Thursday, 19 December 2013

Universal Studios

The last time we visited Universal Studios three years ago, the experience was somewhat lacking due to it being the first day of the peak Christmas period. This time around, we were fortunate enough to have family friends with a contact at Universal Studios. This particular contact has promised us free entry to the parks. And so, bright and early, we ensured that our Disney paraphernalia were down to the bare minimum and caught a cab towards the offices of Universal Studios to meet our benefactor. He was so friendly! We traded a hearty Australian red for his executive gold guest pass. He told us to just show the card and we could skip lines as well as get discounts on merchandise and dining.

The card got us early entry into the park as well which was a bonus! We decided to buy a lanyard for fear of losing his card. This was when we discovered that the discount we received on merchandise purchases with the card was 50%. Yahoo!!! The shopping instinct kicked in automatically and the eyes automatically started to roam around the shop for things to acquire. Unfortunately the shopping had to wait. We had much ground to cover as we had only one day to cover both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

We walked as quickly as we could to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Unlike three years ago, this area of the park had not yet already filled to capacity. We were able to stroll around at leisure, shop at Honeydukes and drink butter beer to our heart's content. A flash of the the card also enabled us to bypass the lines for the Forbidden Journey as well as Olivander's, something which we didn't get time to do last time. The rest of the morning was spent rushing around Islands of Adventure.

Yay! We're finally here when its not packed

Let's go!

That's us being put ahead of the 45 minute wait for Olivander's...

very happy about it!

Still as impressive the second time around

We got to go in this time!

Happy children with their purchases, still surprised that mum said ok to  buying confectionary!

Butter beer


We hopped over to Universal Studio's at around 1pm and stopped for lunch at Finnigan's. We couldn't hold Jonah back from his beloved transformers any longer and so off we went. To our delight, when we flashed the card, one of the staff members escorted us in to the ride via the exit, thus bypassing the rest of the patrons with front of line passes. How awesome! The card also allowed us to watch the parade from the reserved areas. We bought our funnel cake and pizza and settled down to watch the Macy's parade. The Rockettes were there only fleetingly which was disappointing. The parade, sadly, was rather lacking. The music was disjointed, the floats seemed of poor quality and there were staff who looked jarringly out of place next to the floats. I think we had taken the quality of Disney's productions for granted. It was a shame that the evening ended with a down. However, we have had a very fun day as a family. We are so grateful to our benefactor at Universal Studios for giving our family a chance to enjoy the day there.

Soaked after the huge plunge on Jurassic Park River Adventure. The ride had Jonah crying at the end...

...but then immediately after he wanted to go on this! And proclaimed it to be the best ride ever! Go figure...

Getting wet a second time

Universal's version of Kali River Rapids. Why not make it 3 wet rides in a row

Absolutely drenched!

Captain America!

Finally! Jonah got to see THE optimus prime statue

This ride was a bit too real for Jonah. He thought he was going to die

We had prime seats for the parade

Macy's parade was sadly lacking

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