Friday, January 2, 2009

Universal Studios Hollywood

Friday, January 2, 2009

So I guess its about time I stop procrastinating and get this done and over with...

So after failed attempts at planning our San Francisco and San Diego trips plus the fact that its too cold atm to warrant a visit to Disneyland, we ended up at Universal Studios Hollywood instead.

The globe like thing omg! I still remember the days where I used to sit at home halfway round the world, staring longingly at it on my tv screen after the shows I was watching has ended and the announcer goes 'this show was brought to you by Universal Studios Orlando, Florida', wondering if I'll ever get a chance to see it irl and now I'm here. Seeing it spin right in front of me.

The feeling atm was indescribable

As daddy bought us all annual passes, we took our time wandering back and forth the amusement park, getting ourselves lost in the crowd, and ended up experiencing only 2 of the attractions out of the 14 attractions available....

But oh who cares, we'll be going back next week again and whenever we have too much free time on our hands to kill. The best thing about living smack dab in a city an hour or less from all the top attractions in the world =)

1 annual pass costs around $69 which is decidedly cheap where the black-out dates are like only 14 days compared to Disneyland where its like $200+ if I'm not wrong with insane black-out dates leaving you free to go during the weekdays only. As if people go to theme parks during weekdays....

But cheap as it may be, with like 6 people in our family, it becomes $414 which is decidedly not cheap anymore if you ask me despite us still having the same privileges each. I am so having only 2 kids in the future...


Missed the first show and lazy to wait for the second

First stop!

Most attractions are indoor and are those screen rides where the seats move and you feel as if you're sitting on a roller coaster only its 2 times scarier despite it being safer. Daddy was so chickened out and would have backed out if it weren't for us dragging him with us. But this ride wasn't the least bit scary at all despite all the terrible threats at the beginning. Lord Farquaad lied lol.

Haha funny signs

Took us 30 minutes to wait in line. Don't you just dislike amusement parks where the line you're standing in initially seem so short and just when you enter into the tent like place thinking 'yes! finally' only to be faced with like a zillion more lines ahead of you -_- I am so getting a DS Lite as soon as I get a job just for situations like these.

This is the last pic of the place because from then onwards photography is forbidden but omg the inside is really pretty and detailed (though the 3 pigs snoring in the begining nearly drove me insane) and the introduction was hilarious. Heck, even their warnings and rules for the ride was funny. I totally love the sarcasm and witty humor Shrek's characters possess ^^

And oh I think I might know what 4D is now? It's like a 3D film with physical effects like when the donkey sneezed, water droplets were sprayed into our faces wtb and it was so cold I swear it felt like his snot. And the spiders!!! I totally closed my eyes and screamed (the hell okay it was crawling right at the tip of my nose!) because pressured air was released from the seats the same time Shrek flung the spiders towards us and omg it feels as if it was crawling all over you.

I. hate. spiders.

Gigantic Christmas tree

The Grinch!

One day I really really have to download I mean buy *shifty eyes* this movie cuz the Grinch is like everywhere during the Christmas season and I think I'm the only one who doesn't know the story at all.

Then as I was bustling my way through the crowd, I saw this one tall, gorgeous, sparkling (literally) creature out of the corner of my eye....

My expression look stupid so, flower

OMG HE IS HOT OKAY! Effing bishie yo! Like anime! Tall and slim with like sparkly eyes (2nd sis says it's because of his eyeliner, fluttery eyelashes and glitter around it) so mesmerizing I swear I can stare into them the whole day long

*stares at pic*

omg so deliciously screw date-worthy okay, weird nose or no, I WANT! I thought he was a grinch (cuz I thought grinch was a species) till 2nd sis said its 'The Whos' (stupid name really) but grinch or whos whatever he is I don't care, I am so gonna stalk him on my next visit and drug and kidnap take another photo with him again.

I totally snubbed the other two Whos nearest to me in my effort to secure him for a pic but I don't care okay, hot guy wins

omg I really want him ok.

And I hope daddy doesn't read this post.

