He Said: Drove to Universal today. Spent most of the day there and I am wiped. I am getting sick of the upselling. Decided to pay the extra $10 for premium parking, then when I got there they had a sign for "main entrance parking" on top of that. So far every place has ad three tiers of parking. As for the rides, thankfully they weren't that busy. We walked right into Shrek, which the kids enjoyed. I was worried Mara would get scared and balk at the rest, but she did not, which bodes well for Pirates. I thought the kids would get bored on the tram ride, but we did it twice. The King Kong portion is amazing. The earthquake still entertains. Can't believe they used it in Bones recently. Thought those were just for show by now. I still think I'd do the VIP once, just to get to walk around on the sets and backlot. I like that part. Seeing how they force perspective, etc. We never made it to the lower lot. The kids weren't having Transformers or Jurassic Park. I thought of going down anyway to try and talk them into it, but decided I didn't care much either. Simpson's was fun, but I think they just took the Back to the Future ride and changed the cars. Very similar experience. Made me a bit queasy for some reason. All in all everyone had fun, even Ryan, and they all enjoyed posing with the different characters, so mission accomplished. Long day. She Said: Yes, it was a looooong day. We were kinda done with it by 4:00 and then Gillian wanted to redo the Simpson ride and then we also redid the Tram. Both of which were worth it. The Simpsons line was long- maybe 45 minutes - but it's very well managed. They let large groups of people in at once, then a 5 minute wait, and so on. So it makes you feel like you're getting somewhere. And they have television screens playing old clips from the show and new scenes where they are making fun of lineups and giving instructions for the ride. Very well done. The "ride" itself is one of those ones where you're sitting in a car with 7 other people and then your car rises up to screen level. The screen is 180 degrees of video simulating a wild chase through Krustyland, and rollercoasters fall apart, and you fall hundreds of feet and are then swept up hundreds of feet etc. The car your in rocks and rolls and tilts and shakes to simulate what you would feel and it's very effective. When the video looks like you're doing a flip you actually feel like you are, but you never actually turn completely upside down. It even made Brad feel a little queasy. The Tram is an interesting tour of the lots of Universal. Kinda neat to see familiar sets from movies, kinda disappointing that you don't see any action. The new addition of the 3D King Kong experience is very cool. Similar to Simpsons ride in that the Tram is shaking as if in reaction to the video. Very well done. Kids loved it. The drive in was poorly timed to get us in the middle of rush hour so we were 30 minutes later than we wanted, but we paid the extra to have Front Gate parking. It was worth it. Especially when I was carrying a sleepy Ryan back to the car.
Day 5 - Universal Studios
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