In early April 2010, I went to Singapore, this time without my dear wife and son, since I have to accompany my father for medical consultation in a Singapore hospital for his health problem. After all the hospital, doctor, and insurance things were done, it turned out that we still have a free Saturday. We decided to spend the time visiting the newly opened Universal Studio Singapore.
We departed at 8am, courtesy of free shuttle bus from the hotel. We arrived at 9am, just as it opened. My father and his friend decided that they won’t enter the park and would rather walk around for a while and find some place to sit and talk.
Me, my mother, and my cousin (who worked in Singapore) then bought the ticket at $72 each ($66 for weekdays) which included a $10 meal voucher and a $5 shopping voucher. The weather is cloudy when we entered the park. We first arrived at the Hollywood Theater, but the first show won’t begun until 11am. So we headed to Lights! Camera! Action! where we watched the live presentation of Hollywood visual effect : a hurricane in a boat house with all the wind, fire, flying windows, and runaway boats. The audience standing in the front row behind the blue colored handrail will get wet from the water splash (they announced it just before the show begun).
When we got out from the attraction, it was raining heavily. There was overhead canopies but only covering New York City area. Since we don’t have anything else to do there, we decided to brave the rain and ran across to Ancient Egypt area.
There were a lot of wet visitors taking shelter in front of Revenge of the Mummy ride, which hasn’t open yet. We have to wait for around 20 minutes before the attendants told us that the ride is now open and to put our bags and stuffs in the locker (free for 30 minutes). The indoor passage to the ride is quite long (about 7 minutes walk without any queue) and narrow (to simulate the ambiance inside a pyramid perhaps). The ride itself was short but fun. The coaster not only moved twirling forward, but also did sudden stop and reverse movement. The theme of course was Imhotep and his friends from “The Mummy” movie.
The exit way led directly to a merchandise store. It was still raining heavily and our umbrella was in the locker 15 meters away from the store. It turned out that the store also sell raincoat but only in children size which only protect us from the waist up. Still, it was better than nothing.
Since the Ancient Egypt and the neighboring The Lost World area are both outdoor, we decided to return to the comfort of New York City and Hollywood area with their overhead canopies, just in time for the rock and roll monster musical show at the Hollywood Theater. The show featured horror movie creatures such as Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, and Wolf Man dancing to the popular rock songs. The show lasted in about 25 minutes.
After the show the rain has finally stopped and we decided to have our lunch at Mel’s Drive-In right across the theater. The menu are burgers and fries with several side dishes. The serving size here are quite big. Each package (1 burger, 1 fries, 1 drink) costs under $10. Luckily we decided to eat early because later on it was very crowded.
Since my cousin already has an appointment in the city later in the afternoon, we went to the stores to use our shopping vouchers and then took the monorail to Vivo City (free of charge) where my father and his friends were having lunch. Since my parents also has an appointment with their friend that evening, I excused myself and headed back to the park (re-entry is allowed, they applied an invisible stamp on your arm on your way out).
The monorail from Vivo City cost S$3, and arriving back at 2pm, the weather was now dry and the park was very crowded. I went to Madagascar area first. The Crate Adventure wasn’t opened yet. The King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round might be interesting for the kids. It was a merry go round, except the characters are from the Madagascar story. There was also a meet and greet session with the Madagascar’s characters in the area.
At the Far Far Away area, the Enchanted Airways is basically a baby coaster, suitable for bigger children (over 92 cm), but not challenging enough for seasoned coaster riders. The Shrek Adventure is a 4D theater. First, we enter a room, “the dungeon” where there were a talking mirror and suspended prisoner cages for the prelude. After that we were seated in the theater for about 15 minutes worth of 4D movie. The movie is about Shrek rescuing the kidnapped Princess Fiona. The chair movement in the horse chase scene was a bit rough and bumpy, it frightened a (look like) 5 years old kid sitting nearby which prompted her mother to take her out of the theater.
The theater exit directly led into a store where the Magic Potion Spin situated. It is a small ferris wheel, suitable for the smaller children.
