Contributor: Melvin Corales
Having been able to visit the Happiest Place on Earth last year, it is a no brainer to visit its rival theme park – The Universal Studios. Our trip to Singapore last August 15th-19th won’t be complete without paying a visit to this world class theme park.
Having the tagline “Ride the Movies”, Universal Studios will take you on a journey behind movie magic. Coming from a person working in a Broadcasting Company and very much familiar with all the “behind the scenes”, this is pretty awesome.
Singapore’s Universal Studios occupies 20 hectares, 8 hectares smaller than that of Hong Kong Disneyland. Universal Studios has seven themed lands – Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away, and Madagascar.
Okay let’s break things down here.
With palm trees greeting you when you enter the park, it will make you feel that you are really in Hollywood. Based in 1970s Hollywood Boulevard, this themed land will take you on the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown. Replicating Hollywood Walk of Fame plus the addition of great architecture, Hollywood is indeed a good show in itself. Wait! Did I say glamour? Well, keep a look out, you might bump into Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Frankenstein, and many more. This land also houses the Universal Store offering wide selection of merchandise. If you are tired of shopping, you can also enter restaurants offering food from all over the world.
Overall Hollywood Verdict: Like!
Themed after the modern day New York, this zone will transport you to the Big Apple. Completing the land with a replica of the New York Public Library, the famous New York subway, and other meticulously architectured structure, New York zone is amazingly picturesque in any angle. This zone also houses the Lights! Camera! Action! attraction hosted by Steven Spielberg. This attraction will take you behind the camera and look through a movie studio and transform an entirely empty space to anything you imagined it to be. Lights! Camera! Action! was such a great show. As audience enter the studio set up as a boathouse, the director will then shout “Roll Cameras”, the scene will depict a hurricane about to hit New York City, the audience will be immersed in a realistic situation that involves rain with different intensities, wind blows, and fire ending with a huge splash.
Lights! Camera! Action! Verdict: Like!
Overall New York Verdict: Like!
What is a theme park without a thrill ride? And mind you, this zone of Universal Studios does not fall short of thrill and adrenaline. Housing Transformers:The Ride, and Battlestar Galactica which is the tallest duelling coaster in the world (which is closed at the time of our visit, so disappointing), prepare yourself in a battle of epic proportions. The kids will also love this place because of the ride Accelerator which is designed for people not really into extreme rides. Watch out for Bumblebee and Optimus Prime when you are in this zone. The Transformers:The Ride attraction at Universal Studios introduces a new Autobot called Evac. And guess who is gonna play Evac? Yes, the riders. Once you enter the loading station, prepare yourself for the battle of your life. Help Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and the other Autobots in a quest to protect the AllSpark from Megatron and the Decepticons in this high speed motion simulator ride with extremely realistic environment.
Transformers:The Ride Verdict: Like!
After an entire morning of adrenaline rush, exploring movie magic, and meeting Hollywood celebrities, we filled ourselves at Starbot Cafe: Human Refueling Center. Food are fine, quite tasty, 14SGD, quite pricey actually. End of story.
Overall Sci-Fi City Verdict: Like!
The taste of the food? Like! The price? Not so much!
Set in the 1930s Ancient Egypt, this zone is straight forward the moment you pass the Egyptian Statues. Relying heavily on the Mummy movie franchise, no wonder it is the center attraction of this themed land. Offering food and beverages, retail outlet, and whole lot of experience, this zone, although hot, has got to be one of my favorite zones in the park. The ride Revenge of the Mummy is inspired by the Mummy movie franchise, this ride will make you twist and turns, go backwards, drop and accelerate from 0 to 45 miles an hour. Revenge of the Mummy is a dark ride that will take you on a mission to find the Book of the Living. Designed with real flames with surprising drops, this attraction is one of a kind. Just don’t scream too much especially at the longest drop of the ride, unless you want to see your mouth wide open when you see the in-ride photos at the computer outside.
Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride Verdict: Like!
