Here are our Top 7 favorite things to do at Universal Studios.
Universal’s new Harry Potter attraction, Diagon Alley, is mind-blowing in its size and intricacy. From the fire-breathing dragon perched atop Gringotts Bank to the moving “Wanted” signs posted down twisting faux alleyways, Diagon Alley feels as real as it gets for Harry Potter fans. Buy an interactive wand from Ollivander’s and you can perform “magic” on windows and objects around Diagon Alley. And trust us, riding the Hogwarts Express between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade makes it worth getting a Universal Studios Park Hopper ticket!
With so many amazing themed rides to choose from, this was a tough choice. Transformers is a real crowd pleaser. The breathtaking 3D effects are even more impressive than a similar old favorite, the Spider-Man ride. And kids, when Optimus Prime recruits you to save the Allspark from the Decepticons, you don’t say no.
For the most stomach-turning adrenaline rush in the park, the Rip Ride RockIt rolls in at number one coaster. There’s nothing scarier than those vertical peaks and drops, and the rock music themed coaster allows riders to personalize their music selection for the ride. You can even create a music video of your experience at the end. Rock on!
Themed shop Borgin and Burkes in Diagon Alley’s dark Knockturn Alley stands out from the usual cheerful Universal Studios souvenir shops with shadowy Death Eater swag and nightmarish store props. The store is like a mini haunted house in itself, so shopping is a delightfully creepy experience.
For lunch, order a very British dish at The Leaky Cauldron, the Harry Potter themed restaurant at the entrance of Diagon Alley. The food is surprisingly decent for a theme park meal, and the mashed potatoes and stews will stick to your bones for the rest of your afternoon at Universal Studios. Just beware the post-lunch sleep spell the food will put on you.
6. Old School Rides
Universal Studios is a great place for a stroll down Hollywood’s memory lane. Most rides featuring our childhood faves still hold up - E.T., The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Simpsons, The Revenge of the Mummy and many others are still tons of fun. The top choice for our favorite old school attraction is the cheesetastic Terminator 2 3D ride. The over-the-top effects are the gift that keeps on giving, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Sipping Harry Potter’s favorite nonalcoholic ale, butterbeer, is a must. Described by one Geek Girls, Inc. editor as “a cream soda gone rogue,” butterbeer is a rich, syrupy nectar that is sure to make you feel one with Harry and his friends - and send your kids bouncing off the walls.