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Old 02-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #46
Teknik_DC2
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Day 4, Part 3: Disneyland

With Daniel asleep and Kiera finishing her ride on Space Mountain we took advantage of Daniel sleeping and went to another ride that we would have to Rider Swap on. And it so happend that the ride we'd be going to was a short walk away. And we already have Fastpasses for it. We were heading to Star Tours.



I would be going first and once again we asked for a Rider Swap card in the event that we'd get to ride again later. Here at Star Tours we got the pass right at the ride enterance. I entered the ride and once indoors you will find the que to be pretty much indentical to the version at Disney's Hollywood Studios. If you may recall We rode this ride earlier this year in Orlando. I was very excited for it as the ride reopened last year after a referbishment and major update. The ride now features randomized locations making your ride different each time you go on it. The old version of the ride was great. But the new version is even better. Especially if your a Star Wars fan like myself. In fact I enjoyed the ride so much that it took the #1 spot as my favorite Simulator ride.





The wait was short but it still took longer to load then the ride does in Orlando. Thats because in Orlando the ride utilizes 6 simulators where in Disneyland there are only 4 simulators so be prepared for a longer wait. Soon though I was directed to my terminal and boarded our Starspeeder. As or StarSpeeder took off we were stopped by Darth Vader as the Empire was looking for a Rebel spy onboard. Luckly we were able to blast away though and found ourselves on Hoth as the Rebel Allliance was in battle with the Empire. We narrowly escaped and jump back to space where we got a holigraphic message from Yoda informing us to safely delever the Rebel Spy. We jump to lightspeed again to be confronted by not only Bobba Fett but also the Death Star as we engage in battle above Geonosis. Again we made it out alive though and found refuge on a Rebel starship where our ride came to an end.

The ride was great once again although the only part of this ride I had never experianced before was the Geonosis battle. I love the randomness of the ride as it really adds to the repeat value of the ride. I think its the only Simulator that I could go on multipule times in the same day. The 3d on the ride looks amazing as it adds depth to the ride instead of making things pop out at you. Yes the ride footage and simulator movments are the same as the Hollywood Studios version. So which version is better? Well theres no doubt that Hollywood Studios version has the better facade with the Endor set and the full size AT-AT. However the "movie set" theme doesn't work well in Florida dispite how amazing it looks. You walk thru Endor, find yourself in a spaceport, and then exit in a Tantooene shop? The full story works better in Disneyland as dispite the facade not being as good, you can believe your walking into a Tomorrowland space port. Then you exit into the more generic space portisc Startraders store. For the Overall package I think it works better at Disneyland. However most Star Wars fans will prefer the Hollywood Studios set up.

After my ride I found Kiera and Daniel and Kiera entered the Star Tours to take her ride to a Galaxy Far, Far away. Daniel was still asleep so I took a walk around Tomorrowland while Kiera rode. For being a land of the same name the Magic Kingdoms Tomorrowland couldn't be more different then Disneylands. Both try to be futuristic and sci-fi themed but thats where simularities end. The only thing the 2 have in common (other then 2 ride) is both are in desperate need of revamps. Both Tomorrowlands are in very rough shape. Magic Kingdoms seems to be invaded by Cartoon Characters where Disneylands is a jumbled mess. I never got to experiance the actual Tomorrowland 98' remodel that Disneyland got but its easy to see why that remodel failed so badly. Gold paint was thrown everywhere even on Space Mountain, The new "thrill ride" Rocket Rods was closed within 3 years, The Rocket Jets were replaced by something called and Observitron while the spinner was placed on ground level blocking the entryway, and it was all done on the cheap. Although the area has been repainted a much nicer Silver and Blue (with little gold left). But the area still is an inconsistant mess. Autopia isn't futuristic, Why is there a Toy shooter game, Theres talking fish in the Lagoon, and don't even get me started on Innoventions. Still dispite its weaknesses I still really like the land. I do think it looks pretty decent and I love it at night with all the neon lights. I also prefer the look and feel of Disneylands Tomorrowland more then the Magic Kingdoms. I feel in Florida that I could skip everything in Tomorrowland but I don't feel that way in California. The area needs work no doubt but its still probably my favorite area in Disneyland. Something needs to be done quick though as its so depressing seeing satalites on the load plateform and the empty people move tracks running everywhere. Please Disney fix Tomorrowland. And for reals this time.






While Kiera finished her ride I checked out the StarTraders store until she was done. The store was very packed especially around the build your own Lightsaber area as this is the only store in Disneyland where you can build one. When Kiera was done though we were done completly with Tomorrowland so we exited towards the hub. We would be continuing with our Journey to the opposite side of the parking to the parks Frontierland Section.




As with Adventureland, Disneylands Frontierland will seem significantly smaller then the Magic Kingdoms version. And you wouldn't be wrong. Frontierland is very small. Almost a blink and you miss it type area. But thats because the area is filled with waisted space. In addition to the large footprint that Big Thunder Mountain uses theres also a large space used by the Big Thunder Ranch and Festival Area at the back of the land that isn't even open much of the year. Frontierland is prime for expansion if they ever choose to do so as its another land that could use it. Even though Adventureland is small it seems larger then Frontierland. This is another case where the larger more elabrite version of Frontierland wins out in the Magic Kingdom compared to Disneyland.




There is a reason though why we came to Frontierland at this time. Daniel still hadn't waken up from his nap so we figued we would continue with doing rides he couldn't go on anyways. So we were heading for Big Thunder Mountain. A ride which if you have read my reviews may recall a ride I call my Cursed attraction. Thats because the ride always seems to be closed when we visit the parks. It was closed in 2008 when we came to Disneyland, and the Magic Kingdoms version was closed when we went earlier in 2012. Infact we barely made it this time as 3 weeks later the ride closed for a lengthy 10 month rehab.




