We spent a pleasant day today at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.
We took our youngest son and a friend in celebration of our son's recent birthday. One of the perks of homeschooling is going to a theme park on a weekday!
I hadn't been there since I was a teenager. The tram tour of the backlot is still the highlight of a visit to Universal, complete with shark attack, earthquake, and parting of the Red Sea:
The Bates Motel and house from PSYCHO, as seen on the tram tour:
One of the houses on Wisteria Lane, from DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, shot from the tour tram:
Later in the day we walked past the capsule from APOLLO 13:
The park is situated on a hill and is divided into an "upper lot" and "lower lot," navigated by a string of four escalators:
We saw everything the boys were interested in in about five hours. It was a nice day but I was frankly glad we hadn't needed to purchase tickets, thanks to friends who work on the lot. I would not recommend paying full price given the limited entertainment options, particularly for those who aren't interested in THE SIMPSONS, SHREK, or the House of Horrors. In fact it was interesting, some family-friendly attractions I'd heard about over the years, such as E.T. and BACK TO THE FUTURE, came and left without my ever having seen them. If you're a paying customer looking for a full day of entertainment, Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm are better options.
That said, it was a beautiful, sunny day; it was great to take a break from the work and school routine and see the Universal lot for the first time in many years!