Over the years since its inception in 2011, I’ve visited Universal Studios Singapore (USS) quite a number of times and tried almost all the rides (strangely enough, never once was the Battlestar Galactica ride open on any of my visits). I didn’t think I needed another visit until Traveloka launched a huge sale promoting attractions under the Resorts World Sentosa management (that’s where I got super affordable tickets to the S.E.A. Aquarium as well). After the stacking of promo codes, I ended up paying a grand total of $7 for two adult tickets to USS, crazy good value!
Given the covid situation, operational changes were to be expected. The park was only open from Thursdays to Sundays between 12pm to 7pm with guest capacity restrictions (do refer to their website for the most updated opening hours before heading down). Certain rides, performances, street entertainment and dining outlets were unavailable until further notice. Ride timings were also staggered so I used the information from this link to plan a maximally efficient itinerary 😛 This time round, my husband and I didn’t necessarily have to make a prior reservation online (as per Resorts World Sentosa policy) since our tickets were for a fixed date. However, being the risk-averse person I am, I figured I might as well reserve our slots to avoid any complications arising on the day itself.
- 1-day entry tickets to Universal Studios Singapore
- Spent: SGD$7 (for 2 tickets)
It was apparent from the moment we arrived at the entrance that we weren’t going to have to squeeze with the usual pre-covid USS crowds. I mean, the fact that I could take a photo of the iconic Universal Studios globe with barely a soul in the background says a lot. Thanks to the limited operating capacity of the park, wait times were also generally shorter (the longest wait was 20 minutes for the Revenge Of The Mummy ride, compared to 45 to 60 minutes previously). Do note that staff were rather strict in directing guests to be safely distanced by standing in the yellow boxes marked out on the floor (I was secretly loving the personal space). Another thing to be mindful of is that lightning warnings can result in outdoor rides being closed for an unpredictable length of time (we waited for as long as 20 minutes for one of the warnings to be lifted).
Now for the ride experiences! I shall attempt to classify them according to my thrill tolerance, which is not particularly high (heh) so do calibrate this list as needed. These are the chill rides:
– Accelerator (a speedier version of spinning teacups)
– Dino-Soarin’ (a spinning ride where you can control your “dinosaur” to move up or down)
– King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round (a merry-go-round with different characters to sit on)
– Madagascar: A Crate Adventure (a slow-moving indoor river boat ride)
– Puss In Boots’ Giant Journey (a roller coaster with heights and some gentle drops)
– Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase (an indoor special effects ride with some gentle inclines)
– Treasure Hunters (a self-driving motor car ride with some gentle inclines)
Moving on to the moderately thrilling rides:
– Canopy Flyer (an aerial, leg-dangling, moderate-speed roller coaster with heights and some thrilling turns)
– Enchanted Airways (a moderate-speed roller coaster with some thrilling turns)
– Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (a river raft ride that’s gentle for most of the way until you enter the indoor facility and get shot up towards a roaring T-rex before plunging down a steep drop back into the water)
Note: As it is not mandatory to put your belongings in a locker for this ride, locker usage is chargeable with prices starting from $4. Alternatively, you could purchase a thin, flimsy raincoat for $5 from a vending machine to prevent you and your belongings from getting soaked. My husband and I decided to hope for the best, and thankfully we came out sufficiently dry (we couldn’t say the same for our fellow riders).
– TRANSFORMERS The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle (a hyper-realistic 3D-glasses ride with jerky movements)
Finally, the intense rides:
– Revenge Of The Mummy (a high-speed roller coaster with sudden and dramatic acceleration, climbing, tilting, dropping, and backwards motion in pretty much total darkness)
Note: It is compulsory to put your belongings in a locker so the first 45 minutes of locker usage is free.
– Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYLON (I’m sure this ride belongs in this category even though we didn’t get to experience it)
We made a few pit stops at the various dining outlets to grab some food and drinks. Staff were stationed at the entrances to verify our vaccination status and identify us with a sticker if we were dining in.
As soon as we entered the park, my husband was already looking for a place to buy a drink. He settled on a milkshake ($8) from Mel’s Drive-In (menu), the restaurant with the vintage cars parked out front, and was mildly tickled that his drink alone cost more than our admission tickets.
Later in the afternoon, we headed to Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor (menu) for cappuccino ($6) and a chicken linguine carbonara ($15). The cappuccino came in such a small cup that my husband finished it in about two and a half mouthfuls. Similarly for the carbonara, the portion size wasn’t great but it was actually quite tasty and the chicken was surprisingly tender, evidence that theme park food doesn’t have to be both pricey AND awful (Dreamworld, how do you make nuggets taste horrible?!).
Having walked past Goldilocks restaurant (menu) one too many times, I was eventually tempted to get a Shrek waffle with chocolate sauce ($10). I must say that upon receiving my waffle, the neon green batter in the centre was somewhat… visually unappetizing but fortunately it tasted fairly normal. However, it’s not something I’d come back a second time for. Nearing the park’s closing time, my husband bought himself a Ben & Jerry’s cookies and cream ice cream ($7) while waiting for me as I spammed the Enchanted Airways ride.
Not forgetting the fantastic cast of characters at USS! Even though it is supposedly their job to mingle and take photos with guests, they did so in a really warm and genuine manner. Many of them were dancing and grooving along to the music despite the fact that there were no immediate guests to entertain. They simply looked like they were having fun, which was an absolute joy to watch 😀
One memorable and rather amusing interaction I had with the Princess Fiona character was when we were seated near Goldilocks restaurant waiting for the lightning warning to pass. Having waited close to 15 minutes with nothing to do, my husband fell asleep. As the Shrek and Princess Fiona characters made their way to the meet-and-greet castle area, she spotted us and gestured comically to acknowledge that my husband was sleeping. It was a brief encounter, but her enthusiasm to engage with me, even from afar, really demonstrated her dedication to bringing cheer to the guests. Subsequently, she even nudged me to take a selfie with her and Shrek while my husband continued sleeping (lol)!
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. Pretty fun rides, great walking weather, minimal crowds and wait times, this was probably the most seamless USS experience I’ve had so far. I found myself basking in the abundant personal space along the walkways and in the queues, which was a major plus (: Also, a huge shout-out to the friendly cast of characters who made superb efforts to connect with guests! What’s more, all this enjoyment for a mere $7? That’s truly unbeatable value. Sadly, as with all theme parks, food and drinks are exorbitant and come in tiny portions ($4 for a puny carton of drinking water is daylight robbery), so do bring your own if you’re not in the mood to splurge. Well, the saving grace was that at least the food we had was yummy, unlike those nuggets from Dreamworld that we struggled to finish. Also, Battlestar Galactica wasn’t open again, as with all my previous visits, boo ): That aside, we had a really nice time, all things considered. Hopefully there will be new rides and (non-scary) experiences introduced to keep it fresh for returning guests, along with affordable ticket prices too 😀 Note to self: Travel light and wear fastened shoes (so I don’t have to take them off for certain rides) on our next trip here!