Universal … this and that

insidedsc_6640Being treated like VIPs is pretty cool.  The bus itself was quite elegant.  See the window treatments and ceiling detail below.

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We were also treated to a luncheon that was just fabulous. In fact, it was such a high-class buffet with such delicious and unexpected offerings that we totally forgot to take any pictures of it, being too busy eating … so you’ll have to guess.

We spent some time in this gigantic room – a sound stage – which is currently bare.  It is leased to movie makers to be set up in any way they wish for indoor or outdoor, or even outer space scenes.  Tom asked the guide how much it costs to rent the room.  He said it depends on who wants to rent it …. if it’s Mother Theresa, they would probably rent it to her for free … but if it’s Walt Disney, the sky’s the limit – they have deep pockets.

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We drove past numerous historical sets, such as the Bates Motel (Psycho) below:

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and these “cars” used in Jurassic Park
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This building was used for several movies including Back to the Future (notice the clock).  But it wasn’t a real building … nothing was what it appeared to be.

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Tom knocked on the bricks and pipe of the wall pictured above, right — it was hollow.  Streets with very convincing city buildings had invisible “doors” in the pavement where fire hydrants and street lights from different eras can be placed or changed depending on the needs of the script

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It was shocking that the backs of the buildings were actually little better than cardboard.  The bricks, pillars, etc., were all molded from plastic.

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You may recognize some of the sets below (okay – if you do, please let me know because I have forgot which was what)

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The tank was a backstage prop, along with a number of cars such as a red Edsel, probably used in a variety of movies:

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We rode through areas where Universal Studios demonstrated their “control over the weather …”  from a drizzly rain …

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to a downright flood!

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The crashed plane below is from the movie War of the Worlds.  It is an entire Boing 747, crashed.   Clothes, luggage, etc. were littered around it (no bodies) with smoke, lights, etc. to look eerily recent.

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Houses were placed nearby for local damage effect.

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This is me standing by a wing of the plane.  Tom sent it to friends, having me saying:  “As soon as I find my luggage, I’m outta here. Hmmmm … I’d swear it was in the overhead.  Where in hell is the damn overhead compartment anyway? I’ll never, NEVER fly again after a landing like this one. I’m soooo done. Finished. So Over it. Never again. So tired of it.  Oy Vey.”

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Toward the end of the tour, we went to Skull Island where King Cong saves the day – We had to wear 3-D glasses,  so we could not film it, but here is a Youtube that is pretty close:

After that, we entered a subway station “hot set” and experienced an “earthquake” … again, what with our bus shaking and bouncing, we didn’t get very many usable pictures, but I did get a small snippet of video of the flooding:

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One Response to Universal … this and that

  1. Markey says:

    You really had a wonderful tour. We haven’t been there for maybe 30 yrs – lots of changes.

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