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Old 2 Jun 20, 05:24 PM  
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juliab
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The 260 Mile West Coast Wander - August 2019 - Day 18 - Universal Studios L.A Style!

INDEX

Wednesday 21st august

Didn’t have the best night’s sleep and obviously neither did Scott. We were both awake early so we decided to get washed and ready for the day and then woke the kids up at a more reasonable hour.

I noticed a letter had been pushed under our door it was a receipt for our parking fees. I thought that was a bit cheeky of them considering.

Anyway we got on with the day, Scott took some bags and cases out to the car whilst the kids changed then we all went down for some breakfast.

We walked to reception and it was then that we realised that there wasn’t a breakfast room at this accommodation? There was a Bistro where you could purchase breakfast items and a Starbucks but our original hotel the breakfast was included?

I went straight over to reception where they looked a little puzzled to start with but then quickly realised what I was saying. They said we could get anything from the Bistro and to charge it to the room and that they would cover all the cost of the breakfast.

When I asked Jamie and Poppy what they wanted they both replied saying they weren’t hungry! I reminded them that they needed something inside of them before we went on the rides so they chose some yoghurt and fruit cups.

I had a breakfast burrito and Hayden and Scott had a breakfast sandwich each. They were really good and they came with a side of fruit too.

Had some Starbuck coffee’s to go then we checked out. We looked a little out of place in that particular hotel as we seemed to be the only family there?

Soon we were driving over to Universal Studios and it felt so exciting to be having a park day.

The traffic to get over there was fine and it took about 10 minutes.




We parked in BL1 basement level I think and we took the escalator up to the entrance level. Not quite knowing which way to go we did our usual and followed a couple ahead of us.

We arrived at City Walk which felt quite familiar. It was different though to the Orlando City Walk but had the similar vibe.


It was very busy in this area then we walked through security, which was ok, then to the ticket booths. Once there it was empty and we scanned our tickets with no issue.





Soon we were walking along that red carpet into the park!




First impressions were great I really liked the look of the place but as we knew the park was smaller than its Orlando counterpart. That was one thing I was looking forward to being able to get around the park in a day!



We walked a little further into the park where we came across The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Decided we might as well make this place our first stop.




This looked amazing and at first glance looked to be the same as Orlando. It was still really early and the crowds were low so it made for an easy walk through this fantastic area.



Of course we had to go on the Forbidden Journey a ride which Poppy has never rode before. She was a little apprehensive about going on the ride but was determined to give it a go as she really loves Harry Potter.







The ride was walk on and every bit of thrilling as I’d remembered from a few years back. Poppy thought it was brilliant and we were so proud of her for giving it a go.



As is the case with visiting a park like Universal Studios I’d taken my sickness tablets early in the morning but even so I felt a little queasy after coming off! The rest of the game rode the Flight of the Hippogriff whilst I got my breath back.

Again this was a walk on and they’d all thoroughly enjoyed this family ride. We explored a little more afterwards.









Figured it would be best to ride the new Jurassic World next before the crowd levels increased so we headed over there next. This would mean we needed to go to the lower level of the park and ride a series of escalators to take us down there. It seemed really odd to us doing this but it was quite cool too.



Once we’d arrived we were very pleased to see that the queue was 30 minutes but the in reality it was practically walk on.





Poppy was a little unsure about this ride too but again said she would give it a go as she loves the film. Before we knew it we were sat in the boat sailing through a massive virtual aquarium!




Of course the ride ended with a big drop and we managed to get quite wet. What a thrilling ride, a little scary in parts but nothing too extreme.








Scott, Hayden and Jamie then went across to the Mummy ride now there was no way would Poppy get on this one so whilst they were gone we watched people visiting the loveable velociraptor Blue at the raptor encounter - so very funny to watch the people’s reactions.






The lads returned and said whilst they’d enjoyed the Mummy ride it wasn’t quite as good as Florida? I said if we had time later in the day we’d maybe come back to it so I could have a ride but for now we’d explore the park further.

Poppy’s choice next was the Transformers 3D ride. We walked past the Transformers meet and greet area to get to it, both Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime where there. Talk about being so chatty with everyone they were a right double act.





