Attraction of the week: Universal Studios Singapore's Revenge of the Mummy
Published: October 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Two days from Halloween, it's time for a little darkness, don't you think? Let's celebrate the sinister side of theme park attractions by honoring Universal Studios Singapore's Revenge of the Mummy
as our Attraction of the Week.
Now this is an attraction entrance!
Universal and Resorts World Sentosa spared no expense in crafting a more impressive entrance for this version of Mummy than you'll find at either Universal Studios Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood. It's the centerpiece of an entire "Egypt" section of the park.
The facade's not the only change in Singapore's version of Mummy. Universal Creative's given us a much darker narrative than on either of the US Mummies. There's no Brendan Fraser silliness here. As I wrote in my review of Universal Studios Singapore last year,
"While Hollywood's version of the ride allows you to triumph over the undead fiend Imhotep and Orlando's puts your triumph in doubt, there's no question who wins on this version of Mummy.
And it ain't you."
Inside the queue
"Singapore's Mummy confronts you with the macabre immediately, as you start the ride with a scene of an explorer being mummified alive. He warns you to find the Book of the Living, for it is the key to defeating Imhotep. You are then immediately whisked into the treasure chamber, where Imhotep tempts you with the riches for pledging your souls to him, before giving you the 'or else.' Guards descend from the ceiling, as you are turned toward a crypt of scarab beetles. The coaster then darts backward and turns as Imhotep taunts you another time.
"From there, your train launches up and forward into the darkened roller coaster segment of the ride. After several twists, dips and hops, you emerge into the final show scene, where you see the Book of Living, just before Imhotep comes to claim you. In a final fiery display, you descend into Hell, as Imhotep taunts you again with the warning 'Death is just the beginning.'"
If Disney's core emotion is an earnest wistfulness (with the Brand Name: "Magic!"), Universal's has always been the wisecrack. While that attitude has helped Universal cut the cloying sweetness of Disney-style family attractions, it's kept Universal from fully embracing the dark side of narrative as well. You see Universal's fondness for sarcasm in the Florida version of Mummy, which builds as much on a gag about Fraser and a cup of coffee than on Imhotep itself. But here, Universal resists the temptation to show off its cleverness and commits to letting the mummy have its revenge.
It's cliche, but here the third time really was the charm. In Singapore, with a fully immersive facade, foreboding queue and sinister narrative, Universal Creative has fully realized the dark potential of its Revenge of the Mummy.
Happy Halloween. ;^)
Published: October 29, 2012 at 1:26 PM
I love the other Two Mummy rides and look forward to visiting Singapore one day to take a ride on the Dark Side.
Published: October 29, 2012 at 1:44 PM
YOUR SOULS ARE MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published: October 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM
Absolutely loved this version! I spent a good 20 minutes walking around and looking at the entrance area (it's huge and very detailed). So that's a good thing for keeping rider queues down ;) I was AWOL for 20mins! :P But really, the best thing is that this was an adventure, right from the moment you see the show building. For me, the ride started there. Bravo Universal Singapore.
Published: October 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM
I couldn't figure out what the last room is all about in the USH version. The story plays out while you're exiting the attraction, which makes it less involving. I tried to stay at least another loop, but the room quickly gets crowded by guests leaving the attraction.
Overall, I feel the Universal rides are less satisfying than Disney attractions. Disney has a nice intro, a long middle, and an emphatic ending. Universal has an overlong intro, a moderate middle, and a fast ending. The endings are the worst thing about Universal attractions. They should try to tighten up the intro since sometimes their good intro doesn't match what you see in the middle.
Published: October 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM
I agree with Anon. Despicable Me is a great example. The preshows combined are almost 8 minutes long yet the ride is 3 minutes, leading to an abrupt end. While still a great ride, that factors. Now let's look at Star Tours, my unbiased opinion. The preshow quickly explains what's happening with C3PO, get to the middle, and have a grand finale.
Published: October 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM
^same thing with Orlando's Mummy. 3 show scenes to start, great middle, but then the end is about 15 seconds and very unclimatic.
Published: October 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Dom: "unbiased?" toward Star Tours?
Published: October 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM
Mike, I wrote that without thinking Star Wars, but it's true wheter you like SW or not.
Published: October 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM
I love the Orlando version, haven't seen the other ones.
And please stop comparing 2 companies who (thank god) try to do someting different from each other. If it wasn't for Disney, Universal woudn't be awesome and if it wasn't for Universal Disney would get lazy. They both do it different and both are great ways to have fun.
Take for instance the current expensions going on. Disney is building the most elaborat restroom area ever, probably with a giftshop where you can buy a souvenir toilet seat with Mickey ears on them and a ride picture of you taking a dump and Universal builds Transformers, probably with a more boring restroom setup. You see we all win!
Published: October 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM
OMG OMG OMG!!! Disney branded toilet seats!?!
I'LL TAKE A HUNDRED!!!
Published: November 1, 2012 at 5:23 AM
I really enjoyed the Singapore version of the Mummy. Managed to ride it a few times while I was there and I have many many rides on the Orlando version to compare it with. When I was out in Singapore (before Transformers opened), the Mummy was definitely in my top 2, along with Battlestar Gallactica: Cylon.
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