Go behind the scenes of one of Hollywood’s oldest studios and give yourself a starring role in the action adventure of a lifetime!
No visit to Los Angeles would be complete without a tour of Universal Studios, one of the oldest working studios in Hollywood and home to one of America’s best-loved theme parks.
The high-tech working methods of today’s state-of-the-art studios would be unrecognisable to Carl Laemmle, Universal’s founder, who hit upon the smart idea of selling tickets to watch silent movies being made. This was the start of the studio tours which have continued in various forms ever since.
Today’s tour takes you on a narrated tram ride through one of the film industry’s most familiar backlots, the scene of movie classics and high-action blockbusters. See how the latest special effects techniques are employed to create spectacular storms and lifelike natural disasters, and learn about the real-life fires that have swept through the tinder-dry sets nine times in the studio’s history, often destroying valuable archive material in their wake.
One attraction that was seriously damaged in the latest conflagration in 2008 was the famous King Kong ride, a staple part of the Universal experience for many decades. At first it was announced that the iconic ride would not be replaced, but thanks to the popularity of Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake, the huge ape was given a reprieve. King Kong 360 3D is even bigger, better and scarier than the original, as the gentle giant battles a pack of ravenous dinosaurs on the warpath.
Other firm favourites are Jaws, Revenge of the Mummy and Jurassic Park. Young children may be frightened by some of the special effects and intense speeds used on these adult-themed rides, but they will love the Simpsons Ride, a family-friendly trip through Springfield to meet all your favourite characters.
Once the adrenalin returns to normal, head for Universal CityWalk to have a bite to eat and browse for souvenirs, or check out the concert programme in the Gibson Amphitheatre.
Universal Studios are located around 16 kilometres northwest of central Los Angeles. This popular attraction pulls in the crowds year-round, so arrive early to be first in the queue.