Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 - California Day 3 (Universal Studios Hollywood)

Monday, September 11, 2017. Today, we visit Universal Studios Hollywood for the day and then drive down to Anaheim in preparation for visiting Disney for the next two days.

Breakfast was the same as the previous day.

Hollywood Downtowner breakfast
We made it to Universal Studios Hollywood at around 8:10am or so and we parked which cost us $25 and there weren't that many cars yet at the time.

Universal Studios Hollywood!
Walked through the CityWalk area which is where all the shops and restaurants are. There is a security check that you need to go through where they check what you bring in and we got in by around 8:40am. Doors opened at 9:00am and we did the Harry Potter area and finished by 9:40am. Unfortunately, there was a pause due to an issue elsewhere which caused a technical problem where the screen that we were at stopped displaying the video even though everything went back to normal. However, the ride (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) seemed very interesting except for that issue. It is a ride where you are in a pod and it moves around with screens that simulate the experience. We finished the ride, wandered the Harry Potter area (which is pretty small) and started to head to the Simpsons area where there was already a line up for when the rest of the park which opens at 10:00am. We skipped the Wizarding World of Harry Potter since we weren't interested in the wand. We did the Flight of Hippogriff which was pretty short and skippable.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Harry Potter
Did the Simpsons ride and we finished by 10:20am. This was a cool ride. You are in a pod and there is a very large screen in front of you and the pod that you are in will move based on what you see on the screen.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Simpsons

Universal Studios Hollywood - Simpsons with the Lard Lad Donut!
Did the Studio Tour next and it was a neat experience. It lasts about an hour and talks about where shows are filmed and a bit about how it works. You will also experience the King Kong 360 3D ride and the Fast & Furious - Supercharged parts here as well. Both were actually quite interesting, makes me wonder how it is done. Worth the ride in my opinion if you don't have a time limitation.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Studio Tour (look it's Jaws!)
We made it to the lower level area to do Transformers next which was at around 11:30am. I was a bit confused about the ride itself since I didn't understand the story, but it is a simulation ride again where you are thrown around with a screen in front of you. I wasn't too keen on this ride after the good ones before this.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Transformers
Did the Mummy next which was another odd experience. I think it could've been done a lot better since it just ends with little resolution to the story. Skippable.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park was next which is a water ride, however, you don't get really wet unless you are on the outside. It was cool to see the animatonics, however, there isn't much to this ride.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Three Broomsticks (bangers and mash on the left, beef stew on the right)
Lunch was at Three Broomsticks in Harry Potter land, and it was surprisingly decent. We ordered the Bangers and Mash along with the Beef Stew and the portions were actually pretty good as well for the price. Everything is reasonable priced except water (just make sure to bring a water bottle or two, there are plenty of water fountains here).

Universal Studios Hollywood - Despicable Me
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem was next and it was another simulation ride (seems to be the trend here). It was a fun experience especially if you are a fan of the movies or the characters. Otherwise, it might be a bit lost on you regarding what minions are and what is happening.

Did the Special Effects show and I would say that this is also skippable. It was neat to learn and see some of the special effects, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary in my mind.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Waterworld
Waterworld was next and this was a very cool show! I didn't know what to expect, but this was my surprise of the day. We were done by around 4:30pm and we decided to do Harry Potter one last time and we fit in Walking Dead which reminds me of Screamers, before we had to leave at 6:00pm. Basically, we were able to cover all the rides that we intended to do in one day! From 9:00am - 6:00pm.

Universal Studios Hollywood - The Walking Dead
We drove through Los Angeles to our hotel (Eden Roc) in Anaheim and we got there just before 8:00pm. Tiffy's was our dinner spot which is next to the hotel where we got 10% off with our door key. We ordered the meatloaf and the chicken fried steak. The food was average.

Tiffy's - meatloaf on the left, chicken fried steak on the right
Tomorrow, we head to Disney California!