Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Osaka - Universal Studios


We spent our second day in Osaka at Universal Studios. I originally wanted to arrive at opening, but we arrived about an hour later because we stayed up late the night before. We took a train to Universal City Station. I thought we had to transfer, but we didn't really have to, so we got off the train for no reason. We had to wait about ten minutes for the next train but it ended up being a good thing because the next train was decorated with Harry Potter!!!

The Harry Potter area of the park doesn't open until 2014. I want to go back when it opens!

We had to wait in a crazy line for over half an hour just to get our tickets to get into the park! Also, it was only 10 in the morning but it was already crazy hot.

I had a brochure about the park but it had pretty generic pictures for the attractions and I couldn't read much about them. We weren't sure what to ride and all the lines were really long, but we realized that we couldn't avoid the lines and got in line for the Back to the Future ride.

The line took over an hour to get through. While in line I saw someone else in line from a distance. It was my friend Jenny! I was really surprised to see someone I knew. I wasn't sure if it was really her though so I got on Facebook and she had just posted something about the Spiderman ride. So I commented that I was there too. She was surprised, too!

The Back to the Future ride was neat. We got in a car and it went out to an area with a big movie screen (dome-shaped like Omnimax movie screens) and it felt like we were moving more than we really were. It's a really fun ride, but I'm glad we did it first because some of the other rides were much more impressive.

Next, we rode Jaws. We didn't know what to expect on that ride either. As we made our way through the really really long line (maybe about an hour and a half) Jonathan started thinking that it was just a boat ride. I said I thought that there would be special effects but he didn't think so. Luckily it was more than just a boat ride. It started out like a calm tour and then jaws appeared and our "tour guide" used a fake gun to shoot at him and it caused water to spray up. There was an explosion with fire at one point which was really neat. It was pretty close and we could really feel the heat! It was a fun ride, but I'm not sure that it was worth the wait.

I think it was after Jaws that we got lunch. Jonathan and I shared a cheeseburger and fries set. It was expensive (like all theme park food!) but really good. I think after that we went on the Hollywood Dream roller coaster. While in line, I saw Jenny again! We didn't really get to talk because the line was moving, but we did at least get to say hi. We found out that we were both heading to Hiroshima the next day. We messaged each other on Facebook later and tried to work out meeting for dinner, but we both had busy schedules of our own and it ended up not working out. It's too bad because she is moving to Canada soon, but it was still nice to see her. It was a crazy that we saw each other! Especially in those crowds! Jonathan had said earlier that all of Japan was there and maybe he was right.

Anyways... the Hollywood Dream coaster looked fun, but not super intense. It wasn't crazy high and didn't go upside down. However, it was more intense than I thought! It had a lot of force and I could really feel it. It was soooo much fun! :)

After that I made Jonathan let me go to the Hello Kitty section of the kiddy area. So much cuteness!

If we had had more time I would have ridden Hello Kitty's Cupcake dream. It looked pretty boring, but sooooo cute! :)

Haha, he was not too happy in Hello Kitty world.

I bought the Apple and Peach Frappe. It was shaved ice with some sweet fruity stuff on top and pudding in the bottom. I hadn't really expected too much and I'm not usually a big fan of shaved ice, but it was super good! It was especially good in the crazy heat!

It was seriously really really hot that day. Crazy hot. Weather.com says that it was a high of 102 and a low of 82 that day. It felt like it! Standing in line was torture at times. Luckily, the lines were mostly in the shade.

Next we rode Jurassic Park. Outside of the entrance there was a man leading a dinosaur around.

The path to the line for the ride was very pretty and jungley!

While waiting we saw a line for single riders and no one was really getting in it. Then I saw a couple of people walk through it. I had read  online about the single lines but hadn't really noticed any. The single lines are for people who don't mind being split up and fill in the gaps of odd numbered groups on the rides. We decided to go for it and then hardly had to wait at all! Jonathan ended up sitting behind me so we weren't far apart at all.

The ride was a lot of fun! We went through an area on a boat and then it went inside a building and  went up a ramp. There wasn't much of a drop at the end so it just faked us out. Splash Mountain at Disney does a similar thing, but it fakes you out a few times before the actual drop. I thought Jurassic Park would do the same, but not long after the first small little drop we actually did the big drop and it was bigger than I expected. It was scary! Haha!

We headed towards the Space Fantasy ride next. I took some pictures of the park on the way there. The sun was going down and it didn't feel as bad anymore. I felt a lot more energetic!

The picture above is part of Hollywood Dream. It really doesn't look as intense as it is!

That's outside of Space Fantasy. We had to wait for about an hour but it was definitely worth it. It's an indoor roller coaster with spinning cars. It looks like you're flying through space and it's really pretty. You're in the dark most of the time but there's a spot at the end with a bunch of mirrors and flashing lights. It was really surprising and cool!

Next we rode the Amazing Advenutres of Spiderman. Unfortunately the singles line was closed so we had to wait in the regular line for over an hour. It was a lot shorter than earlier in the day though. Jenny said when she rode it the regular line had a 250 minute wait! She went through the singles line though and only waited for 15 minutes.

The line was long but towards the end it was interesting. It looked like we were going through an office.

It was an indoor 3D ride with special effects. I have no idea how much we were actually moving in our car, but the effects made it feel really crazy! It really lives up to its "amazing" name. It was the most impressive ride of the day.

At that point we had ridden all of the major rides. We decided to ride Jurassic Park again. We thought the boat ride though the jungle with the dinosaurs would look neat lit up at night and we were right. The line was even shorter than earlier but we went through the singles line anyway and didn't have to wait at all. This time Jonathan ended up a few rows behind me, but that's better than waiting in line.

On the right you can see where the ride comes out of the building after the drop. It's fun and surprising because you can't see the ride that you're getting on.

We had time for another ride so we decided to ride either Space Fantasy or Hollywood dream again and decided on Space Fantasy. On the way there we saw a parade. It was sooooo pretty! It reminded me of the night time parade at Disneyland but even better. I didn't get very good pictures of the parade, but I got some video. I'll put the video at the end of this post.

We rode Space Fantasy again (only a 15 minute wait!) so then we tried to ride Hollywood Dream again. A sign said that there was a 30 minute wait and it was 9:30 and the park was closing at 10:00. We arrived at the ride soon after they had closed the line for the night though so we didn't get on.

Jonathan wanted to ride something else, but I wanted to do some shopping. I hadn't been able to look around in many of the stores during the day because Jonathan didn't want to. We flipped a coin and I won (yay!) so I spent some time taking some photos and went in a store called Hello Kitty's Celebrity Style.

There were so many cute Hello Kitty items in the store. I could have spent a lot of money there but I restrained myself and bought just a cell phone charm. It's so cute! :)

We left the park just a few minutes before 10:00. If we hadn't been so worn out from walking around (and standing around) in the heat all day I would have looked around the area outside the park, called Universal City, a bit. It looked really neat!

Despite the heat and crowds, I had a lot of fun, especially towards the end. I think I liked it even better than Disney!

Here's a video of my day at Universal Studios Japan, including the pretty parade.


  1. Great trip report! :D But what is up with Hello Kitty having eyelashes? In much of the American merchandise she has eyelashes near the top of her eyes and now in Japan they're at the bottom? I miss the old clean version. Ah well!

    1. In most of the Japanese merchandise Hello Kitty doesn't have any eyelashes. I think all of the merchandise at Universal had the bottom eyelashes though. Maybe they did that to make it stand out and be more unique there because I can't think of any I've seen anywhere else. I don't care for the eyelashes on top, but I liked the Universal design. I'm glad that most of the stuff here doesn't have any though.

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