Young themepark enthusiasts

exploring the world

Universal Studios Singapore





There is a place where movies and beaches, rollercoaster and jungles, and stuntshows and palmtrees are just combined to 1 awesome getaway: Sentosa Island. This island is the location of Universal Studios Singapore. The park opened in 2010 as part of creating Sentosa to a world class resort. You can compare this Island as a theme park of its own. With countless attractions, waterparks, beaches, casino’s , and of course Universal Studios. The park is by far the smallest Universal Studios with only 20 hectares (49 acres). But bigger is not always better! Lets have a look what this cute park will bring us.


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Immediately when you enter you feel how cozy this park is! It has a good looking main street with shops and restaurant (also a starbucks for the coffee lovers). The main street has a roof, which is really nice because of the heat and rain in Singapore.
At the end of the main street you will find the lake with THE famous Universal Studios Singapore view. Now we gonna have a look what the good, the bad and the ugly the park has to offer for us!


The best copy-paste

Universal wouldn't be Universal if they did not copy the rides to different parks around the world. But that doesn't matter, some of the rides are so good that I'm pleased I can ride them in America but here as well!



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The Mummy finally gets what it deserves: It's own themed area! The theming around the area is beautiful and immersive. I visited multiple tempels in Egypt and it felt like I was back there. Also the indoor coaster is one of the best in the world. The park has a beautiful Egyptian temple where you are looking for the 'book of life'. But not everything is going as planned when the mummy interrupts your journey. The coaster has fire effects, awesome theming, a backwards portion and a launch. At a certain moment even the ceiling is on fire!  For me this coaster has everything a good indoor coaster needs.
I am really happy that they cloned the Orlando version instead of the Hollywood version, as the Orlando ride is longer, faster, and better than the one in LA. Are there also things which could be better? Yes, the animatronics are not as fluently as in the other versions, and not all effects were working. Nevertheless this is one of the best indoor coasters in this world! In addition to the coaster, the park also has a car ride for smaller children to discover the area, which is really neat. Unfortunate I did not ride it because of the long wait, but it is nice that the park offers a ride for children to discover when the older ones ride the coaster.


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Waterworld originally premiered in Hollywood and made its way to Osaka and Singapore, and im happy it did. The movie itself was a total disaster, luckily the stuntshow itself is the total opposite. In this 20 minutes show you don't know where to look. It has so many special effects, stunts, and fireworks. Also for once the fake fighting of the actors looked really real and was super convincing. The highlight of the show is a flying airplane, how the hell! The only downside of the show is that it uses quite a large area, and Universal Studios is lacking space, so i expect this show maybe to be removed for the expansion of the park. They announced that there are gonna built a Super Nintendo Land, so it is the question where they are gonna built it?





Transformers is another beauty. There are few attractions where I was speechless when I exited, and one of them is this one. The cutting edge technology of the ride systeem, combined with screens, synchronised movements and 3D glasses makes this ride truly a masterpiece. You are in the middle of the battle between the autobots and the decepticons, and it feels like if you are really there. Together with 11 freedom fighters you are on a journey to safe the world in an 'evac' and help the planet.
It uses the same ride system as Spiderman the ride. Which you can compare to a simulator like Star Tours but then on wheels and without the screen in front of you. For me Transformers is more superior (and i know a lot of people now disagree with me). Did you know transformers has elevators? The show building has 2 floors and during a longer scene you will be brought to the upper level and you wont notice it at all. They have 2 elevators the bring you up and 2 elevators to bring you down, so the capacity can be at maximum. 


The biggest dissapointment





Universal is famous for its world class dark rides: Harry Potter, Spiderman, Transformers and so on. But unfortunate Universal also delivers some underwhelming new dark rides like: Sesame Street Spaghetti Chase. Which opened 2 years after park opening in 2012. I expected the ride to be much better. It has an inverted ride system but it never fully use the possibilities.
There is always a walkway next to you which destroys the illusion of flying which you have in Peter Pan for example. The scenes itself are quite nice but not remarkable. You can compare this as a small fantasyland dark ride. Easily to skip when it is busy in the park, and definitely not worth a wait time more than 15 minutes.


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Another dark ride which fails to deliver is Madagascar: a crate adventure. First of all: the outside of the attraction is huge and very impressive! They built the boat where Alex and the others escaped from in the movie and it is very appealing. The attraction itself is a boat ride without drops. In size you can compare it to it's a small world, so in other words the show building is huge! Where does it go wrong? First the dark ride has multiple scenes, but it is not looped. When you are half way in the scene the spiel is starting, but that means that for like 5-10 seconds you are looking to frozen animatronics in the dark.
In the middle of the attraction all the real sets are replaced by screens, which totally makes no sense at all and looks like a budget cut, because in the end the screens are gone and everything is 'real' again. Also a lot of animatronics and effects were broken, but that is maybe with a reason: Universal Studios Singapore announced last week that they are replacing the Madagascar area for the minions. So this dark ride will be gone in the near future. I am really exciting what plans Universal got up their sleeves, and can't wait to see what Universal has in mind for this attraction. Because it has great potential!


The reinvented awesomeness




One area which I absolutely love is Jurassic Park. This area is full of detail and awesome attractions. For family, children and thrill seekers, there is something to do for everybody!


