Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

2011 - 2012

Day 7

Universal Studios Singapore

I’m not a big fan of theme parks, mainly because I don’t like rides, but if Disney Sea in Tokyo is any example, rides are not the only thing to theme parks. The parks are generally very well made and there are shows and other amusements that don’t involve going upside down and having my heart beat to the point where its going to blow out of my chest - so, today we went to Universal Studios Singapore (aka USS).

There is a tour company in our hotel that sell the tickets so after breakfast we took a look. The tickets have an optional extra called an “Express Pass” which is sort of similar to the “Fast Pass” at Disney Sea. You pay an extra $30 and that allows you to skip the queue on each ride once. Unfortunately the tour company in our hotel sells tickets, but they can’t sell the Express Pass, so we had to buy out tickets from Universal Studios itself.

To get to USS we had to take 2 MRT trains and the Sentosa Express Monorail, but it didn’t take that long. The monorail leaves from a large shopping center called “Vivo City”. The monorail then took us to Waterfront Station on Sentosa where the main entrance to Universal Studios is.

After buying our tickets and taking some photos at the entrance we started walking around the various themed areas.

The first area was Hollywood. They had a few food and gift shops but the major attraction in this area was a Hollywood Theatre where they regularly host Broadway style shows.
As we got there we were just in time to catch the “Monster Rock” show. The “Monster Rock” show is a musical with - you guessed it - monsters singing rock shows. I’m not a big fan of musicals or the very dramatic acting, but we can say we saw it. The monsters included Dracula, Frankenstein, The Phantom Of The Opera, Cleopatra, 2 werewolves and a few others.

The next area was Old New York. The big attraction here was the “Steven Spielberg - Lights, Camera, Action!” experience. This show was designed to show you the way a “sound set” works for creating special effects for movies. We got to use our express pass here and managed to skip the entire line and end up at the front of the demonstration - very cool.
As we walked in, we all lined up to watch the introductory video by Steven Spielberg and then proceeded on to the set.

The scene was set up to resemble a boat shed in New York that would be going through a hurricane. It looked pretty cool and then the wind picked up, shrapnel went flying through the roof, which set off a fuel fire that then went on to the water in front of us, the buildings in the background were catching fire and breaking apart and a massive ship came breaking into the boat shed. Because we were in the front row we could feel the heat from the fire and we got splashed by water - it was pretty well done.
As soon as it finished, everything simply reset it self.

From here we progressed to the next area, Sci-Fi City. One of the major attractions definitely stood out here - it was a set of dual Battlestar Galactica roller coasters, a red one called “Human” and a blue one called “Cylon”. The “Human” roller coaster was a little less intense and had normal seats to sit in, the “Cylon” roller coaster had harnesses that you hang from and seemed to have some sharper curves and went upside down in parts. Both roller coasters accelerated up the initial incline together and then split off and inter-weaved in and out of each other as they went through the rest of their tracks.

Even though we saw the roller coasters first as we walked in, it was quickly followed by Anthony getting quite excited about the surrounding transformer statues. There was a staff member there to take photos of you in front of a transformer and surprisingly you could just give the photographer your own camera and they wouldn’t even bother with theirs unless you ask - this was surprising because normally you’d expect them to force you to buy their prints.

We took some photos and then checked out the Transformers ride. We all agreed that this ride was really well done! We used our express pass and got through the line in a matter of minutes where you put on 3D glasses and jump into a cart that is meant to be the transformer Evac.
Evac then moves into a few rooms with big 3D screens and it tilts and spins from room to room with wind blowing and the odd squirt of water. It may not sound that good in the description, but the 3D screens were the best any of us had seen, it felt pretty convincing!

Anthony was hesitant to go on because he thought that all this “Bay-formers” stuff would be lame, but after that ride even he was really impressed and was as happy as a kid in a candy store. He said that even though we had used out Express Pass, we had to go on that again.
As you exit the ride you are led to the gift store where Anthony… well… lets just say “stocked up”.
Another good thing about this park is that when you buy goods, they can seal them up and send them to the park’s exit gate so you can pick them up on your way out. This service is free, you just have to give them contact details incase something goes wrong.

