Today has been an expensive day. Our daily budget doesn’t really stretch to Universal Studio’s (unless we sleep on the street for the night) but we thought we’re probably only here once so let’s go! I think it was around £60 each so quite a bit more than Alton Towers or Thorpe Park. It was worth it though, it’s a great day out and there is loads to see and do there.
The new Fast and Furious ride has just opened so the park was opening an hour early at 7am for early riders. We thought we’d aim for that to make the most of the day so we were up at silly o clock. Forgetting that LA traffic is like London, we didn’t arrive until 8am anyway.
I was shocked how big the park is when we arrived, this place is huge! Each area of the park is nicely themed based on one of their films or series, Springfield was our favourite! The actual area where the rides and attractions are isn’t that big but the grounds of the place must span for acres. They do a lot of their filming in the areas around the park so there are huge warehouse like stages everywhere, there must have been 50+.
The first thing we went on was the Universal Studios tour whereby you just sit back and get driven around the grounds whilst the driver tells you all you need to know. This was really interesting as we got to see the sets they use for different films and TV series. Interestingly. they use the same sets for numerous films. So the typical New York street you seen in one film is likely the same one in another, but probably just with a few trees added via computer!
As part of the tour drove through Wysteria Lane where Desperate Housewives was filmed and saw famous sets where things like War of the Worlds and Jaws were created. It was also nice to see the original cars from Fast and Furious. In between all the sets are the stages where popular shows like Walking Dead and Heroes are filmed.
As part of the tour there was an immersive 4D experience where the bus stopped in what felt like a dark tube. A scene whereby King Kong and a T-Rex were fighting in a jungle was then surrounding us which looked amazing, easily the best thing I’ve seen in 3D. It was a bit of a rocky ride though each time King Kong was thrown at our bus! There was a similar experience at the end of the tour whereby e were part of a Fast and furious scene which was equally as good.
It’s a mixture of rides and shows at the park, so we got to watch a Water World production which was really good (see video below, we got soaked!!) as well as a show which leaked the secrets of how special effects are used. We also watched one where animals from various films performed tricks, obviously I had to hold back from going on stage to steal the cats.
With the exception of the Jurassic Park log flume (where we again got soaked!) and The Mummy rollercoaster, all the other rides were 4D experiences so it’s not the white knuckle excitement of Alton Towers. The audio and visual effects are some of the best I’ve seen though (which I guess you’d expect from a leading film production company) and they made a nice change to typical rollercoasters – but that’s probably my age showing!
Well worth a visit if you’re in LA!