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Unread 7 Jul 19, 06:36 PM  
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Livin it up at the Hotel California (October '18) Day 7 - Universal Studios Hollywood!

Livin it up at the Hotel California (October 18)

You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!'

Day 6 - Universal Hollywood!

We were up and at em early this morning! The weather didnt look super great but this was our only day we could do Universal so we were going, weather be damned!

My allergic reaction thankfully didnt seem to have got any worse overnight; wed taken precautions by covering my pillow with one of my jumpers, and I slept in leggings and a long sleeved t-shirt (WARRMMMM) to minimise contact with the bedding. I really didnt think the lovely fancy Hilton Garden Inn would use detergent that would make my skin react but I wasnt taking any chances haha! It was all still red and itchy on my face though so I just covered it as best I could

I wore my deathly hallows t shirt today I wore a jumper over it too as it was looking a little chilly, and in a genius move I also packed a pair of tights for later which was a GREAT decision!

We got an Uber to the park and got there about 9.40 which was perf timing as it opened at 10. We were dropped off in a great spot too and didnt have far to walk. We had a nice leisurely stroll through CityWalk and exchanged our paper tickets at the entrance with no problems, and before we knew it we were in the park!

It was a Wednesday so we were hoping for a pretty quiet day Wed actually come armed with a plan from everyones favourite Disney blogger, Tom Bricker, who came up with a v comprehensive schedule for a 1 day visit to US Hollywood. It suited us perfectly and meant wed get to do all the rides we wanted to so we decided to follow it as closely as we could.

WELL. The Plan immediately went out the window when, after power walking to HP ignoring all the amazing HP themed stuff on the way, we got to FJ and it was closed UMMMM rude! That was the plan! We were thrown haah! I was also starving and getting a bit hangry as we didint have brekkie, so we grabbed a pretzel with cheese sauce to share. CLASSIC theme park breakfast. It was actually really good, too! Yummers.

After our healthy brekkie we decided to try the Simpsons ride next. The queue was 30 mins but we find the queue videos absolutely hilarious so we didnt mind waiting at all.

I was feeling much better after the pretzel so we took a selfie to Whatsapp to our friends group chat back home

We ended up waiting about 40 mins for Simpsons but it wasnt too bad really, we love this ride so didnt mind

General Springfield vibes

After this we went over to Minions which had a 20 minute queue so we hopped in line for that, and again this was really funny - I couldnt really remember it from Fl so it all felt very new to me!

Wed done what we needed to in the top section of the park now, so we decided to head downstairs to the bottom bit to tick off the biggies down there.

The views were absolutely amazing on the way down here so we spent a little while enjoying the view and taking some photos! Seriously was so crazy to look around and just see the mountains and everything surrounding us...absolutely breathtaking.

Once downstairs we decided to head to the Mummy first because we LOVE the Fl one and we were excited to see how it differed!

Ummm we much preferred the FL one haha! It just felt so much longer, and it just had a much better ending! Maybe it was just us but we just preferred it!

We then did Transfomers which again we love in Fl and this one was identical so I was a very happy Libby! I also find it hilarious that Ive never seen a single Transformers movie yet go absolutely mad for the ride hahahah!

We were gutted that the JP ride was closed on our visit so we consoled ourselves by staring at the entrance for a bit. Luckily, a raptor came out right around that time so we were distracted from our JP sadness! We watched the raptor interacting with kids for quite a bit, it was super cute Before we headed out we checked out the Panda Express menu as theres one downstairs, but we decided we wanted to get back upstairs really as wed done everything we wanted to down there.

Back upstairs we saw that Forbidden Journey was still 60 mins, so we made a plan for the rest of the day; Waterworld, lunch in CityWalk, Backlot Tour then Hogwarts if the queue had died down a bit by the time we were ready to leave. I love a good plan!

Waterworld was showing at 12.30 and it was a bout 12.15 so that worked out incredibly well!

We headed in and got really great seats which werent in the splash zone, phew! It was an absolutely amazing show I was so impressed, I had no idea what to expect and hadnt seen the movie in like 20 years haaha but I loved it! Very surprising Ben loved it too! We need to re-watch the movie now!

It was now about 1.15 and we were STARVING so we headed out the park and into CityWalk as I wanted Panda Express and I heard it was better than the one in the park. Benj wasnt sure what he was in the mood for so we were just gonna peruse the options. We walked through CW and checked out a few of the quick service places before deciding to split up. I went to PE as I really fancied it and nothing else caught my attention, and Benj decided to go for a bit of a curveball and try out the Poke place!

It was my first time at PE so I was a bit confused when I walked in haha but soon figured out how it worked. I tried a couple of samples (dream!) then chose Orange Chicken and Honey Shrimp with rice and chow mein, and sweet and sour sauce on the side. I then took my box outside and into the poke place where Benj was still picking his lunch. He chose the tofu poke bowl which came with brown rice and lots of yummy add ins and toppings.

We found a nice seat in the sunshine as theres lots of seating in that area, and enjoyed a lovely, chilled lunch. Mine was absolutely gorgeous, it could have been warmer but it was super filling anyway so I could only manage the shrimp and chicken, and ended up leaving most of the carbs boo! I cant wait to get PE again now though ha, am a convert!

Bens was really nice too, really light and tasty but a bit spicy for me as hed gone for the spicy sauce! He really enjoyed it and said it was nice to have something a bit different.

While we were eating lunch Ben recognised a guy who was walking round with a film crew - hes the guy who comments hilariously on food/cooking videos, and he was cooking for Ellen! Luckily wed finished before we reached our section as we werent really in the mood for chatting haha we were too hungry!

We were done and dusted and walking back into the park in time to do the Studio Backlot tour at 3pm.

