Layover Life: Universal Studios Hollywood

There are SO many things to do in Los Angeles, United States that the struggle was real when it came to deciding how to spend my 49 hour layover there. It was my first time visiting, and all of the crew were divided on where to go. I reached out to you guys on Instagram to see what your recommendations were, and was overwhelmed by the amount of responses I received!

In the end, I decided that the sight-seeing, touristy stuff wasn’t for me and chose to take in the action-packed, fun-filled, jaw-dropping experience that is Universal Studios Hollywood.

Fun fact: I didn’t do any research beforehand and was totally reliant on the crew that I went with to show me around (who fortunately had been before). As great as this was, here are some tips to making the most of your time there if you ever plan on visiting:

    1. Buy an express pass: If you only plan on spending one day at Universal Studios Hollywood, do yourself a favour and buy the express pass like we did. It allows you to skip the lines once for each attraction. It may be expensive, but on busy days it is your best shot at getting on all of the rides and seeing all of the attractions. The wait times for general admission often exceed 60 minutes and depending on the park’s schedule, you may only have up to twelve hours before closing to enjoy them all.
    2. Download the Universal Studios Hollywood application for your mobile phone: Lost in the park? Not sure where the nearest washroom is? Want to know where you can grab a bite to eat? The Universal Studios Hollywood app can answer all of these questions and more. It helped us to plan our day with its itinerary feature and gave us all the information we needed to get the most out of our time there.
    3. Plan your day according to the wait times: The wait time feature on both the Universal Studios Hollywood app and on the signs throughout the park make it easier for you to decide how to plan your day. Why wait over 60 minutes for a ride when the line for another is only 20 minutes long?
    4. Arrive early: The earlier you get to the park, the better according to google’s “popular times” feature on the Universal Studios Hollywood Google Maps page. It’s busiest at about midday, but visitors only spend an average of four and a half hours at the park. This means the crowds disappear towards the early evening.
    5. Save your shopping until the end of the day: If you get as excited as I do seeing merchandise with some of your favourite characters on them, it’s hard not to make a purchase on the spot. Although there are locker facilities throughout the park, dragging shopping bags around and worrying about them all day can take away from your experience. You will probably end up buying things you might regret later too! Take it from this girl who bought a Harry Potter Gryffindor robe, Hermione’s Wand, three chocolate frogs, a pair of socks, a cauldron cake and a magnet. #SorryNotSorry.

We ended up spending nearly the entire day at the park, with absolutely no regrets. My favourite ride was Revenge of the Mummy; a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping, roller coaster that catapults you through a dark tunnel at speeds of up to 40 mph.

I also enjoyed checking out Springfield and eating at Krusty Burger, but the highlight of my day was visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yes, I did dress up- but who wears muggle clothing to Hogwarts anyway?!

Another solid memory was the world-famous Universal Studios Hollywood tour. The 60 minute live studio tour takes you through 13 city blocks and four acres of Hollywood history, in an unexpected laugh-out-loud, heart-stopping, comedic kind of way. (You HAVE to see it yourself to understand what I mean).

The rest of my layover was spent catching up on CNN news and eating at some of my favourite restaurants; Taco Bell and the Hard Rock Cafe. Nothing too exciting there, other than the fact that Taco Bell now has a steak nachos box and I am now the proud owner of a Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood souvenir glass. Sigh.

Next Stop: Accra, Ghana 🇬🇭

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.


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