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50 States, Day 262

  Mulberry to Universal Studios, 125 Miles

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."
~Henry Ford

Sticker shock gave us a poor first impression of Universal Studios. Mr. and Mrs. Cheap blanched at the $89 entry fee. Additionally, the park was chopped in two, so no access to the Islands of Adventure side without the 'super duper package deal' of $124. This place will have to wow us- a lot- to win us back to feeling we got our money's worth. Let's not forget the fifteen dollar parking fee, too. 

The park's fun factor scores quite high. 'Disaster!' takes the crowd- with eight volunteers- through the production of a disaster movie, complete with the crowd trapped in a subway during a San Francisco earthquake. Horrors include a truck crash, fires, flood, and the temblor effects. When finished, our volunteers' small parts were dubbed into the movie. I liked how it entertained while educating. 

Another one that effectively did both was the 'Horror Make-Up Show.' The hosts (now we know where people work who couldn't score an acting job) cut up audience members and demonstrated how to make and use blood effectively. Humor, fun and entertainment combined for a fun time. 

A few shows seemed long in the tooth- the ET Adventure takes us through the movie's story, but when did we see the premier? 30 years ago? The Simpsons and Men in Black  also gave it a dated feeling. 
Speaking of feelings, we felt a bit odd:
"I think we're in the top 1%" I said.
"1% of what?"
"Age." Yep. Most people looked to be mid thirties, and nobody my age rode the 'Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.' What a coaster. First, the dashboard gave me music options (rock), then band options (ZZ Top) and off we went to the tune of "Give Me All Your Loving." The ride launched straight up for a couple hundred feet, then crested and rocketed downward, barrel rolling while looping skyward. Needed to keep my head back, the g- forces were amazing. 

On the quiet side, we wandered into 'Lucy- A Tribute,' dedicated to the memory of Lucille Ball. Funny after all the lights and hoopla, it was a tremendous trip down memory lane, watching clips of Lucy crashing through the ceiling in a parachute, engaging in a pie fight, and crushing grapes, Italian style. What memories of a great lady. 
It turned out to be a very rewarding day, but I would say not enough value for the money spent. First, check out the venue; there's so much, but many of what one sees are profit centers, such as gift shops, restaurants and special shows that require more cash.  The remainder are great shows and rides, but not enough to validate the money spent. Plus it's a bit frustrating being cut off from half the park. But the shows, rides and entertainment were first class. 

And now, very entertained and a bit dizzy, Quilter Girl!

I felt old being in a place like Universal Studios!  I enjoy some rides, but I was not on the serious roller coaster with Kevin.  We both really enjoyed the Animal Actors show, there were trained dogs and birds as usual, but they had pigs and chickens also.  Training a chicken must be very interesting along with getting a cat to run under a waterfall.  There were some really cute dogs too.  The rides were mostly simulators and I came home with a headache, of course waking up at 4 a.m. can't help either.

Dinner was at Texas Roadhouse, next door to the Hobby Lobby where I found the yarn I needed for the baby blanket.  It was a relief to know that I have enough to finish without having to be too creative!  As for dinner, it was superb and we were made to feel really special.  They sent us home with peanuts and extra rolls to go with our leftovers that will be tomorrow nights dinner.  A great place to eat.


We're laying low, catching up on business, writing and such, but will provide a specail post. See you then and thanks for following. 


Mel said...

I enjoyed reading your rants about Universal Studios... what a Mickey Mouse operation!
Oops... that actually applies to that other Goofy theme park, doesn't it?

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Yes. A more appropriate comment might be "D'oh!"