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Way Out West - Day 8 – Universal Studios, Hollywood and an old favourite

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by wickesy, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    Today we were off to Universal – DIY style – so we were both up by 7:45 and out at 8:05. There were plenty of taxis outside the hotel so we were soon on our way to the Amtrak station at Anaheim where we collected our Business Class tickets for the 9:08 train to Los Angeles.

    We sat on the platform to await the train, which finally arrived at 9:25. We arrived at Los Angeles Union Station at 10:20 and made our way down to the subway station where we picked up a red line train to Universal City arriving there at 10:50. The final leg of the journey was to get the Universal shuttle up the hill to the gates of the park and, after getting stuck behind some people with dodgy tickets we were finally in the park at 11:20.

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    First stop in the park was to pick up our front of line passes, after which we sat down to have a drink and plan our attack on the park.

    I decided to do the Tour first and, thanks to our FOL passes we bypassed the 10 minute wait and got on the first tram to arrive. The tour was great, and was made even better by the people in the row in front of us going “Oooh” and “Aaah” at everything they saw, which caused Dad and I great amusement for the rest of the day. It seems that following the fire most of the Back To The Future set is still there although the King Kong attraction was lost. In the first picture you can see where they are re-building the area that was fire-damaged. We also found out that they are re-introducing the collapsing bridge section of the tour next month.

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    This is the area affected by the fire at the beginning of July

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    Part of the Earthquake scene

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    Jaws

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    Bates Motel

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    War of the Worlds set

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  2. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    After the tour we made our way down to the lower lot where we again used our FOL passes to walk straight in to Backdraft, an attraction based on the film of the same name.

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    From there we went into the Special Effects Stages where we learned about the various special effects that go into the making of movies. A word of advice here for those who might visit this attraction with small children. There is a section in the second room where a ‘monster’ appears to ‘come to life’ which might be frightening for them so bear that in mind.

    After the special effects show we went into the Universal Experience, which is an exhibit of various props, costumes, letters etc. from Universal’s history and there is even an Oscar in there (best picture for ‘The Sting’).

    We had now seen everything we wanted to in the lower lot so we made our way back up to the top level where we spotted something I absolutely love – Cinnabon! The time was now about 2:15 and we hadn’t eaten last night so there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to have a nice, sticky, frosted Cinnabon so we had one each with a root beer and, after a bit of a wait, found a table to sit at.

    Our sweet cravings satisfied for now we made our way round for the 2:50 showing of Waterworld, which is a stunt show based on the film of the same name. Again we got entry through a special entrance thanks to our FOL passes and watched unsuspecting members of the audience getting squirted by one of the cast members in scenes that reminded me of the mime at the Clyde and Seymour show in Sea World.

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    Once the show had finished we had a quick look around the shops and decided we had seen all we wanted to see so we left the park at around 3:30 and after a fair wait for the shuttle to take us back down the hill we were back at the subway station where we got a train to Hollywood and Highland station.

    First stop in Hollywood was the Virgin Megastore where I bought the complete series of Disney Mania CDs containing all of the music we had heard whilst sitting at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney on our first night here. From there we went across the road to the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store where we had a root bear and pintrader’s delight sundae each, which came with a free, exclusive Soda Fountain store pin.

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  3. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    After our sundae’s we had a walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a couple of blocks in either direction, on both sides of the road and I took some pictures of some of my favourite stars.

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    The name hasn’t come out very well on this one, it’s Robert Guillaume who played the title role in one of my favourite TV shows when I was a kid – Benson.

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    One of a couple of stars that Walt Disney has on the Walk of Fame.

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    Oliver Hardy’s star is on Vine Street, which we didn’t walk down.

    Next up was a trip into the Highland shopping centre to take a picture of the Hollywood sign.

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    We had now done everything we wanted to here so we made our way back to the subway station and got a train back to Union Station. The time was now around 7:00 and we were booked on the 8:30 train so we sat outside and waited admiring the gardens outside the station.

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    At 8:20 the departure indicated that we would be boarding at track 10B so we made our way down and onto the train where we took our business class seats, which had more legroom than the Premium Economy seats on the plane coming over! The train left dead on time but arrived back at Anaheim around 5 minutes late at 9:15. Once again there was a line of taxis waiting outside and we were back in the hotel room by 9:30.

    We were in bed by 10:30 ready for another late start tomorrow as I had decided first stop would be Toy Story Mania in California Adventure.

    Tomorrow: Day 9 – California Adventure
     
  4. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    I loved Universal Studios in CA, but it's been forever since I've been there. I remember seeing the Bates Motel, which I think is awesome.
     
  5. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    I have so enjoyed your trip so far. :D Thank you for sharing with us.
     

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