Universal City

Universal City is a community in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California, most of which is given over to the world's largest motion picture studio and its associated visitor attraction, the popular Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

Get in

By air

Universal City is just four miles south of Burbank's Bob Hope Airport and about a 45 minute drive to Los Angeles International Airport. Both airports have rental car centers and public transit connections; see the individual guides for airport transportation information.

By car

Universal City has its own exit from the 101 Freeway traveling northbound from Downtown Los Angeles or Hollywood. The 134 freeway can also take you to the Universal City area by exiting Cahuenga or Lankershim Blvd and turning southbound. General parking at the theme park is $17 before 3PM and $10 after 3PM, with more expensive parking located closer to the park entrance.

By public transit

Metro offers bus and rail service to Universal City. Of particular use to visitors is the Metro Rail Red Line subway, which stops at the   Universal City/Studio City Station on Lankershim Blvd on its way between Downtown L.A./Hollywood and North Hollywood. Universal Studios Hollywood provides a free shuttle between the subway station and the theme park, or you may walk. Across the street from the subway station is a bus hub that serves Metro routes #150/240, #155, #224, and the (weekday only) Metro Rapid #750, which connect Universal City directly to various communities throughout the San Fernando Valley.

Get around

Getting around Universal City is not a serious matter, given that it's small enough to easily walk around. The Universal Studios Hollywood theme park is the primary attraction, while the adjacent CityWalk offers dozens of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Each of the two nearby hotels (Hilton Universal City and Sheraton Universal) are within walking distance and have additional bars and restaurants available to experience.


The famed Universal Studios tram tour

Universal Studios Hollywood

  Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, toll-free: +1-800-UNIVERSAL (864837725). Hours vary by day of week and season; check website for schedule. $95 1-day ticket, $119 2-day ticket; front of line and VIP tickets also available. Online discounts frequently available. Go Los Angeles Card applicable.

Universal Studios was established at this location in 1915 by Carl Laemmle. Following an acquisition by MCA (Music Corporation of America), staff accountants suggested that a studio bus tour of the massive backlot and a stop at the commissary would boost profits. The famous backlot tram ride at the park today is a direct descendant. In the 1960s, the humble tour was expanded to include staged events. In the 1980s, a large scale motion picture-themed amusement park evolved to accompany the tour.

The heart and soul of the park is still the   Studio Tour, a tram tour of the backlot that lasts about 45 minutes and winds through many famous sets and past working sound stages. Among the highlights are actual sets from Back to the Future, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and Stephen Spielberg's War of the Worlds, and simulated attractions based on the films Earthquake, Jaws, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and the Fast & Furious franchise.

Other film-based attractions include:

Welcome to Jurassic Park!

In addition to the rides, numerous costumed characters can be found throughout the park; ask an employee for specific times and locations. The park has also become the filming location for the tabloid television show Extra, with various celebrities sometimes interviewed in front of a live audience; check the website for times and guests.


Neon signs light up the night at CityWalk


Universal Studios has an abundance of souvenir stores; just about every attraction has a gift shop attached selling merchandise particular to whatever franchise the ride is based on. CityWalk has a wider variety of retailers, selling a wide selection of apparel, sweets, collectibles, toys, and souvenirs. A complete list of CityWalk vendors is available here.


The theme park has plenty of eateries, most of which serve typical theme park fast food at theme park prices. A wider variety of food is availabe in CityWalk, which has over 20 restaurants ranging from fast food to casual sit-down dining. A complete list of CityWalk eateries is available here; among the options are national chains Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Buca di Beppo, Hard Rock Cafe, Johnny Rockets, Tony Roma's, and Wolfgang Puck Cafe. Most of the fast food places are in a food court on the second level across from the movie theater.


The second level of CityWalk surrounding the fountain court holds a few nightlife spots:


Go next

Routes through Universal City

Santa Barbara Studio City  N  S  Hollywood Downtown L.A.
END North Hollywood  N  S  Hollywood Downtown L.A.

See also

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.