Oh how cruel am I? I promised that when I came back from E3, I’d have the first of my E3 articles up by June 8. And yet, my first article isn’t about E3 at all! How mean is that? Anyway, we left for LA a day early so that I could take my dad to Universal Studios. We’ve always talked about doing that, so this year we decided to just go ahead and go! (And now you know why I call it “Cary’s E3 UNIVERSE”) So here’s what we did there!
Before you go into the park, they have this neat Universal Studios fountain. Did you know this year is Universal Studios’ 100th Anniversary?
And here’s the entrance. Come on, let’s go inside!
The first thing we did was go on the new Transformers ride. This ride just opened up on Memorial Day weekend, so it’s pretty brand new. We got right on without having to wait in any line, so we were lucky. Later in the day they said the line can get up to 1 to 3 hours! I’ve been blind in my left eye since birth, so I couldn’t see the 3-D effects of the ride, but it was still fun. My inner 9 year old would’ve killed me if I skipped out on the ride anyway. I wish it was based on the old toys and cartoon I remember, and not the new Michael Bay movie take. But this IS a movie studio park after all so I guess that’s why they did that.
Outside of the ride you could get your picture taken with Bumblebee or Optimus Prime. The costumes were really intricate! Again, if I were a little kid, I would’ve HAD to have my picture made with them! Here’s Bumblebee:
And here’s Optimus. The costumes were really tall, too!
After that we went on the Mummy ride. I wasn’t really impressed with it, though. It was just a roller coaster in the dark. And it went a little too fast for my tastes.
However, the next ride we went on was also one of my favorites: The Simpsons Ride! It’s really nothing more than a moving seat theater ride, but the large screen and presentation make it very immersive. This ride is the ultimate Simpsons fan experience. As you wait in line, they show clips from the cartoon, mostly ones where they visit theme parks like Duff Gardens. When you go inside, the rooms have the animated characters talking about the new ride at Krustyland, and Sideshow Bob sneaks in to try and kill the Simpsons! I loved how the ride safety video featured Itchy and Scratchy, so you can guess how that went!
Even the gift shop was made to look like a Kwik-E-Mart! Even the inside, too!
Beside the Kwik-E-Mart was the Comic Book Guy’s store. But it wasn’t an actual shop, just a decoration. But I took a picture of it anyway!
And here’s Homer resting on a park bench.
Next we went on the Universal Studios tram tour. It was actually surprisingly good, and another one of my favorite rides. Hop on board and let’s see some of the things I took pictures of in the backlot.
Here’s a set of fake apartments filmed in various movies and TV shows, like Bruce Almighty.
It’s on the other side so I didn’t get as good of a shot, but here’s the entire Hill Valley and Clock Tower outside area from the Back to the Future movies!
They showed how they used robotics to make cars look like they are flying around in movies like The Fast and the Furious. They even made the cars dance!
Later it looked like we were going to drive into a lake, but they made the waters part like how they did in The Ten Commandments movie!
At another lake, they had the Jaws theme playing. Look out, the pier’s on fire!
Oh no, and here comes Jaws!
Next is a set that looks rather Seussian in nature. Maybe it was from the Grinch movie?
We also drove through the plane crash scene from the War of the World remake.
Here is a shot from the other side of the bus.
That was actually a pretty scary and intense movie.
We also drove past a GIANT green screen that they used for huge special effects in movies. The guide said that recently, Disney rented it out to film scenes from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, such as the mermaid water battle scene.
After the bus tour, we watched a couple of shows. My dad wanted to watch the Waterworld stunt show, and since that was the ONLY thing he asked to do, I made sure we did it! Here’s the stage for the show. I didn’t take any pictures of the action because sometimes you just have to experience things with your own eyes, not through the lens of a camera.
We also watched an animal actor stunt show. It was like any other animal show, but it was neat that they used real animal stars like the Lab from Marley & Me. I took a picture of the dog from the Grinch movie because my mom loves that dog.
There was also a stage show featuring the Blues Brothers. We didn’t watch it, but I did take a picture of the car. The Blues Brothers is one of my mom’s all-time favorite movies.
I took a picture of this snack bar because it had a Flintstones theme. I wonder if they serve those brontosaurus ribs that can tip over your car.
Even the midway carnival game area had a Flintstones theme.
There were some attractions we didn’t go on because we didn’t want to, like the Shrek 4-D and Terminator 2 shows. We didn’t do the Curious George kiddie park area either, but I took a picture of it because I thought it was cute.
Afterwards we ate dinner at Universal CityWalk. Usually we do that every night for dinner after E3, but the hotel room we stayed at this time had such a nice (and reasonably priced) restaurant that we didn’t do that the rest of the time.
Speaking of the hotel, we stayed at a Best Western in Hollywood. But it was very nice for a Best Western hotel. Even though they went a little schmaltzy and touristy with the Hollywood celebrity theme. There were pictures of Marilyn Monroe everywhere in our hotel room, and the elevator had life sized celebrities on the walls. It freaked me out every time the elevator door opened!
So yeah, staying at the Best Western in Hollywood was nice, but if you ever visit, don’t ever rent a car there from Dollar Car Rental. They sucked!
Anyway, that was our first day in LA. Next time I PROMISE I’ll talk about the E3 show! Later!