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Posts Tagged ‘Universal Studios’

On one of the recent sunny warm LA spring days, I decided to head over to Universal Studios to take their studio tour — I’d heard that they had recently completed all the construction on their backlot (they were still rebuilding from the 2008 fire when I went with Arden) and I hadn’t been on it since they added the King Kong 3D experience.

Here are some highlights of the tour — just think of me as your own personal tour guide!

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Arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood

The view on the way to the studio tour — backlot sets below, with Warner Brothers Studios in the distance.

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PULL CORD IN EMERGENCY!

Part of the newest areas on the backlot — the rebuilt city streets. We were told that the new Spiderman movie would be using some of this area for filming!

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The new courthouse, where the courthouse from Back to the Future once stood:

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I was surprised they didn’t rebuild the courthouse in the same look as before, since they continue to make such a big deal out of the fact that Back to the Future shot there, but it doesn’t look like itself anymore. I feel like the original courthouse (below) was just as multipurpose as the new one!

I have never heard Peter Jackson name dropped more than I did on this tour. He probably tied with Spielberg (which is slightly more expected, but still). Way to not be subtle, Universal!

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Seems like something BIG got here before us...

Just another pleasant day in Amityville:

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I’m incredibly proud of this next shot, because I just about jumped out of my skin in the middle of pushing the button.

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JAWS!

Meanwhile, it’s been snowing on the northern parts of the lot in Whoville:

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Some of these tour stops really prove that Universal used to be the King of Horror. Case in point:

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Anyone wanna check in? Seems Norman is helping the last guest out...

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So. Much. Debris.

And just because I like that they added it to their Universal Experience display (not on the tour, but in the Lower Lot area of the theme park):

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I just finished Bossypants and LOVED. IT.

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As I mentioned before, this past weekend was spent hitting a lot of the major LA sights while my friend Arden was in town to visit. Here’s what we did on Saturday.

Now, onto DAY TWO!

We started the day off with brunch. Brunch is awesome, and yummy. Plus, my family found this place called Jinky’s back when I first moved here and they have amazing waffles (among lots of other things).

Then we headed off to Universal Studios Hollywood, for the backlot tour and some awesomely dated shows (I’m looking at you, T2: Terminator 3D).

There were NO waits, literally maybe (MAYBE) 5-10 minutes max all day. It was pretty fantastic.

First stop, the Backlot Tour! I cannot get enough of backlot tours — I’m not really sure why but I find them SO much fun. The one at Warner Brothers is actually my favorite — I feel like you learn the most from it, the guides tailor it to the party’s interest, and you get to walk around some too. The Universal one is part tour, part attraction (We’re going to go into this abandoned Mummy set even though it looks totally creepy! We have no idea what’s going to happen now!) but still pretty fun, and you do get a bit of backstory, which is nice.

Norman Bates came out to say hi! ...holding a knife??

Since they are still a working backlot, they have a lot of old sets hanging around — the Bates Motel and home, Whoville from the live action Grinch, all the old street-scenes (a big Western area, Little Europe etc) and Wisteria Lane from Desperate Houswives. They’re currently working on rebuilding parts of the lot that got burnt down in a big wildfire in 2008, including some of the old Back to the Future exteriors.

Beware of flood zones on the tour! Eek!

After surviving the floods, sharks and serial killers on the backlot tour, we walked around the lower lot, checking out Jurassic Park – The Ride, and this little museum down there called The Universal Experience, with more of NBC-Universal’s history — lots of photos and costumes etc.

My Idol.

There isn’t a TON down on the lower part of the park right now, they closed some of the older things to start building a Transformers roller coaster.

Back in the Upper Lot, we bypassed the “Horror Showcase” (which, unlike the map description, is an actual haunted house with people dressed up as classic horror villains chasing you — just about the opposite of fun in my eyes), The Simpsons Ride (RIP Back to the Future Ride) and the Waterworld water show (10 points to anyone who has proof that a child actually knows what this movie is) and settled with Shrek 4D and T2: The Terminator 3D. T2 3D is part 3D movie (with original movie cast!) and part live action stunt show, and is highly recommended by yours truly.

Seeing all we wanted to see at Universal Studios, we went to see Babies (it was Mother’s Day) in theaters, which is an adorable documentary. There was a trailer before hand for another documentary called Waiting for Superman, about our nation’s school systems, that pretty much made me want to cry.

That was our weekend! I was SO SO glad Arden came — it was great to have a familiar face and such a good friend in LA!

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