Watching movies has been my favorite hobby for as long as I can remember. No matter what time of day or what mood I may be in, catching a great flick always puts me in a great frame of mind. Some of my favorite movie genres are action, comedy and sci-fi, and I especially love it when they’re in blockbuster form. My all-time favorite movie, Independence Day, for instance, does a fantastic job mixing all three categories.
What’s more, I’ve always loved catching mind-blowing special effects on the big screen and committing to finding out how they were made. Whether reading up on how the dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park were created or watching behind-the-scenes footage of how composite artists pieced together the mummy in 1999’s smash hit The Mummy, I’ve always enjoyed learning about green screens, animation, pyrotechnics, model making, and all of the creative processes that go into crafting film magic. In fact, becoming a visual effects animator is one of the earliest professions I can remember presenting to my class on career day as a child in elementary school!
I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that I grew up in Los Angeles, California and lived just a mere 30-minutes away from Hollywood, home to the world’s most prominent movie industry, that I absolutely love everything related to film. Or maybe it’s that my dad sold movies on the streets during my youth and I’d have access to his extensive collection of DVDs that included everything from new releases to classic pictures. No matter the reason—there are plenty of them, mind you—watching films and learning about their creation has been and will always be a favorite passion of mine.
Likewise, another passion that I managed to develop while growing up in ‘city of Angels’ was exploring theme parks. Yep, LA is within a few hours drive from many of California’s most popular amusement parks including Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Sea World, Raging Waters, and Lego Land, just to name a few. And whether hitting up Six Flags for its colossal thrill rides or Disneyland for its magical, fairytale theme, amusement parks have always been excellent places for some good wholesome fun and great entertainment.
With that, gather up a few film studio entertainment attractions for passionate movie fans and mix them together with a couple of exhilarating thrill rides and you’ve got the perfect recipe for the best theme park in the world: Universal Studios Hollywood.
Imagine if all of your favorite blockbuster movies came to life in the form of a thrill ride; that you could relive the suspense of your favorite scenes, traverse the same dangerous landscapes that the movie’s hero’s faced, and even help save the world by chasing down their adversaries in an interactive 4D adventure. Or how about participating in a special effects show where you become the film star, or touring a real movie studio backlot and receiving a behind-the-scenes look at popular movie characters, sets, and props of classic motion pictures. At Universal Studios Hollywood, you don’t just watch the movie; you live it. What better fantasy could you ask for?
Ok, ok, enough with the free promotion! In laments terms, Universal Studios Hollywood is my favorite amusement park because it is a great place to experience fun, thrills, and entertainment under the guise of an interactive movie studio production.
Popular thrill rides at the theme park that are based off of smash blockbuster films include Jurassic Park: The Ride, a stimulating river-raft ride through an interactive Jurassic World, and Revenge of the Mummy, an indoor, forward and backwards motion rollercoaster that propels riders through a haunted tomb. Each ride is equipped with an elaborate set of props, mechanics, and lighting effects to make you feel as if your smack dab in the middle of a terrifying movie scene.
Universal Studios Hollywood is also equipped with a number of interactive, sensory-driven 3D & 4D too!
Fast & Furious: Supercharged, Transformers: The Ride-3D, The Simpsons Ride, Shrek 4D, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, aren’t rides that rely on high-speeds, sharp turns, and steep drops; rather, they use simulation technology, state-of-the-art digital projectors, and out-of-this-world special effects to immerse riders in the middle of adventurous quest and gripping chase sequences, just like a scene right out of the movies!
As for entertainment, Universal Studios Hollywood’s highly praised WaterWorld attraction is a spectacular live action show brimming with amazing stunts, explosions, and a plane crash—you heard right, a plane crash!
In addition, the Special Effects Stage show offers an engaging look at the behind the scenes process of many hit blockbuster movies, something that a movie lover like myself makes sure to check out each time I visit.
My favorite attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, though, has always been the backlot Studio Tour.
The ride consists of a tram that takes passengers on a remarkable journey through Universal Studios’ movie studio lot where guests not only have the opportunity to learn about and explore the world’s largest working film studio, but can also experience a multiple award winning King Kong 360 attraction, look out over massive plane destruction set from the blockbuster movie War of the Worlds, and undergo a thrilling life-like stimulation of an earthquake. You won’t find this type of attraction anywhere else in the world!
Throughout the year Universal Studios Hollywood also stages elaborate, movie themed events for holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. Entire sections of the park are decked out with props and workers dressed up as iconic characters from popular Universal films.
Lastly, one of the best features of Universal Studios Hollywood, or any Universal Studios for that matter, is that the party continues even after you‘ve left the park. Exit the gates and you’ll have stepped foot into Universal Citywalk, a brimming entertainment, retail, and dining promenade.
Much like how Disneyland’s fireworks show leaves guests experiencing some serious nostalgia as they relive popular moments from classic Disney films, Universal Citywalk delivers a solid finale that perfectly encapsulates what Universal Studios Hollywood is all about: fun activities, pop culture, movies, entertainment, and everything La La Land.
Universal Studios Hollywood remains a destination that has consistently improved my spirit each and every time I’ve visited. It’s unique combination of motion picture entertainment and theme park thrills has not only granted it as the “entertainment capital of the world” for myself, but for millions of adventure seeking movie fans from across the globe every year.
So far I’ve made my way over to Universal Studios Singapore but have yet to visit Universal Studios Orlando in Florida, the mega-version of the theme park. Nevertheless one thing’s for sure, when I get there, I know I’ll have the time of my life!
If you’re planning on visit the Los Angeles area, make sure to stop by Universal Studios Hollywood. For hours, ticket prices, and directions, check out the Universal Studios Hollywood website.