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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
When you're ready for something to eat, there's Casa Del Wild, serving chicken satay, roasted chicken and beef rendang.
Or Gloria's Snack Shack, with bento boxes, chicken yakitori, grilled prawns, and vegetable tempura.
From there, you're just a few steps from completing the circuit around the lagoon, and returning to Hollywood.
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.Tweet
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