Saturday, July 15, 2017

one more last time

okay, so while i said that we had our last trip to universal studios a couple of weeks ago, they totally made a liar out of me.  on occasion they'll send out an email offering a bonus day to folks like us whose passes are technically blocked out, and one of those emails came our way last week.  they were spotlighting dreamworks animation characters in their main plaza, and invited all of the annual passholders to come and visit.  sure, why not?  don't have to ask us twice to go to a theme park.

when we got there, we looked at everything through a "this is the last time for a while!" lens.  like this, our last time on the red carpet:


oh hey, krusty the clown!  he looked a little forlorn with no one in line to take pictures with him.


but we were on a mission.  look, practically no wait for the backlot tram tour!


we always take a seat in the back of the car, but we decided it was opposite day and sat in the front row this time.


here's where they tape "the voice."


he looks so cute and cuddly, but ted isn't your average teddy bear.


the famous bungalow that used to be home to alfred hitchcock.


one last time at the "hairspray live" set.


and the nearly unrecognizable clock tower from "back to the future."


does anyone else remember when the tour included driving over this rickety bridge?  now it's just part of the scenery before entering the "king kong" attraction.


you get to see some of the cars they used in movies like "back to the future" and "flintstones," and from tv shows like "magnum, p.i." and "knight rider."



we usually get to see norman bates loading up a body in the car of his trunk here, but the last few times norman's been on a break.  oh well.


this creepy ass doll watches you from the wreckage of an airplane crash used in "war of the worlds."


and the piece de resistance is the newest addition to the tour - a "fast and furious"-themed 3D attraction.


a final goodbye in written form from the tour host.


not quite paris, but it's as close as we're gonna get:



the line for the "despicable me" ride wasn't too long, so we turned ourselves into minions for a little while.





 the bean wanted to run around the playground for a few minutes afterwards.



and i went over to look at the gigantic minion who looks out onto universal city.  you can see him from far away, if you know where to look.


and he has a pretty sweet view.


as we walked through the park, we decided that we should probably go check out the dreamworks animation characters that we were supposed to be here for to begin with.  the bean wasn't too interested in getting in line to see branch from "trolls," so i settled for a picture of him from afar.



and then as we walked into harry potter land, we decided to have dinner at three broomsticks.  we've eyed this place every time we come, but were never really hungry enough for the full meals that they serve.  this time, we went for it.



the bean liked looking into the window at the display of the menu items available here.  


the old lady and i settled for looking at the menu boards instead.



this was the shepherd's pie:


kids' macaroni & cheese:


and the beef sunday roast, which the bean and i shared.  it was surprisingly really tasty.


as we headed towards the exit, the bean stopped in the candy shop where she spied something high up in a corner of the store.  she walked slowly towards it with the greatest look of awe on her face, and it was pretty funny to watch.


yep, it's a jumbo super duper mega sized pusheen plush, which she was totally ready to scoop up and take home if not for the equally jumbo super duper mega sized price tag of $400.  four. hundred. dollars.  for a stuffed cat.  NOPE.

this is also the only place i've seen in recent years where you can still find candy and bubble gum cigarettes.  you remember these, right?  they were wrapped in white paper and if you blew on one end, a puff of sugar "smoke" would come out to make it look like you were smoking.  because that's what you want...for smoking to look cool.  heh.


i really wanted to pick up one of the t-shirts from the hello kitty-universal studios collaboration that you apparently can't buy anywhere else.  i mean, how cute are these:



i was debating really hard between the three designs, trying to pick which one to take home until i looked a little closer and realized that none of them were available in my size.  WOMP WOMP.  i was so sad.  and i even looked online to see if i could find them online at the universal orlando studio store, but they weren't listed.  boohoo.

but the old lady got an email the other day offering yet one more bonus blackout day...so maybe i'll get my chance after all!  whee!

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