The ride was as brilliant as ever we all really love it I think the effects are so good. On our way back Megatron was out at the meet and greet, we couldn’t stop laughing at how rude he was with everyone who came over to him, but of course in a nice way. Still I wouldn’t want to mess with him!



Having been on most of the rides in the lower lot we took the escalators back up, wow it was a lot busier now.

Views from the escalotor


Thought it would be a good idea to do the Studio Tour before it got crazy busy so after a restroom break we went over to join the line for this attraction. Whilst the queue was long it was fast moving so more or less walk on, soon we were boarding our tram.


Now we didn’t know a great deal about this tour apart from it being a must do attraction so we were all very excited about what we were going to see.





Wow the tour was so good we got to see various sets and heard lots of info about the shows that were being filmed there at that time.
We went through the King Kong 3D ride which reminded me so much of the ride in Orlando, it was really good!




Next we went through the Wild West into an old Mexican set which was so cool to see. We then had all this water gushing towards us through the streets which was very impressive and quite unexpected too!







After this we experienced an earthquake in San Francisco subway which was amazing, it featured a lot of water and fire along with the set being torn apart. It really did have everything happening!

We continued through a few more TV and movie sets before encountering the mighty Jaws.



And then Norman Bates from the Psycho movie!




We then saw a few more sets before going into Fast and the Furious Supercharged Ride. This was a really good ride and like everything else totally unexpected. All I can say is that this tour was brilliant for us all we totally loved it. Couldn’t believe it lasted an hour it certainly didn’t feel that way there was so much to keep us entertained throughout.





It was even busier now we made our way over to the Simpsons ride where we had no choice but to join the 45 minute line. Generally we wouldn’t wait that long but the kids said they wanted to go on the ride and were willing to wait. It’s a popular and it was good fun just like we’d remembered.








Afterwards we just had to get a Lard Lad Donut!



Went to Minion Mayhem next we’d checked the app and the wait time was 20 minutes which we thought was really reasonable. How chuffed were we to arrive at the ride entrance only for us to walk straight into the pre show room - what a result.





We did think that you wore 3D glasses for this ride? Anyway I was glad that we didn’t as sometimes those 3D screens can make me feel a bit queasy.






Next stop was the Kung Fu Panda theatre to watch the film/show. Again we weren’t quite sure what this attraction was like but It was really good and we really enjoyed how they did this – overall a good improvement on the Shrek version.

Time for us to revisit Harry Potter as we only had a quick look around earlier. Not only had we remembered to pack Poppy’s wand for this trip we also had remembered to bring it to the park with us today!





Poppy was keen to try a few spells out but the wand wasn’t working? We took it to reconditioned and then Poppy was all set. The CM also gave us a map of where the interactive spells where located which I thought was lovely of them.









We also had time for a lovely cooling frozen Butterbeer in amongst the spell making!




Now we had noted the times of the WaterWorld show as we were super keen to watch this after reading good reports about this show. We could see that a performance was due to start shortly so we made our way over to the arena where it was really busy.

Luckily there was still plenty of seating available. Poppy wanted to sit in the wet zone but I persuaded her against it thankfully. Good job too as a little before it started some of the crew came out and they threw buckets of water at everyone on those front rows. Oh my word they were drenched I was so glad we’d opted to sit in the middle!

Like the Studio Tour we didn’t know what to expect except we knew it would involve some water. Well it was brilliant with loads of action, lots of fantastic stunts with a really impressive set.






It was tea time and whilst we’d been snacking throughout the day on our snacks we were in need of some proper grub. We decided to go back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the Three Broomsticks.
We were quite surprised to see how empty it was inside but pleased that it was so quiet.

It was a very easy decision when we came to ordering our food the Great Feast was calling out to us and we could see that there was more than enough food there for the five of us.

With the places being virtually empty we had no problem finding a nice quiet table.






Our food came out to us and we were so pleased with what we had! Afterwards Poppy and I had a sticky toffee pudding which was so yummy and reminded me of home.







After we left Poppy remarked that she wanted to ride Forbidden Journey again. Now this really surprised me but we were glad that Poppy was starting to be a bit more adventurous with the rides so we said we’d check the wait time. - It was only 15 minutes.


