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Attraction of the week: Universal Studios Singapore's Battlestar Galactica

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Published: September 17, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Talking about SeaWorld San Diego's Manta with a local reporter last week, I tried to explain why I loved that roller coaster so much.

Here's what I said: The real test of a roller coaster isn't how you feel after riding it once. It's how you feel after riding it three times in a row. On most coasters, you end up feeling either sick, or bored. If a coaster's too extreme, multiple rides will toss and turn your stomach. But a coaster that's too tame will leave you asleep, or at least daydreaming about doing something else. A great roller coaster leaves you just as excited when you exit the third and fourth time as the first time you stepped off it.

Manta hits that sweet spot for me. But today I'd like to bring your attention to another great roller coaster in the same mold. Like Manta, it doesn't go upside down, leaving it accessible to many roller coaster rookies. But it offers a similar mix of great twists, speed and airtime, as well as some awesome views that a terrain coaster like Manta can't offer.

It's Battlestar Galactica: Human at Universal Studios Singapore.

Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios Singapore

Battlestar Galactica is actually two, dueling Vekoma roller coasters. But I'm not going to write today about the "Cylon" side, a inverted coaster will multiple inversions. As I've written before, inverted coasters just aren't my thing - I've yet to ride one that didn't leave my head throbbing and stomach churning after a single ride. As a result, I simply won't ride them anymore. So if you're looking for a review of Cylon, look elsewhere. Anyway, I was too busy riding the delightful Human side of the coaster to even think about giving Cylon a try.

On Human, you board a coaster train decorated with the nose and exhaust bells of a Viper fighter from the Battlestar Galactica TV series. Then you launch up the initial lift hill as Cylon's train races beside you. From there, you dive into BG's tight, twisting track, which runs and dives above Universal Studios Singapore's central lagoon.

The ride offers you some wonderful views of the park, but you won't notice those on your first ride, as you'll be too bust looking at the interwinding tracks, and close encounters with the Cylon train. You'll enjoy more twists and turns that I could count, whipping you around the ride and up out of your seat but never with so much force that you feel disturbed or distressed. And the wind blasting your face on this 56 mph coaster provides welcome, cooling relief from the inevitably hot, humid weather in Singapore.

It's not the longest coaster out there - a little under 90 seconds from dispatch to unload. But from its launch to the final turn into the station, Battlestar Galactica never pauses. It's nonstop action that gets your adrenaline pumping and demands a second ride to keep it flowing.

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on September 17, 2012 at 4:59 PM
How long before the "dueling" element is removed? Or has it been constructed in such a way that crazy people can't try to injure or kill other innocents?
From Robert Niles on September 17, 2012 at 5:17 PM
The way they've done it on BSG, you don't really run side by side, except for the launch. The passes are more one train in front of the other, so you can see it. Which actually makes more sense.
From James Rao on September 17, 2012 at 5:43 PM
Maybe that kind of timing can be applied to Dueling Dragons...?
From Ryan Spann on September 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I'd really love to visit this park, really only for this ride. It seems like a very underrated coaster, the Human side that is.
From 208.54.39.191 on September 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Hi Robert...since you liked Manta so much have you ever been on cheetah hunt in BGT? Its almost the same ride but much longer, and 3 launches instead of too. Same theme park you can really see the similarities in the rides. Cheetah is one of the best roller coasters I've ever ridden. Its like you say you can ride it over and over and it doesn't make you sick or bored.
From Robert Niles on September 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Cheetah Hunt and Busch Gardens Tampa are high on my to-do list for 2013.
From Mark Kausch on September 20, 2012 at 1:41 AM
I'm glad you got to ride Manta. Tuesday, the 18th, I was at the park for the first time in a long time and attempted to ride it. It's the first coaster I was rejected from since I tried to ride all the coasters at SFMM and was told I was too old for The Road Runner Express. Of course, I wasn't too old for Manta. I couldn't get the light to go green on the "test" seat.

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