How To Do…Universal Studios

L.A.’s big theme park has a dastardly new attraction

10 a.m.

Wallis Super Club

Getting There
If you take Metro, there’s a shuttle from the Universal City station to the park. Buy your Universal Studios ticket—it’s $84 and good for a year—or a VIP pass ($349) that includes a private trolley tour and a catered lunch.


10:15 a.m.

The Wallis

The Rides
To avoid the crowds, go against the grain and head directly to the lower lot. You can get a jolt of adrenaline on rides inspired by Jurassic Park, Revenge of the Mummy, and Transformers. Hate waiting? A front-of-the-line pass might be worth the additional $85.


12 p.m.

Quiet Room

Midday Meal
International Cafe on Rue de Rivoli is a welcoming refuge, with long communal tables where you can enjoy jambon baguettes and house-made pickles or share a platter of brie and grapes.


1:30 p.m.

Sculpture Garden

Famous Faces
While you’ll spot an occasional A-lister on the back lot, the only way to guarantee a celeb sighting is to attend a taping of the entertainment news show Extra. On weekday afternoons look for hosts Maria Menounos and Mario Lopez by the steel globe at the entrance, no ticket required.


2 p.m.


Animal Actors Show
Guinea pigs, ducks, cats, and dogs—all of them rescues—are the stars, with the performers often sticking around for meet-and-greets after their bits. The 20-minute sets occur five to eight times a day.


2:30 p.m.


Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Featuring seat-shaking special effects and those adorable Twinkie-shaped creatures known as minions, the park’s newest ride unfolds in its own neighborhood, complete with a water park, carnival, and theme restaurant.


3:30 p.m.


The Studio Tour
The original crowd-pleaser is still a huge draw. The 45-minute tram ride (we recommend the driver’s side of car number 3) takes you past sets that were built in the silent-film era and are still in use today. Look for cinema’s most famous house: Every tour cruises past the crumbling mansion from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.


Photographs courtesy (in order): The Studio Tour: courtesy Universal Studios/Photo: Dan Macmedan; Menounos courtesy Facebook; Despicable Me: Everett Collection; Molina, Kitten, Sandwich, Dinosaur: Shutterstock