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  1. #1

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    A few notes from Oct13 daytime visit to U Studios Hollywood

    Even though we didn't get into the park until 10am, an hour after opening, there was only about a three-minute wait to get into our Transformers vehicle after our three-day, 70-mile hike from the park entrance to this attraction. Excellent attraction, and I'm not a Michael Bay fan. I wish Harry Potter were gong to built at this far end of the park. I think many guests get sidetracked on their long march to the new ride, so that I've never had to wait long by making that our first attraction of the day.

    Jurassic Park had a few dinosaurs malfunctioning. One was being worked on.

    The ParaNorman exhibit was too short--much smaller than DCAs current Frankenweenie exhibit. (
    It's in the Universal/NBC Museum near the Transformers attraction.) If I had encountered it by chance, I might have been a little bit impressed, but this tiny display was lightly promoted and my expectations that were not met.

    We made the mistake of entering the line on the right to the lower level area entrance to The Simpsons attraction. I swear there were under a hundred people ahead of us down there and we waited over 40 minutes to get on the attraction in just this area. I'd guess from the next (90% empty) final big waiting room that they didn't have many of the vehicles operating. Also, It's good that they have some entertaining Simpsons clips showing while we wait, but the screens look like they are only about 37 inches, with weak sound in an area with acoustics that amplify guests' talking, and the screens are too few if they are going to stick with 2005 sized screens. C'mon, NBC/Universal is in the TV business. Maybe they don't want to help a Fox program. Add more screens or get 80" ones. (Available at Costco.)

    Had an excellent lunch at Karl Strauss in Universal City Walk, then saw "Frankenweenie" at the AMC complex there. (
    When this opened it was the largest movie multi-plex in the world. btw.)

    Went back to the park and took the excellent studio tour with a smart & charismatic guide. A garbage container in the middle of the waiting area was so badly overflowing that many, many, many cans and bottles were spread out on the ground three feet away from it on two sides. I think it was the biggest mess I've ever seen at a theme park.

    I still like the Terminator show.

    Universal has some great character actors! When I told Spongebob we didn't want to get a photo and that my daughter just wanted to meet him, he celebrated by dancing with her for at least a minute.

    From about 20 feet away I thought Frankenstein's monster looked only OK, but when we got close I noticed how well his eyes blended in with his mask. Good make up! I'd like him to talk a little. On SNL, Phil Hartman had a blast with the challenge of using short sentences like, "Fire bad!"

    My first reaction on seeing
    Count Dracula was disappointment because he looked about three decades younger than the excellent, regal Count we'd met before. But this new guy was hired for his most excellent social skills, great charisma, and his ability to endure freaky contact lenses. He was eloquent and hilarious, while staying in character. The only face character I've ever encountered who was as good was a Cruella at Disneyland about three years ago. My daughter likes attention, so when my wife dressed her in a red Mickey Mouse Disneyland shirt, I expected we'd get some fun attention. Dracula provided it with his repulsion at "that rat" on her shirt, but said he loved the color since blood stains wouldn't show. Like Spogebob he seemed energized and eager to spend more time on us because we didn't want a photo. So thanks, Universal, for employing such a great actor who could improvise so cleverly while still being convincing as the count. Where does Universal Hollywood find such gifted and hardworking actors?! (Just kidding.)

    The park wasn't too crowded today, possibly because many people probably didn't want to go on a day when it closed at 6pm. But everyone stayed till the closing and there was a long
    Main Street after the fireworks bottleneck. With the always-larger Saturday night crowd, everyone emptying out of the park, and many thousands trudging toward the Halloween Horror Night event, Universal City Walk was a perfect storm of folks. It was raining man, women and children. All that pushing and shoving (I hope I didn't hurt anyone.) Actually it was a nice crowd despite that
    1. stupid park guest wearing a rude, unfunny T-shirt of a photo of someone giving the finger,
    and
    2. that angry young cell phone conversationalist in the park yelling the F-bomb into his phone,
    and
    3. that trashy teen yelling that word in City Walk.

