Universal Studios Tours -- Movies and Fun Universal Studios began offering tours in 1964. Today, Universal Studios still offers tours, and they still make movies -- but it has also become one of the largest amusement parks in the world. In fact, Universal Studios has mixed movie making with shows and a theme park full of rides to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. The Studio tour is a one hour guided tour. Those on the tour ride around the studio's 420 acres on a tram, and see many stars dressing rooms, production offices, and often famous Hollywood stars. Where else can you see a western town and a New York City street all in the same hour? The tour includes sets from Back to the Future, Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, Jurassic Park III, and The Grinch. This is more than just your boring tour with a boring monotone tour guide! As the tour progresses, tourists encounter many disasters! Once you've finished your tour of the studios, you can move on to the theme park. All of the rides have a movie oriented theme, such as Revenge of the Mummy, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and Shrek. There is also entertainment. Waterworld is a theater presentation which features many stunts and special effects. Other shows that include terrific stage effects are Backdraft, Animal Planet Live, and Spider Man Rocks. If all of this wasn't enough, you can also visit the TV Audience Ticket Booth. Here you will get free tickets that will allow you to be part of the audience for television shows that are being taped during your visit. This is almost like being on TV! When you visit Universal Studios, you will have several days of fun, and you probably still won't see everything that is offered. Outside of Universal Studios you will find the Universal City Walk. This is Universal Studios very own Downtown. This is three blocks of stores, clubs, and restaurants for you to enjoy. There are no cars or motorized traffic allowed in this area, but there are hundreds, and sometimes thousands of pedestrians milling about enjoying all of the sights and sounds. Universal Studio Tours is a great place to spend your vacation -- or it is perfect as an add on to a Disneyland Vacation. Even if you don't have time for the theme park, the Universal Studios Tour itself is not to be missed! Universal Studios Tours -- Park Information If you are planning a trip to Universal Studios Tours, you need to know specific information about the park before you arrive. If you have special needs, you may need more information than usual, and you should contact Guest Services and inform them of your special needs prior to your arrival. You may purchase tickets in advance either online, or over the telephone. Tickets can also be purchased at Ticket Master Outlets and through travel agents. You may also purchase tickets at the gate. General one day admission costs $55, and those under forty eight inches tall are charged $45. Children under three are admitted free of charge. VIP Studio Passes are available on a limited basis, and are not available for children under the age of five. The cost for VIP Studio Passes is $149 per person. Annual tickets are also available, at a discounted rate. Universal Studios Hollywood is located in Los Angeles, California, at 100 Universal City Plaza. This is easily found right off of Highway 101, which is often called the Hollywood Freeway. The park is about ten minutes from the Los Angeles downtown area. Only paid parking is available. It costs $10 for cars and $11 for recreational vehicles. You can also get preferred parking, which is closer to the entrance for $17. Free parking is not available on the Universal Studio grounds. Realistically, it takes a full day to see all of the attractions in the park. However, if you don't have a full day to spend at Universal Studios Tours, you should purchase the VIP pass, which will allow you to move to the front of the line for all rides and attractions. This cuts down wait times in lines significantly, and allows you to see all of the attractions much faster. Don't allow the rain to ruin your parade! The park remains open even when it rains, but if severe weather is an issue, many shows may be cancelled or relocated. In the event that the park must close due to whether, a rain check will be issued. A Universal Studio rain check will be issued if over 1/8 of an inch of rain falls before 2pm, and it is good for thirty days. Again, if you have special needs that may need special accommodations, please contact Guest Services by telephone prior to your visit. Some accommodations can take up to two weeks to arrange, so the sooner you contact Universal Studios Tours with your special needs request, the better the staff will be able to serve you. Universal Studios Tours -- The Best Time To Visit As with all theme parks, there is a good time and a bad time to visit the Universal Studios Tours theme park. You should strive to visit at a time when the park is less crowded to get the most out of the tour and the park. Weekends and school holidays should be avoided. Most of the visitors at these times are local people who live in the area, and it becomes very crowded, with very long lines. The park is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so don't plan a visit during those times. Visit the Universal Studios website to find out which movies are in production, or which movies will be in production at the time of your