Universal Studios Singapore is part of Singaporean master plan to establish the country as a world-class and major tourist destination in Southeast Asia. Part of this plan comprises of two new integrated resorts. This comprises namely the Marina Bay Sands Resort in the Singapore Central business district and the Resort World’s Sentosa. The latter is run by the Genting consortium through a successful bid in 2006.
In addition, the Sentosa integrated resort comprises of several parks, including aquariums, museums, water parks and theme parks alike. Of the lot, Universal Singapore is part of the planned attractions in the resort world’s Sentosa bid.
Getting to Universal Singapore
Singapore is well connected by the subway MRT system. Undoubtedly, the nearest MRT station is Harbourfront on the circle (Orange) line. Henceforth, you will need to transfer to an above ground Monorail at Vivocity shopping center. The connecting Sentosa monorail will quickly whisk you across the Sentosa gateway bridge right into the park entrance for a $4 ride and island entrance fee. Additionally, you can also walk into the Island via the gateway bridge for free. The park is located directly right in front of the Sentosa gateway. Just look for the Universal globe!
Join me on my journey exploring Universal Studios Singapore! The park comprises of seven separately themed areas. For this first part I shall cover on the Hollywood and New York sectors. These two sectors are what you will encounter when you first enter the park.
Moreover, if it is your birthday, Universal has some specials for you. Just head to the guest services counter near the entrance and they will have an assortment of coupons and freebies for your lucky day! Also, you get a birthday badge which you can wear on your theme park visit. Surprisingly, park staff will treat you extra ultra nice too when they see that it is your big day.
A uniquely South East Asian Park
The park officially opened to public in 2011. Noteworthy, this Universal Studios is the 4th regional franchise of the theme park. Noteworthy, there are similar parks in Orlando, Hollywood and Japan. Also, the Singapore franchise comprises of five themed sections over 20 hectares. Each sector has their own unique regional setting with rides, buildings and stores themed to the region’s atmosphere. This can range from the tropical beaches, Fairy tale lands, Egyptian dunes to a Tech sci-fi city.
Furthermore, the park is home to 21 rides, comprising of 6 roller coasters and 2 water rides. All in all, you are pretty well covered for thrills with the movies. Here is a run-down of the sections and the attractions within.
Hollywood Boulevard stretch
From here, visitors start off from the Hollywood section of the park. Upon entering the park via the front turnstiles, you will be greeted by a long sheltered walkway. This is a necessity as it does rain quite often here in the tropics.
Moreover, decorative here comprises of mock up building façades themed to various parts of the good old alleys of old New York city in the mid-1970s. This was set at the peak of the with gang wars, perfect as movie settings. Also, this is also the only part of the park where you will be able to find Universal related merchandise unique to the region.
New York sector
Moving towards the end the Hollywood stretch is an open area overlooking the park’s central lake. Henceforth, the pedestrian path here splits between a left and right path encircling a central park lake. Notably, on Friday and Saturday nights at 9.30pm, a live pyrotechnics show will run set to various Universal musical scores over Lake Hollywood centrally in the park. It is one of the main highlights of the park’s evening performance lineup.
180 degree panorama of Universal Studios Singapore Lagoon
Surprisingly, you don’t really get the equivalent of a universal 360 pyrotechnics lagoon show at night (like the one in Florida), possibly from the cost, despite having adequate darkness at nightfall for the show.
Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase
Furthermore, the New York section is also home to the Sesame street dark ride, which is new family-friendly suspended slow monorail ride where Elmo will bring you on his dreamy adventures. Indeed, the number of Sesame street figures here will give you a hint or two of the ride presence.
Here, join Elmo on his spaghetti adventures, and fighting the spaghetti monster. The family friendly ride transverses through several themed scenes. It brings you through the streets of Sesame street and into the spacey star lit skies. Thereafter, ride ends into the Sesame Street gift shop, which itself is spectacularly fully decked with a large assortment of franchise related stuffed toys.
Mel’s Drive-In diner here serves a couple of fast food options with conducive dining areas, do check out the number of model rods cars parked outside the diner.
Street Entertainment and Hollywood walk of fame
Moreover, this spot in front of the diner is where the park’s “Hollywood walk of fame” convenes for photographs after their tour around the park. This spotlight event comprises daily mascot parades and performances which vary daily. Do check the timetables on your visit for more. Also, keep yourself on the lookout for Marilyn Monroe or even Beetle Juice on the prowl!
Additionally, there is a large space here where the daily costumed entertainers, singers and dancers will gather around the stage for regular Hollywood dance out sessions. Notably, New York is smallest sector of the park. It is sandwiched between the Hollywood stretch and Sci-Fi City with most of the attractions and studios hidden behind the movie façade. Furthermore, the sector is themed to a traditional olden street of New York. It is even complete with the Pantage theater and a replica of the old New york library.
Movie action and Monsters rock
Moreover, tucked in one of the stores along the streets of New York is the Lights Camera action attraction. The Lights Camera action is essentially a controlled movie effects and Pyrotechnics show. The small attraction showcases live disaster scenes and how they unfold like in the movies.
From here, you start off with a gathering area where you are brought into several mini studios such as a flooded warehouse scene where you can see a combination of live water and fire effects right in front of you, all from the comfort and safety of your observer viewing deck.
The Hollywood Pantages theatre spots a rather distinctive Hollywood Theater style. Moreover, it is fully equipped to host plays, musicals and performances. An on-going attraction here is the Monster Rock rock-n-roll musical, with live performance of featuring classical Universal Monsters such as Dracula, the werewolf, mummy and Frankenstein just to name a few.
Overall, that’s all for these two introductory sectors of Universal Studios Singapore. Moving on, there are five more sectors which I will cover over subsequent blog posts. Read on!
Lets move on to the next part of my Universal Singapore exploration. Continue on to Madagascar, Far Far Away and The Lost World regions of Universal Studios Singapore.