E3 2016 Day 6
Hello everyone! Nic and I are staying in LA for a few extra days after E3 to fit in a mini vacation. While we have visited LA several times, we have never been to Universal Studios, always opting to go to Disneyland instead. This time we thought we would give it a go. Since this was likely the only time we would ever go, we decided to get VIP passes to the park. VIP passes include valet parking, complimentary breakfast, lunch, and water all day, best reserved seats at shows, no line waiting for any of the rides, and special behind the scenes tours. It was so worth the extra money!
I think that the best way to show you all of our pictures and share our experiences from the day will be to break them up into highlights. These are the attractions and events that we really enjoyed today:
- Springfield- Krustyland and the Simpsons Ride
- Jurassic Park Ride
- Transformers Ride
- Revenge of the Mummy Ride
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Studio Tour
Springfield- Krustyland and the Simpsons Ride
This was the fun and bright Simpsons area of the park. While the Simpsons ride was fairly aggressive, we give it a 7/10. This area also included a Krusty Burger, Moe’s, and a Kwik-E-Mart.
Jurassic Park Ride
The Jurassic park area was complete with raptors and jungle foliage. I avoided this water ride because I don’t like steep drops (it had an 8 story plunge). Nic loved it thought! He gives it a 7.5/10,
Similarly to the Simpsons ride, this ride was all motion simulator and 3D screens. In this ride you are an autobot helping to protect the allspark from the Decepticons. We give this ride a 7.8/10. The action sequence was good, but the jarring motions were a bit overused.
Revenge of the Mummy Ride
Designed after the Mummy franchise, this roller coaster ride was mostly in the dark. It includes a jarring start and mummy decorations. We give this ride a 7.5/10.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
This is what I was most looking forward to from Universal Studios Hollywood. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is their most recent addition to the park. I may be biased but I give this area a 10/10, It was very impressive, including Hogsmeade, Dumbledore’s office (inside Forbidden Journey que), Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeydukes, butter bear, owl aviary, Dogweed and Deathcap (herbology), Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, Olivanders, and Hog’s Head. We had a chance to send owl mail, attend a wand matching session, and choose our own wands. Looking at the pictures below is the best way to fully understand how grand this place was.
There were two rides. One small roller coaster called Flight of the Hippogriff, which we give a 5/10, and Forbidden Journey with a 8/10. Hippogriff was a small roller coaster that wasn’t very fun. I skipped the FJ because I was told that it made even people who don’t get motion sickness, feel nauseated. Nic loved it, although he did feel a bit nauseated afterwards and he never gets motion sick. FJ was again a simulation ride with 3D. Even if you don’t want to go on the ride we recommend queuing so that you can see the inside of Hogwarts. It includes a sorting hat and Dumbledore’s Office.
This was by far the best show at the park. It involved a lot of pyrotechnics in a 30 minute short story played out across a water town. We give this show an 8/10 for its wild special effects but slightly corny story.
Our studio tour lasted approximately 2.5 hours and included a drive around sets on Universal Studios property (currently used or retired) and two rides: Fast and Furious Supercharged (5/10) and King Kong 360 3-D (7/10). Both were 3D with simulation movement.
In terms of sets we saw the Bates Motel (couldn’t get photos), plane from War of the Worlds, buildings used by the Mindy Project, Gone Girl, and Home Alone, a sound stage, and prop house. Something we learned that was very interesting was that most of the buildings were made from plaster and had no interiors. The building are made to just look nice from the outside for filming and there are no bricks, concrete or wood. A different location is used to film the inside scenes. An exception is War of the Worlds, where a real plane was purchased and destroyed for the movie.
As part of our VIP tickets, we enjoyed a buffet lunch at Moulin Rouge. It was very good and had a huge selection of food.
For souvenirs I bought Dumbledore’s wand (you had the choice of about 30 different wands, each based on a Harry Potter character) and a Universal Studios Harry Potter t-shirt. We also bought a Christmas ornament for our tree, which is something we try to purchase everywhere we travel.
As well, I have included some miscellaneous photos from our trip such as costume actors and shots of LA from the park.
I hope you have enjoyed todays Universal Studios Hollywood blog. There sure are a lot of photos. Thank you for reading! Until next time!