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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.


Doesn't deserve any of the hype. Lame, boring.
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.
The Studio Tour is the main reason to visit Universal Studios. The studio tour has different attractions on it to make it more exciting (I guess). There is the King Kong 3D experience (interesting), the subway scene (a little bumpy, but still entertaining), the Mexican village flood, and the Fast and the Furious car demonstration. We also got to travel down Wisteria Lane (where Desperate Housewives was filmed) and see the hotel and house from Psycho, along with the set from War of the Worlds. Anyone who visits Universal Studios must go on the studio tour-after all, that's what the park is known for.
I can easily say that the King Kong section was disappointing. The only decent seats are if you're in the middle of the tram. Anywhere else and you get cheated of the right perspective. This actually showed me that 3D done like this is NOT the future of theme parks. Transformers and Spider-Man's 3D? Yes. Not to mention, carrying around the 3D glasses for the whole ride is annoying.

They still need to get rid of the Fast & The Furious section or at least stop with the dancing cars. Every time I go, people don't clap... instead everyone says "what.was.that?"

Everything else on the tour is awesome. Jaws, while cheesy scares people every time. The Psycho House, The Mummy, Flash Flood, all of the facades, etc. All great examples of Hollywood. Heck, the Psycho actor was in character all the way even as our tram was leaving!

7/10. The King-Kong part was fun and it was interesting was it was kind of long and if you have kids, they may get bored very quickly on it.
Addendum: I recently went there for the new King King 360 3-D attraction. As a thrill seeker, it was so-so. It was like seeing the movie with the seats shaking according to the action of the two screens on either side of the tram. As a movie fan, I liked the interaction of the tram as the movie places us in the tram in the middle of the action. Overall, I'd give King Kong 360 3-D a 5 out of ten rating based on my excitement factor. Universal still rates as one of the lowest ranked theme park in my book in terms of thrill ride theme park and excitement.

I have been to the Studio Tour at least once in the past three decades (that means the 80's, 90's and 2000's). It is a good experience in seeing how movies are made and learning Universal's history. However, they often sacrifice older sets for newer ones while retaining those that they think people will want to see. I understand that space is always an issue in Southern California (as well as finances); however, it would be nice to see all, if not most of, the memorible Universal films during the tour. They should conduct a survey with the public to see what sets they would like on the tour. Personally, I would like to see the futuristic Hill Valley from Back To The Future or see E.T's escape to the forest. Neither the tour nor the upper or lower lots at USH have anything from Back to the Future or from E.T. E.T.'s presence is reduced to a plush doll they sell in the souvenir shop. They even took down the Isla Sorna Visitor Center from Jurassic Park The Lost World (where War of the Worlds set is currently located) and reduced JP's presence ont he tour to a small strip of road where the Compys spray water on you during the tour as you make your way to the little Mexican village area. I am sure there is a way to make the tour go through the Jurassic Park Visitor Center as a T-Rex starts fighting some Raptors in the background; that would be something to see on the tour and that idea was a free one.

In the last 12 months, I have been on the Studio Tour four times and its been the same script with the same sets. If USH wants me to come more often as a visitor, they need to make more sets on the tour on a monthly basis not yearly. One new set a year would not justify me in coming back over and over again during a calendar year; Halloween Horror Nights would be the only exception. However, this is one person's opinion and I am sure that the out of town tourist make up the bulk of their revenue.

Most Favorites: Earthquake, Psycho, Jaws
Least Favorites: Whoville, Wisteria Lane, Parting of the Red Sea

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