Day 14 | Universal Studios

Today was Universal Studio day.

The first thing we noticed about today was how clear it was.  It was the first time we had seen the snow covered mountains in the distance since we had arrived.

Traffic was busy this morning so arrived about 10 minutes after opening.  We had pre-purchased the priority parking which sent us on a serpentine path wandering around the parking areas due to the massive renovations and building working being done.

There are a lot of Chinese folk visiting and we presumed that was due to the Chinese New Year theme going on with Optimus Prime having a show in Mandarin and cherry blossom trees in the main plaza.

The Tour was first up on the trams. Interesting that after all this time they are still doing the Peter Jackson King Kong Vs Tyrannosaurus on the tour. Of the features it really stands up to the test of time.

Next the Minion Mayhem Ride.  This is a simulator that takes you into a day in the crazy life of Gru and the gang as a minion. It’s really fun and the story is funny as well as cute.

We lined up for the Animal Actors where the trainers show off some skills of the birds, cats, dogs and even a pig and a racoon.  Before the show started they brought a dog called Oscar around to meet the crowd.  He was very happy to meet us too.  As people who can’t toilet train a fox-terrier to sit reliably it was impressive to see the canary fly a dollar bill to people in the audience.

There is a lot of action going on in the park as they are building quite a few new sets including a massive Harry Potter World.  

Down to the bottom lot and on the Mummy ride which puts you in a communal jeep for a chase through the dark, scary world of the Curse of the Mummy. The ride is really fast and unpredictable and has some fun with fog, water and darkness.  Once you go all the way to the end it goes all the way back 'backwards'.  They all clap when you return.  Such fun.  You have to get a locker before you can go on this ride and you identify your locker with your fingerprint - except Angus' fingerprint didn't seem to work as it could not recognise him on our return.  We had to wait for the attendant to come and then had to prove the items were ours.

We decided the Waterworld show was next.  This has been here a long time and it was especially enjoyable today when it was a little cold and no one wanted to get wet. Before the show a couple of the stunt actors rev up the audience to cheer motivating them by wetting areas. Some of the Taiwanese weren’t 100% consenting and looked a little indignant. The
amount of pyrotechnics is amazing and the stunts still spectacular.

On the way out of the park we wandered the adjacent shopping walk. We got some fresh doughnuts which were yummy but Angus ate most of them. He said they were tiny. We also trawled through a Hot Topic tee shirt shop and an amazing comic book shop. This is a great place for the popular culture stuff.  Both the boys really enjoyed these shops.

On the way back to our hotel since it was before sunset we drove up to Griffiths Observatory as the day is particularly clear after the haze of the rainy days. Rosie and McKay got out and O’Regan and Angus took the car as there were no parks any near the top. There were some fantastic views of the city and the nearby Hollywood sign.  As we were leaving we saw a Coyote just wandering along.

Dinner on the way home was at Applebees, great food and good value.  It’s another family restaurant / sports bar chain. Like Chili’s they have an ordering pod on the table you can also pay on but they are also very attentive. Three course meal including drinks for four adults for
less than a hundred is pretty good especially with the yummy steak and bottomless sodas.

One of our last nights at the Super 8 so we all went to enjoy the spa before the 10.00pm curfew. It was warm for the the cool night (it is about 15 degC now).  It was so nice to soak our weary bodies and lots and lots of walking.

Tomorrow is our last full day before our adventure ends.

Highlights:
Rosie | So many today but it was great ending the day with a spa
Angus | (but the doughnuts were good)
McKay | Doge shirt, such amaze
O’Regan | The animal show and patting Oscar the dog