Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!
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USA
(West Coast)
(27 Jul 2012 - 19 Aug 2012)

Day 20

(Part 2/2)

 

Los Angeles (15 Aug 2012)

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Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Here’s Part 2 of the visit to Universal Studios Hollywood.

After the VIP studio tour, it’s time to explore the various rides and shows in the theme park. Being VIPs, the guide will find you the best seats at all shows and take you straight to the front of the line at all rides inside the theme park. The VIP experience gives priority entry into all of the shows and rides even after the 6 hours VIP experience (without the guide). Jump the queue as often as you like, which is a great bonus. [Apologies to those who were queuing in line but I really love the feeling of bypassing those extremely long queues especially in this hot summer :P ]

Jurassic Park – The Ride

Come face-to-face with “living” dinosaurs with 84-foot plunge. This ride is similar to the one in Universal Studios Japan. Warning : You will get very wet! Thankfully, ponchos were given (FOC) to all VIP experience guests.

Vance: Usually I don’t do “wet” rides, but this one is fun!

Transformers : The Ride-3D

Newly launched in May 2012 (for Universal Studios Hollywood), Autobots and Decepticons are now battling in this all new theme park ride. This is definitely one of the best ride in Universal Studios Hollywood, so dun miss this!

Look how sporty the Universal Studios Hollywood staff (behind me) was! :D

Vance: The 3-D ride is seriously good! A “Must-Ride”!

Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride

An indoor roller coaster ride. If you dare, face heart-pounding special effects and unexpected twists at every turn as you escape the Mummy’s revenge in life-like horror. The ride catapults guests at speeds up to 45 mph in virtual darkness. Includes high-speed launches, some startling drops and pyrotechnic effects (real flame). This ride is similar to the one in Universal Studios Singapore.

The Simpsons Ride

This is a great motion simulator ride that mimics a roller coaster. The Simpsons are visiting Krustyland and you are there right alongside Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie as you enter through the carnival-like midway. Hilarious Simpsons animation was created not just for the ride, but for the pre-show and queue areas as well. Even though it’s a simulated ride, it’s so amazingly realistic that you feel as if you are on a moving roller coaster. Expects drops, dips, crazy turns etc. Very loud colours used for the entire area and it makes you feel like you’re right there in Springfield. Even if you are not a Simpson’s fan, this ride is a must. We enjoyed this ride tremendously and went for a second round subsequently.

Vance: We always liked bright colour and whimsy stuff! Lots of colourful paints and do check out their Simpson Store, lots of fun and interesting stuff there!

Shrek 4D

If you are a fan of the Shrek the movie, you will like it as much as we did. In fact, this is the third time I went for this (Once in USJ, once in USS and again here in Hollywood).

House of Horrors

Get ready to scream your head off at House of Horrors. Make your way through a really long and dark maze. Come face-to-face with Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Chucky, and several of the most frightening characters from some of the scariest horror movies of all time! (-_-”)

Vance: Look out for “Mobile” Zombies, they will come (really) close to you! (But will never touch you)! :)

Gourmet Lunch

 

 

 

 

Breaking off for lunch now. We were taken to this special restaurant (private VIP dining) where scrumptious buffet lunch was provided. There’s enormous variety and unlimited beverages. The gourmet lunch provided was simply too delicious :) We even get to take away the Starbucks coffee provided. Our only complain was lunch was a bit rush as less than 45 mins was allocated.

Vance: It’s really a nice restaurant here! Good food, drinks and ambience! We can stay here the whole afternoon! :)

WaterWorld

Based on the Kevin Costner film “Waterworld,” this 15-minute epic is packed with lots of stunts and awesome explosions. If you not prepared to get wet, get off the wet zones as the performers would be splashing water at those in the wet zone.

Vance: We got really good “Reserved” seats for the VIPs and the best is the VIP Guide even gave us hints (or rather instructions) on when to exit the show (last gunshot) to avoid the hundreds of the other audiences rushing out the end of the show! True enough, we are the first to be out of the “Stadium” and on our way to our next ride!

Universal’s Animal Actors

As its name suggests, Universal’s Animal Actors features a variety of non-human performers. Volunteers from the audience are invited to participate as the animals perform a number of impressive acts. Makes me wonder why my fat hamsters can never be trained?!

Vance: @Fiona, not to worry, your (fat) hamsters make good BBQ meat :P

Special Effects Stage

The Special Effects Show is also not to be missed, as the team walks you through visual and practical effects from the early days of movies, to today’s high-tech green screen CGI. You will really enjoy this live show. Learn the secrets behind the making of your favorite blockbuster movies. Become an expert in Hollywood movie making as you learn about CGI, stop motion, motion capture, and 3-D technology.

Universal Studios Hollywood is built on the top of a mountain, so the park is divided into two levels, with a long series of escalators connecting them. The park’s front gate is located on the upper level.

We started the VIP experience at 7.30am and it’s 7pm now! We enjoyed the VIP experience tremendously and would definitely recommend it to anyone. Though pricey, the VIP experience is far better than ‘Front of the Line’ ticket cos even after the official tour, the VIP pass still entitles you to jump the queues and revisit all the attractions as many times as you want. [For 'Front of the Line' tickets, you could only have priority entry once for each show/ride]. Free bottled water was also provided throughout the VIP tour. And did I mentioned that the VIP experience comes with complimentary valet parking?

Being VIP guests, we were also given exclusive discounts (25%) on food and merchandise in the park. These loots are going home with us, yeah!

This is indeed truly a memorable day for us. Yes, the VIP tour was expensive, but the memories were certainly worth it. At least we have experienced this VIP tour once. Bye Universal Studios Hollywood!

Vance: Yeap! Monies well spent!

Next, we headed to Universal CityWalk Hollywood, which is a three-block entertainment, dining and shopping promenade outside Universal Studio Hollywood.

We saw this familiar looking bench…. as yes, that’s Forest Gump (and Vance is a Forest Gump wanna-be?).

Vance: Did you see Forest’s shoes there!? You can slot your feet in!

The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant and Market is a seafood restaurant chain inspired by the 1994 film Forrest Gump. We decided to give it a try.

Playing table tennis (aka ping pong)? No No…. This is actually a menu for special drinks!

For first time visitors to Bubba Gump, flip this chart to show “Stop Forest Stop’ if you require service from restaurant staff. Flip to “Run Forest Run’ if you dun want them to disturb you.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, topped with Parmesan Cheese… Yummy!

Of Course We Have Scampi - Tender Shrimp sautéed with Capers in Lemon-Garlic Butter, served over a bed of Linguine. The shrimps are really fresh!

This is a drink that you must try when you’re at Bubba Gump – The Strawberry-Mango Chiller. You can bring the plastic blinking cup home as a souvenir.

Vance: This cup comes with LED lights at the bottom!

Visiting the Bubba Gump Store next to the restaurant…

What a looooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg but fulfilling day! Looking forward to tomorrow where we’ll do the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour and visit the famous Madame Tussaud Hollywood and The Dolby Theatre. The blog on our USA trip is reaching it’s end soon (just 2 more days to cover)…. So folks, stay tuned! :D



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Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!