Are you as confused as I am?? I hope so, because an attraction based on a teen idol does not come to mind when I think of blowing close too 100 USD on a theme park (though, I've technically already blown my 200 USD on a season, but it was for OP and totally worth it).
Anyway, this post isn't a review, so I'll cut the small talk. This is an informative bit on what's being offered, attraction-wise, and how you can get your tickets, because you will need tickets. You've been warned.
The AttractionsThis year, we have 5 attractions, 4 of them being repeats from the previous year, and 1 new attraction. The repeats are Evangelion, Attack on Titan, Monster Hunter, and Resident Evil, with the new entry being Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. I know everyone is excited about the Kyary deets, so I'll save that for last and start with short descriptions of the older attractions.
|Ride the Eva. Experience a fierce life or death struggle.|
This attraction will run from January 15th (Fri) until June 26th (Sun), but you can check the show schedule from online from this link.
While you do not need a ticket for this attraction, when I went to the park last time, there was a 4+ hour wait for it. That's basically half of your time at the park, so I would definitely recommend a Universal Cool Japan Express Pass (which can be purchased here, more info below).
There's a commercial of the ride available on the USJ site here.
|Fly with Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear! And Fight!|
When I tried to see this attraction last year, I was informed that "tickets" for it had run out. Now, on the site, in small asterisked print, it says that during busy days, 整理券 (seiriken) or numbered tickets will be given out, but when I arrived 1.5 hours after the park opened, these tickets were all gone. For the entire day. Don't take any chances, just buy the stupid Express Ticket, especially if you're only going to be there for that one day. Yes, you will be closer to spending 150 USD on your trip, but at least you won't leave wholly disappointed.
This is event will run from January 15th (Fri) until June 26th (Sun) and the show schedule can be found here under アトラクショ基本情報 (Main Attraction Info). You can also see a commercial for the attraction here.
An addition to this year's event, however, is a change to take a photo with Dinovaldo. In the photo on the site, the woman is riding the monster, but how that actually works is unclear. I doubt that they're letting people ride on top of a model (because people break things), so I'm wondering if this is some kind of trick-art or Photoshop effect.
You don't need express tickets to enjoy this attraction, but you do need a DS, and probably the most recent copy of MH, to participate in some areas. This is event will run from January 15th (Fri) until June 26th (Sun).You can also see a commercial for the attraction here.
|Brand-new story unleashed.|
An escape from a giant, frightening lab.
Unlike the event in the summer, which uses little light guns and commendable acting by park staff, this is attraction is based on a recent trend in entertainment, escape games. In these games, you have to solve or unlock a series of puzzles, to escape to the next puzzle and eventually escape from the house/lab/TV station. It's a survival game of sorts, and I'm more than certain it's written information is only available in Japanese. Why, you ask? Well, the site information, considerably shorter than the entire attraction, is only in Japanese so, it's not a good sign of things to come.
An important bit to notice about this attraction (just like last winter) is that it incurs an extra fee of 3,480 yen (2,980 if you by your ticket ahead of time). It also takes 30 to 45 minutes to get through, so make sure you plan your time wisely if you're wanting to check out other attractions or shows.
This event is running shorter than the others from January 15th until May 29th. You can check out the CM here.
I have to admit, I'm writing this from a slight bias, I'm not terribly interested in Kyary (when it comes to Pico-pop, I prefer Aira Mitsuki), and the video they showed on the news for opening day left me less than impressed. I wouldn't wait more than 45 minutes for this ride, but as Kyary is still a fairly popular talent/model/performer (??), don't be surprised if you end up waiting hours for this.
This attraction is using the Space Fantasy The Ride, so during the Universal Cool Japan event, you will not be able to ride Space Fantasy (which is actually a pretty fun ride, so I'm kind of sad).
January 15th (Fri) until June 26th (Sun). Advance tickets are not necessary to ride, but express tickets are available. You can check out the CM here.
The Universal Cool Japan/Express Passesplease note the Universal Cool Japan and the Express Passes contain different rides. Don't buy one just because the other is sold out as it may not include the rides you want.
For more in-depth information of the pass system, please check out my post from last year on Universal Cool Japan 2015. This post will have information on how to read the schedules and availability, as well as information on how and where to buy your passes.
One new stipulation to this year's event is that you cannot use passes that have been resold. This means that you cannot buy passes from an online auction, ticket shop, or anything other shop except for USJ's official web store. Any re-sale tickets will not be accepted at the park. You have been warned.
English-language Reservation Service for USJ: Voyagin
If you're looking for an English-language service for getting your USJ tickets, check out Voyagin! They'll help you get your park tickets, they have extra options express passes, and they can get you train tickets for your trip to the park. If you need them to, they can even print and send your tickets to your hotel, but make sure to read the instructions on how.
Click here to access Voyagin's USJ reservation page.