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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

**Universal Studios Hollywood** Day Getaway!!

Ohh how I have longed to have a one day getaway the kids can enjoy and create those ever-lasting memories!! Where ohh where can we go?? Someplace that is fun for all ages!! Seasonal memories!! Driving Distance!!.. I've GOT IT:
 
Oh let me tell you what an amazing day we had at Universal Studios Hollywood and it is the perfect time of year to bring all the family, enjoy the sites, the rides and the characters visiting around the park.

On Saturday December 14,2013 I packed up the family and made a 2 hour drive to SoCal to visit a park I had only visited once in my life and my kids had yet to enjoy. Enjoy is the term I use as the kids anticipated this trip since I had informed them I was offered a trip to the park for the day. I had been offered a day, after thinking and rethinking(I wanted Halloween, but a bit too scary for my little ones) I chose Christmas Time and the Merry Grinchmas was absolutely perfect for the kids as well as the adults involved.

Parking starts at  $15 for general parking and there are multiple parking areas to park in, in which we chose Jurassic Park, only because we were driving in that direction. It was still early in the morning(930am) with parking still available but I can seriously see how parking would become a problem on more busy holiday offerings. We exited our vehicle parked in level 2L and had to locate an elevator which we walked all the way around the level and later learned there was an elevator close to where we parked.

We got off on the level marked by elevator and ended up on City Walk, ahead of us you could see the many shopping stores(still closed) and eateries and you got the sense that Christmas was upon us, even with KingKong looking down at us on City Walk. Not to mention the Dinosaurs that were overlooking the restaurants all were dressed festive and bright. We located a map to find our way to the front gate, which are very well placed and easy to navigate.

The weather was awesome, it was slightly cool but the sun hung over and remained in the 60's that day, a far cry from the weather we have at home. The front of the ticket counters and booths were already full of tourists and visitors and we knew it was going to be a busy day. 

I was super stoked when I went to the Will Call office to pick up my awaiting tickets because I had no lines ahead of me. I had to provide ID and my confirm# but was super easy and speedy process, the gentleman was very friendly and helpful. Since I was offered the tickets to visit, thank you again to XXXXX :)(sorry you know anonymity), I was expecting general admission not realizing she HOOKED ME UP..yayyyy.. I had the Front of Line passes, totally unexpected but super appreciated. If it was just me going I could wait but with kids, there is NO waiting.
Front of Line passes give you just what they say, the ability to enter through the marked star entrance and get in with a handful of people "first". I felt like i was cheating(but I LOVED IT) and it made it possible to ride multiple rides without missing out on our day.

The kids were in awe, seeing all the movie characters they recognized walking around and able to be touched, kid friendly and enjoyed the pictures visitors were taking.
everywhere you looked was someone

 The highlight of Christmas 2013 most definitely is "GrinchMas" which runs through Jan 4th 2014, with the season approaching I can say I have seen The Grinch on TV more times that I can count. This was the favorite part for my kids as this is one of the things they were looking forward to only because we knew this to be the center of all things involving Who-Ville and the Who-bilation.
From the trees to the characters, music and festivities there was no way you could not feel the Who way of life, it was so animated and creative. They light the Christmas tree at night in the center of WhoVille and sing the day away.

The part I thought the kids would enjoy was the rides, backlots, TV sets and shows that they knew of or heard of. The Studio Tour had changed a bit since my last visit as now it has some 3D and 4D added, for instance KingKong and Jurassic Park on screen(I seem to remember it differently) equally as heart stopping though especially when you get squirted. The Jaws was what my son was excited about and my daughter couldn't stop talking about the divers blood. Desperate Housewives was new to me on the tour so cool since it is labeled with cast members and the Fast & Furious cars were so cool to see sitting there. We can't forget the Who-Bilation on the tour of which our tram stopped so we could sing along with the characters, so cheery and upbeat. They LOVED IT!! The Grinch, my daughter noted, was not as mean as seen on TV. 


