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  1. #1

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    Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    *Edit* I have added a few photos below:

    I have been in Singapore for the past 8 days on a business trip. As a result I decided to make certain that I got a chance to take in the Universal Studios here since I'd probably never have the chance to do so again. So I hopped in a cab and traveled to the Sentosa Resort where the park is located at. I've taken a large number of photos and video that I'm in the process of trying to get uploaded online so that I can share them, but as my internet in my hotel is not very good and I have two days of flying before I get back home starting in about 4 hours, it will probably be a few days before I can show those. However I did want to share my thoughts on the park. If I can get a few of the photos up I will attach them, but do look for a more thorough trip report (including some of the amazing sites in Singapore) in a later thread if you're interested.

    All in all, I really enjoyed my trip to the Universal Studios here, and while I wouldn't fly all the way across the globe just to see it, if you are nearby and can easily do so I would recommend doing so. While it has its flaws, it has enough positives and unique attractions to make it worth a trip. It is definitely the best themed Universal park I have ever seen (rivaling the detailed theming found in any Disney park I've ever visited, do note that I have never visited Tokyo and from the photos I've seen, its not close to that park, but what other park is). In addition, its also the cleanest theme park I've seen anywhere, but that probably has to do with its location in Singapore. I've never visited a city so intent on cleanliness. The train stations are so clean you could eat off the floors, but having such strict laws that littering can get you fined 1000 dollars can do that.

    Lets get to the details. Universal Singapore is located at the entrance to a much larger resort named Sentosa Resort World. Sentosa includes not only the Universal Studios, but several hotels, restaurants, shops, casinos, and a myriad of other extra cost attractions such as their night time show (Songs of the Sea) which I saw earlier in the week. But I digress, I'll touch on the Sentosa portions in my full update. Universal itself is divided into 7 uniquely themed lands. They include Hollywood, Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, and New York.

    Once you pass by the Universal Globe and through the admission gates, you are dropped into Hollywood which serves as the park's "Main Street". This area is full of stores, a few restaurants, character meet and greets, and one attraction (Monster Rock) all themed to various Hollywood buildings. Most of them look exactly as we have seen in other Universal parks (such as The Dark Room, Pantages theater, Brown Derby, etc...). The one unique aspect of this park is that much of Hollywood and New York are covered with a roof as it does rain here quite often. There was nothing new here to report on that I haven't seen in other parks before, but the theming was quite detailed and the roof didn't detract from the theme quite as much as I imagined, although it does effect it a bit.

    Madagascar is an amazingly detailed land, themed to the movie of the same name. I was very, very impressed with the level of detail seen here. Speakers were themed as crates from the movie, light fixtures as coconut shells, benches were covered in bamboo thatch coverings, and everywhere you looked you saw tropical plants, flowers, hangings, etc... as well as characters from the movie hidden throughout. The main attraction of this land is the dark ride titled Madagascar: A Crate Adventure. This is an incredibly detailed ride housed inside a massive cargo ship that is visible from the entire park. While this is no E-ticket attraction, it is a very solid D-ticket family attraction, and one that I rode multiple times today. It is a boat ride through very detailed 3d sets populated with minimally articulated animatronics and video. Had the animatronics been of a higher quality I would have rated it an E-ticket, but as it is I would very much like to see this ride take residence in Toon Lagoon in Islands of Adventure as that park desperately needs a family friendly dark ride of this caliber.

    The next land that I visited was Far Far Away which is themed entirely to the Shrek Universe. Again, the theming is incredibly detailed and the land is dominated by a massive castle which looks exactly as it does in the movie. Everywhere that you look, you see detailed theming and jokes from the films. The only downside to the land is that the main attraction doesn't live up to the beautiful castle that it is housed in as it is just the same tired Shrek 4D adventure we have seen numerous times before. That castle really deserves something more than this re-tread and I hope that some day it gets something worthy of being housed in such a beautiful building.

