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Old 29 Oct 23, 09:39 AM  
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HEMANCLOFTY
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HEMANCLOFTY's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
Huxwolds California Dreaming (Aug 23) - Day 9: Universal Studios (w. Mario Early Entry) & City Walk

Huxwolds California Dreaming (Aug 23)
Day 9: Universal Studios (with Mario Early Entry) & City Walk (Sat 26/08)


Index
Day 8: Six Flags Magic Mountain - aka Walley World

My subconscious must’ve been aware of our early start today, as I woke up at 4am for a bit, dropped off to an episode of Community, then woke again at 5ish.

I got up just before the 5:30 alarm and woke Tom as he wanted to pop outside call Lola before we headed into the park.

I had a coffee and took 10 mins to come around. Sooty was particularly photogenic this morning…







I got ready for the day (going for some green shorts this morning, to match the green side of my new Toadstool ears)…





Rich and Tom got ready whilst I sorted my park bag and then Rich went ahead for a smoke whilst Tom finished getting sorted and I made another coffee and grabbed an apple Danish from the snack drawer to take with me (Tom had already had 2 whilst I was getting dressed)…



At 6:35, Tom and I left the room to meet Rich in the hotel smoking area, and we were through Universal security and in the park by by 6:47…







I took a few pics on the walk through the park and down the escalators to the Lower Lot. It was a lovely hazy morning…





















Our first glimpse of Super Mario Land…



We scanned our Early Entry tickets at the top of the final escalator...



By 6:58 we were walking through the green tunnel into Super Nintendo Land…







We had a very quick look around and took some pics…









Then we went straight onto Bowsers Challenge, which took about 10 mins to walk through the queue line and pick up our visors…

















I rode in front of our Mario Cart with Rich and Tom was behind us. The ride was a bit of a surprise as I thought it was just a race, but it had lots of Mario Cart game play too, which meant it was a bit slower than I expected, but a really excellent ride and (given the 2 hour queues later in the day) worth the $25 early entry fee.

By 7:20 we were off the ride, and having a mooch in the gift store, then I popped the restroom.

Toadstool Cafe had a sign up advising it was fully booked for the day...



We had a look around the land taking more pics…















Even in the Early Entry hour, it was already quite busy with little queues for all the coin games. Tom said that he wasn’t too bothered about getting a Power Up Band to play, and Rich was intending to get a band later in the trip to keep sealed for his collection.

7:35 - We all agreed we were ready to head out and into the rest of the park and Rich suggested getting in line to do the Studio Tour when it opens at 8…



We stopped to take some nice pics of the view mid escalators, it was still a bit hazy but we could see Warner Bros and Disney Studios…









We took a few pics in Springfield too…





7:45 - We were first in line for the Studio Tour…





We used the Springfield restrooms whilst we waited, and a couple of other families came along, plus a few VIP tour groups went in just ahead of us.

8:00 - We were on the first tram of the day and our Tour Guide was Duncan...



As with Warner Bros, I used the normal camera for a lot of the pics, to save my phone battery 📷

We drove around the studio sound stages and production offices first…













Duncan pointed out The Rock’s office and said that last week he was stood outside waving at all the trams (whereas most celebs hide from the tourists)…



Then we drove around the New York backlot..









Then we made it to the most anticipated part of the tour, Town Square, which was most famously used for Gremlins and Back to the Future…







We saw the Hill Valley Clock Tower which was very cool…











More New York..







Next was the Kong Skull Island ride section, so we put on our 3D glasses…





This was the main Kong Vs Dinosaur section from the Orlando ride, and better IMO.

We saw some cars next (Inc Biff’s from BTTF, The Flinstones and a Jurassic World sphere-thing)…







The drive past some Jurassic Park props, where I got squirted by a dinosaur...









Next was the Mexico section, where we experienced the rain and flooding effects…





Then through the Western section..







…and into Europe, which was cool as it was used for The Good Place…









The Amity section was next…









Getting to see Jaws was really cool, as I’ve always been gutted I missed it at Orlando (Tom was too young when it was still there). Rich actually had a bonus Floziday in 2001 (a few weeks after we met), so did get to ride it.