visit. This may play in the decision as to when to visit. If you visit during the time of a movie production, you are likely to see the movie set, and you may even get the opportunity to see the stars in action! When you do visit, plan to arrive well before the gates open. You should arrive at least thirty minutes in advance. You should buy your tickets in advance for added convenience. This can be done through a travel agent, over the phone, or online. Tickets can even be printed out using your printer. Universal Studios Tours Hotels When planning your Universal Studios Tours vacation, you may wish to stay at a hotel that is within walking distance of the park. There are only two hotels within walking distance, and they are both world-class hotels that are highly recommended. The Universal Sheraton Hotel is located at 333 Universal Hollywood Drive. The hotel has served visitors to Universal Studios since 1969, and it is known as the Hotel of the Stars. The hotel literally sits on the back lot of the studio. Featuring 436 guest rooms and suites, the hotel often has many famous guests. There is no telling who you might run into! Although it is in walking distance of Universal Studios, the hotel staff believe that everyone should be treated like a star, and therefore, complimentary tram rides to the park are offered. The guest rooms feature high speed Internet access, air conditioning, an alarm clock, cable television, and a coffee maker. Hotel services include a valet service, a business center and business services, a car rental service, a concierge service, and room service. There are 21 meeting rooms on the property, as well as a lobby lounge and the Baja Beach Club Poolside Lounge. The Hotel of the Stars is the most popular hotel to stay at, but if there are no rooms available, you should consider the Universal City Hilton Hotel. The Universal City Hilton is located at 555 Universal Hollywood Drive. The Hilton offers guests fine dining in several on site restaurants, and has several lounges on the property as well. The hotel features a health and fitness center, a business center, and deluxe room accommodations. Each guest room at the Universal City Hilton features a view of the Hollywood Hills, including the San Fernando Valley and Uni versal Studios. These two hotels are highly recommended by Universal Studios due to their close proximity and the high level of quality guest amenities and service. Because of their popularity, you should book your trip well in advance, and make sure that you make any special requests for additional amenities or services at the time that you make your reservation. Other hotels are available within driving distance of Universal Studios Tours, but if possible, you should plan to stay at one of these fine hotels. Again, the proximity to the park and level of quality service cannot be topped. You may also be able to get a special rate on Universal Studios tickets at the Concierge's desk of either hotel. Make the Most of Your Universal Studios Tour If you will be visiting Universal Studios, you need to be prepared. Arriving at the park unprepared can literally ruin your vacation! Follow these tips to help you get the most out of your Universal Studios Tour adventure. It will be very hot. Make sure that you dress in cotton clothing that is cool. You should strongly consider bringing a change of clothing, so you can change into dry clothes after the rides that soak you, or if your clothes get too sweaty. If you will be there during the evening hours, bring warmer clothes to change into. Do not wear new shoes! There is a lot of walking involved, and you won't last one hour in brand new shoes. Wear an old pair that are well broken in. Bring an extra pair of shoes to change into if yours get wet. Make sure that you bring earplugs. There is a lot of noise at Universal Studios, and some of the attractions are deafening. Also bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to help protect you from the sun. Use a backpack or a fanny pack to carry your belongings in -- there are also lockers available through guest services if you need a safe dry place to store your things. Make sure that you take the Universal Studio Tour early in the day. The park will remain open several hours after the tour has closed for the day. Designate a meeting place with everyone in your party, in case you get separated. Make sure that everyone in your party has a map, and that they know how to read it! Leave small babies and toddlers with a sitter. They will not enjoy Universal Studios, and they will make sure that you don't enjoy it either if you bring them. Consider purchasing VIP passes which will allow you to move to the front of the lines for the attractions. This is a huge time saver, and will keep you from wasting valuable time and getting bored. Avoid eating inside the park if you can. It is very expensive, and the food is much cheaper right outside the gates in City Walk. Also save your shopping for the end of the day, so you don't have to carry packages around with you. Universal Studios Tours does have a package delivery service, which will allow you to pick up your purchases at the end of the day near the exit, in case you find a souvenir that simply won't wait until closing time. Most importantly, see and do as much as possible, and have fun! Universal Studios has been entertaining us for years, and entertainment is what Universal Studios Tours is all about! How To Get the Most Out Of