I was very excited to go on Big Thunder Mountain. It was one that I loved as a kid and I had not been on the ride for close to 18 years. I couldn't even really remember it. We didn't pull Fastpasses for the ride because we didn't need to. When we got to the ride it only had a 10 minute wait posted so I just entered the standby line while Kiera would wait with the sleeping Daniel. We asked about Rider Swap and was told it was a pass we would get before boarding. The Que for the ride is something I forgot and is pretty cool as it takes you to the center of the mountain area where an old town is on one side and mining equipment and even dinosaur bones are all around you as the train passes on by. At the Top of the stairs is where your suppose to get the Rider Swap Card. But I didn't realize it and forgot to get it before boarding.




Our Runaway Train left the station and we were on our way into the mountain. This ride has to be the one that suprised me most on this trip. Not only did I forget all of the caverns you go in but also all of the animal animatronics. And the ride is long too. You go up and down and around the mountain then back up and do it again dipping thru caves and thru rivers and its so much fun. Dispite it being a family ride it delevers quite the thrill. I even remembered to do the "Goat Trick" which gives a little more thrill on the helex after the lift hill. I forgot what I was missing with not riding this in so long. Its one of Disney's best rides and one that should not be missed. Sorry but I unfotuantly won't be able to compare the Disneyland version of the ride to the Magic Kingdoms since it was closed when we went 7 months ago. I had a huge smile on my face as I exited the ride and returned to Kiera and Daniel who was now awake.




Luckly the Standby line still had a short wait so dispite forgeting to get the Rider Swap card she wouldn't have to wait long. Daniel didn't want to be in his stroller anymore by this point so he was out and able to run around for a minute while we waited for Kiera to ride. We walked up Big Thunder Trail towards the exit of Thunder Mountain to finish waiting for Kiera and when she returned after her ride we continued down the trail towards Big Thunder Ranch.





For many years During the Holidays Big Thunder Ranch has become Santas Reindeer Roundup. The ranch recieves a Christmas Overlay where you could meet Santa and also some of his Reindeer too. Well that is of a thing of the past as this year the area expanded into the Jingle, Jangle, Jamboree. As with many other "parties" thruout the year the back of the Ranch is opened up into the old Festival of Fools area. Don't worry though all of the old decorations are still here too. Unfotunatly Santas Reindeer are no longer making the trip down and won't be seen anymore.



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Click Dates below for Links to Past Trip Reports

February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:31 PM   #47
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The Festival area is pretty big and is where all of the Christmas activities are taking place. There is a stage where Bill Hill and the Hillbillies are playing during the holiday season. Theres also a food stand set up selling seasonally themed treats and snacks as well as many different Christmas themed games and Craft booths set up for the kids.






This is one of the areas of the park where Mickey and the Gang are located and I believe the only place in Disneyland that you will see them in there Christmas attire. The first Character we saw in here was Minnie so we got in line to see her. She had a Photopass photographer with her but when it was finally our turn Daniel was not happy to see her at all. He started crying and pulling away from her and didn't want anything to do with it. Again quite the difference from Florida 7 months earlier.



Santa use to meet and greet in a small Cabin thats part of the ranch. Now though he has a larger meet area in the Festival area. Daniel needed a Diaper change so while Kiera went and did that I went and got in line for Santa. The line didn't look to be too long but I would end up being very wrong. This line was one of the longest waits of the day as we waited about a 1/2 hour. The line moved so slow as many kids (or should I say parents) would rather there kids see Santa one at a time instead of as a family. After waiting it out though we finally got our turn with Santa. Daniel was afraid at first but was slowly warming up to Santa once he offered him a Candy Cane. We managed to get a few cute photos before Daniel was done with him again. I couldn't imagine coming to Disneyland during Christmas and not stopping to see Santa.







After we finished seeing Santa we saw that Goofy was also out now and was dressed up as Santa too. So we stopped to see him. Suprisingly Daniel didn't have a freak out this time seeing a character. Although he wasn't excited ether. He was just kind of whatever about it lol. We also stopped quickly and saw Mrs. Claus too who Daniel did actually like. Probably cause she would talk to him and be sweet.






We spent over an hour at the Jingle, Jangle, Jamboree and watched the sky's turn dark while we were in there. Having finished all we wanted to do we walked back into the Frontierland and made our way towards another attraction. We still had not gone on the Haunted Mansion so that was our next planned attraction. However when we arrived at the Mansion we were greated by some farely long lines and a 40 minute wait. So instead of waiting I went and grabbed some Fastpasses for the ride (only avalible during the Holidays) and we continued on to an area of the park we hadn't visited yet. Critter Country.




As we approched Critter Country we were looking at what I consider to be my favorite Disney ride (although I like the WDW version more) Splash Mountain. And I figured this would be a fairly short ride as we watched empty or nearly empty logs tumble over the waterfall. I guess with it being Dark and getting cold most people didn't want to chance getting wet at this time of night. Well i'm one of those people and with this being one of my favorites in the resort I was gonna ride. I got in line while Kiera continued down towards the Winnie the Pooh ride with Daniel. Sure enough the line was completly empty as I didn't even come across anyone until I was at the loading station where I was 2 people away from having my own log. Unfotunatly they placed me in a log with this couple though and my journey began.



Although the Disneyland Splash Mountain is the original version of the ride, this is one of the rare instances where the WDW version was cloned better then the original. I do prefer the original seating arrangement as it feels like a traditional log flume and there are many more animatronics as Disneyland's bennifited from the left over America Sings animatronics being added in. The general story of the ride is still the same and the additional small drops in the attraction still take me by suprise no matter which version i'm on. Although WDW's version is longer because it has additional show scenes in it that are missing in California. I felt really bad for the couple sitting in front of the log as every drop our log pretty much nose dived soaking those 2 while I stayed dry in the very back. They really got wet on the final drop which i'm sure does not feel good with the colder weather. Even though this version isn't as good as WDW's I still love it and could ride it over and over again. Its one that I highly recommend and shouldn't be missed. I would hope to ride it again later in the trip. Hopefully late at night again in hopes to get a log to myself.



