Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All you need to know about Universal Studio Singapore Part 1

Last week, we went to the newly opened Universal Studio in Singapore. It was not as crowded as we expected. Perhaps it was not a weekend. 

It is very easy to get there via MRT. Hop onto the nearest MRT station from your hotel and get to Harbour Front Station. There are several ways to get to Universal Studio from here. The most convenient is via the Sentosa Express. 

Sentosa Express Station is located at 3rd floor of Vivo City Shopping Mall adjacent to the MRT station. The cost is SGD3 flat rate for child / adult. However, you still need to purchase the tickets individually despite it being the same rate. Return trip is free of charge.

It took us less than 10 minutes to get to Universal Studio from here. We reached Universal Studio at about 10.00am in the morning.


Operating Hours : 10.00am to 7.00pm It was not very crowded at the ticketing counters because more than 10 ticketing booths were opened that day. However, it is advisable to book your tickets online if you are planning to go on the weekends. The park controls number of visitors per day. Usually, tickets would be sold out by late morning / noon on weekends.

Operating Hours
For now, with several attractions not ready (frankly, we were very disappointed with this ...), one day pass is enough. If you go the right strategy (please read "Tips to beat the Crowd" below), one day pass is mooore than enough.   

Universal Express - unless you really hate queueing, it is not really necessary. The extras you are getting are waiting time not more than 5 minutes per ride and you get to enjoy the performances at VIP seats (best spots).

As most of rides are quite challenging, I personally think that it is not very suitable for children 5  or 6 years old and below as compared to Disneyland. So if you happen to bring young children along, be prepared to skip quite a number of rides / performances.

In the month of May 2010, each ticket purchased will be complemented by a SGD10 meal voucher in any restaurants in Universal Studio Singapore plus a SGD5 souvenir voucher.

Though the operating hours is until 7pm, Hollywood Boulevard (mainly retails shops and restaurants) extends their operating hours till 9pm on Friday and Saturdays. But, on the day of our visit, the shops and restaurants in Hollywood Boulevard remained open until about 8.00pm as there were still plenty of customers in the shops. 

Tips to beat the Crowd

1. Watch where the big crowd are moving (especially those comes via tour agencies) . Avoid them!

2. Go against traffic.

3. Pick up the latest performance schedule, decide which time slot you intend to go before you start your journey. Clear them off your list as early as possible so you will not need to stop in the middle of rides and rush for another show. The park is really not that big, it is absolutely alright to walk back and forth from one area to the other.

4. Have early lunch - just before 12noon will be good.

5. Skip rides (I mean only rides, not performances) in The Lost World and Ancient Egypt during noon time. That is the time when crowd from both sides (ie. via New York / via Madagascar) meet. Come back after 4.30pm. 

6. Skip the retail shops along Hollywood Boulevard and head straight to either Madagascar / New York depends on where the crowd are moving. Come back later for shopping.

7. If you have particular interest in certain characters within the park ie. Dinosaur, Madagascar etc., do find some time to visit the small retail shops within the area itself as some of the merchandise may not be available at the Hollywood Boulevard shops.

8. Wear comfortable shoes preferably flat and tied shoes as some rides may require you to suspend in the air.

Hollywood Boulevard and New York
As you entered the park, you will be welcomed by many lovely shops and restaurants offering attractive merchandises. That is the Hollywood Boulevard. As they will remain open until 8.00pm at night, it is a good idea to drop by later before heading home.

Next, you will come to a junction where to your left is Madagascar and to your right is the New York / Sci-Fi City. When we were there, we went to the right because we saw many people heading to the left. Remember to avoid big crowd.

Head straight to Pantages Hollywood Theater in Hollywood Boulevard if you can catch the first show at 10.30am. Otherwise, catch the next one that suit your time.

Next, diagonally opposite the Pantages Hollywood Theater is Lights, Camera, Action! in New York, hosted by Steven Spielberg. This is a MUST-NOT-MISSED!!

However, young children may not enjoy this. It creates loud bangs, strong winds, huge things swaying from one end to the other.... but really fantastic!

That's basically all you can get in New York because Stage 28 was not ready at the point of our visit.

There are also outdoor performances in front of the Palace (Street Dance) and the Pantages Hollywood Theater (Kowabunga) at 11.00am and 11.45am respectively. If you want to learn how to do street dancing, then don't miss the 11.00am performance. 

Street Dance at 11am

Kowabunga at 11.45am

  • The performance was alright initially but it was a bit too length though.

Sci-Fi City

As everybody must have known by now, the Battlestar Galactica was not operational, therefore only one attraction left to enjoy in this area. The Accelerator. It is just like the teacup rides. It sways more and more as you turn your steering... Nothing new really. So, if you really have not enough time to take this ride, you can just give it a miss! 

Ancient Egypt

When we arrived Ancient Egypt, it was almost noon.  We could see the crowd were building up. Treasure Hunters were very very crowded.

This is one of the easy rides. Young children will definitely enjoy this. But, we skipped this and headed for lunch as the waiting time was 45 minutes!

Remember, get to the restaurant just before 12noon!. 

We saved a lot of queueing and waiting time because the majority of the crowd were still enjoying their rides when we had our "peaceful" lunch.

The other attraction in Ancient Eygpt, Revenge of the Mummy was not that popular. My girl is 8 years old. She is qualified for the ride (need to be at least 122cm height). Unfortunately, she is kind of timid. Therefore, we skipped this one too. My friend told me that it was really fun and SCARY!!! So, if you are ready for the excitement, don't miss this one.

Click here to All you need to know about Universal Studio Singapore Part II

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