OK, I've been!
I'm thinking I may need a little input from someone who has been to Universal Studios in Hollywood or Orlando somewhat, as I am lead to believe that they are all very similar.
First off, the journey alone was exciting as they had their own trains. Some decorated entirely in spiderman (more on that later), some in sesame street, and so on. Unfortunately I was with my sister who strongly opposes such things and theme parks, so I had to enjoy things on an insular scale.
The theming is absolutely fantastic. The giant Universal globe is so magnificent as you come out of Universal City and the music from the different attractions starts playing from here on; jurassic park, jaws, et, even some snippets from neverending story, and tv shows like pinky and the brain.
What struck me was just how convincingly american everything was. I would imagine the japenese would struggle, as few speak english yet it was everywhere through New York, San Fransisco and Los Angeles. These three sections sort of merged into one another which was a little confusing for me, obviously as I'm not american. :) I spent a lot of time just looking in the fake shop windows, appreciating all the little details everyone barged past.
Without doubt, this is my most favourite attraction, and apparently its not at the other universal studios yet. The favourtism may be spawned from the fact I have a long standing obsession with spiderman, so an entire shop and ride dedicated to him literally made me squeal. I went on this twice, queue times 0mins-10mins (amazing considering on an online review it was reported to typically have 2.30min waits) The queue line was immense, a work out in itself, but really fun as it was set around the Daily Bugle office, lots of posters, desks, red rooms etc.
The actual ride= wheyeheyey! It was a kind of a track simulation/4D show. You wear some 3d specs and sit in a 3x3 carriage. You get quite quicky pulled into the streets on Manhatten, where you first off get an exciting glimpse of a shadow of spiderman. When he actually arrives he lands on the front of your carriage (with a HUGE bump) and talks to you in 3d.Obviously I have no clue what he said. The rest of the ride is sort of a face of between him and various villains including Doc Oc and Green Goblin. You get sprayed with water, heated with flames (a pumpkin bomb comes right up to your face) and the carriage shakes and wobbles according to what is happening. The ace bits come when you get to do some webslinging with spidey as the simulation is really satifying, with moving walls, hex-style and proper stomach churning drops.
Overall it was just a damn fun ride. Occaisonally the 3d effects seemed a little blurry, though that may have been the speed we were going. I may have even enjoyed the shop more, just as I love collecting spidey stuff. :)
ET: the ride
Even my sister couldn't help but be excited about this one, but frankly, the queue was better than the ride. You walk through the forest which included scary NASA anamatronics, the saw/fokr/umbrella/spelling machine contraption and wierdly, a 10 foot ET covered in lights, wearing a cape and holding an orb (not a clue). The idea of the ride is cool. You sit on 'bikes' which takes you round various set ups. being chased by adults etc etc, eventually going up up and over a minature city, complete with moon. This section was totally lacklustre compared to the epic moment of the film, the moon was tiny, the music almost muted. The wierdness was yet to come. For some unknown reason you end up in ETs home planet. There are unbelievably cute mini-ETs doing handstands and waving, but the set is totally trippy. You do feel like you've been eating japenese magic mushrooms. A cool bit happens at the end, where ET waves at you and says your name. Overall though, a disappointment.
Back the the Future: The Ride
I was really excited about this as I adore the movies, though the best bit about the whole section was the fact that there was a Delorean outside. ARgh! Queue times minimal, of course, and the ride is basically a simulation from inside a bigger delorean with a huge dome screen. For me, it was too bumpy (ledging on unfortable) though my main criticism was the fact that it had little to do with the film. You went to see (unconvincing) dinosaurs and other such time periods, though I would have liked a swoop around sun valley a little more. A nice touch was there was a speedometer at the front with did get to 88mph before you switched. Also, the merchandising was a little sparse.
Oddly enough, I hadn't heard of this film, and so the preshows were boring because a) i was tired b) it was in japenese c) they were long and dull. The actualm attraction was exciting though; basically- look, woooosh- FIRE! I was on front row so got very hot, but I didn't move as I kenw I'd be save, so giggled at everyone else cowering against walls. It was big, it was explosive, it was fire. Yes, we know, they're scary. Yeesh.
Jurassic Park: The Ride
By far the best area. Actual JP jeeps (love it), reconstructions of the places in the movie (including jiant reconstructed t-rex) and general aceness. As I'm sure you all know, its a flume ride. The dinosaurs are actually really good anamatronics. Nice, tame ones at the beginning which quirt water at you. but soon things go sick. You go through the 'high voltage' gate and see the velociraptor cage broken. (to be honest, I was cacking myself, I have nightmares about velociraptors) The are little evil dinos tugging at some guys shirt. Then for some reason you go inside and up up up. From this point on I wanted to cry, with v-raptors coming at you from everywhich way. On the second ride we didn't make it all the way to the top, the lift hill just couldn't do it so I was there for 5 mins wishing I was elsewhere. The finale rocks: a jiant T-Rex, terrifyingly real roars at you and you go for the 25.6m drop. On my second riding I was at the front and the only person wearing nothing but the clothes on my back, and got drentched. A really ace ride, but bloody scary.
Jaws: The Ride
The theming around this ride was great, especially the huge shark hanging in the courtyard. Amity looks great, although my sister (the Jaws nut) moaned it was too wild west. The signage of the advert for the town made me happy enough though. The ride itself actually scared me, probably because I'm terrified of sharks. The explosions were cool, the shark fun. The announcer seemed a little fed up though, but he was speaking Japenese so I wouldn't know. Not a hightly memorable ride, but fun enough.
Well, not in everyones top ten list, really, is it? I have seen this film but couldn't remember it so didn't really know what was going on, but it was thumping good fun anyway. The stunts were really good, and only several parts got a little dull. Overall, an entertaining ten minutes or so. I do think they could pick another, better loved film to do something with though.
USJ was a fun day out, as it combined so many of my favourite films with great themed areas.
- 100% litter free, as is typical of Japan.
- Very short queue times, although I planned visit times strategically.
- Fabulous theming
- Mostly good merchandise, many t-shirts etc.
- Plenty of street entertainment: pizza operatics, cheerleaders, firemen.
- Great music all round
- Food was appaulingly overpriced. A burger, chips and drink at a lower quality than McDs (and THATS saying something) cost five pounds. And that was the cheapest we could find. I would recommend going to Universal City for a meal.
- Some merchandise overprised. It could cost up to sixteen pounds for a tshirt which would cost 8.99 at AT.
- Some rides had less merchandise, ie. BTTF.
- C'mon, a rollercoaster or two couldn't go a miss, could it? Although Snoopy's World Tour was fun (what the Beastie should be) I'm sure it could keep its 'studio' feel with a few well themed filmic coasters. PLLLEEAAASSSEEE. or maybe I'm just too into AT.
- Not very big. By mid afternoon I'd been on everything and felt a little bored. The re-ride factor isn't fantastic.
No comparison to AT, but I shouldn't really compare I suppose!
Last edited by Nemesista
on Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.