Universal Studios Singapore
Weekend - $72 (Adult) / $52 (Child)
The USS has a total of 24 attractions, of which 18 are original or specially adapted for the Singapore park. It consists of seven uniquely themed zones based on a blockbuster movie or television show, featuring their own unique attractions, character appearances, dining and shopping areas including the world's tallest Dueling roller coaster.
Universal studios has all the basic stereotypes of a theme park, its enormous roller coaster ride, the merry-go-round and of course the cute and cuddly mascots roaming around. When I first entered into the compound, it was amazing how the whole place felt out of this world and totally disjointed from the city. I guess, it partly helped that the whole place was built in Sentosa, the man-made island off the coast of Singapore. Not a single part of the whole park was not to theme, even the waiters and waitresses in restaurants were dressed up!
After the walking through the entrance, fitted with the signature spinning universal studios globe, immediately one is greeted with the lighthearted architecture of 'Hollywood' street. The place is sectioned neatly into different sections so that upon stepping into a different part of the part it would seem like stepping into a whole new different dimension. Although it is miniature for a theme park, it still has its attractions that would not disappoint tourists. The Battlestar Galactica's Cyclone and Human ride would definitely leave one excited for more, and the indoor roller coaster 'The Mummy's Ride' should definitely not be taken lightly. With the new inclusion of the 'Transformers' ride that opened with Director Micheal Bay gracing the opening, Universal Studios definitely provided me with a whole day of non-stop entertainment.
The crowds at Universal Studios can be very extreme, from days where restaurants are so crowded people are seen standing and eating, from days that are so empty that one feels like a VIP in the park. Whatever the case, this place is worth a visit as it is one of its kind in the region, and its efficiency in the rides is commendable as the queues are usually not too long that they kill the adrenaline before taking the ride.
Apart from the money factor, I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Although some of the rides experience relatively frequent technical glitches, I would think they are worth it. Although it might be too extreme for some, the Battlestar Galactica rides are the most thrilling. Being the most popular rides, the waiting time for these rides are always the longest. They have several 4D rides which are also very popular, namely the Shrek 4D ride and the Transformers 4D ride. These are a must-go!
What’s Universal Studios without mascots? They have many mascots always parading around, although queues to take pictures with them are always very long. However, you will not be disappointed! The mascots are very life-like.
If money is not a problem, then Universal Studios is a must-go for people of all ages!
I'll admit that the rides weren't fantastic, but the experience was definitely an enjoyable one. The rides weren't exceptionally thrilling (as compared to the ones in other countries) but I liked that each and every ride had a "story to tell". I especially liked the Revenge of The Mummies ride which I queued five times for.
The downside is that without an express ticket (which costs more, of course), we had to wait for quite long for some of the rides - I recall waiting close to an hour for the Jurassic Park ride, and by the time it was our turn, the fatigue had started to set in and we didn't enjoy the ride as much as we anticipated we would. So here's a tip: if you're planning to go on a weekend or during the school holidays and don't mind spending a little more cash, it would be best to get the express ticket instead so that you don't waste time queuing for rides!
However, if you go there expecting something of similar scale to Florida Disneyland, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Even with the thronging crowds and long queues, USS can be covered in less than one day. To me, USS felt even smaller than Hong Kong Disneyland. The rides are exhilarating, but there aren’t many. Besides the Battlestar Galatica and the Mummy Ride, the rest of the attractions were more suited for kids.
Despite USS’ small size, I bought a 6 months season pass because it was just so worth it. For students, you only have to top up a mere $14 to upgrade your one day pass to a 6 months season pass. What a steal!
Entering USS lands you at its Hollywood zone, which instantly makes you feel like you’re in another country. One of my favourite aspects of USS it actually its music, which immerses you deeply into the entire experience. My first time here had me waiting ages for all the rides, but once you’ve had enough of the Waterworld shows and know when the next one starts, I guarantee, no waiting times! Take the opportunity to ride the Transformers ride and roller-coasters over and over again, in fairly empty cars.
The best investment for students would have to be their season pass, which gifts students unlimited visits to USS within a 6 month period for a valuable price. Now, let me just find some friends willing to tag along every week...
Would definitely recommend this as a tourist spot to any friends visiting from overseas, unless they're coming from a country that has grander theme parks. USS is a great introductory theme park for someone like me who has never been to other theme parks before, and a fun experience.
They have a good balance between rides that are suitable between kids and young adults. Waiting time for the rides can range from as short as 5 min to as long as 30 min nowadays. Thus, a recommendation for the locals would be to visit the park during the weekdays.
For the past few years, USS has been consistently organising the Halloween nights during the month of October, which has injected fresh perspective to the park. For local couples who are always having trouble thinking about where to go during the weekends, purchasing the annual pass can potentially be a good solution to that. Overall, i would say that it is definitely worth a go for all!
I went USS with a group of friends so I don't mind paying to bond with my close friends. Money aside, the ride are off the hook! To me USS has been the best theme park that I have gone to. We went for the Galaxy ride first from the start and it was so fun beyond words (I kept going for both the red and blue actually) because you can feel the adrenalin rushing through your veins and your heart also dropping out of your body. Also, the transformer ride was so close with the turn and the screens that I felt like it was happen in real life. Others ride like the mummy and the 4D Shrek were also awesome. We took lots of photos too, from Madagascar to transformers. Did I mention that the water show with the pirates and fight was amazing too, their performance was so good that I had my mouth opened the entire show.
It was really a fun place to be for the whole day and to bond with either family or friends or even couples for a date. The price can defiantly be over looked for such amazing rides and things to do and play.
