up in smoke.

In terms of “lots to do”, Universal Studios has never been considered (at least by locals.) the best theme park in LA/Orange County area.  It doesn’t have many roller coasters (really, only one; Jurassic Park).  It’s always been more of a lookandsee place.  Something for tourists.

I always liked Universal, personally.  Can’t entirely explain why, I just always had fun there.  I’ve never been a huge roller coaster fiend personally (only recently could I handle the loops.  Because I’m a wuss.)  Whenever we went to theme parks during summer camp, Universal and Disneyland were 2 of my favorites.

I was one of the many that were pissed off when they closed down the beautiful, classic E.T ride, and replaced it with the far inferior “The Mummy” ride, which was just stupid.  Listen, I understand that you need to change with the times, ESPECIALLY when your theme park is run by a movie studio.  But E.T will always be a classic movie.  fuck “The Mummy”.  Shoot, even Spielberg gets it… After the closing of the Hollywood ride, he told Universal that they were not permitted to close the Florida and Japan versions.

Then, last year, they closed down the “Back to the Future” ride, and just a couple weeks ago, opened up “the Simpsons” ride in it’s place.  This was a disappointment as well, though makes a little more sense, as “The Simpsons” is more of an institution than “The Mummy” movies are.

The whole reason I bring up any of this is because yesterday there was fire on the Backlot of Universal.  Courthouse Square and King Kong were completely destroyed (Though the clock tower from Back to the Future remains mostly intact.)  The tram was always my favorite attraction at Universal.  Thats what the whole theme park was BUILT around, and, even when I went 2 times a year when I was younger, there was always something new or different.  Truthfully, I kinda always wanted to be a tram tour guide (with the cheesy jokes).  Now, 2 main parts of the Backlot tour are destroyed.

This may seem extremely lame, me being upset by this.  But it wasn’t just a set from a movie I liked, or even just an amusement park I liked.  The Tram Tour was, IS, a part of my childhood, something very dear to my heart.  I have probably been there (since it’s only about a 20 minute drive from Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys.) more than any other theme park in my life.  I went there every summer, without fail, when I was in summer camp.  I always knew what side of the tram to sit on if I wanted to see something.  And I always enjoyed myself, and, just for a second, got caught up in “movie magic” (which is no small feat when you grow up in L.A, and things are constantly being filmed all around you.)

It’s always sad when something from your childhood goes away, even if it’s a fake building and an animatronic ape.

Currently listening to : “Losing My Religion” – R.E.M

Currently Reading : “The Last September” by Elizabeth Bowen

~ by Alli on Monday, June 2, 2008.

One Response to “up in smoke.”

  1. okay, so…i am very, very, VERY upset right now. i knew about the fire yesterday and I was extremely devastated to hear that king kong was destroyed. That was what I looked forward to most when I was on the tram ride. However, I did not know that Back to the Future was destroyed!!! And replaced with The Simpsons ride for God’s sake!!! Aww man!!! That was one of my fave attractions in Universal Studios. Sad times.

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