When I exited the ride I found Kiera and Daniel waiting for me but turns out they hadn't rode the Winnie the Pooh ride because it was closed for some reason. I asked Kiera if she wanted a turn then on Splash Mountain but she decided as well with the Darkness and Cold that she didn't want to risk getting wet so she didn't ride tonight. As we were walking back up towards the exit to Critter Country we again passed the Entrance to Winnie the Pooh and found that the ride had reopened. So we parked the stroller and entered the line where there was no wait to board a vehicle. Compared to the WDW version I really like the exterior of the Disneyland ride more. I like the outdoorsy que and the outside loading area. I also like the honeycomb style ride vehicles more then the honey pots in Florida. The vehicles also move up and down more then they do in Florida which is pretty unique. However for overall story I think the WDW version is better. I also did like the new Interactive que in Florida. The ride is fairly odd during some points that seems pretty trippy but overall I found myself enjoying the ride more then I did in 2008. The opinion that really matterd though was Daniels as he really seemed to enjoy the ride again with its bright and vibrant colors. This isn't a ride that I would consider a must see but its short diversion if you're rider swapping on Splash Mountain or you want to get out of the sun. Plus it almost always has a short wait. Overall though I would say the WDW is the better of the two.




We managed to time ourselves in Critter Country just right once again as when we were finishing with Winnie the Pooh our Fastpasses for the Haunted Mansion became avalible for use. So since we'd have to walk past the Mansion anyway thats where we would be heading next.




As I mentioned earlier during the Christmas and Halloween Holidays the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is transformed with a Nightmare before Christmas overlay. With these characters its almost like the Haunted Mansion becomes a completly different ride. I'm happy we decided to pull the Fastpasses as the standby line was still long. Infact it had grown 5 minutes in length since we were last here. The exterior decor of the Mansion looks like it could have been pulled right out of the Movie. The detail is so interesting and screams halloweentown. Within 5 minutes we walked thru the mansions front doors and into the stretching room where unlike WDW the stretching room is an actual elevator as you move down.


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Click Dates below for Links to Past Trip Reports

February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:34 PM   #48
Teknik_DC2
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The waiting hallway to load into the doombuggies was much less crowded then it was in Florida dispite the attraction being much busier then it was in the Magic Kingdom when we rode 7 months ago. We stepped in our Doombuggie and we were on our way into the mansion which was decorated from head to toe. Every nook and cranny it seemed had the overlay put in it. There was no floating candle. Instead Zero the Ghost dog was in the hallway. The ghosts were still dancing away in the Dance hall but theres also a very well done Gingerbread house down there with other holiday goodies. The attic is filled with presents for all the kids on Santas list. However our ride came to a stop for a moment here before continueing on to the Graveyard.




As you approch the graveyard you'll find that it is coverd in snow as you pass a life size Jack Skellington Animatronic. The graveyard is a winter wonderland with snow angel pumpkins soaring above in the air. The ride ends after passing a Life size Oggie Boogie and collecting your presents where the hitch hiking ghosts are usually at.






The Haunted Mansion is a Disney classic that should never be missed. And the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay really shouldn't be missed since its around for such a short time. So how does Disneylands Mansion compare to the Magic Kingdoms. Once again Disneylands Mansion is the original but its hard for me to choose the winner because I havn't been on the regular version of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland in a very long time. Exteriorwise I like the look of Floridas more and from what I remember I think the ride portion was better too. However Florida doesn't get the Holiday overlay and that makes Disneylands version into something really special. Fans of the movie will love the overlay and it will make them wish there was an actual Nightmare Before Christmas ride.

When we finished with the Mansion we realized how hungry we were so we decided now would be a good time to find something to eat for Dinner. After looking over the Touringplans app on my phone we decided to head back to Tomorrowland to grab dinner at the Tomorrowland Terrice. As we started making way across the hub back to Tomorrowland we saw Sleeping Beauty Castle all lite up with its Christmas lights turned on. The castle looked incredible. Breathtakingly beautiful. They had the area directly in front of it closed off though i'm guessing as they started to prepare for the Fireworks.




As we entered back into Tomorrowland the area looked great at night with all the lights on. We headed strait to the Tomorrowland Terrace where the was practically no lines for food since we had missed the dinner rush. I ended up ordering the BBQ Bacon Burger while Kiera got the Chicken Sandwich. We also ordered a milk so that we could give Daniel a bottle. Its too bad that we were eating later and the Jedi Training Acadamy was already finished for the day because here in California the show is done on a small stage at the Tomorrowland Terrace. The food was good and filling and after finishing up we continued on back into Tomorrowland.



We were an hour away from the fireworks starting and since we still had 2 Rider Swap cards for Space Mountain from earlier in the day we decided to use them at this time. I went first again while Kiera went to wait near the exit. The wait turned out to be a little bit longer this time of night then it was earlier in the day. I'm guessing because of all the people using there expired Fastpasses late. But soon I was in the rocket and shooting off into space. I seriously love this ride so much. Its nearly perfect in every way.



As I finished with my ride Kiera took the last Rider Swap card and went and rode as well. Why Daniel and I waited I again let him out of the stroller to let him run around for a bit. In the Starcade across from us the Wreck it Ralph meet and greet had closed for the day however the backdrops were still up and open where you could take pictures with them. Daniel loved playing around the building from the Fix it Felix Jr. Video game and it almost seemed like he was trying to climb it to "wreck it". As part of the Meet and Greet they even created a few full size Fix it Felix Jr. Arcade games that you can actually play. I never got a chance to play them but I thought it was a cool touch.







When Kiera finished her ride thru space we had about 25 minutes until I thought the Fireworks would be starting. There was one more ride in Tomorrowland that we hadn't rode earlier because Daniel was asleep and we were sure it was a ride he would like. The ride is Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters and since Daniel is pretty much obsessed with all things Toy Story we knew he had to be awake. The line was posted with only a 10 minute wait so we got in line which stretched outside the building. It was while waiting in line though that I overhead somebody say the fireworks would be starting at 8:45. Not 9pm like I thought they would. Since we really only had about 10 minutes now until the Fireworks we decided to get out of line and not ride on Buzz today so that we could see the Fireworks instead.







