Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!
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The Bahamas, USA (East Coast), Canada 2013
(20 Sep 2013 - 15 Oct 2013)

 

Day 9

Orlando - Universal Studios Florida (28 Sep 2013)

 

 




Good Morning Orlando! We're visiting the Universal Studios Florida (USF) [The 16th most visited theme park in the world] today!

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Vance: I should have brought my bathing suit to make it more realistic!

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[Throwback!]
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Above reminded me of Lombard Street in San Francisco during our 2012's West USA trip!




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Japan, Singapore, Hollywood and finally.... Orlando! HHF have covered all Universal Studios in the World (for now)!

Universal Studios Visited
Osaka, Japan Jul 2008
Singapore, Singapore Aug 2011
Hollywood, California, United States Jul 2012
Orlando, Florida, United States Oct 2013

#Universal Studios (2013)

Other Universal Studios are under construction now, namely Universal Studios South Korea (opening in 2016), Universal Studios Dubai (opening date remains unknown) and Universal Studios Moscow (Opening 2018). Other locations have been reported for future Universal Studios theme parks, including Universal Studios Beijing (China) and Universal Studios India.

Vance: I'm looking forward to the Universal Studio in South Korea!

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Photos for this blog entry are arranged according to their respective themes.


Production Central

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Despicable Me Minion Mayhem -  Yes, the whole world is going "Minion Crazy", including HHF! Join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous Minions on a heart-warming and hilarious 3-D ride. This is definitely one of the cutest ride in Universal Studios Florida. Do this popular ride first as once the park fills up, the line for this ride gets crazy.

Vance: Warning, this ride has the most kids aboard, Minions are just too well-loved by the little ones!! For the adults (AKA old people) its a pretty well done 3-D (High Def) and good sensory effect Ride. We enjoyed it and we belong to the "Kids" category! :)

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Someone taking a selfie with his favourite churro while I was paying for it?! *Question Mark*

Vance: I really want to eat it very much.. only keeping myself occupied (i.e. taking a selfie) will keep me from having a bite (and finish it before you are done with payment!) :P

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Vance: Actually, I'm hung on strings! (J/K!)

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 Universal's Superstar Parade featuring Gru, Agnes, Edith, Margo and the minions from Despicable Me!

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TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, our all time favourite. Though we’ve been on this ride twice in 2012's visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, but nothing (including Decepticons) can stop us from getting on this ride :P

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Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Rock out to the song you pick before strapping in. Best part is that the ride is all recorded on video. Edit the adventure into a music video and bring a copy home (Aka show me the $$$$)!

Vance: The tracks on the rollercoaster are classified into 5 categories and each categories consist of about 6 tracks (track list released in mid 2009). And there's a Country music category?!?! Maybe its to keep one calm while coasting. @Fiona, I think its for old people like you! :P



I was rocking to this!
Hella Good No Doubt
More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Rip_Ride_Rockit



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[Throwback!]
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It's amazing that Betty Boop from USF (top) and Betty Boop from USS (bottom) look so identical!!

Vance: Actually they are the same persons, I had tea with Betty after your photo shot, and she told me that! *wink*


New York

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Twister...Ride It Out
, experience what it’s like to be
a real storm chaser. The show re-creates all the nail-biting excitement and unforgettable moments from one of the most action-packed movies of all time. Watch a twister uproot a tree, throw a cow around and pull down some signs.




Vance: This is actually quite dated ride (Twister was released in 1996 and the ride opened in 1998!), but it is still interesting! (That's why its not replaced... yet. ;))



San Francisco

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Disaster!
Go behind the scenes at Disaster Studios and learn the secrets of disaster films from the "Master of Mayhem" himself, Frank Kincaid. See scenes from some of Hollywood's biggest movies and witness live demonstrations that show you how many of the most amazing stunts and special effects were created. After that, guests board a San Francisco subway car where they are casted as "extras" for a movie finale scene involving an earthquake in a subway station (Expect pillars crumble, trucks crash, flame explosion, a runaway train heads right for you and 65,000 gallons of water flooding the underground subway station – i.e. you might get a little wet!). Thanks to high-speed editing techniques, the riders get to see their handiwork in the form of a movie trailer that includes film sequences shot throughout the attraction's pre-show and main ride. Quite an interesting concept involving the guests.

Vance: See it here. Warning: 20+ mins!





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Using the Universal ScreenPlay app (which is FOC for both Android or iPhone), guests experience their favourite Universal movies and characters in a new way, including 3D experience and creating Virtual Postcards with some of the most popular characters. Currently this app is only available in USF. Here’s how the app works: Hold up your phone to any of the posters (near Diagon Alley described below). The app will scan it and ask you a trivia question or poll related to the film. If you answer correctly, it will show you a clip from that specific movie and earn you points that will unlock additional clip art and borders for the “Virtual Postcard” mode

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Vance: These are actually screen caps from my mobile phone and the obvious choice of scanning "The Transformers" :)


My favourite would be holding up the phone up to one of the posters of attractions from Universal’s past and present, and the app will open up a virtual window into that attraction’s world, displaying a quick 3D scene that pops off the wall (Like the above video). Words cannot describe the awesomeness of this feature.
Tips : Do download the app before the park visit as WIFI / 3G network may be patchy at the park.

