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Theme Parks Today's Date:

Do You Dare Universal's Summer of Survival?

The Universal Studios Hollywood theme park has raised the bar this summer. In addition to moving forward on plans for Harry Potter, what they have in place already is pretty thrilling. And they know it -- so their tag line this summer is a dare.

Yes, in their press release, they say they defy you to take on their most intense rides -- Transformers The Ride 3-D and King Kong 360 3-D (designed by Peter Jackson). From what I've heard, both these attractions are state of the art spectaculars. I'll be checking them out later this summer.

That's not all -- they still have Jurassic Park the Ride, which reminds you why Universal is moving forward with a Jurassic Park 4. That ride is one heck of an experience. And then there's Revenge of the Mummy -- a roller coaster that sends riders hurtling through the darkness of the Keeper of the Dead and then back again.

But what really raises the bar for theme parks this summer is that Universal has interactive characters walking around the park -- Megatron and Optimus Prime don't just wander around and wave. They can talk with fans and respond to their statements. Since it's the movie version of Bumblebee, that's probably harder for him. Regardless, I imagine a lot of awestruck children can be found on the streets of the Studios.

They've also got their “Buy A Day, Get 2013 Free" annual pass promotion, so really, it's a value to take the Summer of Survival Challenge. I'll see you there (after Comic-Con, of course).

Derek McCaw

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