This is Ricky Saetta reporting live from LA California. Our only stop in Las Angeles will be Universal Studios. Before we left on the road my mom gifted us tickets. Thanks mom. We spent last night at a Walmart in San Clemente then, this morning headed north along I-5. I almost shit myself when I saw that my GPS said there would be a 50 min traffic delay. LA traffic is real deal! It quickly adjusted and sent me on and off pretty much every highway LA has to offer, from the 5 to the 91 then the 605 then the 105 next 710, “I found a route that is 15 min faster, would you like to take it?” “Yes”, to the 10 and back to the 5 to the 101, 899, 7210, 398765894092 ahhhhhh! I was hopping numbered highways like I was playing bingo. Drive by numbers. Another thing about LA that is not exaggerated is the smog. From the moment i was within 50 miles of the city I could see a looming yellowish brown fog across the entire horizon. It’s easy to dismiss global warming when living in New York where there’s a lot of traffic but no visible sign of damage to the earth, but you can’t deny it after seeing this. Now to Jillian Hunter with the News…
Welcome to Universal Studios LA!!! The only theme park I’ve ever been to is six flags, so I’m kind of pumped to see what all the hype is about. Not to mention, I’m scared of roller coasters. Surprised?? My many fears seem to be a common theme throughout this blog… Anyway, since I’m roller coaster wuss, I figured the Universal rides would be more my speed. In true Ricky fashion, my baller fiancé hooked us up with front of the line passes. Nothin but the best for Ricky and his lady! Totally worth it. Waiting on line is so beat. The first spot we hit up was the House of Horrors. This place was crazy… it had both me AND Ricky screaming at the top of our lungs. Our sweet VIP pass got us to the front of the line, so we were leading the pack through this haunted house of steroids. It’s really well done. Special effects, sounds, and set is totally rad. And the actors will scare the shit out of you. On more than one occasion, Ricky was caught so off guard and jerked his body back so hard that he ended up on the ground. We made a friend at this first attraction too… a man from Singapore, who followed us really closely through the whole house. This guy was petrified. Ricky tried to let him lead at one point, but he completely refused. He kept saying “no, I can’t, I’m scared. I’m scared”. We high fived after we conquered the house of horrors and parted ways.. Or so we thought. Next up was Terminator 2- mixture of 3D movie, live acting (sub-par, but it does the job) and special effects. It was pretty rad, we were definitely impressed with this ride. So was our friend from Singapore. After T2, it was time to board the Universal Studios tour. This tram takes you all around the sets at universal studios, which is pretty fun. You get to see what a live Hollywood movie set looks like. Not to mention, there’s a lot of history here. Many classics were filmed at these sets, and it’s pretty neat to see them live and in person. There are some simulation rides built into the universal tour, which keeps it interesting. The King Kong simulation was sick. It’s kind of crazy how it really makes you feel like king kong is holding you in his hand while swinging from vine to vine. I mean, in my brain I know I’m still sitting in a tram that’s making only slight movements, but at the same time I can’t help from screaming as if I’m flying through the air uncontrollably. And of course, how could I not mention the classic jaws prop. Jaws will never die. Singapore man enjoyed this tour as much as we did, I think.
Ok. Lunch time. Wait.. Mr. Singapore- really?? Eating at the exact same time at the exact same place as us? Now I’m starting to get a little suspicious of this guy… Anyway, since the park closes at 5 today, we’re a little constricted time wise. So we did our best to fit everything in. We hit the special effects demonstration next, which was very informative. They gave demonstrations on both practical effects and digitized visual effects. Both were equally interesting. Obviously, I’ve always known how monumental special effects are in film making, but not that I’ve been to universal I think I have a new appreciation for special effects as well as cinematography. I don’t care how good you act, without the right camera angle and digital effects, your movie is gonna be shit.
I LOVED the Simpson’s ride. I kept thinking it was going to be a real indoor roller coaster and I was kind of scared, but it was just a virtual one. You don’t even need 3D glasses for this ride. You get into the cart that seats 8 people. The doors close and your entire cart is lifted up to a dome of movie screen. 360 degrees of visual effects coupled with the movements of the cart really make you feel like you’re on some kind of crazy ride. I mean, it was so good it made my stomach drop! Very cool ride.
Time to meet the animal actors!!! This show was SUPER impressive. It’s a presentation of famous animals from all different movies, including Ace Ventura and Marley and Me. It is amazing how well they train these animals. They had all different kinds of birds doing impressive cued flying tricks, an orangutan (always entertaining), Jinxie from meet the parents!, rats, a raccoon, a chicken, a pig, and- my fav- dogs. Oh my gosh, these guys were so adorable, so well trained. They really impressed me. Plus, since we had the VIP passes we got to hang out with some of the animals after the show. Some of you may have seen my pic with the high profile celebrity, Jona- The yellow lab that played Marley!
Ricky and I were both really excited for the Jurassic Park ride, but it wasn’t really everything we dreamed it would be. It was a little dated and the effects weren’t that impressive.. But at the end of the ride you get dropped down an 84ft waterfall, which is a big feat for me. I mean, that’s kind of like a roller coaster. The mummy was also an actual ride… it’s an indoor roller coaster that is supposed to sort of rival Space Mountain (which I’ve never been on). It’s pitch dark, with some cool visual effects here and there, and a decent roller coaster with no big drops or anything. I rode it twice and was damn proud of myself.
The last thing was did at universal was the WaterWorld show. It’s a special effects/stunt demonstration of a water war. One of the park workers suggested that we save it for the end because it would be starting to get dark. He was dead on, because all the pyrotechnic stuff looked really cool against the dusk sky. With our front of the line VIP passes, we were taken right up to the best seats in the house. Top bleacher in the middle section. I was really glad for this, because all of the lower seats are warned that they’re going to get pretty wet. This show was jam packed with action- jet ski stunts, explosions, fire, fake gun shots with people falling from way up high to their death in the water, people getting lit on fire… There’s even a plane crash involved. Definitely worth seeing. By the way- Mr. Singapore managed to sit directly in front of us. Bizarre.
We ended the night with the city walk, which is basically just shops and dining located right outside the park that stay open all night. Money trap for tourists. But we found a delish place to eat at- The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. We filled our bellies, headed back to the van, and drove about an hour and a half to our walmart home. LA traffic sucks, man.
Big thank you to Mama Saetta for gifting us our day at Universal!! It was sooo much fun!!!!!
(Here”s a couple of shitty pics I took with my IPhone. Sorry, I didn’t take the camera out today and really enjoyed life without it.-Ricky)
Marely and JillWater World
Next Stop: Vegas, bitches.