    But that was only three out of 20,000 people. As an uptight prude with too much time on my hands, I look and listen to that kind of thing so I can report my moral outrage to you. I might have heard even more F bombs in a nice part of London, unfortunately. Or coming from one of my own foul-mouthed fictional characters.

    I saw $69 annual passes at Costco. We have one more visit left on our now old Costco 5 for $59 cards, but after that Chrstmas season visit, we might wait A FEW YEARS to visit till our California Hogwarts is completed.

    After Universal we took a scenic drive on Mulholland Drive. There is an entrance SW of U. Studios across the 101, though we opted instead to have dinner at Jerry's Deli on Ventura Blvd., then took Coldwater Canyon from Ventura Blvd to get up to Mulholland.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 10-14-2012 at 09:55 AM. Reason: to correct many late-night typos

  2. #2

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    Re: A few notes from Oct13 daytime visit to U Studios Hollywood

    Great report on your visit to Universal. I haven't visited Universal in the daytime since May Not counting Horror night.

    By the way, did they get rid of the all you can eat pass or is it still going on?

    I will be visiting there again when their Christmas season starts. After that, I too will wait until Potter land open.
    Last edited by SoCalbma; 10-14-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalbma View Post
    Great report on your visit to Universal. I haven't visit Universal in the daytime since May Not counting Horror night.

    By the way, did they get rid of the all you can eat pass or is it still going on?

    I will be visiting there again when their Christmas season starts. After that, I too will wait until Potter land open.
    AYCE was discontinued this past Memorial Day.

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    Re: A few notes from Oct13 daytime visit to U Studios Hollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalbma View Post
    Great report on your visit to Universal. I haven't visit Universal in the daytime since May Not counting Horror night.

    By the way, did they get rid of the all you can eat pass or is it still going on?

    I will be visiting there again when their Christmas season starts. After that, I too will wait until Potter land open.
    Thanks, Socalbma! I think the all-you-can-eat pass died during the summer. Given the quality of the park's food, I strongly suggest exercising by walking to the many City Walk restaurants. There is a wide variety of places to eat (again, Karl Strauss is my favorite), including an easy-to-miss collection of fast food restaurants on the second floor including Flame Broiler, Pink's, Taco Bell, and Tommy's burgers. There is a Yogurtland and a Jamba Juice on the lower level too.

    Since I park in the Jurassic Park section, this nice walk through this interesting shopping & eating area is always on the way to my car.

  5. #5

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    Re: A few notes from Oct13 daytime visit to U Studios Hollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by jcruise86 View Post

    Since I park in the Jurassic Park section, this nice walk through this interesting shopping & eating area is always on the way to my car.
    For the last few years as an annual pass-holder I have never park at Universal Studios Parking, I always park my car at the Metro subway parking lot for free on Lankershim, if the parking is overfilled, I would park in the overfilled parking lot located next to Ralph Market. I would then take a free tram ride up to the entrance, most of the time I would walk up to get some workout.

    So instead of paying 15 bucks for parking, I would use that 15 bucks in the park.
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  6. #6

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    Re: A few notes from Oct13 daytime visit to U Studios Hollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalbma View Post
    For the last few years as an annual pass-holder I have never park at Universal Studios Parking, I always park my car at the Metro subway parking lot for free on Lankershim, if the parking is overfilled, I would park in the overfilled parking lot located next to Ralph Market. I would then take a free tram ride up to the entrance, most of the time I would walk up to get some workout.

    So instead of paying 15 bucks for parking, I would use that 15 bucks in the park.
    I once took the subway to Halloween Horror Nights, which separated me from Sat. night drunk drivers, but also separated me from the Bill & Ted show. (The subway that stops below Universal doesn't run late into the night, so I had to leave HHN & the Micechat group early.)

    The trains should have some trains stop at Universal and in Hollywood late at night on Friday & Saturday nights, even if they are infrequent.

    And how many decades will it be till Anaheim has what Tokyo & Paris has? A train bringing thousands of guests very close to the Disneyland entrance? I predict 4 decades.
    (Or about four years after there is a train from Union Station to the Las Vegas strip. But I rant and digress.)
    Last edited by jcruise86; 10-17-2012 at 09:48 AM.

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