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  1. #1

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    Cool The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    031707 St. Patty's day.

    It was on this bonnie Saturday that a wind of change came to our normal scheduele and we were invited to spend the day at Universal Studios with some of our best friends, (Crazylegs, CoaterMatt, Al, MonorailMan, Chernabog, DisneyJim, Capt. Phoebus, Dan and Andy). Dan, Dusty, MonorailMan and I got to Universal Hollywood at about 11:35am.


    Entertainment capital of just L.A.?

    Despite the fact that we chose "regular" parking as opposed to the $20 Priority parking, we still got a great space in the Jurassic Parking lot and quickly made our way to City Walk by way of a series of WORKING escalators.




    MonorailMan and Dan ride down the working escalators

    Our plan was to meet everyone at the globe at the entrance.


    The theater is being refurbed



    A hard rock from Tattoine




    We ran into Al who was at the popcorn place.


    HERE WE ARE!


    Andy, Crazylegs and Capt. Phoebus

    I didn't have time to get a Starbuck's (BUMMER) so I snorted what was left in DisneyJim's cup.



    I can stop anytime I want!

    Once all together we headed into the park. We got in and then Matt escorted our group over to the area where we could upgrade our tickets to AP's. The employees here were lots of fun and gave us a rundown of what to do while visiting the park.


    CoasterMatt really gave us the star treatment
    the entire day. What a guy!



    Dan enters the studios


    Cool Fountain at the entrance.



    "Hold onto yourself!" this wonderful lady warned us about the Tram ride


    Matt then guided our group over to the well hidden AP Processing center. We headed into the park by way of the main entry and were HOUNDED by screaming employees trying to sell us bags and such. There were about 6 of them total.


    Yeah, REAL classy Universal.


    We ran into an old friend of Matt's


    When I tried to steal his flask he got possessive


    The streetmospere was hilarious.

    Here is the wall that a 16 year old kid fell from and died.


    LISTEN TO SIGNS DANGIT!!!


    The fatal 80ft drop


    Dusty tried to fly away but we stopped him

    This is a really interesting set up. It is basically a self serve AP center. After braving the long line you then scan your ticket and take a picture of yourself. You are then guided into a room lined with computer workstations. An employee points you to the first available computer. After scanning your ticket it finds your picture, you enter some info and then you are guided to a desk where your AP is ready. Neat.



    After that ordeal our group was rather peckish. We stopped for a bit of Pizza at Louie's.


    I gave Dusty my lunch order and went out to help Dan hold tables with MonorailMan. The food wasn't top notch but the prices were very reasonable to me.


    Now that we had eaten we decided to take on the signature attraction of Universal Studios Hollywood; The Backlot Tram tour.


    In front of Back to the Future stood a life size Kong
    sculpture that had seen better days.



    Better not go on if you have Motion sickness


    Jay Leno's chin is a major Tram attraction


    Fishy and Chern wer muy exitado


    DisneyJim and Monorailman, not so much


    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Giant Whoopi!


    Aren't you done yet?!?!?!

    We were quickly loaded onto a tram at the disabled loading area. It took a bit of time to get Crazylegs strapped in but it happened. We then pulled around to the regular loading area and let the regular guests join our tram. While waiting for our tour to begin, we noticed a very very handsome tourguide in the Tram next to us.



    Can we have him? For a tour guide?


    Our tour started and we were treated to an onboard video of "A-Lister" Whoppi Gholdberg talking about Universal. These interuptions were only mildy irritating and mercifully short, allowing the Tour guide to do her thing.



    Whoppi are you the star at every theme park?


    Hot Fuzz. Look it up. See it NOW!


    We saw a lot of billboards for Wicked at the Pantages. Is there
    a movie coming? Please?


    The Back to the Future show building



    Ghost whisperer/ Back to the future set


    We then toured an indoor set of New York where SOMETHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG!






    King Kong


    more sets from all kinds of movies.


    The old collapsing bridge attraction


    Dear wandering around the backlot. Weird


    We saw cars from all kinds of movies.

    and then...


    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!




    OMG then. This was the worst. I still could not understand what the hell this exhibit was all about. The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift



    We pull into this outdoor set where there are two cars poised to peel out straight for the Tram. After a few FX tests the fire explodes behind the cars and they accelerate towards the trams.



    The cars stop in mid-air after the hair raising stunt. Propmted by the Tour guide they take a bow.


    The tour guide then asks to see som more moves and the cars begin to dance to an out dated hip hop song. The tram exits the exhibit.





    ¿Como?


    There was a flood where Al got drenched again!



    Poor Al, all wet.

    We parted water...





    CoasterMatt screamed on the Tram tour too.


