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Universal Studios California rides --few, but fun

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Universal Studios Hollywood rides, including Transformers, Revenge of the the Mummy, the Jurassic Park boat ride, the Simpsons Ride, and the Curious George playground & water play area. Get ready for fun; it's time for some screaming & shrieking when you visit the Universal Hollywood theme park!

Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood

Picture: Optimus Prime greets visitors near the Transformers Ride
Transformers 3D ride now open at Universal Hollywood! For Transformers fans, the wait has seemed like a long one. After all, this thrilling indoor "dark ride" had been under construction since 2010! But the waiting time is now over, and fans can now board.

What can you expect from the new Transformers ride? Giant high-definition screens play out the story of the Transformers just a few yards from your eyeballs...and in the 3D segments, the action reaches out and looks like it will touch you (er, make that, DESTROY you!)

Your ride vehicle is an awesome machine that moves like you're sitting in the hand of a giant claw. If you've never thought that dark rides can be thrilling, you'll have to re-think that again! There's no sedate track here. The car lifts up; it's spun around; it lurches forwards...and then back again. The whole idea is to make you feel like you're a part of the Transformers battle action...and it's pretty much guaranteed that you WILL!

Expect that the Transformers line will be long for quite some time to come. In fact, it's worth planning your day around it. The Transformers ride is on the park's "lower level." Try beating the crowd by heading down to the lower level just as soon as it opens. If all else fails, you may have to purchase the Front of Line Pass if you don't have the time to wait.

Picture: Majestic plant-eating dinosaur that you'll see while you're on Universal Studio's Jurassic Park ride"Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" simulator ride coming to Universal Hollywood! How would you like to be turned into one of the little yellow pill-shaped "minions" from the Despicable Me movies? You would? Great, then---your chance is coming! Simply step into Universal's Despicable Me motion simulator ride...and you'll be zapped into your new minion body. Next, you'll be thrown onto a minion training track, where you'll jump hurdles, dodge laser beams, and shape-up into the super-minion of your dreams. (Note: at the time of this update, the opening date of the new Despicable Me motion-simulator ride has not been released.)

Harry Potter coming to Universal Studios Hollywood! Both Harry Potter fans and ride-lovers in general will celebrate the opening of Universal Hollywood's spectacular new themed area.'ll have to have some patience if you'd like to experience this immersive experience into the world of Harry & his friends: it won't be open until Summer, 2015!

Current rides: Other than the excitement surrounding the still-new Transformers attraction, rides have not been a major focus at Universal Studios Hollywood. At least this situation will be changing once the new park additions have opened. But until then, including the new Transformers ride, there are only 4 rides at Universal Hollywood. (The other 3 are the Jurassic Park boat ride, the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster, and the Simpsons motion simulator ride.) They're all great rides...but there are only 4 of them!

The Universal Studios Hollywood theme park began with the public tours given of its historic movie-making lots. The park's other attractions are an expansion of its original movie tour business. Universal Studios Hollywood still remains primarily focused on its movie-lot tours and on its informative shows which explain how movies make special effects. Rides are secondary.

Tips for minimizing your ride waiting time

Picture: One of several escalators leading from Universal Hollywood's lower lot to the upper lotRide lovers, take note: the 4 rides at Universal Studios Hollywood are very popular. Yes, there are only 4 rides at Universal; but they're all very good ones. They attract large crowds, and waiting in their lines can tie up much of your time at the theme park, if you let them. Here are tips for enjoying these rides without wasting too much time from your day in the Universal Studios ride queues.

The Universal Studios rides are some of the attractions farthest away from the entrance! Therefore, as you enter the park, especially if you're a first-time visitor, you'll be tempted to enjoy looking at closest attractions first. If you want to have a smoothly-running day, don't do this! Force yourself to move on ahead to experience the rides FIRST...then backtrack to other attractions later.

First, head straight to the back of the park's "upper lot." (The park sits in a hilly area, and is built on two different levels! As you enter Universal Studios California, you'll be on the "upper lot," which is the level on which you'll find the Simpsons Ride.) Get to the theme park as close to opening time as you can, then head to either the Simpsons Ride first, before the line builds up...or to the Lower Level to experience the 3 rides that are in that area. What are the "pro's & con's?" If you get through with the Simpsons ride before the line builds, then you're done with it for the day. Sometimes, when the Lower Lot opens later than the Upper Lot, then this may be a very good plan. Otherwise, the best idea is to choose the ride that you most want to visit...and head there first.

But, assuming that you chose The Simpsons ride first, you'll NEXT need to head to the "lower lot" at Universal Studios as soon as you can! The lower lot is where you'll find the new Transformers ride, the Jurassic Park and the Revenge of the Mummy rides. Head for one of these attractions the very next thing (your favorite, of course.) To reach the lower lot, you'll use the attractive series of escalators that you see in the picture to your left. Disabled guests may use a special elevator to move between the two levels at Universal Studios park.

