Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, November 17, 2008

17 November
Now,  I know that many of you who live in Surfers Paradise, will be well used to the whole Warner Bros. thing, and as much as don't like handing over USD450-500 for a day at Universal, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, and we're here so .... you do just have to do it.   

Well, we planned to be there, when it opened, and we got there just after 8.30am, bright and early.  Had already packed a lunch of rolls the night before (yes reminded me of school lunches), and so was prepared with those, and some muffins, muesli bars, fruit and plenty of water.  Feeling very organized, we got to the escalators leading up to the baggage check and saw this sign "no outside food or drink allowed"  ..  I couldn't believe it!   Our kids are ALWAYS hungry and it would just cost us a fortune to feed them at this theme park, let alone the fact that the food that is sold is not the most healthiest or nourishing.    We were parked so far away, that to go out of the theme part for snacks or lunch was just not an option.   We proceeded anyway, praying lots.

We got to the security baggage check out, and got talking to the lovely man (who was English) and he was telling us how his son is visiting New Zealand, etc, etc, and he opened my bag, looked right at my dozen filled rolls, looked up and me, and said nothing.  He let us go, and I'm forever grateful.  

Onto the fun!  We'd heard the Simpsons ride was the best, so that was our first stop and we got straight on - no lines.  It was a actually a simulator, but you honestly felt like you were on a roller coaster.   Tara, wisely had decided not to join us, and I have to say I don't think she would have enjoyed it, but the younger ones were giggling; us older ones, stumbled off, shaking our heads thinking WOW, and YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?' all at once.

Then onto Jaws - yep same as ever, but they boys hadn't seen it before, and they thought it was very cool. 
The kids love the rides, but personally I think it's the shows that make it so worthwhile.   periodically, throughout the day, we caught, Barney and friends live with a sing-a-long, and having a round seating arrangement, meant that everybody was up close to Barney & friends.  Very professional, and even us parents, enjoyed it.

And one of my all time favourites is the Blues Brothers - those cool dudes haven't changed a bit! They drove up the street in the old black & white, bounced up on stage, and with the added addtion of, I think THE most amazing voice of a soul sister - it was a fantastic show. Just across the road, is the Return of the Mummy ride, and although I didn't go on it myself, the others did and loved it so much they were back on for a second ride.  

One show, that I hadn't seen before, and the whole family really enjoyed was: Fear Factor Live.  You have to be 18+ to participate, and auditions start some hr and half before, so that the contestants are all ready and prepared by the time the audience is seated.  This show involved, heights, speed, accuracy, team work, and it was great entertainment.  Of course no show is complete without the 'devouring' of something revolting.  So, (I think it was the applicants that didn't make it in for the finals), got to take on the challenge of the drinking a concotion of stale milk, left over meat 'things' and fish guts - all blended and poured into glasses for their consumption.   Another member of the audience got chosen to have scorpions placed on her head etc.   So really weird, and typically came with all the "don't try this at home" stuff.   But nothing too daunting, and as I said just good entertainment.

Before I finish, I just want to mention the 'Animal Actors' show.  This was so difficult to get photos of, but was absolutely marvellous.   We got to meet many on-screen animals that had appeared in movies, including the black & white dog from Men in Black (that ride is worth it too) - this particular canine thought he was IT - he loved posing for photos/ The birds, dogs, cat, and the favourite orangatan ... I can't really explain it, but they are impeccably trained, and we were shown how they can understand words without actions, which of course is important in movies if they need to be commanded to do something, and their trainer can't be in front of them.   Sorry, I'm having trouble explaining that but let's just say it was a real highlight of the day and I wish I could transport some of it to you. 

Where do I finish?  It was all very, very good and the E.T, ride was as magical as ever, and I even convinced Tara to come on that with me.  

In fact, that sums it up very well  - 'magical' - I know they say that's what Disneyland is, but what they do in movies, it's the true make believe and I have to say that's Universal for me ... wouldn't have missed it. 

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