We’ve arrived in Osaka and we can’t wait to explore the city. Before we actually travel and go anywhere else, we had to make one important stop before the weekend: visit Universal Studios Japan and see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Universal Studios was the first thing I put on the Osaka itinerary, I had to plan our arrival so that we wouldn’t be in the park during the weekends and we had to buy our tickets and express passes way, way in advance. Thanks to this blog, I was able to secure us tickets for the theme park and last Friday, April 14, we made our way to see Harry, Woody Woodpecker, the Minions, and a host of other characters.
Armed with our e-tickets and express passes, we breezed our way through Universal just as the lines were getting longer. Upon entry, the first thing I saw was Woody Woodpecker, remembering my trip to Universal way back in the 90’s, I couldn’t pass up the chance to have a picture taken with him. Nostalgia aside, the entrance of the park was already filled with shops selling a whole lot of souvenirs, in some areas I spotted Harry Potter merchandise and I had to be verbally told off by Tricia and Luisa to wait for the Wizarding World.
As we strolled inside, we used the map to help us figure out which rides to go to first. Luisa and I decided to try out Hollywood: The Dream, because it was the first ride we saw from outside the gates and I was itching for that rush of adrenaline. When we arrived in Hollywood: The Dream, I noticed three distinct lines: singles, express, and group. The first two were pretty obvious, one line for those holding express pass tickets and those who want to be together in groups; the last one, singles, were for those who are in groups but the possibility of being seated together is next to zero. Luisa and I took that line and we breezed through everyone and were at the ride platform in less than a minute.
Spending an entire day in Universal meant that there would be some pretty exciting rides and not so exciting ones as well. The best rides were Spider-man, Jurassic Park, Hollywood: The Dream and its Backdrop version, and Jaws. Those rides were really fun and exhilarating, Jurassic Park and Jaws had that old school thrill that I hadn’t experienced in over 20 years. While Spider-man on the other hand was plain 4D fun, the effects were great and there were always a lot of surprises.
Though these rides were exciting, there were the really boring ones: Backdraft and Terminator 2 3D. I remember when I first went to Universal Studios, Backdraft was the ride my mom and tita wanted to go to, having experienced it, it was a very dull attraction. The same can also be said for Terminator, instead of standing (in Backdraft) and watching the effects, Terminator had a long introduction and a boring experience. I was very nearly ready to snooze.
Our day wouldn’t be complete without some cool experiences, all throughout the park characters gamely posed for our cameras, souvenir items were endless and there were just so many things to buy I had to control myself. As for the dining experience, lets just say we only wanted one thing: Universal’s turkey leg. For ¥880 (Php. 440), you get a whole turkey leg, glistening with fat and looking absolutely delicious, needless to say it was the simplest but most sumptuous lunch I had in the park.
All in all, our Universal Studios experience was really worthwhile, the money we spent on the tickets and passes, the whole day experience was money well spent. If ever you do find yourself in Osaka, this is the place to spend a weekday in (not weekends mind you!).
P.S. Like all foreign attractions, expect the rides to be in the local language.
Universal Studios Japan
2 Chome 1-33 Sakurajima,
Konohana Ward, Osaka
Entrance fee: ¥7,600 (Php. 3,800) for a standard ticket + ¥6,100 (Php. 3,050) for an Express 4 pass