Day 19 | Universal Studios, Hollywood

Bleary eyed we were up early and to breakfast.  Asked for the valet to bring around our car, we could so get used to this.

We left the hotel at 9.00am thinking it might take some time in the LA traffic to get to Universal but it only took 10 minutes. The traffic was busy but did keep moving. We’re obviously getting confident as we actually honked a hesitant driver this morning (LA is a honking place). We drove up to park and it was so quiet. We ended up in the valet parking, oops. Oh well totally worth it as it was virtually at the entrance, nice.

Walk up to the entrance and they open at 10.00am and its only 9.30am – go us for being early for a change. It’s really hot today and would guess it’s over 30 already.  In we go so exciting. Off to exchange our tickets for “front of the line” tickets. Then off for the Tour of the Park. We headed straight to the Back Lot tour and with our passes we went straight to the front of the line and sit in the front of the bus. We gave our spare map and timetable to some English tourists who had got themselves French maps. All due respect they were having a go at using them!

We are driven round and shown where they film different movies and TV shows. We drive into the King Kong set and experience a 360o 3D screen, we were given glasses when we got on the bus. It was amazing the bus shook, moved, jerked and we were squirted with water and air etc in sync with the movie.

We also experienced a flood, car special effects, plane crash and an earthquake in the subway. The last experience was in the Return of the Mummy set.

Next was the Simpson’s ride, on our way we saw the characters and had our photo with them – that was a very surreal experience.

In the VIP line again, or rather straight past everyone else onto the ride. Into a car which then simulated a ride. Very clever. Again with the water, air, etc. O’Regan left his hat on that ride so we had to hold the whole place up while they stopped to let him go back in and get his hat. They were so very nice about it.

Rushing to the next event which was the Terminator II 3D experience – again no queue and we were even a wee bit late for the start but waived straight thru. The show is a combination of movie and real action. So very clever and very cool.  As part of the front of line bonus at the end we stay behind and meet the cast, you feel so special.

The animals of Hollywood is next on our timetable – this was so well done, they had cats, dogs, chickens, birds, rats and a pig – they all performed in part and the whole show was put together to show off their skills and talents.

Next was the special effects studio, again we were shown to our VIP seats in the front as the show was just about to start. Very clever presentation with some audience participation.

We were getting hungry now so a quick stop for a bite to eat then off to the Waterworld show – this was amazing. They really work hard. They warn you the green seats get very wet so don’t sit there if you don’t want to get wet. Part of the pre-show entertainment is the cast throwing a lot of water around. Thank goodness it was so hot so the water was very welcome today. After this Angus bumped into a mate from work. We knew they would be in the USA at some point but really, what were the chances of bumping into them.

The next rides were down the escalators to the lower lot, first on the Jurassic Park ride, this was a water ride and was heaps of fun. There was a huge drop at the end and a big splash.

We ran quickly to the next ride which was the Revenge of the Mummy Ride as it was just about to close. This was a really great ride. Lots of jerks and visual effects. Half way through you stop and they show creepy crawlies on a screen in front of you and then blast air on your feet so you feel like they are on you – ewwww everyone jumps and screams.

That’s it, time was up. Wow, that day went fast. Thank goodness for the passes otherwise we wouldn’t have done as much as we did.

Quick drive back to the hotel then off to dinner. We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe which was fun. A lovely stroll up Hollywood Boulevard and checked out the stars.

We are off to Legoland in San Diego tomorrow. It's about a one and a half hour drive from here. It will be our last whole day on this holiday, which is kind of sad.

Highlights of the day:

O’Regan – Universal Studios – THE WHOLE THING. 
McKay – the Simpsons ride. 
Rosie – the photo with the Simpsons and the Return of the Mummy ride. 
Angus – those “Front of line” passes which meant we just had to run around the queue maze rather than spend time waiting, oh and valet parking, you drive somewhere, get out where you want to go and give someone the keys, great.

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