Universal

After a full night’s sleep (thanks Temazepam!) I awoke to another blue-sky day in Hollywood so decided to head for Universal Studios, only 1 Metro stop down the line.

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I arrived just after the park opened at 9:00am so headed for the lower level where the new Transformers ride was located, as I had been told this was the current main attraction on the lot. One of the advantages of travelling solo is that you get to join the ‘Single Rider’ line on all the rides (who needs a ‘Front of Line’ Pass anyways), jumping almost straight to the front of the queue so I managed back-to-back double-rides on both Transformers and The Mummy before going on the Jurassic Park ride, which (as advertised) got you wet.

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After riding all the rides on the lower lot I returned to the Upper lot where I joined the Famous Studio Tour. Another tip for those travelling to Universal is to avoid the studio tour around the times of the dedicated Spanish and Chinese tours which are run at different times of the day, as this causes the English queue to back up as the others are given priority. Over nearly an hour we got a tour of the working studio, including the working sound stages where they currently film The Voice, CSI etc as well as sets from Movies and TV Shows such as Desperate Houewives, Psycho, Murder She Wrote, Bruce Almighty and many more – Bonus points to those who can identify the building and movie this photo is famous for.

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Following the studio tour I went on The Simpsons Ride, Shrek 4D, House of Horrors, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and saw Waterworld, Special Effect and Animal Actor shows. The park was supremely well run, and the wait times were not as long as I had expected, with guests kept well entertained. I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more high-speed rides, with all of the new rides being ‘simulated’ movement but really enjoyed the day. Next time I would probably head to Six Flags Magic Mountain for more roller coasters etc.

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Also at Universal is The Universal CityWalk, a shopping, dining and movie centre. After finishing up at the Studios I wandered around the CityWalk, where I came across some interesting finds including Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and a giant packet of Nerds (bigger than the biggest Corn Flakes packet to give you a sense if scale) just to name a few. As the LA Kings (LA’s ice-hockey team for those playing at home) and Dodgers were playing today, all of the pubs & sports bars were overflowing with fans. Tomorrow, after taking a tour if Beverley Hills and Rodeo Drive etc, I will be going to Dodger Stadium to see the Dodgers take on the Chicago White Sox, so hopefully they have win and the locals are all happy.

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Before I go here is a food-pic for the day, there is plenty of Mexican food in Southern California, so I decided to try the Fish Tacos – yum!

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