Left Coast Re-Cap (Day 5)

I’d been looking forward to this day since the day I moved away from California in the late 90’s: Universal Studios! We arrived…parked…and made our way through City Walk, a cool little area outside of the park with stores, restaurants, and neon lights.

Immediately after passing through the gates, we came across our first attraction: The House of Horrors…

It was a great attraction with all sorts of people jumping out at you at every turn. I was just happy I didn’t shriek like a girl, pee myself, or pee myself while shrieking like a girl.

Exiting the attraction dumps you out on a series of small streets designed to replicate London, Ireland, and France (which, of course, I initially identified as Italy). We spent some time strolling those streets while we waited for the Terminator attraction to begin.

From there it was on to The Simpsons ride which was, in a word, amazing. The Brenemans had never seen an episode before (I cried a little inside) but you don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the ride. It replaced the Back to the Future ride and is the same basic premise. In a hydraulic car, completely surrounded by a movie screen, and flying through the streets of Springfield. My brief description (and any videos you might see on YouTube) won’t do it justice. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

We followed that with the extremely disappointing Shrek 4D show, which was basically the same thing as the Terminator show, except with Eddie Murphy as a donkey.

We grabbed a bite to eat and then headed down to the world famous backlot tour, which is what I was most looking forward to.

They’ve changed the backlot tour a bit since I was last there. The new King Kong feature is incredible. Just…just amazing. Just…just go check it out, for real.

Not all of the changes made to the tour were for the better. The last time I was there, the tour guide was feeding you information the entire time, telling you little tidbits of trivia and facts about what’s going on in the backlot, or what had gone on. Now, though, they’ve installed video screens on all of the trams, and a vast majority of the ride is spent watching a video of Whoopi Goldberg make stupid puns about movies. The tour guides have been totally shafted. Boo.

Our next stop was the Waterworld stunt show and from there, down to the Jurassic Park flume ride (eh…whatever) and The Mummy ride – an actual roller coaster!

Because it was the last thing to do before the park closed, we got off the ride and hoped back on two more times. I’ve never been a huge fan of indoor coasters like Space Mountain because to me the thrill is seeing how high we are, but this one rocketed you around so much, it more than made up for what you couldn’t see.

As we left the park, we decided to hang out in City Walk for a bit to kill time and avoid the afternoon traffic that was bound to be waiting for us outside. We grabbed another quick bite to eat and then came across people gathered around a huge cylindrical tube, which turned out to be the iFLY Hollywood indoor skydiving contraption.

I knew we wouldn’t be there for long before Sarah wanted to take a shot at it, but she would only go if someone else did. Ryan immediately agreed to go, and after only a few seconds, they convinced a third to join them.

Our crew got all suited up and Ryan went first…

And then Ashlea…

And then Sarah…

After they’d gone, Ryan wanted another shot to get spun around and float around, so he jumped in for round two. They had a ball and Alyssa and I had fun watching from the outside.

We left the park and stopped by In N Out again (yes!) before hopping back on the highway and heading home.

Great day. I can’t wait to go back. Hold my spot in line, Universal.


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