Recently my daughter and I spent the day as VIPs at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

When I read online that it was impossible to see the entire park including the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day, I decided to investigate the ticket pricing further. Unfortunately we really only had one day available to see the park and I wanted to maximise our time there without killing our sanity and our feet in the process. Lines at Universal are notoriously long, and I was mindful of the fact that we would have just spent three days at Disneyland, so we would be well and truly over queuing by then.

The VIP Experience at Universal Studios seemed to be the way to go.

The day started off in the VIP Lounge, followed by a morning trolley tour of the busiest movie sets, where you can disembark and explore areas not open to the general public. We were lucky enough to visit two working sets of new 2016 pilots – ‘The Good Place’ starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, and ‘Pure Genius’ starring Dermot Mulroney and Augustus Prew.

But the trolley tour is no ordinary tour… you get to ‘experience’ King Kong 360 3D created by Director extraordinaire Peter Jackson; the Fast and The Furious Supercharged and an earthquake in the New York City subway. There are others but to tell you anymore would ruin the surprise.

As a bonus you can hop off the trolley and go inside the enormous Archive and Collections department to see Universal Studios historical props, documents, photos and costumes. This is where props and costumes are kept for hire in other movies or pilots.

Lunch is included in the ticket price and is served buffet style in a beautiful restaurant. The food was fantastic and catered to all tastes – vegetarian, coeliac and gluten free all catered for.

After lunch your VIP tour guide escorts you through all the rides via the VIP lane, which means you go straight onto the rides and bypass the enormous queues. Universal is huge, and comprises of an upper and lower lot. Some of the rides we went on the lower lot were: Transformers The Ride 3D; The Mummy; Jurassic Park (wear the poncho they offer you, trust me!) and on the upper lot we went on: Simpsons The Ride; we watched the Waterworld show (amazing) and by 3pm we had arrived at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (read my story on this here)

Now the VIP Experience isn’t cheap. With the conversation rate at the time of purchase it cost me $1200.00AUD. I initially baulked at the cost but the fantastic reviews and the time saving aspect of it sealed the deal for me.

Was it worth the cost? ABSOLUTELY.

The entire day was a VIP Experience from start (breakfast at the VIP Lounge) to finish. Our tour guide, Kat, was amazing. She kept us entertained and was a font of knowledge about everything going on in the park. She knew EVERYTHING. All VIPs got a little bag containing mints, tissues and a poncho and there was water available on the trolley. VIPs really are treated well!

Unfortunately we had to cut the day short at 5pm that afternoon as I had become unwell, having caught a bug from our time in Disneyland. Olivia got to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter but I missed out. However I hadn’t come this far to miss out so we did go back and you can read my review here.


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