Exploring Universal Studios Hollywood! [★ ~ CA TRAVEL #7]

December 25, 2015

Day two of our tour consisted of a whole-day stay at Universal Studios Hollywood! I've never been to any theme park overseas so I was very excited for this day!

Here we are!
There were a lot of people already there when we arrived. I cannot remember anymore how we got our tickets, but I believe we got help from that day's tour guide. Before our tour group dispersed, our tour guide just told us the time and place of our pick up later that day. After the briefing, all of the tourists were on their own ways around the theme park!

It's October so it was Halloween season. The theme park transforms to horror theme when night comes. Krishan and I wanted to stay for this but we could not afford to be left behind by our tour bus, which was scheduled to leave at around 7PM later that day. Too bad we were not able to stay longer to try the horror theme. Maybe next time we have a chance to return to California? ;)

Minions! :D

Our first ride was Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. I really like the Minions and so I was curious what kind of ride they have for us inside.

Apparently there's 3D display so we would need to have 3D glasses.

We have transformed into Minions!!
The room before the ride.
Cameras were not allowed beyond this room so I do not have actual clips of the ride. For me, the ride would mostly appeal to children. I enjoyed it though but it didn't give me that 'wow' factor. :P

After the ride, we went to the souvenir shop. There were lots of cute stuff! I was not able to resist them so I bought two yellow mugs, for me and my sister. :D

Just look at these cute Minion slippers! (人´∀`*)

(this was taken later that day, thus the dusk lighting)

After the Minion ride, we walked around to explore more the other rides. I almost squealed when I saw the sign below!!!

I am a huuuuge Potterhead and so seeing this sign made me really excited! As of this writing, they've announced that the official opening of the Harry Potter attraction would be on April 2016! I'm pretty sure I won't be in the US during that time, but learning this still excited me. I hope I could return again to visit this attraction in the future!

Our next ride was The Simpsons Ride.

The ride was much similar with that of the Minions, but I enjoyed this one more. :D

We had a quick lunch after that ride. I will never get enough of the condiments here, especially the unlimited ketchup for my fries! :D

The next attraction that we went to was the Special Effects Show, wherein they explained how some of the effects that we see on Universal Studio movies were created.

(Left) They explained how the illusion of a hand being cut (especially in horror stories) is made.
(Right) They also demonstrated animation of dinosaurs walking.

Next stop - Waterworld!

This one I vividly remember. Their show was so action-packed! The actors do dangerous stunts in this show and I was really blown away by their performance!

There was fire and explosions too!
I'm so happy I got to snap a photo with one of the (handsome!!!) actors there.

A photo posted by Kathleen R (@katalinarosario) on
Next: Studio Tour!

We boarded a train with a screen with video playing. It was Jimmy Fallon talking about the tour. Basically we went around the studios around the park where some famous movies were shot. Also, they showed us how effects like rain, water rushing, earthquakes, and plane crashes were done for a movie. More photos below!

In this neighborhood, they shot some series like Sex and the City.

This is part of Baker Street, which imitates the streets in London.
illusion of rain
plane crash site

There was also the Jaws part (apparently I didn't have any photo or video of it... maybe I was too amazed to actually film the scenes) wherein there's a huge shark around a pond(?) and it just went to attack a boat that was there. It was epic!

There was also supposed to be a King Kong part in the Studio Tour, but our batch was not able to go to that because there were technical problems. To make up for it, Universal Studios gave us a One-Time Priority Pass ticket!

The next ride we eyed was Jurassic Park.

However the waiting time was still 20 minutes, so we went ahead to check the other rides.

While looking around, we saw Bumblebee from Transformers!

Kids taking photos with Bumblebee. Cute!
For this ride, the line was still long, but we discovered a technique! Since it's just two of us, we decided it's okay if we split seats on the ride so we queued in the Single Riders lane. The staff would assign those people in this queue on seats left unoccupied in a row.

The Transformers ride was kinda thrilling! I loved how the people in charge in the ride were so in character. They were cheering us when we went aboard the train. xD

The Revenge of the Mummy ride was one of the memorable rides (next to the Jurassic Park, which I will discuss later). I believe this is where we used the Priority Pass ticket that we got in the Studio Tour. Unlike the other typical rides, this was a pitch-black roller coaster ride with ghostly neon effects with someone devilishly laughing in the background. Krishan and I were in the front of the train. I was screaming all the time. I think I was the only one in that batch that was making noise. LOL. Good thing it's dark and they didn't see me go hysterical.

After The Mummy ride, we went back to the Jurassic ride. We also did the Single Rider technique here, and I was unfortunately assigned to the seat at the front row at the rightmost side. (T_T) I knew I was in big trouble then. I placed my wallet (with my phone inside) between my legs and hoped for dear life that it won't be lost in the way. There was a part in the ride where the log (if that's the right word for it) where we were was being taken up and up and up a path. I knew there would be a great drop at the end. But nothing prepared me for the actual experience! As the log dropped, a huuuuge dinosaur emerged in front of us with it's mouth wide open as if swallowing the log. The drop lasted a few seconds.. and then boom!! Water splashed everywhere. My wallet actually slipped and fell inside our compartment. It got a little wet, but thankfully no damage was done. That ride was sooo intense, but I enjoyed it!

Since we were still wet because of that Jurassic ride, we went to get some quick bite in one of the food stores in the park.

The next attraction that we went to was a bit chill, because we were just going to watch animals put a show! It's called Animal Actors!

I was not able to take any video but I can remember there were cats, eagles, and chickens in the cast. It was pretty entertaining actually!

It was already sunset after this show ended and so we were already just wrapping up and taking photos of things we saw along the area. This was where we took notice of the Halloween props that were scattered throughout the area for the horror theme that night.

These zombie statues were pretty scary actually. I could just imagine what kind of thrill it would be to go to the park later that night. I don't recommend dragging your kids to this place though . I think it will be too scary for them.

Most of them were partly exposed, with drapes hiding the other props in view.

These were the vampire actors of Universal Studios. I believe they went out to promote the horror theme attraction of the park tonight and people were taking photos with them. I am actually fascinated with vampires in general and I loooved these actors! They were so in character. They hissed and showed their fangs while people took photos of them. If only we could have stayed a little longer in the park... *sigh*

That sums up our adventure at Universal Studios Hollywood! We really did have a blast!!! For someone whose a first-timer in the park, this is a huge upgrade from my Enchanted Kingdom (a local amusement park in the Philippines) experience. LOL.

Next stop tomorrow: the happiest place on Earth - Disneyland!!!

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