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2013: Universal Studios

2013: Universal Studios

2013: Universal Studios

Another adventure that we had while in California for our Christmas break was a trip to Universal Studios.  We gave Luca, our exchange student, the choice of which amusement park he wanted to visit while in LA, and this is the place that he chose.

As usual we arrived early so that we could get into the park first to get on popular rides before the lines became too long, and we were glad that we did.  You can see from the top left picture that we were taking pictures at the park when the sun was still rising!  We had pretty much done everything before 1pm, so we ate lunch in the park, and then left around 2pm.  The lines for some of the rides when we left were over 3 hours long.

I purchased lanyards and ticket holders for our tickets – they are a little expensive – but I have learned that I like to have them for the scrapbooks once the event is over.  I also purchased the ability to have electronic versions of the ride pictures so that I could print them myself for the scrapbooks.  Since I was creating a scrapbook for each of my boys I knew I would need multiple copies and it was cheaper to order the pictures this way.

The ephemera on this page includes the park map, a gold logo which I cut out from the bag from the gift shop, and a pair of 3D glasses which was mistakenly brought home.  I carefully used an exacto knife to cut off the ear pieces so that it could lay flat on the page.  I also affixed the park map to the outside of the plastic protector sheet so that the viewer could open it.

View pages from our other Universal Studios trips:

Universal Studios Hollywood General Admission Ticket – $91.99.  Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood movie experience! Go behind the scenes on the world famous Studio Tour to explore where Hollywood movies are made. Then, face action head-on in heart-pounding rides, shows and attractions that put you inside some of the world’s biggest movies. Be part of the battle as you embark on a mission to defend the Allspark from the evil clutches of the Decepticons© in TRANSFORMERS™: The Ride 3D.

2008: Holiday World

One of the hidden treasures that we discovered in the MidWest is Holiday World. While it is not a Disneyland or a Universal Studios, it is a pretty amazing theme park.Holiday World and Splashing Safari are located in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Holiday World offers free parking, free soda fountain drinks and free suntan lotion, and for what I consider to be a low price – less than $40 per person per day.

I actually won tickets to go to Holiday world a few days after we arrived in the MidWest and we met my sister and her family there.  We spent one day together and then my son and I stayed an extra day (we got 4 tickets!).  Haklf way through the second day we started to get tired so we decided that we would get a quick bite to eat and then leave the park.  While we were eating a big storm started to descend on the park and they announced that they were going to close the park for safety reasons and gave everyone free tickets to come back during the next season!  So we got four more free tickets and enjoyed a trip back there the next summer.  It is this kind of customer service that impresses me about this park.  When I share the pages from our second trip to Holiday World I will share a great story about Pat Koch, the matriarch of the family that owns Holiday World.

Anyway, enough about the story around the experience – lets look at the page.  For the background pages I tore the dotted sheet into three pieces.  I used two to create borders for the left hand page, and then used the larger piece to put in the middle of the right hand page – which ties the two pages in this spread together nicely.

I also want to point out the border at the top and the bottom.  The top border was created using decorative thread which I pushed through eyelets made with my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite Punch. I also used the punch to place eyelets in the bottom border ribbon to hold it in place as well.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Hard Rock and Ron Jon

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Hard Rock and Ron Jon

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Hard Rock and Ron Jon

Live Well SportsDuring our day at Universal Studios we decided to leave the park for an early supper since the park was so crowded, and go to Universal City Walk, which was within walking distance.  We had supper at the Hard Rock Cafe and enjoyed being able to sit down for a while.  The Hard Rock logo on the page is from the shopping bag for the Hard Rock pin that I bought (which is also one of my hobbies – collecting pins from all of the places that we go).

The right hand page showcases our last day in Florida, during which we decided to skip the parks and head to the beach.  We drove about an hour to get to Cocoa Beach early in the morning – which was a great idea since the parking lots and beaches packed out about 1 hour after we arrived.  After spending some time on the beach we walk along the strip and spent some time in Ron Jon’s which is a famous surf shop.  This page includes a brochure from the store, and a surfboard sticker which I carefully stuck right to the page.

Don’t feel that you always have to create a full double page spread for every event.  Sometimes I find that I only have enough pictures and ephemera for one page, and it is ok to create a two page spread with two different events or locations.  For this spread I chose similar color backgrounds, but different styles to tie them together, while also showing the differences in the two events that were about 15 hours apart.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios

The next adventure in our Spring Break trip was going to Universal Studios.  Unfortunately for us the Universal Studios website printed an incorrect opening time of 8am so we were there bright and early at 7:30am!  When we got there no one else was around and we found out that the park opened at 9am.  But, fortunately for us, they opened the gates at 8:35am and we rode 4 rides in the first hour!  I would do it this way in a second, because by 11am lines were an hour long and by 2pm they were 2 to 3 hours long.

The left hand side of this spread includes a Universal Studios laser cut that I purchased on Ebay, and a picture in front of the world famous Universal Globe taken early in the morning trying to spend time from getting their two early.  The black background behind the photograph fits with the edgy design of the page, but is actually the left over cut from the laurel wreaths that I cut for the Abraham Lincoln tomb page.  Look carefully at the inside of the wreaths that are on the right and left hand side of the pages and you will notice the reverse pattern.  I very rarely through any pieces away like this, because I figure that there may be a use for them sometime.

