Universal Studios Japan

Honestly, going to Universal Studios Japan on a weekend... without any express passes... I thought it was going to be a real shit experience. So I did preempt the kids that we might only get to have like one ride, at best 2 rides for which we would have to queue a hour plus each ride.
But it turned out to be a fantastic day! 

We got there just after the park opened (no queue by that time, just walk in). We didn't start queuing way before park opening hours, like some people do, because we had a slightly later start (everyone was tired). First thing we did was to book our Super Nintendo World entry. We managed to get the 2.45pm slot.

The reason why we didn't go for the express pass package on Klook was because the timings for the rides and Super Nintendo World (SNW) entry cannot be chosen, they would be assigned to you. And I read reviews/complaints that most people received real shit time slots for SNW.. after 5pm slots and some as late as 7pm. WTF.

There was no way we would be able to stay in the park until 7pm. Theme parks are usually a half day thing for us, the kids can't last that long. So we opted to just go without booking the express passes from Klook (you can choose time slots when booking the express passes direct from USJ website but were all sold out even a month in advance).

Please note - when you get your SNW time slot please SCREENSHOT the QR code on your app. I'm so glad I took a screenshot because OMG, later in the day when I tried to access the QR code, it was no where to be found on my app... as if I never even booked a timeslot. Thankfully we managed to get in to SNW using the screenshot QR code.

So anyway, while waiting for the SNW entry at 2pm... we took the JAWS ride and it was the perfect starter ride for the kids, they loved it (I remember this ride as a child when my family went to Universal Studios Hollywood). Similar to when in Disneyland Tokyo, the USJ app shows all the wait times for each ride. So we just picked and chose to go on rides which were less than 20 mins wait times. And in the morning, there were quite a few of those. Even Jaws was like 10 minute wait only. (But in the afternoon, the queues grew much longer).

We checked out Harry Potter World which was like heaven to Myla. Didn't do the rides there cos MJ too small for the 2 rides they had there. 
Which was fine because there was lots to see and do just walking around. Lots of shops (Honeydukes, Filch's Emporium etc) . 

We tried butter beer for the first time. Yummy. 
There's no alcohol. It tastes like warm butterscotch.

Then we went to Jurassic World ... 
Unfortunately, only one ride there and it's some high speed high thrill legs dangling one called Flying Dinosaur ... and both kids didn't meet the size requirement for it. So Adamson went on his own as a single rider. The SINGLE rider queue was less than 10 mins long! The regular queue was 40 mins at this point. 

So a good tip, if you don't mind going alone and sitting beside strangers... just do the single rider queues.
While he was on that ride, I took the kids to the Discovery restaurant at Jurrasic Park to have their early lunch and Adamson joined us there after his ride.
There's a toon town area for kids where the ride queues were short... so you get to ride in a giant Elmo's skateboard and stuff like that.

Sadako's Curse (indoor high speed coaster) had a really short queue (20mins) so we went for it. MJ got turned away cos they asked his age and I said 6 (I lied cos if I say 5 then maybe cannot ride)... but damn it, I should have said 7 ! He's the same height as Myla anyway who just turned 8 a few days before going USJ. Myla could ride... MJ cannot... I think the min age is 7. So if your tall kids who meet the height requirement gets asked for age when you're at this attraction... you now know la what to say.
The ride was super thrilling for me and super scary for Myla. (Adamson didn't ride because he had to wait outside with MJ). I would say that the spooky aspect of it is pretty well done (no wonder got minimum age) but not spooky for me as an adult la... the coaster aspect of it was OH MANNNNNNNN. It's quite violent ... the dips and turns... hahha super fun. I had my arm across myla the whole time to pin her tightly to the seat cos it was really very very OMG. Don't know why the queue was quite short, it's a thrilling ride!

Super Nintendo World is so fun but really sucks money hahahhaa. Of course these things are optional and you can do without them... we bought Wristbands (that's over 40 bucks for each wristband) for playing the Super Mario game within SNW (it's where you go punching the Mario Bricks to get virtual coins but other than that, it serves no purpose outside of SNW, looks like a watch but doesn't function as one). 
The Mario popcorn bucket was like 50 bucks (but it's so cute, Mario Cart design, MJ uses it to store some small toys now).
We Saw Princess Peach and also Toad mascots out and about... 

Super fun day afterall! And quite glad we didn't spend the extra like 800 bucks on the express 7 passes haha.