Universal Studios

Again! We already visited the one in Singapore and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. Celebrating our 20 months together (yes , we still celebrate monthly) at Universal Studios was a good call. Plenty of tourists, even a bit overcrowded at some times. But nothing a front-of-line pass can’t solve, to much envy of those without such a pass. I bought the front-of-line passes for my missus, after she finally agreed to drive us from LA to San Francisco (took some heavy persuading).

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Ansku did enjoy our day out, I’m sure of that. Maybe I secretly arranged our trip also a bit for myself however. I heard so many good things about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that it was high on my to-do list. I’m not that much of a Harry Potter fan, she is. I didn’t read any of the books, she did (and bought the latest one already). I did see all the movies however, and did so again right before our trip to Universal Studios. Binge-watching 8 movies, including the Deathly Hallows Part One, all in 3 days, good times.

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These buildings were full of little shops to buy wands, school uniforms, chocolate frogs with collectable cards, and pumpkin juice.

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We started off with a tidal wave of action at the WaterWorld live show, based on the movie Waterworld (1995) with Mel Gibson. We were soaked within minutes of the start of the show, totally worth it.

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Our first ‘ride’ was The Walking Dead experience. A modern take on horror houses, it contained a mix of props and actors. I pushed Anniina to walk in front of me and a group of small teenagers towards a zombie to save myself. Let’s just say I am not a big fan of real-life horror.

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You don’t go to Universal Studios for the big roller coaster experience in our opinion, Disneyland or Six Flags Magic Mountain offer a better alternative for this. Nowadays 3D roller coaster experiences are very common, my guess is that attraction parks can save on space and money as a real roller coaster must be more expensive, not to mention the high maintenance costs. This is an uneducated guess though.

Personally I can easily immerse myself into a 3D roller coaster and have loads of fun, Anniina however has a harder time with it however. The thrill isn’t there just yet. We did see a very good example of the way forward with this; a real roller coaster within a 3D environment: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. As it is heavily forbidden to record the experience, and we didn’t want to get kicked out of the park, we don’t have any footage of this. Google never disappoints for those who are interested.

There were two real roller coaster, The Mummy and Harry Potter -themed, but both of them were shockingly short to be honest. They were still Anniina’s favourite parts.

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A surprisingly fun part of the park was a night tour, that went around and inside the actual Universal Studios. It was a tram-like ride on the actual streets, but they had created real scenes to watch in the movie props, showcasing for example how to create rain or storm for the movies. The ride has been part of the theme park for decades and we enjoyed it more than expected.

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All in all 10 hours well spent. Without the pass we would have not had time to do everything we wanted, whereas now we got to see all the attractions and see all the shows we wanted, with maximum 10 minutes wait in line. So definitely we felt there was return for the money invested.

Even though there were a lot of same themes than in Singapore Universal Studios (like The Mummy, Jurassic Park, and Transformers), only the last one was exactly the same ride. It did not matter however, since I already loved it back in Singapore.

Oh and we are now proud owners of Hermione’s wand (10¾” long, made of vine wood, and possesses a dragon heartstring core)! How is that for not caring that much about Harry Potter.

I was chosen to be the test subject on a Ollivander's Wand Fitting experience
I was chosen to be the test subject on a Ollivander’s Wand Fitting experience
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We might have geeked-out and bought a wand, but these were left in the store

 

Matthias

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