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Published: June 24th 2008
Keely and I spent the day at Universal Studios in Hollywood. I got my only real view of Los Angeles as we drove past. I tried to get a photograph of the skyscrapers as we went by but couldn't get a good view from my seat. So I took off my belt, dove onto the back seat and managed to get the photo just as the road moved downwards and took them out of sight. I scramble back into my seat just as Keely calmly informed me that it was illegal to climb around the car while it was moving and a police car had just driven near us. I sat quietly and hoped the police hadn't notice the crazy foreign girl wielding the camera while her legs waved madly in the air beside the driver's head.
We arrived at Universal Studios and parked in the Frankenstein car park. We walked into the park and again I had to go through ridiculous security measures before getting in. How can they possibly need my fingerprint before allowing me access to a theme park?! I caused problems for the security guard anyway as my fingernails were too long to successfully fit over the
scanner and press down hard enough to take a print.
We headed into the park and debated where to go first. Keely said the Waterworld show was good but the show didn't start for some time so we walked around the park for a while. We went into the Terminator show which was basically a film although the actors came out towards the end. At the very end all the benches we were sitting on drop downwards suddenly. I was sitting on the back row and panicked for a minute becasue I didn't realise it was part of the show - I thought the teenagers messing about near us had succeeded in tipping the bench over! We next went to the Back to the Future Ride which was really cool. We got into the car which faced a 3D screen and moved as the film changed. It was surprising how realistic the effect was. It reminded me of the rides in Futurescope... but at least I didn't need to cling on to my translation headphones the whole way through!!
We continued our exploration of the park. There was a whole section filled with European looking buildings - we even found
a London phone box! We went on the Jurrassic Park ride which was great fun. The whole ride is simulated to look like a ride in the 'real' Jurrassic Park and begins with a boat trip through some peaceful lakes filled with dinosaurs. Shortly afterwards the boat drifts into the raptor enclosures and torn wire fencing and crashed jeeps show the dinosaurs have escaped. The ride ends in a darkened room as an announcement states 'this is an emergency, toxic gases are present, life upport systems will terminate in 10, 9, 8, 7,6......' A T-Rex head plunges down towards the boat opening it's jaws just as the boat pluges down the near vertical 85 ft drop. Apparently at the opening of the ride in 1996 several cast members and Steven Speilberg went on the ride, but Speilberg asked to be let off before the drop and has never stayed on the ride all the way to the end!
We next went to see Back Draft which was less fun. The fire effects were very good but I stayed right at the back directly underneath the airconditioning as it was so hot. We next went on the Mummy rollercoaster which was
great. The long queue was made bearable by the fact the whole area is made to look like a dig site or the inside of an Egyptian temple. A large screen played clips from the film and there were plenty of teenagers making scarab beetle sounds and running their fingers up people's backs as the stood in the queue. We ended the day with a visit to Duloc. The Shrek 4D film was great. We began in a dungeon with the Shrek characters and then filed into a large auditorium. As soon as we sat down we were asked to put on our seatbelts.... in was amazing how long some people struggled to find the non-exisitent seatbelts. It was also amazing just how funny the instructors seemed to find it... they must do it for every audience, you'd think the joke would wear a little thin after a while! The sun was already setting when we left the Shrek auditorium, so we headed back to the car park and home to the cottage where we cooked dinner and watched films.
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