Saturday, April 20, 2013

4/20/13: Fun at Universal Studios CA With the Family

We were recently in California for vacation which is why I haven't been able to post over the last week and a half.  Now we are back and I am ready to share my experience and tips with you about some wonderful places to visit when in California.  The first one I wanted to cover is iconic and exciting for all ages as it shows you behind the scenes of Hollywood, Universal Studios Hollywood.
I want to share my tips of enjoying Universal Studios with kids.  First when you enter the park you should absolutely go to the Studio Back lot Tour.  This can get to be a long wait as the day goes on.  We went in and only had a 10 minute wait.  It is a 45 minute tour that takes you behind the scenes.
 They have added a King Kong 360 3-D section to the tour which is awesome.  You can see us entering the tunnel for this part of the attraction above.  Both of my kids didn't get scared during it however they also would not wear the 3-D glasses but that is common for them to do.  Plus you get to see cool sets that were used in many of your favorite films.  Below you can see the Town Hall from Back to the Future.
 Such cool sets and cool to hear how they film using these facades.
 You also get to see Stages where many of your favorite shows are filmed.
 Plus they show you some special effects.  My son loved this with cars and really enjoyed this part.
 Flash floods.
 Plus many times they are filming shows while you are there.  The tour guide gets quiet but it very cool that you get to see some actors behind the scenes.
 Plus my kids loved seeing the set from The Grinch.
 I enjoyed seeing the Bates Motel. 
 This was really cool, we got to drive through a set showing a plane crash from War of the Worlds.
My kids especially liked meeting some characters.  Here they are with Sponge Bob who is one of their favorites!  He is one of the more popular characters to see and is around the corner from Shrek 4-D so try to find him early in the day.  Each character spot will generally have a posted schedule of times they are appearing.
Some more fun characters to visit with near the entrance to the park.  There were really no lines to see any of the characters which was great.  I would suggest you bring your autograph books.  We left ours in the hotel.
Shrek and Princess Fiona had a fun time with the kids.  Plus there is a Shrek 4D movie that the kids really liked.  Definitely check that out.  It runs every 30 minutes so go to other shows and attractions and go this later in the day.
 Homer and Marge!  I personally loved the Simpsons area of Universal.  It was awesome!  You really felt like you were in Springfield with the signs and little areas.  This is also a good place to eat.  There are several different types of food.  The chicken place was really good.
 We also met Bart and Lisa.  Other characters we got to see are Dora, Frankenstein, and Scooby Doo.
 The Simpsons Ride was awesome!  It is a ride that simulates a roller coaster through Krusty Land.  You enter a roller coaster looking vehicle that goes into a large theater and you get to see the ride surround you.  It was so much fun and the kids liked it too.  You really felt like you were in Springfield.
 Another attraction that is NEW and was really awesome was Transformers The Ride 3-D.  It is a vehicle that goes through town with you helping defeat the bad guys.While wearing 3-D glasses you feel like you are part of the action.  Plus right outside the ride you can meet some of your favorite Transformers.  We got to meet Bumblebee.  I suggest checking times when your favorite will be there and line up about 15 minutes early.  If you wait till you see the Transformer walk out the line will get large quickly.  Optimus Prime also appears.  Also note that this is in the Lower Lot of Universal so plan ahead to get there.  You need to go down 4 escalators to get to this area which will take you 10-15 minutes.  The Jurassic Park ride and Revenge of the Mummy - The Ride are in this area also.  My kids aren't fond of getting wet so we skipped Jurassic Park and the Mummy ride looked to scary for them.  I am sure some kids could handle it fine, but I didn't want to push it. 
You also must see the show Water World.  There are only 3 showings so make sure to plan to see it early in the day as the last showing will be really busy.
 You also can see some awesome props and items used in your favorite movies.  I was excited to see the Apollo 13 Capsule.
 We also got to see the original DeLorean from Back to the Future.  This is in a NBCUniversal Experience area that is also on the Lower Lot near the Transformers ride.  There is lots of neat stuff in there to see.
 There are some beautiful views as you are going down the escalators to check out.  Plus this is where all the action is happening, exciting to see.
I would highly suggest checking out Universal Studios if you are in California and plan to spend the whole day.
Follow them on Twitter:  @unistudios 
Disclosure:  I received 4 tickets to visit Universal Studios Hollywood with my family.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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