California Dreaming – Part 6

Universal Studios Day! The “other Disneyland.” Actually the first time I had been there. Might as well had been the first time for all of us, it had been so long. They were in the process of building the Harry Potter portion of the park, opening in April, so the park felt a little crowded, even on Super Bowl Sunday.

The highlight of the day was actually our first stop, the studio tour. I have always been interested by movie sets and sound stages so being able to see them up close and personal was great. The biggest thing I learned was how amazing technology has become! The sets don’t look or seem like much without the lighting, editing, and cinematography that we see in the end product. We were able to see the sets for Back to the Future, Princess Diaries, Indiana Jones, and more. Kind of hard to imagine because they seemed so small. I’ll share some of the pictures I was able to take. Didn’t get a whole lot as the tour moved quickly and most of the items of interest were actually on the other side of the tram. Pro tip, if you even find yourself at Universal, be sure to sit on the left side of the tram. All the good stuff is over there 🙂

One of the sets we saw. This was part of Back to the Future and Grease Live was filmed here too I believe
Here’s the flash flood set. Indiana Jones I believe was filmed here
A house on the Desperate Housewives set. I missed all of the really famous ones. You snooze, you loose!
Can you guess what this is?
Complete with a live action Norman Bates actor
War of the Worlds’s crash site. The world’s largest crash set. Katy Perry filmed a music video here recently.

The rest of the park went by pretty quick. We stopped for a bite to eat before tackling all of the rides, starting with the minion one. One of the whole reasons I wanted to go to Universal Studios in the first place was their minion section. We actually got to meet a minion too! And we took a family picture.


The rides at Universal Studios are interesting. Mom and I both aren’t “ride people.” I’m slightly more adventurous than her but I hate any sort of drop or dip that causes my stomach to leave my body. Hate it with a passion. One of the things that attracted me to the park was the fact that they really don’t have any real rides. They are mostly all 3D illusion rides that make you think you’re on a roller coaster but you never actually leave the ground. However, I was not expecting how realistic everything felt! I had to close my eyes many times in order to remind myself that I was still on the ground and not flying through the air. Especially the Transformers ride! But it’s all in good fun. The only rides I didn’t touch were Return of the Mummy (the only “real” roller coaster on site) and Jurassic Park because it was shut down for renovation, but to be honest I probably wouldn’t have gone on it anyways.

Since it was Chinese New Year, they had this really great courtyard set up. We missed most of the celebrations that happened during the day since we were off riding the rides but we came to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms and wishes people hung on the trees.


On our way out, I had to pick up one of these donuts! I am not a Simpsons fan at all, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full episode. But I had to have one of these famous giant donuts. Just look at how cute this thing is! And it’s massive. I took a picture next to my phone for comparison. I ate it over the next couple days and it actually was pretty good! More like a cake than a donut…obviously haha.


Well that concludes our Universal Studios experience! I wouldn’t mind coming back to visit for another day or two. They ran out of the minion treats (frozen bananas and a freeze ray smoothie) and I never met Curious George (my childhood favorite) so I have a reason or two for another trip 🙂

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