The Lost World
This zone is divided into two areas: the Jurassic Park and the Waterworld. The two lands are as simple as what you call them, Jurassic Park being themed after the Jurassic Park franchise and the Waterworld is based on a Kevin Costner movie. Located in the Jurassic Park land are some thrill rides such as the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, Canopy Flyer, Dino-Soarin’ and some activities such as rock climbing and many more. Waterworld, on the other side is a stadium where cast members are doing excerpts from the movie Waterworld. The Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure is a typical water raft ride, guests pass some attractions, mainly of course-dinosaurs. When danger happened, guests are supposed to enter Outpost B but because of heavy flooding, they entered a broken fenced area filled with dinosaurs. The raft then enters the Hydroelectric plant filled with giant creatures, the ride comes to a halt and guests are suddenly pulled upward before making a big slide and soaking the riders. This is a good ride but as Randy Jackson said “I’m not jumping up and down”.
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure Verdict: Hmmm. I won’t subscribe
Waterworld Show This 20 minute show is indeed a must-see. Action-packed scenes, death defying stunts, and amazing pyrotechnic make this show one of a kind. Do not ever miss this if you visit Universal Studios. Oh wait… For more excitement, try sitting at the nearest part of the stadium, you’ll feel the splash… Literally.
Waterworld Verdict: Like!
Overall The Lost World Verdict: Hmmm. like! with a small L
Far Far Away
To tell you honestly, I thought Shrek was actually Disney’s. Anyway, this is the zone of Universal Studios wherein if you don’t know anything about Universal, you would think it is built for a royalty. No offense but Shrek’s castle was by far more intricate looking and bigger than the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland. Though not placed in a best possible position, I mean, if I were a Universal creative, I would give it a nice landscape in front and a grand feel to it. Another good thing about this castle is that it is also an attraction and not just a walkway. The Shrek 4-D Adventure is located inside the Shrek’s Castle, a huge cinema will greet you hello. When Shiela told me that this is Transformers level, I kind of expected too much. But just like the Jurassic Park Ride, I was not really ecstatic when I got out of the cinema, the cool temperature inside made me took a nap that I lost the story. It was entertaining at first but me having a nap was a sign that I was not that happy with it. But all in all it is a good addition to the park.
Shrek 4-D Adventure Verdict: a so-so Like!
Overall Far Far Away Verdict: I’ll give it a Like! Because of Shrek’s Castle’s impeccable appearance.
Get ready to take on the adventures of the zoo animals escaping from Central Park and accidentally landing into the island of Madagascar. Lush trees in this zone are good additions, they add calmness and can make you feel cooler. Apparently the smallest zone in Universal Studios, but still one of the more beautifully crafted. In this land, two attractions take on the centerstage. Since we are tired of carousels, we chose the crate ride called the Madagascar: A Crate Adventure. The Madagascar: A Crate Adventure is a boat ride that will take you to some scenes seen in the Madagascar movie franchise. This might be as simple as it is, but watch out and don’t be too relaxed because you might find yourself on the verge of traversing a waterfall. And mind you, that waterfall wants the spotlight. well, we bought it, so whatever. It was a good laugh actually.
Madagascar: A Crate Adventure Verdict: I won’t click Like! But was a good laugh.
Overall Madagascar Verdict: Hmmm. It is a so-so. But the kids will love this zone for sure.
Overall Universal Studios Singapore Verdict: Like! Definitely.
Universal Studios Singapore might be smaller than its American siblings but it does not fall short of thrill and excitement. If action-packed, state-of-the-art rides are what you are looking for, then this place is perfect for you. Just prepare your sunglasses for the scorching sun and you are good to go. To tell you frankly, 10:00AM-7:00PM is not enough if you want to try all the rides but it could be good as the guests will have a reason to come back. This is definitely not my last visit to this place. What makes this place even better is that if it has more shaded part. But all in all, this place is perfect for the everyone, from six to fifty-six years old, everyone will definitely enjoy.
Universal Studios Singapore is located at 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269
Park Operating Hours: 10AM-7PM