Thursday, July 30, 2015

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA (JAPAN TRIP 2015)

One of the reasons why I agreed to treat THE YAPPY BUNCH to go to Japan as part of my 30th birthday is because I wanted Andrei to get his wishes -- to ride the bullet train or the Shinkansen, and go on the JAWS ride (which was not featured in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS CALIFORNIA). So instead of heading out to explore the sites and cultures of Japan, we went straight to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA on our first official day.

Now even if we have been to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS many times, we know that we are still in for a treat going to the one that they have in Japan.  And, even if our legs got sore from walking the whole day and that we didn't understand all of the rides because it was in Japanese, it was still an unforgettable trip of the family that I will always cherish.

Because of course, it's always a special time when you're able to make your child's wishes come true. And, with the whole family at that!




The YAPPY BUNCH in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA with Rocio!





UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA usually opens at 9:00am (it varies depending on the day) but I was told that it was best to be there at about 8:00am in order to book our tickets early. 




My family stayed in HOTEL RELIEF DAIKOKUCHO in Osaka and it was about a 30 minute trip going to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS.




From HOTEL RELIEF, we walked towards Osaka Namba Station, then Nishikujo, and go down Sajurima.



 

And we're at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA! 


 

There was already quite a line to buy tickets in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS but good thing their attendants are very fast in accommodating buyers.


 
 

Do you know that unlike in other UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, you cannot purchase tickets online for tickets in Osaka? Yup! I guess that's why the lines are so long!

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA TICKET PRICES!!!

1 Day Studio Pass
Adults (12 years and over) --  6,667 yen (7,200 yen with tax)
Children (4 to 11 years) --  4,612 yen (4,980 yen with tax)
Seniors (65 years and above) --  5,991 yen (6,470 yen with tax)


2-Day Studio Pass
Adults (12 years and over) --  11,213 yen (12,110 yen with tax)
Children (4 to 11 years) --  7,797 yen (8,420 yen with tax)



  

When going to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS in Osaka, it would really be a big help if you buy the express passes. It may be a bit expensive as it is priced above the admission tickets but believe me, it's worth it.  You see, the crowds waiting in line for their rides could be quite shocking! Imagine, having to wait for a ride for 230 minutes before your turn! YES! 230 minutes!!!! So that's a little less than 4 hours right?? Que horror! That's why it's really advisable to buy these Fast Passes. But they're not available the whole day. These babies get sold out in a New York minute that's why we were there early. People really flock to buy these!!! Good thing for us, the Fast Pass for 5 rides (Express 5) was still available.

The way it works is that UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, OSAKA has 3 kinds of Fast Passes:
Express 3 (Front in line for 3 rides)
Express 5 (Front in line for 5 rides)
Express 7 (Front in line for 7 rides) 

Since we got Express 5 (for each person), we don't need to go in the long queue as we have a special line. The wait for that supposed to be 230 minutes would only be 10 minutes. Sometimes, there wouldn't be a wait at all!



 

So yes. When you go to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA be there early. And if you already see horrendous lines at the ticket counter, get the fast pass. At least your day will be more sulit!

ALSO! The Fast Pass automatically gives you a entrance ticket stub to the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. Yup! They schedule admission there. It's free but you have a scheduled time to enter.



 

Yohoo! We got our UNIVERSAL STUDIOS tickets!



 

But there was still a long line to enter. Would you believe it was only 8:30am?  Tee Heee!!!



 

Good thing the little lords and Rocio were such troopers and waited oh so patiently.



 

And finally we're IN!!!!



 

Somebody is immediately lost in UNIVERSAL he he he he!



 

Somebody cute that is! Tee hee!



 

And we're walking!

Instead of our usual backpack containing our drinks, extra shirts, towels, etc, the Chinese Adonis requested me to bring our small trolley so we could just drag it along.

BTW, unlike in other UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, this one in OSAKA is not that strict in bringing snacks and drinks. So just bring away to save your yens.



 

Now which one should we go to first?



 

I think Andrei knows the instant answer to THAT.



 

Andrei was so happy! His favorite movie of all time is JAWS and finally having a picture with the "Bruce" statue really excited him. Last year when we were in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS CALIFORNIA, they hid the Bruce statue somewhere so Andrei only had a picture with half eaten Hammerhead Shark from WATERWORLD.




Kekekekweeennnnnggggggggggg!



 

It was Rocio's turn afterwards. Ain't she so adorable here?



 

Auuugggh... SH..SH...SHAAARK!



 

JAWS RIDE!!!!!!

BTW, when you have a FAST PASS, don't be trigger happy and just use it at the very first ride you see. When we saw that JAWS didn't have any lines yet, we didn't avail of the FAST PASS. At least we still got about 5 rides to use it on.



