Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio and theme park in the unincorporated Universal City community of Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in use. Its official marketing headline is "The Entertainment Capital of LA", though during the summer it is often advertised as "The Coolest Place in LA." It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios soundstages and sets. It is the first of many full-fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks located across the World. Woody Woodpecker is the mascot for Universal Studios Hollywood. The entrance to the theme park may be accessed by the Metro Red line subway line at Universal City Station and other Metro bus routes.
Outside the theme park, a new, all-digital facility near the Universal Studios backlot in an effort to merge all of NBCUniversal's West Coast operations into one area. As a result, the current home for KNBC, KVEA and NBC News with Telemundo Los Angeles Bureaus with new digital facility on the Universal lot formerly occupied by Technicolor SA. Universal City includes hotels Universal Hilton & Towers, the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, the multi-screen Globe Theatre, often used for banquets and receptions, and Universal CityWalk, which offers a collection of shops and restaurants.
Universal Studios Hollywood is split into two areas on different levels, connected by a series of escalators called the Starway. These areas are known as the Upper lot and Lower lot. As of January 2013, Universal Studios Hollywood contains 5 shows, 5 rides, and 2 play areas for children. Each lot features a collection of rides, shows and attractions as well as food, beverage and merchandise shops.
The Upper lot is home to a variety of family based shows. It is also home to many dining and merchandise shops as well as the park's entrance. For older guests the park offers Universal's House of Horrors, a year-round haunted house. The Upper lot is home to all of the park's 5 shows including The Blues Brothers Revue, the Universal's Animal Actors Show, the Special Effects Stage, Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular and Shrek 4-D, a 3-D film which features additional immerse features. There are 2 rides located on the upper lot which include: the Studio Tour and the The Simpsons Ride are offered. The Studio Tour is a 45 minute ride which uses tram vehicles to take the visitors to the theme park's back-lot.
The tour is the signature ride at the theme park and the wait time varies by Day and seasons. The wait time ranges from 5–80 minutes, depending on the amount of visitors. The tour includes:King Kong: 360 3-D, the world's largest 3-D experience. The tram closes earlier than other shows and rides at the park. The trams depart the station and pass directly under the "Starway". After passing the starway, the tram arrives at the lower lot and passes through the stages where film productions take place. When filming occurs, the ride operator will notify visitors. The tram then takes the guests to Courthouse Square section and then other buildings in the backlot.
Afterwards, the tram enters a tunnel leading to the attraction: King Kong 360 3D. After King Kong 360 3D, the tram travels through sets from Jurassic park and encounter Dilophosauruses. Following that, the tram travels to the Flash Flood attraction (it is to be noted guests on the left side of the tram usually get wet). The tram continues to Earthquake: The Big One attraction, and Bates motel from Psycho. The Simpsons Ride is a family simulator ride located next to the entrance to the Studio Tour ride. The ride contains 24 vehicles, where each vehicles seats 8 guests. The ride lasts for 4 minutes. None of the rides at the Upper lot have single rider lines.
There are several themed retail outlets located near their respective rides in the Upper lot. For the Simpsons merchandise is offered at the Kwik-E-Mart.
The Lower lot is the smaller of the two lots. There are three thrill rides at this section of the park. All three of the rides have certain height and ride restrictions. It is home to Jurassic Park: The Ride, The NBC Universal Experience, Revenge of the Mummy (where E.T. Adventure once stood) and most recently the home to Transformers: The Ride. Jurassic Park: The ride is a water adventure ride. Revenge of the Mummy is a high speed in-door roller coaster. It is considered by some guests as the "scariest/most intense ride" of the park.
The last and newest ride at the lower lot is Transformers 3D: The Ride. Transformers 3D: The ride uses high tech technology to simulate 3D technology. It is somewhat similar to the Simpsons Ride, but with actual vehicle movement and includes more intense movements than the Simpsons Ride. This is currently the most packed ride at the theme park and the ride with the longest wait time. All 3 rides on the lower lot have a single rider line. A single rider can use the single rider as many times he/she may desire to use.
Similar to other Universal theme parks around the world, where duplicates of Jurassic Park: The Ride exist, the area surrounding the ride features a Jurassic Park merchandise shop named Jurassic Outfitters and a dining facility named Jurassic Café. Similarly a Revenge of the Mummy gift shop, called Tomb Treasures, greets guests as they exit that ride.