If you are visiting Osaka even if it’s for a day or two, you can’t miss Universal studios. For those who say USJ may not be an ideal date spot, not everyone always wants to feel rainbows and butterflies during a date, some of us would really like an adrenaline rushing date once in a while. USJ has got you covered with the best of all the worlds and gets you all the adrenaline you want along with the wizarding world of Harry Potter and cuteness overloaded minions.
USJ is quite notoriously known for the never-ending long queues, which isn’t very ideal for a ‘couple time.’ But with some careful planning, you can circumvent all the issues and have a crazy day at USJ. Here I list down some of the best attractions with some tips and tricks for a rollercoaster date at USJ.
When planning a trip to USJ, try to avoid weekends. Friday till Monday is quite busy with a lot of domestic tourists including students on school trips, noisy youngsters, families with babies, etc. A screaming baby doesn’t necessarily say welcome to USJ. So plan accordingly and pick a mid-week day. If your dates are not at all flexible, consider getting an Express pass. They are a total bang for the buck and allow entry to the most popular rides with minimum waiting. Not to mention, avoid the holiday seasons altogether. It’s a lot less fun when you have to stand in a queue for four hours to sneak a peek into Hogwarts castle. There are online crowd prediction calendars that predict the crowd influx for every day. Keep an eye on it as well. And last, don’t forget to get the tickets beforehand. If it’s not your day, you can end up waiting in the queue just for the tickets. Tickets can be purchased online or from any convenience store.
Once you have a date picked, prioritize your interests. Don’t think you can cover everything in one day. Even though most of the main attractions are doable in a day, it is difficult to cover the whole park. When you get there, it is normal to get overenthusiastic and reckless with some USJ endorphins (I did get a kick), wanting to try each and every ride. Control your instincts and stick to the plan to make the best out of the day.
When you are done with planning, pick a route. USJ has a lot to offer, it has something for everyone. Whether you are two thrill junkies in love or a lovey-dovey couple, USJ has got you covered. All you have to do is get a ticket and enjoy a fantastic journey with wizards, dinosaurs, dragons, unicorns, minions and everything you have seen in the movies.
If you are planning to get an express pass, make sure the pass provides fast-track entry to the rides of your interest. If you need guaranteed timed entry to the main attractions, get a Royal Studio Pass which gives you a guaranteed timed entry to the main attractions and fast-track entry to most of the rides. If you do not intend to get an Express or a Royal pass, you need to obtain a special entry ticket to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during rush hours. You can get the timed ticket for free from the ticket counter, which is located at the Central Park. Once you have the timed entry ticket, make sure to visit the Harry Potter world at the time specified in your ticket. The ticket cannot be reissued if you miss the designated slot.
Now you are all set to explore the park on your own. If you and your SO are thrill seekers who want to feel the adrenaline pumping through your body, I will help you choose the best rides for a complete thrill-seeking experience.
After getting timed-entry tickets for the Wizarding world of HP, head to Hollywood Dream, the rollercoaster. Hollywood dream- the ride is probably the only original rollercoaster ride in USJ. If you think the regular rollercoasters do not amp you up anymore, you have got to try The Ride Backdrop. This insane back-coaster runs backward leaving the suspense of what comes next to your imagination. It is a must try.
While you are at the Hollywood, check out the Space Fantasy too. It usually doesn’t have ultra-long queues compared to the headliner attractions in USJ. Space Fantasy is a spinning coaster that takes you to the “space,” filled with planets and flying asteroids and whatnots. It is a good old ride that suits all, which has got enough thrill (but not enough to make you scream), a beautifully decorated interior and amazing 3D effects. These are the rides in Hollywood, but they have a lot of shows too if you are interested. If you prefer the rides instead, move on and save the shows for another day.
Also, keep an eye out for the information boards that display the waiting time for each ride and the show timings.
Next head to Newyork and try ‘The amazing adventures of Spiderman’. The 4K-3D ride is truly amazing, and a must try. You get to hangout with spiderman and go after the real villains on a serious mission. Spoiler Alert, brace yourself for some serious special effects. The waiting lines here can be a little too long, but don’t head back without experiencing Manhattan with spiderman.
Next to Newyork, there is Minion Park. There are two great rides in Minion Park and plenty of cute stuff. When I say cute, I mean the real kawaii and by stuff, I just don’t mean stuff, I mean everything, even food. The cutest food you will ever find. Talk about yellow minion burgers with an eye (not creepy, I swear) and omurice with minion doodles. There are minions everywhere, and they cause mayhem not just in Dr. Gru’s lab, but here in USJ as well. After all, you can’t get enough minions, can you?
Try the Minion Mayhem ride, and see if you can manage to become a minion and undergo a whirlwind training. Then there is Freeze-ray sliders, which is pretty good as well. But if the waiting time is too long for this one, move on. When you finish the Minion Park, go to Jurassic Park. There are two rides here, Jurassic Park- the ride and the Flying Dinosaur. Jurassic Park- The ride takes you to the classic Jurassic Park with a lot of dinosaurs roaming around. It has got a huge lifelike T-Rex. Pretty tempting, huh? I will let the T-Rex speak for the ride. Next ride in Jurassic Park is the most popular ride in USJ, just like Harry Potter. It is an absolutely insane flying coaster and an extreme ride that is definitely going to make you scream at the top of your head. It leaves you hanging face down, suspended from the claws of a giant pteranodon. It is the longest flying coaster in the world and even goes up to 270kmph. This can be a little more than what you bargained for, but you will not know it unless you try it, right?! Go for it, and embrace the dare-devil in you.
Now, buckle up for the most unforgettable journey you will ever have. Hands down, the ultimate ride of your life: Harry Potter and the forbidden journey. It goes without saying that it is a must-try. Get to the wizarding world of HP according to your timed entry. I suggest getting a ticket for the evening so you can get a good look at the lit-up Hogwarts castle, which is absolutely stunning. The wizarding world of Harry Potter is a dream come true experience for all Potterheads. Most of us millennials grew up religiously following Harry Potter by reading the books or watching Harry Potter sequels. You can literally live your childhood fantasies by visiting Hogwarts, walking around Hogsmeade or shopping at Diagon Alley. You can buy wands and even cast spells, I mean if that isn’t amazing what is!!
About the HP and the forbidden journey, you have it experience it for yourself. It is indeed a mind-blowing experience, and for a few hair-raising moments you will actually believe that you are not muggle but belong to the world of witches and wizards. Even if you are not a mad Harry Potter fan, you will thoroughly enjoy the ride and the whole world of Harry Potter. One setback here is the insanely long queues that last for few hours, especially during holidays. But once you finish it, you will realize the ride is worth the wait, and you can do it all over again if you get another chance.
These are so far the best rides in USJ, and you should be able to cover at least these rides if you have a little bit of planning. Finish off your day at USJ by grabbing dinner at three broomsticks with a glass of the holy butterbeer.