Day sixteen

Originally, I wasn’t planning on doing a layover in Beijing, but Universal Studios just opened up a few years ago, so I thought I’d check it out.

The park has its own station on the metro line that goes past my hotel, so an hour and a half after waking up, I was at the gates. From there, it took another hour just to get into the park; the queue did not go quickly at all, which made me fear the queues for the rides. 

Luckily, they were okay, ranging from 10 to 50 minutes, which is quite good for such a popular park.

Universal is very strict about emptying your pockets. For most rides, you have to store your belongings in a locker (free), and for some, you have to go through a metal detector to prove your pockets are indeed empty. 

All of this means I didn't take a lot of pictures, as it was super annoying to stuff the camera in a bag, in a locker, and get it all out again. 

As for the rides, the Transformers roller coaster is amazing! It launches you up the lift hill, and there are a ton of inversions. At the end of the day, the queue was just 5-10 minutes, so I just looped straight into the entrance from the exit, getting a few rides in. 

Another great ride is the Jurrasic Park ride, where you sit in a motion simulator that rides around a track. It combines video screens with physical effects and decors, which is very cool.

The main ride of the park is the Harry Potter ride, though. It also consistently has the longest queue. They basically strapped some seats to one of those welding robots you see in car factories and drive those around a track. Just like the Jurrasic ride, it combines 3D video with physical effects and decors. 

Personally, I liked the Jurrasic Park ride better; maybe it was my seat on the Harry Potter ride, but at some of the sets, you could see the backstage from the corner of your eyes, which does not help immersion. 

At the end of the day, I had some coffee and headed out before closing time. I wanted to beat the crowds in the metro.

And instead of having an "okay-ish" dinner in the park for a gazillion dollars, I had a nice meal at a local place near my hotel instead.