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Canopy Flyer! Finally I am allowed to ride a coaster like this. In the counterpart in Orlando you are only allowed to ride it with a child, but here adults can make a spin without the company of a little fellow. The coaster is built be setpoint, which has only manufactured 4 coasters in the world, and all of them are inverted. Dit you know that setpoint also makes simulator rides for Universal like the minions attraction and the fast & furious ride in Universal Studios Hollywood?
The capacity of the ride is not great but Universal offers a single riders line, which is awesome. I skipped a 30 minutes line and only waited for like 5 minutes. The ride itself is relatively short but so much fun! The freedom of flying is excellent and the speed is much faster than I would expected. You are flying around the whole Jurassic Park area, and ending the ride in a powerful helix. It is a pity not more parks are investing in a coaster like this.



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The highlight of the are is Jurassic Park River Adventure. No, this time it is not a Vekoma Shoot the chute, but a Hafema Rapid! (What I have heard) is that they didn't had the room to house a shoot the chute so they needed to come up with a new idea, which to me is a brilliant one! The story of the ride is the same: you are on a gentle boat trip encountering different kinds of Dinosaurs. But at a certain point it goes wrong. The dinos escape and you have the flee. The ride is beautifully themed and makes me excited. One thing I loved is the change in water speed.
In the beginning it is calm, and the more the rides evolves the more the water is becoming wilder, faster and wetter, with eventually the climax: a +/- 8 meters drop down a slide. The ride is immersive, thrilling, and (also important) wet! It is nice it doesn't use any screens and all the environment is real. Downside is the capacity. The whole day the wait was 80 minutes but I had the idea that they were not working full capacity. Also they were using only 1 lift shaft (there are 2). And that on a busy day.




Are we in Disney? No! Universal also built fairytale castle. This time not for cinderella or aurora, but for Shrek! Here you can visit 'far far away' and discover the land of ogers, fairytales and fairies. The shrek attraction already existed at the other Universal parks, but here they took it to a whole new level. This land is so immersive, and full of theming/detail that you will have a smile on your face.


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The area is full of detail. You can find Shreks house, commercials of the fairy godmother and other little connections to the movies. It really feels like if you are in far far away and everything is themed 360 degrees.


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The latest addition to the park is 'puss in boots giant journey'. It opened in 2015 and is a Zamperla Inverted Coaster with a spiral lift. If you watch an on-ride on youtube it make look really awkward, and a boring ride. But that isn't true. The theming itself is okey, it could be better but it is fine for me. The ride itself is actually powerful.
The ride vehicles hold 9 persons, which is a lot for a single coach. During the drops and turns you can feel that the vehicle is really heavy and that translate itself in G-forces! It is nice that they built an attraction what the whole family can enjoy. Only weird that this ride don't have a single riders line. Because of the 3x3 seating you often have empty seats.


The biggest attraction in far far away is Shrek 4D. Which is located in the giant castle. As you may know Shrek 4D is an ordinary but really fun 3D movie in a cinema like setting. The attraction has moving chairs, water effects, wind, etc. One thing which bothers me is that Universal creates an immersive feeling that you are in far far away and that you are gonna visit the castle. But when you enter the pre show they tell you that you enter the dungeon of lord Farquaad in Duloc.
On one hand I can understand: the attraction already excisted and that essential part is something you can't change. But on the other hand it destroys the immersive feeling. Nevertheless the attraction itself is nice, and something you should not miss. Again Universal announced the expansion and they are gonna built a Super Nintendo Land. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years the castle belongs to peach instead of Shrek.

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The best of the new



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Who doesn't love a view like this? The coasters are built by Vekoma and are both really different. Cylon (grey) is an inverted thrill coaster, with 5 inversions. Human (red) is a more family type ride with no inversions. Human is a solid coaster, but all the attention goes to Cylon. Vekoma really reinvented their inversion coaster. This ride has everything it needs: high speeds, lots of g-forces, cool inversion, and is smooth! I really did not except a ride that good. The new Vekoma restrains are a real plus, and the layout is really unexpected and refreshing. To try Cylon alone is already worth a visit to the park.
Are there thing which can be better? Yes. Universal calls this a duelling coaster in their advertisement, but they don't duel… The 2 coasters dispatch a train when they are ready and don't wait on each other, something which is a shame. It destroys the whole idea of the coasters. Side story: Vekoma had huge problems to get these coasters to work. After a short time they discover hair cracks in the train of human, so all the trains needed to be reinvented. The layout was changed from 4 persons per row to 2 persons. Splitting the capacity in half, but at least the coasters work now after a 2 years closure, and I am truly happy for that because I did not want to miss this yem.

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One last attraction which is amazing is: Live, Camera, Action with Stephen Spielburg. The idea is simple: You are experiencing a category 5 hurricane in New York.The show itself is spectaculair! Fire, water, changing decor, and huge set pieces come and disappear in the 5 minutes of awesomeness.
Comparing attractions can be found in other parks, and sometimes are already removed because they are outdated like Twister or Armegeddon. But this one is so cool, refreshing and new! It was really unexpected and it is one of my favourite attractions in the park.


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This park really surprised me. It is small in size, but great in offering. The park has some of the best attractions, shows and atmosphere in the world. For me personal it was one of the highlights of Singapore, and enjoyed every single minute of my visit. The park feels so different than the other Universal park in the world, and that is something good. But yes the park also has it's downside: the capacity at the attractions is not good, and some attractions could be executed better, but overall this park is amazing. I definitely would visit the park again when I get the chance. So when you in Singapore, go to that paradise Sentosa: you will not regret it!

Greetz,

Bryan

What is your opinion of the park? Would you like to visit this Universal park, or have you already visited it? Let us know in the comment section below!


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