Thursday, January 17, 2013

Universal Studios Singapore

Planning to go to Universal Studios during the Christmas holidays was a big gamble. We've tried to book tickets during the first 2 years but they seem to be out even before November. This year though, we had a different tactic. Hubby's company offers discounted tickets to employees (yehey!) and it's valid for a period including the December holidays. It was a good deal considering there were 7 adults and 4 kids going :)

Anyway, on the day itself, we still had to queue to buy a Senior Citizen ticket (it's cheaper that to get the discounted adult ticket). It was a long queue so we had to send the first batch (my SIL and family + our 2 boys) in so they can start walking around. My other SIL (sis-in-law) was in the queue with my FIL (father-in-law) to get the ticket. Then hubby and I went in.

The weather was good - not too hot and not raining - for a 27th of December time. Upon entering, we looked for an English map (it runs out quickly, most of the maps left were in Chinese) and schedule of shows (we got one from the food carts). The theme park was divided into 7 categories / worlds. The first one immediately after the entrance is Hollywood, followed by Magascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City and New York, in a clockwise direction. I liked how the details for each world/category on the map were positioned near their locations. It's easier to plan our way around the park and it's not confusing to refer to the map.

The children were very much into rides so they headed to Far Far Away first to go on the Enchanted Airways - a junior dragon roller coaster.
preparing for the uphill climb

and we are at the top of the roller coaster track!

hands up, as my younger son enjoyed the ride

all smiles for my little one

and that was it! I'd say it was quite a SHORT ride.

When the rest of the group was inside Universal Studios, we continued our exploration of the nearby attraction - Shrek 4D Adventure.

The kids loved the 4D effects and were screaming and laughing while watching the show. We were truly entertained. The water splatters / splashes were a bit creepy though. Unfortunately, my younger didn't get the whole experience as he was still a bit short to reach the upper part of the seat where air was coming out as part of the 4D experience. Nevertheless, he still had fun.

Just after the exit of the 4D adventure was the Fairy Godmother's Potion Shop. 
Located here was the Magic Potion Spin - a mini wooden ferris wheel for children.
Of course, the kids fell in line for this cute ride.

the view just outside the shop

group photo after 4D adventure

Tres Marias at Fairy Godmother's Potion Shop

 After the dragon ride, 4D adventure and magic potion spin, our tummies were grumbling. It was time to grab a bite. We walked back to the Hollywood and had lunch at Mel's Drive In (burgers, fish and fries).
their kid's meal are $9.80 (either mini burgers, nuggets or fish + fries  + drinks)
and burger meals from $12. The kid's meal come with a small Transformers bucket with cover.
Cute for the boys to carry along or keep their toys in.

just outside Mel's Drive-in was this small stage where 3 different groups
perform at an interval. We were able to watch Mel's Dinettes (Mel's Drive-in waitresses)
and Daddy O's (something like the beach boys). It gives a classic atmosphere with the
diner and the type of music they were singing.

still just outside the diner are there vintage cars for visitors
to have a snap at. Ira was surely into it posing with each
and every car.

the ladies of Sesame Street

one thing we appreciated about this visit was the covered walk as we head to NEW YORK

inside the sound stage of Lights, Camera, Action! hosted by Steven Spielberg
Although this was somewhat a smaller version of what we saw in Universal Hollywood, 
it still delivered a different kind of experience. We didn't expect that we would just
be standing there (as compared to Universal Hollywood where we were most of the times 
riding the tram). A word of caution, make sure you are standing inside the yellow line as
the place sometimes moves with the "weather".

we still had a lot of energy coming in to the next ride...
the most anticipated Transformers the ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle.

we did expect a long queue but we didn't imagine we would be queuing for more than an hour!
We had to entertain ourselves while waiting and played charades (the official family entertainment). In this photo, Ira was acting out a word.

another plus for USS (Universal Studios Singapore) was the good ventilation (air-conditioned waiting area) and water fountains along the way. We didn't feel hot nor that thirsty as cool air and cold water  

after an hour in the queue, we were already at the top of the staircase. We thought "this was it", we were close. The signs were getting clearer. We must be there. There was a passageway and we were almost definitely sure that the ride was just behind these walls.

we were wrong though. Once we've entered that passageway, another long
queue welcomed us. And it looked like it was going to be another hour or so.

more Transformers memorabilia, to keep the visitors occupied for another 30mins or so

we were already in the very restricted area, but still the ride was nowhere in sight

we had to keep ourselves busy looking at the different exhibits, monitors, etc.
This one was supposed to be a fragment of the "cube".

behind us was a part of the decepticons (remember the scorpion type one?)