Up next was The Lost World area. The Canopy Flyer was quite enticing. It is like a gentler version of a suspended roller coaster, but the queue was very very long, so I decided to skip it. The Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure was closed. The Dino Soarin is a Pterodactyl version of Flying Dumbo, also intended for the children.
The waterworld show was still 90 minutes away so I continued on to the Ancient Egypt area. The Revenge of the Mummy was now crowded so I decided not re-enter. The nearby Treasure Hunters ride is a jeep on a guided track (just like the Autopia in Hongkong Disneyland), this one with the Mummy theme. The children may enjoy playing with the steering wheel of the jeep.
Entering the Sci Fi City, Battlestar Galactica looked very tempting. The coaster has 2 simultaneous tracks, for human’s and cylon’s side. The human track is a seated roller coaster while cylon’s is a suspended roller coaster. Too bad it was closed for that day. Not my luck. With nothing else to do for the moment, I took the Accelerator, a whirling twirling saucer similiar to the Mad Hatter Tea Cups at Hongkong Disneyland.
At the New York City street, there was a dynamic street dance team in action. I was looking for Stage 28, but turned out that it was not opened yet. After browsing the stores and getting some drink (reasonable price for the drinks and food), I returned to the Lost World, but everything was still the same, crowded Canopy Flyer and closed Rapids Adventure.
I resigned to make an early entry to the Waterworld Show, which turned out to be a good idea since I can get a front and center seat in the dry area. After the place was started to fill out, they announce that the seating is divided into 3 sections. Audience on the blue bench will get wet, might even get soaked. Audience on the green bench might get splashed, while the brown bench is the dry area. Most people were to lazy to change seat though. While waiting for the show to begun, there was a “prelude show”. Several cast members circulated among the audience, joking, interacting, and in several cases splashing the audience (in the wet seats) with water gun and bucket. The cast members also made a cheering contest among the sections to warm up the atmosphere.
The show itself was a stunt show version of the Waterworld movie, with jet skis and motor boats actions, high-flying actions, some fist fights, gunshots, and explosions. The audience on the blue and green bench did get splashed from the boats and jet skis. Overall, it was quite a nice show, and an unforgettable one for those who were soaked.
Exiting the ride, the canopy flyer was still full, but the rapid adventure was at last open. I quickly entered the gate only to find out that there was already a long queue inside. After about 15 minutes I finally realized that there was a single rider line on the right side of the normal line. I moved to the single rider line and walked all the way to the front of the queue, where there was only 5 people in front of me, and in 5 minutes I finally boarded the ride. There are 9 seats in each boat. The ride started just like the original Jurassic Park Tour, a smooth ride with gentle narration about the dinosaurs roaming along the river. Suddenly it turned to red alert situation and the river started to run wild. After a while we entered a dark tunnel and was lifted up towards the open jaw of a waiting T-Rex. The ride ended with a plunge into the river. Although I put on the kid size raincoat I purchased earlier, I still got soaked from the waist down. One friendly advice, wear a full size raincoat or bring spare shirt and pants.
With drenched pants and shoes, I roamed around the park taking some photos and video, and after I felt dry enough, at around 6pm I headed towards the exit. The evening farewell procession was quite hilarious. Several cast members lined up near the exit and cheered every visitors who exited the park.
Right outside the park there are some restaurants, souvenir stores, 7-11, a Hershey’s store, and a popcorn store. The queuing for the train back to Vivo City was quite long, but was very well organized.
Overall, the park was quite entertaining, but not as toddler friendly as Hongkong Disneyland. I think it is more suitable for children aged 7 and up.
It is advisable to wear light clothing and waterproof shoes or sandals, and bring along your umbrella, raincoat, and spare clothes.
There is a separated queuing line in almost every rides for Universal Express ticket holders. It cost an additional $30 for weekdays, $48 during school holidays, and $68 for weekends. If you can spare the cash, it will become very handy for the popular rides during peak time.