Your Universal Studios Tour Experience Universal Studios is a huge place, with lots to see and do. If you want to experience as much as possible in one day, it is important to plan your day. By planning your day, you will be able to get more in than you would if you went in without a viable plan. Start the day with the Universal Studios Tour. It takes one hour, and you need to be there before the gates open. It is important to be on that very first tour, so you can avoid some of the long lines at the theme park. Universal Studios is divided into two lots -- the upper lot and the lower lot. When you are ready for the theme park attractions, start on one lot or the other, and visit all of the attractions on that lot before moving to the other one. This will cut down a lot of walking time. The upper lot usually opens before the lower lot, so start at the top if possible. After a day at the theme park, be sure to visit Universal City Walk right outside the gates of the park. The City Walk is three blocks of shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment. This is a great way to end a perfect day at Universal Studios Tours. Universal Studios Tours -- Incredible Rides If you are looking for fun, thrills, and adventure, Universal Studios is the place to go. There are rides that will thrill you and rides that will scare you senseless. From caves to the air, there is something to please all of the thrill seekers out there. Start your day with Revenge of the Mummy. This is a psychological thrill ride that is unlike anything you have ever experienced. This is a roller coaster ride in total darkness. Traveling at a very high speed, you will have many terrifying creatures jumping out at you. If your heart is still beating and you think you can handle more, your next stop should be Jurassic Park: The Ride. Jurassic Park may seem a bit tame after Revenge of the Mummy, but it is still great fun, and there are still many thrills. This ride entails you riding a raft which is slowly being cranked up. Dinosaurs of various breeds appear out of nowhere while you are going up. Suddenly, you and your raft are falling quickly downhill, and the ride ends with a huge splash that leaves you soaked! Make sure you bring a change of clothes, because you will want to move on to Back to the Future. Back to the Future will have you riding in a car like the one on the movie. The scenes from the movie literally come to life, and many people experience motion sickness: so if you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to skip this one. Other attractions not to miss if you enjoy thrills include Nickelodeon Blast Zone, Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula, the Special Effects Stages, and Shrek 4-D. If you get scared easily, you may want to avoid these thrill rides and attractions. They are also not recommended for very young children, pregnant women, or people with heart conditions. People with anxiety issues should avoid these attractions as well. There are many tamer rides and attractions that can be enjoyed in the park if the thrill seeking rides aren't suitable for you. The purpose of going to the park is to have fun. If the thrill rides and attractions scare you to the point where it isn't fun anymore, than they should be avoided. Don't allow others in your party to coerce you into visiting the attractions that scare you too badly. Again, there are many attractions at Universal Studios Tours that are suitable for those who aren't comfortable with the thrill seeking rides -- so don't think that you can't have a good time without getting scared senseless! Be Part of the Action at Universal Studios Tours Have you ever dreamed of being on a reality show? Here is your chance! Universal Studios Tours now has Fear Factor Live, which is a stunt show that uses audience volunteers. With three to five shows each day, the chances of getting on the show are pretty good! Are you ready to face your fears? There are some important things to know about Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios Tours before you sign up. First, this is for real. This is not a cheesy attempt to replicate Fear Factor and please a studio audience. The stunts are very real, and they are performed by audience members just like you. There is no coddling here! If you still want to participate, simply visit the casting office, which is located near the Terminator ride in the theme park. You must meet certain physical requirements to ensure that you can handle what is about to be asked of you. You must also complete and sign a liability form, holding Universal Studios and Fear Factor harmless of any injuries or damages you may incur. Before the show begins, some audience members who were not selected to participate are called on stage to face smaller challenges, such as eating various bugs. The winner of the pre-show contest wins great prizes, such as an annual pass to the theme park. This is followed by an audience warm up with the hosts of the show. The show consists of six contestants that were chosen from the casting office -- if your lucky, you might be one of these! They are dressed just as the contestants on the original Fear Factor dress -- in tight uniforms. A series of challenges, much like the challenges on Fear Factor are presented to the contestants. Falls from high places, skill tests, and of course, the famous gross-out challenge. During the show, a random audience member is picked for yet another challenge -- such as sticking their head in a tank full of scorpions. If you've ever watched Fear Factor, and told all of your friends that you could handle everything that was thrown at those contestants, be careful. Here is your big chance to prove yourself -- or your friends' chance to prove you wrong! Win or lose, Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios Tours could be the highlight of your visit! If you want to be on the show, visit the casting office as soon as you get to the park to make sure that you meet the physical requirements -and if you don't meet the requirements, ask about being in the audience. Universal Studios Tours VIP Studio Pass Unlike Disneyland, reservations cannot be made for any of the attractions within Universal Studios. However, you can get a VIP Studio Pass, which will allow you to skip many of the lines, and will even provide you with a personal tour of the back lot. The cost of the VIP Studio Pass is quite affordable -- under $300 for two people, and it entitles you to many special perks: you get to see everything, including many things that are not part of the standard Universal Studios Tour, although the VIP tour actually starts with the standard Universal Studios Tour -- then it just gets better. If you are in possession of a VIP pass, you will be allowed to get off the tram and wonder around the movie sets. You will be allowed to visit the props department as well, which is great fun. You will also be entitled to prime seating at all of the shows, and have the opportunity to meet the cast members after the shows. If you will be going on a Universal Studios Tour and visiting the theme park, the VIP Studios Pass is definitely the way to go! Universal Studios Tours -- Nickelodeon Blast Zone If you bring younger kids, aged twelve and under, to Universal Studios, they will probably be most interested in the Nickelodeon Blast Zone. Featuring three attractions in one, this is one of the few attractions that really appeal to the younger crowd at Universal Studios Tours, so you can expect them to spend a great deal of time there. Shaped like a huge orange rocket, the Nickelodeon Blast Zone is a big hit. This is a huge play area basically -- and it is unlike any playground that your kids have ever experienced. There are three sections of the playground: The Wild Thornberry's Adventure Temple, Nickelodeon Splash, and The Nick Jr. Backyard. The Nick Jr. Backyard is the only place in Universal Studios that will be of any interest to toddlers. In fact, it is the only safe place for toddlers. If you bring a toddler with you to Universal Studios Tours, plan to spend the entire day here. Nickelodeon Splash is a water area. Bring a change of dry clothes, because the kids will get soaked here. They can fill buckets of water in a fun variety of ways, create waterfalls, and stand under waterfalls. There are also many mounted water guns to be used and enjoyed. The Wild Thornberrys Adventure Temple is an extensive playground. While here, you will have foam balls flying through the air all over the place -- the kids are able to shoot and throw them, and since they are made of soft foam, they are safe. The kids can also meet many characters here, including the Rugrats and Blue's Clues Characters. The attraction is located on the upper lot, and is open everyday that the park is open. If you don't want your child to get wet, avoid this attraction altogether, because with all of the water flying around and being dumped, there is really no way to avoid getting wet. If your child is too young to enjoy the attraction by themselves, you will be getting wet as well. Overall, this is the only attraction that younger kids will enjoy at Universal Studios Tours. As a parent or guardian, you should expect to spend most of your time here, and you should never leave your child unattended. This is not a place to drop your kids off for the day while you go enjoy other attractions. Instead, use the buddy system with other responsible adults in your party -- one should stay with the kids, while the other adults go enjoy the attractions, and relieve each other often so everyone has fun. Universal Studios Tours Hollywood Ticket Outlet While visiting Universal Studios Tours, you should pay a visit to the Hollywood Ticket Outlet booth. You can do more than purchase tickets to great shows; you can also request free tickets for many of the shows that are currently being filmed. Note that the shows are limited to the ones that allow studio audiences. There are other services available at the Hollywood Ticket Outlet booth as well. These include upgraded park tickets, visitor information, and foreign currency exchange. The Hollywood Ticket Outlet is located by the Blues Brothers stage inside the park, and it is open during the same days and hours that the park is open. Depending on when you visit Universal Studios, and what is going on at that time, you may be pleasantly surprised to find some really great deals -- or to find yourself sitting in the audience of your favorite television show! Talk about sneak previews! Even if you don't plan to purchase any tickets, make sure that you stop by the Universal Studios Tours Hollywood Outlet booth to see what is being offered that day.
