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“Universal Disappointment”

Written on: 27/03/2019 by ijWhite232 (1 review written)

I wouldn’t actually call Universal Studios Hollywood a theme park. I would describe USH more like this: take a zillion expensive gift shops; add an enormous number of overpriced restaurants; put in a few 3D “rides”; add a few short “shows”, and a couple of mediocre rides (like would have been popular 30 years ago); and drown the whole thing in an ocean of Hollywood hype. There are not too many rides, and there are only a couple for small children. The height requirements make most rides suitable only for older kids. About half the rides are 3D “rides”, which apparently make a great many people sick. The actual rides seem like the more second-rate boring rides you would find being used to fill extra space at a large theme park. Because of the limited number of rides, the lines were long. It does, however, help that USH has character performances which keep some people out of the lines. Most of the park is just movie-themed gift shops with prices that shocked me. Most of the attractions, other than the mundane rides, are photo ops with movie characters and movie decor. These photo ops are, apparently, designed so you can give Universal Studios a ton of free advertising on social media. But even then, Universal Studios ruins it with their photo hawkers getting in your way, pushing “professional” pictures at, I think, 25 dollars each. Like most theme parks, the dining options are overpriced, expensive, or ridiculous. There are no cheap eats here. But, if you go outside the main park, into what is called the Universal CityWalk, you can find chain restaurants with meals for only like 25-50% more than normal price. It makes it worth going through the metal detectors twice. You might even save enough to pay for your parking charged by USH, which is 25-50 dollars. Also, I couldn’t find a single water fountain, and water is almost four dollars a bottle. Universal Studios will allow you to take a few bottles in, but you have to leave it somewhere if you go on any rides. They rent lockers for like 20 dollars a day. I think there are some free lockers at some rides, but they charge you if you don’t get your stuff out on time. Speaking of paying to park, this is in the Los Angeles, California area, so you will have to pay to park almost everywhere you go. Go to a motel- pay to park. Go to a restaurant- pay to park. Stop for coffee- pay to park. Almost any time you stop your car- pay to park. Welcome to Los Angeles. Here’s my tip for taking a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. Don’t. We drove over 1,600 miles, on vacation, because this was supposed to be an amazing theme park. The rides were supposed to be awesome. So, since this was supposed to be such a spectacular theme park, we planned to spend two or three days there, and bought season passes which were cheaper than two day passes. We did most of the photo ops, stood in line for a couple of mediocre rides, visited a few gift shops and laughed at the prices, and then we left after only about 4 hours because it was boring. We drove over 1,600 miles to visit Universal Studios Hollywood, spent over 1,500 dollars on tickets for our group (plus gas and motel rooms), and left after only about four hours because it was BORING! This was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation for the kids, but we all agreed it was the worst vacation we’ve ever had. And, this is definitely the worst theme park we’ve ever visited. WHAT A LET-DOWN!  Don’t make our mistake. Don’t believe the Hollywood hype. This is the most expensive theme park I’ve ever been to, but this theme park seems little more than publicity for Universal Studios movies. And, apparently, USH makes sure park visitors are the ones who pay for all that publicity. This is supposed to be a movie-themed park, but it felt more like a greed-themed park with USH seeming to come after people’s wallets from every direction possible (I didn’t go to a restroom in the park, so I don’t know if they are pay-to-use).

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“My first visit to Universal Studios was back in 1983...”

Written on: 01/10/2007 by socram13 (9 reviews written)

My first visit to Universal Studios was back in 1983 and I have been several times since and enjoyed it every single time. It has always been a great day and in many respects, is more than a match for Disneyland - and I love Disneyland. When rides or attractions are new, the queues are always very long, but after a couple of years (that is time between visits, not the queue time!), those same queues are much shorter, especially first thing in the morning. The "Back To The Future" ride is a classic case, and in my humble opinion is probably the best of all rides in any theme park. I am well past the first flush of youth yet still get a big kick when visiting Universal, and can't wait to take the grandchildren... The shows are extremely professional with lots of humour. Pre-show, there may be an entertainer working the entering crowd, and these characters are often stars in their own right. I believe that Universal is very aware of what the visitors want and they deliver it very well indeed and by the time an attraction of any sort is tired and not attracting good crowds, it is replaced or updated. Changes seem more rapid than in other parks so for those like me who use an LA stopover from NZ to the UK, need those updates! Plan your visit ahead of time - the internet is a wonderful resource and it will be well worth the effort. Note: This review relates to a 2005 visit.

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