Universal Studios Singapore

17:57

If you’re visiting Singapore, one place you should NEVER miss out on is Universal Studios Singapore (USS). If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out with your family or friends, USS is the place to go!
Honestly speaking, it is impossible to finish all rides in a single day. Even for me, after 3 visits to USS, I can’t say that I’ve been on every single ride! Down here, I’ll do a brief review of all rides I’ve been on, the places within USS that I’ve eaten at, and provide some tips on what you should look out for there.

If you’re looking for a way into Sentosa that doesn’t require you to squeeze into a crammed stuffy monorail carriage with the hordes of people too lazy to walk a few hundred metres into Sentosa island, you could just enter via the Sentosa Boardwalk. Entrance into Sentosa is $1 per head via the boardwalk, a great deal cheaper than if you drove in via car or took the monorail.
Check out the awesome view from the boardwalk!

USS is really close to the entrance to Sentosa. It’s about a 5-minute walk away from the entrance. Just follow the signs and they’ll lead you there.
You’ll find that you would have passed by quite a few eateries. If you’re famished, quickly grab a bite from the places outside of USS for the prices of food inside can easily be double of what you pay for when you’re outside.

Once you enter the gates, you’ll see Hollywood - a long street full of retail stores and restaurants. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to grab some photos with famous characters like Frankenstein, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Kungfu Panda or even the cute lil minions.

I managed to get photo opportunities with the Hollywood stars!
At certain timings, there will also be performances along the streets. After watching boy band, The Daddy-O’s performance, Chen Ting and I decided we wanted be wannabe singers and posed along with them!

 The place is also great for taking photos for posers (like us) who try to look cool and hip. HEH.

The Universal Studios Store sells loads of souvenirs (of course at a steep price). It’s fun to go window shopping there but girls being girls, we couldn’t resist the temptation and got some stuff for ourselves.
Our loot!

We passed by Hollywood Pantages. The last time I went, I managed to catch the Monster Rock Show (now closed. Curtain call was on 31st August 2014). It was a Rock and Roll musical with the Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, The Mummy, the Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein, Wolf man, and wolf girl? (I’m not really sure about the last one. My memory has failed me.) It included loads of cool music, dancing, special effects, and even an illusory trick. Utterly wonderful!

If you happen to be at USS on a Saturday night, you’ll then manage to catch the Lake Hollywood Spectacular at 8pm. There’ll be fireworks over Lake Hollywood and in a sense, it’s like musical fountains (or rather, musical fireworks) as the fireworks light up the sky following the beat of the music. It would be awfully romantic for couples to share a tender moment under the firework-lit sky.



Fireworks!
Mel’s Drive-In is a fast food restaurant in Hollywood. Don’t you think it reminds you of the fast-food restaurants in American movies with servers in hoopskirts?


I absolutely loved their interior design. I ordered cheese fries, with their cheeseburger set meal for dinner and it cost me around $15. The cheeseburger was dry and the patty wasn’t at all flavourful. It was a disappointment. Thankfully, the fries were piping hot and soft on the inside, but crunchy on the outside. The cheese fries were pretty awesome too. I mean, who could say no to melted cheese topped with onions and tomatoes?



The next area right after Hollywood would be New York.
 


The very first place we went to was ‘Lights! Camera! Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg’. At our time of visit, the waiting time was decent for us (around 15 minutes). Normally, USS would be flooded with visitors, especially during holidays and weekends, so to save time, it’d be recommended to visit on weekdays. Otherwise, you could spend more to get the express lane tickets to enjoy VIP treatment and skip the troublesome queues. The show included special effects and tells of a scenario when a hurricane hits NYC.



Picture taken from GoogleAnd… *Spoiler alert*

Picture taken from Google

There’ll be real flames and some water will splash onto the first row audience. It was freaking cool (for lack of better vocabulary)!


Loui's NY Pizza Parlor

For my virgin visit there, I had lunch at Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor. I ordered a beef Lasagna and Milo, and Chen Ting ordered pizza with a soft drink. Both of us spent around $12 – 16. Presentation-wise, it looked gross. I could even say it looks like someone’s puked out lunch. URGH. However, it tasted pretty decent, so if I try to not think about what my food resembles, I could stomach it down. It wasn’t too filling though (and maybe that’s because I have a huge appetite?)


 


The only other ride in NYC would be the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase. I totally regretted queuing for 45 minutes for that ride. It was simply a suspended ride in “space” meant for little kids (and by that, I mean, tots). It was really childish and mild. GOSH. I still can’t believe I wasted 45 minutes queuing for that.