Universal Studios Tours Height Requirements Universal Studios is a great deal of fun -- for most people. However there are some who simply will not enjoy a day at Universal Studios Tours -- young children specifically. If you are planning a vacation to Universal Studios, you should take the height requirements into consideration -- or you could end up having a miserable time. First, you must be forty-eight inches tall to ride Revenge of the Mummy. You must be forty six inches tall to ride Jurassic Park, and you must be at least forty inches tall to ride Back to the Future. If you or your child do not meet these height requirements, you will not be allowed on the ride. There is a measuring stick that is used in the queue for each of these attractions. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can get by if you are just a half inch below the requirements -- you can't. These height requirements are in place to ensure your safety, and park staff members are trained to adhere strictly to these rules. Just a tip -- high heel shoes won't get you in either. At Universal Studios, they've seen it all! Universal Studios Tours -- Behind The Scenes If you will be near Universal Studios on your next business trip or vacation, you should definitely make time for a Universal Studios Tour. This will not only provide you with a day filled with fun and excitement but you will also get a behind the scenes look at what it really takes to produce the Movies that we all wait anxiously to see. If you are really interested in the world of movie making, don't miss the Universal Studios Tour. The tour takes about one hour, and you will visit the sets of many famous movies and television shows. You will see the stars dressing rooms, and you may even run into a star or two along the way, or get to see an outdoors filming session in progress. The Special Effects Stage, located inside the park, is another attraction you won't want to miss. Here, you will learn how Hollywood creatures are made, how sound effects are produced, and how visual affects are designed and implemented. This is an interactive attraction, and it only takes about thirty minutes to go all the way through it. Even though it doesn't last long, there is a lot of information to be learned here -- quickly! The interaction with the visitors makes this one of the most popular attractions at the park. For the most exclusive and personalized look behind the scenes, you should definitely consider purchasing a VIP Studios Pass. This pass costs under $150 for one person, and it is worth every penny! This will entitle you to a private tour of Universal Studios, and you will be allowed in areas that standard tour visitors won't see. You will also have the right to move right to the front of the line for all rides and attractions with the VIP pass. VIP passes can be purchased online, by telephone, or at the park -- but they are limited to a certain number of VIP passes that are issued per day, so get yours as soon as possible. Universal Studios is more than an amusement park, it is an interesting and amazing learning experience that you will never forget -- no matter what age you are. The next time you watch an action movie, you won't think 'how did they do that?' You will already have some idea as to how those special effects were created! You may even get so much out of your Universal Studios Tour experience that you think of ways that you could have done it better! Universal Studios Tours and Television Audiences Have you ever dreamed of sitting in the audience of your favorite television shows? Now you can -- at the Universal Studios Tours TV Audience Booth. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime, but you need to move fast. Make your way to the TV Audience Booth inside the park. Find out what shows are filming on that particular day, or for other days when you will be at the park. The tickets are free, but there is limited availability, and not all shows will be filming everyday. You can often find out the filming schedule for shows by calling ahead. With that schedule, you can plan your trip to coincide with the filming of your favorite shows. What better way to spend part of your Universal Studios Tour vacation? You can see what is going to happen on your favorite television shows well in advance. You can even make a game of it! Don't tell you friends that you were in the audience, and place bets as to what is going to happen later in the series! Universal Studios Tours and Jay Leno If you will be visiting Universal Studios Tours, and you wish to see the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, you may be in luck -- if you get to the Hollywood Ticket Outlet booth early enough. Getting to see Jay Leno in person and be a part of the Tonight Show audience may be the perfect end to the perfect day! Again, make sure that you get to the booth early. Exclusive seating is limited to a first come, first serve basis. Only two priority tickets will be made available for each person, and nobody under the age of sixteen may attend the show. These tickets go fairly fast, and once they are gone, they are gone for good. The Hollywood Ticket Outlet Booth is located inside the Universal Studios Tours park, near the Blues Brothers stage. If you get there early enough, you could be sitting in the studio audience enjoying Jay Leno's monolog very shortly! Your friends won't believe you, so make sure that you get souvenirs before leaving Universal Studios, and save your ticket stub! Universal Studios Tours -- It's Not For Everyone Unlike Disneyland, Universal Studio Tours are not for everyone. While there is plenty to do and see, the attractions are not appropriate for all ages. This