Big time summer fun without an empty wallet - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Big time summer fun without an empty wallet

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By Brandon LaVorgna / KFMB Interactive Intern

Summer is rapidly coming to a close, but that doesn't mean you can't stop having fun! Have one last adventure and add Universal Studios to your calendar this year!

Universal Studios in Hollywood offers an affordable and quality experience without hourly lines and your life savings. The ticket prices and food are reasonably priced and the average wait time in the middle of the week is around 20 minutes and sometimes up to 45 minutes for a ride, such as the Simpson's simulated rollercoaster ride.

Universal has something for everyone from the young, to the young at heart. If you are the type of person, who enjoys fast and scary rides, the park has you covered with Jurassic Park, which brings the fear of being eaten by the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex to reality.

The Revenge of The Mummy is a ride that whizzes and jerks around the lost tombs of the Egyptian prince narrowly escaping his grasp. Want something scary without the motion sickness? Check out The House of Horrors, it is a maze with murderers and werewolves lurking at every corner. It is a long, dark, and winding journey causing your heart to thump wildly with every step.

The hottest attraction at Universal right now is the revamped Studio Lot tour. After the fire that occurred in 2008, many of the sets had to be rebuilt, which also allowed for some upgrades to the lots including the new "London" in the heart of the studio. In addition, an added feature to the studio tour is the all new King Kong in 3-D experience.

When they say the world's largest 3-D experience, they are not pulling your leg. At first, you do not even realize you are in the "theater" until the door behind you closes and you along with your fellow tram goers are in a swirling jungle being attack by dinosaurs with the mighty Kong himself coming to your rescue.

The production is so beautifully put together that you feel a part of the action and even start rooting for Kong to defeat the man-eating dinosaurs.

If you need to escape the heat, the park has many attractions that are inside an air conditioned amphitheatre. Shrek in 4-D and Terminator 2 in 3-D help cool you down yet at the same time heat things up. Shrek contains the same Mike Meyers humor seen on the big screen, but with motion chairs, water misters and air guns shooting you from all angles.

When you need a break from the rides and movies, stroll on over to the Universal Animal Actors show for a chance to sit back and be entertained by Lassie. It features all sorts of furry friends from your favorite pet movies. The show includes stunts, tricks in the business, and plenty of humor that will entertain any age group.

Is your stomach growling yet from all the excitement of exploring the park? When you have found yourself in need of recharging, the park offers inexpensive food with great quality. For those searching for an old fashion hamburger or craving to go back to the primitive ways of tearing meat off bones with your teeth by devouring a nice juicy piece of chicken, head to Flintstone's Bar-B-Q.

If Bar-B-Q is not what your stomach is craving then you have plenty of options, such as Hollywood Grill, Louie's Pizza & Pasta, Hollywood Cantina and Panda Express, which are all located in the park.

Universal Studios opens at 9 AM daily and closes at 9 PM on weekdays; staying open until 10 PM on weekends. To save even more money, buy tickets ahead of time online. A day pass is $62 or spend $72 on a year-long pass!

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