Picture taken from Google
Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase

 At Sci-Fi City, it is where almost all the exciting rides are.


Chen Ting, me and Jia Qi with the Transformer!
Straight after you enter, you’ll see Transformers: The Ride. It is a 4-D Dark Ride Motion Stimulator with realistic 3D images, and 4D effects like hot air and water spray. Queues for that ride are almost always super long. (Think 1 – 2 hours.)


Jia Qi, Chen Ting and I decided to entertain ourselves during the long wait by taking selfies and other random shots of decorations around the place.


During the ride! (Jia Qi's taking risks with her phone here. What a badass.)
The ride was great, so I suppose it was worth the wait. =)
Accelerator


Before our ride!
Then, as you walk further in, you’ll see the Accelerator. It’s a twirling ride that spins you around. Wait time was pretty short for this. It was so dizzying that I was walking like a drunkard after I got off the ride. Jia Qi even took a snapchat video while on the ride. It was miraculous that she managed to hold onto her iphone without having it fly out from the “cup”.


The highlight of the theme park would definitely be the high speed dual roller coasters Battlestar Galactica. Unfortunately, I’ve only managed to ride them twice each during my first visit to USS in 2013. Now, they’re both closed. Good news is, they’ll be open by the end of 2014 again!
 

Battlestar Galactica: Human is the less scary of the two, though it definitely sent my adrenalin pumping. Battlestar Galactica: Cylon is MAD. Your legs would be suspended in mid-air. (Loose shoes and spectacles or accessories had to be taken off for the ride). The coaster had many REAL intense maneuvers like the cobra roll, corkscrews, vertical loop and zero-g roll. I felt like my heart was flying out of my chest and spent the rest of the ride screaming my head off. I reckon I must be masochistic, for immediately after the first try, I scrambled back into the queue for a second ride. Then, when buckled up, I started regretting my rash decision. Still… It was thrilling. Wait time was only 5 minutes then for both rides for I guess it was too intense for most people.

We went on to Ancient Egypt.




Tourist-y poses
The statues were perfect for photo taking, so here we are being tourists and taking ridiculously weird tourist-y shots. We garnered quite a few judgemental stares from other people but who cares. You gotta be crazy when you’re young.


We went for the Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. It is a high-speed indoor roller coaster with reverse sections. As you can’t see where you’re going, the unpredictability of the ride adds on to the suspense and fear. The track is only partially lighted and there were sudden surprises in the middle of the ride. Keep your eyes peeled for the hidden camera (and arrange your facial expressions properly before that) or you’ll end up with a horrifically unglam photo with your eyes popping out, mouth wide-opened in a scream and hair flying everywhere. The wait time was short for this ride too, so we went on multiple rounds.




Picture taken from Google
The only other ride in Ancient Egypt is Treasure Hunters, which is a leisure car ride around an Egyptian excavation site. It was mainly for kids and from what I’ve heard from friends who’ve taken it, it was absolutely not worth it to wait for an hour for the ride. As you can probably guess, I totally skipped that.

What appeals to little boys the most? Robots? Tick. That was transformers. Dinosaurs? BINGO! So here we are at The Lost World.




Picture taken from Google

The first ride would be the Canopy Flyer, which is a mini steel suspended roller coaster. 4 people gets allocated to a group and it gets all the more exciting if you’re facing the back with your legs dangling. It adds on to the unexpected element. However, it’s not too intense for even my 70+ year old grandpa tried it too! (well, he complained to us that he found it scary though it didn’t look that bad at first). My grandpa just leveled up on the cool-meter when he went onto the ride along with my cousin and me! One con about the ride would be the ridiculously long queue. We waited for more than an hour for a minute-long short ride.


Picture taken from Google

One my first trip to USS, I went for Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. It was similar to white water rafting so you’ll definitely get wet. You’ll need to bring your own raincoats or have to buy disposable ones from USS, which are rather expensive (who do you think would be willing to pay for overpriced items? Tourists, duh.)

The ride will have circular rafts tossed along waterways. Riders will get to see animated dinosaurs along the river. It gets a little scary when you enter the hydroelectric generator compound. The darkness, strange roars and shadows make it all the more creepy. I remember clutching onto Chen Ting’s arms in mock fear just to freak her out too. The slight plunges in the waterway will definitely send water surging into the raft. Thank goodness I was well-prepared (My slippers got wet but it’s fine. At least my sneakers were safe in the lockers!) Although I was snugly wrapped up in a poncho, water still managed to sneakily seep into my shorts. YIKES. And it was freezing for it was just after a storm! I went for a change of clothes right after the ride. For people who didn’t have extra clothes, they can spend $5 blowing themselves dry at the machines outside (I’m sorry to deliver such news, but I’m pretty sure you’ll have to live with walking around in soaking underwear for the rest of the day). Do keep a lookout for people walking around awkwardly!