    The other attractions found in Far Far Away are much smaller, but worthwhile. Enchanted Airways is a charming coaster aimed at children (and those, like me, who don't like large roller coasters). The level of theming found in this childrens coaster is amazing, blowing away anything Disney has ever done in this type of ride before (especially compared to the new Goofy Coaster at DCA). The ride actually includes a few small animatronics (Such as a pinochio who's nose grows as he tells you how safe the ride is) and other small audio queues. I was amazed at the level of detail they put into such a small attraction. The other two attractions were Donkey Live (Basically Turtle Talk with Crush) and Potion spin (a very small, kiddie ride housed inside the main shop of the land).

    Leaving Far, Far Away we enter the Lost World which houses two major themes in the WaterWorld show and Jurassic Park. Water World is exactly as its counterpart in California, but a wonderful addition to the park. I kept thinking about how much I wish this ride would take up residence in Orlando where the Fear Factor show currently resides. While the movie it is based on is awful, the show is a lot of fun and I'd love to experience it more often.

    The Jurassic Park section is familiar but different. Instead of Jurassic Park River Adventure, we have Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure which a similar concept, is a different ride type. This version sends you down the river in a more typical theme park circular raft vehicle which induces much spinning and a slightly different ending where you ride up an elevator and are attacked by a T-Rex before plummeting below. While a nice attraction, I definitely have to give the edge to the US version. It was quite a bit shorter than the US versions, and I dislike the circular rafts greatly as I feel that it detracts from the theme slightly, plus I hate spinning through the whole ride. It also runs the risk of getting you much, much wetter than the Orlando version has ever gotten me as I was completely soaked from head to toe. The rest of Jurassic Park is also a bit different as it houses Canopy Fliers (a bigger version of Florida's Pteranadon fliers) which includes great views of the park, and Dino Soarin, a cute spinner ride. In addition, it also houses an extra charge wall climb and The Discovery Center (which is only a food court here).

    After leaving Jurassic Park you enter Ancient Egypt which is an incredibly well themed land. I can't help but think that this is how it should have been done in the US. Putting the Revenge of the Mummy ride in New York in Orlando just doesn't fit, but it would have been much nicer to have an actual Egypt themed land as they've done here. This land only includes two attractions, but both are well done. The main attraction is their take on Revenge of the Mummy which doesn't pretend to be a movie set here, but an actual tour through an archeological dig. While I like the storyline better than the US's version, the ride is actually not as good. Its quite a bit shorter, and doesn't have the backwards portion that Florida pulls off so well. The second ride is a cute ride called Treasure Hunters which allows children (or Adults) to drive a small truck through Egypt and past several dangers encounters such as Crocodiles, Cobras, hippos, and a dig site which is being overrun by Scarab Beatles.

    While I had felt that a few of the rides had been a bit shorter than I would have liked, up until this point I had been very impressed with the park, unfortunately, the last two lands are a bit disappointing (although that may change with the addition of The Transformers later this year). The next land is Sci-Fi City which only houses two attractions, and very little theming. In addition, both attractions are thrill rides which really reduces the number of people who can enjoy the land. The first is Battlestar Galactica a dueling roller coaster pitting Humans against the Cylons. The second is a tea cup type ride called "The Accelerator". While the rest of the park is incredibly well themed, this area currently feels incomplete and cheap as, in addition to the two attractions there is only one shop in the land (the Battlestar Galactica shop) and no eating areas. I have hopes that this area will improve greatly once The Transformers ride arrives later this year however.

    The last land of the park is New York, and while the sets are very detailed as they are in other parks it is hampered by a number of issues. There is only one attraction, a very small special effects show titled Lights Camera Action, and a few restaurants and shops. In addition, the entire area is covered with a roof which does seem to detract from the theme here more than I noticed In the Hollywood section. The Lights, Camera, Action show is enjoyable however. It is similar to Twister and Backdraft as it uses special effects to emulate a category 5 hurricane hitting New York City as we watch. It is done well, and serves the purpose as a smaller C ticket type attraction. Unfortunately the land needs at least one more attraction to feel complete which it does not currently have.