Good news for Harry Potter fans. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be further expanded with Diagon Alley (into USF) behind these posters! The new Diagon Alley and ‘London’ is now constructed on the previous Jaws ride (near the San Francisco area of the park). The marquee attraction of the Diagon Alley area will be based on Gringotts bank (Fire-breathing dragon sitting on top of a bank that Harry withdrew his money from), King’s Cross Station and an indoor roller coaster.



(Source: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Mine_Cart)

This above animated GIF from the Harry Potter Wiki is a good clip to start imagining what the new ride will be like.

Guests would be able to travel between the new ‘London’ area (located in USF) and the existing Hogsmeade Village located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (located in Universal's Islands of Adventure) aboard the Hogwarts Express, a real working train passing between the two parks. It’s not hard to imagine that the famous 9 ¾ platform of the King’s Cross Station will somehow be part of the experience. The Harry Potter expansion is coming to USF in Summer 2014. How exciting!

Vance: And we will be visiting again! (Just sayin' :P)





 
World Expo

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Men in Black Alien Attack - Zap aliens as you chase them through the streets of New York in this high-tech, interactive ride based on the hit movies. But be warned, these aliens zap back, spinning your vehicle out of control. 




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The Simpsons Ride, we love crashing through
Krustyland!





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Vance: And we have been doing it so very often! We last visited them in 2012! Read it here: http://hamhamfarm.com/travel/USA2012-20b.htm

[Throwback!]


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We were really impressed with the look and feel of the Springfield Area (The Simpson’s Springfield Area here is much better than the one in Universal Studios Hollywood).

See the complete walkthrough here:


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We had lunch at the Fast Food Boulevard in the heart of Springfield (Home of The Simpsons), where we get to choose from an array of familiar eateries offering some of the most famous edible (and not so edible) dishes featured in The Simpsons. It was a really long wait as everyone was trying dine in Springfield (The Simpsons are really very popular with the Americans).
Vance: The food and restaurant theme is really nice, make you feel like you are in the cartoon itself! :)

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We had the Krusty Burger & Duff Beer. Yes, we have to show our ID (again) for buying the Duff Beer. Do we really look that young? Haha! :P
Vance: I ordered the drink and was asked for the ID, not you wor :P


Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone

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 Animal Actors On Location – A live show featuring animals that fly, crawl, hop and swim. Be entertained by these amazing animals!

Unfortunately, E.T. Adventure was down when we visited. USF closed early today due to Halloween Horror Nights and we left really disappointed (since E.T. Adventure was not available in USS & USH. We took this ride in USJ previously but it was narrated in Japanese, which we couldn’t understand).


Hollywood

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Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show - Go behind the scenes of make-up effects here. See how top make-up and special effects artists create some of the amazing effects you see in Hollywood's latest hit movies. The show contains movie clips, prop and creature make-up demonstrations, and fascinating (as well as humorous) insight into the moviemaking process. Before the show, check out the lobby’s collection of authentic props, make-up effects and more from some of Universal's most legendary horror movies.


I was really honoured to be invited (not once but twice) up the live stage for the Horror Make-Up Show (See video above). I didn’t expect to be selected since I’m the only Asian (besides Vance) in that run. I was probably selected as we were seated in the center, front row (Privilege of getting an Express Pass). I used to think that those people who are invited up are usually Universal Studio’s “Staff-in-Disguise” (but this experience has proven me that I was sooooooooooo wrong). After the show, some audience came up to me and commented I was really “brave” and I felt so flattered.

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The complimentary Polaroid souvenir from the crew of Horror Make-Up Show. Thank Guys! You guys were really hilarious and the show was really very entertaining! Keep up the excellent job!

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Farewell USF! We had a great time... Hopefully we have a chance to be back soon! :)
Vance: Maybe some good company sponsors can bring us back here again? *wink*


CityWalk (Again?!)

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Located at Universal Studios Orlando in the CityWalk entertainment complex, Hard Rock Café (HRC) Orlando is the biggest HRC in the world! Rock it baby!
Vance: Its REALLY big for a restaurant and the furnishing is all very well done (like every other HRCs)!

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Drinks : Mango-Berry Cooler (A tropical blend of mangos, strawberries, pineapple juice, orange juice and sweet & sour topped with Sierra Mist) and Banana-Berry Colada (Malibu tropical banana and Malibu Black Rum blended with fresh bananas, strawberries and piña colada mix)

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Appetizer & Mains : Hickory Smoked Chicken Wings and BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich.

Damage : US$38 including taxes (before gratuity)

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The atmosphere was lovely, with all the rock memorabilia and the music playing! Food was better than expected and the prices are quite reasonable for a theme restaurant.

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Our waitress (MO) was sporty, friendly and pleasant. Her service is just perfect! HRC Orlando is really busy and it’s definitely worth a visit. Definitely lived up to our expectations J
Vance: Oh, she asked for my numbers too *wink*

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Don't forget to check out the HRC shop located on ground floor, the extensive collection of HRC pins will certainly amaze you.

Looking forward to tomorrow where we will visit Disney's Animal Kingdom!

J




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Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!