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Finally Back, Not as Good as We Remembered


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  • [Hollywood] Finally Back, Not as Good as We Remembered

    We finally made it back to USH this weekend after 14 months of being closed. While it was great to be back, the experience was definitely lessened due to new restrictions and the overwhelming impact of Universal Express Pass. Couple that with some frustrating ride issues, and it turned into an experience I'd not soon repeat.

    If you can afford Express Pass, you have to do it. Especially now when rides are only seating alternating rows and single parties. Otherwise you're going to wait. A lot. We waited nearly 3 hours for Jurassic World. It looked like they were seating 2 or 3 Express Pass boats for every 1 regular (and again, instead of 25 passengers per boat, it was usually 6-10).

    The new Indominous AAs were static when we went, which was a major letdown. They did give us a pass to come back when it was fixed, though. So we only waited 5 minutes for the second ride. It still didn't have full range of motion, though.

    I will say that the King Kong and Fast&Furious parts of the tram ride were great. Not having anyone next to you or in front of you maximized the field of vision and we noticed things we'd missed before. But most of the Backlot areas were closed (not faulting them for it).

    The food situation is not great. Reduced availability of locations makes the waits longer at those that aren't open. They have gotten rid of trays (at least at The Three Broomsticks), so make sure you have enough hands at your disposal. It was also tricky finding places that were open before 11. A helpful staff member directed us to a nearby spot, but it was still closed. As far as we could tell, it was only Three Broomsticks (breakfast items), Starbucks, the churro window by Starbucks, and Lard Lad Donuts.

    Secret Life of Pets was cute. From what I could tell, if you can fit in Forbidden Journey, you can fit in Pets. Though Forbidden Journey restrains your upper body, while Pets restrains your legs. No idea why they have to restrain you on that molasses slow dark ride, though. Tried using the "virtual line", but it was really just a ticket to stand in line outside. No idea what the point of that was.

    Ultimately, even though the capacity is supposedly reduced, it didn't feel like it at all. We were there from open to close and didn't have time for the one show (animal show), the Mummy (a crushing 240 minute wait all day), or minions. Hope someday things could go back to normal, but not holding my breath.

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