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Old 01-13-2008, 11:43 AM   #1
Daysleeper40
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Ooo-de-lally Tour September 2007: Day 4 (Bruce, Blue Men, and Booze)

Friday 21st September: They were bald and blue… and we had a paper party!

The alarm was set for 7.30am and although we lounged in bed for a little while we were still up and ready to go by 8.15am. I know you are supposed to pace yourselves but we just couldn’t stay in bed long when the delights of Universal Studios awaited us. It was a lovely walk to Universal - the sky was clear and the sun was shining. We were happy - and we hadn’t even got to our destination yet!

We arrived at CityWalk and opted for a Cinabon and OJ to prepare us for the day ahead. It is the first time either of us had tried a cinabon and we were suitably impressed by its warm gooeyness! Any form of breakfast item that involves icing can only be a good thing in my opinion!



So, having scoffed our sugary breakfast we headed over to the entrance. The Flex Ticket scan / fingerprinting all went well and we were into the park in no time.





First up - Production Central and Shrek 4D. This was a walk on but we obviously still had to endure the pre-ride introductory film thing that always seems to go on for ever. I get that these are just an elaborate way of queuing for when it is busy, but there was no queue and I just WANTED TO GET ON WITH THE SHOW!

Impatient me!!

We also still had weary feet from our previous exertions so the less time spent standing up the better. I loved the show once it had started though - it made us both laugh lots. I’m also glad we opted for this first, as later in the day all the families had turned up and Shrek was officially NOT a walk on anymore.



You may have noticed by now that M and I tend to enjoy the more exhilarating rides, and having been on one child friendly attraction we were now itching for a bit of excitement… in the form of Revenge of the Mummy. We had our first encounter with the lockers at this point and M quickly found the knack of using them (apparently the key to it all is only holding your thumb on the scanner very lightly. I didn‘t have this skill so M was officially designated locker boy at this point). I have heard other people complain about the lockers at Universal but I liked the fact you didn’t have to pay and were only given enough time to reasonably ride the attraction. At least there is not much chance of people hogging the lockers all day and stopping others riding. ANYWAY, our bag was stowed safely and we made our way though the ropes, which I am happy to say were completely queue free. I fully admit to not really knowing what to expect from this ride. I’m not sure why, as I had read all the tour guides and goodness knows how much internet info , but I don’t think it had ever really registered in my brain that the Mummy is essentially a dark coaster. I quickly found out that it is indeed a coaster - and a damn fine one at that!! Totally unique to any ride I have been on before and utterly fantastic… it had the “awesome” factor in spades and there may have been some mildly embarrassing high five activity as we tumbled out of the exit!

I was quite excitable after the Mummy and there was a mantra going on inside my brain that went something like “Amity, Amity, Amity, Amity”…
I don’t think you have to be a genius to know what was up next. Yep, that’s right, after literally DECADES of anticipation, we were finally going to come face to face with Bruce!!

Strolling into Amity we spotted the toothy one straight away and took the obligatory “Oh no, he’s got my arm” pictures before joining the queue for Jaws. Again it was basically a walk on - 5 minute wait at the most. John was our tour guide for the trip and as we set off on our water tour of Amity all was calm… but not for long! Suffice to say that the ride didn’t disappoint and John and Bruce both put in great performances! My notebook reads “Loved it, want to ride again” which pretty much sums things up.





It was still really early and for some reason Earthquake didn’t open until later so we left Amity / San Francisco behind after Jaws, and headed for World Expo and the Men in Black ride. The ride itself is essentially your standard interactive shoot-em-up, but the theming was BRILLIANT. From the moment you enter the staging section of the queue you feel like you have been transported into the film and it’s really good fun - assuming you like the film of course!. Even better was the fact that I trounced M 90k to a paltry 50k - and he was using two guns! More proof that men simply cannot multi-task methinks.

