If the last time you’ve visited the Universal Studios Japan in Osaka was on 2014 or even way before, you might want to revisit soon. Their fairly newly opened division of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just breathtaking. My family and I had a blast going on the rides and buying every cute food we see. I’m quite a sucker for cute stuff. 😛
Park Hours are sometimes inconsistent. You can check the schedules through here.
The ticket to buy is the Studio Pass. There is such a thing as Express Pass. They have different kinds. There is one that let’s you ride the 7 rides that are in-demand or have the longest line. You can check out more details of this pass by clicking on this link. You would still need to buy the Studio Pass on top of the Express Pass. However, I’d advise against it. Not only because you’d be spending more money but you don’t need the Express Pass to be able to ride these rides. You just need to plan ahead where you need to get your Fast Passes and where you’d be willing to wait in line.
Here are my tips. NOTE: We came on December 2016. The situation may be different for other seasons.
- Come early. The park usually opens at 9am. We came around 7:30am and this was what greeted us.
Like sardines in a can squeezed up together. This is quite normal. When you get out of the station, RUN to the ticketing booth. If you don’t, you’d be wasting your time lining up for your tickets. Better yet, if you’re residing in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Malaysia, or Australia, you can buy you tickets ahead in this link and skip this line altogether. You can also sometimes buy tickets at convenient stores in Japan if they’re not sold out. If you already have tickets in hand, don’t come when the gates are about to open. On the day that we went, the park was supposed to open at 9am but people were already pouring in at 8am. Line weren’t long yet but rides were already full by the time we got in.
2. Go straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and get a Fast Pass for Flight of the Hippogriff and/or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
Flight of the Hippogriff is a smooth normal ride. The view from up top is just what you need to get your day started. The Forbidden Journey on the other hand is quite a topsy turvy ride. It wouldn’t turn you upside down per se but if you’re easily nauseated and/or prone to motion sickness, don’t ride this. Don’t get me wrong, this is the best ride that I had and I’d recommend it to anyone but there were a few people who did throw up after riding this. Keeping this ride as your last go-to or even 4th go-to will keep you in line for at least 4 hours so get to these rides FIRST before anything else.
3. Line up for Single and ride The Flying Dinosaur.
Single line are available for some attractions. These are lines where you are to ride by yourself with other people. In other words, they’ll stick you into any vacant seat. You won’t be able to ride with your family or other half but you’ll be able to cut your waiting time by half and you’d have more time to ride other attractions.
I didn’t get a photo of The Flying Dinosaur but it’s definitely a one of a kind ride. After we’ve ridden the rides at the Wizarding World, the line was as long as the eye can see for this one. Don’t believe me? Just look at it!
But even after lining up, after we rode it, we couldn’t keep ourselves from smiling. It was super thrilling. You’d be riding with your chest parallel to the ground and your ankles clasp securely. During the time we were lining up, we were wondering why we were asked to empty our pockets, even paper was forbidden. After the ride, we knew why. It totally made sense. You’d be flipped, turned sideways, and everything in between. It’s inevitable for something to fall out. That’s the reason they had nets stretched out from underneath the ride so things wouldn’t hit people who are walking below. This ride is not for the faint of heart and even those with fear of heights. If these are not a problem then this is definitely a MUST RIDE.
4. Bring your own food.
It is not forbidden like other amusement parks. The food inside is not cheap. Though filling, I would have appreciated knowing that I could’ve stuffed my bag with plenty of snacks and rice balls before we got to Universal Studios Japan.
5. Buy Souvenirs.
Compared to the stuff outside the park, merchandises here are not expensive. Buying your souvenirs here will not be a waste. There’s loads of stuff to choose from.
This Snoopy & Charlie Brown printed cookie is just 1,300 yen. It’s cute and tasty. A great gift to bring home and share with your friends. There are cookies with other characters as well such as elmo, cookie monster, hello kitty, etc. The choices are so many!
I hope this helps you with your travel. If you have other tips on what to know before going to Universal Studios Japan, share them with me at the comments section or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. 🙂