5/19/09 - Universal Studios

This is somewhat a followup to the previous post - My first trip to a Disney Park. Although Univesral is not a Disney park, it all has to do with the same week of vacation.

There aren't really any good stories from this park, Cristi and I mainly had just a great time, but I figured I could give some quick reviews on some of the attractions/rides we went on for those that might be planning a trip there in the near future. I will say this, apparently a Monday in the first part of May is the perfect time to be at a Universal Park. We did not stand in line for more than 15 minutes for a ride, and that was only for E.T. The rest of the time, we pretty much walked up, went through the queue line and immediately got on the ride. It was wonderful. No fast pass required for us.

First of all, we got to eat at the one and only Burger King Whopper bar which wasn't all that exciting. We ordered what we normally would for breakfast, drink some nasty coffee and that was about it.

The first attraction we hit was Shrek 4-D, we wound up seeing this twice during the course of the day and HIGHLY recommend this. The 3-d was excellent, making me actually move in an attempt to miss things that I thought for sure were going to hit me. The fourth dimension of interaction was also pretty cool with moving seats, splashing water and bursts of air.

The next and worst attraction we went on was the Simpson Ride. We waited about 10 mintues for this crap and based on the length of the queue lines available, you might have to wait for as long as over an hour and more. Not only did it make us both sick from the motion and screen, the actual content of the ride was pretty crappy. Too much too fast prevented you from ever really knowing what was going on.

Because we were sick, we skipped over the MIB ride. After our trip to Hollywood Studios (more on this in a future post), I wish we would have gone back and done this.

Next were the Jaws ride and Disaster (previously known as Earthquake). Jaws was a pretty big let down. If we had not been the first people in line for this attraction and I waited more than 30 seconds, I would have been upset. The only upside was a big fiery explosion at the end. Everything else about it was lame. The same can be said for the Disaster attraction except it was a large gush of water instead of a fiery explosion. The lead in to Disaster was pretty cool though with riders being part of a movie shoot directed by a hologram of Christopher Walken (who might be one of the greatest comedy geniuses of our time).

From this point, we made it over to the Twister attraction. Once again, the lead in to this ride made it seem like you were really in for a treat. Unfortunately, I did not feel like the ride itself lived up to the hype. They could have made the effects a bit more intense and possibly a little longer. It was fun and I'd do it again, but don't expect to be blown away (pun intended) with excitement.

When we passed the Jimmy Neutron ride, we made it all the way past it and decided to turn back around. It was still early in the day and we didn't have many more things to see so we figured we'd go ahead and see what it was all about. I wish we would have kept walking. Just like the Simpson's ride, I don't really know what was going on, but was only concerned with not throwing up on the kid sitting next to me. I did feel really bad at the start of the show as they had to ask one guy to leave the ride because he was too fat.

As we made our way through the park we stopped at the Terminator show/attraction. It was also 3-d and had live actors as well. Some of the effects were pretty cool, but for the most part I would say it was average. The best part of the show for me was how they included smells in the act. I guess they pumped "perfumes" into the theatre during different times to give the feel of actually being there and smelling the gun powder and the burning rubber.

The next thing we came across was a Horror Makeup Comedy Show. The best part of this portion of our trip was that as we were walking in, the usher snuck out a fake hand and grabbed Cristi's arm causing her to shriek. She was very scared and it made me laugh a lot. The show itself was pretty lame. The guy and his assitant were funny, but I guess I was expecting a little more information on the way they do makeup in horror films. Not a waste of time, but I wouldn't do it again given the opportunity.

Next on our list was to make it to the E.T. ride which turned out to not only be the longest wait we had all day but also about the only ride worth that long of a wait. Some parts were pretty cheesy and showed their age, but for the most part, it was really cool with the bike style seats and just the way things were presented.

We bought the park jumper thing so we could go to both parks. It was only an extra 20 bucks or so and we were wanting to see the Spiderman attraction at Islands of Adventure so we figured it would be worth it. We were correct and recommend both parks in one day if at all possible. Now, to save time and give me something else to write about, I will be posting another follow up that will have all the Islands of Adventure reviews. Look for that in the next couple of days.


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