Last Saturday the family and I headed out to Universal Studios Hollywood. It's about an hour drive from where I live. I guess when you live in Southern California everything is about an hour away. You can hit the beaches and drive to the mountain slopes or near by deserts in the same day.
My mom had her yearly company picnic there and this year we decided to take advantage of the discount entry price. As close as the park is, neither of us have been there in years. I think my mom mentioned that she hasn't been since the 70's, my last visit was in the late 90's. So yea, we were all over due.
Being someone who likes to fly at the seat of her pants, I found that making a few plans were necessary in this situation. Knowing when the park hours were, when lunch hours were, and what attractions we wanted to see the most was key to a successful day.
Adam and I when we first got there. We tried to sneak in a pic before the crowds got too overwhelming for a decent one. Look at the women in our shot, I'm loving her white maxi and hat.
The Bates Motel, from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
Adam got a great photo of Jaws trying to gobble up tram passengers.
I couldn't stop laughing when this picture was taken. I tried to get my leg in his mouth, but I was too short to do it.
Remember when the Simpson's movie came out and they turned a few 7/11's into the Kwik Mart? They had the gift store facade just like it. On the side is Bart tagging El Barto on the building.
From these photos you would think we were the only ones there. It was early morning and the lines were nil. My super plan worked, ha ha. The Mummy ride was a lot of fun, an indoor roller coaster with the speed, twists, and drops that you expect.
Walking back through Universal City Walk. It was the end of the day. We were all beat and sick of the crowds. Very successful day I do say so myself.
These are only a couple shots out of a couple hundred. Adam, the shutter bug. If you are planning a trip soon to Universal, take the time to make your day plans beforehand.
Here was my itinerary:
1. Locate the storage lockers.
It's worth tucking away the sweatshirt and other items you don't want to be lugging around all day. You are able to access it through out your stay at the park.
2. By pass the recommended itinerary from the park guide and map.
It had the park goers taking the tram ride first. The tram ride is 55 minutes long. If you have been sitting in a car that long just to get there, do you want to ride in a tram that long so soon after? Besides it'll be packed, there are a ton of people that follow the guide.
3. Make your way to the Simpson's Ride.
Along the way take photos of Jaws, movie cars, and other stand alone sights.
Posted sign of wait for the ride was 10 minutes. It was much less.
4. Head down to the lower lot.
There you will find the Mummy Ride, Jurassic Park, NBC Universal Experience. The experience is a walk through of props, set designs, mechanical drawings, costumes of legendary films.
We were able to basically walk through the turnstiles and hop on the rides.
5. Grab lunch.
My mom's company had a section to themselves that opened at 11 a.m. We had enough time to walk through and enjoy what looked like a European street, the Coke Soak water works, and the hill side view of Malibu.
6. Take the tram ride.
Enjoy riding through the back lot of the studios and get up close to all the different movie sets. The King Kong 360 3D was amazing and worth the tram ride all it's own.
7. Time for shows.
When you enter the park they hand you a list of show times. Shows run all day and seating is first come basis, figure out the ones you don't want to miss. We caught the Special Effect Stage, that my brother wanted to see. It was entertainingly funny and informative. After that we checked out the Terminator 2: 3D.
It's a great closing for a perfect day. With packages in hand (don't forget the things you left in the locker) you can head out to the parking lot and off to home you go.