Hello, my name is Bongo, but you can call me Chris. The date of this post is Wednesday, the 23rd of November, 2011, 10:03 PM. (Although I will probably post this in the morning of the next day just because I'm so tired and may not be able to finish it all in one sitting) I just got back from Universal Studios Hollywood, and boy do I have a story to tell YOU. I am still very extremely tired from today, so if you spot any errors, please excuse them. I will try to fix as many errors as I can, so sit back, relax, and enjoy, and please note that this is all true, no lies. I wish I could share you photos, but I can't because, well, they're not on MY camera, so I will just assume that you take my words for granted
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The time is 9:46 AM. Universal Studios Hollywood is an hour's drive. I have been an Annual Pass Holder for over a year now, and since I was on a Thanksgiving Break, I decided to head out to Universal again. I put on my Universal Studios Hollywood T-Shirt on, wrapped the pass around my neck, packed water and extra clothes into a backpack, as well as a jacket, and then I set off for the hour and a half drive into Los Angeles.
The temperature's high would be around 68*F with little to no clouds in the sky. The smog levels would be low but the marine layer might roll in some time later. Perfect weather to go outdoors, or at least that's what the radio told me on the way over there. An hour and forty five minutes later, after a slight hold back on the freeway, I got to the parking garage, showed them my Annual Pass and got free parking, parked in the Curious George Parking Facility, second floor, section 2. I got out and headed for the elevator. I got lucky because the elevator was about to leave me, but the people inside were nice enough to hold it for me.
THAT was when the magic happened.
In that elevator was a family of 5; A father, around his 40's to late 50's, a mother around the same, two daughters around 13 to 15, and a son who was about 8. I stepped into the elevator, and I had no room for my body to face the door, so I had to stand in a corner with my backpack to the wall to make room. I guess the father noticed that I had a T-Shirt and an Annual Pass, so he must of thought that I knew much about USH (Which I did), so he asked:
Father - "Excuse me, have you been here before?"
Me - "Uh...yes, I've been here before."
Father - "We are new around here, can you show us the way to Universal Studios?"
(I will not use their names since I don't have their permission. Plus, I think it's rude in my opinion)
I could of just easily told them that all they really need to do is walk down the Universal City Walk until you hit USH, since it's pretty much just a one way walkway, but if there is one thing I knew about Universal, and theme parks in general, that no matter how straight a path can be, people still get lost. I was going to be polite, so I said:
Me - "Here, I'll show you the way to Universal Studios. People get lost easily, so stay close."
Father - "Okay, we'll be close at hand"
So we started walking down the City Walk, when the father comes up to me and then asks:
Father - "You've been here before right? Do you have any tips on where to go first?"
I knew the Studio Tour get's packed real quickly, and that some people can get lost on their way there, so I said to him:
Me - "The Studio Tour. I definitely reccomend that because it gets really crowded as time passes. I'll show you guys the way over there."
They got out their pre-paid tickets and I got out my Annual Pass, and we walked through the gates and I guided them to the Studio Tour, but not before stopping by that grand view of the studio backlot and Warner Bros. Studio on that balcony before the escalators. They really seemed to like the view, and then we moved onward. Then we got to the line. I could of easily of just gone through the other line because I had that special Annual Pass, but I decided to go with the family. Good decision too, because we actually went faster than the other guys in the special line. (Why am I blanking out on the name?)
Anyways, while in the line, I entertained them with fun little trivia nodes that I picked up here and there, and they were all giving a hearty laugh at how much I knew (Thanks to certain web sites). One of the daughters then jokingly said:
Daughter - "Hey! It's almost as if he's a free tour guide!"
Surprisingly, I went quiet for the rest of the time in line; they didn't seem to notice as they watched the TV monitors up above. I began to ponder if I should stick with this family and give them a tour while providing them interesting facts or let them go free reign. They told me they were from Iowa, so this would be a once in a life time experience for most of them, and I know that when a once in a life time experience is shattered due to even the slightest bug in the system or a big flaw in the plan, the impact is ever lasting, and can sometimes lead to a little sadness that things didn't go out right.
In real life, I love to help people and make them laugh. I partake in community activities and do all sorts of stuff. So making people have a great day was a talent of mine, I guess, but this was a very VERY delicate case I was working with. if something went wrong, it wouldn't only leave an imprint in their minds, but also mine. I would have that scar that I had the power to avoid whatever got in the way and ruined things, but I pressed forward anyways. Did I mention I get a little paranoid when it comes to people judging me? Being the better man and wanting the family to have one of their best and happiest moments in life, I decided to become their free tour guide.
We grabbed our 3D Glasses and boarded the very back of Car 2 (Thanks for the tip Sam! I always boarded the FRONT of Car 2, but the BACK provided a much better view!) and we were off. The tram we took had a squeaky Car 4 when it made sharp turns and a less than par speaker system. Although this irked me, the family didn't seem to mind, which kind of relieved me. Anyways, the tour began and we started heading down the road with the movie posters posted up on both sides of the road and head past the giant sound stages. Although our tour guide was very good, he kind of missed some information about Sound Stage 28 (The Supposedly 'HAUNTED' Sound Stage). Luckily, I've been on the Studio Tour more times than a man has slipped on a banana peel in a cartoon, so I know how the script goes, so I told the family about the haunted Sound Stage 28, as well as other stuff that our guide missed such as the other Sound Stage with a large pit in it that can be filled with water or other stuff.
Then came the Metropolitan Sets, and BOY were we lucky. They were shooting a music video on the set, so although the inside streets of New York were closed off, the family got to see all the equipment and crew running around and such. We then passed by Courthouse Square dressed for Ghost Whisperer. The father asked where the columns and famous clock and lion statues were. Since our tour guide didn't say anything about that, I told him that those parts are interchangeable so different movies can be flexible with how they want their courthouse to look like. The same thing applies for the walls on buildings and so forth.
Making it around Courthouse Square, we stopped near the King Kong 360 3D Building behind some buildings of New York Street, waiting for the tram inside to finish. Luckily for us, the actors who were doing the shooting were sitting in an area right next to us. They were doing a disclosed music video, but it was still very interesting seeing the actors, crews, and techies running around trying to get some work done. In my opinion, it's a really wonderful moment to take a step back from the movie screen and see what goes on behind the scenes, watching what people do when the camera is NOT rolling. I could see that look of awe and wonderment in the family's eyes, and that really made my heart grow ten sizes that day.
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Due to how tired I am and not wanting to lose the momentum I stopped there, I will take a break and post this and update in the morning, as well as answer any questions and comments. It's now 1:03 AM. I need some rest >_<