Universal Studios Hollywood

Entering Universal Studios Hollywood came with a hefty price of $80 for an adult ticket, but our determination to experience the Hollywood version of the park knew no bounds. In fact, we took lengths to get there–from Allan’s car to the train station then to the Metro Red Line subway–it took us at least two hours to beat the infamous LA traffic until we finally arrived at Universal City station.

Across the station, a free Universal Studios shuttle bus drove us up to the main entrance of the “Coolest Place in the World”. The park opens at 9 but there were already a number of people waiting at the bus stop by then. Nobody wanted to miss a second of the world-famous theme park and movie studio, obviously.

Universal Studios Hollywood

At the Entertainment Capital of LA–Universal Studios Hollywood!

Universal Studios Hollywood

Like movie stars and celebrities, we walked on the red carpet as we entered Universal Studios Hollywood!

Universal Studios Hollywood reminds me of Ocean Park in Hong Kong. It is also split into two levels, the Upper lot and the Lower lot, which are connected by long flights of escalators called the Starway.

Universal Studios Hollywood

We took the Starway to get to the Studio Tour. There’s the tour guide sitting like a director calling everybody to join in.

The Upper Lot

Studio Tour
As advised by Allan, the first thing we did as soon as we entered the park was to join the Studio Tour, because this ride is based on a schedule and closes earlier than others. Needless to say, it is their signature attraction and you haven’t gone to Universal Studios Hollywood if you don’t experience this!

Universal Studios Hollywood

We half-ran, half-walked to the Studio Tour waiting line because we didn’t want to miss the next departure time!

Kyle and I put on our 3D glasses as we wait for the Studio Tour.

Our 3D glasses make us look cool while waiting for the Studio Tour. These glasses are used at the King Kong 360 attraction, which is so freaking cool!

The Studio Tour tram took us for a 45-minute ride to the theme park's studios and shooting locations.

The Studio Tour tram took us for a 45-minute ride to the theme park’s studios and shooting locations.

Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour

Are we in New York City? Think again! All buildings are just facades with nothing within or behind them!

Wisteria Lane in Universal Studios Hollywood, Studio Tour

Does this lovely home look familiar to you? Welcome to Wisteria Lane, where Susan Mayer, Lynette Scavo, Bree Van de Kamp, and Gabrielle Solis talk about how it’s like to be Desperate Housewives!

Setting of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at Universal Studios Hollywood, Studio Tour

These are the props used for the movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. It’s incredible how they made the setting look so different in film!

A setting in the movie "War of the Worlds" at Universal Studios Hollywood, Studio Tour

From the movie “War of the Worlds” starring Tom Cruise

Plane crash setting in "War of the Worlds" at Universal Studios Hollywood, Studio Tour

Is that a bird? A plane? Just props from the movie “War of the Worlds”. It does look like a real plane crash.

The Simpsons Ride
Another ride located at the Upper lot is the Simpsons Ride, which is a family-friendly, 3D-ride adventure through Springfield. It replaced Back to the Future: The Ride in 2007, and although The Simpsons is actually one of the best rides here, we still feel a tiny bit disappointed for missing a ride based on one of the most iconic time-travel movies of the 80s.

The Simpsons Ride

The Simpsons Ride

The ride was a good four and a half minutes long with not just the regular roller-coaster thrill of simulated seats and 3D screen, but it was also laugh-inducing because of the usual Homer and Bart Simpson antics. The Simpson family was also in their own theme park, Krustyland, riding a roller coaster, as Sideshow Bob who escaped from prison, chased after them doing lots of crazy stuff that only cartoon does best. After the ride, we visited the gift shop modeled after Kwik-E-Mart, Apu’s store.

The Lower Lot

Jurassic Park: The Ride
An amusement park is not complete without getting wet, so we put on our ponchos (Oh, wait, we didn’t have any!) and ventured into the Jurassic Park water adventure, the only water ride at the park. Universal Studios Singapore also has this attraction and their boat is the 9-person circular raft. Here in Hollywood, the boat is the long, rectangular type that can carry up to 25 guests. The water ride lasts for five and a half minutes, and is very similar to the one in Singapore, except for the last part, which ends with an 84-foot plunge splashdown.

Jurassic Park: The Ride

All smiles after the long drop and the huge splash! Thanks, Mama, for capturing this wonderful shot!

Revenge of the Mummy
This two-minute indoor ride from The Mummies is almost exactly the same as the one in Singapore–except for the immediate 45-miles per hour acceleration right at the start! It had the same forward and backward car motions and all those breathtaking drops, climbs, and turns.

Transformers: The Ride
We loved this in Singapore, we still love it now! There were many suspenseful moments when both the on-screen animation and car simulator take you for a spin, but they are just fun and not scary (well, maybe a little bit). Even Mama took on this ride without even letting out a shriek!

If you’re gonna ask us the most memorable part of our Universal Studios trip, we would have to say it’s the Studio Tour. It’s such a mind-boggling experience to see a simple location transform into something like the wild, wild west or New York City. It’s crazy how film can take you somewhere far but, in reality, it’s just cardboard and wood. It’s really the magic of movies.

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