And that will conclude my update for today. Only 1 more update until our full Disneyland day is complete. Thanks to those of you still following or just checking out the pictures. I do appreciate it.
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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:38 AM   #49
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Day 4, Part 4: Disneyland

We rushed into a very crowded Hub and Main Street area as we were less then 10 minutes away from the Fireworks starting. I thought we wouldn't be able to find too great of a spot so we were suprised to find a spot with a head on view of the castle just past the Partners statue. I don't know if this was a pathway that they had opened up right before we got there but it was like a big open spot with nobody standing that filled in as we waited.





As we waited for the fireworks and saw so many kids with light up bands and toys we pulled out the ones we brought for Daniel. We picked some up from the local Dollar Tree before our trip so that Daniel could have something at night and he loved them. Although he also tried shoving them down my mouth too lol. Buying the light up bands at home will diffenitly save you some money from buying them in park and most kids won't know the difference.




If you read our 2008 recap of our last visit to Disneyland then you'll know we didn't get to see the fireworks how they were intended to be viewed. We nearly got stuck on the Matterhorn on that trip and because of that delay we were blocked off from getting us in front of the Castle and forced us to watch the fireworks from Fantasyland just outside the Matterhorn. We were so excited to finally see the Christmas Fireworks from the Hub.







The fireworks soon started and were accompanied by the sounds of Christmas Music. Daniel was instantly excited as he saw the explosians of light in the sky. He laughed and clapped just like he did with World of Color the night before. He loved the show the whole time. The show itself is pretty good. Theres not many fireworks shows out there that are as good as the worst Disney does. Plus the Christmas Fireworks make for something truely magical during the Holiday season.







But thats not to say the fireworks are perfect. Although we were very happy to see the Fireworks from in front of the castle we couldn't help but think the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom were much better. Of course that is comparing there regular fireworks to a Holiday version so maybe that had something to do with us likeing them more. Maybe we would have enjoyed them more if it was the regular show. And we were really dissapointed to see that Tinkerbell DOES NOT FLY during the Christmas fireworks. We really wanted to see that as we hear its much better in Disneyland then it is at the Magic Kingdom. So compared to the Christmas Firework show at Disneyland. We prefer the Magic Kingdoms show more.






Dispite these issues though and a very crowded Main Street and Hub that people will camp out for at Disneyland for hours on end the show was still great and something that you cannot miss no matter what Disney park your in. Fireworks ending the day is part of the experiance and you should make sure to see them.





The thing that is truely made for a magical experiance though was the second the Fireworks were finished the trees illuminated white as if covered with snow and as the music changed snow starts to fall from the sky. Well not real snow. We get plenty of that in Utah but its snow that is made from bubble suds. There consistancy as the fall though do look just like snow until it touches your skin and you see what it really is. Daniel really loved the snowfall and with his reactions mixed with the soundtrack playing it was once again a moment that brought tears to my eye as I was so happy to experiance this with my small family.



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Click Dates below for Links to Past Trip Reports

February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:40 AM   #50
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Once the snow turns off the lights in the trees will also go out but Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Main Street Tree will stay lite up for the rest of the night. Although the park was officially closed at this point we decided to go against the crowds heading for the exit and made our way to the front of the castle in hopes that there would be Photopass Photographers out again now that the fireworks were over. Unfotunatly there wasn't though so we walked thru the castle and back into Fantasyland.








We were heading back to Fantasyland because we wanted to see "Its a Small World" lite up with its Christmas lights. We also hoped that there would be a photopass photographer back there still as well. When we got back there the building looked great lite up at night. Its probably the closest that the Disneyland Resort gets to the Spectical of Lights thats put on at the Hollywood Studios in Florida. Although the building looks amazing at night all lite up we wouldn't get to enjoy it for too long as security was already back here telling people that the park was closed and to head to the exit. Unforutnatly this also ment no Photopass people were around and the one person who took our families photo didn't use the flash.






We started heading back towards Main Street and once again cruised passed the castle in hopes that there were photographers out but again there wasn't. I can honestly say the lack of PhotoPass Photographers was one of the only dissapointments we had with the Disneyland resort. In all of the Florida parks there were photographers everywhere AND they were all out wel past the official park closing time. That is not the case here as the photographers were hard to find in Disneyland park (although there were many in DCA) but nether park had them out after closing. I guess thats probably why the package is cheaper in California then it is for Florida.





Main Street had cleared out fairly significantly since we left it after the Fireworks. These times after the park officially closes for the night are some of the times that I enjoy them most because you can really take in the beauty without the crowds. Main Street is a very special place at night with all the vintage lighting down the street.





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Click Dates below for Links to Past Trip Reports

February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:42 AM   #51
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As we made our way towards the exit though we decided to take a look at the large Emporiam store to see if there was anything that we missed in many of the other stores of the resort. However there wasn't anything too special that we didn't already see elsewhere. I guess the Emporiam (as well as Elias and Co and the World of Disney Stores) carry the best selling items found thruout the resort.






We soon reached the end of Main Street and viewed the large Christmas tree up close and gazed back down towards the castle one last time for the night. We walked past Walts Apartment above the Firehouse and the walked thru the tunnel and thru the park exit.








The DCA exit also looked great at night with not many people standing around the Esplande.



You would think we would start the long trek back to the Hotel now but before leaving the resort we wanted to walk thru the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney. I didn't mention it earlier but when we ate at the Bangle BBQ a couple days earlier a coupon printed on the bottom of the reciept for 20% you full order at select locations by 1pm so with only one Disney park day left we wanted to make sure first that the World of Disney store had all that we would want to buy.

