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Alena Warfield

Independent Travel Agent

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Universal Studios Hollywood; worth the Visit?

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Universal Studios Hollywood; worth the Visit?

In full disclosure, I was UNSURE that this trip to Universal Studios Hollywood was going to be 'worth it' but I wanted to do it for research purposes for clients/ friends and of course for the content on social media.  I am not a big Universal fan ( the Orlando version ) so I was already discouraged to be visiting an even smaller less - accessible version. BUT , there was one big BUT. That was and is Super Nintendo World - a super immersive video gamers paradise. Now, while I am no video gamer, I do have fond memories of playing Super Mario back in my day.

So, to the point: was this  day worth the hassle of LA traffic , the money and time? Let's dive in!

For many travelers, Universal Studios Hollywood is a place of nostalgia. It's a chance to relive moments from their favorite movies and shows. Universal Studios has done an exceptional job at creating immersive lands based on popular movie franchises, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Simpsons, and Jurassic Park. These areas allow visitors to step into the worlds they love and relive those moments. This was also true for the Super Nintendo World portion of the park. No stone was left unturned when it came to the inventiveness of creating this land. The sounds, the sights and even the games were begging visitors to come down the tube and LEVEL UP with Mario and his crew.

We did buy the early access which was totally worth the extra cost. Once inside, we prioritized purchasing the interactive game bands  ( $45 ) and set off to start collecting the keys around the park ( this is where it is crucial to use the Universal App. ) We began by making our way to each 'game' which are just like the challenges you may face when playing the game on your Nintendo. This was next level awesome for us, we loved the interactive element, but unfortunately, the lines were tedious... you have to wait in line for these interactions/ games, but if you don't succeed, back in line you go! This was a bit frustrating for many guests, but ultimately it was beneficial to have multiple people in your party so you can rely on them for help. Using your band ( which is linked to your account/ stats on the app ) tracks your success throughout the world and then allows you to enter Bowser Jr's Castle (TA DA ) where there is a secret experience waiting for you and your party. You do have to 'tap' your band to enter this attraction; which then verifies you have indeed completed all of the levels required. This was certainly the best part of our time in Nintendo World.

Now you may be asking, wait, there's a whole MARIO KART attraction, what about that ?!?!  We, of course, rode that immediately but both of us were quite overwhelmed by the virtual / actual ride aspects combining. You definitely feel like you're missing elements while 'playing.'  Nonetheless this attraction still had incredible thematics; right down to your headset ( Mario's hat.)  But it doesn't quite measure up to the 'wow-factor' that Bowser Jr has!

We had an early lunch at the Toadstool Cafe, right in Super Nintendo World. Using the restaurants virtual queue system ( third party and sort of tedious ) we secured a 'call back' time right away that morning. This is done using a QR code that is posted in the park ( or if you're resourceful - found online ) we showed up at our alotted time and waited to enter.  This is a counter service dining option. With again, intense creativity poured into every detail. The food was not your typical theme- park food. Lending us to want to order much of the menu. Overall the restaurant experience was mediocre; the service was slow and a bit underwhelming for the price point. But the inventiveness of the entrees was certainly the main event, lending itself to be worth the wait.

After we had done all we wanted to do and see in Super Nintendo World, we headed on to hit the main points of the rest of Universal Studios. This is where my disappointment set in. The park felt quite disjointed, granted it is built into the side of a mountain, but nonetheless did not feel cohesive to me. We made it to the Wizzarding World, which was a much smaller version of itself. Still greatly imagined but missing the mark for me.

We then prioritized trying some of the newer attractions in the park, which took us to Super Silly Fun Land ( Minions ) and The Secret Life of Pets experience.  Both were cute and truly a great solution to the need for more current experiences. Did I feel that they made my trip to the rest of Universal worth the time/ effort ? No, absolutely not, but am I glad I went and saw the things and drank the overpriced Duff beer? Yes, yes I am!

 

So my dear traveler, to answer the question, no I don't think carving out an extra day on a California vacation and heading to Universal Studios Hollywood, is worth the hassle. Do I think Super Nintendo World was worth my time and money ? YES ... But, I also firmly believe if there is a version in Orlando, it will be bigger and better ( so maybe wait for that? )

 

Thinking of planning a California vacation ? Let's chat, it doesn't have to be all theme parks and rides!


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Alena Warfield

Universal Studios Hollywood; worth the Visit?

Houston Travel Agent Near Me

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I'm Alena Warfield, Travel Agent, with Vincent Vacations. I curate custom travel experiences for adults, families, honeymooners, Brides and groups! In addition to planning and organizing destination weddings/ large group getaways and incentive trips, I enjoy working with new and existing clients to create their perfectly tailored trip. I can't wait to work with you and make your vacation dreams come true!  

An expert destination wedding travel agent near me with five star luxury travel packages with a luxury travel company, Vincent Vacations.


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My Areas of Expertise

Learn more about destinations, interests, and supplier partners for online travel agent Alena Warfield.

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Destinations

  • Caribbean
  • Bahamas
  • Puerto Rico
  • Jamaica
  • Africa
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Interests

  • Adult Only
  • Adventure
  • All Inclusive
  • Babymoons
  • Bachelorette Parties Girlfriend Getaways
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Supplier Partners

26 Certificates & Awards

Antigua & Barbuda Specialist 2024
Antigua & Barbuda Specialist 2024

Well versed in the white sand beaches, blue waters, and the sun that shines down on Antigua and Barbuda!  ( don't forget the PINK BEACH )

Viking Cruise Line ( River & Ocean )
Viking Cruise Line ( River & Ocean )

Well versed in all things Viking River Cruise, Viking Ocean and Viking Expedition sailings.

I have sailed and sent many clients on Viking, I look forward to helping you find your next ideal Viking voyage!

 

 

AMAWATERWAYS Specialist - River Cruise Line
AMAWATERWAYS Specialist - River Cruise Line

42 Reviews & Success stories

Jackson Hole Getaway

Booked another trip with Alena- Jackson Hole, Wyoming!

Highly recommend! Everything went smoothly. Beautiful scenery!
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River Cruise Anniversary Trip

Alena was so great in helping us coordinate an amazing trip to Europe for our anniversary! Would highly recommend using this agency for all your travel needs!
-L. Wills

Couples Getaway to Chicago

We had the best time in Chicago, thanks to Alena.

I had no idea where to book or what areas were good and once we communicated our budget preference (a bit of a moving target when we first started looking at options) she was able to find us a place that met our needs. So glad we were able to get away.
-J. Charters

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