Monday, 28 January 2013

Universal Studios

Universal Studios was our first stop on our Christmas 2012 holiday. As we missed it out the previous year we were really looking forward to visiting this time around. We were lucky that it was only 15 minutes walk from the hotel, however it took about an hour as we headed off down the wrong road. Anyway we were soon put on the right direction as we finally reached the entrance.

Like all theme parks there is a bag inspection prior to entering the park. Universal Studios is divided into three section, City Walk (which is free to enter), Island of Adventure and Universal Studios. As the weather was a bit cool and drizzly we decided on Universal Studios and we would go to Island of Adventure later on, during the holiday, hoping the weather would improve as it is full of rides.

Universal Studios is split into six themed areas, these are:

Production Central - This area is close to the park entrance and includes Shrek 4D, which is a short move and Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket which is a large roller coaster. It also includes the new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride which is a fast moving 3D adventure.

New York - The rides here include Revenge of the Mummy and Twister, which we skipped due to the height restrictions. One of the highlights of New York is the Blue Brothers Holiday Show. The Blues Brothers can often be seen driving around the park in their car.

San Francisco - There are three attractions in San Francisco - Beetle Juices Graveyard, Fear Factor and Disaster.

World Expo - This section seemed to very popular and is home to the Men in Black ride where you can test your alien zapping skills. Another favourite attraction in this section is the Simpsons Ride.

Woody Woodpeckers Kidzone - Tucked away in its own corner of the park, this was Jessica's favourite section and we seemed to spend ages here as it was aimed at younger children. there is the Woody roller coaster and The Barney holiday song and dance show. There are also a couple of interactive play areas which include water slides, climbing apparatus, swings and more, everything to keep the youngsters entertained.

Hollywood - The final section in Universal is Hollywood, home to the Terminator 3D ride and the Horror Make-up show. We also saw quite a few stars here including Scooby Doo, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop & Shrek.

As you make you way through the park there are numerous street shows. Our particular favorites we the Spongebob Squarepants and the Despicable Me shows, both drawing are large gallery of people. Pictures of these two shows are in the gallery at the bottom of the page.

There were also two large parades at Universal Studios:

Universal Superstar Parade - This parade includes Dore the Explora, Despicable Me & the Minions and Spongbob Squarepants.

Macy's Holiday Parade - This parade features lots of large inflatable balloons and animals. It also included many family favourites including Shrek, Scooby Doo, The Simpsons, Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker and of course as it was Christmas, Santa put in an appearance.

Click to enlarge images below