 

And we're done!!!

 We were not able to take pictures in the JAWS RIDE because they didn't allow it. Yep! They're pretty strict in Japan unlike in the US and Singapore. We still enjoyed it though except that it was all in Japanese.



 

I promised Andrei that he could buy whatever he liked in the AMITY STORE to serve as his souvenir from his JAWS experience. And then he chose this hat.

Kidding! He got a shirt! He he he he!



 

Andrei did not want to leave the JAWS RIDE yet. He still wanted to linger and look around.



 

We're so happy that Andrei's dream came true! His smile was just so priceless!!!!



 

YEY ANDREI!!!!




We may have only gotten far as to the JAWS ride first but we immediately got hungry. 



 

Our breakfast will be by the waters.



 

BREAKFAST!!!



 

I know that Coke is such a big no no in the morning but I can't help it. When I have hotdogs, I just gotta have coke on the side!



 

Let's eat!!!!!



 

The hotdogs were quite good! So meaty and juicy with a nice bite to it! 



  
Our bill!!



 

The delicious hotdogs surely energized my growing boy. He he he he!



 

Where to next???



 

Yub and Rocio scheduled a ride JURASSIC PARK but it was not something for me and the
little lords.

Yup! Unlike in other UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, you could schedule some of the rides here. At least we still saved one stub for our FAST PASS!



 

So that we will not be bored, Yub suggested we go for a ride somewhere. Since Mati loved learning about movie magic, the Chinese Adonis took us to the BACKDRAFT. 



 

At first Andrei was scared. He thought he'll catch fire. I assured him that it was all fake.



 

I haven't seen the movie but I'm so interested to know what they did behind the scenes.



 

I think Mati will be a director someday. He loves watching and making movies. He's very interested in trivias and learning how they do the special effects.

Would you believe that he's the only kid I know who knows what a Wilhelm scream is? Yup!Only a true blue movie enthusiast could tell what that is.



 

BACKDRAFT in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS is a walk through in a sound stage where they'll show you the pyrotechnic fire effects in the movie.



  

 Again, everything was in Japanese. Even Ron Howard's speech was dubbed so we were not able to understand it.



 

It's a good thing that you don't need to words to enjoy BACKDRAFT. You just need to watch movie magic happening right before your very eyes!!!



 

After BACKDRAFT we met up with Rocio!
 



And the Chinese Adonis!!!

Oh how I missed you! But after learning that he didn't take pictures of their JURASSIC PARK ride, I wanted to bonk him. 


 

The next ride for us in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS was the newly opened SPIDERMAN!!!


  

We are such superhero fanatics that we were all so excited to try this.

Yes even Andrei. Though he was more concerned with parking the trolley bag first.



 

At this early, there was ALREADY  a horrendous line! Good thing we had Fast Passes so our wait was only about 10 minutes.



 

Yup! We passed those guys!



 

The SPIDERMAN attraction had us riding in this moving car with special hydraulics that took us in different scenes around Gotham City (or is it Metropolis????). The 4D effects were astounding! The car was really going around and would make fast jerking moving that would get your heart pounding. Truly a must try in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!



 

SPIDERMAN WAS AWESOME!!! Even if it we didn't understand a word of it,WE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF THE RIDE!!!!!





While walking towards our next UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA attraction, the little lords saw some American flags and paid respect to it. 

They're really like that every time! I don't know if they do it on purpose to just bug me. Ha ha ha ha!



  

Oooh! Sesame Street!!!!!



 

And suddenly we're in New York!



 

Hmmm... How about a trip to the museum? 



 

There's a park in the center of UNIVERSAL STUDIOS and it's a great place to rest and just hang out.



 

The grass was so clean that you could just sit down or lie on it!



 

You could stay there and just do some people watching!



 

We're so thankful that weather was quite cool when we went to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA.


 

It was cold but not freezing so a light jacket will do. This was at the end of April.  



 

I wonder why we didn't see many Filipinos this time. Perhaps they all went during the Cherry Blossom week?



 

While going around, there were some singers rocking it onstage.



 

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA may be very crowded that day but at least I didn't bump onto anyone.



  

Our schedule for the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER is at 12:30pm but the kiddies didn't feel like having a heavy lunch yet. We just had another snack and waited out till it was our time. 



 

A crow was waiting patiently to get our leftovers.

You know nothing Jon Crow!

HA! 



  

And finally we're in the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!!



 

Like I said, you don't just get to Platform 9 3/4 without a ticket. Entrance in the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER is by schedule. If you have a FAST PASS, you get an automatic slot. If you don't, you have to ensure your entry. Just remember that upon entering UNIVERSAL STUDIOS make a mad dash towards the right side going to the ticketing site for the studio passes. Get your timed entry tickets there. If you take your time to do so, you might get scheduled at 6:00pm or worse, none at all!!!!!!!



