Monday, February 25, 2013

Aerial Antics: Universal Studios Japan's Wonderland

I know that children's areas aren't that exciting, but I gotta focus on something until new aerials come out!  That said, let's check out last year's addition of the Universal Wonderland at Universal Studios Japan.

This section of the park originally housed the Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show in the theater that is in the top of the photo.  The buildings around it were appropriately Western themed, though I can't say I know what the white building on the right was used for.  The large one on the left holds Snoopy Studios, an indoor area complete with kiddie coaster.  A large set of wet/dry slides stand at the entrance to the Studios building.

Later, and as it appears in the photo above, the upper section received a Wizard of Oz theme.  The theater at the top showed an abbreviated version of Wicked, and there was also a yellow brick road and Oz themed carousel.

The park decided that the entire area needed a refreshing for its 10th anniversary, and it sure got one.  Starting at the top the former theater became a part of Sesame Street Fun Zone, including indoor attractions akin to Snoopy Studios.  The Sesame Street Area also has many outdoor rides for kids divided into the Plaza and Central Park areas.  The building that used to be on the right is now home to many of those rides, including a large driving school style ride.

Moving south we encounter a pink area that is dedicated to Hello Kitty, ever popular in Japan.  In the Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue guests can buy tons of merchandise in stores or take a spin on the Cupcake Dream tea cup ride.

Finally, the area in front of the Snoopy Studios building got a fresh makeover with a central new ride as well.  Known as the Flying Snoopy, the ride lets folks take a spin on a flying Snoopy.  A fitting name, indeed.

Universal Studios Japan is currently building their own version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in a former parking lot, but sadly that work had not started when these aerials were taken (courtesy of Google), so we will have to watch to see when they're updated for those!