After Men in Black we walked in the general direction of the Kidzone and came across the area where they are building the new Simpsons ride. It was all cordoned off but there were funny scenes painted on the fencing and we had a laugh posing alongside the characters and taking pictures. Having established that there was no way of getting an actual sneak peak we moved onto the Kidzone, applying a sun cream top up on the way as it had become hot hot hot! We also saw lots of Halloween Horror Night paraphernalia which looked very cool. We both wanted to go to a HHN but with our itinerary full we opted to not overdo things and save this experience for another time. Remarkably sensible of us if I do say so myself!



On arrival in the Kidzone we decided to experience the ET ride and queued for a little while. The ride was just ok - more for the little people really. Having said that, there was a screaming little boy who had to be taken out of the pre-show as he was scared of the dark.



We had to give our names at the start of the ride and as far as I can gather ET speaks your name at some point. This completely passed M and I by so if you particularly want to hear ET calling your name, my advice is listen hard and pay attention! Following ET we encountered a few famous faces and had our picture taken with the Madagascar lion, Woody and his girlfriend, and most importantly of all, Doc Brown! I’m assuming Doc Brown will be moving on in years to come as they have closed his ride, so we felt pretty lucky to have met him!

Next up was the Terminator 2:3D - we had a bit of a longer queue for this one and another pre-show malarky to go through. Obviously they want as many people as possible in each showing so all in I’d say we were waiting about 20-30 minutes. I thought the show itself was very innovative but honestly - more for the boys. I’m not a huge fan of the film either so although it was really good, it didn’t have the same WOW factor for me that JAWS had.

At this point it was time to head over to the Sharp Aquos Theatre to pick up our Blue Man Group Tickets. M found this little gem while doing his pre-trip research, and made it his mission to get us some good seats. I’m glad to say he succeeded and we had no trouble at all swapping our email confirmation for two actual tickets at the theatre Box Office.



This achieved we jumped straight back into the action with a front row view of Twister: Ride it Out. Again we both really enjoyed it, and cheered when the cow came flying over! We were making great headway around the park and opted for a more relaxed attraction next in the form of the 11.30am showing of “Animal Actors”. This was enjoyable but not as good as some of the other shows that we saw. After the show we headed out of the park for a bit of lunch at the Hard Rock Café. On route we bumped into Bart and Lisa Simpson but sadly we missed Homer. Lunch came in the form of a Club Sandwich for M, a Cajun Chicken Sandwich for me, and a diet Pepsi apiece. It was all tasty and we also got the photo package as well, as unusually for us the picture was actually quite attractive! All in it cost $50 and our stomachs were quiet and happy again.

We mooched a bit to let our lunch go down but it wasn’t long before we boarded our next attraction - Earthquake. I liked this but we both agreed that we would need to re-ride with better seats. Bit of advice - sit in the middle at all costs. For some reason the attendants seemed very keen on everyone sitting as far back as possible - obviously fair when the park is busy but a bit unnecessary when the ride is only half full. Still - it was pretty impressive and we knew we would be returning to Universal Studios later in the holiday so there was no urgency to leap back on. In fact we had done so well in the morning that we could take quite a relaxed pace in the afternoon. With this in mind we made an ice cream and water stop next and just sat in the sun for a little while taking in our surroundings. We saw a funky little lizard under our table as well!



It was still really hot and we were glad that next on our list was an indoor show in the form of the Horror and Make Up Show. I thought this was brilliant - the host and his guest were very funny and the effects were cool. There is some audience participation as well, which pretty much guarantees a bit of hilarity in my experience! You also get to see some famous props in this show - most notably for me was the wolfs head used in American Werewolf in London.



We emerged from the show to see a band outside Mels dinner which we watched until they started to try to make people in the crowd dance and M ran away, as dancing in public is his idea of torture!

We ran straight into the Madagascar characters and I was thrilled to have my picture taken with the penguins but then suddenly realised that we did not have a ride photo yet. We had made a pact to buy a ride photo from every park - I know it is expensive but it is also an undeniably good way to commemorate our first ever visit to each park.



