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As soon as you step past the entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood, you'll find yourself in the Upper Lot. The Upper Lot is a conglomeration of different themed areas to enjoy and has the bulk of the rides and restaurants in the park. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Springfield USA are part of the Upper Lot, however we've separated those into different sections since those themed area have quite a lot to offer in themselves.

For younger kids, there's a Super Silly Fun Land area, which includes a play area, a mini water park, and a spinner ride. It's conveniently located right next to the Minion Cafe, the Despicable Me Ride, and the Secret Life of Pets ride. 

Water World is one of the best shows Universal Studios Hollywood offers. The theater is specially built for the show and is tucked away near the entrance to the theme park. On the other far end of the Upper Lot is the Studio Tour, which is another experience that shouldn't be missed. Guests will need to take some escalators down to the tram loading area where they can board for the tour.

The restaurants at the Upper Lot are abundant and varied. From Mexican cuisine at Cocina Mexicana to American favorites at the Minion Cafe and Mel's Diner to French pastries and treats at French Street Bistro, there are plenty of options to choose from. Of course, there are also the many restaurants in Springfield USA and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that are easily accessible as you meander through the Upper Lot.

Top 3 Things to do in the Upper Lot

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Take the Studio Tour
The Studio Tour is one of the most unique aspects of Universal Studios Hollywood. It's a long (60 minute) tour of the back lot at Universal, and shows guests sets, shooting locations, buildings, and offices where movie-making magic happens. There are also a few immersive experiences during the tour that make for some great memories. This ride is not to be missed when visiting this theme park!
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Ride The Secret Life of Pets
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash is one of the newer rides at this theme park. It's a slow dark ride that's geared toward younger kids, but the details and experience are charming no matter what age you are. It's well worth a ride, especially since you probably won't have to wait long since you can use the virtual line via the Universal Studios Hollywood app.
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Eat at the Minion Cafe
The Minion Cafe is not only one of the best themed dining areas at the park, but it has fantastic food options as well. The food is simple but of great quality. The desserts are adorable here as well. Don't miss out on the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese and the Banana Pudding!

Food & Drinks

City Snack Shop
Snacks & Desserts
Price: $5 - $15
City Snack Shop is a great quick stop if you're looking for something to munch on while you're waiting in line for a ride or if you're not hungry enough for a full meal. They're open pretty early and offer pretzels, crepes, and sometimes specialty seasonal snacks like donuts and cookies. The beignets here are fantastic, fluffy, and great for sharing. The pretzel hotdogs are unique and perfect for a solo snack or light lunch. The line is also much more reasonable than most restaurants in the area.
Cocina Mexicana
Fast Mexican Cuisine
Price: $10 - $15
Cocina Mexican is a quick service location that offers Mexican fast food like tacos, burritos, margaritas, and more! It's located right on the main pathway in the Upper Lot, so it's hard to miss. This location tends to get busier the later the day gets, so we recommend visiting earlier if you're craving Mexican food while you're visiting the park. We recommend the carne asada taco platter here. It's tasty and super filling!
French Street Bistro
Sandwiches, Salads, Pastries
Price: $10 - $20
French Street Bistro is another eatery that is open pretty early, so it's a great spot to swing by for breakfast. The pastries, in particular, are wonderful for a quick morning meal. The quiches are also very tasty, although a little small for the price. The beignets are solid as well. This restaurant tends to be one of the quieter ones in the park, so we recommend checking it out if everywhere else has long lines that are out the door.
Hollywood & Dine
Burgers, Bowls, Pizzas & More
Price: $15 - $25
Hollywood & Dine is a classic sit-down restaurant that has a wide variety of food options to choose from. They're currently serving a variety of Asian cuisine including poke, ramen, bao buns, and also have great dessert options. Located near the main entrance to the theme park, it's a little out of the way to get to unless you're on your way out of the park or just came from a Waterworld show. It's well worth the stop for the freshly made funnel cake topped with strawberries and ice cream. We can't think of a better way to end the day at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Mel's Diner
American Classics
Price: $10 - $20
Mel's Diner serves up American classics in its charming 50's themed dining area. It's got burgers, chicken sandwiches, onion rings, milkshakes, root beer, and more! Needless to say, it's a pretty popular location for picky eaters since it has plenty of basic "essentials". It also has a great location with outdoor seating for people-watching. It does tend to get pretty busy toward the middle of the day, so we recommend eating at off-peak dining hours.
Minion Cafe
Sandwiches, Snacks, Desserts
Price: $12 - $20
Minion Cafe is one of our favorite restaurants in Universal Studios Hollywood. It has a handful of delicious, affordable options, it's great for kids, and the line moves pretty quickly, regardless of how busy it is. It can be a little difficult to find seating during peak dining hours, but there's also nearby seating and tables on French Street or toward Mel's Diner. Don't miss out on the tasty Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese or the Nutella Banana Pudding at this eatery!
Mulligan's Irish Pub
Beers, Spirits & Snacks
Price: $5 - $15
This little pub is perfectly located so that adults can relax and have a drink while the kids enjoy the nearby attractions like The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash or Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. There are a few snacks on the menu, but otherwise, it's just a watering hole, meant for a quick stop. Both the exterior and interior are beautifully decorated though, to really give it that Irish pub feel.
Palace Deli & Market
Sandwiches, Salads, Snacks
Price: $10 - $20
For those who don't want to fuss with dining options, Palace Deli & Market is our favorite place to pick up a quick snack or meal while you're on the go. You can pick up a sandwich or a Hot Grab & Go Entree without much waiting, as well as smaller snacks like fruit or chips. There's a large seating area just outside the restaurant, so there's usually seating available most of the day, especially since most guests eat their food pretty quickly and then head out.

