Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Universal Studios- The Entertainment Capital of L.A

Universal Studios - The Entertainment Capital of L.A - offers a Theme Park, Studio Tour, CityWalk, Cinemas, and Concerts all in one. Universal Studios ticket for a 2-day pass bought over the internet is really worth the money. Moreover it's way cheaper (jauh lagi murah) than the price of an adult ticket at the Ticket Booths. There are lots to see and one day is just not enough to cover all the sites. We picked to go during holiday season so just imagine the crowd, the line, the queue and the waiting time. One thing good is that the waiting time is displayed in front of each ride so visitors can choose the one with a shorter waiting time before queue-ing. But we knew we had 2 days so we were in no hurry.... making the visit very pleasant indeed! Especially with companions like Faridah, Suhair, Sara, Ozzie & Sabrina..The Theme Park opens at 10am but it's advisable to go earlier as queue starts even at the main entrance where visitors take their parking tickets. There are two types of parking : Preferred Parking & Regular Parking. The Preferred Parking is more expensive but it's very near to the entrance of Universal Studios. The Regular Parking is about 10 - 15 minutes walk to the entrance, passing Universal CityWalk - an area of night spots, cinemas, concerts, dining, and shopping. There are no entrance fee to Universal CityWalk and it closes around 12am during weeknights. If you have a van full of excited kids, I suggest go with the Preferred Parking! In case you have to wait for friends at the entrance, take pictures first at The Red Carpet or at The Globe to fill up your time. You'ld be too worn out and too tired to take pictures on your way back. Or your cameras might even be running out of batteries or memory space by then! Those are nice spots to keep as part of your memorabilia of Universal Studio. If you book your tickets on-line, make sure to bring along the printed copies. Nanti tak boleh masuk pulak... :) There are quite a number of eateries at the Theme Park but I preferred to pack sandwiches for the children. Some Theme Parks like Sunway Lagoon ( we went ages ago ) doesn't allow us to bring in food but Universal Studios boleh pulak. And if you bring along a Sponge Bob Square Pants Sipper Cup (alaa...macam botol air tu) you can save on re-fills of air soda. My children dah lama tak minum carbonated drinks so they turned down Zura & NurulSyam's offer to bring one. Zura & NurulSyam - our hosts in L.A, more of the lovely young couple in my next posting .. :) . The Theme Park is made up of an Upper Lot and a Lower Lot separated by escalators known as StarWalk - the bottom picture. You'ld be listening to piped-in music / songs all the way up or down when you take the ride. Listening to music lets your mind forget about the height of the hillside. Certain parts of StarWalk are quite steep (curam!). If I can remember well, Sunway Lagoon also has an escalator down to its wet area, but I don't remember listening to any songs. .. is there? The first thing to do upon entering Universal Studios is to look for the Studio Tour. Get the Studio Map so that you save time & won't get lost! Come to think of it, actually the area is not all that big....... It is just that everyone wants to start their day with a Studio Tour so the line might be long if you delay. The tour takes a bit over one hour, but you wouldn't feel the time passing by as you are comfortably seated on a tram. We go up a tram for the tour so no energy lost there. Just ooohs...& aaahs... and sometimes screams as we were taken through the exploration of Hollywood's most famous backlot (or backstage) in the world's largest working movie studio. Sometimes when we watch movies or TV shows we wonder how do they do that on a busy street of New York. The answer is build a real life 'mock city' ... as in the picture on the right. Siap ada street signs, cafes, shops and all the 'accessories'. We also wonder how speedy car chases negotiate dangerous moves and escape gunshots and explosions.. well, build something 'robotic', and digitally enhance the rest. Like this one on the right used for The Fast and the Furious. The tour also took us to the Clock Tower spot where the eccentric scientist of 'Back to the Future' did his stuff. But only the spot remains with no action. I think they are going to replace it with the Simpson's Ride which is still under construction. One thing for sure, this place updates within a few years with the latest and most popular. We witnessed the eerie smoldering remains of plane crash from the War of the Worlds. Steven Spielberg wanted it to have a real life size jumbo and a few demolished homes on set. We passed through 'Mexican towns'...'Cowboy towns'.. 'Japan'.. 'London'.. Wisteria Lane... Amazed to see such a set can create an image of a whole housing area. Those yang suka tengok Desperate Housewives would know and able to identify the houses. Frankly, I watched a few episodes and also missed many.. Not that desperate to follow the story! The tram even went into water for us to experience a close-up view of a model Ocean Liner & icebergs.. We were exposed to the Special Effects Stages..turned & shaken to experience earthquakes.. water gushing & flames thrown at us..helicopters crashing! King Kong! Jaws! There is even a small lake for scenes that involve water. Kita semua tertipu! Ha..ha..ha.. These days whenever we watch TV shows Atiqah would say... alah, Universal Studios... :)