Note: Sometimes the lower lot opens an hour later than the rest of the park; if so, try to enter the lower lot just as soon as you're allowed to do so.

By afternoon time on a busy day, the lines at these all 4 Universal Studios rides will be an hour long (or more!) So, ride lovers...head to the park early, then hit all of the rides first, and you'll have a much happier day as you take your time viewing the rest of Universal Hollywood's shows and attractions!

Universal Studios California Rides -- "Jurassic Park, the Ride"

Splashdown! You'll escape the flesh-eating dinos on the Jurassic Park water ride by taking a steep plunge! Splash through waters infested with man-eating dinosaurs! Well, the dinosaurs may not get you...but this boat ride's splash pool certainly will! Universal Studios rides may be few, but they're fun.

On your left, you see a picture of the exhilarating splashdown your boat will make when you board "Jurassic Park the Ride" at Universal Studios Hollywood.

What's the ride like? Very much like being a part of the movie! When you head for "Jurassic Park the ride", you'll board a boat and go adventuring into the wilds of an island just CRAWLING with dinosaurs! First, you'll pass by the peaceful plant-eaters...and it will seem like you're in a prehistoric version of a modern-day wild animal park. But before long, you'll start to see signs of things going amiss...until you finally come face to face with dinos that don't choose leaves and vegetation when they chow down for lunch!

Some of the plant-eating dinos on the Jurassic Park water ride look downright friendly!

Though it's tremendously doubtful that you'll end up getting eaten by a dinosaur on your tour, one thing IS certain.... WILL get wet!

Note that there is a 46" minimum height requirement for "Jurassic Park, the Ride." Guests in wheelchairs should enter through the main queue; a transfer into the ride boat (which may be wobbly) will be required.

"Revenge of the Mummy" roller coaster ride in the dark!

Ancient Egyptian-style stilt walker sometimes seen near the Revenge of the Mummy ride Zoom through a mummy's tomb!

The fastest one of the Universal Studios California rides is the "Revenge of the Mummy" ride. This is a state-of-the-art roller coaster like you've never been on before. It combines magnetic levitation motion (like on the high-speed trains of Japan), scenes from the Mummy movies, DARKNESS, and surround-sound speakers within each ride car to give a totally unique---and scary!---ride experience.

Revenge of the Mummy ride's entrance

The youngsters in your family won't be able to ride with you on this one (because there's a 48" minimum height requirement for the "Revenge of the Mummy" roller coaster), but it's certain to be a hit with the tweens, teens and adults in your group.

Guests in wheelchairs should be in good enough health to endure the rigors of this fast-paced coaster. A transfer into the roller coaster train is required.

Universal Studios Rides -- The Simpsons!

Picture: Simpsons ride at Universal Studios theme park The Simpsons ride is a fan favorite! Expect big crowds!

On the "Upper Lot" at Universal Studios California, you'll find Universal's popular "motion simulator" attraction---"The Simpsons Ride!" The Simpsons ride, featuring a journey through the supposed Krustyland amusement park, opened just in time for the summer tourist season of 2008...and continues to draw long lines even this year.

Simpsons Ride plot: Visitors will be tagging along with the members of the Simpson family as they visit Krustyland, a less-than-illustrious amusement park owned by none other than Krusty the Clown. It's an amusing scenario...and one that's just ripe for things to go wrong! Of course, mishaps are all part of the fun for riders on The Simpson's attraction.

The Simpsons Ride features many familiar characters from the TV series, all voiced by the same actors who portray these characters on television.

Ride-lovers have been eagerly awaiting the addition of the Simpsons Ride to the Universal Studios line-up. And, with good reason! This motion simulator ride is certainly one of the best in the genre.

You'll board a ride car which much like the one in which the Simpson family is sitting (in the Simpsons Ride picture to your right.) You'll sit relatively still for a few moments...but after that, you'll take one perilous plunge after another as you ride virtual-style on the Krustyland roller coaster...then on to other adventures, as well. This is one simulator ride that's really got ACTION...yet its ride is much smoother than a real roller coaster. Plus, the minimum height requirement is only 40 inches tall, so that families may enjoy taking a spin on the Simpson's ride together!

Nickelodeon Blast Zone out; Curious George in!

The Adventures of Curious George play area = lots of kiddie fun!

Picture: Curious George play area at Universal Studios Hollywood, California Curious George has his own playground at Universal Studios Hollywood!

Just right for active kids who may be a wee bit tired of standing in lines, this playground is full of active fun. It's themed on the character Curious George, the mischievous little monkey owned by "the man in the yellow hat," from the classic children's book series.

What types of fun can your kids enjoy here? Inside, they'll find thousands of colorful foam balls which they can throw and shoot from guns...quite a popular activity at the Curious George playground. And, on warm days, young guests will love to stay outside and enjoy this attractions's water-spray activities!

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Unexpected surprises make theme park rides fun. But, nobody likes unexpected PROBLEMS on a trip. Keep them to a minimum by planning ahead! (And, let this website help you!)

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