should be strongly considered if you are planning a family vacation that includes Universal Studios. There are no attractions that are suitable for babies or toddlers at Universal Studios. Most babies and toddlers will not be interested in the Universal Studios Tour. Furthermore, getting a stroller around the upper and lower lots is almost impossible. Universal Studios is a great place to have some fun -- unless you are a baby, a toddler, or a parent of a baby or toddler. If you will be taking your vacation with a toddler or a baby, you may be better off saving the Universal Studios Tour for another vacation -- a few years down the road. There is no charge for admission for babies and toddlers at Universal Studios, but there usually isn't if the person cannot enjoy the attractions at the park! Remember -- the baby or toddler isn't the only one who won't be having any fun. Universal Studios Tours -- Attractions to See If you are planning a trip to Universal Studios, there are many attractions to keep you occupied, including the Universal Studios Tour, which takes about one hour. However, there are some attractions that absolutely must not be missed! All of the rides have a movie theme, and if you've seen the movies, this makes the rides more enjoyable. Start with Backdraft. This isn't actually a ride, but it is a fire show that features lots of stunts and interaction. Other shows that must not be missed include Animal Planet Live, WaterWorld, and Fear Factor Live. With Fear Factor Live, make sure that you know what you are getting into before you agree to participate! Terminator 2: 3D is the same as the movie Terminator 2 -- but it is in 3D, which you probably have not yet seen. The Mummy Returns: Chamber of Doom is like a haunted house that you walk through, which is full of thrills. The Studio Tour will have you on the set of Jaws and Psycho, in a western town, on a New York street, and experiencing an earthquake with King Kong. Universal Studios Tours Annual Passes If you live near Universal Studios, or in the Los Angeles area, you should consider purchasing annual passes for Universal Studios Tours. Annual passes are reasonably priced, and will most likely save you money on admission throughout the year. Several different levels of annual passes are available. A regular annual pass for Universal Studios costs $65. With this pass, you will be granted twelve full months of admission to the park, 15% savings on general admission for up to six of your guests, 10% off of all merchandise, and 10% off the price of all food and beverages purchased inside the park. You will also be given exclusive offers and invitations to special events that are held throughout the year. Some black-out dates do apply to regular annual pass holders. You can upgrade to a deluxe annual pass for $75. This pass will entitle you to all of the things that a regular pass does, with one exception. No black-out dates will apply to you. The best value is the premium annual pass, which costs $99. This pass will entitle you to twelve months of admission to the park, invitations to special events held throughout the year, exclusive offers, and 15% savings on general admission prices for six of your guests, 10% off the price of merchandise, 10% off the price of food and beverages purchased inside the park, and no black-out dates. Additionally, you will be entitled to free parking during box office hours, and front of the line ac cess at Studio Tour. If you plan to visit Universal Studios twice in one year, an annual pass is the most logical choice. General admission for Universal Studios Tours for just one day costs $55. If you visit twice in one year that is a total of $110! You can get a premium annual pass for just $99! What this essentially means is that if you purchase an annual pass, you are really only paying for two days at the park, and any additional days are the park are actually free! As an annual pass ticket holder, you may not be entitled to other admission discounts that are available. However, you may be entitled to special discounts on the annual pass in certain situations. For instance, if you are a member of the Military, you may be eligible for special prices on annual passes. Contact Universal Studios Tours for more information about any special prices or discounts that you may be eligible for. Universal Studio Tours Blackout Dates If you are a regular annual pass holder for Universal Studios Tours, there are certain blackout dates when you cannot visit the park unless you pay for a one day full priced ticket for the blackout date. Not being aware of these dates may cause you problems, so make sure you know when they are! In 2006, there are no blackout dates during the months of January through June, and no blackout dates in October. Every Saturday and Sunday are blacked out for July and August. Additionally, July 3rd and 4th are blackout dates. September 2nd and 3rd, November 24th and 25th, and December 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, and 31st are all blacked out. Additionally, the park is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. If you are a regular annual pass holder, either upgrade to a premium or deluxe annual pass, or avoid the Universal Studios Tours on these dates so that you will not have to pay the full one day price -- which costs almost as much as a regular annual ticket! The Universal Studios Tours Special Effects Stages When you visit Universal Studios, the Special