Rides & Attractions

INTENSITY LEVELS

Relaxing (Slow with Little or No Elevation Changes) | Mild (Slow to Moderately Fast with Potentially Higher Elevation)

Thrilling (Fast with Potential High Elevations & Loops) | Wild (Intense Speeds, Extreme Heights, and/or Loops)
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Height: 48" alone | 40-48" w/adult
Intensity Level: Mild
A favorite at the park, this exciting ride is actually a Minion training program that allows guests to get a feel for what it's like working for the infamous supervillian Gru. The ride is family friendly and does often get pretty busy, especially during the weekends. It's geared toward kids, but can still be a fun experience for adults.
Kung Fu Panda Adventure
Height: N/A
Intensity Level: Mild
The DreamWorks Theatre changes its show every now and again, which is great for frequent park goers. The Kung Fu Panda Adventure is currently showing and it features Po and his other friends embarking on an important quest from the emperor. The audience get to tag along and help out on this important mission via their specialized moving seats. The line for this ride can get pretty long, but the theatre seats plenty, so it can go from long to short in a matter of minutes.
Studio Tour
Height: N/A
Intensity Level: Mild
The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood is a MUST-DO at the park. It's a 60 minute long tour on a tram with a friendly guide that explains all the sights you'll be seeing. From office buildings to shooting locations to special mini rides, you'll be able to experience the magic of Hollywood up close. There tends to be no wait for this ride in the early morning, so it's an easy one to knock out first. However, if you do decide to prioritize other rides, just know the tour closes a little before the park does, so just be sure to hop on before the end of the night.
Super Silly Fun land
Height: N/A
Intensity Level: N/A
This colorful play area is the perfect place for kids to blow off some steam and enjoy rides and games made specially for them. There is one ride (The Silly Swirly Fun Ride), a jungle gym play area, and a mini water park play area. There are a few carnival games with fun prizes to win as well. The Minion Cafe is also located in this area, which is perfect for lunch or a snack break while the kids play.
The Secret Life of Pets: 
Off the Leash
Height: 48" alone | 34 - 48" w/adult
Intensity Level: Relaxing
A beautifully-made dark ride, The Secret Life of Pets takes you through the streets of New York City as a part of the animal gang. There are so many great details in both the ride and the queue. The queue barely even feels like a line, since it's divided up into different rooms. Although it's geared toward kids, it's definitely enjoyable for all ages. It's also available via virtual line on the Universal Studios Hollywood app, so be sure to grab a spot early in the morning when you arrive!
WaterWorld
Height: N/A
Intensity Level: N/A
WaterWorld is an action-packed show that's set in a dystopian world where the earth is covered in water and humans mostly live on cities that float. The special effects are thrilling, the actors are fun, and the splash zones are a great way to cool down on those hot Southern Californai days. The show isn't that long (20-25ish minutes), but it's also a great way to get off your feet while experiencing the best of what Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer.
Contact: dani@eattravelunravel.com
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