Published: September 26th 2012September 24th 2012
Day 18 - Hotel to Universal studios, Distance Travelled - 5 miles!
So after a night "main lining" cold and flu remedy purchased from the petrol station over the road I awoke from a comatose state well after the alarms said I should have. Sharan had given up lighting fireworks up my nostrils and setting fire to the bedclothes in a bid to wake me up and had set off in search of a local Starbucks. Whatever I took seemed to work, even if it had knocked me out for 14 hours as I was ready to hit good old, weird old L.A. Once again.
Today's destination was Universal studios just for the afternoon as it closed at 6 p.m. Only 2.5 miles in Merlin the Mustang (ooops still no picture!) so we were there in no time. This is no "Islands of Adventure" it is much more a studio based attraction set on two levels and can easily be covered in a few hours, particularly if you get hold of the 'front of line pass' upgrade costing an extra $40 per person. It works much better than Disneys Fast Pass and really does get you in to the
front of the line on everything. It also helped that today was a very quiet day in the park apart from what appeared to be coachloads of japanese tourists all following their guide/translator around in groups.
No big roller coasters for Shassy to hide from today although she did duck the Jurrasic Park water ride and "The Mummy" roller coaster in the dark. Most of the entertainment here was either film based simulator rides, (Transformers was very good) or live action shows such as Terminator (dated), Waterworld, and Shas's favourite the performing animal show including dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, desert fox, pigeons, eagles and a whole lot more.
Lunch was hilarious as we went into an empty pizza hut restaurant just as the show next door had finished and emptied its entire audience which appeared to be half the population of Tokoyo straight into the restaurant and it's terrace. One minute we had the place to ourselves, the next we were sharing a table with 6 Japanese picnicers and surrounded by another 200 of their friends as weird packed lunches were unwrapped and colourfull liquids were shoved into water bottles. It looked a bit like a bush
tucker trial from I'm a Celebrity!
After lunch we took the studio "backlot tour" which is a combination of reality and fake as you visit real sound stages and sets that are still being used today as well as old sets (like the original Wisteria Drive, Bates Motel and the plane crash scene from War of the Worlds) combined with the 'set up' features like the old jaws set complete with plastic shark attacking the team, the old earthquake set and a very impressive new massive 3d hangar which puts you in the middle of a forest in the middle of a fight between King Kong and the dinosaurs! At least I think that last bit happened, or the flu meds were really kicking in at this point!
Not much else to say about this one, we covered just about every ride, show and set in 6 hours and on the way out we went into the very impressive Universal City Walk complex, a long pedestrianised street of shops, bars, restaurants and clubs but by this point I couldn't face staying and Shas had spent all she had in Abercrombie and Fitch.
We headed home for a
lie down and then in the evening made it out about 50 yardoff rom the hotel for a very nice meal at "The Grill on Hollywood and Highland", then it was back to bed via the petrol station for more drugs. Tomorrow a bus tour across a large part of LA and a bid to keep the credit card hidden whilst we hit Rodeo Drive!
There are more photos below