From here Anthony and Amy wanted to go on the roller coasters, so I took their bags and headed to the transformers food court and waited. Luckily with the express pass, I wasn’t waiting long.
After this we did the last ride in this area, which was actually a kids tea-cup-like ride called “The Accelerator”, but Anthony wanted to get every ride checked off on his express pass.

From here we went to the next area, Ancient Egypt. The big attraction here was the “Revenge of the Mummy” ride. This ride was indoors and we weren’t sure how crazy it would be, but I had still decided to sit this one out. After a bit of hesitation, I changed my mind and thought that I’d give it a go and just made sure it didn’t go upside down. We put our bags in the lockers (which are free for 100 minutes at a time) and skipped the queue with our Express Pass.

After this ride, it was obvious that I still don’t like rides! I hated it. The majority of the ride is in pitch darkness and it moves pretty quick in all directions, including backwards. At the last drop they take a photo of you, and needless to say I looked pretty stupid :P
After that “fun” experience we collected our bags, went through the Ancient Egyptian gift shop and headed back to the Sci-Fi City food court for some lunch.

The next area was The Lost World. The main ride in this area was the “Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure” but it was closed for “enhancement works”. The other rides in this area were less interesting kids rides, but as I mentioned in the intro, rides are not all that make a theme park. This area had a water show based on the Water World movie, but we had to wait a little before it opened, so we noted the time and continued onto the next area.

Everybody likes Shrek! The next area was the kingdom of Far Far Away. The biggest attraction here was the Shrek 4D show, which was a cinema where you wear 3D glasses and the seats squirt you with water, blow air across your neck and tickle your legs. It was pretty well done, but 3D was no where near as impressive as the Transformers ride, possibly because of how big the cinema screen was (seated lots of people) compared to the Tranformers ride (seated 12 or so).

After this Anthony and Amy quickly did a corkscrew ride, which they were in and out of in less than 5 mintutes, while in that time I saw Shrek and Fiona walk past.

By the time this had finished we headed back to watch the Water World show. the seating for the show had different colored seats to indicate the “soak zone” where you would definitely get wet, the “splash zone” where its possible you may get wet, and the normal seats where you would stay dry. The show had some “workers” playing practical jokes and squirting the crowd with water guns and throwing buckets of water over people. This was like a warm up act and was very funny!

The show was also pretty well done, there were jet ski’s and an air boat, both of which ended up spraying a lot of water all over the crowd, fireworks, “gunshots”, explosions and acrobatics with a bit of comedy thrown in.

After getting a quick photo with the cast, we headed back to “Far Far Away” and got a photo with Shrek and Fiona and then headed to the last area of the park.

Madagascar was the last area for us to see. The main attraction here was the “Crate Adventure” ride, which was a little boat that slowly pulled through a cave with animatronics of the Madagascar movie and told a story - again, great for kids, but we did it anyway. The other thing we did here is watch a street show where people dressed up as the Madagascar characters did a dancing performance in the middle of the park.

Half way through this we had seen enough so we got some slushies and headed back to the Tranformers ride for another go before the park closed.
On the way, we bumped into Charlie Chaplin doing some antics on the street. We stopped for a photo with him, but before the photo was taken, he got his handkerchief out to shine my head :P

We got back to the Transformers ride, but this time we couldn’t use the express pass, so we lined up with everyone else. The line moved through quite quickly and everytime the line got to another room, a little video would play to explain a story which made the ride make more sense - we skipped this last time.
When we got to the last segment of the line, an announcement came over saying that we would experience a small delay - which lasted for quite a while!
Even with the delay, I’m glad we stayed in line because we got to see the lead up story line while we were waiting.

Because this delay meant we were stuck in a line instead of being able to make the most of our time before it shut, the park extended its opening hours by an extra half hour or so. As soon as we got out, I gave Anthony my Express Pass and he rushed out to get another ride on the Cylon before the park closed. He was going to go on the Human ride too, but he missed out by a few minutes.

As the park was closing we headed toward the exit gate to pick up our gift shop goods and do some last minute shopping, before boarding a train to get off Sentosa. When we arrived back at Vivo City we got some nice food from their hawker stalls there. I got a really tasty Orange Chicken Rice dish with soup and egg. After dinner we headed back home. It was a long day, and even though I didn’t like (or do many of) the rides, it was a pretty good way to finish off the Singapore leg of our trip.