i booked the tickets for Universal Studios on Sunday morning. let me warn you first, that it is absolutely impossible to simply go down on the day that you desire to buy tickets and gain entry like a normal movie. i tried booking on Sunday for Monday, and all the tickets were sold out online.
perhaps, i thought that was attributed to the higher likelihood that people would take Monday off as a long weekend and go then since weekday prices are cheaper. but to be on the safe side, i also decided to book online for Wednesday. and meanwhile, i prayed for lovely weather.
the weather definitely delivered, for it was scorching hot the entire day! i was so afraid that my whitening regime for the past 4 months would go to absolute waste. but thanks to SPF 30, and multiple reapplications throughout the day, i manage to remain as fair as i was before haha 😀
anyway, when we went there at 1030am, all the tickets were already sold out at the ticketing booths outside. sometimes, i really have no idea why the booths are there in the first place. why don’t they just tell everyone on their website to book online, rather than create the misconception that tickets can actually be sold on the day you want to go? confusing..
for a weekday ticket, it costs $66, but they give you $5 meal and retail vouchers each. so at the end of the day, at least you get abit of savings on the food or souvenirs you buy in there. food confirm must eat la. but they’re quite smart, making people buy souvenirs just to use the voucher. haha but of course, as you will see later, i’ve had no problem using up the vouchers, i never do 😉
there are a total of 6 different sub themes in the park, first up, Madagascar!
i really expected so much more. but the place mostly only had eateries and a gift shop. the only attractions were a carousel that hardly seemed age-appropriate for us (if i were in another country, i wouldn’t care about being judged la but not in Singapore lol), and a crate adventure that was “Coming Soon” – the two most annoying words you can find in a theme park.
so we skipped it and moved on to Far Far Away!
there was so much more to do here!!! we sat on the Enchanted Airway ride, which is the Shrek dragon going at a ridiculously fast speed. wussy me screamed my lungs out because the butterflies in my stomach were threatening to bust out. hahahaha roller coasters are never for me man. but it was fun nonetheless, definitely must try!
halfway through, we managed to catch Shrek and Fiona for a phototaking session!
and there was also Shrek 4D Adventure, which combines a 3D animated video with simulator seats, water sprays, wind and mist. FREAKING. AWESOME. this is like the best and most realistic 4D shows i’ve seen in my life, although the 3D glasses not so good la, made me dizzy. but seriously, this is a 4.5 out of 5 stars attraction, dont go = waste money.
moving on, we went to The Lost World,
kns, they closed the Rapids Adventure ride, which is the one i’ve been dying to sit since forever!!! it’s the dino raft ride where you’re supposed to get really wet at the end. omg we even bought ponchos from Vivo Watsons specially for this. grr…..hate you Universal Studios.
instead, we made do with some silly kiddy ride called the Dino-Soarin. hahaha!!
later on in the day, we also went back to sit the Canopy Flyer, a 45 minute long queue because each turn only sits 12 people. ugh my nerves got the better of me again and i was unable to keep my cool, so again, i was screaming at the slightest dip in height or increase in speed. i won’t say it’s that awesome though because the ride lasted only a minute long, so i don’t suppose it was worth the long wait. but aiyar, just try la.
adjacent to the Lost World is Waterworld, which is a show exhibit that screens only three times a day. we happened to be around the area at 1.4opm, so we decided to start queuing to watch the 2pm show.
the auditorium is cutely designated 3 different zones, the blue, green and grey. the blue zone represents the SOAKED zone, means confirm get wet. green represents the Splash zone, means Might get wet. and grey is if you are boring and a pussy, you go sit there.
we sat at the green, haha not so stupid go and easily get splashed by people. all the latecomers who didn’t read instructions very well or didn’t listen to the announcements carefully were all making their way to the front and trying to get a very awesome front-row seat. unfortunately, they got super-soaked by the angmoh actors along the way bahahaha!!! LOSER!
i think the show was a cautionary tale about what happens when polar ice-caps melt and everywhere is flooded. apparently they were all pirates on the lookout for dry land or some nonsense, i was mainly amazed by the pyrotechnics, jet-skiing skillz, and the female actress’ bulging biceps.
i suppose this was a different approach than the conventional police academy show that is usually shown in other Universal Studios Themeparks. but i think they really need to switch the storyline abit. it was a rather lame attempt to instill environmental consciousness in people. honestly, i dont think it worked. besides, i don’t suppose splashing water at audience members is a very environmentally conservative thing to do lol!
we had lunch at the Discovery Food Court, which is a very very organized food court that is so typically Singaporean! hahaha, first you had to queue in a general queue, look at the menu displayed above the 2 food stalls, make your decision. and by the time you’re in the front of the line, you’re supposed to know what you’re going to order. and the guide will direct you to the individual stall queues to make your order.
freaking efficient right??? haha but the queuing process took about 15 to 20 minutes, and some people were quite pissed. but the guide was extremely PR and apologetic about the whole situation. i think these people need to see the bigger picture la. if there was no organisation, everyone will just chiong and it would be absolute chaos. no one would get their food or enjoy their meal there.
after lunch, we moved on to the Ancient Egypt,
the best attraction here is the Revenge of the Mummy. although this was the only ride that was very strict about you renting a locker to keep all your bags and loose articles. obviously because if you brought them along, you wouldn’t ever see them again at the end of the ride.
