Please help us welcome Nicholas Yau to the MiceChat family. He’ll be covering Universal Studios Singapore for us from time to time and may have other treats for us as well. We are delighted to have him on the team and look forward to seeing what this beautiful little park has to offer. – Dusty
Greetings MiceChat! In my first post, I’ll give you a tour of the new Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase attraction which is the newest ride to open at Universal Studios Singapore.
Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase
This cute little attraction is the world’s first Sesame Street themed dark ride. It takes guests of all ages on an imaginative adventure through space to recover spaghetti which has been stolen by Macaroni the Merciless – the evil villain of this attraction.
This ride is located in the New York area of the park, across the road from Lights, Camera, Action! (a Backdraft-like special effects show). The stretch of building facades, except for the ride’s entrance, were repainted early this year to match the bright and colorful look of the marquee.
Spaghetti Space Chase officially opened on 1st March 2013. Here are some photos of the opening ceremony – featuring a performance of “Another Sunny Day” with Super Grover arriving on top of a building across the street!
This is the park’s first ride opening ceremony which occurred during normal park hours, allowing park guests (especially the young ones) to be part of this special moment. The park also held a Street Carnival during the opening weekend, allowing guests to participate in simple street games and walk away with prizes.
Now, let’s go back to the ride. This is a slow moving family dark ride, which has been crammed into a very tiny show building. When the wait time is anything above 20 minutes, the queue spills out to the streets of New York. Like so:
There’s very little room to queue.
The queue inside the building is really cramped. It is so narrow that most guests won’t be able to absorb all the nice details in the queue. Thankfully, there are video screens to relay the back-story for the ride.
Before we take a ride, let’s take a look at the ride vehicle:
Each vehicle seats 4 guests, 2 per row, with individual lap bars. These “spaceships” are suspended on a track (like Peter Pan at Disneyland) and are able to gently tilt during the ride.
Did you notice the background of the loading area? It’s a long painted mural, like the classic Fantasyland dark rides.
Each row on the ride vehicle is equipped with a video screen, showing Super Elmo. Elmo talks to you during the ride.
On to the ride itself: After leaving the loading platform, the spaceship travels down Sesame Street, with guests playing the role of “Super Sidekicks.” You are being cheered on by several iconic characters in this scene since you’ll be on your way to save the day and retrieve the stolen spaghetti.
Towards the end of the street, Abby Cadabby appears on one of the windows and works her magic – causing the spaceship to float and ascend gently. Our spaceship then turns left after meeting Super Grover.
The scene suddenly changes perspective – this time facing the sky, with boards showing buildings surrounding the ride vehicle. There are a few fancy tricks of strobe lighting and fog, spaceships blast off into the sky with Super Grover. Clouds part and soon our spaceship enters a field of stars.
The next few scenes are set in outer space, which are too dark for me to capture in photos. Super Grover tracks down the spaghetti, but before he could retrieve them, he is captured by Macaroni’s minions. Macaroni uses his ship’s tractor beam to capture our spaceship!
Suddenly, Abby Cadabby appears and uses her magic to rescue the Super Sidekicks! She also leads the spaceships to Macaroni’s Secret Lair…
As the spaceship turns into the lair, the intruder alarm goes off – Oh no! Security cameras show live footage of us drifting into Macaroni’s hideout.
Super Grover is trapped and is being tortured by Macaroni’s minions.Yikes!
Abby Cadabby is heard giggling again, and suddenly the Sesame Street gang teleports into Macaroni’s lair.
In a dramatic scene, all of the Sesame Street friends overwhelm Macaroni and take over his lair. They also send all of the stolen spaghetti back home.
Mission Success! Abby Cadabby sends us back to New York…
In the ride’s final scene, Elmo is happy to have his spaghetti back. With a change of heart, Macaroni is now a waiter, offering Elmo meatballs.
The ride exit leads to Big Bird’s Emporium – one of the new stores selling Sesame street merchandise.
It’s a fun little dark ride for kids – the story is humorous in the typical silly Sesame Street style.
However, Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase is a very short adventure, taking just about 2.5 minutes. The narrative is delivered very rapidly, and the ride has a lot going on in most of the scenes. Add the on-ride video screens, and there is a LOT that guests need to process. There’s never really a dull moment. The attraction also has chirpy music and excellent voice acting from the Sesame Street cast.
The ride would be enhanced with a larger show building – especially for the outer space scenes (the crowd favorite). Unfortunately, the characters in the ride do not resemble their screen counterparts closely enough. They have very limited movement and have a plastic appearance – they remind me of Happy Meal toys – and the jarring mouthpiece lines don’t look good for a ride opening in 2013. This issue is made worse since the characters also appear on video screens (the more fluid and expressive video characters look great but make the animatronics look a bit cheap).
The ride has a lot of scenes, but yet the show building is very, very tiny. In fact, it’s smaller that just the queue for other rides in the par. The space was originally meant as a pre-show for Stage 28, a studio walk-through attraction that was originally planned for Singapore, but never built. It is remarkable that the park managed to build a single-level ride (especially one that simulates space travel) within such a tiny footprint. That means that the ride’s show scenes are narrower, but also brings a benefit – the characters are very close to guests.
Despite not using the latest animatronics or 3D projections, Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase still delights its target audience and is a good addition to the park. It is also the first ride of its kind at Universal Studios Singapore – a theme park that has always been designed to be family-friendly.
The Sesame Street experience at Universal Studios Singapore is not just one dark ride. There are street shows, character breakfast and merchandise stores which accompany this attraction.
We will take a look at another popular attraction at Universal Studios Singapore next month. Stay tuned!
For more Universal Park news from around the globe, join Lee, Tracey & Darren as they discuss all the latest Universal news, rumors and information!
About Nicholas Yau Nicholas loves visiting theme parks and has been frequenting Universal Studios Singapore since it opened its gates. He is now on MiceChat to share what the park on the other side of the globe has to offer. Check out his blog, Dejiki.com, which features trip reports, reviews and photos of theme parks, as well as his other interests.