlando that we enjoyed that aren’t available at Universal Studios Hollywood due to the size difference between the parks.
I won’t declare either a true winner over the other though, I think which park is better for you really depends on your family. What your family likes, where your family lives, and how much time you have to visit the park, all factor into which park experience is best for you.
Save on Universal Studios Tickets & Packages
I am proud to partner with Get Away Today and share their deals on Universal Studios tickets and Southern California vacation packages. My family has booked Disney vacations through Get Away Today since I was a kid, so I know it’s a well-established travel agency. They pride themselves on saving families money and helping plan your perfect vacation. Book online or call Get Away Today at 1-855-GET-AWAY. Mention my promo code DCHICA to get the best prices and you can even save $10 on any 2-night or longer Southern California vacation package.
I received complimentary media admission in order to share my experience with you.