Impression on its soft opening, ticketing and theme park operating hours
Although Universal Studios (Singapore) is still on its soft opening (i.e. rides, shows and other operational aspects of the park are subject to being modified and improved as needed), we enjoyed it more than its rival theme park. We purchased our tickets a week in advance (online) when we heard that these are normally sold out earlier. This, we proved to be so. We intentionally timed our visit on a Friday since the park is operating from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM everyday, except for Fridays and Saturdays when it is open until 10:00 PM (only then the Lake Hollywood Spectular or fireworks at the lake is held).
After presenting our tickets to the counter, we were given the merchandise and beverage vouchers (SGD 5 each), we did the obligatory checking of maps and schedules for the day. We were optimistic that we were going to cover everything especially that we pre-purchased the express pass (additional SGD 30/person) which proved to be very useful. We were freed from the regular queuing that takes an average of 2 hours per attraction during a weekend).
Characters Meet and Greet
While the meet and greet for different characters is possible from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM as indicated in the programme, we presumed that they might not be generally available each minute. Hence, we dealt with it on a per immediate encounter basis and for the rest, we randomly asked from different staff when and where is the best time to catch them. It worked.
(Except for Shrek and Fiona, they allowed more than one shot taken for the person/group who queued. Hence, if you happened to have been photographed as a group or as a couple, don’t freak out with your disappointment and just queue again if you want your “me time” with Shrek and/or Fiona. Anyway, the line reasonably progresses.)
(The best time to have your photo taken with the Madagascar characters is after their stage/dance show, Marilyn Monroe, Po Panda and Betty Boop in the morning, Shrek and the other characters in the afternoon.)
[I wished there was a Puss in Boots mascot. For the time being, this stuffed replica of him (which we got together with Shrek pillow) sufficed the imagination.]
Stage Shows and Street Entertainment
It is always a challenge to juggle among the attractions, souvenir shops, scheduled shows, hunger, queuing (gladly we skipped this time) and the allowance for getting lost when visiting a theme park. For those who are not intending to get an express pass, aside from prioritizing, applying a sense of anticipation and immediacy might help. As we have observed, those which seemed to be blockbusters in the morning were easy flowing in the afternoon.
Kowabunga Kove: Guys and gals sung and danced like teenyboppers in the 60s. The outfits were very Hairspray.
Madagascar Boogie!: The characters grooved into the I Like to Move It and other energy-sustaining tunes.
Monster Rock: A theatrical show which initially featured the computer genius, Henry Preston Jekyll III, who made monsters of the Universal Studios Classic do rock and roll, sexy dancing and other acts so unexpected of them. Just imagine Frankenstein, Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, the mummy, wolfman, and more singing (and dancing) into Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life, Wondergirls’ Nobody But You, and a lot.
Donkey Live: Well, THE donkey, yes, the talkative donkey from Shrek the movie sung at least a couple of songs and chatted with the audience. His humour and on the side witty remark on random things about Singapore were remarkable.
Waterworld. This sensational live watershow is not to be missed. Aside from the actors and special effects, the entertainment brought by the coordinators few minutes before the actual wave of thrilling stunts was impressive. However, take note of the splash zone seats/benches.
Rockafellas. B-boyin which emanated from the hip hop culture of American youth is featured. And surprisingly (or not), the dancers looked a little familiar. I realized that some (or all?) of them are from the Streetboys group from the Philippines.
They are performing at least five times a day and are intently followed by a lot. On the specific time that we checked, there were four participants from the audience. That definitely added to the crowd’s cheering and vibe.
To be continued:
Click to read about The Lost World, Far Far Away, more of Madagascar, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, New York, Hollywood, and more.