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Universal City

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Universal City

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Universal City is in Los Angeles County, California and is the home to Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, City Walk, and the world's largest motion picture studio.

See also Universal Studios Florida (in Orlando) and Universal Studios Japan (in Osaka).


Universal Studios [1] was established at this location in 1915 by Carl Laemmle. Following an acquisition by MCA (Music Corporation of America), staff accountants suggested that a studio bus tour of the massive backlot and a stop at the commissary would boost profits. The famous backlot tram ride at the park today is a direct descendant.

In 1964, the humble tour was expanded to include staged events that are similar to the Wild West stunt show that still runs at the park. In the 1980s a large scale, motion picture themed amusement park evolved to accompany the tour.

In the 1990s, the extremely innovative City Walk was unveiled, an entertainment/shopping center that redefined the concept of an urban mall.

Get in

By air

Universal City is just four miles south of Burbank's Bob Hope Airport.

By car

Universal City has its own exit from the 101 Freeway traveling northbound from downtown Los Angeles.

By train

Take Metro Rail Red Line to the Universal City station. Universal Studios Hollywood provides a complimentary shuttle between the station and the theme park, or you may walk.

Get around

Getting around Universal City is not a serious matter; Universal Studios is the only tourist attraction there.


  • Universal Studios Hollywood. [2] The tram tour of the backlot is still the heart and soul of the park. See the sets from Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Austin Powers, and many more. The theme park is also first rate.
    • You can enter Universal Studios for free and skip the ticket lines with the Southern California City Pass [3] or the Go Los Angeles Card [4].
  • City Walk [5] is located outside the gates to the theme park and is free, other than parking. Feel immersed in a comic strip - over-the-top colorful architecture, talented street performers, dozens of restaurants (all price points), novelty shopping, an IMAX theater, and a NASCAR simulator. The outdoor "mall" is usually packed on weekends and summer nights, which adds to the energy and atmosphere.
    • Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk hosts concerts from time to time.


  • Ride the movies at the many film-based attractions (complete list here) at Universal Studios. The ones that absolutely shouldn't be missed are:
    • Studio Tram Tour
    • Revenge of the Mummy
    • Jurassic Park
    • The Simpsons (replaced Back to the Future! in 2008)
    • Shrek 4-D
    • Terminator 2 3-D
    • Backdraft
  • CityWalk has a wide range of entertainment options.
    • CityWalk Cinemas [6] Stadium seating, surround sound, and digital projection.
    • iFly Floor Skydiving [7] Experience the thrill of falling from the sky - without even leaving the ground!
    • Jillian's [8] Play all the arcade games you want or sharpen your bowling skills.
    • NASCAR Motor Speedway [9] Virtual reality car racing will really blow you away.


City Walk (see complete list of vendors here: [10]) has many fine retailers, a perfect place to find your ultimate Southern California souvenir.


City Walk has about 20 restaurants, ranging from fast food to fine dining, spanning all types of cuisine. (See the complete list here.)

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Daily Grill
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • In 'N Out Burger (not located on CityWalk, but on Cahuenga Blvd.)
  • Tony Roma's
  • Wolfgang Puck Cafe



  • Choice Hotels Near Universal Studios Hollywood, [11]. Hotels near Universal City in California
  • Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Ph: (818) 506-2500, Fax: (818) 509-2058, [12].
  • Holiday Inn Universal Studios, Hollywood, 4222 Vineland Avenue, Ph: (818) 980-8000, Fax: (818) 766-0112, [13].
  • Sheraton Universal Hotel, 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Ph: (818) 980-1212, Fax (818) 985-4980, [14].

Get out

  • Hollywood Right next door by way of the train or the highway.
  • Orange County Take the Red Line to Union Station and transfer to Amtrak or Metrolink.
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