POSTED: June 1st 2017
InDepth

BRENDA DURAN: Step inside your favorite movie at Universal Studios Hollywood

LA Bid chief Casey Wasserman recently launched a video series and highlighted the entertainment industry of the city © LA 2024
LA Bid chief Casey Wasserman recently launched a video series and highlighted the entertainment industry of the city © LA 2024

Universal Studios theme park is known as a huge tourism magnet for the city of LA © Bigstock
Universal Studios theme park is known as a huge tourism magnet for the city of LA © Bigstock

The Wizarding World is Universal's headline attraction © SFC
The Wizarding World is Universal's headline attraction © SFC

BRENDA DURAN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Sure, visitors to Los Angeles can see the iconic Hollywood sign or the Walk of Fame, but there's another way to get immersed in this entertainment world. 

A short drive from these spots, and just a few miles from many of the proposed LA 2024 Olympics venues, is Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Los Angeles is bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics against Paris, France in a campaign that may see both cities wind up winners as the IOC is looking into awarding 2028 as well. 

There, visitors can see one of the theme park's biggest new attractions, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well as go on a journey through King Kong's Skull Island, ride along with "Transformers" and "Fast and the Furious," and enter other popular movie and television universes. 

The Wizarding World, based on the Harry Potter books and films that were a global phenomenon, opened in April 2016 as part of a $1.6 billion expansion and has been Universal's headline attraction ever since. The Harry Potter exhibits include Hogwarts Castle, the 4-D Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, and a light show scheduled to open June 23. 

Universal Studios attracts several million people annually, topping 7 million in 2015. In January, the park was even forced to turn away visitors for the first time in its history as attendance exceeded 40,000 in a single day - which means lines at times can be long. 

Visitors are drawn by a wide variety of movie and television franchise attractions. While Harry Potter may draw younger crowds, and it's certainly popular with adults too, other attractions cater to more mature audiences.

One of the newest of these is "The Walking Dead" attraction, where visitors can run from zombies just like in the AMC TV show. 

Other movies and television shows that have rides and attractions include "The Simpsons," "Jurassic Park," "Despicable Me" and "Shrek." 

Some of Universal Studios' classic attractions remain as well, most notably the Studio Tour. On that ride, visitors hop on a tram and get a behind-the-scenes look at 4 acres of studio backlots that are home to authentic filming locations from many classic movies.

The tour, which is available in Spanish and Mandarin, goes past the courthouse square from "Back to the Future," Bates Motel from "Psycho, and Wisteria Lane from "Desperate Housewives," among other iconic fictional locations.

At the end of a long day of hoping on and off rides and soaking in the Hollywood experience, visitors can leave the park and head next door to Universal CityWalk, a three-block shopping and dining promenade that has yet one more attraction for those still hungry for more fun - an ultramodern 19-theater cinema that has a seven-story IMAX. 

Tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood are priced a bit over $100, depending on the day of the week, with discounts for children younger than 10. Front-of-line passes and VIP tickets are available at higher prices. 

For more information, go to www.universalstudioshollywood.com

**BRENDA DURAN has Over 10 years of documented success in writing within media and communication for leading publications, including: The North County Times, The Denver Post, PEOPLE, The Long Beach Press-Telegram, Us Weekly and Long Beach Magazine. Winner of more than a dozen national and regional writing awards for feature stories and breaking news. Expertise in strategic communications, social media and marketing.


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