Since this is a season when some folks may be headed for Southern California amusement parks, a word of warning about Universal Studios: this is NOT a good destination for very young children. We took what we thought would be a benign tram ride through the backlot, and did not heed the recorded warning "this ride may be too intense for young children" because the tram was filled with other young kids. But the very realistic earthquake-in-a-subway scene, with the shaking tram, loud noise, flames, explosions, and flood was too much for our just-turned-five-year-old, who added her very realistic screams of terror to the special effects. She just didn't understand it was all pretend. Our fifteen-month-old stopped crying after we emerged from the tunnel but her big sister remained traumatized. So we looked for something milder--avoiding the Jurassic Park and Backdraft rides. ET must be a sweet attraction, right? Well, after the earthquake experience, the dark, misty forest and spooky lighting of the entrance to the ET ride forced us to hightail it out of there even before we got on the ride. Problem is, there's not much else to do with small kids at Universal Studios. Lots of escalators so strollers are inconvenient. And the entrance fee is $38 for adults, and not much less for kids! And the food's very expensive. For little ones, stick to DIsneyland.
I would like to echo the warnings about Universal Studios contained in the previous posting (i.e., not very appropriate for younger children).
Also, when paying for tickets, Universal Studios lists only the single adult and children prices on the entrance fees. We had heard that there is a "family pass" - 2 adults, 2 kids, for $80, significant savings over the $38 per adult, $28 per child normal fees. They sold us the family fare, but had we not known in advance, we would have paid the higher rates.
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