10 Things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a Toddler

Our oldest daughter is currently obsessed with Harry Potter so planning a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood during our spring break road trip was exciting. She is eight years old and doesn’t remember the Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter during our family visit to Universal Orlando many years ago. We knew she would have fun at Universal Hollywood but were unsure of the activities appropriate for her almost two year old little sister. Our day spent at the park was awesome and we had no problem keeping both girls busy! I’m sharing my favorite 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler so you can plan the ultimate family visit too.

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

10 Things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a Toddler

Front of Line Pass

If you’re visiting the park with a toddler, you’re not going to want to spend time waiting in lines. Our family did quite a bit of swapping – my husband and oldest daughter rode an attraction while I was playing with our toddler nearby – then we swapped roles. The Front of the Line pass permits each pass holder to ride every attraction one time bypassing the standard line. This is AWESOME and made a huge difference in our day.

Themed family shirts

Necessary? No. Should you do it? Absolutely. I used black, white and gold glitter Expressions Vinyl and my Cricut to make Harry Potter shirts for our family. Designs are not my own but I easily recreated them on picmonkey the week before our spring break road trip.

  • “Mischief Managed”
  • “Squad Goals”
  • “If You Can Read This My Invisibility Cloak Isn’t Working”
  • “First Stop Preschool Next Stop Hogwarts”
  • “Waiting For My Hogwarts Letter” 

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Characters

There are so many characters with photo opportunities. Unlike other theme parks, the characters are roaming the park and interacting with guests in addition to staged photo opportunity areas. Both our daughters enjoyed stopping to visit with their favorite characters. Take the time to interact with characters your toddler recognizes. 

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Super Silly Fun Land

The elaborate play zone is located directly next to the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction so this is where little sister played while we were swapping time with her big sister. Rides, water play, playground and video games make this play zone a toddler favorite.

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Dinosaurs

Near Jurassic Park you’ll find many fun photo opportunities including the raptor encounter. We didn’t stand in line for a photo but did have fun watching nearby.

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Dino Play 

Directly next to Juarassic Park the ride, you’ll find the Dino Play play zone. Our toddler played while we took turns riding Jurassic Park. Her big sister joined her and had fun too!

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter

While there are no rides for toddlers in the Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter area, there is plenty of fun to be had for the littles. Our toddler jumped from the doorsteps pretending to fly while her big sister enjoyed the rides. The candy store, many gift shops and stage show held little sister’s attention too.

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Harry Potter Wand

There is a big selection of wands to purchase in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Some are interactive and others are simply to put on display. Our oldest daughter picked out an interactive wand that her little sister immediately wanted to share. Instead we purchased her a light up wand to practice her own spells. 

Harry Potter wand purchase tip: The Ollivanders shop in Hogsmeade is a very personal wand shopping experience but also has a line to enter. Instead of waiting with a toddler, explore the wand selection at the booth just outside the Diagon Alley attraction. There was no wait and had the perfect light up wand for little sister!

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Studio Tour

The studio lot tour is now hosted by Jimmy Fallon and has so many iconic movie sets. The seated tour on a back lot bus is a perfect break for sleepy toddlers. After a few sets our toddler recognized, like Whoville, she fell asleep in my lap for a quick power nap.

Check out these 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler for your next theme park visit with children.

Annual Passes

Before our visit, assuming we would love it and want to return this year, we purchased our annual pass tickets in Arizona at Costco. The cost was the same as a one day park pass at the entrance. The passes do have blackout dates but do not apply to the first visit.

When planning your next visit, make sure you check out our 10 things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a toddler! What’s your favorite thing to do at Universal Studios?

22 thoughts on “10 Things to do at Universal Studios Hollywood with a Toddler”

  1. I love your shirts!! We have never been to Universal because I didn’t want to take my youngest until she was big enough to ride all the coasters! She is now 11, and almost tall enough (she’s petite), so we can’t wait to go!

    Reply
  2. We went to Universal many years before we had kids. Whenever my kids see the commercials they talk about visiting Universal.

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  3. OMG I love the family themed shirts! That is so awesome. That’s interesting about the wand store and a great idea!

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  4. Oh this looks so much fun!!! I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough for these kind of activities and I’ll definitely keep in mind your tips. Thank you for sharing

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  5. We went to Disney late last year for my niece and nephew’s first trip. It was a bit insane, but I love that theme parks let you fast pass or skip the lines because kids really have no patience. I remember seeing all the matching shirts and at first thinking they were ridiculous, but later I kind of wished we had some. At least you can see everyone in crowds.

    Reply
  6. Sounds fun and we live so close but have never gone because we didn’t think there was much for littles to do. And two cheers for Costco and their annual passes, what do they not have?!

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  7. Some really lovely photos! You’ve shared some great ideas here. It can sometimes be hard to keep children busy when there is a bit of an age gap but it looks like you found lots of great ways!

    Reply
  8. We love theme park playgrounds! The Universal Orlando has an asesome Curious George playland. And I agree that a Harry Potter wand is a must.

    Reply
  9. Looks like there really is a lot to do for both the older kids and younger. I didn’t really take my younger son last time because he couldn’t ride many rides, but when my partner goes with me I will take both of them so that we can trade off.

    Reply
  10. Children should be a fairly mature 8 years old to appreciate Universal Studios Florida, and a bit older to tackle the thrill rides in Islands of Adventure. Note that Universal considers all kids age 3 to 9 as “children” for pricing purposes, regardless of height or ability to experience rides.

    Reply
    • We just visited the park again in California last week. Our youngest is now almost three and while she wasn’t tall enough for most attractions, she still had a fabulous time. Being dinosaur obsessed definitely helped and we spent a lot of time at the Dino Play Land!

      Reply
  11. I thought that you had to wait in line with your toddler and then go to a “rider swap” room. Can you wait outside of the ride with a toddler and then “swap”? How do you enter for the ride after the parents swap places? I am dreading standing in line with a toddler, it would be so much easier to be able to go play elsewhere then swap.

    Reply

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