Wednesday 3rd October 12 – Universal Studios

Today we did the other half of Universal, Now Studios, previously MGM? Really good! I admit I think we both preferred the other side, but it was good. We started off on the Despicable Me ride. Really cute, and very funny. The plot is that hey are shrinking you all down into minions, and then putting you through training. ‘Next. Resist the banana’ >chaos ensued< There was also a bit where they blew fart gas at you, but it turned out to be a really nice bank smell! Which worried me more. But Oli didn’t spontaneously drop to the floor so it was all good. What I really loved was that when you come out the other end, they have a massive boogie room! Funky music, dancing staff whom were very enthusiastic, swirly patterned walls and floor, cool! I’d have preferred to stay in there rather than exit for the gift shop!

Next it was on to the Shrek 4D ride, which takes place right after the first Movie, where the happy couple are off in their honeymoon, but the vengeful lord Farquad has arisen from the dead to take his revenge! You start off in his dungeon with the magic mirror, the three pigs (in straw, wood and brick cages respectively) and Pinocchio upside down in a box with only his feet and nose poking out. Once you go in though, it’s the traditional theatre style setup, and I think it’s where honey I shrunk the audience was. We still got the jets of air behind our feet!

After this we moved on to Twister! Finally! And after 13 years, I found out that it’s not actually a ride! Pretty cool though. You stand there, and they blast Twister like stuff at you which is pretty intense. So intense in fact, that there was a kid in front of us who completely freaked out before anything really happened and had to be taken out beside himself. We were impressed that the original actors were a part of it, but we did feel a little that it was a little dated. Possibly because neither of us had watched Twister, and right before it was Shrek and Despicable me.

Next was the Mummy which really impressed us. Again, the detail in the queues is great, and on the ride you finally come to a stop Witt he operator telling you to BAM! Mummy breaks through the operator glass and you’re off at high speeds again.i up,loaded the pic of this one last night, but the funniest bit by far is the guy 2 rows in front of us. Hahahahahaha! Following this we went around a little trying to recognise the names and places on the shops which seemed to be references to films, but even going around with my own personal film buff, even he wasn’t sure!

Next it was on to Disaster! Fantastic! I reckon Oli was terrified the who,e time that he would be picked to stand up and participate, but it was well set up, some good jokes, and Christopher Walken was a nice touch. They pick people to do minor acting parts, then we see them doing those parts with cheap effects, then we get on a train where they blast us with fire, electricity, a flood of water, and the best bit by far was the resulting trailer they’d made. It ended with one of the participants gardening, then getting struck by lightning and turning to ash. Completely out of the blue, and it had everyone laughing! So, on to the Men In Black ride!

Although it was great that there was practically no queue, we got the feeling that there were some posters and things we were missing. But basically you sit in there, and shoot as many aliens as you can. Very fun, no idea how Oli got so many more points than me. Guessing it had something to do with shooting them first instead of shooting them a lot. But our team won! And Will Smith himself congratulated us ^^ Then, very satisfying, as you’re walking out into the gift shop ‘the good guys dress in black, remember that, just in case you ever face to face and make contact’ time for another boogie! Sang and did mini dance moves twice as I was browsing the gift shop. After this we had problems getting our possessions out of the locker as obviously, my finger print had been changed by the MIB, and then it was off to Krustyland!

Again, lots of detail, and it really felt like you’d stepped into Springfield! We finally tried a turkey leg (they’re everywhere) and because it started chucking it down, we were eating it under the fake Simpsons car huddled together. We then had a look in the Kwik E Mart with funny signs like ‘hey if you were selling stuff I’d buy it’ and ‘just browsing? LEAVE!’ and we kindly obliged in favour of going on the ride! Fantastic! You start off by walking into Krustys mouth, and end up in a room where a bunch of the characters are in screens around you having conversations. You then get to see a video of the Simpsons on vacation in Krustyland, and Sideshow Bob dressing up as Scratchy to join in and take his revenge. The Simpsons are the first group to be picked to go on this ride, and they pick you as their other group! You’re then led into a small room where you see more story, and the fact that this ride is built on a nuclear reactor! Homers best joke was something along the lines of ‘oo we’re the first ones! I feel like that guy. You know, the guy and the moon.’ ‘you mean Neil Armstrong?’ ‘No! Chewbacca! Grgrgrgrgrgrgrgr!’ then you get to go on the ride itself which was absolutely brilliant. Seriously great, and very like a Simpsons episode and a ride perfectly merged together. Very very good.

Then it was off to E.T! Which was a little out of the way, a little hidden, and had practically no queues. We started off by walking through a forest with E.Ts mentor above you (don’t remember that) and you don’t put your own names in anymore. They have staff whom ask you. Then you do the ride, which was good, but again, felt a little dated now. Oli and I were waiting in anticipation for our names at the end, but E.T seemed to just call the whole group aliens? He was listing off the names of the next group though. We didn’t even get friend! :( and finally, we thought that we’d finish off the day with The Terminator! We sort of did. It was really clever and immersive until it broke. And it was really weird. They were showing the film, the part which didn’t need a lot of acting or special effects, and it just stopped and went black. We were all kicked out sharpest with repeated loudspeaker apologies, and given tickets to come back another day and be let straight in. Oh well.

Then we headed home, ate some leftovers with some ketchup packets I snagged earlier (living the high life) I played some more of my cool new game, and Oli got a call from a good friend of his. All in all a great day. Other things to note: Oli’s bored of the breakfast! Never thought I’d see it happen! And this breakfast is really good too! I introduced Oli to a new word. Admonished. To which he replied ‘English literature degree, I have’ good to know Yoda.

And we watched the MIT Romney vs Obama thing where they argue their sides. Although I don’t really know much about it, Obama would probably look to have my vote. Just judging for the thing last night, the guy on the left was shouting and ignoring the neutral party, whereas Obama was actually waiting his turn. The guy on the left kept jumping topic to get his own way, turning a discussion of tax into how Obama spent money on Green energy so how can he talk about money, where as Obama rose to the challenge of every topic that was thrown at him. And the guy on the left seemed to just talk about numbers and figures without a lot of what was backing them up or what he planned to do about it. Obama seemed to talk more about the people, their current situations and rights, and how he planned to help them. Interesting overall. But it did make me sleepy.

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