The main attraction of the place where they take you behind the scenes to see where and how movies were filmed and made. 60 minutes waiting queue for this zomg can srsly die.


2nd sis, 4th sis (I mosaic for privacy purposes so stop asking) and me

Oh hay, Frankenstein!

Haha so funny ok during the tour (no the above is not the tour) the tour guide said that back in the early days Frankenstein was so scary, people had heart attacks seeing his face onscreen that ambulances and paramedics had to be on hand at all cinemas. HAHAHA THAT THING CAN GIVE YOU HEART ATTACKS? I always thought it looked a little retar-- special.

That crowd was only the begining of the crazy long queue. Later, we had to take an escalator down and that is where the real queue or should I say QUEUES began and let me tell you that it's probably worse than Japan's shinkansen stations on a monday.

Drawn on sunnies cuz 2nd sis says her eyebags are too obvious lol

The ride

Lovely scenic view

For the first 15 minutes, we were introduced to studio buildings after studio buildings (which I didn't bother taking a pic of cuz its boring) where the tour guide would tell you where all the current blockbuster hits were shot (ha being an actor nowadays must suck as 80% of your acting is confined within some small studio with a green screen as your best friend) and just when I had enough and was about to yell 'cheaters' for wasting both my time and money to see some mere buildings, the real fun began...

A whole town being build from scratch for some movie currently in production which title I'd conveniently forgotten (I hate my failing memories at times) and various cars used in various movies over the years, one of them being the truck in Jurassic Park (3rd pic). And hahahaha all the foreign town and cities in movies were created with those signboards above. So little Mexico can be Japan the next day and HK the next week.

Not so sure about nowadays though, I think they do travel for real during this time and age.

Jurassic Park props. Utterly disgusting if you ask me.

The cars used in 2 Fast 2 Furious (I'm not so sure cuz I wasn't paying attention and neither had I watched the movie before so correct me if I'm wrong) and this is the part where I feel both awed and cheated at the same time.

Awed because omg there was water and an explosion with a huge fireball as both cars went hurtling through the air towards us and cheated because oh so this is how they do car explosions in movies. I always thought they actually blew up engine-less cars. Somehow, I feel a little deflated knowing that nothing was blown up for real =C

The robotic mechanisms beneath it that propels the cars into the air after an explosion. And because I am a noob and pressed the WRONG button on my camera, I totally missed the whole explosion scene and only managed to capture a clip of the cars dancing to music later. Which btw is kinda cute =D

Western towns built for cowboy movies:

I googled up Lyon Estates and its supposed to appear in the movie 'Back to the Future' which I have no idea existed. I am starting to think that this tour is completely wasted on me because I have never watched any of the movies made here except Jurassic Park and the ones I did watched were all made in those boring studio buildings I mentioned in the begining (which we weren't allow to enter btw).

Because SoCal hardly rains and never snows and is basically summer/spring all year round (for goodness sake, the leaves only started turning yellow recently and its winter ok, late much? plus it was only one street. 90% of the other trees remained as green as the Grinch himself), all seasons are man-created like this raining/flash flood scene here:

Artificial rain

Torrents of water starting to gush by really fast

Bam! Flash flood.


Various other created towns:

The place used in a scene for 'Back to the Future' and most recently, 'Bedtime Stories' starring Adam Sandler where he was the gladiator I think. Anyway, I want to watch that movie cuz I saw the trailer and it was effing funny! Any of you watched it yet?

Went through a sound and visual effects tunnel where we experienced an 8.5 earthquake:

The shaky video is not caused by my hand but by the moving tram. Nothing in the tunnel moved except for the floor beneath our tram (our floor was lowered) and all the effects like the electric sparks made it seem as if the whole tunnel was shaking. I liked this part of the tour best =D And the torrent of water rushing towards us at the end was win. Everything seemed so real.

Some remote controlled bridge we crossed which falls apart at the press of a button. No, we didn't fall into the river ok.

