We have all heard of Universal Studios but did you know that they have a Universal Studios Japan?! Yes the famed theme park has pride of place in Osaka, and let me tell you. It. Is. Amazing!
Phil and I have both been to Universal Studios in Los Angeles and loved our time there so knew we would enjoy it. To get here we hopped on a train from Namba station and after one change found ourselves at Universal Station strolling through the City Walk.
From the iconic Spinning Globe at the entrance to the famous arches you walk under as you arrive. You feel like you are about to enter somewhere special and won’t be able to keep the excitement in. From first glimpse you can see rollercoasters and hear the screams (of joy or fear?!)
We were soon walking through the streets of Hollywood, San Francisco and New York past characters and festively decorated buildings. After stopping to take a few photos for Instagram and feeling like I’m on a living and breathing movie set we made our way to our first ride:
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D. With the Express Pass you can choose to skip the line with several of the rides. You can choose between Jurassic Park – The Ride and Spider – Man. We came across Spider – Man first so hopped in the Express Pass line and awaited the adventure. I won’t give anything away but it was amazing – just as the titles suggest. Be sure to keep a look out when you exit as down one of the alleyways you might spot Spider-Man himself!
A short stroll through the park and we arrive at Jurassic Park. The Flying Dinosaur ride literally flies over your heads creating the feeling that you are in fact actually at the real Jurassic Park. The Screams! Oh the Screams. With Beware of the Dinosaur signs surrounding you and the classic music we all know and love playing, its like stepping back in time.
There is so much to explore walking around the park it’s incredible. We had so much fun in-between the rides. We even popped in to see Water World. Having seen this in LA we knew it was a fantastic show and it did not disappoint. The stunts are spectacular and if you want to sit in the front few rows (which are marked as the wet zone) then be prepared to get wet, it’s all part of the fun!
We finally reached The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! A highlight of the park for us every time.
We were transformed to Hogsmeade and were browsing the window displays of Ollivanders Wand Shop sipping on a Butter Beer from one of the wagons. Stop in at Honeydukes to stock up on Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. Don’t forget to visit Zonkos Joke and Toy Shop. You can also stop by the Hogwarts Express and meet the Conductor.
If you have a wand you can cast spells at various locations in Hogsmeade and watch as the magic happens. There are regular performances from class mates from Hogwarts so keep an eye out for these.
With the Universal Studios Japan Express Pass you get given a designated time slot for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – this means that you can skip the line during your time slot and make the most of your time at Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. The ride is so magical and also a little scary at times (hello – Dementors!).
You can walk through Hogwarts on a Castle Walk without needing to go on the ride too so that’s perfect if you have little ones.
If you are a fan of Harry Potter then this is such a magical place, literally making your HP dreams come true. Take note that if the park is particularly busy then you may need to reserve a time slot to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had a time slot but we didn’t need it as it wasn’t too busy.
Next Up – JAWS! As part of the Express Pass you can choose to skip the line between JAWS, Terminator or Backdraft. We are fans of the JAWS franchise and walking into Amity Village it piqued our interest. The ride is pretty fun, you feel like you are in an actual Movie. Without giving away any secrets, be prepared to get wet!
For our last ride of the day we visited Minion Park. Anytime I think of Minions all I can hear in my head is either “Banana” or “Illumination!”. If you have ever wondered what it might feel like to be in an animation then this is the place. With the Express Pass you have access to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at a specific time slot so you can skip the line and enjoy all the park has to offer. We very much enjoyed walking around Minion Park and seeing all the guests dressed up as Minions, it is clear there is a huge fanbase in Japan.
In the evening they were offering two different shows – one at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter called Winter in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, from now until February 29th 2020 A magical story takes place this winter! The Hogawrts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is full of Christmas cheer with a magical story unfolding at the Majestic Hogwarts castle.
New this year is the Universal Crystal Christmas and they have a night time show that lights up the Christmas night. Enjoy a moving story of love set in a beautiful and shimmering crystal world with all-new Christmas entertainment! From now until January 13th 2020.
We love theme parks and we find that Universal Studios Japan is one of the best. Not only is it about visiting for the adrenaline of the rides but the atmosphere. The connection with the movies makes it even more special for me as you are constantly coming across something that is going to leave you in awe. Your senses are in overdrive. We particularly enjoyed having the Express Pass as it gave you more free time to explore the park. If you are planning on visiting Japan, then this will surely be a highlight for you. Get your tickets here.
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Thank you to Universal Studios Japan for having us, our tickets were gifted and as always all opinions are our own.