on April 7, 2008
Where else in the world could someone see a tribute to their city in there own city? Welcome to Hollywierd. For the low, low price of $60, step into the world of Hollywood and the movie industry. Something that couldn't be seen in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena, or Hollywood. Okay, I'm being harsh; it's different from the real Hollywood. It's what Hollywood would be like if it was a rollercoster.Universal is seperated into two areas; the upper and lower levels. The upper level is where the shows take place. My honest opinion was that this area was very hokey. The streets were a mish-mosh of streets from around the world that had no transition between them. One street was a throw back to the old west. At night there were actors hanging out of the windows, dressed from different eras, joking with people on the streets...it wasn't funny. On the upper level the attractions include Terminator 2: 3-D, Universal's Animal Actor's Show, The Blues Brothers, House of Horrors, the Nickelodeon Blast Zone, Shrek 4-D, the Studio Tour, and Waterworld. I didn't spend much time on the top level because there was little the intrested me. My friend, however tricked me into going to the Haunted House. First and foremost I HATE haunted houses. I really do. Once inside the sets were really elaborate and feature some of Universal's classic monsters like Frankenstein's monster, the Werewolf, and Dracula, and parts of actual sets from various movies. The haunted house is a walk through attraction, where actors jump out to scare you...I hate when people jump out at me. I'm a chicken and I'm not afraid to admit it. I attached myself to my friend, shut my eyes at the parts I knew I would scream at and made here lead me through several areas. One tip: the actors will jump out at the people they know are scared. Lucky for me I had a group of screaming girls infront of me, so they took most of the torture while I ran by. The second level is where the best rides in my opinion are. However to get to the lower level in the most mind numbingly long escalator in the history of man kind. Wait let me rephrase that it's a series of escalators that make up what Universal calls the Starway. This is the single area that makes me never want to go back again. However, there is a small platform between one escalator and the next where you can get a beautiful view of the Hollywood hills and Studio City. The other exciting part is that from here I got to see into the actual backlot of Warner Brother Studios. Ha, ha, take that Universal.The attractions on the lower level are superior. The Jurassic Park ride was great. The ride is set up like the movie. Tourists are taken into the park when something goes wrong. Oh no! The Dinosaurs are loose! Once the boat goes into one of the buildings is when the real action starts. The T-Rex comes out of the ceiling just as the boat makes and 84 foot to safety. The park claims that everyone will get soaked, but it wasn't the case each time I was on it. The boat sits six people across and i was in the back each time; however my friend who was next to the side got wet each time, but that's what she gets for making me go into the haunted house.The Revenge of the Mummy ride was pretty fun as well. The actual ride itself isn't glamourous, but it starts out like any rollercoaster, but then a curse is put on you and the rollercoaster shoots off backwards. It comes to a halt at a wall, when smoke fills the room and suddenly everyone is back where they started. This ride gets an A for creativity.My overall disapointment was the lack of updated movies. Most of the shows/movies that were incorporated throughout the park were older movies that were good, but not good enough to base a ride on (ex, Waterworld or the Mummy). Throughout the park there were a lot of referances in the scripts of the actors and in the videos that were shown that refrenced movies from the early 90's. Every so often one of the newer movies were thrown in, but it really gave an overall feel that the park executives didn't care about the quality of the park, and half assed attempts to update it. Overall Universal isn't a bad theme park, but it's not something I would recommed, especially if you are visiting LA for less then a week. Spend your money else where. If it's the magic of Hollywood you want then go to Hollywood. Any given day you can get tickets, for free to show tapings, or go to downtown LA on the weekend. They are always filming commercials, movies, or TV shows. Just hang out on Fig Street or Flower St near the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
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