How old for USH?

December 7, 2016, 1:28 PM

Visiting LA in January and was planning to take my 6yo son so Universal Studios. It was mentioned in another thread that he may not be old enough to enjoy it. He's fairly mature for his age but certainly not fearless as some kids seem to be.

How old do people think a kid should be for USH? Are there any rides in particular (other than the mummy obviously) that they would avoid?

Replies (8)

December 7, 2016, 4:25 PM

Besides the Mummy, he should be able to ride most rides unless he has a phobia of dinosaurs. The Walking Dead attraction may also be a bit too scary, but other than that, 6 years old should definitely be old enough for Universal. Only problem may be if he is too short to ride something

Edited: December 7, 2016, 6:01 PM

Since I recommended against Universal Studios Hollywood for a 6 year old, I should probably share my reasoning and let you make a more informed decision based on that and the word of others. After all, every 6 year old is different.

USH has 13 main attractions:

-Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
-Flight of the Hippogriff
-Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
-Jurassic Park-The Ride
-Revenge of the Mummy
-Shrek 4-D
-Special Effects Show
-Studio Tour
-The Simpsons Ride
-The Walking Dead
-Transformers The Ride 3D
-Universal's Animal Actors

Right off the bat, The Walking Dead can be eliminated from the suitability list as it is a walkthrough haunted attraction designed to scare guests. Universal strongly recommends against anyone under 13 experiencing this attraction. Additionally, a 6 year old will likely be unable to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Revenge of the Mummy due to a 48" height restriction on these rides. Everything else has a height restriction of 42" or less, so unless your son is short for his age he should probably be able to do everything else.

Now, let's take a look at the other 10 attractions in detail:

-Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: A 3D motion simulator attraction, though the motion is rather tame. Unless Star Tours terrifies your son, this should be perfectly fine.
-Flight of the Hippogriff: Similar to Gadget's Go Coaster. Shouldn't be much of an issue here.
-Jurassic Park: The first half of this attraction is tranquil, but the second half features a lot of dinosaurs that pop up suddenly and attack riders. The drop at the end is larger and steeper than Splash Mountain, and also occurs in complete darkness. This one is a maybe for a 6 year old depending on how well they can handle jump scares and large drops.
-Shrek 4-D: 3-D movie with in theater effects. Probably not an issue for a 6 year old, particularly if they've seen Shrek.
-The Simpsons Ride: Motion simulator much like Star Tours, but with significantly more extreme motion and a scarier (though more cartoony) ride film. Due to the use of a single lap bar, smaller children can get bounced around in the ride vehicle. I'd file this under the maybe category.
-Special Effects Show: This is probably fine, but the content may be a bit dull for younger children.
-Studio Tour: The two filmed sequences in this attraction contain violence similar to what would be present in a PG-13 movie, and a couple other staged events are sudden and startling. I've seen a whole mix of reactions from kids on this one, from loving it, to hating it, to finding it boring.
-Transformers: Probably the most visually intense attraction at the park, this ride puts riders in the middle of a battle between CGI robots. The whole ride features PG-13 violence, and 4D effects combined with the 3D video and vehicle motion make riders feel like they are being attacked as well. Much like the studio tour, some kids love this and others hate it.
-Universal's Animal Actors: Animal show. Not at all scary.
-Waterworld: This is 15 minutes of action. The show features a ton of pyrotechnic effects, some loud noises, and lots and lots of stunt work. It is an outstanding show, but it can be sensory overload.

In general, USH's attractions are slightly more intense than their Disney counterparts, but for the most part the similarity test applies. Good test attractions at the Disneyland Resort are:

-Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
-Goofy's Sky School
-Grizzly River Run
-Indiana Jones Adventure
-Matterhorn Bobsleds
-Radiator Springs Racers
-Soarin' Around the World
-Space Mountain
-Splash Mountain
-Star Tours

If your son is fine with all of those rides, and if they are generally okay with a PG-13 movie (you could try showing them one or two that have attractions based off them), they'll probably be fine with most of what Universal offers. If, however, they find any of those rides too intense or can't sit through a PG-13 movie without a negative reaction, I'd hold off on USH for now.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to how many of these attractions you think your son would enjoy, and whether you feel that is enough to justify the $99+ admission price that USH charges. I personally feel that someone under 8-9 probably won't enjoy the park enough to justify it, but all children are different. Some 6 year olds will love the place, while there are teenagers who still wouldn't enjoy a visit.

December 7, 2016, 5:57 PM

Eh, probably not. My cousin went to USH when he was 6 and he couldn't ride anything cause he didn't meet any of the height requirements. Below are the height requirements for the major USH rides

Flight of the Hippogriff- 39 inches
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey- 48 inches
Despicable Me- 40 inches
Jurassic Park The Ride- 42 inches
Transformers The Ride- 40 inches
Mummy- 48 inches
Simpsons- 40 inches

Yes there are still the shows like Waterwold at Shrek 4-D and yes there is still the studio tour but it probably won't be worth $100 per person to just do the tours and shows.

If you're child is able to meet all those requirements, it's kinda a toss-up whether you should go. Mummy, Jurassic Park, and probably Harry Potter (I haven't ridden it yet but I've been told stuff about it) are probably too scary for him, which leaves you with Simpsons, Despicable Me, Transformers, the Studio Tour, Flight of the Hippogriff, and some shows. Those are some great rides, but for $100?

Personally if I were you I'd be looking at Legoland California. The rides are no where near as thrilling but its definitely a parked geared towards kids. I used to go there 2 or 3 times a month in 1st grade and I loved the place. However, I do want to make it clear that I'm not recommending Legoland over UHS- UHS is definitely the better park, but I'm just putting it out there in case your son isn't able to make a lot of the height requirements or something like that.

December 7, 2016, 7:11 PM

Thanks for your awesome in-depth responses, definitely food for thought. On TPI is has Forbidden Journey as having a 40 inch height restriction, not 48, so I thought he may be OK for that (he should be about 45-6 inches tall when we go so most others he'll meet the requirements.

My other thought is the WWOHP and just spending some time there. He's enjoying the first book, and I think the interactive wands would be a huge hit. I think I'll see how he goes on Disneys more aggressive rides like you suggested AJ

December 7, 2016, 9:55 PM

I mean, it all depends on what interests your son. There might be plenty for him to do or nothing at all.

The one piece of advice I would give is to not expect USO's version of Universal Studios. That is movie making make believe. USH is the real, actual studios. I find it very interesting, but I am not a 6 year old kid.

December 9, 2016, 7:45 AM

Take him to Legoland.

December 9, 2016, 4:54 PM

The thing about Legoland is, although your son would probably enjoy the heck out of it, it's not really in the L.A. area. How far are you willing to drive?

December 9, 2016, 5:04 PM

We're already planning to do Legoland, so it's not really an either/or scenario.

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