Since the park opened early and hardly anyone was there, the boys rode the Rockit two times in a row – I skipped the ride because I knew that it would make me sick.  The right hand page show cases the photograph taken during the ride, as well as the DVD, in a plastic case, that you can have made of your experience on the ride.  Cameras on the roller coaster, as well as those along the track, take photographs and video of you, and then combine it with the music that you chose to listen to while on the ride, and cool animations, to create a video of your experience.  After we downloaded the video to our computer I put the DVD in the scrapbook to keep it with the memories in case we ever had to find it again.  Also, due to the cool graphic on the DVD it fits in color scheme as a cool piece of ephemera.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios 2

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios 2

Our exchange student was mesmerized by “Despicable Me” and loved the Minions and the “Its so fluffy” unicorn, so I knew that I needed to dedicate at least one page to the Minions.  I chose the yellow background page color to pay homage to the minions, but it also worked well with the “Fear Factor” theme colors.  By the way, we stood in line for three hours to ride the new “Despicable Me” ride and it was not worth the wait.  It wasn’t that great of a ride.  

The Universal Studios logo that is in the middle of the Minions is actually a patch that I bought in the souvenir store and glued on to the page.

Our exchange student wanted to get on to “Fear Factor” – an audience participation stunt show at Universal.  He auditioned and out of 20 guys (no women tried out) he was selected to be one of four in the show.  Unfortunately he got knocked out in the first round – but he (and we) had a great time participating anyway.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Islands of Adventure

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Islands of Adventure 2 - Harry Potter

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Islands of Adventure 2 – Harry Potter

My son and I have been to the Disney Resorts in Florida twice already, and so when taking this trip to show Florida to our exchange student, my son and I knew that we wanted to visit Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure Theme Park so that we could visit Harry Potter World.  We are both Harry Potter fans, and wanted to experience this section of the park.  The spread above highlights our time in Harry Potter World.

Harry Potter World Tip:  Get to the Park early, and wait for the gates to open – then make a beeline for Harry Potter World to ride the Forbidden Journey.  The lines for this ride will get extremely long later in the day, and it is better to wait an hour in the morning, instead of 3 hours in the afternoon.

I followed my own advice and we went straight to the Forbidden Journey and waited about 45 minutes to ride it.  Most of the wait was inside the building where there are all kinds of interesting things to look at while you are waiting, and even several cool special effects.  This ride is one of the most incredible rides that I have ever ridden and it is easily in my top five ride list.  We road all the Potter rides, and even enjoyed Butter Beer – which tasted much better than I thought it was going to.

I purchased the “Harry Potter” words on Ebay.com for about $2.00.  I am not sure if the person I bought this from designed them selves or if it is part of a Cricut cartridge, but I didn’t mind spending the money to add this bit of fun to my page.  I cut the other design using my Cricut machine as it reminded us of the ornate metal work that was part of Hogwarts “greenhouse” that formed part of the waiting line for the Forbidden Journey.

The red seal in the middle of the pictures on the right hand side is from a scrapbook kit that I purchased in the gift store.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Islands of Adventure 1

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Islands of Adventure 1

This second spread highlights events from other activities during the day at Islands of Adventure.  After Forbidden Journey, the biggest excitement of the day was a lightning strike about 15 yards from where we were standing followed by a heavy storm for an hour, and a tornado sighted about 5 miles away.  Needless to say we were locked down in Jurassic Park for about an hour while the storm passed by.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Getting There

2013: Orlando Spring Break Trip: Getting there

2013: Orlando Spring Break Trip: Getting there

For Spring Break 2013 we went to Florida to visit the Amusement Parks and the Beach.  Since we wanted to go to Sea World, Disney, and Universal the ticket prices were pricey (you get discounts for multiple days at the same parks, but not across the different parks).  So, instead of flying we decided to drive.  We started out after school ended on Friday and drove until I was too tired to drive and then I found a hotel that we stayed at.

We purposely took a longer route to Florida so that we could add to the number of States that my son and our exchange student had been to.  I used this page to highlight the routes that we took there and back.  Although it was crazy we drove all the way back in one day!

The background to this page is a real map that I cut to fit onto the pages.  BTW – it is expensive to do this – I had no idea that maps were so expensive!  I used a highlighter to mark the “there” and “back” routes.

The pictures on the left hand side of the spread are pictures at the Welcome Centers to each State as we crossed the borders.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get some of them since I was driving in rain and the dark and many of them on the way down there were closed.

2007: Universal Studios

At Thanksgiving time we went up to the Los Angeles area to spend the holidays with my Aunt and Great Aunt.  I knew that my son would need lots of entertainment while we were there, so we planned several trips to do fun things.  The first excursion was to Universal Studios.  As is my modus operandi, we left early and arrived way early before the gates opened.  So we took opportunity to take pictures in the Universal City Walk. My son took great pleasuer in running up and down the escalators, and in playing in the fountain in the square.

All of the pictures are bordered with a handmade paper with silver specks on it.  If you look carefully you will notice that it didn’t cut very well and frayed, but I like the look that it created.  The Universal Studios logo on the top of the left page is a laser cut that I purchased at a local scrapbook store.  It is very fine, and was difficult to affix to the page, but I like the way that the silver stands out against the black background.

2007: Universal Studios 2

2007: Universal Studios 2

I had a lot of fun creating this second spread from Universal Studios.  At this point my son was not very interested in riding rides, in fact he hated roller coasters.  But he was very interested in meeting all of the Super Heroes, so we spent a lot of time standing in line so that we could get these pictures.  I was able to find this background paper in a local scrapbook store and if you look carefully at the left edge you will see that I painstakingly colored in the Spiderman to add some color to the page.  Also look to the left of the Goblin picture, and you will notice that I traced with a black pen, the text balloon, since it is right next to the picture of the Goblin and my son!

Another cool thing that I did on this page was to use a black permanent marker to add a border around the photographs.  But you will notice that I purposefully did not make them straight, but scraggly to match the borders of the cartoons on the background page.

Win a Trip to NY Comic Con

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