After looking around the store we did find pretty much everything we wanted to we started the walk back to the hotel. Obviously we wouldn't get back tonight before the pool closed to soak our feet but it was nice to kick our shoes off and relax once we were finally back in the room for the night. We again quickly got ready for bed as we were pretty tired and beat after spending over 13 hours in the park today. We had another Park day ahead of us tomorrow but it would be much less tiring as we would be able to sleep in a little and take our time getting to the park. Thats because tomorrow we would be returning to Universal Studios Hollywood for our 2nd and final day there.



And thats all for Day 4. thanks everyone. I hope to have another update from a new day soon. Thanks for following.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:44 PM   #52
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The Castle looks so gorgeous all lit up and decorated for the holidays! That picture of Daniel trying to catch the snow is just so precious and sweet. He looks like he is just enjoying every minute!

We also found there to be a significant lack of Photopass photographers around the DL parks when we went. Once we got there and realized that I was happy we had not pre-ordered the CD even though it is a lot cheaper than the pre-order for WDW.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:13 AM   #53
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Day 5, Part 1: Universal Studios Hollywood

The start of this day was much more relaxing then the previous two. Although today was another park day we wouldn't be waking up before the sun rose to get ready. We would be going back to Universal Studios Hollywood today. A park we had already been to on this trip so we were't in a huge rush to get there.

Compared to waking up before 7am then prior two days it was so nice to finally be able to somewhat sleep in. We got up and took our time getting ready and with a late breakfast in the room we finally left the hotel at around 11am.

As we drove back to the LA area where Universal is located we noticed some darker clouds and then it started to rain. We knew that there was a chance of rain today. I was just really hoping it wouldn't be anything too bad since we would be out in the park most of the day. I thought we would be in luck though as the rain had stopped shortly before we passed Downtown LA.



The drive to Universal took a big longer then I thought it would. I figured since we were driving during in the late morning that traffic would be fine. But we still got stuck in it for a little bit adding about 20 minutes to the drive. Although the drive should take around 40-45 minutes always plan on it taking over an hour. I wish I would have thought that sooner.

We pulled up to the Universal Studios and it was evident right away how different the crowds would be compared to what they were on Saturday when we came. There was only 1 lane open to get into the parking area. Then we were able to find a spot right up front to the Citywalk enterance from the garage instead of parking 3 levels up like we did Saturday.



This time we were on the main level of Citywalk when we exited the garage. As we walked thru Citywalk towards the park we walked past the iFly indoor skydiving. Well I guess its indoor but you the tube is actually outside and anyone can watch the skydivers do there thing in the tube. It was pretty cool to sit and watch for a moment and Daniel really seemed to enjoy it. I don't think I could ever get myself to do it though.






As we walked thru Citywalk the whole place had a different vibe to it compared to the previous Saturday. It was much nicer not being so packed but many things were missing. Santa wasn't out and there wasn't any concerts going on. Still Citywalk Hollywood is probably my favorite out of all the resort shopping/entertainment areas in California and Florida.






We soon arrived at the enterance of the park. Unfortunatly though as we were walking thru Citywalk the rain had come back. Luckly it wasn't too bad though and we hoped it wouldn't get any worse then it was. Considering today was much lighter crowd wise then it was on Saturday we were suprised by how many Universal Photographers were out taking photos for guests near the globe and enterance to the park. If you are using the Citypass tickets make sure you don't forget your actual plastic Citypass card as you will need it to get into the park.




You'll notice that some of the photos I post may be in similar spots as photos I already posted from when we were in the park earlier. This is to show the difference in crowds going to the park on a Wednesday compared to a Saturday during the Holiday Season. Of course with less crowds though will come shorter hours and referbs as the Park was only open until 5pm tonight (compared to 8pm on Saturday) and Jurassic Park was closed for Referb.




Right after we walked thru the gate we were stopped by a TM wanting us to take a short survey. Normally I don't ususally do this but for our time he offered to give us a free "A" Gate (front of the line) pass for the Studio Tour. So I figured why not. The survey was pretty simple demographic survey as they asked questions like our age, where we were from, where else we were visiting in Southern California, how many times we'd been to the park in the past, ect...... It only took about 2 minutes of our time and we figured that pass would come in handy later in the day.



Before heading to any attractions Kiera needed to use the Restroom so we stopped at the one near the enterance to the park. These Restrooms do sit next to a couple attractions such as the Waterworld Stunt Show, Gibson Amphitheater, and also the House of Horrors. Unfortunatly we didn't do any of these attractions on this trip though. However we did in 2008 when we last visited.

Water World is said by many to be one of the best Stunt Shows there is. I would say its pretty good but I don't think its the best. Honestly I think i've enjoyed the Sinbad Show in Islands of Adventure and the Lights, Motors, Action show at Disneys Hollywood Studios More. Still its something that I wish we would have done again as it is something that you should see for yourself when going to the park. Its also something you should see soon too as its rumored to be one of the areas that will be removed to make way for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expansion.



Another area that the Wizarding World is rumored take over is the space currently used by the Gibson Amphitheater. This venue actually isn't an attraction in the theme park but an acutal concert venue where big names in music perform when they come to town.



The House of Horrors is a walk thru attraction bringing you face to face with some of the classic monsters of Universal film history. Its basically a year round haunt comparible to what you would find during Halloween Horror Nights. Although when we went thru back in 2008 we weren't real super impressed with it. The sets were amazingly detailed. But it severly lacked scareactors. I'm sure that was because it was weekday then as well. One advantage about it though is you don't go thru it in a congo line like the HHN houses though. Do to the possible fear factor of this wether it was heavly staffed or not though is what prevented us from going thru it with Daniel on this trip.



As we continued into the park we passed all the same areas we did when we were at the park Saturday. However with it being much less busy we were able to stop and get a photo with Jaws. We decided to save the Studio Tour for later as we walked by though on our way to the Simpsons Ride.






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Old 02-19-2013, 01:15 AM   #54
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When we got to the Simpsons ride though the wait time had rose to 25 minutes. So we figured we would hit it after the Lower Lot. But before heading down Homer and Marge Simpson were out doing Meet and Greets so we took Daniel over to see them.