the locker system is also extremely efficient. it is all computer operated, much like the ezlink system haha. you just have to wait for an vacant computer, go over and input your bday, and favourite colour as the passcode. after which, the machine selects the locker for you and you put your stuff in. the lockers are free for the first 30 minutes, and thanks to the presently empty attraction, we managed to make it out in time without being charged a single cent for the lockers! 😀
Revenge of the Mummy is and indoor roller coaster, and is very similar to the Scooby Doo ride in Australia’s Movieworld. that ride was a very traumatic experience for me because i really thought it was like a little tour in the dark through scooby’s world. basket, end up kenna thrown from left to ride, back to front, in a crazy ass indoor roller coaster. i thought i would never live to be 21. but here i am, still intact, and much more cautious when it comes to indoor rollercoasters.
of course this time i was also screaming like a wussy. i managed to go on for 10 seconds just shrieking my lungs out. by the time i stop to get air, i’m sent plummeting down an endless abyss yet again. and i have to quickly suck in as much oxygen as i can for another round of screaming.
my eyes were shut for the most of it. haha pretty much a reflex response to any kind of thrill rides. i saw a blinding flash of light from under my shut lids halfway through, so i knew it was the camera. hahaha heng i didn’t look as constipated as i did from the Scooby Doo rollercoaster candid shot 5 years back. although, jeremy did look hilarious because he was screaming and opening his eyes so wide, just to prove to me that it’s possible to do both at the same time. but $15 for the picture, when we only occupied like a tiny fraction of it, was not worth buying. anyway, i’m pretty sure the memory of the photo has been well-seared into my mind haha!
definitely the most thrilling ride of the day. this one also dont go = waste money!!!
other than that, Ancient Egypt has another attraction called Treasure Hunters, where you can sit on a jeep that moves at a snail’s pace around a designated track through what is supposedly an Egyptian excavation site. queue was an hour long so forget it.
guess what we found trotting through Ancient Egypt though!
the next world we came to was Sci-Fi city, which honestly, is a waste of space ever since Battlestar Galactica shut down. but i won’t complain too much because i wouldn’t dare take the ride even if it were opened, and i’m even more relieved that i won’t need to be pressured into a suicide mission.
the only attraction here is the Accelerator, which is a sci-fi version of the usual teacup spinner.
honestly, i have no idea what Battlestar Galactica really is. it’s completely unknown to my generation, except perhaps a select few. so the store selling all the Battlestar merchandise seemed hardly interesting to me, compared to say, maybe the Shrek or Madagascar merchandise stores.
now we enter New York! which is a street with numerous re-created sights that you can usually find in a stereotypical street of New York. although, i should add that it’s with respect to the old school New York, maybe the 50s to 90s?
nothing much to do in this world. with all the pseudo streets, there wasn’t much space for an attraction, except the “Lights, Camera, Action!” hosted by Steven Spielberg. of course not the man in person, his opportunity cost to work in Singapore’s Universal studios is probably equivalent to the entire park’s weekly revenue. the show is basically a demonstration of the amazing sound and special effects that productions commonly use to create movie magic. we all stood in a viewing gallery and witness a cat 5 hurricane terrorizing the city of New York. there was intensely hot fire just 2 metres away from us, water simulating rain, and a displaced ship, that was almost 3 storeys tall, crashing in at the end. quite amazing la, just not captivating enough. a boat ride would’ve been more exciting, like the Universal Studios in LA, where it takes you past broken bridges, Jaws lurking in the waters right next to you and a haunted mansion. well, but i dont suppose Singapore would have the space for it.
and while i can’t seem to differentiate between New York and the next world, we apparently did transition from the city streets to the glamour of Hollywood.
i’m such a sucker for mascot photos because i believe that since photos are the only free things that you bring home, you should maximize the number of unique photo opportunities to make your money’s worth. so everytime i see a mascot walking by, i will faster drag jeremy over to join the queue of eager beavers before the mascot’s escort (haha rhymes) goes at the back of the line and ends the queue. it happened with kung fu panda )): because we were too late…
and now i shall talk about the bit of retail therapy i did there. no shopping escapes me, not even in the form of souvenirs! but not bad la, compared to the normal tacky souvenirs that themeparks usually have, at least the Shrek and Madagascar toys were really cute. my favourite Shrek character of all time is Gingy!!!! because of his high voice and weird antics. so i wee bit nuts with the Gingy merchandise…
i bought a gingy stuffed toy for $13.90 and a gingy head cushion for $23.90, but in the end i used the $10 retail voucher and made quite abit of savings! (: now i have two extra toys to hug to sleep at night!
ooh btw, within the potion store itself is a mini ferris wheel! much like the one in Genting. but the carriages look too claustrophobic for adults to go on la, so we didn’t bother. the Donkey statue in front of the ferris wheel was more exciting instead LOL
it actually took me 4 whole hours to blog about this, spread out over two days because i’m back at work and i only have so little time to spare at night. i already miss the place, and i hope that the next time i go back, the other exciting attractions would be opened for me! except Battlestar, that one i don’t care, i don’t want to die young…
overall i rate the experience 4 out of 5!
deduct 1 for closing my favourite jurassic park exhibit,
add one for closing the battlestar LOL,
deduct 1 again for zero Madagascar mascots making their appearance,
add one for the excellent efficiency of everything,
finally, deduct 1 for rude and boisterous tourists.
that’s all folks! save up and hope you’ll get a chance to visit there soon!