Tuesday, March 27, 2001 11:22 AM
For Day three we treked out to USF. At the main gate, we hung an immediate right and caught the T2-3D show. Decent little flick, I like that they have the 3D effects on the side screens as well so everyone gets the full effect. The ending was also a nice suprising jolt.
Continuing down that road, we ran into the kiddie land where we took in the ET dark ride. It was interesting, but since it has been YEARS since I saw ET (and I was just a wee fella then) some of the ride didnt make a whole lot of sense. However, since it was visually appealing I enjoyed it.
Leaving the kidzville, we rode the worlds best simulator, Back to the Future: The Ride. It still amazes me how old this ride is because it is so well done. One word of advice, if you can, sit in the front row. In the back row my head bounced off the car much more than I would have liked. Still a great ride though.
We then moved to my favorite ride in the Universal stable. The eclectic mix of dark ride and video game, Men in Black: Alien Attack. One day I would like to ride this in a FULL car (there were only 4 out of 6 in the car this ride) with some sharpshooters just so that I could see some alternate endings. BTW: our car lost *boooo*.
Continuing counter-clockwise, we stumble across Jaws. At this point I should mention that both me and my sis had been to US-Hollywood back in 1987. At USH though, there is an hour or so long tram ride where you see Earthquake, Kong, Jawas, etc. So it was a little strange to see these as stand alone attractions. Additionally, in a strange twist of fate, I watched Jaws (the movie) just two days before because I couldnt sleep. As for my thoughts on the Jaws attraction, like the movie, it is pretty outdated, but still has a suprise or two.
We next rode through the EarthQuake attraction. Nothing too special here. The best part was the outdoor queue, which gave a great view of Hulk and Dr. Doom and was littered with props from the Flintstones movie.
About this point in time, it began to rain (again with the rain!). It was okay though because it was time to eat anyway. I wanted to eat in a full-service place so we sat down at Finnegan's Bar and Grille. The Dublin pie I had was excellent! As was the service from our waitress Fran. On top of everything, the 'Blues Brothers' were playing a set while we were eating; SCORE! Nothing like live entertainment to complement a good meal. Oh did I mention they sell beer in sizes ranging from a half pint to a full yard?!? Folks, it doesnt get much better than this!
Anyway, by the time we finished eating the rain has finished watering the lawns so we went to KongFrontation. Like the previous two attractions, there was not much special here, though it was a little different experiencing Kong in a cable car rather than a tram.
Still traversing our reverse circle, we get to Twister. This is one of the attractions that I had not experienced. It's not exactly a ride, but more of a walk through show. It is definitely interesting and worth taking in. My only complaint is with the pre-show tapes; they are overly dramatic (I'm talking drama-Queen material). But hey, the world aint perfect.
We are quickly running out of park and have about two + hours till closing. We decide to look at the Alfred Hitchcock exhibit. The hightlight of this attraction was seeing a portion of "The Birds" in 3D. My skins still crawls.
As we exit, there is a little setup nearby of props from the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Nothing of true note here but I did snap a pic or two. We jetted just across the road to the Funtastic World of Hanna-Barberra. I thought this would be another dark ride. However, this is 'Days of Thunder' type large-room-simulator. The storyline is basically Snidely Whiplash (and Muttely) kidnap Elroy Jetson so we ride with Yogi & Boo-Boo in a rocket to get him back. In my opinion, this is no kiddie ride! This is one of the wildest sims I have ever been on. Definitely not for those with back problems, suspectibile to motion sickess etc...
At this point I wanted to tour the Nickelodeon Studios, but apparently, we had missed the last tour group of the evening. We decided to look in the stores for souvienrs. We went in the Hitchcock store and as sis was buying a gift for mom I was plying with a plastic knife that I couldnt understnd why it was priced at 12+ dollars. I toss the knife back in the box with the other knives and suddenly I hear all this screaming. The knives give off a screaming sound when they are hit. The salesgirl laughed at me cause I darn near jumped out my skin. (ha-ha very funny!)
It was nearing park closing but we made a quick jaunt back to the kidzone just to ride the Woody WoodPecker's Nuthouse coaster. There are actually a couple of forces on that ride. My favorite part was the unbanked turn back into the station. Sis was sitting on the outside of the curve so I squashed her :). Nothing else was notable. Just your standard kiddie coaster.
All in all USF was a pretty decent park. I'm not sure how re-visitable it is, but if you've never been there, they have good attractions to check out. (And dont forget the beer!)