So, confession: my main reason for being in this part of the world was to tick Universal Studios Singapore off my bucket list. I’ve been to California twice and we visited Florida last year. Whilst both are fun, Florida’s aesthetics beat California and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section surpassed even my expectations.
Universal Studios Singapore is on Sentosa, which is Singapore’s pleasure island. It strikes me as very Singaporean to tidy all the fun stuff into one island.
I knew Singapore’s Universal wouldn’t quite top Florida, but I was curious to see how different the theme park looked outside of the US. The park opened in 2012, so is based around more recent films than the US parks – there’s a Madagascar section and Far Far Away with a full scale castle. The park itself is beautiful and really well kept and is based around a central lake.
The rides in Singapore were, on the whole, a bit smaller than those in the US. There’s only one big coaster and that’s Battlestar Galactica, which is very much like the Dragon Challenge ride at Florida. Transformers 3D is probably the other biggest attraction which is a virtual reality-type ride. Many of the other rides are more kid-friendly, like Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey and Madagascar’s Crate Adventure (like It’s a Small World, just with the Madagascar story).
One show that we couldn’t figure out was Waterworld. They’ve got the same live action show here as they do in the other parks. However, Waterworld came out in 1995 and, if I recall correctly, was the most expensive film made at the time and wasn’t a success at the box office. Universal Singapore opened almost 20 years later, with the Waterworld show in place, despite the fact that the film was a disaster that most people have forgotten about it. The crowd seemed to like it nevertheless. Me not so much – too man
I’d definitely recommend Universal Studios Singapore, particularly for those who don’t just go for the ‘big’ rides. It might not be as high octane as some of the other parks, but it’s well done. I’ve now just got Japan to tick off all on the list.
We also visited Adventure Cove, the water park on Sentosa (though not in the same day). The Riptide Rocket was a new one for me – it’s described as a hydromagnetic coaster, so you are propelled up slopes and well as down. I hadn’t read up on it in advance, so I loved the surprise! There was also Rainbow Reef, which let you snorkel over a reef with (supposedly) 20,000 fish in it. I hate fish (creepy and unpredictable), but wanted to have a go, so I snorkelled round as fast as I could, willing the fish away from me. One small downer on the day was the restaurant – the menu virtually exclusively covered expensive fried beige and was a let down in one of the best foodie cities in the world.
Loved Sentosa. Will head back one day to do more.