I guess Chen Ting and I were rather lucky that day. There was a storm right after we entered the queue for Jurassic Rapids, so announcements were made that the ride was stopped. Many people actually left the queue after half an hour or so, and we reached the front rather easily. We were reluctant to leave the queue and prayed for the rain to stop. Afterall, we have heard rave reviews about this ride and didn’t want to miss out on it. Normally, the wait time was around 2 hours plus, but for us, the rain stopped after an hour and a half. FINALLY! We managed to get onto the ride. =)




Picture taken from Google

Waterworld is a live action performance with stunts, all conducted on water. I watched it only on my second visit there. It was a HUMONGOUS open auditorium segmented into different areas. Audience will get wet if they seat too close to the front for performers WILL (not may. They WILL) spray water at you or dump buckets of water on you. Keep your umbrellas at the ready and hide far far back if you’re afraid of getting wet like me. The show was not bad and quite interesting, with gunfire and quite a lot of badass kungfu moves. The plot was pretty decent too. As expected, the good guys always win. YAYYY~



Picture taken from Google

The last ride at The Lost World is Dino-Soarin’. Kid-friendly, it spins around slowly, and riders can even control the height of the carriage during the ride. I felt really embarrassed when I realized too late that I was the oldest kid around on the ride. >< OOPS. BUT hey, I had a deprived childhood, I’m just trying to relive my childhood. *in denial that I’m no longer considered a child*



For girls, I suppose Far Far Away is their favourite place where they can be pretend princesses in wait of their Prince Charming in the magical castle.



Picture taken from Google

I went for the Shrek 4-D Adventure with my family. It was a 3D show where seats can move and jerk around. There’ll even be a water mist spray when donkey sneezed during the film. My first reaction? EWWW. Viewers will also feel like they’re riding a horse, just like in the scenes in the mini film. The plot is about Shrek trying to save Princess Fiona so it’s really family-friendly. Queue was fast as the capacity for the theatre is quite big.

I didn’t manage to catch Donkey Live though.




Picture taken from Google

Surprisingly, Far Far Away also has a mini roller coaster for children! Enchanted Airways is a milder version of the other roller coasters in the theme park. Kids will surely enjoy whizzing past the three little pigs, and turrets of the magical castle on the coaster. It is not too high and not that scary, but don’t belittle it for it still packs a punch though.



Picture taken from Google

The Magic Potion Spin is another kiddy ride, this time, a ferris wheel. Nah, I am not a fan of ferris wheels. Yet.



Shrek and Fiona!
The very last area would be Madagascar!




Picture taken from Google 

We went for Madagascar: A Crate Adventure (A Great Adventure, harhar, so punny, geddit?)



Talking Marty

It is a water boat ride with surround sound and animated characters beside the waterway. The ride will show the journey of Marty, Gloria, Alex and Melman. It will be boring for thrill-seekers but for the young-at-heart (or in other words, childish people) like me, it would be pretty entertaining. The last bit will definitely make you jump in your seats but don’t worry, all will be fine (you can find out what happens by yourself! This time I ain’t giving out spoilers…)




Picture taken from Google

The last ride in the entire theme park would be King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round. It was a merry-go-round but I didn’t try it. It reminds me to much of mushy romantic dramas.



Our pic with the 4 animals!

TIPS:
1. Most rides need you to keep your bags in lockers. Different places offer different rates. I think the Revenge of the Mummy has the lowest rates. The first hour or 1.5 hour would be free but it varies according to the locations of the lockers too.
2. Get a change of clothes (underwear included), slippers and your own poncho if you’re looking to going on the Jurassic Rapids.
3. Get the express ticket if you absolutely DESPISE, HATE, DETEST queuing.
4. Go on weekdays to stay away from the crazy holiday/weekend crowd.
5. Get a selfie stick to entertain yourself and take selfies when stuck in long queues (you know I’m not being serious here.)

AND here’s the end to my review of USS! Thanks for sticking it through the extremely long post. Enjoy your visit to USS! More reviews and travel tips coming up next time! =)

Location:8 Sentosa Gateway, 098269

6577 8888

Park Operating Hours: 10:00AM-7:00PM
Ticketing
Booths: 9:00AM-7:00PM
Ticket prices may vary depending on promotions/ bundle deals. 
Normally it would range from $66 - $72 for adults (weekdays/weekends) and $48 - $52 for children (weekdays/weekends)





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