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Going to LA to Visit Disney and Hollywood?
Jun 13, 2002 11:51 PM 2780 Views
(Updated Jun 13, 2002 11:51 PM)

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Warning: The review is about Disneyland and Universal Studios. There is not much about Los Angeles. If you are looking for travel/boarding info in LA, read no further.


Ahem! So you've never been to Disneyland and Universal Studios before. So you are planning a vacation there this long weekend. No problemO! This review is just tailor made for you.


You need three bright sunny days to cover Disneyland and Universal Studios. If you have only three days in your quiver and you want to visit these two attractions, I suggest that you keep nothing else in your list of places.


Get off the plane in LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), rent the car and drive to Covina, a suburb of LA. Covina is equidistant from Anaheim and Hollywood and we are looking at a commute time of around thirty-five minutes. (Takes into account the rush hour traffic conditions.) You can check into a motel there and sleep peacefully.


Hi Funda Tip #1: Visit Universal Studios first and Disneyland next


Reason? Universal Studios pales in comparison with Disneyland. If you visit Disney first, you won't be able to relish Universal Studios.


Day One: Universal Studios


I'd advise you to start as early as possible in the morning because the rides/shows run practically deserted till twelve noon. After that, you have an average wait time of forty five minutes per ride.


When you reach Universal City Drive exit on Interstate 10, don't be tempted by the Preferred Parking option. It just takes two minutes more to walk to Universal City from the regular parking place and it costs much less.


Hi Funda Tip #2: Be prepared to get drenched. Make sure your camera is well protected.


Wisdom Speaketh: Leave the camera in the trunk of your car and just enjoy maadi.


Now, when you reach Universal City, do not spend time there. Universal City Walk is best suited for the evenings. Head straight to the ticket counter.


Money Saver Tip #3: Most corporates have a deal with Universal. For example, employees of my company pay only twenty-eight dollars for a regular one-day admission ticket, which costs forty-three dollars at the counter.


Wisdom Speaketh: Check with your employer.


By ten in the morning, you will be inside the park. The main attractions are Jurassic Park ride, Terminator 3D Show, The Mummy Returns - Walkthrough, E.T. ride, Back-To-The-Future simulation ride, Pirates 4-D show (Excellent show. Do not miss it.) and Backdraft - Walkthrough and last but not the least important one: The Universal Studio Tour.


I suggest you should not miss any of these attractions. However if you are operating on a very tight schedule you can skip Backdraft, The Mummy Returns, E.T.


Universal Studios is actually on two levels. The lower level and the upper level are connected by perhaps the longest escalator in the region.


Wisdom Speaketh: Don't try to be smart and take the steps. I suffered with an unprecedented attack of Asthma after doing the unthinkable.


Once you are done with the rides and attractions, take a leisurely walk in Universal City. Now it is time to go back to the hotel.


Day Two: The Disneyland (Disneyland Park-1)


Today we will drive to Anaheim to visit the best amusement park in the world, The Disneyland. Again, start early to beat the morning rush. It would be great if you are inside the park by 10am. Take a one day pass to Disneyland main park. We will visit California Adventure later.


Wisdom Speaketh: Before you try to explore the map in your hand, I suggest you run as fast as you can to the attraction: Indiana Jones ride in Adventure Land.


This one is sure gonna blow your mind. And once the rush period starts, the wait time for this most popular ride increases to an hour and a half. Most Disneyland visitors start their day with this ride… and take it two or three times more during the day.


Funda #786: Even if you have to wait for 2 hours, do so! This ride simply does not disappoint.


Ok, now that you have seen Mr. Jones in action, it is time to open your Disneyland map.


Not to be missed attractions: Haunted Mansion, It is a Small World, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean (Excellent mechanatronics at work here. Do not miss this ride.), Honey I Shrunk The Audience - 4D show, Jungle Ride (Look for Lord Ganesha) There are a couple of roller coaster rides but I did not find them interesting because we have much better coasters in Cedar Points or Six Flags.


There are many more attractions in this park but I leave them to you to explore. After all your mind needs from creative exercises too.


Oops I forgot to mention the To Be Missed attractions: Don't go anywhere near to ''StoryBook land'', Mathew Horn's Bob Sleds (or some such thing. I don't remember the name.) Big Thunder Railroad and if you are over 10 years, toon-Disney.


They have a fireworks display on Saturdays and Sundays (if Monday is a holiday). Don't miss it. It starts at 9pm and last for about fifteen minutes. There is also a Disney Parade where all Disney characters come and dance on the roads. Make sure your camcorder is loaded.


Day two is over… Head back.


Day Three: California Adventure (Disneyland Park -2)


This is also in Anaheim.


Before I forget this, California Adventure has only one attractions that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. ''Soarin' Over California''. It is a simulation ride over the main scenic spots of California. Imagine this. There is an IMAX Dome screen and a seat that hangs and moves freely inside the curvature of this dome. The picture is projected on the dome and your seat movements and the camera movements are perfectly synchronized. Result? An out of the world experience. It is worth flying to Los Angeles just to experience this.


Other good attractions include a multitude of 4-D shows based on popular Pixar and Disney animation series. (Antz, The Bugs Show etc). They are also very good.


You can cover this park in half a day. Then go to some beach near Los Angeles. May I suggest Santa Monica?


I did not elaborate on the nature of most of these rides because of space constraints here.


Don't tell me my review is incomplete because I haven't told you to pack your bags and go to the airport to catch your return flight. That is ''understood''.


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