To be honest – Universal Studios was not high on my list of things to see & do BUT as the girls were still young I thought it would be awesome to experience this WITH THEM!
When you walk through the ticketing gates you get the sense you are walking right into a Movie Set. The entrance is decorated with signs and information so that you can find your way around.
I could sense the girls were super excited to get the ‘party’ started, so we disposed of our backpack at the locker rooms where we had our snacks and drinks. Locker Hire cost $15.00 a day, just in case you wanted to know. We made a bee line (no pun intended) to our first ride – Transformers!
The wait time for this ride was 2 hours. And I soon calculated that if all the rides had a wait time of this length that experiencing every ride was impossible. So we had to make a decision, wait or take a chance. We waited!
The wait was well worth it with a 3D roller-coaster experience. I would have LOVED to do the ride again but given that we had waited 2 hours already meant that this was definitely out of the equation.
With that in mind we ran to our next ride only to find that it was a longer wait. We decided to reassess the situation. It seemed that everyone else wanted to do the same rides as we wanted to, and with Water World closed, meant that we may have to take a different approach if we wanted to have a full experience.
As a result, we darted for the Mummy Ride which was a fair way down the ‘road’. The wait was fairly long but not as long as our first ride. It was pretty spectacular as you are on a roller coaster in the dark (mostly) with an amazing amount of technological 3D graphics.
By now the running (who needs a gym) and the rides had started to increase the levels of Adrenalin and Serotonin. That is like drinking Coffee , while having a Panadol (head ache tablet) with a shot of whiskey – if I could ever describe the feeling. Actually never had all three at the same time…but thought that if you did – it would feel pretty similar!
For a breather we decided to visit the town of “Far Far Away” which was a 4D experience. At first, we lined up in two horizontal rows- waiting for something. It gave us the feeling as if we were in trouble for doing something very bad. After a while of watching an introduction to what we were to experience, we entered into the theater that had beautiful soft chairs. I won’t spoil the whole experience only that what ever you saw in 3D – you also felt! Totally amazing and great for small kids.
By now it was about 2 pm. We had been running since the park opened, which was at 9 am. Where did the time go? Oh yes…we waited for rides.
Of course the family needed a little lunch break and I – DID NOT! that excitement of the park (the shot of whiskey) had just kicked in and I was eager to have another SHOT!
So on route to Starbucks (which just happened to be at the other end of the park) we decided to give the blue roller coaster a trial. There was a huge debate on which was better. The red one was taller and the blue one was shorter with sharp, sudden turns. The vote was the blue one with my youngest being fairly brave to give – what I term – the toughest roller coaster a trial. She voted for it and I thought that she may be old enough to handle it.
The line was shorter compared to most of the other rides, and we found ourselves at the front pretty quickly. The seats were mid-air which meant your feet were hanging AND your security of ‘feet-on-ground’ was be ripped away. My husband, who is over 6 foot 5 struggled to get into the seat. And after the staff ttried to squeeze him in, he was asked to skip this ride, which left my oldest daughter all by herself. (Roller Coasters work in 2 seat arrangements)
I was a little annoyed because this was suppose to be a family experience which sort of brought me down from that happy high. I was contemplating of leaving the ride too, but before I could the ride was on the way and my attention turned to my youngest who was sitting next to me. All of a sudden I realized this was probably not a great ride for her either. And in a instance we were flying through the air on loops and turns. I instinctively started laughing, my oldest was fairly quiet and my youngest was crying. Luckily the ride came to a stop and I turned to my youngest to see if she was okay. “I am never doing that again”.
With a sudden drop from “thrill seeking platform” we made our way to Starbucks. We ordered some coffees (yeah not sure if that was a good idea) and frappes for the girls. We stopped to reassess the situation – and saw that it was now 4 pm. I was not particularity hungry but the girls were and when given food they wolfed it down before we could say – “FRAPPE”.
One of the decision we had to make was whether it was time to go home. Of course I had just woken up and ready for action, so that idea did not really sit well. Thankfully everyone else felt the same.
In the midst of making this major decision was the opportunity to meet Bumble Bee! I guess it helped the vote of “stay” and in seconds I was bounding for the door for the Meet and Greet which was scheduled for 4:25 pm. I turned my shoes from a fast walk to a run – and ‘marathoned’ it to see the most charismatic Transformer, with two girls in tow.
We had made it with minutes to spare. Who cared about the coffee that was getting cold. My husband would find a home for it! (hopefully)
While looking around and observing the scene I heard a door open. Bumble Bee came dancing out! HOW COOL. My girls were a little shy to have a photo and posed for normal shot. I – on the other – seized the moment, and took some of my karate and boxing experience into account and posed for a sparring photo. Bumble Bee thought that was COOL!
After that – the girls thought they would sneak a ride in the tea cups. By the time we had finished the teacup and the Bumble Bee shoot, it was 5:30 and we made a dash for Starbucks. My husband was NOT impressed – and for obvious reason.
With only a few hours left we decided to ‘hoof it’ to the Jurassic Rapid Adventure which was a river ride. WARNING: Take a raincoat!
Plastic bags on the chair were a dead give away that something was going to happened and it involved water. Somehow a wave of ignorance come over me and I thought – ‘there is no way they would have a ride where we would get wet?’
We traveled gently-gently down the stream but life was not about to be a dream! It was just seconds later we hit the white water rapids and we were tossed around in our little boat like popcorn. Somehow we managed to stay dry right up to the end when the boat suddenly hit a ledge (a small drop) which created a tidal wave that covered the boat. We were now WET….and as it was a very hot day – it was sort of refreshing in some abstract way.
The time was now 7 pm and the next ride in close proximity was the Jurrasic Park Roller Coaster. There was a split debate with half wanting to do that ride and the other half (my oldest and myself) wanting to do the red roller coaster. So we split up to meet up later.
We had made many attempts prior to this time to experience the Red Roller Coaster and every time there was over a 1.5 hour wait. However, this time we made near the ‘launch point’ within seconds with only a full 20 minute wait. Pretty good compared to the rest of the park.
Of course we were completely soaked waiting in line for this experience. I sort of felt conscious which compelled me to start a conversation with some of the girls that were behind us. I suggested that I did not really ‘pee’ in my pants, that I just did the Rapd Ride! They nodded and said “Right” which made me feel like they did not believe me. All of a sudden they burst out laughing and we all had a little giggle.
As we began talking they learnt it was our first time here, so they suggest that we take the 8th cart – the last one! They said that the G-Force was spectacular and so we took her advice. GLAD I DID!
The red Roller coaster was AMAZING and it was by far the best ride of the day. As soon as we finished my daughter and I looked at each other and said : DO IT AGAIN!
We darted down the stairs, around the corner and then up the stairs to do this one again. By this time it was 7:55 and we had just made the cut for the last ride.
After our thrill seeking adventure we doubled back to Starbucks. My husband and youngest were waiting for us patiently. The first thing they said: “You did that ride twice?” What could I say….!
We decided to slow the pace down and take a gentle stroll taking evening shots. I found the evening so much better and wondered why they did not have the park open for the evening times as well? I guess safety was probably a deciding factor so we used every last second capturing lasting memories and made our way back ‘home’.
Overall I really enjoy this experience. Granted – there was a lot of waiting but then there were a lot of things to see. For a moment I forgot about the most important motto and glad that an experience at Universal Studios reminded me of it:
“Everyday is an Adventure – just have to look for it!”