Wisteria Lane.....


After the Studio Tour we ventured the Theme Park.












One of Universal's Animal Actors..








Happy Feet....






Appolo 13....












Super heroes.... I think...









My hero... I am sure....











The evergreen Incredible Hulk!







Fear Factor Live.. a show on extreme audience participation









Ozzie and Sara as Wilma & Fred Flintstone..







Jaws!....






Not sure whether it's life size... but that is already BIG!..















Scooby Doooo where are you?....he's at Universal Studios!





ooops... I forgot to mention this parking!







...also used in the movies









A scene from the re-enacted Water World






The girls with the one-eyed villain ..






Entah kenapa budak2 suka sangat dengan si Shrek nie... I don't know the story and haven't come around to seeing the DVD that my hubby bought for the girls.. my son says that the story contradicts the myths of fairy tales. Princes are not always heros and not necessarily be good-looking. Likewise the princesses as well.. ooo.. Anyway, Shrek 4D show was interesting enough. Seperti biasa kena queue, and get the unique glasses before entering. Besides the stunning 3-D, there is an extra dimension of feeling... your seat shakes & you feel as though you are riding with Shrek whenever he's being chased and you'ld feel water on you whenever there is a raining scene. All the children loved it... you could see the expression on their faces as they came out. But, I like Terminator 2: 3D. In addition to the 3D film, they have actors on stage acting out the roles of Sarah O'Connor & her son. It was clever of them to interweave reality with the fantasy of film. Siap ada gunshots, explosions, smoke...we also feel the falling sensation... betul2 technology in play.. I was too involved with the action that I didn't have time to take pictures! The Mummy Ride was quite interesting. They psyched you up even during the queue. It is like a roller coaster ride but without the 'loop'. Sara, Anis, my son and me went up on the ride. We were shaken forwards and backwards in total darkness. Only Sara and me were screaming our heads off! My son loves The Simpsons.. dulu2 kalau boleh I would restrict them from watching The Simpsons & Mr Bean. Tapi kalau dah besar panjang nie insya Allah.. they know themselves what is good what is bad, what is moral and what is immoral and what is funny and what is not.... His other favourite is The South Park.. sometimes he would update me with an episode or two and we would laugh together. Kelakar sungguh cerita tu, what's funny is that the story line relates to current events. Tu yang best!






hmmm....




Another ride that's interesting is Jurassic Park... but only Sara and Rizal took up the challenge of dropping straight from an 84 foot vertical drop waterfall.






The masked man called Zorro...









Spider man....


















Universal CityWalk






Studio Map...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You mean you did not take the chellange @ Jurassic Park? If I can do it, sure you can! I did that twice, nothing much ... just a split second and you're done! Maybe next time, kali ni pergi sekali dgn Disneyland and also San Diego ...

Lagi 2 wks apa project?

zidnee 'ilman said...

Nope...I've always said 'why torture yourself' - kenapa mesti seksa diri...but, it would be interesting to see your face upon landing...he..he..he..