Universal Studios Theme Park

The park opens at 10am and I was there first thing. It was a little bit of a wait in line to get a ticket, but eventually I got in. $61 gets you entry for the day as well as an annual pass, so you can go back as much as you want.

I started out by going on the Back to the Future ride because the line wasn’t that long. The ride was simulator where eight people get into the car and chase “Biff” back through time in front of a giant screen.

From there it was the animal actors show, there were birds, dogs, cats, monkeys, pigs and all sorts of other things. My favorite was the orangutan and it was also interesting to see how they get birds to look like they are actually flying using the wind machine and green screen.

After the animal show I headed down to the lower lot and went on the Jurassic Park ride. It was pretty much your standard water ride where you cruise through scenery for a while and then splash down a huge slope at the end. I got soaked through and with the weather being on the cooler side today I was walking around with goose bumps for a bit. Luckily, my next stop was a behind the scenes look at the movie Backdraft. It culminated in a live action show of the chemical warehouse scene, the roaring flames were tight up close and that soon warmed me up.

The Mummy ride was closed down, so I headed back up to the main area of the theme park and had some lunch. Then, it was onto the Waterworld show, a live action stunt show much like the police academy one at Movie World. The show was very impressive, although I got wet again. I managed to get some pretty good photos I think though.

To end the day at the park I went on the behind the scenes tour though the sound stages and sets on the lot. You stay in the tram carts the whole time, but because nothing was filming today we got to go through every area and got a really close up view. The photos I took make the sets look far more realistic than they appeared in person. The nicest set was the Desperate Housewives street, but even that had chipped paint and broken lamp posts, the managed to pull it off somehow on TV though. The outdoor sets that you see in the photos are still very active and have just been used in movies like Pirate of the Caribbean 3 and Evan Almighty. The tour was definitely the highlight of the park; it lasted about 50 minutes and was very extensive. The tour guide said that you can often catch a glimpse of celebrities on the tour, but with nothing being filmed today that wasn’t to be.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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