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A tour of Universal Studios Singapore: Madagascar

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Published: December 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Welcome to Madagascar, a land based entirely on the DreamWorks Animation films, and that's completely unique to Universal Studios Singapore.

Welcome to Madagascar!

Madagascar, as viewed from across the lagoon
Madagascar, as viewed from across the lagoon

The land's signature attraction is Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, an indoor animatronic boat ride that was delayed for nearly a year, helping push back the entire park's official opening.

Madagascar: A Crate Adventure

With an immense, life-sized cargo ship facade and Internet reports of a Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-style drop and two-level show building, expectations for Madagascar ran sky high.

Madagascar boats

But when the ride finally opened earlier this year, the drop was nowhere to be found and the consensus seemed to be that the ride put the "Meh" into "Melman."

Drink
Can't… get… this… drink… off the front of… the boat…

Yet I loved Madagascar: A Crate Adventure. Despite the popularity of rides such as Pirates and It's a Small World, there just aren't that many water-based dark rides out there. Heck, this is Universal's first. The only other non-Disney indoor animatronic boat ride I can remember riding was the old Enchanted Voyage ride at Kings Island.

Beware of Foosa

Let's judge Madagascar: A Crate Adventure not for what it could have been, but for what it is - a charming seven-minute dark ride through the main events of the first Madagascar film, with some fun effects (flinging monkey poo!) and a catchy tune. (Reel 2 Real's "I Like to Move It" is played ubiquitously throughout the land.) And even if they're not fans of Madagascar, visitors to steamy Singapore at least should appreciate seven-plus cool minutes floating in the dark, with air conditioning. What's not to like?

Take a video tour:

If you didn't get enough of "I Like to Move It," climb aboard King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round, an elaborately-themed carousel featuring Alex, Gloria, Melman and Marty, as well as the Penguins and many of the other Madagascar characters.

King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round

Alex and Melman
Alex, Melman, and the Penguins

Marty
Marty

When you're ready for something to eat, there's Casa Del Wild, serving chicken satay, roasted chicken and beef rendang.

Casa Del Wild

Or Gloria's Snack Shack, with bento boxes, chicken yakitori, grilled prawns, and vegetable tempura.

Gloria's Snack Shack

From there, you're just a few steps from completing the circuit around the lagoon, and returning to Hollywood.

That wraps up on in-park tour of Universal Studios Singapore. If you missed it, here are our looks at the other lands in the park: Sci Fi City, Egypt, The Lost World, and Far, Far Away.

Tomorrow, I'll post some details about and advice for planning a trip to Singapore to visit Universal. Then on Monday, we'll start Tokyo DisneySea week here on Theme Park Insider.

Readers' Opinions

From 98.15.151.65 on December 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Just to let you know, Rye Playland's The Old Mill in New York is a water based dark ride. Also Six Flags Over Georgia had one in the 70s with The Okefenokee Swamp.
From Manny Barron on December 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM
Thanks for these updates. I hope one day I'm able to visit these great-looking parks but for now reading these reports will do. Looking forward to the DisneySea week.
From James Rao on December 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM
Thanks for all these photo heavy trip reports, Robert. I for one have enjoyed them immensely.

Just an FYI: If you are ever in the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington area, check out Six Flags Over Texas' Yosemite Sam and the Gold River Adventure (YSATGRA). It, like the Madagascar ride you reviewed, is a slow moving water dark ride and, more importantly, an unexpected, hidden treasure. I was impressed by the attention to both detail and story that this experience offers (especially considering my general disdain for anything SF related) . While YSATGRA is definitely a Disney-on-a-budget attraction, it is very well imagined and maintained, and should not be missed by any true theme park fan.

From Robert Niles on December 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM
Nice tip, James. Thanks!

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