One of the most popular attractions in the Los Angeles area, Universal Studios Hollywood features rides and amusements based on some of the most popular scenes and characters from film and television. You can take the famous tram tour through the exotic world of "Jurassic Park" and past the creepy Bates Motel from "Psycho." Kids can shake hands with cartoon favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants and Scooby-Doo. If thrills are your thing, there are plenty of hair-raising coasters and rides. On "Transformers: The Ride-3D, " riders join Optimus Prime in his battle against the Decepticons; meanwhile, youngsters will love the "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" 3-D motion-simulator (complete with a minion dance party), which opened in May 2014.
Universal Studios welcomes hoards of tourists each day; to forgo the long waits, travelers suggest you purchase the Front of Line passes, which cost $139, online. This brings up another pain point: the price. At $87 for one-day general admission for adults and $79 for little ones ages 3 to 9, a family excursion to Universal Studios doesn't come cheap.
Universal Studios is located in the unincorporated Universal City, just northwest of Hollywood. Driving is the easiest way to get there, and on-site parking is available and ranges between $10 and $16, depending on what time of day you visit. The amusement park is open daily; hours most days are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the spring and summer, though the park sometimes stays open until 10 p.m.; fall and winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on attractions, tickets and opening times, consult the Universal Studios website.
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