    The famous court of Miracles where many horror films were made

    Then we traveled into a two level movie set WHERE SOMETHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG!








    Earthquake!

    Then we visited the set of Amity Island where something went horribly wrong... Blah blah blah


    A police diver was swimming in the lagoon


    A shark attacks him


    The pier we are on explodes


    Jaws jumps out to eat us AAAAAAAAAA



    The Best little Whore house in Texas

    During our trip we also visited the exterior set of Desparate Housewives.







    The old Munsters house

    On to other sets


    Bates motel



    War of the Worlds

    Then we went into an old mummy tomb where something went, well, you know.







    The tunnel started to spin


    Then we got out.

    That was it. It was really a lot of fun. The Hollywood Backlot Tram tour is unlike anything else in the world. It is an attraction about 40 minutes long that takes you through some of hollywood's most memorable sets and entertains you with theatrical presentations that are world class (aside from Tokyo Drift and it's dancing cars on a stick) We were done with the Tram trour but still had many many attractions to cover.

    more to come...
    Last edited by Fishbulb; 03-21-2007 at 01:45 PM.
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
    Homer Jay Simpson



  2. #2

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    Re: Fishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    And here are the videos:

    Universal Studios Part 1 (Upper Lot facades, Tram Tour, Desperate Housewives Set, Mummy, Tokyo Drift, Earthquake, and much more). The 40 + minute tram tour is always fun and amazing. It has its good and bad elements, but is an overall gem of an attraction.

    4 minute highlights video:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woYgy0cWPpg[/youtube]

    A short one minute video of the Desperate Housewives set:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61diyDtZkqY[/youtube]

    Full video of the craptacular Tokyo Drift segment of the tram tour.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9sKHDC5qnQ[/youtube]

    Universal Studios Video Part 2 (The Mummy, Jurassic Park, Shrek, Water World, City Walk)

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkb4VIXA3os[/youtube]



    -Dusty
    Last edited by Dustysage; 03-20-2007 at 11:10 PM.
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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Awww, thanks for the cool pics! I haven't taken that tour in years. Its neat to see what has changed and that a lot of things are exactly the same. Glad you guys had fun!
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  4. #4

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Awesome pics.

    Didn't know you were in our neck of the woods. We would have joined you.


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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report



    Great pics.

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    love it so far.. still have season passes to univeral.. will have to go next time we are in california

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    the rumor i hear is that there will be a wicked musical movie. but not for a few years, so the hype of the musical will "wear out".

    but it is in pipeline.

    great TR so far!!!
    kingdom hearts <3er

  8. #8

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    031707 part II

    Okay. We got our passes, ate some italian food and took on the tram tour. It was now time to do my ride chores. I had never done Shrek 4-D or the new Mummy Coaster here on the west coast. Al suggested that since we were right there we should go over to Shrek.


    Nick Splash Zone


    There were so many funny little touches in this attraction.
    Hysterical pot shots at DCA too.





    74 gift shops and 1 ride


    Shrek Preshow The 3-D in this attraction is Digital 3-D and crystal clear. They over used the water effects for things like sneezing and water splashes. But, overall, it was very very good.


    Okay. Now that that was out of the way the majority of our group wanted to go down the hill to the lower lot and try the Mummy coaster and ride Jurassic Park. There was a problem. There are no elevators to the lower lot, only escalators. In order for Crazylegs to get to the lower lot she would have to arrange for a special shuttle van to take her down. This kind of stunk because we didn't want to split the group up. Crazylegs graciously encouraged us thrill seekers to run down the hill to ride our two rides and we would meet up with them in time for the Waterworld show later. MonorailMan, DisneyJim, Chernabog, Dustysage, Andy and I traveled down the banks of escalators with CoasterMatt to the lower lot.




    My GOD it takes forever to get down there.


    If you look carefully you can still see the E.T. 20th anniversary sign on the Mummy show building.


    We put our bags into the FREE (take that Disney) lockers and got in line for the Mummy Thrill Coaster. I had heard the absolute worst of this attraction.


    Furthermore I had ridden the allegedly superior Florida version this past October. Lastly I was sad that E.T. was gon. I loved that ride. This poor ride did not have much going for it in my mind.


    We got on quickly enough and passed through the small themed queue. The loading area was nice enough. We jumped on to the ride, front and second row, and journeyed into a murky tomb.




    Something was wrong. None of the animatronic figures were working. We cruised into the launch show scene and a frozen Imothep stood above us and sentenced us to doom without moving.


    one of the only working effect in the show scenes at the beginning of the ride


    Frozen bad guy


    Scarrabs


    Ghosts


    AAAA THE ECLIPSE!



