BREE’S FAMILY PASSPORT – UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA
Universal Studios theme park caters especially well for families (probably better than they do in Australia). They have parents’ rooms complete with a baby feeding and nappy changing area, plus hot water dispensers and microwaves for preparing baby formula or food. You can also hire a wheelchair or stroller if you need.
There are attractions a plenty with literally hundreds of things to do. My advice? Be strategic. Take a good look at the park map and circle all the things you want to see and do. For children under six, I would recommend Universal Wonderland, Hello Kitty, and Sesame Street.
But, for my two boys, aged four and six, Snoopy’s Great Race Rollercoaster was a firm favourite. However, they also really loved the Spiderman and Jurassic Park boat ride where they got to see huge dinosaurs.
For older children (and husbands), Harry Potter is a very popular ride. Jaws was also a favourite, even though this ride was made even scarier by our Japanese hosts’ high-pitched commentary on what was happening.
Most ride waits are 60 minutes for the popular ones but single rider lines usually shorter if you don’t mind riding the attractions with strangers.
Another great option for rides is to “Child Switch,” which enables guests with children who do not meet an attractions height or other requirements to take turns and enjoy the attraction without having to line up again.
Tickets also include a “Timed Ride” where you can book a ride with long line-ups for a certain time and return to it later instead of waiting for two hours in line. You can also buy express passes which allow you to hop in an express line. Because a lot of people buy these, you still have to wait, but usually only for half the time.
The food and drinks are reasonably priced – not double the usual price like in Australia – and they can also offer allergen-free menus if you ask. There are plenty of dining options in the park with both Asian and American style foods. Just outside the park is Universal City which has an array of restaurants including Hard Rock Café if you are tired of Japanese food, or a Japanese Buffet for $25 for 90 minutes.
Allow all day to explore the park. Get there early (it opens between 9 and 9.30am) or stay late (it closes between 7-9pm dependent on the time of the year). And don’t miss the parade at the end of the night where all your children’s favourite characters – Minions, Shrek, Sesame Street – take to the streets.
Cost will vary slightly but children three and under are free.
Check out Universal Studios for more information on this fantastic day out with your family in Japan. And, if you and the little ones are venturing over to Japan for a holiday, make sure you have a read of our Hot Tips for Families travelling to Japan.