Effects Stages is an attraction that should not be missed. This is not only a great way to learn and understand how special effects are done in the movies; it is also a great deal of fun. It is really quite interesting to see how it all comes to life in Hollywood! There are three Special Effects Stages: The Virtual Studio, The Creature Factory, and The Sound Lab. Remember that this is an interactive attraction, so you will be able to create your very own special effects. You will learn many of the special effects secrets used in major movies, such as The Hulk, The Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park, and many others. There are Universal Staff members available to help with the effects. The special effects stages are not designed for people who have medical conditions that may be affected by strobe lights, or anything resembling strobe light effects. People with sensitive ears should avoid this attraction, or bring and use earplugs. The Special Effects Stages are located on the lower lot at Universal Studios. Security at Universal Studios Tours If you are concerned about your safety while visiting Universal Studios, you should not be. There are security officers on the grounds, and security offices are located in the upper lot by Nick Stuff and in the lower lot inside the Jurassic Park Visitors Center. After the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Universal Studios put a heightened security program in place. Today, security precautions are constantly taken for the safety of all visitors and guests. The park stays up-to-date on all security briefings that are issued by local and federal law enforcement agencies, and always takes appropriate measures to ensure everyone's safety and well-being. To date, there have been no major security issues at Universal Studios. The park has never been threatened by terrorists or nationals. In the event that the park is threatened, again, measures are in place to ensure the safety of everyone. With this in mind, enjoy yourself and all that Universal Studios Tours has to offer -- leave the worrying to the people who are already equipped and prepared to deal with such an emergency, should it ever arise. Military Discounts for Universal Studios Tours Universal Studios Tours is proud of the men and women who serve the United States of America, and to reward them for the great service that they provide, specially priced tickets are offered. These tickets are available for all active duty military personnel, retirees, DOD personnel, members of the National Guard, Reserves, all other military personnel, and all dependants. If you are unsure whether you qualify for these special military prices, you should contact your Commander, Universal Studios, or Commander, Navy Region, Southwest at 619-767-6000. In order to benefit from the special military prices, your tickets must be purchased in advance. These specially priced tickets are not available at the gate, online, or over the telephone. Instead, these tickets can only be purchased from MWR ITT/ITR offices located throughout the United States. You must present a military or US Government Identification card when purchasing these specially priced tickets. If for any reason your local base does not have tickets available for purchase, they will order them for you. This typically takes about five days, so take this into consideration when planning your trip -- get your tickets as early as possible. Don't wait too late, or your tickets will not arrive in time for your scheduled leave, and you will have to pay the full price for admission into the park. No exceptions will be made. The only way you can order your tickets by telephone, and still receive the special military prices is by contacting the Commander, Navy Region, Southwest at 619-767-6000. Your tickets will be mailed to you, and should arrive within seven business days. Overnight service may be available, but there will be an additional fee. Do not call the regular phone number for Universal Studio tickets or you will be charged the regular price. You will be charged the regular full price if you order your tickets online, purchase them through a Ticket Masters Outlet, or order them through a travel agent as well. The special military rates do not apply to tickets that are sold through the Universal Studios Hollywood Box Office. Again, for more information on these specially prices military tickets for Universal Studios Tours, contact your local base MWR ticket office or Commander, Navy Region, Southwest at 619-767-6000. Universal Studios welcomes military personnel. If you have served your country, make sure that you take advantage of these very special military prices -- they were hard earned, and are well deserved! Guest Services at Universal Studios Tours There are many services that will help you enjoy your day at Universal Studios, and you should definitely take advantage of the ones that apply to your situation. The folks at Universal want you to have a positive experience, and these services are meant to help you do just that. There is a 'Will Call' service located right outside the gates. Here, you can have tickets that were purchased online reprinted if necessary, get ticket reservations, or put your pet in a kennel. Also located outside the gate is the Group Sales Window. Here, you can renew your annual passes, or replace lost annual passes. The Annual Pass Center is also located here. The Guest Relations booth is where