Universal Studios Hollywood for Kids- Best Rides, Tips, Food

Universal Studios Hollywood is a great place for kids although many families may associate this theme park primarily with thrill rides. However, there are plenty of rides targeted for younger kids along with an entire area dedicated to toddlers and youngest kids. Plus with the opening of the popular Super Nintendo World, this adds just one more area that kids of all ages will enjoy.

What rides are the best for kids at Universal Hollywood? How do you navigate the escalators at Universal with kids? Let’s talk about the best tips for taking kids to Universal Studios Hollywood for the best experience.

Best Universal Studios Rides For ToddlersUniversal Studios Hollywood Kid Rides

There are numerous rides at Universal Studios Hollywood for kids 40 inches and under along with some with no height requirement.

  • Studio Tour – No height requirement
  • Kung Fu Panda Adventure – No height requirement
  • The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash – 34 inches
  • Silly Swirly Fun Ride – Kids under 48 inches require a supervising adult
  • Flight of the Hippogriff – 39 inches
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – 40 inches
  • The Simpsons Ride – 40 inches
  • Transformers: The Ride 3D – 40 inches
  • Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge – 40 inches

Studio Tour does not have a height requirement but this is an hour-long experience so be prepared with snacks and have the kids all make a restroom trip before the tour.

Universal Studios Hollywood Escalators with KidsUniversal Studios Hollywood kids

Universal Studios Hollywood is separated into two areas an upper lot and a lower lot area. This is because Universal is essentially built on the side of a massive hill and these two areas are connected by a massive set of three large escalators.

Parents are often worried about how to navigate these escalators at Universal with kids. Guests just need to remove the children from the stroller and they can go down the escalator without folding up the stroller, if they wish. The only rule is that children need to be removed from the stroller and carried down.

For guests who do not want to hold their kids down the large set of escalators or for kids who cannot be removed from the stroller (along with wheelchair/scooter users), there is an elevator option. Guests take an elevator down to the lower level and then they can wait for a bus to take them the rest of the way down. This will take longer than the escalators but it is an available option.

Child Switch Universal Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood offers Child Switch (similar to Rider Switch at Disneyland) for guests traveling with guests to take advantage of.

Each ride at Universal Studios Hollywood has the option to have one member of your party wait with the smaller kids while the rest of the group rides. Once the rest of the group is finished, switch places so whoever rode first can stay with the kids, and then that adult can enjoy the ride without waiting in line. This way, the group only waits in line once. The guest waiting with the smaller children that can’t (or don’t want to!) ride will wait in the preboarding area, there is a specific place set aside for them to wait, and then the parents will switch.

Guests traveling with kids at Universal Studios Hollywood can also take advantage of using Express Pass to avoid longer lines.

Single Rider Universal Studios Hollywood

Single rider at Universal Studios Hollywood is also a good option for guests to consider if they want to experience an attraction but the rest of the group does not want to ride so rider switch wouldn’t make sense.

The attractions that offer Single Rider at Universal Studios Hollywood are:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Revenge of the Mummy — The Ride
  • Transformers: The Ride 3D

Universal Studios Hollywood TicketsUniversal Studios Hollywood Hogwarts

We all want to save money and be more efficient with our time, and one of my biggest Universal Studios tips for saving money and experiencing more is to purchase your tickets in advance.

Purchasing your tickets before you arrive eliminates the time you would’ve spent in line at the ticket booth and gets you into the park quicker. Another benefit to advanced ticket orders is the opportunity to save money. We partner with Universal Studio’s top travel partner to offer discounts on tickets exclusively for our readers.

For the best prices on Universal Studios Hollywood tickets and info on how to avoid scammy tickets, visit our guide to discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets.

Universal Studios Hollywood Family Resources

There are nursing facilities available in the First Aid Stations and diaper-changing stations are available in all restrooms. Single or double strollers are available for rent upon entering the Theme Park, or you may bring your own stroller.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter for Kids

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a great place for younger kids to enjoy as there is so much else to see and do. This is also where guests can find the family-friendly roller coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff, which spins and dives around Hagrid’s pumpkin patch giving great views of the nearby Hogwarts castle. This is a short ride and a great starter coaster for small children.

There are interactive wands available for purchase at Universal Studios Hollywood that kids will love playing with. The wands come with a map of spells you can perform around the land. All you need to do is follow the motion on the map and bring to life little details around the park. For example, one spell will make an umbrella statue pour water down on the cement while another will make toys dance in a shop window.

If you plan on doing the interactive wands with your kids, it’s best to do this early in the day when you arrive before the land gets too crowded.

Super Nintendo WorldSuper Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World transports guests into the Nintendo World of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach inside the Mushroom Kingdom, and they even get to participate in a Mario Kart race! The immersive land also includes interactive areas with themed shopping and dining. Character meet and greets include Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo Land also features interactive experiences which allows guests to essentially play mini levels of Mario games in the land! Kids love these interactive games and the yellow question mark blocks around the land that guests can also bump for points. To participate in all these interactive features, kids will need a Power-Up Band. This is a similar concept to what you see in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with the interactive wands but this may be more exciting for younger kids than the wands!

One thing for parents to keep in mind is you cannot bring strollers into Super Nintendo World since there is no space in the land for strollers. Guests will need to park the strollers near Transformers: The Ride 3D.

Universal Studios Hollywood Play AreasSuper SIlly Fun Land

There are also play areas to find at Universal Studios Hollywood which offer great areas for kids to run around and burn off energy.

Super Silly Fun Land

Super Silly Fun Land is the best place for small kids (and older kids!) to run around Universal Studios Hollywood. There is a large splash pad area with a playground. It features over 80 water play options and slides! Even my teenager ran through it a few times on a hot day, it really is a great area for kids. There is a changing room nearby if you want to change your kids into swimsuits so they’re not walking around the parks wet all day. There is also a nearby gift shop with Minion-themed swimsuits, flip-flops, sunscreen, towels, and everything you would need.

There is also a splash area in the Universal CityWalk area.

Dino Play

On the Lower Lot, there is a Dino Play area for kids to enjoy right near the Jurassic World The Ride attraction. This area includes a new playground, climbing spots, and a digging site for kids to dig for dinosaurs.

Universal Studios CharactersUniversal Studios characters

There are also plenty of great Universal Studios characters for kids to meet. Some favorites kids will love include the Minions outside of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem plus Margo, Agnes, Edith, or Gru outside Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls.

Young kids will also love the chance to meet other favorites like Curious George, Dora the Explorer, and Hello Kitty.

Dreamworks characters can be found near the entrance to Kung Fu Panda which includes Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots, Po, Tigress, Branch, Poppy, Alex, and King Julien.

Kids (and adults!) will also love the chance to meet SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star in the Upper Lot plus Scooby-Doo and the rest of the gang near the Mystery Bus.

Jurassic Park

However, parents might want to be wary of the dinosaur meet and greets at the Raptor Encounter on the Lower Lot! These interactive dinosaurs are so realistic and they definitely act like a dinosaur! This might scare little ones.

Games for Kids Universal HollywoodUniversal Express Pass Simpsons land

There are carnival games at both Super Silly Fun Land (Minion-themed area) and Springfield U.S.A. (Simpson-themed area) for kids to play. The games are easier to win than your typical carnival-style games but the cost here can add up. Kids of all ages love carnival games so it is a nice option for kids to enjoy.

Universal Studios Hollywood has plenty of great options for kids and families, in fact, there are MORE family-friendly rides than thrill rides at this theme park!

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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