We visited the Universal Studios for the second time this year. Our first visit was in July – it was Family Day at Daddy V’s company. Coincidentally, my company also decided to hold its Family Day at the Universal Studios. So, we went there last weekend for the event. It was FUN.
At a start, the weather was not too friendly. It rained twice in the morning and early afternoon. After the rain, it was scorching hot. Anyway, here is how it all went …
After collecting the tickets from our recreation committee, we went to take our first shot in front of the Universal Studios globe. Of course, this is one of the ‘must-have’ shots that almost every visitor will take. Due to the crowd, it’s also not easy to capture a decent picture of the globe (without any strangers in the background).
As mentioned in my earlier post, this theme park is divided into seven uniquely themed zones – The Lost World, Far Far Away, Madagascar, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, Hollywood and New York. Each zone is based on a blockbuster movie and they have their own unique attractions as well as character appearances.
At Hollywood, you can expect a wide array of eating and shopping spots. Part of this zone is sheltered, so if it rains, you’ll know where to go.
My advice is always getting your camera ready for the random character meet and greets sessions throughout the day – Woody Woodpecker, Betty Boop, Frankenstein, Beetlejuice just to name a few. I love the Broadway-style theater too.
We took a picture with this cat, but I don’t know its name. Do you know its name?
This zone is based on the original New York City, featuring various icons that we’ve seen in the movies such as neon lights, facades, pizza parlors and city scrapes. Another ‘must-have’ shot here is the replica of the famous New York Public Library with two lion statues at the entrance. All the pictures taken in this zone turns out to be very beautiful. Trust me, you’ve to snap as much photos as you can here.
This zone is based on the popular TV series Battlestar Galactica. You can experience the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters here. Human or Cylon, you can choose the rides and experience the intense aerial combat between the two spacecraft. Both coasters promise you unbelievable thrills as they twist, turn and narrowly avoid collision.
Due to the height and speed, visitors below 125cm are not allowed to ride. Unfortunately, both rides are also not opened on the day of our visit. So, we went for the ‘tea-cup’ ride called Accelerator. Little Edison enjoys the madly spinning action. Young children can go for this ride, as long as they are accompanied by adults.
This zone is based on the historical adaptation of Ancient Egypt during the 1930s Golden Age of Egyptian Exploration. It also relies on the depictions made in the popular film franchise, The Mummy. This is probably the least interesting zone to me, as I’m not particularly interested in historical stuffs. Nonetheless, you can see pyramids, tombs and mummy attractions in this zone.
The Lost World
This zone has two themes – the Jurassic Park and WaterWorld. In Jurassic Park, there is a white water raft system with state-of-the-art animatronics and a thrilling white water drop. Visitors can enjoy the circular rafts tossed on waterways within the Jurassic Park compound, where prehistoric creatures roam free.
Initially, we wanted to catch the Canopy Flyer and enjoy the prehistoric view of the park. However, the queue was too long and we just gave up.
Far Far Away
It is inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s hit Shrek which depicted how the fairy-tale characters lived in daily life. Here, you can see many recognizable locations from the film series such as Shrek’s swamp house, Far Far Away’s glamorous Romeo Drive, Hook’s Knight Club and the magnificent castle.
This zone is inspired by the hit DreamWorks Animation Madagascar, which featured four zoo animals, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria, escaping from the New York Zoo and unfortunately crashing onto the island of Madagascar.
The zone features lush tropical jungles filled with strange animals like lemurs and foosas. There are short dance perfomances in this zone, but you have to be ultra fast if you want to take pictures with the cartoon characters because of the crowd and the performance time is short.
The highlight of this zone is the Madagascar’s carousel. A must-try for children of all ages!
As you would expect, there are plenty of shopping and dining outlets in this magic island. There are more than 30 restaurants, retail stores, shopping and food carts around the park. I find that the prices of the food are quite reasonable. Kid’s meal is available at most dining outlets for just $8.80, and it comes with a free Woody Woodpecker lunch box. Good to keep as a souvenir.
All in all, the tickets may be expensive, but the experience is definitely priceless!