A tour of Universal Studios Singapore: Sci Fi City
Published: December 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM
This is where you'll find Universal's next-generation 3D motion-base thrill ride, Transformers: The Ride.
You gotta love a ride whose warning sign starts with the phrase, "This ride takes place on a high-speed robotic vehicle trying to escape destruction by giant alien robots." Yeah, that happens to me all the time. Thanks for that heads-up. ;^)
Transformers is just like Universal Orlando's Spider-Man… but with clearer visuals, better motion coordination and much faster, wilder effects. That's helping make Transformers by far the most popular attraction in Universal Studios Singapore, and driving this nearly-two-year-old park to its highest monthly attendance totals.
On-ride image of Optimus Prime battling Megatron.
I reviewed Transformers earlier this month, and if you'd like to hear a detailed description of the ride from its designer, I also spent some time talking with Universal Creative's Thierry Coup while I was in Singapore.
U.S. theme park fans will be getting their own (identical) version of Transformers in April, when the ride opens at Universal Studios Hollywood. And Orlando theme park fans won't miss out entirely. Coup said that Universal Creative is applying what it developed on Transformers to creating a new, all-digital version of Spider-Man for installation later this year.
Just up the street from Transformers, you'll find an attraction that should be familiar to Islands of Adventure fans:
Except that Universal's spinner ride is simply called Accelerator here, dropping the "Storm Force" theme, since Universal no longer owns the theme park rights to the Marvel characters outside Orlando.
Standing over Accelerator, though, is the world's tallest dueling coaster: Battlestar Galactica.
Problems with the seat mounts on the coaster trains delayed Battlestar Galactica's opening for nearly a year, but the ride seemed to me to be operating flawlessly while I visited. Battlestar Galactica offers two unique experiences: A "Human" side that's a sit-down coaster with no inversions, and the "Cylon" side, which is an inverted coaster with multiple loops and flips.
Frequent Theme Park Insider readers might know that I'm no fan of inverted coasters, so I chose to ride on the Human side. Hey, I like to ride with the good guys, too. On that note, I absolutely loved this T-shirt in the gift shop at the ride's exit:
"Remember, anyone could be a Cylon." Though, mostly, it seems that they're really hot blonde women in cut-out dresses.
Universal's done a nice job of decorating the Human trains with the nose piece and engine bells from a colonial Viper. The ride itself is just a delight, with great visuals of both the park and the dueling Cylon train, which makes multiple passes on this tight track layout. But the ride never hits you hard with lateral G forces. Instead, you feel a whippy speed, with a welcomed breeze providing relief from the Singapore heat. And with Transformers drawing so many of the park's thrill-seekers, the wait time's reasonable, too - peaking at 20 minutes mid-day during my trip. (Transformers maxed out at 150 minutes.)
Up until Transformers' opening, Sci-Fi City was the only land in the park without a restaurant. That's changed now, as Starbot Cafe opened the same day as Transformers.
Starbot Cafe serves assorted sushi, as appetizers and entrees including poached salmon, teriyaki chicken and vegetarian fried rice in a counter-service setting with plenty of indoor seating.
Tomorrow, we'll continue our tour into Egypt, and take a ride on Universal Studios Singapore's Revenge of the Mummy.