(note: this is one section of a much longer California TPS Report. Click here to start from the beginning)
Our last full day in California was reserved for Universal Studios Hollywood. I was pretty excited about going there, as I’m a fan of the Florida parks and I’ve always wanted to take the original tram tour. It seemed like a great capper to an already great trip.
Yikes. Apparently everyone else had the same idea. No worries.
Much like the Florida parks, you pass through the Citiwalk district to get there. I definitely thought their Citiwalk was more impressive than Florida (ironically the complete opposite of how I felt about Disneyland’s Downtown Disney district)
I forgot to ask for Babs, but they probably get sick of that gag anyways.
I love this version of the Universal globe.
This filmmaking statue is pretty cool too, though let’s call a spade a spade and admit that any director taking that kind of stance is a complete and utter douchebag.
Whoa. This place is ridiculously packed. I didn’t get a picture of the information board, but every attraction was rocking at least a 60 minute wait. Luckily you couldn’t throw a brick without hitting a Universal employee trying to sell Express Passes. We really didn’t want to, but we ended up having to buy them (at $85 a piece, which is just obscene).
The park is divided into two lots – the upper and the lower. To get from lot to lot, you have to take ridiculously long escalators. This is just one section of them.
At the midway point of the escalators, there was a nice landing with an Apollo 13 prop.
From the landing, you could get a good view of the surrounding area. At the far left, you can see the “Black Tower” and the lower lot. Over on the right is the backlot area.
This is just the second half of the escalators. The layout of this place is ridiculous.
The lower lot houses three major rides. The oldest is Jurassic Park – The Ride.
This is the original version of the ride, opened in 1996. Since then, very similar versions have opened at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Japan.
Neither of us really felt like getting drenched in the ride’s splashdown finale, so we opted out for the time being. It was still early, and walking around wet sucks.
The newest ride at the park was Transformers. An updated version of the Adventures of Spiderman attraction at Islands of Adventure, the ride is a combination of multiple systems. It’s a clever mix of a dark ride, a 4D movie, and a motion simulator.
Characters regularly appear outside the attraction for photo opportunities.
So I griped a bit about the price tag for those Express Passes, but at least we were able to bypass the crowd on this one. As we walked through the empty express line, however, we started to wonder if we were the only people to buy the things.