    All in all, the park is very impressive, and once Transformers opens, will definitely feel like a full day park (With the use of express pass I was finished by about 5:00 PM after the park opened at 10:00 AM). The park has incredibly detailed theming in most areas, a good slate of rides, and a few things that you can't find anywhere else in the world (such as the Madagascar Crate Adventure ride, Donkey Live, and Treasure Hunters) which make it worth a visit. On the other hand, it does sit on a very small plot of land, with very little room for future expansion. As a result, there is no room for theme transitions and the different lands constantly encroach into each others themes quite often. As a result, you never quite feel whisked away to an exotic location as the visual intrusions keep ripping away the illusion. With the lands pushed so close together around a very small lake, the park at times seems a bit claustrophobic and cluttered, with too many themes competing and no cohesive vision taking precedence as it does in all the other Universal parks I've visited in the past. Unfortunately, the size of the land is not something they will be able to change (Singapore is a very, very small country and land comes at a premium) and they have done the very best that can be done with what they have to work with.

    All in all, it is a very nice park and I really enjoyed myself today. I wish I had had someone to share it with (as I was by myself) but I would go back again if I find myself back in Singapore in the future. I do recommend it to anyone who will be nearby.
    Last edited by kcnole; 07-09-2011 at 10:17 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    Looking forward to seeing the pictures!
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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    I've managed to get a few quick photos up to share. I'll try to get a more comprehensive post up in a few days.

    Entrance:





    Madagascar:




    Far Far Away:







    Lost World:







    Ancient Egypt:







    Sci-Fi City:





    New York:






  4. #4

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    I think USH should trap places with this Universal....looks much better

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    Wow! I'd love to check out the Singapore park but probably would need it to be on a business trip as well. It looks great!

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    The Revenge of the Mummy is a Clone of the Florida counterpart.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    Quote Originally Posted by knottslover77 View Post
    The Revenge of the Mummy is a Clone of the Florida counterpart.
    It's actually quite different from the Florida version. Its not themed as a movie set, but an actual tomb. Instead of the mummy attacking the movie, we're trying to escape from a real tomb and to do so we must find the book of the living to defeat the mummy. In addition to the storyline being different from the FL version, it seems to be much shorter and doesn't have the fake exit.

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    Fantastic report. Really looking forward to your photos and video!!!

    Amazing to think that companies other than Disney are capable of building parks this detailed. In fact, in many respects the park looks much better than Disney's studio parks.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    Interesting changes to the story line. I am not a fan of the fake movie set theme here at UO, but I am a fan of the Fake exit. That seems to get people on their first time.

    Can you give us a point by point walk through of the Mummy ride there?
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    Re: Visited Universal Studios Singapore today

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    Interesting changes to the story line. I am not a fan of the fake movie set theme here at UO, but I am a fan of the Fake exit. That seems to get people on their first time.

    Can you give us a point by point walk through of the Mummy ride there?
    I don't remember the whole thing but the ride has these general scenes.

    1. Enter the tomb, see writing on the wall telling you that you have to find the book of the living if you want to survive.

    2. An animatronic lying on a table warns you to leave or die, then the mummy turns around and tells you that there's no escape.

    3. Enter the treasure chamber where you are tempted with fortune if you join the mummy or die if you resist (Identical to the FL version).

    4. Enter the second chamber where the mummy's face is displayed on the wall telling you that you made the wrong choice and you'll never escape, beatles are released and your car is shot backwards, but for only a short distance (long enough for the track to rotate).

    5. You are shot forward through the main coaster portion, entering hell or whatever those scenes represent.

    6. You end up in a room where you see the book of the living lying on a shelf.

    7. Exit past a room where the mummy has been entombed once again. You hear the mummy fighting to get out and he tells you that you may have won this time but he'll rise again.

    I may have missed or slightly mis-remembered a scene. Its very similar to the FL version. I like the storyline better, but I miss the length and the fake ending from the FL version instead.

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