Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Florida on $1,000 a day – Part II

Another day, another picture of a globe! On day 2, we visited Universal Studios Florida. There was apparently some actual filming for an actual movie going on while we were there, so they can legitimately claim that you’re visiting a working film studio. But really folks, this is a theme park through and through. Not that I’m criticizing – I had a total blast. There are a lot of delightful, wonderfully realized rides and exhibitions there, mostly based on specific movies or genres.

I also want to mention that I made a decision to pay the extra $21 per ticket to get the Express Pass, and it turned out to be money well spent. This pass allowed us to bypass the long lines on most rides and proceed to the MUCH shorter Express Pass lines. We certainly wouldn’t have had time to see all that we did if we hadn’t gotten those. And, as one observant person pointed out, this also made us feel better about the rides that were kind of lame (e.g., the ET ride), because we hadn’t invested a half hour of our time waiting in line for them. Now of course, we were there in late February when crowds are small, but if you’re going there in the summer, do yourself a favor – crowbar that wallet of yours open and spend the money to get the Express Pass!

Once again, lots of photos, so . . .

This is the front gate. I don’t have any stories to tell about it – I just think it’s pretty!

Different parts of the park have different looks to them, as if you’re wandering the back lot of a real film studio. This is from the Old New York section.

I know this photo doesn’t have much going for it in terms of composition, but it documents a memorable moment that day. We were enjoying the Revenge of the Mummy ride when it broke down. Our car ground to a halt, the pyrotechnics were snuffed out, the booming voices of angry Egyptian spirits were silenced, the house lights came up, and there we sat, firmly belted into our seats. So this was the view I enjoyed while we endured the Mummy’s true revenge. After about 15 minutes, park officials finally showed up, freed us from our open-air sarcophagi, and walked us out the back way. That was actually kind of cool, as we were able to see some aspects of the exhibit that can’t be seen during the ride, such as the shiny steel arms controlling the motion of the fearsome Egyptian specters.

If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, then you know why we had to go in here! And yes, Duff brand beverages are sold there!

The park staff is courteous and friendly. Here, a helpful park worker gives change to a handsome patron. In case that isn’t clear, the handsome patron is the one on the right.

As with any self-respecting theme park, there are many, many gift shops. This shop specialized in jewelry reproductions, but was also an exhibition hall for more elaborate creations. This is a re-creation of the crown used at the 1661 coronation of King Charles II of England.

There are some patrons who bypass the front gate and simply fly in, though they are well beneath the minimum height requirement for most of the rides.

This wasn’t taken at Universal, but rather in Downtown Disney. I offer it for those of you who know the talented actor/director Harry Wetzel. While I don’t normally print the full names of personal contacts in this journal, I have no doubt that Harry would appreciate the publicity! By the way, while I didn’t buy a pretzel, I did enjoy a double-dip cone of Häagen-Dazs. No offense, Harry.


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