We drove around the suburban street next - which has been used for loads of different shows, movies and commercials, including The Burbs, The Munsters and Desperate Housewives…









We drove up Spielberg Drive and saw more cars, Inc Bumblebee and some of the Fast And The Furious ones…



Then we briefly saw the Bates Motel and House, which were being dressed for HHN…





Through the War of The Worlds plane crash scene…





The through the Nope amusement park set…









The Fast and The Furious ride section was next, so we put our 3D glasses back on…



It was just like the Orlando version (which we actually quite enjoyed), but Rich spotted it was set in LA instead of Miami.

9:00 - The tour was over…



NB - We thought the tour was really good and (excluding the Batman props section) better than Warner Bros, especially as it’s included in the park ticket price. It was also nice that Duncan acknowledged the WGA & SAG-AFTRA strikes, as it wasn’t mentioned at all over at Warner Bros. We all agreed that Warner Bros needs a couple of Kong / Fast and the Furious style experiences to make it better value for money. The only improvement needed for the Universal tour was that it would’ve been nice to be able to get off the tram for a closer look and better pics of the BTTF Clocktower.

We all had a quick restroom stop and Tom got a Simpsons pressed penny…



Then we headed to Secret Life of Pets as it’s new and still gets busy…







It ended up being a walk on and was good, with a great queue line (not that we’ve seen the film to appreciate the characters)…







9:22 - Minion Mayhem was a 15 min wait so we did that next...



We were the ones who hadn’t showered today . The ride was ok, and from what I remember, exactly the same as the Orlando version…



We had a mooch in the main Universal store. We found some The Hundreds merch, but not the BTTF T-shirt Rich and Tom had liked last year..

The blue and yellow varsity range was cool.

10:00 - We were all in need of a drink, so went to get a Freestyle mug, but they had sold out. Tom said he’d noticed a few other places we’d passes had said Sold Out on their menu boards too, so we got a Large Coke to share ($5.95ish)…



We found a shady spot on a wall and topped up our sun-spray. Some street performers came to chat to us whilst we were sitting down…





They did well staying in character whilst most guests just walked by oblivious to them.

The queue times were staring to build up now, with Forbidden Journey, Transformers, The Mummy and Simpsons all over 45 mins and Bowser now on 120 (Jurassic World was closed).

10:25 - We decided to do Kung Fu Panda as it was showing a 20 min wait. We passed a few more street performers and some HHN theming on the way…





The 3D film was good and it was nice and cool in the theatre.

Our plan was to watch the 11:45 Water World show, then leave the park for a few hours chilling at the hotel / pool, and come back later.

We had a bit of time to fill, so we had a mooch through Hogsmeade, which felt familiar but different (as it’s wider than Orlando, and has no Hagrids)…















11:00 - We all fancied a snack, so headed to Springfield for a Big Donut to share, a cappuccino for me and a Large Coke for Rich and Tom (Freestyle Cups were Sold Out here too)…



We decided on the Maple Bacon Lard Lad. The server said that there was no Cappuccino, only Black Coffee, so I left it as I find normal US coffee too strong (Total $16.96).



We found a table and I cut the donut into 6 pieces (2 each)…



The Coke was watery so Tom had to take it back to get a fresh one. He said the server was a bit arsey about it. It’s fair to say none of us were too impressed at this point - no freestyle cups, no cappuccino and bad service. The donut was really nice though.

11:20 - We mooched our way over to Water World, stopping for a minute to watch the breakdancing janitors. It was really hot now, so Rich and I stood by a misting fan and topped up our Sunspray whilst Tom popped to the restroom…



They started letting us into the area at 10:30 and we got some good central seats about 10 rows in (so out of the splash zone)…



The pre-show was good fun with lots of crowd cheering and throwing buckets of water over guesting in the splash zone…







The show was brilliant, I took a few pics but mainly watched and enjoyed the show…





I did manage to catch a video of the plane coming in though…







We all really enjoyed it and said we’d watch again during our 2nd visit on Wednesday, maybe even in the splash zone.

Today’s cast…



12:15 - We were all done for the morning so made our way out of the park and back to the hotel. All the main rides were now all around 80 mins wait (it was a Saturday thought, so we knew it would be busy).

We got our arms stamped with a UV stamp for re-entry, which put a scupper on my pool and shower plan for this afternoon as the lady said it would wash off.