We decided that the Mummy ride was our best option for the photo and headed off to queue straight away. The wait time was much longer than it had been that morning - a good 30+ minutes. Not bad when I think that I have spent longer than that queuing for rides at Chessington in the past, but we were standing next to a massively annoying girl. She was with her boyfriend and at two minute intervals whinged that she would “Leave the queue if we don’t get to the front soon”. Predictably the self centred little brat never did follow through and actually leave the queue, which was a tragedy for all of us…

Anyhow, we somehow held back from battering her to death and eventually found ourselves boarding the Mummy for our second ride that day. It was equally good as the first and we got the required ride photo so it was all good. M also commented that he is lucky that I am not a “high maintenance pain in the be-hind of a girlfriend”… it’s always nice to know I am appreciated!

We were on the wind-down after the Mummy as we wanted to relax before heading to the Blue Man Group show, but managed to fit in a ride on the Woody Coaster and a mooch around the Zidzone before heading out of the park and into NBA City for some much needed refreshment.





Happy hour you say? Well yes it was! That will be two rounds of Coors Light for $8 plus tip.
I kicked off the Crocs and relaxed at the bar as M sloped off to the NBA shop muttering something about always liking basketball. Heavenly it was after our hot day in the park and I remember feeling supremely smug that this is how I was spending my Friday instead of toiling away at work with everybody back home. We didn’t want to get too boozy before the show though so stopped short of a third pint and hit the wallet with a bit of clothes shopping at Hard Rock and Bubba Gumps before making our way back to the theatre and the queue for Blue Man Group.



The atmosphere in the queue was lively and it wasn’t long before the rope dropped and they let us in. The show is 1 hour 45 minutes long and there is no interval - so we did the sensible thing and hightailed it to the loos before finding our seats. M had done us proud with seats just outside the poncho zone, and we were intrigued by the attendants handing out paper streamers… it all becomes clear later in the show. We were also approached and asked if we would like to take part in the show - which we declined as they wouldn‘t give us any idea what we would be doing. It’s not that we are no fun - but would just prefer to enjoy the show without the threat of being dragged out and made to do who knows what at some point!
It’s is almost impossible to explain the show itself but suffice to say we both absolutely adored it, and felt it was the most entertaining, innovative, and hilarious thing either of us had seen in a very long time. I laughed and I gasped.. I was intrigued and impressed… It was thought provoking one moment and slapstick the next. Most of all I was elated - and I would go again in a heartbeat. I don’t want to say anything to ruin it for first-timers so I am not going to describe any particular element - you are just going to have to trust me that this is a must do if you intend on spending any time at the Universal parks!

M got himself a BMG T Shirt on the way out and we stopped off at Citywalk for a slice of pizza and a bit more people watching before grabbing a taxi back to the hotel. What an amazing day!

Highlights for both of us - JAWS, The Mummy, and the Bald Blue Blokes Paper Party

Last edited by Daysleeper40; 01-13-2008 at 11:50 AM. Reason: add a photo
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:45 PM   #2
wickesy
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Cinabon to start and Blue Man Group to finish, a day doesn't get much better than that.

I absolutely loved Blue Man Group when we saw it in Las Vegas last year and I am debating whether to get tickets for Orlando in April.

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Old 01-13-2008, 03:47 PM   #3
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great report personally i would have gone ahead and battered annoying queue girl !!
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:07 AM   #4
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Another brillant report
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:53 AM   #5
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Loved your report, thanks for sharing. The Shrek pre-show drives me mad too!

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Old 01-14-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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lovely day
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:18 PM   #7
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I've never been to US and it sounds good
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:09 PM   #8
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The Blue Man show really does sound good. The mummy is my definate favourite ride anywhere ever


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Old 05-28-2009, 05:50 AM   #9
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Great report! You showed more restraint than I would have done with 'Queue Girl'
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