I have been waiting to write about this! Just thinking of this trip fills me up with so much joy! A few months ago I was lucky enough to find myself in Los Angeles, the sprawling Southern California city and the hub of Hollywood movies and stars! And what’s better than visiting where all the action happens – The Universal Studios.
I flew to LA with my one of my closest friends Abhishek – who’s funny and smart and uses ‘aap’ to address you even after knowing you for 10 years – and we had to do something memorable. It’s not always that you get a chance to be with your best friend in one of the most happening cities in the world.
So, we went to the Hertz and rented a BMW with a reasonable price of 90 dollars! (With the fuel and the GPS it cost us a total of 120 USD which was divided amongst 5 of us.) After eating a grand breakfast at the Hilton Hotel in Orange County we hit the road. We were a group of four girls and my lovely Abhishek (lucky him!). We blasted our speakers all the way down to Universal Studios.
We got ourselves the VIP passes as we wanted to make most of our trip and not spend the day waiting in queues. We got a group discount so it cost us 140 dollars for unlimited rides.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had just opened there and I had goosebumps all over! I was most thrilled to be there! We entered the Holy land of Hogwarts with thumping hearts. It felt so real with students walking in their cloaks holding their wands, spectacled kids in their Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw T-shirts. It was like being in the movie! It was amazing – be it the train at the 9 3/4th, the Diagon Alley or the students from other wizarding schools (Drumstrang and Beauxbaton) who performed a Triwizard tournament ceremony.
There was a long queue to get a glass of butter beer but it was worth the wait. Then there was of course the grand entrance of Hogwarts school of Wizards! It’s all still etched clearly in my mind – Dumbledore’s office as he greeted the muggles, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the Gryffindor common room alley.
Soon we strapped ourselves for the Enchanted Bench Ride. It was so much fun! There was everything in that ride – from a Quidditch match to Dementors to the Forbidden Forest. We must have gone on that ride five more times.
We tried the cloaks ourselves (unsuccessfully I might add), got a chocolate frog with a picture of Dumbledore in it, and a Gryffindor flag which hangs in my house in Mumbai.
From there we went to a tour of the studio. The ride starts with a Jimmy Fallon show (the guy who played Holi with Priyanka) who takes us around the sets of villages, lakes, New York city; there were rain sequences and shark attacks simulations and there was a 360 degree view of the King Kong movie set. It was the first time I had experienced something like this. I just hope we too have a set studio like this in India. I hope Rajamouli does it. On that note, how awesome does the Bahubali 2 trailer looks?
We ate at the cafe at the Studio and headed to our next adventures – Despicable Me Minion Mayhem the Joy 3D interactions with the minions! We all came out wanting Bananas!
It was then time go to the Jurassic Park and we were run down by the Trex himself. The Mummy roller coaster was some real fun as well. Where’s Brandon Fraser these days? The Halloween Horror Nights and Transformers were a lot of fun as well – fully recommended!
I have been to the Universal Studios in Singapore as well but this was so much better! After I had tagged my best friend along!