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Saturday, April 5, 2014

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS VIP EXPERIENCE

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS VIP EXPERIENCE
UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIFORNIA

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
100 UNIVERSAL CITY PLAZA
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA 91608
HOURS:  Vary.  Check website

Arrived at Universal Studios early to beat the crowds and found a few options for parking.  General parking admission is $16.  Preferred parking is $22 and Front Gate is $30.  I opted for Front Gate and was pleased with the decision.  We were directed to a lot in front of the entrance to Universal Studios.  When we got out of the car we were greeted by a man who welcomed us to the park and directed us to the entrance.  Two people at a table also welcomed us and offered complimentary water and a fruit snack.  I was going to purchase the One Day Pass with Front of Line Privileges for $139 each.  I thought this was terribly expensive for a day at Universal Studios but what the heck we only come here once every 20 years.  As we approached the ticket window I saw two men Selling VIP Experience tickets.  The sign next to them said 15 left before sold out.  I asked the guy about the VIP tickets and he explained that it is the ultimate VIP experience that includes a private guide, no waiting in lines, access to sound stages, wardrobe department and other places and a full breakfast and lunch.  The cost.....$349 per person.  Outrageous I thought.  Then I started thinking.  I am here once in twenty years and at my age may never return.  We only have one day and I hate waiting in lines plus we will get breakfast, lunch and access to sets and sound stages that the normal tour does not.  What the heck.....lets go for it.  I did not tell my wife the cost when she asked.   Once I said yes, we were quickly escorted to a private entrance and taken into a building where two receptionist sat at a desk similar to a hotel front desk.  They welcomed us and I asked my wife and daughter to take a seat so they would not see the price.  The gal at the desk confirmed our party of three and then wrote the cost on a piece of paper.  This is the cost she said.  May I proceed?  Yes I whispered.  The transaction was made and we were issued our VIP passes and then lead upstairs to a most beautiful reception area.  A buffet breakfast awaited us and it was good.  We sat here for awhile until our guide came and got us.  The waiting room was really nice.  Indoor and outdoor seating.  The outdoor terrace has a great view of the entrance to the park where you can sit above everyone and watch people enter the park.  The walls here are filled with movie memorabilia.  Great stories about Steven Spielberg not being able to get summer work at Universal and Al Pacino being injured on the set of Scarface.  Just a great relaxing place to be away from the large crowds that are just a few yards away.  You really do feel like a VIP here and I loved it.  I could have hung out in this waiting area for hours.  Like a five star hotel.  Once our guide arrived she introduced herself and the other people in our group.  I think there was around eight people total in our private tour.  The guide orchestrated a perfect day with the first have spent riding the major rides.  Every time we got to a ride she took us to private entrances that always led to the front of the line.  We never waited.  Just walked up and got on the ride.  This was worth a lot to me.  After the rides and a few shows we were taken to a building that had a small red carpet in front of the door.  We entered and found one of the best lunch buffets I have ever had.  The buffet was included in the experience and was easily worth $50 per person at park prices.  The food and service was top notch.  Worthy of a Five Star Hotel.  As we dined on King Crab the restaurant Manager came over and asked how our day was going and if we liked the food.  "Awesome" I said with a big smile?  Drinks were included with lunch and you were allowed to take whatever you wanted with you.  Several people in the group grabbed a bunch of sodas and snacks.  After lunch we went to the Back Lot and enjoyed a private tour of the Wardrobe Department, Sound Stages and the locations where hundreds of movie and television shows have been filmed.  Totally amazed with Wardrobe and how they can create literally anything in a studio.  Loved this experience and really think it was worth the money.  Would do this again in a heart beat.

