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Studio Tour

Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

Narrated Ride

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Started in 1964, the Studio Tour was the original (and, at first, only) attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. The 45-minute tour, hosted by a guide and supplemented by on-ride HD video screens, takes you past the front lot soundstages and backlot sets where thousands of films, television shows and commercials have been filmed over the years.

On your way past these sets, you will pass several special effects demonstrations created specifically for the tour, including a simulated Earthquake in a San Francisco BART station, a Flash Flood in Old Mexico, and an attack by Bruce the shark from Jaws... in a New England seaside village that later was used as the set for Cabot Cove, Maine in "Murder, She Wrote."

A fire on June 1, 2008 destroyed some sections of the Studio Tour, including the original King Kong encounter and the Courthouse Square set featured in "Back to the Future." A new 3D, 360-degree King Kong experience opened in 2010, and in 2011 the Studio Tour's on-board video presentation was re-written and re-filmed with host Jimmy Fallon.

In June 2015, a new "Fast & Furious: Supercharged" 4D encounter debuted as the final act on the tour. Featuring many of the stars of the "Fast & Furious" movies, the encounter takes you on a simulated high-speed (and explosive) chase through downtown Los Angeles.


This really does feel like the heart and soul of Universal Studios Hollywood. It really sets it apart from the other Universal properties. The views provided just from the beginning would be worth a ride, but the rich amount of history everywhere is what makes the whole thing. There really is a vibe to the whole backlot that is just exciting and rich. I enjoyed every moment in the backlot and would highly suggest a ride. Other than the backlot, there are some scenes that could qualify as individual attractions within the park. The best is Earthquake which is a fantastic display with tons of great practical effects. There are two 360 screen attractions within the ride, King Kong and Fast and Furious. I enjoyed King Kong more than I thought I would. Far from great but good fun and a decent effect. Fast and Furious is quite awful actually. CGI is horrendous, and I got mist in the face about 7 times. Couldn't even see what was going on. Despite a bad last portion, the whole tour really is spectacular. This and Harry Potter alone are worth the price of admission. 9/10
Word of advice, the seats in front of you have little slots to hold your glasses. Also, take advantage of the double rider line. If you don't need to stick with your entire family, divide up into groups of two.

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