Super Nintendo World is sure to attract a whole new legion of fans to Universal Studios Hollywood, just like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter did years ago.
Planners like me will already have lists of things they want to see and do, but what about things to avoid? It’s just as important for new customers, especially when it comes to crowds and queues.
You can skip most of the long lines with a Universal Express pass or VIP experience, starting at $199 and $369 respectively, but you don’t have to spend anything to save time and energy in the Southern California park.
Here is what not to do at Universal Studios Hollywood as America’s first Super Nintendo World opens.
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1. Rush Hour Visit
Universal Studios Hollywood is open every day of the year. Don’t visit when everyone else is. If possible, try to avoid long weekends, spring and summer break, and busy vacations.
You can check the ticket schedule on the park’s website and find the dates with the cheapest admission, $109. These are safe bets to avoid the biggest crowds.
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2. Buy tickets at the door
Not only does this waste valuable time, but buying tickets at the door costs more than buying them in advance on Universal’s website.
Customers who purchase online also have the option of purchasing early access to Super Nintendo World, allowing them to enter the country one hour before most guests. An express pass to the famous World-Famous Studio Tour is also included with this added benefit. Prices start at $20. Quantities are limited and subject to availability, and regular admission to the park is still required.
3. Enter without a plan
I’m all for being in the moment, but some planning is required to navigate Universal Studios Hollywood, which is split into two main levels – Upper Lot and Lower Lot. If you don’t plan accordingly, you can waste a lot of time navigating the long series of escalators or elevators between the two levels.
Many guests used to start the day on the Upper Lot, where the main entrance, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the World-Famous Studio Tour are located, while discerning guests headed to the Lower Lot first . Now, with Super Nintendo World located in Lower Lot, either level can be busy.
Pick one and try to do everything you can before moving on to the next batch, instead of going back and forth.
4. Skip Universal App
The best way to track wait times and show times is to use the free Universal Studios Hollywood app. You can also use the app to join The Secret Life of Pets virtual queue from anywhere in the park, instead of having to go to the ride in person to get a return time.
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5. Dilly plays in Super Nintendo World
That’s what you came for, so you might be inclined to slowly soak in the immersive theme or photograph everything you see upon entering. Put a pin on it. If you want to dine at Toadstool Cafe, hop on and get a reservation to save yourself a wait, then head straight to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge because that line will only get longer. You can always take your time to explore the country afterwards.
Note that depending on park traffic, reservations may sometimes be required to ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, and there is no express lane for the ride. On days when reservations are required, customers who have purchased Universal Express will not need a reservation, but they will still have to wait in line.
6. Ignore Single Passenger Lanes
If you don’t mind being separated from your party or are traveling alone, you can save a lot of time by using the single-passenger line on most attractions, including Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.
Last summer, it only took me 30 minutes to ride all three Lower Lot attractions as a solo rider. I went straight into Jurassic World – The Ride and waited less than five minutes each for Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride and TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D. I also saved 150 in wait time on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, spending only 10 minutes in line.
Sure, you miss seeing the reactions of family and friends and some of the cool features built into the attraction queues, but you can always talk about the experience afterwards.
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7. Ignore the child switch
Each ride with a height requirement has a child change option. Take advantage if you are traveling with other adults and children who are too small for the rides or just don’t want to go.
You and the kids can wait in the kids switch room while other members of your group go for a ride. When they go out they can watch the kids while you enjoy the ride without having to wait in the whole queue again.
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8. Skip visiting world-famous studios
This is what puts Hollywood in Universal Studios Hollywood. You can see actual sets and props from iconic movies and TV shows. Plus, the long tram tour lets you rest your feet for an entire hour.