Luck was with us as before we got to the Lower Lot Escolaters the Rain had completly stopped and it didn't return for the rest of our time in the park. Dispite Grinchmas not taking place today the grinch story speal was still being played as you make the long journey down the escalator system to the Lower Lot. Without the crowds there is plenty of space to stop and take a look at the Backlot and other parts of the Studios as you make your way to the bottom.









Once we got to the bottom we decided to first get ourselves a little treat. Universal Studios Hollywood offered a popcorn bucket for I think around $6 with unlimited refills thruout the park that day. We thought this was a great deal and figured we would diffenitly get our moneys worth out of it. Needless to say we did as I belive we refilled it like 4 times.

So now we were on to our first attraction of the day. One right next to the Popcorn place and one we didn't go on when we were at the park a few days earlier. That ride was Revenge of the Mummy. Now although this ride shares the same name and the same ride system as the Florida version thats about where the simularities end. First of all you'll notice the lackluster facade the attraction has here in California as it pretty much is just a soundstage with a sign. Kinda intersting when you think of it that Florida has the neat Museum and Theater Facades yet inside its themed to as if your making another Mummy Movie. Yet in California outside is themed as a Soundstage look yet inside you "literally" enter an egyptian tomb. As with Transformers we were given a card for me to take thru the que and exchange after the ride for a Rider Swap card while Kiera and Daniel were taken thru the Exit into the Child Swap room.



The Outdoor section of the que is minimally themed. some statues here and there but nothing great. Its not an area I would want to spend a lot of time waiting in. Inside though the que is actually very well themed. Not as well as the Florida version but still pretty well considering there was much less space to work with. Still many of the que gags are present in Hollywood as well. I didn't get to see them up close though as with how short the lines were we bipassed all the switchbacks. The line stretched all the way to the outdoor section though and was about a 10 minute wait until I was boarding the ride.








The ride itself is still a Roller Coaster/Dark Ride Hybrid. Although the ride is much shorter considering it is housed in the Former E.T. Adventure building instead of the much larger soundstage that the Florida version got for replacing the Kongfrontation. The ride starts out slower as a dark ride as you venture into the Mummy's tomb. Theres a guy above that you pass warning you to turn around as the curse is real as he is eaten by the beetles and drops of water drop you to simulate the guys blood. You pass a tunnel with hands reaching down for you and then enter the Treasure room which is much smaller and less intense then Floridas. As you turn the corner you come to a room where Imohop is as he steals your souls. Two Solders drop from the cealing and then the Coaster launches forward into the coaster portion of the ride.

The Launch as diffenitly much better in Hollywood then it is in Florida but I would say that the coaster portions themselves are about the same thrill wise. In both rides you will pass by the blacklight solders that look horrible. At one point you will come to a stop as you face a wall of scarab beetles. Yes Florida has this part as well but unlike Floridas ride vehicles the Hollywood ones are equiped with the leg ticklers so little shots of air on your legs make it feel like the bugs are really crawling on you. The vehicle then moves backwards into the reverse portion of the ride which although is significantly better then the backwards part of Floridas ride it still isn't as good as Expedition Everests. The real killer to this ride though is the abroupt ending. As you stop on the turntable theres just some flash of light as you spin as the Imohop yells and then the wall opens and the vehicle returns to the unload area.

The Mummy is easily one of the do not miss attractions on the Hollywood park. But it pales in comparission in almost every way to the Florida version. Really the only things I'd say are better in Hollywood are the backwards portion of the ride and the launch. Its too bad that the ride isn't a little bit longer and I wish they could figure out a better ending. But given the smaller soundstage that Hollywood had to work with I couldn't imagine the ride turning out any better. So don't miss out on this ride. But don't expect it to be as great as the Florida ride.

I went down to the Child Swap room wich unlike the rest of the interior of the attraction is completly unthemed. I was acutally kind of shocked as the Florida version still has a themed Child Swap room. There was tv playing the Mummy Cartoon but that was the extent of the themeing. There were a few toys and playsets kids could play with while waiting and Daniel seemed to really enjoy it. Kiera got back in much less time after her ride then it took me as the line was nonexistant when she rode.



As we exited the Mummy area we noticed the Dora the Explorer was out meeting park guests so we took Daniel over to see her. He watches the show every now and then on Nick Jr. but its not one of his favorites. He didn't really know what to think of her lol. Once again its so weird how he didn't care for characters on this trip.





After topping off our Popcorn again The next attraction we went to is one that we rode a few days earlier and also the parks newest attraction. Transformers the Ride 3d. Where the ride had a posted 45 minute wait on Saturday today the wait was only 10 minutes. We asked for a Child Swap card and Kiera and Daniel went to the exit to go to the Child Swap room. As I started to make my way to the main enterance one of the TM's told me I could use Single Rider with no wait. I knew this but I didn't want to use Single Rider at this time. I wanted to see the actual themed que for the attraction and I figured 10 minutes wasn't a bad wait.



The theme starts as you walk inside. Whats a very bland building with an obnoxously large mural on the outside looks like a very industrial, sophesticated and very high tech military facility on the inside. The first room has a bunch of screens and buttons a switches you pass by. I didn't stick around long enough to see what happens on the screens or if the buttons work or do anything though.




The next room is where the Allspark remnant is kept in a secured container. This room was probably my favorite in the whole que as I loved seeing the detail on the Allspark itself. The room after that has the tail peice of the decepticon from the first film with what seems like some sort of tests being done on it. As you enter the room after that though you can tell something is going on at this Nest facility though as now the emergency warning lights were flashing thruout the room and also the ramps you go down as you decend to the load area.

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Old 02-19-2013, 01:16 AM   #55
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Had I gone Single Rider or not it wouldn't have matered as there was no wait at all at the end of the ride. I walked strait on to a ride vehicle and then the fight against the Decpticons was on. As I mentioned earlier Transformers is an incredible ride. It uses the same ride system as Spiderman in Islands of Adventure but its much more action packed from the get go. Although one downside of the attraction is it is much more dependent on screens then it is physical sets when compared to Spiderman. Transformers is a solid attraction that should not be missed and will make a great addition to the Orlando park.

