Trip Report: Universal Studios Singapore

August 23, 2018, 11:23 AM

I’m going to start by saying Singapore is extremely humid, we went in April and it was 5x more humid than Orlando in the middle of summer (which is not surprising considering its tropical and way closer to the equator than Florida…so pretty much a horrible climate to be in a theme park any time other than middle of winter). The reason this is important because with my curiosity I wanted to see the whole development, so we walked from the hotel, through Vivo City, down the Sentosa Boardwalk all the way to Universal Studios. This was at like 8 in the morning and we were pretty much already gassed by the time we got to the park, and we got there way before it opened, so none of the stores were open yet so we were pretty much stuck in the humidity.

The Sentosa development is the stereotypical shopping and dining affair. I think the parent company is a casino operator so there is a large casino there as well (I’m pretty sure the whole reason Universal is there is to get people to the casino). Anyway, we watched the park opening show which consisted of Puss in Boots coming out and high fiving the kids, and when we were allowed through the turnstiles went straight to Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase because I heard it is popular. We got onto the first ride and it was …. Well it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be considering the popularity, but it was so stupid that it was funny. It reminded me of the Imagination ride at Epcot in that regard.

Next we rode Transformers which was about a 10 minute wait. There were some neat graphics on the ride vehicles but other than that it was the same. I want to take the time to say this park is excellently themed considering how small and under the radar it is, both areas we had been through so far -New York & Sci Fi City- were really top notch. It was like being in a comic book, the overall theming of the park was much better than the Orlando and Hollywood parks (Hollywood I kind of get because it’s an actual studio). This probably has something to do with it being a licensing deal and Universal not actually paying for it but I’m not entirely sure.

Next we went to ride Battlestar Galactica but both sides were closed and the ride ops said both sides were going to be closed all day. Only the Cylon side was listed as being closed on the sign outside the park so that was kind of sh*tty, but knowing this rides history I wasn’t surprised. This unique Vekoma dueling coaster where one side is inverted and the other side is a regular sit down coaster is famous for a seat flying off of it. It didn’t really look at that good from POVs but it still would’ve been nice to get on.

Anyway the next zone down was Egypt, home to Revenge of the Mummy, which once again had an excellent plaza area / much better than the other Universal Parks. Mummy has a really grand entrance with two giant statues and a big façade with hieroglyphics and there are a bunch of statues in the plaza in front of it. The beginning of the ride was a little different but overall the queue and ride were very similar to Orlando.
The other ride in Egypt was quite possibly the dumbest ride in any Universal park, “Treasure Hunters.” I had heard how lame this ride is but never believed that it could possibly be as bad as the reviews claim it is…it is. The ride consists of little electric powered jeep vehicles that go around a track and you look at some cheesy theming elements, and that’s pretty much it. OK so based off that review you would think it’s a kids ride and what’s the big deal, but it’s not really advertised that way, it’s got this big entrance and it had the longest wait of the day so far (like 20 minutes).

We then spent some time checking out the theming in the Egypt area and taking pictures, there was a nice little themed covered seating area with a fountain and hit up the restroom while we were there. All of the lands at this park are fairly small but they are definitely picturesque.

Next we walked into Jurassic Park but none of the attractions were open yet because they opened at 11am, so we ended up walking through it and going to Far Far Away (aka Shrek Land). First ride we did here was the Puss In Boots coaster which was a nice little kids coaster but sadly a letdown in regards to being an actual good attraction. The theming was very light and it was basically just a Zamperla kids suspended coaster with some silly thematic elements along the way – I was expecting this ride to be more along the lines of Arthur at Europa Park but it’s not nearly as good.

Shrek 4D was next which of course we had done before, but it was so hot and humid out that we decided to do it at this park as well. It was the same attraction that’s at Universal here however once again the plaza and queue around it were so much better than the American parks. We then spent some time walking around taking pictures in Far Far Away which was an eclectic mix of making fun of the whole Princess narrative and Hollywood. I have never been a fan of when a company makes its living off basically bashing another company, it just isn’t classy to me, but I must admit they pulled it off quite well. Even though it was all made to make fun of Disney the buildings and stained glass windows actually looked good, there were clever puns around the area (as expected), and it was really clean and well maintaind. We then got in line for the Vekoma Rollerskater but it was hot and moving very slow so after ten minutes or so decided it wasn’t worth waiting for and went back to Jurassic Park.

We rode the Canopy Flyer which is like this parks version of the Pteranadon Flyers, except since this park is newer this version is higher capacity and more reliable. Luckily it had a singles line so we waited only 20 minutes or so. The ride was pretty lame, it was just a few minutes of coasting around with very little to no theming. We went back and forth on whether or not to ride the Rapids but decided against it because we didn’t feel like having to protect our shoes and the camera.

At this point we were exhausted. We had been all over China and the travel, waking up early every day, plus heat and humidity was getting to us, so we went into the Jurassic Park resturaunt (The “Discovery Food Court”) and basically took a nap in the AC for an hour or so. Next we saw Waterworld which was the same as California, even though its old it has managed to stay entertaining, though considering its cost of operations compared with the fact that it is old I wouldn’t be sad or surprised to see these go the way of Lights Motors Action (also a still entertaininig show but just so old).

We then had burgers and sundae’s at Mels Drive in which was really nice. Oddly enough I’ve eaten at Mel’s in both Japan and Singapore, but have never eaten there in California and Florida. I really like the theming of this resturaunt and it was very clean, well maintained, and of course the AC was much welcomed. After that we looped around the front of the park through some sort of replica of the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Madagascar section and rode the Madagascar dark ride. I had no idea what to expect of this but I had heard it was really good. Sadly it wasn’t, its basically Shoot-the-Chute style vehicles that go around a flume in a dark ride. Even though there are figures they weren’t that good and the backgrounds are all black curtains, the whole thing just seemed really half a**ed.

We then walked back around to New York and took some pictures of the theming then ended our park visit with some attraction I don’t remember the name of but it was basically the same as Backdraft at USH/Armaggedon at Disney Paris. It was fine but a been there done that for decades in the industry kind of thing.

I enjoyed Universal Singapore for what it was, the theming in the general park areas is top notch and the park is very photogenic. The attractions were not that great other than Mummy, but to its credit it was clean and well operated. If I were in the area I wouldn’t go back unless they got some major new attraction that’s not a clone (something very rare at Universal these days).

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