We went on many rides as well as the House of Horrors
Many rides prohibit the use of cameras or video cams therefore we didn't want to break any rules. The Shrek 4D was cool for my older kid, but the younger ones were scared so I did use the emergency exit :( The Simpsons was so cool.
If you are looking for that vacation or get a way to remember give it a shot, the tickets in Hollywood run from $84 and up and your price up guarantees a much better time but doesn't change the visit or attractions. The lines are quicker with Front Pass and you also have an option for a personal tour (hint, hint..maybe next time).
**I was given the tickets to visit with my family in exchange for the review. I am not compensated in any other way outside of what I had received. My opinions are my own and everyone has different opinions. Your enjoyment of visit depends on weather.**
Pursuant to the FTC Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials, if you are granted access to Universal Studios Hollywood via complimentary tickets or because you have been invited by Universal to cover an event. as required by the FTC Guides, it is appropriate to convey this information to your readers / viewers.















36 comments :

  1. So Jealous! What sucks about living in the Midwest.. Missing out on things like this!! Made me feel like I was at Universal Studios for the Holidays tho! Love the family photos!

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  2. Oh How FUN!! It looks like you had a great time!! everything at Universal Studios is too cool and add the holiday stuff and its all just adds up to a magical day!! thx for sharing!! PS... I really want my pic w/ the Mystery Machine!! ;)

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  3. This looks like such a fun experience!!! I'm jealous too! What wonderful family time! Looking forward to my move to Cali next August!!!!

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  4. Sounds like you had a great time! I hope to take my kids one day!

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  5. Super fun!!! Universal Studios is so much better than Disneyland!

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  6. that looks like so much fun. glad you all had a good time :)

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  7. what a nice trip and super good pictures. I am sure many wonderful memories were made.

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  8. I want to go back so bad!
    Just like someone else said .. Midwesters miss out on the cool stuff lol
    I never knew about who ville .. now I want to go in the winter lol
    Thanks for sharing!

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  9. OMGosh!! This sounds amazing!! I need to go and see Universal Studios now!! I see a trip to CA in my future!! MUST SEE the Mystery Machine!

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  10. I have always wanted to go to Universal Studios.My daughter went to the one in FL last year and she loved it!! looks like you guys had a blast!!!

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  11. Wow that looks so amazing! I really would love to go there someday. Looks like everyone had such a great time!

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  12. Oh my goodness! Looks like an amazing time! We went about two years ago while i was pregnant and it was great because I could still do some rides and such! This makes me what to go back!

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  13. WOW! Next time take me please! You look like you had so much fun! I cannot wait to go and take the kids, expecially after seeing how much fun you had! Thanks for sharing the fun!

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  14. It looks like you had a great time!! Everything at Universal Studios is loads of fun!! Your kids will remember this trip forever Big Congrats on going :) xo

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  15. What a great family day. I'm so glad you got to make these memories with your kids and with a free pass to boot!!

    Erica
    We three crabs

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  16. Niiiiiiiiiice!... looks like so much fun and some great memories made that day!

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  17. Seems like such a great time. i should visit soon!

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  18. Looks like you had a lot of fun! Someday maybe we'll go.. :)

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  19. Looks like fun! I want to take my kids!

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  20. Sounds awesome! I am gonna add it to must-visit travel list!!! Thank you!

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  21. How fun! I have never been to Universal and it sounds like so much fun!!!

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  22. Looks like a blast. One day I want to take my boys here for a vacation

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  23. Looks like you had an amazingly fun day! I so wish I had anything like this near me. Maybe one day we'll trek across country. & I'll have to remember to get those front of the line passes!

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  24. Well, I'm officially jealous seeing as we have over a foot of snow and you got to spend the day at warm Universal Studios for Christmas. :)

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  25. wow talk bout a blast, this looks way to fun. i have never been anywhere like this. but your photos made me feel like i was there. thanks or sharing

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  26. Love your pics! Hope to get to Universal soon!!

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  27. What a great review of a fantastic place to visit! You have some treasured memories with your family and made me want to pack my bags!!!

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  28. Looks like you had an awesome time. I went there are a kid and still have fond memories.

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    1. That should say "as a kid" not "are a kid."

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  29. Looks like so much fun!! Great pictures. I sure hope to go there one day!

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