After my ride I went to the Child Swap Room where Daniel was the only kid in there playing today. Which was nice cause the room is so interactive that Daniel was having a great time in there. As Kiera took the Child Swap Card to go on her ride (which was much better this time around with no breakdowns like before) I played with Daniel in the room. He liked pushing the buttons and seeing the autobots on the screens. Although it is kinda odd having the large glass looking out at the unload area. I guess its great for parents waiting for others in there party but its kind of odd for those getting off the ride seeing the kids in a bubble.



When Kiera was done with her ride which was much better then her first I decided to quickly go on Transformers again since there was no wait for it. This time I did just enter thru the Single Riders line as it is a much shorter distance to travel. Practically down the stairs from the enterance and your on the load plateform. I walked right on to the ride again and even had a whole row to my self this time. Once again the ride was amazing and I spent this ride looking in some directions that your not suppose to look to see how the ride functions and also see how effective the elevators are hidden as its something you really don't notice unless your looking for them.

As we exited the ride we decided to look in the Transformers Gift Shop right across from the ride exit. I was very suprised by how small the shop was and would hope that Orlando's will be much larger. There were some unique merchandise but we didn't get anything. Right outside the shop is where the Optimus Prime and Bumblebee meet and greets are located but nether of them were out yet. We were about 30 minutes away still from Optimus Primes first showing of the day and 45 from Bumblebee. I really wanted a picture with them so we figured we would wait out the time on the Lower Lot before heading back to the Upper Lot. I thought about giving the Energon drink another try but the stand that sells it was closed. Next to Transformers though in one of the large soundstages something was taking place but we couldn't tell what it was.



With time to kill on the Lower Lot we decided to stop in and look around The NBC/Universal Experiance. This is a exhibit that has many props and costumes from many Movies and TV shows from NBC/Universal History. They also have an actual Acadamy and Emmy Award on Display. There may be thousands of different things on display with discriptions of it all and the exhibit seems to switch out regularly. To promote the film Paranorman there were many of the claymations and sets on display from the movie in there. Its pretty cool to see and look at some of the props. It could also kill a lot of time if you look and read every thing in there. I'm very suprised that the Florida park doesn't have something like this. I think it would go over much better then the I Love Lucy exhibit.















After the Experiance we once again refilled our Popcorn and then walked around the closed Jurassic Park area. I belive this was the final full week it was closed for Referb (it was only opening on the weekends) so dispite it being closed the flume was still full of water and the Waterfall was turned on. It was pretty depressing though not seeing and hearing the boats splash into the pond. The shop was also closed do the refurb.






Since there was still time before Optimus Prime would be out I figured now would be as good of time as any to take another spin on the Mummy. Kiera didn't really care to ride again though so instead of waiting for me in Child Swap she took Daniel over to the Dino Play area that had finally opened up (it was closed earlier) so that he could play and unwind a bit. As I made my way thru the empty line for the Mummy I pretty much walked right into one of the vehicles. The ride was a blast again and I hoped there wouldn't be any crowds when I returned to the station so I could possibly ride again. Unfortunatly though there was so I had to unload. I considered running back thru the ride and going again but decided against it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:18 AM   #56
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I walked over to the Dino Play are where Daniel was the only kid playing. It was quite the difference from Saturday when the area was so packed you could barely move. Daniel really enjoyed having the playground to himself playing with the toys and climbing on and under the nets or going down the slide. I was only there for a few minutes though when it was time to head back over near Transformers to meet Optimus Prime. Daniel was not happy about it though as he cried as we walked away from the Dino Play area. He really loved it.











It was within 5 minutes of when Optimus would be coming out but there was already a crowd of about a dozen people waiting to meet him when we got to the location. We got in line and before long Optimus came walking out. These characters are pretty incredible to see in person. They are much taller then they look in photos and just to see how the stilt walkers work are pretty awesome. Its too bad they don't do more then stand there. Do to the fact that they are on stilts they also don't let you get too close to the characters during the meet and greet as there is a line on the ground that you have to stay behind. Daniel didn't seem to know what to think about Optimus Prime but I thought it was pretty cool.




Bumblebee would be coming out in 15 minutes but we decided not to wait. I wanted to at least see one of them and having seen Optimus I was fine moving on back up to the Upper Lot. Besides we still had a lot of stuff we still wanted to do up there before the park closed. We refilled the Popcorn bucket one last time before heading back and then started the long trek back up the escalators.








And thats all for today folks. Sorry for the delay in posting an update. I've been very busy with a major event for a website I own going live and because of such updates may be slower to be posted until the event happens and is over with. Thanks for sticking with me though and following my thread.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #57
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The Transformers look really amazing! I wonder if that is something they will add at Universal Orlando when they open the Transformers ride there. DH and I would get a kick out of taking a photo with Optimus & Bumblebee!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:28 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
The Transformers look really amazing! I wonder if that is something they will add at Universal Orlando when they open the Transformers ride there. DH and I would get a kick out of taking a photo with Optimus & Bumblebee!
Yes the characters are coming to Orlando as well. They just announced I think last week the audition times for Transformers Stilt Walker Character tryouts. The Orlando project is turning out quite nice if you havn't seen how they are themeing the building out there yet. Since my updates Universal Studios Hollywood also added a Megatron character in addition to the Optimus Prime and Bumblebee that i'm sure Orlando will get as well.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:29 PM   #59
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Day 5, Part 2: Universal Studios Hollywood

Once we were at the top of the Escalators we figured now should be a good time go on one of the other Major attractions in the park. The Simpsons Ride. Earlier the wait time was at 25 mintues and so we bipassed it to the lower lot. This is a ride that we consider a must do if you can handle Motion Simulators so we didn't want to miss out on it. The Plaza area where the ride is located is also lightly themed to the Simpsons and they even strung up some Mega Trees decorated for Christmas with Presents addressed to different characters from the TV Show. Unlike Florida though the large Krusty head does not have a large Santa hat on it during the Holidays. However the Simpsons Family at the rides Marque do. This is the extent of the Holiday decor on the ride though.