Seeing is believing,
My review title was quite oxymoron-ic, why would someone spend hours queueing after spending good money to get in and do so under the usually hot sun, and when you get hungry, you got to pay more?
In one word, its the experience. USS delivers on what any good theme park would aim to accomplish - to transport you to a unique place that only exist within the area of the theme park.
Once you enter USS, you are not in Singapore, you are not in Sentosa, you are in USS, there is nothing that will remind you about Singapore, expect for maybe the $10 chicken rice, which you should forget trying.
So tip 1, eat before going in, Vivocity certainly has enough food choices to fill your stomach. That way, you will have more money for snacks, which I highly recommend the long Churros at S$3.50.
Once you enter the world of USS, the 7 zones means a whole day of activities. Sure, you got to queue here and there, but you can minimize that by planning.
Tip 2, going there on a day off you took is better going there when everyone else does. One, you already minimize the waiting time, which I feel is wasting time, definitely not worth the S$74 you paid. Sure you could pay S$50 for the express ticket, but at times of peak periods, sometimes there is just too many people who have gotten express tickets.
So then, the weather. You can't really help that, but USS was specifically designed to help with that. So if you feel very hot, head over Sci-Fi city and New York, which are the 2 coolest zones in the park. The Ancient Egypt zone is the hottest given its design and location. Once again, it was designed that way.
As you can tell, the people at USS had done a lot to provide the experience worthy of S$74. And for many people, Singaporeans especially, it will be a place of memorable moments, even despite some various complaints here and there - but then again, isn't that what makes us Singaporean.
Last Tip: With the closure of Battlestar Galactia, USS had lost it's star ride. I am not someone who like roller coasters, so I'd always enjoyed the Transformers ride the most. So I would recommend that as the first ride to take as it is a crowd pleasure. If not, The Mummy roller coaster may help satisfy some of those adrenaline junkies out there.
Thank God for the Child Swap policy where we took turns to mind the child but only queue once. On this occasion, we were there with our extended family and were able to make use of the Child Swap at every ride which experienced a long queue. The first group will queue for their turn at the ride and obtain a special pass from the staff as they approach the start line. When they are done, they give the pass to the second group (who is waiting with the child). With this pass, the second group is able to skip queuing and hop on to the next available ride. I love this concept! Mainly because being the mother of the child, I got to be in the second group and skipped all the queuing.
The entire place is stroller friendly which meant that we didn't have to tear a muscle carrying the toddler the whole day. While there were rides catered to very young children, our Caden didn't make the minimum height requirement for the "kiddiest" ride (about 90cm). However, he did get to experience the Shrek 4-D adventure but was a little irritated with the donkey sneezing in his face.
I was also disappointed to know that the Battlestar Galatica was closed indefinitely. The adrenaline junkie in me just felt incomplete leaving the park without getting on that ride. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the Revenge of the Mummy Ride. I liked the thrill of the darkness and not knowing when the next drop will be, and whether we'll be falling forwards or backwards. The Transformers ride did not excite me as much because it mostly felt like nothing but strong sudden movements in all directions. Be prepared to get wet if you want to get on the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. Depending on your sitting position, you may get drenched.
Water World was disappointing as well even though some of the stunts were good and the cast did their best to put on a great show. However, a technical fault caused us to wait in the humid weather and we almost wanted to leave but they restarted the scene, so we decided to stay till the end.
Food wise, there are many options around, but be prepared to pay tourist prices. We had lunch in the park and dinner at the food street just outside the park. All in all, it was a fun day, but I don't feel the need to do a repeat visit, unless they update their rides.
Having visited the USS for a grand total of 4 times (twice during the USS Halloween Nights event and another 2 times in the daytime), I will attest to its beautiful infrastructure and almost realistic palaces which will no doubt make for great photo taking opportunities. There are also surprisingly more innovative rides such as the Transformers simulation ride which I feel is well worth the lengthy queue time. The indoor roller-coaster "Mummy" ride is also one which should not be missed especially for first timers.
That being said, the USS is still an attraction which should not be missed due to its breathtaking view once you enter the gates. Once the novelty has been lost however, I wouldn't recommend splurging another 60 bucks on it anytime soon unless it promises an absolutely new visiting experience.
1) The Queues - The queues were really long and for popular rides, sometimes we had to wait up to 45 minutes. It was definitely a very tiring process to stand and wait for our turn. Furthermore, the weather was really hot, making the process of waiting unbearable.
2) Ticket prices - The cost for the ticket was way too expensive given the little variety of rides and entertainment offered at the theme park. I wish the tickets could have been more affordable, or USS could offer discounts to students.
3) Food was really expensive and not exactly tasty too.
If USS could improve on these shortcomings of the theme park, I'd definitely have a much better time there
My favourite ride is "The Mummy". Since we has VIP passes, my cousins and I rode it 11 times! Unbelievably, we managed to keep our breakfast well rested in our stomachs. I would recommend buying the VIP pass, especially when it's a busy day, because the queues will be extremely long. A cheaper alternative will be the Express pass, that allows you to stand in a shorter queue, albeit only once. In my opinion, the prices are quite overpriced, so it'll be good if you can get your hands on a promotion deal.
For settling your meals in USS, my loves are the Turkey drumsticks and churros. These are delicious finger foods that you can find in the side stalls along the walkways. If you're looking for a comfortable place to sit down and have a chat, try Mel's Drive-In for affordable burgers and fries. There are other restaurants nearby that offer a selection of seafood to steaks.
Try to time your visit well, so that you can catch the Waterworks show and the Monster Rock, which are one of their best performances. Don't forget to also visit Shrek's castle to watch the one and only 4D short clip starring Shrek and his companions!