In Hollywood, California. There’s so much to say, I shall put this into two parts.
We went there six years ago and loved it so we couldn’t wait to go back again. We decided to save a bit of money by doing the Universal Studios and Seaworld tickets available from the website. It’s slightly cheaper than buying separate tickets and also means you can do two days at each park. We bought the tickets online and they were sent to us within 4 or 5 days and saved us queuing when we got there. Do some research before you go, so you’re not faced with a map, but not having a clue where to go.
First thing’s first – buy the preferred parking. Everywhere in America charges for parking, so get over any issues you may have and jump in at the deep end by paying $20 for parking there instead of $12. (My parents would walk for an hour to save money on parking) but this will save you a 10-15 minute walk, and when you’re on your feet all day it will honestly be money well spent.
We were going to be at the park all day, so we decided to buy eat all you like tickets too. However, I’m not sure this was worth the money. You’re restricted to only about half the places to eat there, and none of those seemed to open till 11, so we couldn’t have breakfast. When we did finally eat, we ate well and the burgers were very nice indeed – I recommend the Jurassic cafe – serves the same stuff as the diner in the upper level, but had far shorter queues and more choices. I don’t know whether it was due to the jet lag – we went there the day after landing – or due the heat, but after filling up then, we simply weren’t hungry for the rest of the day. We tried to force down another meal before leaving, but we all only managed half of it. We just about ate enough to get our money’s worth, but only just.
Wear comfy shoes.
We discovered that the simpson’s ride was open before the big rides in the lower lot, so we went there first. My youngest was worried about the rides, so we thought we’d do this one to begin with to ease us in gently, thinking it was a nice car ride round a pretend Springfield. Oh no!!! It was blimming lucky we hadn’t had breakfast yet, because it would have been in our laps by the end of this ride. It’s incredible that you don’t leave one small room – it’s one of those motion simulator rides, but it feels so real – and that’s on a haywire rollercoaster. My ten year old started crying from the shock of it, but was laughing by the end because of Homer’s funny comments. The poor kid in front of us though was sobbing. He was about 7 ish; so be warned – it’s not a ride for the faint-hearted. It also throws you around a lot.
If you are pregnant; really don’t go on the rides it tells you not to because they don’t just jerk you about – they throw you against the seat restraints on your stomach.
We did the Jurassic Park ride next, which was brilliant! I loved it, but again, go there early to avoid queues. You can see the big slide in the water at the end, so there are no surprises there, but the giant T Rex at the top is quite scary – so if you have wimpy kids (like we do) make sure you’re sitting next to them so they can squeeze your am off. And yes, you do get quite wet, so cover up phones and cameras.
You have to do the World Famous Studio Tour (TM), but we didn’t see anyone famous this time. Last time we saw Nelly and Kelly filming their pop video (can’t remember its name now, sorry), but we did have to be quiet a couple of times as they were filming Heroes and Desperate Housewives nearby. We saw the whole of Wisteria Lane, which was so much smaller looking in real life, and some of the things we went through were new, so it’s worth going back even if you’ve been before. We actually did the tour both days, and they were slightly different, and the second tour guide was better. It is a real shame though, that so much of it burned down last year – now you don’t get to see the famous square used in many films including Back to the Future, or the London Streets or the New York streets. So I was a bit disappointed about that, but they’re re-building it all at a fairly fast rate, so they may have opened those areas by the time you’re reading this.