PARKING RANGES FROM $16 TO $30 BUCKS
FRONT GATE PARKING PUTS YOU RIGHT NEXT TO THE ENTRANCE
THIS PLACE IS NOT CHEAP.  DAYS LIKE THIS I AM LUCKY TO HAVE ONLY ONE CHILD
THE UNIVERSAL BALL WELCOMES YOU
WALK THE RED CARPET AND ENTER UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
ENTERING THE VIP EXPERIENCE
BUYING A TICKET HERE IS UNLIKE ANY AMUSEMENT PARK.  PERSONALIZED
CONCIERGE SERVICE.
WALK UP THE STAIRS
ENTER THE VIP LOUNGE
BEAUTIFUL LOUNGE WITH GREAT SERVICE AND LOTS OF WATER
THE VIP LOUNGE
INCLUDES GREAT BUFFET BREAKFAST AND DRINKS
QUALITY PASTRIES
EVERYTHING IS GOOD HERE
THESE LITTLE SANDWICHES WERE DELICIOUS
FRESH FRUITS, YOGURT, CEREAL AND EGGS
MOVIE PHOTOS ALL OVER THE WALLS
OUTSIDE PATIO
PHOTOS IN THE VIP LOUNGE
SOME PHOTOS HAVE NOTES AND MEMOS
REMEMBER THE TYPEWRITER


MEMO TO ALLOW STEVEN SPIELBERG ON THE LOT IN 1965
SPIELBERG HISTORY AT UNIVERSAL 
SPIELBERG STARTED AS AN UNPAID INTERN AT UNIVERSAL
LOVE THE OLD PHOTOGRAPHS
VIP TICKET INCLUDES MINTS, HAND SANITIZER AND WIPES
TERRACE AT VIP LOUNGE HAS GREAT VIEWS OF PARK ENTRANCE
THE VIP EXPERIENCE TICKET
VIP LOUNGE UPPER TERRACE 
TERRACE OVERLOOKS ENTRANCE TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS



THIS TRANSFORMER WALKS, TALKS AND TAKES ON THE AUDIENCE
THE ORIGINAL BACK TO THE FUTURE CAR
ON THE SET OF JAWS
ET WAS CONNECTED TO A LOT OF WIRES
THE ORIGINAL VAMPIRE

HOLLYWOOD'S OSCAR AWARD
MINIONS ARE EVERYWHERE AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
REVENGE OF THE MUMMY RIDE
JURASSIC PARK RIDE
SPECIAL EFFECT SHOW
THIS LITTLE BUILDING IS WHERE WE HAD LUNCH
VIP TICKET INCLUDES INCREDIBLE LUNCH
PASTA, CHICKEN, MEATBALLS AND A WHOLE LOT MORE.  CARVING STATION TOO
GREAT VARIETY OF VEGETABLES
KING CRAB, SHRIMP AND SUSHI
GREAT SALADS
LOVED THE SALADS
JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER DOWN THE LINE

PRIVATE DINING WITH THE VIP EXPERIENCE
I WENT FOR SEAFOOD AND VEGETABLES ONLY
PRIVATE OUTDOOR DINING AREA AWAY FROM THE HUGE CROWDS
BEAUTIFUL VIEW FROM TERRACE
AFTER LUNCH WE BOARDED OUR PRIVATE TRAM WITH ONLY TWO GROUPS
ROLLED AROUND THE BACK LOT IN COMFORT
THIS IS A LARGE SOUND STUDIO WHERE PARENTHOOD IS FILMED
SETS ARE DESIGNED WITH DETAIL.  EVEN THE CAR KEYS ARE ON THE TABLE
AND YOU THOUGHT THEY WERE FILMING IN A REAL HOUSE
EVERYTHING IS REAL EXCEPT FOR THE BUILDING
THE ENTIRE HOUSE IS SET UP FOR CAMERAS AND LIGHTS



























BRIGHT AND SUNNY DAY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - THEY MADE IT RAIN INSTANTLY
THIS LITTLE VILLAGE IS IN FOR A SURPRISE
HELP.......THERE IS A FLASH FLOOD COMING AT OUR TRAM
FLOOR IT DRIVER!
FLASH FLOOD IS GOING TO TAKE US OUT
IN SECONDS IT WAS BACK TO NORMAL


UNIVERSAL WARDROBE DEPARTMENT









































































































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