 


OH YEAH. The WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER deserves its own post!!!!!




 

We stayed in THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER for about 4 hours so this was a pretty late lunch for us. 

MEL'S DRIVE IN!!!! 


 

This reminds me of the diner in CARS.



 

Or is it something else? He he he!



 

I love eating in diners. But this was nothing like our favorite BLUEBERRY HILL CAFE in Las Vegas. This was more commercialized.

 

 

And packed with people!!!!



 

MEL'S DRIVE IN was quite spacious though so we didn't have trouble getting seats.



 

Oooh! A Coke lamp!



 

Burgers and fries for the kiddies!!!!




As for me and the Chinese Adonis, I got my favorite...

TURKEY LEGS!!!!



 

When we got back the kiddies were happily chomping on their burgers, fries, candy, and fruit juice!



 

As for me and the Chinese Adonis, we shared a Turkey leg!!!!!



 

It may seem weird but TURKEY LEGS are my favorite in theme parks!!!! 



 

I cannot finish it so I asked help from the Yubhub!!!



 

This Turkey leg was tender and tasty!!!



 

My boy cannot resist a try!!!!


  

Our next stop at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA is a must see everytime we're there!

WATERWORLD!!!! 


 

The stage is the same! 



 

 The primers were doing the same thing too!!!!

The place was packed! Good thing we got there on time.



 

Wohoo!!!!!


 

The show was good but it was all in Japanese. Rocio said she still enjoyed it though. 



 

Mati and Andrei used to hate WATERWORLD with a passion. Now that they're older, they're more fine with the surprises and explosions.  



 

Going around UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA, I was so happy to see the BACK TO THE FUTURE RIDE. I think they removed this already in California.



 

Getting primed!



 

Inside Doc Browns lair.


 

BACK TO THE FUTURE is a classic feature in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS theme parks so this was more of a homage for us. Though it was not as exciting as the TRANSFORMERS and SPIDERMAN ride, this still get a thumbs up for us all. 



 

Besides, who didn't love the movie BACK TO THE FUTURE? 



 

I remember being so awestruck with the Delorean before. 




 

Ah yeah! I remember that plate!



  

After the BACK TO THE FUTURE ride we went on THE TERMINATOR IN 3D!!! I remember that the first time I went to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, the effects and overall experience here were so new to me that I asked to go for another round pronto.



 

Watching this UNIVERSAL STUDIOS classic with my kiddies is such a big deal and I was so happy that they loved it too. Even if there were more modern rides or attractions sprouting out, this would forever be very special to me.

OoooKAY!

 Mati and Andrei loved this the most because they are such fans of Arnold Schwarnegger. They never stopped saying I'LL BE BACK afterwards. Ha ha ha ha ha!


 

After TERMINATOR, we rested a bit on the UNIVERSAL grassy area. 



 

Of course, pictures were in order.



 

ERICJAZ FOODIES with the little lords and Rocio in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Osaka!



 

The last ride for us was the SPACE FANTASY STATION!



 

It's so funny because when I asked the attendant if this was like a roller coaster, he assured me that it was a kiddie ride. 

YEAH RIGHT. When we got to our space buggies, what we thought of something like the Buzz Lightyear ride in DISNEYLAND, was more like a wild octopus ride around many galaxies with many drops and jumps. 

GRRRR! I hate scary rides!!!!

Poor Andrei was huddled beside me and I was screaming like Sisa on menopause. 

But we all got a good laugh afterwards. This was something VERY unforgettable for me and the boys.



 

While we were at SPACE COASTER, Rocio was going for the real thing. 



  

We waited for her as she rode the scariest ride in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. 



  

While Rocio was going for HOLLYWOOD DREAM BACKDROP, the Chinese Adonis and I just took pictures!!!

Because that's what we do best!



 

Oh and eating! He he he he he!



 

And we're done in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA!!!


 

The park closes at either 8:00pm or 9:00pm, depending on the day.



 

Though we didn't understand the words in all of the rides and attractions, we still had a lot of fun. This was truly a great day spent with the family at a world so breathtaking, it deserves an Oscar! He he he he he! 



 

THE YAPPY BUNCH L-O-V-E-S UNIVERSAL STUDIO OSAKA!!!!

Yub, up to now you cannot make an L???? Grrr!!!!



  

Going home, the Yub asked for picture near the blue King Kong -- a fixture at the UNIVERSAL STUDIOS walkway.



 

PHOTOBOMBED!!!!

Ha! BUTI NGA SAYO!

Serves you right Yub for that lousy L!!!

HA HA HA HA!

Kidding!

So. There.





UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA, JAPAN
 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, 
Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 554-0031, Japan

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