Short clip showing the place where the movie JAWS was shot (ha. what ocean?) and where the shark in question is faker than anything I've ever seen seriously, it's like something you see in front of a seafood restaurant okay. You know, those statues of various fishes waving at you to come in.
Oh and sky was getting darker by then so yeah, lousy quality clip =x

And to quote the tour guide: 'and here is our pacific ocean, our sea, our pond, our river used in various movies like 'Pyscho' where Norman Bates dumped his victims into'

Damnit, cheated kaokao by Hollywood. I cannot believe that is their ocean. OCEAN!!! At least use a real ocean alfjkafhasdf. Why is everything turning out to be faker than what I imagined them to be.....

Speaking of Norman Bates, tadah Bates Motel:

It was 5 by then and the sky as you can see is already very dark, meaning crappy pictures from now onwards because my camera is still as craptastic as ever (darn it all the people in front of me had like way better cameras and darkness wasn't a problem to any one of them) and yeah the guy there is Norman trying to put his latest victim into the trunk of his car.

Before some dolt yelled out 'Hey Norman! Over here!' causing him to come running towards us with a sharp knife thus making me scream my head off for the tram to move damnit move because I am RIGHT AT THE OUTEST EDGE of the seat and he is RUNNING IN MY DIRECTION with a POINTY KNIFE causing me to panic like anything cuz I don't care if he is acting (he better be), its still effing scary!!!

Thankfully the tram moved and he missed me by a fraction of 3 seconds. Next time, I am so seating in the front trolley instead of the back.

Grinchland or whatever its called in the movie I have no idea. Maybe Whosland?

Another reason why I'm so gonna move to the front the next time (besides psycho knife-wielding guy who like to run towards innocent paying tour visitors in trams) is because everyone performs for the first few trolleys only leaving the people at the back feeling very very neglected.

A ride into a tunnel built for 'The Mummy' but was never used and is now converted into a joyride for our tour where there is this part of the caves that goes round and round till you're dizzy before it suddenly goes pitch black and those black bugs starts crawling all over you. Ok so not per se, but there is the sound of them crawling and pressured air is once again released making it feel as if its crawling all over you.

Scenes from the Steven Spielberg fim 'War of the Worlds' starring Tom Cruise

And like what one girl in the tram said: 'oh wow it's like strategically placed rubbish!' hahaha.

I doubt they actually positioned them carefully though.

For those who watch 'Desperate Housewives' (which I don't. Told you the tour is wasted on me), nah, Wisteria Lane:

Sorry, my camera batteries chose to die on me and I had to make do with 2nd sis's cellphone cam. Oh well, I'll take better pictures the next time I go back.

Anyway, we decided to forgo the Simpsons ride in favor of dinner citing 'oh well, we can come back here some other day anyway' so that marks the end of our day at Universal Studios.

The Citywalk outside of Universal Studios.

Yes its absolutely freezing I tell you.

I totally couldn't feel my hands halfway during the studio tour and had a hard time taking pics.

So yeah, end of post. I had tons of fun and if you ever come to L.A., I do recommend spending a day here =) Am going back again to finish the other attractions next week =D


Mei-Wah said...

utterly LONG post you have here!
make me went "WOW", especially on the "fake" ocean abhetaubdsyeyzkeyfg wtf.

make sure you CHARGE your camera's battery kaukau before you go there again next time. you got the annual passes, make use of it kaukau! hahaha... kiasuness.

Faye said...

Omg Lyon Estates and BttF!!!!! I LOVE that movie. In fact all three of them. :DD I swear these western theme parks are a gazillion light years ahead of what we get here. :(

hana said...

@mei-wah: Yeah long because I cannot be bothered to break it down into tiny individual posts cuz that would translate to MORE work XD

@faye: You love tht movie? Okay, I shall google it up later *curious

And yeah, western theme parks makes Sunway Lagoon and Genting seem like my neighborhood playground in comparison lol.

Ammy said...

sniff sniff

hana if and when i ever go over we go together okay? i promise i'll prepare lots and lots of stupid comments =D

hana said...

Omg no way. I'll prob be sick of Universal Studios by then *groans*

I don't even intend to like go with my cousins but rather like just drop them there wth lol.

And what stupid comments????