On our way to the queue we had a quick browse in some shops and then I saw Marilyn come out! I was so excited and immediately got in the short queue to meet her!

She was so so sweet, she said I was so beautiful and asked how long I was in town because we should do a movie together! I was like OKAY! hahah!

And then it was time for the studio tour, yay! Now heres the thing; Id been looking forward to this for soooooo long and it was so so interesting, but I fell asleep haha! For literally half an hour and missed so much! I was so annoyed at myself but I guess I was so tired and just being on the vehicle meant I couldnt stay awake! Deary me. Pretty impressive to fall asleep on a moving vehicle but if youve read any of my other reports youll know it isnt the first time (Kilimanjaro Safaris being the ultimate) I did see the Bates motel which was awesome and clever how they did it, and I also was awake for the new Fast and Furious section which was really cool!

The tour finished at 4 and Forbidden Journey was finally down to 20 mins so we headed on over. It was basically a walk on which was awesome so that worked out really well! We popped in a couple of shops in Hogsmeade and I bought a Deathly Hallows pin!

It was about 5 by this point and the park closed at 6, and wed done everything we wanted! We were chuffed with how wed structured our day and managed to do everything. It had been a really nice chilled day after the initial rush to get the bigges done, and wed both really enjoyed the park. It was a lot of money for one day, but wed been there since 9am and you wouldnt want any more days there! Def recommend if you have a spare day in LA. Plus it was good to do some big rides to get us in the mood for Disneyland!

On our way out we nipped into the Walking Dead pop up walk through thingy, which was quite scary but made absolutely hilarious by the 2 tiny American women in front of us who were genuinely terrified and were just screaming at everything! So funny! I also properly jumped at one section too, it really was quite scary! But not as scary as they made it out to be!

The park was closing so we meandered out and into CityWalk for the evening. We planned to go for a couple of drinks before our planned dinner at Margaritaville, and wed seen this nice Mexican place that did Happy Hour. We then realised we hadnt actually seen it on our walk through earlier, and then Ben pointed out a closed restaurant that said opening soon and was like I bet it was that place! We googled and yes, yes it was. Boo! No Happy Hour for us! We debated just going straight to Margs but then I had the idea to go for a cocktail at Hard Rock Cafe instead (#flipthebudget may have been shouted out except I didnt say flip) and Benj thought that sounded great, so off we went! Carpe Diem!

We managed to get 2 seats at the very cool bar and ordered a cocktail each. I popped to the restroom to put my tights on underneath my shorts because it was really cold in the car, and I was so happy Id bought them in my bag! My poor chilly thighs haha! Skin coloured tights obvs, not black ones. That would be weird. With warmer thighs, I headed back to the bar. Our cocktails were delicious and I was loving the atmosphere of rock music, spinning Cadillac above us (my actual dream car) and chatting to the lovely bartender.

Once wed finished our drinks we werent ready to leave, so Benj got a beer and I ordered my classic flavoured vodka and diet sprite and we carried on!

Time was getting on so we paid up and headed over to our 8pm Margaritaville rezzie.

We checked in and got given a buzzer. We walked through to go and look in the store which is one of the highlights of dinner at Margaritaville in Fl, but it was a crazy no store restaurant! Like what was going on. We looked around but there absolutely was no shop. Boo. We asked if we could go to the bar and the woman said that was fine, so we headed over and grabbed a couple of stools and ordered cocktails.


Had to take a photo of the menu to send to our bezzies Whatsapp as we the Incommunicado was a group fave back on our wedding trip in 2016, like 6 of us ordered one haha!

Wed literally just paid and our buzzer buzzed! We got taken to a really nice table and I noticed that everything looked and smelled mega new so we asked how long the restaurant had been open, and she said only a year or so.

Our server was lovely and Jimmy was obv playing in the background so we were basically in heaven. We love Jimmy Buffet and dinner at Marg is something we just love doing as it literally could not be more relaxed haha! We decided to order cheese curds and a tower of onion rings to start, and then Volcano Nachos to share for our main.

Our starters arrived and were absolutely delicious!

crispy beer battered onion rings,
creamy island bbq sauce,
cool avocado ranch $

Served with LandShark Lager BBQ and marinara

A balloon man came round and made me a balloon bracelet, woo!

But then, our nachos were bought out and unfortunately were covered in beef chilli when wed ordered it sans chilli (as Ben is veggie). We then had to wait a while for the new nachos to be bought out and by the time they came we were sort of full from the starters ha, and I also felt the nachos were just nowhere near as good as Id remembered them! Not sure if it was my fullness or the fact that they didnt have the chilli on them, even though I had it in a little bowl on the side! They just werent the same. Ahh well.

tortilla chips layered with chili, cheese,
pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, sour cream
and jalapeos $

We got them boxed up to go as there were so many left, and then we paid up and called an Uber to get home. The trip back was really short, we hadnt realised how close we were to Burbank so that was a nice surprise! We were back in no time and safely tucked up in bed after a very busy day!
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Unread 23 Jul 19, 12:46 PM  
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Loving your trip report! Were visiting LA for the first time at the end of October so Im making notes on some of your recommendations
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Unread 25 Aug 19, 12:01 PM  
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Originally Posted by SloanRangers View Post
Loving your trip report! Were visiting LA for the first time at the end of October so Im making notes on some of your recommendations

Me too
Not booked yet though but hoping for june 2020
my pre trip report here - take a look

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Unread 25 Aug 19, 12:53 PM  
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Really interesting. Thanks for a great update.
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Unread 13 Feb 20, 04:20 PM  
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Just caught up with this day, lots of cocktails of course, brilliant, looking forward to the Disney days also 🙂
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