We arrive at Universal Studio at 9am, just as it opened. Might seem early but was a pleasant start after the 7am and 8am starts at Disneyland.
Universal Studios is a relatively small theme park and we easily did everything by 5pm which gave us time to head back to Hollywood and have a look around. This also included ample time out for a good lunch at Flintstone’s Bar-B-Q. It was very good meal with Emily and me sharing BBQ chicken and Molly having ribs. All meals were served with baked potato, corn bread and corn on the cob. So Kerrie helped us eat our meals by consuming the side dishes. Due to the size of the meals we have started ordering only two meals between the four of us. Generally this is more than ample.
As far as the attractions and rides were concerned, in order we did Back to the Future Ride, Revenge of the Mummy Ride, Jurassic Park Ride, Backdraft Show, Special Effects Show, Shrek 4D, Waterworld Show, (lunch), Nickelodeon Blast Zone, Studio Tour, Hollywood Animal Actors, Terminator 2 in 3D, Van Helsing Fortress Dracula.
We only missed the Fear Factor Live show. Planning did give us a very good run with cues, basically no longer than a 10 min wait for anything and by coordinating shows correctly we went from the end Hollywood Animal Actors to start of Terminator 2 in 3D with only minutes to spare.
Most of the attractions are shows that seat several hundred or more which is one of the reasons for no cues. Out of the rides we all loved the Jurassic Park Ride. This was a boat ride around a reproduction of the Jurassic Park scenes. What we all liked about it was that unlike other water rides where the waterfalls and water hoses stop just before you get to them – on this ride they just keep going and you come out very wet. There was no teasing on this ride you were saturated.
The kids also enjoyed a break at Nickelodeon Blast Zone as it had an indoor area with millions of foam balls the size of a cricket ball (sorry in US so should say baseball). There were lots of machines that you could use to load with the balls and shoot at people. Good kids fun.
The other ride we all enjoyed was the Van Helsing Fortress Dracula. This was an old fashion ghost house where you walked through these corridors and people dressed up as spooks jumped out at you. We got almost got caught by a warewolf which finally saw some fear on the face of Emily. No nightmares however just her hysterical laugh once we exited. Molly took satisfaction in telling us all how she was not scared however she was fourth in line and so nothing was a surprise to her, poor Emily, first in line, took it all.
By the way, Emily is the best to go on roller coasters with, she scores the front of the coaster every time. No exaggeration – I thought the Mummy Ride would finally be the coaster that reaches Emily’s fear factor as it went backwards as well as forwards, it was also pitch dark and we were once again at the very front. But no she stepped off yelling LETS GO AGAIN!!!
Out of the shows, Waterworld is the one not to miss plus of course the Studio Tour. The other shows were very good but on par with Movie World on the Gold Coast. You also get very wet at the Waterworld Show.
The girls search for movie stars continued and luckily seems to be satisfied with the cartoon variety. They got their photo taken with the Madagascar characters and with Shrek – although Shrek was running away for cover but had no choice but to stop once Emily chased him down and stuck herself between him and safety.
City Walk, which is all the shops and restaurants leading into the Universal Studios Park is much more up market than Downtown Disney. You could do some good shopping and get a very good meal if you wanted to. We only had a quick stroll down City Walk at the end of the day as we wanted to get back to look around Hollywood.