• Shona McCarthy

The Town of Amity, USJ

I wanted to make the most of my visit to USJ. So I wanted to get there around opening time and stay till closing time. But I was mostly there for the Terminator 2:3D experience, as I describe in another post. When I arrived, I found that the first experience session is abut half and hour or so after opening time, so I had time to kill before I would go in. One of the things I had wanted to do at USJ was to simply stroll around the town of Amity. For those who don't know, Amity is the town in Jaws. A town that looks all at once wholesome, colonial and worn with terror. But early in the morning, Amity is the ideal place to wander. Things are quiet, and there is a massive lake in USJ that mimics the sea. Early in the day, this body of water is surprisingly beautiful.

(Some pictures of Amity in the early morning. It really feels like being in a sweet little town. Taken by me, 2019.)

As with virtually all zones in USJ, Amity had its own restaurant. I went in hoping it would be a sweet little family restaurant with fish and chips. But rather, it was very much like most of the places in USJ, with themed hoagies and desserts. You may be thinking, "But Shona, we've read your other posts. You're a bargain hunter and you know theme park food is overpriced!" Well, it turns out that USJ strictly forbids anyone from bringing outside food or drinks into the park. So the best thing you can do to get your money's worth is to only eat when you are really hungry, and when you finally do, go for the best value meal deal you can.

(Inside the Amity Landing Restaurant. Taken by me, 2019.)

Eating areas in USJ are designed to process a large number of customers as quickly as possible, but to leave them with few places to sit and eat. So it felt a little surreal to see the restaurant just as it opened and was empty aside from a few staff members.

But it meant I had the luxury of eating my breakfast wherever I wanted. I chose a spot by what I felt was the nicest window so that I could look at the faux sea as I ate.

(Choosing my seat in Amity Landing Restaurant. 2019.)

What makes Amity Landing Restaurant significant isn't the food. It's a remarkably unsophisticated menu filled with the kind of quick fast food people expect from a theme park. What makes it remarkable is the level of detail in the dining areas. Those chairs and tables are made of real wood as far as I can tell. Look at that beautiful carving on those chair backs in the third picture. And look at the rust on that cord tension mount for those real roman blinds. USJ, as a whole, beats out Disney by recreating real experiences of fantasy. Disney differs in that it creates fantasy experiences of reality. Disney intentionally creates a cartoon world for you to exist within. But USJ gives you live action experiences. Amity Landing Restaurant isn't the only place you can eat in Amity. There is also Boardwalk Snacks and Amity Ice Cream. I didn't go to either, since Boardwalk Snacks only had pizza as far as I could tell, and it seemed like a weird time and place to eat pizza. And I didn't go for Ice Cream because it was bone-chillingly cold as it was.

(Other eating options and sights around Amity. Taken by me, 2019.)

Later in the day, I returned to Amity Landing Restaurant to try a piece of Jaws cake. I wish I had the presence of mind to photograph it first. But I was too quick to eat it. It was a segment of blue swiss roll cake with a white filling and a little blue fin poking out of the top. The flavor wasn't overly sweet but it was also sufficiently indistinct that I am not sure what it was meant to taste like. The best guess I can give is vanilla. Faint, faint vanilla. By the time I returned it was certainly more busy, and I think I recall attempting to rush through. As with most theme parks, USJ staff are kind. The cashier told me I had good Japanese, even though I was visibly nervous. I learned a lot about how to encourage others from him.

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