TRAVEL: Destination Universal Studios Hollywood




As a winter chill sets in over most of the country, sunny Southern California becomes a popular destination.

The tourists who come to Los Angeles during this time of year not only enjoy warming up, they also look for a true “Hollywood experience.” So it should come as no surprise that they flock to “The Entertainment Capital of L.A.,” which is Universal Studios Hollywood.

The Universal tour center is a chance of a lifetime to see the glamour and excitement of Hollywood up-close-and-personal. It is an authentic movie magic experience that gives everyone great stories to tell about their adventures at the famous studio.

The behind-the-scenes Studio Tram Tour is included with your admission and is the best way to see the inside workings of the entertainment business. The tram trip is conducted by funny and knowledgeable guides who take guests through the historic backlot, navigating the 415-acres of the movie studio complex.

Along the way, there are special effects attractions (hang on tight for “Earthquake–The Big One”) and real life encounters with movie icons such as King Kong and Jaws, which have folks screaming with delight. The tram also passes through the wreckage of the War of the Worlds set, goes through  the Whoville set from the Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas film, and visits the Psycho house and Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller.

After a trip through the backlot there are even more thrills at the tour center. Some of the highlights from my recent trip involved the attractions that were inspired by blockbuster movies, such as Revenge of the Mummy— The Ride; Jurassic Park— The Ride; Shrek-4D; WaterWorld— A Live Sea War Spectacular; and Terminator 2: 3D, among others.


Revenge of the Mummy is a high-tech roller coaster, based on the popular Mummy films. It is a thrilling multi-sensory experience that taps into the rider’s primal fears, producing the world’s first psychological thrill ride.

Jurassic Park The Ride brings Steven Spielberg’s epic movie roaring to life with a ride that puts guests in the middle of the living, breathing, prehistoric world. The ride’s boats float past dinosaurs five-stories tall, along with the nasty little raptors. The big thrill at Jurassic Park is dodging a T-Rex as the boat plunges over a waterfall. Don’t worry– you’ll survive.

There’s nothing terrifying about Shrek 4-D. It’s a multi-media romp through the animated world of the lovable Ogre and his friends. Audiences are treated to an original “4-D” movie, that’s delightful for the whole family.

WaterWorld— A Live Sea War Spectacular is an action-packed stunt show that has visitors cheering all the dare-devils who perform the amazingly complex pyrotechnic stunt work. Don’t try this at home!

Who ever thought that the Governor of California would make a fabulous tourist attraction? Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the star of the Terminator 2: 3D, which is a combination of a stunt show and high-tech interactive experience, along with a 3D movie (starring Arnold reprising his cyborg-with-a-heart role). The awesome film is projected on the world’s largest 3-D screen, creating movie magic.

The entire trip to Universal Studios Hollywood is filled with magic for visitors of all ages. Whether you enjoy big thrills or the wonderful little treasure guests discover, such as the Animal Actor’s Stage Show, or Lucy: A Tribute, the museum dedicated to Lucille Ball. And there are many entertaining shows that are presented throughout the day at the theme park.

Universal Studios Hollywood is the only movie and television-based theme park to offer guests the authenticity of a working movie studio. Within its gates, the rich heritage of movies past and all the stars and excitement of today’s Hollywood truly comes alive. For more information go to, and enjoy the studio’s magic.




Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.