Now bearing in mind that we’d just eaten a big meal and this ride kind of makes you feel a bit dizzy I didn’t think it was a good idea for me to go back on it. I waited out with the bags whilst Scott took the kids on.


Whilst I was waiting I watched the Triwizard Sport Rally which featured the schools of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Both teams gave an energetic performance which was so fun to see I absolutely loved it and felt the excitement of the Triwazard Tournament!





We all met up and Poppy said she loved going back on the ride. I couldn’t leave without going on the Flight of the Hippogriff so it was Scott’s turn to stand with the bags whilst I took the kids on. I love how this ride gives such good views of the castle.

Just had time for a few more spells before then afterwards we visited Honeydukes where we spent a small fortune on a small bag of sweet treats!




As we left Harry Potter we noticed the sign for Animal Actors and the show was due to start soon so we went over to watch. Ahhh what a show the animals were very talented and extremely cute! Apparently quite a few of them had appeared in hit films, it was a lovely way to end our day here.

It was 6.45pm when we left the park which was closing at 7pm. We’d been in there 10 hrs which for us was quite a long park day. It would’ve been great if we could’ve seen the light show on Hogwarts castle but this only happened at the weekends when the park had longer opening hours. Never mind we had so enjoyed in Universal Studios and it had made us even more excited about visiting Disneyland.


Made our way over to Springhill Suites where we drove by the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.




Back here again but this time we were able to check in, thank goodness for that!




They didn’t charge us for parking here as way of an apology for over booking our room the day before. We took all our bags up and unpacked some of our stuff. The room was like the Springhill at Clearwater that was the one of the reasons why I’d booked this particular. There was a good amount of space for us and Poppy had her favourite pull out bed.




We all showered and changed it was 10pm when we went to bed after a busy and very enjoyable day at Universal Studios.

Thanks for reading

Steps – 19,426

Edited at 11:20 AM.
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Old 2 Jun 20, 05:46 PM  
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Sounds like a fab day!
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Old 2 Jun 20, 07:00 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Fab day
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Old 3 Jun 20, 08:10 AM  
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Jessika
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Another fantastic day. Universal studios looks great and you got so much done, I’m really looking forward to visiting and keeping everything crossed for the summer. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 4 Jun 20, 10:19 PM  
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magickate
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Another great day, and well done remembering the wand! It's the sort of thing I'd pack then forget on the actual visit.
Did you feel Universal was worth the money having already done Florida? I'm debating it for our spare day but it's quite a chunk of cash.

Glad the proper hotel was all good and looking forward to the rest.
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Old 6 Jun 20, 02:40 PM  
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What a great day at Universal. It looks like a really nice park, and sounds easy to get around as well. Some great rides there, and I didn't realise they had a Harry Potter section. Well done to Poppy for giving new rides a go - she did really well, especially wanting to go back on again. The studio tour sounds amazing with lots of detail and different sets to see.

I'm glad Springhill Suites redeemed themselves with waiving the parking fee and a great room. It looks like a lovely hotel.

I love your Leviosa t-shirt Julia!
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Old 7 Jun 20, 08:19 AM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by ely3857 View Post
Sounds like a fab day!
Thank you! It was so good to visit a theme park!
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Old 7 Jun 20, 08:20 AM  
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Originally Posted by Cutiepie View Post
Fab day
Thank you
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Old 7 Jun 20, 08:22 AM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by Jessika View Post
Another fantastic day. Universal studios looks great and you got so much done, I’m really looking forward to visiting and keeping everything crossed for the summer. Thanks for sharing.
It's a really good park to navigate so it's quite easy to get a lot done.

Still keeping my fingers crossed for you
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Old 7 Jun 20, 08:27 AM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by magickate View Post
Another great day, and well done remembering the wand! It's the sort of thing I'd pack then forget on the actual visit.
Did you feel Universal was worth the money having already done Florida? I'm debating it for our spare day but it's quite a chunk of cash.

Glad the proper hotel was all good and looking forward to the rest.
It was worth it for us as we'd not been to Universal for a few years because of the prices. Also we wanted to do a studio tour and the one here appealed to our family a lot more.

Thanks for reading
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