Saturday, August 1, 2015

Universal Studios Hollywood

FYI:  I changed my picture page to this link instead of the old one.  Go here for more pictures.

Last weekend I traveled to Los Angeles with work to host a special cocktail reception for some of the Special Olympics delegation that were in town for the World Games. I flew in on Friday morning and the reception was that night.  The next morning I took an Uber car to Universal Studios in Hollywood to spend the day there.  Originally one of my co-workers was supposed to come with me, but she had to change her flight to that day for a family issue, so it was just me at the park!

I honestly liked being on my own at the park.  I didn’t have to ask anyone what they wanted to do next or where they wanted to eat, I just did what I wanted to do.  Honestly, the longer I’m single the more selfish I grow. LOL. :)  I was able to go in the single rider line for all of the rides I went on, which helped with the mammoth sized crowds that were there that day.  So. Many. People.   At around 1 pm that day, the wait for The Mummy ride was 170 minutes.  CRAZY!

The first thing I did was eat lunch at the Krusty Burger in Simpson Land (Town??).  My options were fried food or fried food at all of the locations in the park, so I just tried fried food. LOL.  Who doesn’t love burgers?!  I then went to Moe’s Tavern for a “Flaming Moe” which is an orange soda that I think has dry ice at the bottom.  You get to keep the cup, but I didn’t have a bag to put it in, plus I don’t like souvenirs like that anyway.

I went to the Studio Tour line and it was REALLY LONG.  There were a few employees giving away fast passes for the tour later in the day so I got one.  He asked me how many people and I said just me, but then he said just go to the line and tell them you are a single rider and they will let you in a special line that gets you close to the front of the line.  That worked and I got on in 10 minutes!!!  It pays to be by yourself! :)

I really liked the tour, they did a great job showing you around.  You stay on the tram the entire time but you see a lot.  You see the back lot, the front lot, Jaws, WhoVille, New York sets, etc.  So much!!  The tour lasted about 45 minutes and they pack in a lot of stuff.  There were 3 ‘rides’ on the tour where you experience different special effects.  Two of the ‘rides’ (King Kong and Fast and the Furious) use special effects and green screens to enhance your experience but the “Live Movie set-Subway tunnel) has fire, rushing water, breakaway buildings and more.  I think the subway set ‘ride’ was my favorite!

They take you to see the streets of New York, a little Mexico town (with the flood waters), a western town, and even the town square they shot Back to the Future and Ghost Whisperer!  We went to the sleep little town in Jaws and saw a shark attack a poor, innocent scuba diver and then the shark had the nerve to try and attack our tram!  :)  I’m telling you, I loved the tour!!!

I went through the iconic Jurassic Park gates next and got SOAKED on the ride.  I went through the super-fast single rider line and unfortunately I made it to front of the car where you get the most wet.  Oh well, it was awesome though. At first the ride is much like the movie with it’s serene dinosaurs just eating grass but then things get wild and crazy with sparks flying and evil Raptors.  Those raptors like to eat anything!  So scary.

Transformers Ride, PowerAde Break, Ice Cream Break, attempt to ride the Mummy Ride (failed my mission), and then decided to take a break to see a movie in hopes that they crowd would disperse while I was watching Train Wreck.  I ate dinner and bought souvenirs somewhere in that break too.  I started to collect these different stretched pennies that day! I need to get one of those books to hold them in.

When I got back I went back to do the nighttime tour that was recommended.  I am SO GLAD that I went on the tour again because I saw so many things that I didn’t see the first time.  You do the basic stuff and ‘rides’ but there are a ton more lights with added special effects throughout the tour. 

I went on the Shrek attraction and then called it a day to return to my hotel to sleep before my super early 4 am wake-up call.  

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