UPDATE: Check out our latest article with new hacks that'll work like magic for an amazing day at Universal Studios Japan!
Land of cherry blossoms, seafood galore and of course, Hello Kitty, Japan is one of the first Asian countries to have its very own Universal Studios Osaka! With attractions that stand-out from the Universal Studios family, this studio theme park is home to the famed Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Before you get on your broomsticks and enter Universal Studios Osaka, make sure you read these 8 tips for a magical visit to the park!
1. Tickets are best bought in advanced!
Credit: Heng Pei Yan on Facebook
To avoid the massive queues at the counter of the ticketing booth, you can choose to get your admission tickets earlier than your day of visit! This will definitely save you a whole lot of time from queuing and maybe from any possible headaches too!
There are 2 types of admission tickets to the Universal Studios Osaka. For 1 Day Studio Pass, tickets inclusive of tax are priced at:
- 7,400 yen for adults
- 4,980 yen for children between 4 – 11 years old
- 6,650 yen for senior aged 65 and above
For 2 Day Studio Pass, tickets inclusive of tax are priced at:
- 12,450 yen for adults
- 8,420 yen for children between 4 – 11 years old
For ticket purchase from Lawson convenience store, simply reserve a ticket using Loppi and choose the month and date of visit, along with the number of tickets you are purchasing. You can view the instructions here.
You can also get the tickets from travel agencies below:
- NTA Travel
- Chan Brothers
- Hong Thai Travel
- Apple Vacations
Travel agencies for other countries can be found here!
In case you didn’t have time to book for the tickets, Universal Studios Osaka has 25 partner hotels for you to purchase your admission tickets from if you’re planning to stay there for your trip. You can get them at the hotel desks on the day of your check-in or the following day of stay. On top of that, they are quite near to other exciting places to explore in Osaka! See the list of hotels here!
#HHWT Tip: The admission ticket does not allow you to re-enter the park premises after you leave, so make sure you exit when you’re all done having fun!
2. Be at the gates as early as you can
You are most likely going to spend the whole day at the park, so get yourself ready outside of the park gates because there will be a lot of visitors waiting to enter! Depending on your day of visit, the gate usually opens as early as 9:00am on weekdays and 8:30am on weekends, and closes at 8:30pm on weekdays and 9:00pm on weekends. Try your best to avoid visiting on weekends and peak periods like in March and August!
Do check the park’s timetable of operating hours before you visit here.
3. Grab the Express Passes for shorter queue times
If you can afford it, then we recommend you to splurge on the Express Passes! There are 3 types of Express Pass packages for you to choose from, which entitles you to a spot in the shorter express queues and also at the viewing parade – Universal Express® Pass 7, Universal Express® Pass 4 and 15th Special Express Pass. Each Express Pass are unique on its own, letting you experience the must-visit attractions in the studio theme park depending on the type of Express Pass you opt for. You will still need a Studio admission ticket to enter the park.
Credit: Jeremy Thompson on flickr
With the Express Pass, you’re entitled to one ride on each of the attractions at a shorter waiting time! You can start your day earlier to visit the attractions and only use the Express Pass when the crowd starts getting heavier.
#HHWT Tip: Do take note of the closed attractions before you make your purchase!
You can purchase the Express Passes earlier too at the travel agencies or partner hotels listed above as they do sell-out fast. You can try your luck on your day of visit at the ticketing booth or ticketing windows inside the park to get the Express Passes, however there are only a limited number:
- Ticket Booth
- Stores within park:
- Backlot Accessories
- Universal Studios Store
- The Amazing Spider-Man Store
- Jurassic Outfitters
#HHWT Tip: It is written on the Express Pass which attractions are time-designated. So do ensure you visit them at the time printed! Those attractions without any time designation are free to be visited during the park’s operating hours.
4. Bring some packed food if you can
There are no officially certified halal food at the Universal Studios Osaka, so it’s best to pack something light like sandwiches before coming. Osaka has several places with halal certified food, so you could pack some food before heading your way to the theme park.
Boardwalk Snacks at Amity Village area and Studio Stars Restaurant at Hollywood area also has some snacks and seafood pizza if you’re looking for food options there but do check with the staff before making your purchase!
Here are 13 Halal Japanese Eateries in Osaka you can choose from.
5. Make a list of the areas you want to visit
To make full use of your time at the Universal Studios Osaka, make sure you know the areas you’d like to see. As the park will likely be crawling with visitors from all over the world, chances are that you may not have time to cover every spot.
#HHWT Tip: Get acquainted with the studio map. You can collect the English version of the map at the entrance of the park. Alternatively, here’s an online version of the map.
You can also have an idea on which rides you want to take! We recommend you to try these:
- Space Fantasy
- Hollywood Dream - The Ride
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden JourneyTM in 4K3D
6. You may want to download the Google Translate App
Credit: @jhenriano on Instagram
To make your visit to Universal Studios Osaka even smoother, you can get Google Translate app as some of the attractions and animations are in Japanese. It is quite easy to operate, you can type in the text or snap a photo of the text and it will help you translate it to your spoken language.
Alternatively, you can ask the friendly staffs at Universal Studios Osaka! They are always smiling and ready to offer their help.
7. Get yourself a timed-entry ticket to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™
This is a must-visit for every Potterhead out there, you know where you’re hiding. The Hogwarts castle and Hogsmeade are made to perfection, it feels like you’re right where you belong.
You can get yourself a free timed-entry ticket to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, especially during the peak hours because you will not be allowed to enter the area without the ticket!
Credit: Laura Tomàs Avellana on flickr
Bring along your Studio Pass to the ticketing site at Central Park and inform the staff of the time you want to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. There are only a limited number of the timed-entry tickets for each time slot, so get it as soon as you can. Do ensure that you reach the area at the designated time as it is deemed invalid for other timings!
Credit: @leezyb on Instagram
#HHWT Tip: Don’t forget to try the famous frozen Butterbeer! Don’t worry, there’s no alcohol in it!
8. Don’t miss the live-shows and street entertainment
While you may be too excited to visit the attractions, here’s a reminder to catch at least one or two of the live-performances while you’re there. It may be in Japanese so it’ll be a one of a kind experience!
Here’s a list of shows you could watch:
- Triwizard Spirit Rally at the Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM area
- Universal RE-BOOOOOOOORN Parade at the Hollywood and New York Area
- R&B Boyz Crew at the Hollywood area
- Terminator 2:3-D at the New York area
- WaterWorld at WaterWorld area
You can see the list for other Universal Studios Osaka Attractions here.
You don’t always get to experience a theme park in another language, so make the most out of it. Go ahead, the land of the rising sun is waiting for you. Start making those calls and bookings!