I was peckish, so I had my leftover Firehouse Sub with a few crisps and a coffee. It was ok, but the bottom piece of bread had gone soggy from the tomato juice to I took that bit off and had the rest as an open sandwich…



1:00(ish) - We agreed to head back out around 5pm and Rich settled down for a snooze. I was intending to catch up on my 2 day trippie notes backlog, but I could feel myself dropping off so I put on Community and slept for an hour and then dozed for another 30 mins until around 3:30.

I made another coffee and sat in bed writing my trippie notes, managing to do all of Thursday (WBST) and making a start on Friday (Six Flags).

At 4:30, Rich woke up and went for a smoke. Then we all got ready for the evening (I went for red tonight for the other side of my headband)…





We headed out around 5:20, taking our Six Flags cup filled with some room pop…

As the park queue times were still high, we decided to have a mooch in City Walk first, get some food, and see what they were looking like later.

It’s such a quick and easy walk from the hotel…





We went through Security, then realised we didn’t need to for City Walk…





We spent some time mooching in Billabong, Karma Luck, Bubba Gump (where Rich bought a $1.25 ping pong ball)…



We checked out Abercrombie & Fitch then had a mooch in Things From Another World Comics (there was some cool stuff in here)…







We also looked in the Raiders store, then went into Tom’s new favourite and Shoe Palace, where Rich was pondering this lovely brown jumper..



We left Tom inside the store mooching and whilst we were waiting, I persuaded Rich to get the Top, so I popped back in to buy it ($24.99 +tax)…



I kept an eye on the park app for queue times - they were still high, so we decided not to bother going back into the park tonight.

6:30 - Tom went into Lids whilst Rich and I queued in Voodoo Donuts…





We got a selection of 8 - Blueberry Cake x2, Cinnamon Sugar Cake, Chocolate with Coconut, Chocolate Old Fashioned, Mango Tango, PB&J & Butterfinger. Plus I got a Cappuccino and the coffee tumbler I’d regretted not getting in Orlando (Total $43.75)…









We sat outside Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and shared a Blueberry, Cinnamon, and the W Chocolate ones as a cheeky pre-dinner dessert.

At 7:00, we headed upstairs to City Food and found some seats…





Rich wanted to try Habit Burger and I was still craving Panda Express…





Tom wasn’t sure what he wanted, so went for a mooch at the options, whilst I got my 2 entrée plate with Rice, Orange Chicken, Broccoli Beef and a Spring Roll was a bargain at $14 (rounded up for charity)…





Tom met me outside and said he’d ordered himself a Char Combo from Habit ($17.50). He took his drink and the buzzers to the table whilst I popped back into Habit to order a Double Char Combo for Rich ($19.47)…





I’d been craving Orange Chicken all week and it didn’t disappoint. The Broccoli was really nice too, but the spring roll was a bit meh, so I left most of it.

7:30 - We had a final check on queue times - it was still 40-60 for all of the main rides. It was starting to get dark now and all the City Walk neons were coming on…



Tom wanted to pop into Locker Room By Lids…



So Rich and I had a mooch in Candy Smith (at Toothsome) and then had a sit down outside…





Tom joined us - he’d bought a Miami Dolphins key strap ($11) and an Anaheim Angels baseball cap ($15)…





By 7:45, we were all done for the night, so we mooched back through City Walk, taking some red carpet and Globe pics on the way…















The view from the bridge to the hotel was lovely…











By just after 8 we were sat in Rich and Tom’s goto smoking spot and ended up chatting and chilling there for about half an hour, which was really nice..





Back in the room, I took some pics of tonight’s haul - Tom called Lola and then had a shower and I did my daily Insta reel and finished off Friday’s trippie notes. I was only 1 day behind now 😀

I settled down to sleep at 11:40 - and dropped off straight away.

We walked 14,385 steps today 👣

Day 10: Griffith Observatory & Hike, then Downtown LA

Edited at 07:00 PM.
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Old 2 Dec 23, 05:54 PM  
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dismamx2
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That was an early start, you did so well. We have early entry booked for May but regular opening should be 9am so we won't have to be super early. I love the studio tram tour and Water World show. Great outfit(s) today
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Old 30 Dec 23, 05:25 PM  
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Great day I think we will add on the early access too.
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