Clint in Hollywood : Universal Studios Visit

Clint checks out all the new rides!

The gang at Universal Studios Hollywood invited Moviehole down to check out what’s new, what’s old and what’s going down at arguably the funnest theme park this side of the Vegas strip.

Without blowing smoke up anyone’s flip-side let me say, Universal is still the best-value-for-money family theme park around, in many respects it’s better than the House of Mouse. If you only had one day in L.A and had to choose between a day at Disneyland and a day at Universal – I’d say go Universal. After all, you can see spinning tea cups at any AM Diner come the morning after a disco.

85 years and Universal is still going strong. Granted, you’ve got to wonder why there are attractions dedicated to such blunders as "Van Helsing" (possibly in the pipeline before the BO returns?) but on the whole it’s a well-rounded, well-thought-out pad.

Get past the gift-shops that adorn the entrance (no shortage of holiday trinkets to buy here) and you enter a field of wow.

It’s best to start with the legendary Universal studio tour. Hop on. Click away. Keep your eyes peeled. This is still the best behind-the-scenes tour in town. Not only is it informative – thanks to the well versed guide – but it’s fun. The bridge breaking, Jaws….it never gets old.

Oh, and you can’t go past old’ fave, the “Back to the Future” ride. It’s a treat and a half. Similiar to the “Star Tours” ride at Disneyland, it’s essentially just you sitting in a car and letting the screen in-front do all the work, the difference being that the screen is wrapped right-around your pupils shield and that it really does put you in the ride.

Talking of putting you right in the thick of it, have you tried the “Terminator 3D” or “Backdraft” attractions? Simply sensational. Lot of work gone into these two, especially the former, what with real actors having to be on-stand by for every time the attraction starts.

Before we chowed down on lunch – again, better than Disneyland in terms of variety here too – we braved the “Jurassic Park” ride, bopped with a couple of ‘Blues Brothers’ and checked out the incessantly popular “Revenge of the Mummy” ride, which you can read all about in Paul Fischer’s recent report here. Speaking of all things “Mummy”, I hear that that’s what Filmmaker Stephen Sommers – a third “Mummy” movie that is – is trying to get off the ground next. It’s more than likely that the third “Mummy” movie is going to be without the original two leads though because Brendan raser and Rachel Weisz aren’t as excited as everyone else (notably, Arnold Volsoo, the Mummy himself)about it, so expect something new. With the ride now one of Uni’s biggest attractions, it really is no surprise that the studio’s going to want to reignite the film series.

The kids are taken care of too. There’s a fun (ask my wife) water-park to play at, as well as a nifty “Shrek” attraction, which they/you won’t want to miss.

In short, there’s plenty to do at Universal still. It was a treat and a half being asked to cover the park – anytime guys. Anytime.

The Official Universal Studios Theme Park website is here.

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