you will find visitor information concerning hotels, campsites, and other interesting things to do in the area. You can also get assistance and guides for guests with disabilities and audio assist units. Travel assistance, lost and found, and the lost children's center are also located in and near the Guest Relations booth. Strollers and Wheelchairs are available for rent in the upper lot. Lockers, where you can store your items for the day, are also available. ATM Machines are located at the main entrance and in the lower lot by the Jurassic Cove Cafe. You may use traveler's checks and credit cards at the ticket booth and in the gift shops. Checks are not accepted at Universal Studios, and proper identification is required for the use of credit cards and traveler's checks. First Aid is located in the upper lot near Animal Planet Live. There is another first aid station inside the Jurassic Park Visitors Center, which is situated in the lower lot. There are eight designated smoking areas, which are indicated on the park map. Smoking will not be permitted in any other areas of the park. You should also take advantage of the Package Deliver Service at Universal Studios Tours. This service will allow you to buy merchandise, and then pick it up near the exit before you leave. The package pickup is located near Universal Film Company. Again, all of these services are designed to make your visit to Universal Studios Tours more enjoyable. If you have any problems at the park, including problems are situations that are not discussed here you should find a staff member and request assistance. They will do everything within their power to help you rectify your problem, and continue with your Universal Studios Tour. Discount Tickets for Universal Studios Tours When you plan a vacation, your vacation budget is probably in the very front of your mind. Vacations can be quite expensive, and it is important to cut costs wherever you can, without sacrificing your families fun. You can save quite a bit of money with discounted tickets for Universal Studios Tours. There are many ways to obtain discounted tickets for Universal Studios Tours. Coca-Cola has specially marked cans that will save $10 on admission for a certain number of people. You can also save money by asking your travel agent for special deals. Many businesses also have coupons for discounted tickets. You will save additional money by purchasing your tickets online, and printing out your tickets on your home printer. Look for discounts for students and senior citizens, as well as for children under a certain age. Many groups are eligible for group discounts. In many cases, you won't know about the Universal Studios Tours discounts unless you ask. If you attend college, ask about discount tickets in the Registrars office or in the Student's Services office at your school. Universal Studios Special Services Universal Studios strives to ensure that everyone who visits Universal Studio Tours has an enjoyable experience. While guest services are available for everyone, there are special guest services available for guests with more specialized needs. Guests in wheelchairs should have no problem accessing everything in the park, however, occasionally, some assistance may be required. If this occurs, staff members will be only too happy to assist. If special assistance is needed, please visit the Guest Relations desk, which is near the front entrance of the park. You can also contact Guest Relations in advance of your visit. Accessibility points for wheelchairs are marked with the International signs. If you require a sign language interpreting service, one will be made available to you at Universal Studios Tours free of charge, with two weeks notice. Arrangements can also be made for closed captioning, assistive listening devices, and telecommunication devices for the deaf. TTY telephones are located at the Guest Services booth as well, and all pay phones throughout the park have the amplified feature. Service animals are always welcome at Universal Studios, and will be allowed in the restaurants, gift shops, and the attraction queues. For the safety and well-being of the animal, service animals will not be allowed on some of the rides or inside some of the attractions. Special arrangements can be made for the service animal while it's owner enjoys the attractions, however. Non-service animals must be placed in the complimentary kennel, located right outside the park gates. Pregnant women should avoid The Studio Tour, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park. These are not suitable for expectant mothers, and may cause complications in the pregnancy, including early labor. Furthermore, pregnant women will be given special stationary seating for the Shrek 4-D attraction and the Terminator 2: 3D attraction. Speak with a cast member for assistance. You should speak with your doctor before planning a trip to Universal Studios Tours -- he or she may advise against such a trip. Spanish language tours are available every day that the park is open, and tours for other languages can be arranged with advance notice. Again, Universal Studios Tours wants everyone to have a pleasant experience at the park, and they will do everything possible to ensure this. If you have a special need, please call and speak with a cast member at the Guest Services Center, or visit the center upon your arrival to the park.
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