USA West Coast Travel Part VIII (Universal Studios Hollywood)

USA West Coast Travel Part VIII

(Universal Studios Hollywood)

Day 10 (Sunday, 31 May 2014)

Universal Studios Hollywood

After spending an hour at the Hollywood Walk of Fame along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles City, we travelled 10 km north-west of the city-centre and arrived at a famous place where many Hollywood’s blockbuster movies have been produced, like Jaws,  Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Transformers, King Kong and many more. It is known as Universal Studios Hollywood.

Pictorial Map of Universal Studios Hollywood showing the locations of attraction

There are two areas at Universal Studios Hollywood, viz. film studio and theme park. Opened in 1915, the film studio area is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios. It claims to be “The Entertainment Capital of Los Angeles”. It allows visitors to tour the area to see its soundstages and backlots.

The theme park offers rides and shows since 1964.

Entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood with a red carpet, Universal City, California, USA

On arrival at Universal Studios Hollywood, we walked on a welcome-red carpet, bought tickets and entered the Studios. Then we made a beeline to a place where we hopped onto one of the four carriages of a tram for a studio tour. As the tram moved, slowly, we listened to a recorded narration by Jimmy Fallon, an American TV host, and at the same time looking out for things mentioned by him.

A panoramic view of the studio area at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, California, USA

Visitors boarding a tram for a studio tour at Universal Studios Hollywood

Colonial buildings along an old street used in film-making at Universal Studios Hollywood

Colonial, business buildings used in film-making at Universal Studios Hollywood

A town in colonial times used in film-making at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studio Tour

Old Streets, King Kong 3-D Show and Vehicles

The first back-lot we went through was a site of a few streets with colonial, business buildings. Then we entered a soundstage and put on 3-D glasses. A minute later, our tram was rocking, violently, and realized that we were attacked by two large dinosaurs, T-Rexes, virtually. Some of the visitors were shouting and screaming, loudly. I wondered if they were afraid of the fierce dinosaurs or could not bear the violent movement of the tram.  Anyway, the tram stopped when King Kong came and killed the dinosaurs. That was a 360 3-D attraction. It would be a scary experience to the faint-hearted.

The tram continued moving. A few minutes later, we passed by a row of vehicles of different shapes, sizes, colours and models used in making some movies like Magnum PI, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, The Flintstones, Fast and Furious and The Transformers.

Cars used in making a film “Back to the Future” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Cars used in making a film “Fast and Furious” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Prehistoric cars used in making a film “Flintstones” at Universal Studios Hollywood

A tank used in making a film “Transformers” at Universal Studios Hollywood

A coach used in making a film “Jurassic Park” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Flash Flood

The tram continued moving and came to another site where we witnessed a flash flood. Fast flowing water rushing down a hill and flooded a village. A minute or two later, the water disappeared further down the hill.

A flash flood in a village created in making some films at Universal Studios Hollywood

Town of the Old West

Later, the tram passed through a town of the Old West where most of the buildings were made of wood and bricks, and then another town of later years where all the buildings were made of concrete.

A town of the Old West created in making some films at Universal Studios Hollywood

A town after the Old West created in making some films at Universal Studios Hollywood

Earthquake

Having seen the towns of the olden days, we went to another sound-stage. When our tram entered and stopped inside the building, we saw a subway-station on our left. A minute later, a “8.3 magnitude earthquake” occurred. Our tram rocked, roughly. Then we saw the roof of the station collapsed  and a gas-tanker came down with it. It “exploded”. Soon, a train came to the station and derailed. It came towards us but, luckily, it was stopped by some pillars. Later, water flowed inside the station.

A subway station created in making a film “Earthquake” at Universal Studios Hollywood

An aftermath of an earthquake created in making a film “Earthquake” at Universal Studios Hollywood

“Jaws”

After the earthquake experience, we went to another spot. It was known as Amity Island where we saw a “diver” being attacked and killed by a giant shark called “Jaws” in the water near a quiet fishing village. Then the vicious shark’s head with its mouth wide open showing its sharp sharp teeth, suddenly, surfaced very close to our tram frightening some of us and then disappeared.

A scene of a quiet fishing village on Amity Island used in making a film “Jaws” at Universal Studios Hollywood

 

A shark attacking a diver in the water of Amity Island created in making a film “Jaws” at Universal Studios Hollywood

“Jaws” suddenly appears near the tram frightening some visitors at Universal Studios Hollywood

“Desperate Housewives” Wisteria Lane

The next place the tram brought us to was Wisteria Lane. That was the place where a TV show, “Desperate Housewives” was shot. Along that lane, we saw some well-kept houses with manicured gardens and shady trees belonging to some of the characters in the show, like Susan, Bree, Mike, Gabrielle and Lynette. That place will always remind me of the times I spent watching the show series on TV.

Susan’s house on Wisteria Lane in “Desperate Housewives” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Bree’s house on Wisteria Lane in “Desperate Housewives” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Mike’s house on Wisteria Lane in “Desperate Housewives” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Gabrielle’s house on Wisteria Lane in “Desperate Housewives” at Universal Studios Hollywood

Lynette’s house on Wisteria Lane in “Desperate Housewives” at Universal Studios Hollywood

“Bates Motel”

Then we went to one more place where a scene in a movie about a psychopath, “Bates Motel”, was re-enacted before our eyes. In the scene, a man, Norman Bates, carried a female corpse out of Bates Motel to his car and put it in the boot. After that he noticed our presence and walked towards us with a knife. Before he could get near us, our tram left the scene just in time to escape from him.

Norman, a psychopath and serial killer, carrying a corpse to his car, a scene that can be seen in a film “Bates Motel” at Universal Studios Hollywood

 

Norman with a knife in his hand walks towards the writer’s tram at Universal Studios Hollywood

Plane Crash Site

Our tram went to the last shooting location. It was an airplane crash area created for a scene in making a film called “War of the Worlds”, a science fiction disaster thriller movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and acted by Tom Cruise in 2005. In the area a destroyed Boeing 747 was used.

An airplane crash scene created for the film by Steven Spielberg “War of the Worlds” which is a science fiction disaster thriller film at Universal Studios Hollywood

An airplane crash scene in “War of the Worlds” by Steven Spielberg at Universal Studios Hollywood

In 40 minutes we completed the studio tour and has increased our knowledge about film-making. In 2011 I visited Universal Studios Japan in Tokyo. It had a theme park but no studio tour.

After the studio tour, we went to the theme park at Universal Studios Hollywood to look for thrill, excitement and enjoyment.

(Continued in USA West Coast Travel Part IX (Universal Studios Theme Park))

Previous / Home  /Next

U.S.A West Coast Travel:

Part I    San Francisco City

Part II  San Francisco, Fresno. Las Vegas

Part III Grand Canyon

Part IV  Las Vegas City

Part V   Premium Outlets in S, California

Part VI  Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

Part VII Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles

Part VIII Universal Studios Hollywood

Part IX   Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park