Last October, I went to Universal Studios (Hollywood) and Fright Night with my two young adult daughters. Below is a summary and review of the park.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS: The park is open between 8am-6pm for their standard attractions. We purchased Universal Studio Express tickets which were roughly more than doubles the price of the basic admission. I loved the Express lines. We usually walked right into the attraction. The longest wait time was about ten minutes long.
The main attraction my daughters and I were most excited about was the Harry Potter section. We headed straight there after entering the park. The general area was decked out like a movie set of Hogwarts, promoted a roller coaster and a simulated movie-ride, and featured enchanting stores, concessions, and an old time stone castle restaurant. We were captivated by the Harry Potter memorabilia, such as a wand store and shops that sold wizard robes and magic props. The cobblestone streets broke off into out-of-the-way alleys with more shops.
The gigantic castle was where the simulated Harry Potter flying ride was housed. With our Express tickets, we leisurely walked to the front of the line. Others had at least a two-hour wait. As we headed to the ride car, we were enamored with the alcoves within the castle that were arranged with screens, movie props, famous characters, and some supernatural gimmicks.
The actual ride was not working perfectly. The movements were sharp, jerky, and created motion sickness. The ride malfunctioned about three times, stopping in the middle of scenes, including the flying broom Quidditch game, which gave me and my two daughters utter nausea after exiting the ride. The queasiness did not leave us until lunch time. Later on, I vomited in my extra large soda cup and then felt so much better. My daughters never vomited, but their spins eventually went away.
Another ride that made us sick was the Minion movie ride. The movie theater had special seats that moved during the interactive movie. That ride might have been okay had it not been for the Harry Potter ride.
Our favorite attraction was the tram ride. The backlot sets and the mini-reenactments of Jaws and Fast and Furious were outstanding. We also enjoyed lunch at City Walk as well as the shopping. The Waterworld show demonstrated special effects and stunts with a fun story and was highly entertaining. Some of the rides with movie simulations were avoided because we feared that we might get nauseous again.
All in all, Universal Studios is very expensive and probably worth the money. I would have a different opinion if we waited in line for most of the day.
Fright Night happened every night at 6:00pm when most of the Universal Studio attractions closed and then the park seamlessly turned into a collection of haunted houses. It's a separate ticket cost and a separate Express fee. The Express fee was roughly triple the cost of the tickets. My daughters and I absolutely loved it. The longest wait time was about twenty minutes. We saw every house and attraction. All of them were excellent.We went back to Hogwarts for dinner and ate in a whimsical dining hall that resembled a Tudor castle. The food was English. Shepherd's pie, chicken pot pie, roast chicken, fish and chips, and sticky pudding were some of the menu options. We all enjoyed our food and the and prices were more reasonable than expected. The Harry Potter ride was still open. We decided not to give the ride a second chance, but we were delighted to gaze at the castle at night. There were holograms over the turret and piped-in scary sounds that set such a eerie, ghastly tone for Fright Night.
Again, this would not have been a fun experience had it not been for the Express tickets. Spend the money if you really want to go. We saw everything. Yes, it was over-priced, but I am glad we did it and had a blast. We walked over 27K steps that day! 5/5 STARS!