I wonder what's behind this big vault???

An hour and uncountable minutes after, we have finally reached the end of the line. The monitors and audio warnings were telling us to be prepared. Work with Evac and be heroes (i think). We were all anticipating a really one-of-a-kind experience with this one for it to be all worth the wait (and long queue). We hopped into Evac, strapped ourselves in. We were ready for The Ultimate Ride. And it did not disappoint. We felt we were there, in the big screen, rolling, flying, speeding, tumbling, taking the blows from Decepticons, getting rescued by Autobots. It was a roller coaster ride with a twist. We were all at the edge of our seats, anticipating the next action. Was it the end? Were we safe? And then pow! Something hit us from behind. It's a non-stop action flick. When it was finally over, we didn't really want to go down. If the line was not that long, we would probably be queuing again! It's definitely a ride to remember.

Ira all smiles again after the Ultimate Ride, posing here with Bumblebee the car....

and Bumblebee the Autobot

We needed to take a seat after the ride. But the kids still had their energies up. They ran towards the  Accelerator. I get it, they like this kind of ride. We've done so in Disney Hong Kong and Paris. It's just like the spinning teacups of Disney, but this one is more Sci-Fi. So off I went to accompany the 4 kids. Hubby and older SIL had a more challenging ride in mind - Battle Star Gallactica. They braved the twists and turns at speeds of more than 80km/h. But they weren't able to convince any of us to try it, too. Chickens!

So much for Sci-Fi City. There were still so much to see. We skipped Ancient Egypt and let the kids have fun at The Lost World. Dino-Soarin it is.

Pteranodons were the champions in this ride

We wanted to go on the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure but because it was one of the bestsellers in the park, we decided to give it a pass and go to Water World instead.

cousins with their Transformers buckets

playing around at the Water World entrance while waiting 
for the crew to let us in (at 7pm)

Yes, we were one of the first ones there. We had no idea what to do next. We knew we had to queue to get good seats. What we didn't anticipate was the "marathon" happening once the crew let the ropes down and allowed the visitors in. It was chaos! The kids were fast enough they were first in the other queue which was really the official starting point before we enter the theatre (yes, there were 2 locations to line up). When they finally let everyone into the theatre, everyone ran (again) while being told not to do so! I thought the theatre was too small that's why people were running. But we weren't even 3/4 full!

Since we were the first ones inside, the kids sat in the front row (soak zone!). I could see the floor was wet in the first 5 or 8 rows. We told the kids not to sit in the first 3 to 4 rows so we moved back. Still in the wet zone, but definitely not in the soak zone. 

Before the start of the main show, 2 actors came to the front. They were asking for cheers. And so the audience did. It's a game alright. Who shouts loudest won't get wet (not!). They sprayed, sprinkled, and poured buckets of water into the audience. We got wet! Really wet! The kids were complaining (wet from head to toe) but enjoying. We didn't expect to get that wet (too bad we didn't have photos after being "showered"). I had a feeling it was going to be a good show.

The kids didn't know the movie so everything was new to them (the storyline, at least). But they were amused and entertained. Actors were flying and jumping around. Bullets and fire were everywhere. There were jet ski stunts (we got wet again) and speedboat maneuvers that we didn't think was possible in that small theatre. It was action-packed and yet funny. A good way to slow down during an amusement park visit. Just make sure you bring extra clothes, or a water-proof bag as a shield :)

We left The Lost World feeling refreshed. It's time to ride again.

while the others rushed to the Madagascar: A Crate Adventure,
Ira spotted King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round. We stopped by 
the crazy carousel and looked for familiar Madagascar faces.
Ira, of course, took the Penguin ride. I settled with the pirate beside the penguin.

just next door was the Crate Adventure. The queue was not that long that 
the others who came in first were able to take another ride without queuing again!

simplest way to describe this - like the It's A Small World Ride from Disneyland.

That was the last ride of the day. We've conquered almost all of the worlds, except Ancient Egypt. The kids had so much fun. The adults barely made it to the end.


wide grins from our guests proves this park was worth visiting

Kelvin and Lolo (grandpa)

We left around 9pm, tired, hungry but contented. There were still rides to explore, so maybe there is going to be a next time.


  1. This is a very nice place for family vacatiomn. Thank you for posting and sharing the wonderful photos. -

    1. you are most welcome. The good thing about this place is that there are new attractions added almost every year. For example, now they have the Sesame Street which was not there yet when we visited.


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