We were shocked to still see a 25 minute wait posted for the ride. We figured that since all the other rides have had shorter waits then posted then this one would too. We got a Child Swap card and I entered the line while Kiera and Daniel walked to the Child Swap area to wait (which oddly enough is outdoors for this ride). Upon entering the ride though I found the line to be even longer then it was earlier in the day. So I got out of line and figured we would try again later when the attraction would hopefully be slower.





Earlier in the day the only attraction that had a longer wait time then the Simpsons Ride was the Studio Tour. This was something we wanted to do again. Especially since filming takes place during the week and not on the weekend. But would the line still be long for it? That didn't matter because remember we got a free "A" Gate pass for the Studio tour for taking that survey.





We made our way to the Studio Tour, Parked the stroller, and then entered the A Gate area. Of course by this time of day that really wouldn't matter as the Studio Tours Que was very short as I think everyone in line made it on to our tram. The only difference was that the "A" Gate guests were put in the very front part of the tram with the Tour Guide and Driver. We thought this could be pretty cool. I made sure this time around to sit on the left side of the tram though as when we rode a few days earlier we sat on the Right side.





Just to give the heads up now I won't be writting a whole lot about the Studio Tour as I already gave a pretty in depth review of it from our previous day in the park. Instead of repeating what i've already wrote I will just give a basic overview of the tour so don't expect a whole lot other then pictures.

Once the tram was full we started our tour into the backlot. It was obvious farely quickly that this tour would be somewhat different then the tour a few days ago. The biggest difference was in our Tour Guides though. Both were very good but they just did things so diffrently. Where our guide on Saturday acted as if things were happing on the backlot as if it was real life this guide was all about giving us the in's and outs of filmmaking and made it clear we were going thru movie sets. Different styles but both good. We learned things new on each tour. Once again another reason to do the tour multipule times. The tour would also be shorter today do to filming taking place. Where the full tour we had Saturday took about 45 minutes the tour today would be more like 30.

We started the decent down the hill passing again all the different movie posters from Universal's Amazing Film history. At the bottom of the hill you enter the front lot area that contains the studios Soundstages. Sitting on the left side you will get a better view of Soundstage 12 where The Voice is recorded (it was recording today infact). This is where that Film magic comes in to play as I never knew the Voice is recoreded in a Soundstage since it shows the contestants walking into a theater before there performances. Not a soundstage.




The entire front lot was very busy with activity today compared to Saturday. There were people everywhere, tons of trailers and golf carts driving past. I mentioned that The Voice was filming today on the front lot but so were the NBC shows Go On and Parenthood. Many of the soundstages we went past even had there doors open so we were able to peak in and see some sets for movies being filmed. Unfortunatly though we didn't see any noticible Actors.








After you pass thru the Front Lot and Bungalos the tour would next take you thru the New York and City streets. But not today. We just passed by as there was filming taking place in the City sets so the trams are not allowed to go thru during shooting. The Tour guide told us that the TV show Castle and also a TV commercial were being shot in different parts of the City Sets today. However on the filming board at the parks enterance it said that it was actually the Fox Comedy the Mindy Project that was shooting today on the City Sets. I was kinda sad we didn't get to go thru the City Sets though as I looked forward to having a better view of Corthouse Square being on the left side of the tram.






Since we bipassed the City sets we pulled right up past the old collapsing bridge and into the Kong 360 experiance. This is one of the highlights of the tour and is an incredible experiance. This was one of those times though where I HIGHLY recommend you sit in one of the middle cars of the tram. Sitting in the very front car this time was still good and fun. However it seemed like we missed out on alot of the visual action as we had to turn around backwards to see it. Daniel did great again dispite there being some scary moments for kids in the Kong Experiance.

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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:30 PM   #60
Teknik_DC2
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Driving next past all the Movie cars is much better sitting on the Left side of the tram then it is the right as you can actually get a good look at the vehicles here. Some of the Vehicles include cars from Back to the Future (including the Original Delorean), The Mustang from the newer Knight Rider show, some Lost World vehicles, and cars from The Fast and the Furious Movies. I loved seeing these cars up close on the tram tour but I kinda wish they had them on display instead thruout the park. And I don't know what there doing with the BTTF Delorean but it looks to be in pretty sad condition.






We entered the Fast and the Furious Dancing car thing next and the show was still stupid after intial explosion. Although the show is worse being in the front car as your seeing it from the side instead of head on. The Dancing part is so dumb and I wish they could come up with a better idea for this area or a better use of this Franchise.







Next up is the small Jurassic Park set up that has more props and vehicles from the films. This is an area that is much better seen sitting on the Left side of the tram as you will see the Lost World Trailers and vehicles, Wrecked Tour Explorer, and other props better. Just watch out for some escaped Dinos out to get ya.






The tram goes down a hill and into the Mexican streets area where of course is the Flash Flood portion of the tour. This was another part where it kinda sucked being in the very front car of the tram as you really couldn't see the Flood very well. This is another experiance on the tour that if you want a good view then sit in one of the middle cars of the tram. Unlike Saturday we also didn't go thru many of the Mexico streets ether. It was pretty much just the flash flood and we left the Mexico Streets.






I could be wrong but it seemed like we did see more of the Western sets though. These are the sets where the Universal Backlot originally started and I was glad to see that the original street is still there. Although we saw pretty much all of the Western Sets on this day though it does seem like they have taken some of the sets out since our trip in 2008.





After passing a large water tank that is used for Underwater filming we head out to the Backlot Lagoon again where we will see the lagoon part and we will drive thru it. This was one of the parts that was kind of cool being in the very front car of the tram as we were able to watch the water part with a head on view. To the left of course is the Skull Island miniatures used when filming King Kong. Sitting on the left side of the tram gives a great view of these miniature sets.





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Click Dates below for Links to Past Trip Reports

February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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