    The ride ended and we were backed up waiting to disembark from our harrowing adventure. Hmm. We were a little disappointed about the animatronics so we rode again.


    Still nothing. My opinion of the ride? No where near as bad as I anticipated. It was fun enough. I was surprised they would still run an attraction with major set pieces not running though. I would not wait for more than 15 minuted for that ride. It was fun, but pretty undercooked.

    We retrieved our bags from the locker and, leaving Dusty and DisneyJim behind, we went over to ride Jurassic Park. I love this Boat ride. Then again, I love Boat rides. Ha ha, I said Love Boat.




    Capt. Phoebus and Chernabog


    Andy and MonorailMan









    knocked of course


    Raptors were out







    a nice touch Too much fun.

    We didn't even get wet either. Cool! It was time to head back up to the upper lot. We called the gang and told them we would meet them at the entrance to Waterworld for the 5:40 showing.


    After all was said and done Crazylegs decided she would sit WW out and Dan joined her.


    The rest of our group followed CoasterMatt into the arena where he tried to get us priority seating.



    However, a group of employees had beaten us to the Priority section and we were told that our passes that we had were not good for the seating we were looking for. We just took soke seats that were available. The show was still good.
















    Show's over and the park is closed Once the Show let out the park was closed. Bummer that Universal closes so early, 6pm, on a Saturday. We left the park and trotted over to the Saddle house for some vittles.




    We were seated outside right away.
    This was impressive for a large group.


    Green Cornbread? Oh. St Patty's day


    mmmmm good





    After dinner we decided to wander Citywalk.


    Our group pic.



    Al insisted we visit Sparky's and I was reminded of our good friend Pezz Lightyear.






    It was now pretty cold and I was still dying for that wonderful coffee. While the others went to check out EB Games I hopped into line at Starbucks with DisneyJim, Capt. Phoebus and Andy.



    I GOT MY COFFEE!!! and now life was complete.


    CHEERS!

    This was a wonderful day spent with great friends. I really have to thank Crazylegs for putting it together. It is unfortunate that this day was borne from a tragedy. We were there to forget the anniversary of the accident that put Crazylegs in her chair to begin with. Although I had a great time I somehow wish that it never had to happen.


    Fortunately Crazylegs is a fun, bright ray of sunshine who turns the negative into something positive for everyone. We all got together and hung out together. We all seemed to have a wonderful time too. Thanks to CoasterMatt for treating us like movie stars at his home park. And furthermore thank you Crazylegs for such a fun day and for your friendship.


    THE END!!!
    Last edited by Fishbulb; 03-21-2007 at 01:49 PM.
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
    Homer Jay Simpson



  9. #9

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Wow, I could actually smell those pictures.

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Wow, great report you lucky B'strds! Getting CoasterMatt to guide you around Universal is like getting the pope to take you around the Vatican.

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Those are awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing





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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonliner View Post
    Wow, great report you lucky B'strds! Getting CoasterMatt to guide you around Universal is like getting the pope to take you around the Vatican.
    LOL seriously!!! He's so enthusiastic and knows EVERYTHING about the Park, so it makes visiting extra special.

    I had a fantastic time. My very first paychecked job (when I was 16) was working at USH in a photo booth and it's always fun to see how the place has changed.

    That giant King Kong by the Back to the Future ride needs to be detonated and buried under concrete. Man, does it look like arse.

    Nice "end" fishie. Those guys hanging the fabric at Saddle Ranch were hotter than Death Valley in July.
    I am grateful... grapefruit! ~ Bjork (upon winning Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards)



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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Fantastic Report!!!! Was there on Sunday and geez...those cars on a stick *suck* ugh!!! What a waste.
    HEARTS CLUB !!

  14. #14

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Looks like a fun day at Universal!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Love Chernabog's T'shirt!! It's the best!!!

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    Re: The Dustyfishbulb's 03/17/07 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom2dzneboys View Post
    Fantastic Report!!!! Was there on Sunday and geez...those cars on a stick *suck* ugh!!! What a waste.
    haha yeah, Al calls it "Volkswagon on a stick".... it's pretty darn bad. They were going to have a lot more to it, with cars rushing in from either side, and it all got canned due to state government agencies.

    Why Universal THEN decided just to go along with a half-arsed version is beyond me, it shouldn't have been done at all.

    Not to mention -- where in the heck are cars like these used in the movies? It doesn't explain that, but arent the cars in the movies either stunt cars or CGI? where do they have cars on sticks? And why are the cars dancing? Really, it is only slightly more entertaining than Stitch's Great Escape
    I am grateful... grapefruit! ~ Bjork (upon winning Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards)



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