Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Best Buddy Adventure

Okay, now here’s what I didn’t tell you about in the last post (except I did tell you about it) and over the next couple of days I’m going to post all about it.  Two weeks ago (where does the time go!) Collin and I went to Universal Studios.  I cannot explain where exactly it came from, but a great Universal Studios curiosity had slowly built up in me over the last few years and this quick California trip seemed like the perfect time to take care of it.  I hadn’t been there since the early 90s and I had things I needed to see.
First, let’s state the obvious: If faced with choosing between Disneyland and Universal Studios, do not choose Universal Studios.  It is for going to if you feel like doing something besides going to Disneyland.  Also, at $80 a ticket, a day at Universal Studios is definitely overpriced.  And they’re quite aggressive about finding ways to separate you even further from your money once you’re inside.  That’s business, I guess.  And with that out of the way, let’s focus on the positive.

Our primary objective upon arriving at the park: Ride the new Transformers ride.  In amusement park situations I can become very aggressive and extremely focused on my mission ahead.  So upon purchasing our tickets, I lead Collin on a Riggins-like dash through the park and down the many escalators to the “Lower Lot” where the Transformers ride is found.  These photos may make it look like we dawdled, but trust: these are snapshots taken by a man who was elbowing tour groups out of his way the whole way down to that Transformers ride.

Finally arrived.  Doesn’t look like much from the outside.

But the queue is nearly-Disney quality themed.   The idea is you’re a new recruit visiting the Transformers base.

Seeing things like the All-Spark.

And pushing red buttons every chance you get.

Such official looking trash.

But as this is happening the base is attacked!  And goes into Red Alert!  A call goes out for heroes to step forward!

Here we are.  We will be your heroes!

So you must put on your battle glasses.

and physically qualify for the mission ahead (maybe not totally sensitive these pictograms?)

Then hop aboard a transformer called EVAC, who zips you off on a truly incredible 3D motion simulator that moves around on a track adventure.

Here’s a pretty good video someone took of the whole ride.  If you have the time and interest and like to pretend you're riding rides, I suggest a watch.

Now, as you might remember, I was no big fan of those Transformers movies but this ride is one of the best amusement park rides I’ve ever been on.  And it ends with Optimus Prime getting eye-level with you and calling you a Freedom Fighter, telling you that your bravery has saved the planet.  Do you know how good that makes you feel?  To have the hero of heroes call you a hero?  This ride thrills you AND builds up your self esteem sky high.  Can’t beat that.  All Star Tours does is welcome you to Endor (or wherever it is you end up.)

Outside the ride, some sort of fake Optimus provides fake self-esteem boosting.

And you know what?  I've decided to not overwhelm you with this amusement park post (unlike other times).  I'm breaking it into pieces!  More rides soon!

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