With one full day left in Osaka we decided on some light relief…. A trip to Universal Studios!!
We decided to try to be ‘smart’ and go so we were there before the park even opened! However as it was a Saturday everyone had the same idea!! Luckily we bought our tickets in advance at the JR station when we got our train tickets. To get to the park was incredibly simple, just jump on the JR loop and change onto the Universal City line… you literally can’t miss it (not to mention everyone on your train will get off at the stop!) another 10 minute on the train and it arrives right at the park entrance.
As soon as the doors opened people started a mad dash for the stairs trying to be first in line…. and this was just after 8 am- the park was not due to open until 9 am(Although it was open so who knows when it opens) With our tickets already in hand we went straight for the turnstiles to get in which took us 25 minutes in itself just to get to the front of the queue! Our first stop was the Universal shop where we bought the express pass booklet…. If you go on a Saturday then this is a MUST otherwise your whole day would be spent in a queue! Although they sell out very fast and the 7 ride express pass was sold out before we even got to the front of that queue!! However we managed to get the 4 ride express pass and it was the best $40 I have ever spent!!!
With express passes in hand we headed straight for the main attraction. Spiderman 4D! Bear in mind it was now 9.05am (supposedly 5 minutes after the park opened) and the Spiderman ride was already a 90 minute wait!!! Out came the express pass which meant we only had to wait 20 minutes! The ride itself was actually really good as you went on a city tour with Spiderman which was under the clutches of an evil gang! The ride was like half roller coaster half simulator with water and wind getting blown in your face. However no matter how good the ride was… it would never be worth a 90 minute wait as it was over in less than 4!
We headed through the park to the Back to the Future ride. Back when I was about 10 years old (I think) I went to Universal studios in Orlando and remember this ride so well!! The wait was 45 minutes so we whipped out our express pass and waited the grand total of 1 minute! The only thing that comes to mind is WOW it was dated!!! It was literally the same ride, same video same everything as it was 16 years ago in Orlando… with the advancement in technology you think they could have updated the screens or graphics a bit!! We got off feeling extremely queasy as it was way to much jiggling and big screen movement for me!!
As the park was getting busier we decided to try to get all the big rides out-of-the-way first so went straight for the Hollywood Ride Backdrop, the biggest roller coaster in the park as we approached we checked the running time…. wait for it… a 3 hour wait!!!! No joke people were actually queuing for 3 hours to go on a 2 minute ride!!! Well out popped the express pass as we were on the ride without having to wait at all!! The ride itself was awesome, as you got strapped in you picked your music which blared out as you got thrown about the roller coaster… was defiantly the best ride but not work the 3 hour wait!!
With one express pass left we headed over to Jurassic Park and hopped on the ride which took you through all the different animals before ending in a massive water slide which soaked Andy and I but not so much anyone else as they all had massive ponchos on!! This area of the park was actually quite cool as it had all the props such as the cars and signs as well as a person walking about dressed up as a giant dinosaur, which jumped on me as I tried to get my picture taken with it as it walked past!
With express passes out we were a bit at lost as what to do… do we really want to wait hours and hours just for each ride? We decided to walk around and see which rides were quiet and ended up at Terminator 4 which was only a 50 minute wait which turned out to be 20! Excellent… yes… well not really… as we didn’t realize it was a live show…. 100% in Japanese apart from the line “I’ll be back!!” I would love to comment more however I pulled a “mum” and fell asleep in my chair!!
We decided to have a look at the space fantasy ride next only to discover another 120 minute wait which is when we noticed a separate queue with only a 20 minute wait… Singles! Wow if only I had known about this before!! Basically a line to fill the seats when there is one left (i.e. Group of 3 people) so instead if wasting the seat you could jump on this…. and for some reason no one was using this line!! Within 10 minutes we were both on the ride just a few minutes apart. I had a group of 3 girls with me who couldn’t stop staring and smiling at me… I finally gave a wave with a quick “con-ech-tewa!” (hello-ish in Japanese) to which I was greeted with screams, laughs and friendly smiles!! The ride was quite fun as well however sitting next to the Japanese girl who was more interested in the weird single white girl beside her made the whole thing even funnier!
Jumping off the ride we had a new sense of hope that maybe it was possible to go on all the rides without waiting 2 hours to get on! We made our way over to Amity Village i.e. Jaws!!! I remembered this so well from when I was there with my folks that I couldn’t wait… despite the timer saying it was a 75 minute wait… until we spotted the single queue!! As we wound our way round with everyone looking on like “How are they moving so fast?!” we were on the actual ride almost instantly without any wait.. sweet! The ride was exactly how it had been in Orlando except when the boat was stopped by the tour guide to shout at the Japanese woman who was dangling her child over the side of the boat! I screamed just as much as I did when Jaws came out of the water and despite Jaws looking at little old was still a great ride.
Getting off the ride there was a chance to get your picture with the big shark hanging upside down, but as with everything if you wanted to get a picture you had to pay and get your picture taken (even with the giant Christmas tree!!) although being the cunning people we are we just stood in front of the photography bit and got the pictures that way… free of charge!
Finally we headed to Back draft, another all Japanese talking one about the stunts on the movie of the same name. This was okay at first as you didn’t understand a word that they said with no English subtitles but the ending fire stunt was quite impressive, was worth going in just for that!! 🙂
All around the park there is plenty to eat, buy and look at and we spent a good 4-5 hours in the park, however we never stayed for the parade as Andy had pulled a muscle in his back and we decided to head off. Was a great way to chill out and have some down time after our insanely busy trip!!
Need to know
Universal studios Osaka
Day pass- Adults 6,600¥ Children 4,500¥
2 Day Pass- Adults 11,100¥ Children 7,400¥
4 ride express pass- 3,200¥
7 ride express pass- 4,900¥
- Get there early!
- Buy tickets before hand at a JR station or Lawson’s store
- Pay the extra and get an express pass
- Express passes sell out quickly so get there early (you get them inside the park at the first shop once you are though the gates)
- If you don’t have kids and don’t have an express pass make use of the ‘singles’ lines if you don’t want to wait hours for a ride and don’t mind not sitting beside your partner/friend
- Bring change (300¥ or 500¥) for lockers
- Do the big rides first or you will be looking at a 3 hour + wait by afternoon
- Avoid Saturdays!