We thought we'd tackle Universal Studios again, now that we're here for a few more days. Much to our delight the queue's were only 5 people long rather than the hundreds that were lined up last time we tried to go. As an added bonus this meant that we didn't have to wait longer than 5 minutes for any ride which meant that we got to see a lot in a short time and didn't have to spend all day waiting.
We started off with a studio tour which was a bi tof an eye opener in terms of what they film versus what we see on screen! For example, there was a swimming pool sized 'pond' with a blank wall behind it that could be painted to suit the scene (eg, clouds or sunset). Then the action is filmed in that little pond - action that includes scenes like the shuttle landing in the sea in Apollo 1;, paddling off in to the sunset in Hellboy; the ocean scenes in The Truman Show - all stuff that looks "real" on the screen, but to imagine the actors filming it in this little pond made it all seem a bit like kids playing! Kind of amazing how they make it so realistic though. We also saw Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives), and they were filming as we went past but we didn't catch any glimpses of the housewives, and there were only 2 or 3 houses on that set where we were expecting a whole street of sorts. The War of the Worlds set was pretty speccy and included a real 747 that they blew up especially for the scene:
We also saw Jaws, as he leapt menacingly out of the water at us.
Actually, he's a bit old and tired these days I think, so the build up of the guide pretending to work out where Jaws was going leap out was more tense than the actual event - I think I was expecting a more sudden, aggressive "attack" rather than the mechanical movement that we saw. So maybe I watch too much TV, and was expecting a shark that could easily be mistaken for the real thing... anyway it was still good and looking at the size of it (it was the actual shark used in the movie) I'm glad that it WAS fake. We saw him hung up later on and barely escaped with our lives:
Let's hope this is our only shark experience for the whole trip...
We went of a few rides - the Jurassic Park ride was pretty good. I knew it was a 'splashdown' type ride but hadn't informed Stu. He's not keen on rides or heights, so telling him that it was a ride where he would get dropped down a hideously steep slope into a pool of water would ensure that I went on it alone. Once we were buckled in he saw the sign that said "caution - you will get wet", and started to question his judgement (or lack of). Little did he know what was in store :) I've been on rides like this before but I think this was the steepest! I've never screamed on a ride before this one - I think my stomach is still at the top of the big drop...
We also enjoyed the Waterworld show - lots of jet-skis, stunts and explosions.
I think Stu's favourite thing, though, was when he saw the Mini from 'The Bourne Identity'. Those who know Stu will know about his interest (fetish?? addiction??) to Mini's. Those who know Stu will also not be surprised at the following photos of him sizing it up:
For those who don't know him so well - I promise you he is totally normal and his addiction is healthy. And I think we're having Mini's as wedding cars... Provided they are authentic and have the right number of fuel tanks / correct door handles / proper grill / correct badging / original thimgamy and specific whatsits....
All in all it was a fun day out made better by the lack of crowds and waiting. In all honesty it probably isn't much better than Movie World in QLD, but we had a really good day and it was fun to do something touristy rather than 'boaty' (if I never step foot in a West Marine shop again it will still be too soon...as lovely as all the staff are of course!!).