Continuing on my exploration from the Hollywood Boulevard and New york stretch of Universal Singapore. The theme park comprises of a number of individually themed park sectors, each with their own unique rides, food stalls and entertainers. Let’s check out the more family-orientated side of the park, cue the toony and fairy tale regions of Universal Studios Singapore Theme park Madagascar and Far Far Away sectors.
From the park entrance, taking a left route from the park entrance Hollywood stretch brings you on the Northern trail of the park. It will start you off through the Madagascar sector, which is subsequently connected to the Far Far Away sector, the Lost world and so on. Moreover, all the park sectors are all connected in a loop. Moving through all regions linearly will return you to where you started. Hence, it is wise to plan your park visit and attractions you plan to cover with his layout in mind.
Madagascar- We got to Move it Move it!
The Madagascar sector takes you back into the second movie of the Dreamworks movie franchise. Notably, the sector theming here is rustic and jungle-ish. It brings you through the various movie scenes of Madagascar in the animated movies through purpose-built themed buildings and attractions. Moreover, the sector here is refreshing, upbeat and lively. Whether its fake coconut trees, random Penguin footprints littered everywhere on the concrete floor, to King Julien’s “Move it move it” song constantly rapping through audio PA system. However, I can’t say much to the rides here. Most of the rides here are dull family-rides, which makes it one of the quieter spots in the park.
Madagascar- a crate adventure
Madagascar- a crate adventure is a slow river lazy-river indoor boat ride built by Intamin. Notably, the ride has an extensive open air queue area where riders get on bamboo themed boats which brings you indoors where the bulk of the ride resides. In addition, the ride’s theming and front façade are very meticulous and very well done.
From here, the loaded boats in the boarding area comically sails into an air-conditioned ride studio through a front gapping hole of a beached inter-continental container ship. Moreover, this “ship” fronts the front ride queue area and you may remember it bring featured in the Franchise’ second movie which is the container ship the Agent penguins commandeered.
Henceforth, the slow dark water ride proceeds through a linear scene through the river, telling a story. The ride has several animal animatronic, light and water elements suitable for all ages. Notably, the ride does not have any midway slides or any fast paced elements as per typical lazy-river boat rides.
Other attractions and food in the Madagascar sector
Additionally, other rides in this sector includes a merry go round. Specifically, King Juliens’s lemurs merry go round. It’s a full sized single floor carousel complete with ride animals themed to the Madagascar franchise.
If food is what’s up your move, Marty’s Casa del wild food court serves variety of South East Asian dishes in an open setting such as Nasi lemak just by King Juliens’s lemurs beach party (merry) go round.
Moreover, a must-try food item will have to be the marinated Turkey legs. Though costing a pricey $15, it is really a big treaty even sizable as a meal. It is delicious and bound to satisfy any carnivorous desires at heart. You can find the permanent store just at the connecting entrance between the Hollywood stretch and the Madagascar sector. It is a standalone deli mobile home cladded in stainless steel usually located in front of the sector public toilets.
Far Far Away Region
The Madagascar sector is at most about under 100 meters long before you proceed onto the next sector. Moving on, it’s not long before you will notice subtle theme changes, such as an ogre nest (Shrek’s home) on the transition to the next themed region. Welcoming to the land of Far far away is Shrek’s castle. This is the focal point of this sector and home to the Shrek 4-D Adventure Theater.
As with the fairy tale land modernizing to keep up with current times, there is alot of commerce going around the streets of Far far away. Here, the streets of Far far away are laid out like a modern shopping area with several shops and eateries with glass fronts hawking their various wares. The section here includes edible Shrek Waffles, with choices of chocolate sauces ($9) or Ben and Jerry ice cream (up to $18).
Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop
In addition, The Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop is one of the few bigger Universal merchandise shop in the theme park. Here is probably the only place in Singapore where you can find the largest collection of medieval and Shrek-specific merchandise all under one roof. This can range from collectable potion bottles, T-shirts, stuffed toys to even ogre masks. Also, on sale are several unique “potions” which you can mix as slushie drinks. You can call it a healthy juice beverage potion.
Moreover, a bonus here is also a hidden ride- the Magic Potion Spin mini merry go round. It is a small Ferris wheel nicely tucked into the gift shop itself. Don’t expect panoramic views of the park from here, probably a bird’s eye view of the Potion shop might suffice. Nonetheless, still a neat touch.
Shrek 4D in the Castle
Tucked in the massive castle visible from all areas in the far far away land is the Shrek castle. Inside the castle is a 4th dimensional 3D theater and the one of the main ride attraction of the sector. Furthermore, the DreamWorks animation attraction is 20 minute 4D-film, which on top of a 3D movie elements (Delivered to you via “OgreVision” 3-D Goggles).
Noteworthy, the 4th dimensional or “D” element incorporates physical effects. This includes movable seats, mist sprayers and lighting, with the option for stationary seats for those who do not want the motion effects.
From here, the show begin with an indoor air-conditioned queue line themed to the castle interior. Notably, the wait time took about 15 minutes before being led into the pre-show dungeon area with the three little pigs and gingerbread man. Here an emcee will entertain guests and gather crowd interest. The show is set on the timeline after the 3rd movie following the death of Lord Farquaad, with the return of the Shrek cast, coupled with hilarious slapstick comedy. You do need to have a sense of humor to enjoy the ride. Subsequently, after the show, you exit the Shrek 4-D theater into the Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop,
Other rides here include the Enchanted Airways, a closed-circuit Vekoma steel family coaster with some really nice castle medieval weapons training center theming. The coaster has some pretty hilarious theming such as security screening and the Gingerbread man operating an immigration counter. Additionally, the ride itself is tame with no sudden drops and plenty of nice helix G-forces for young thrill seekers at heart, particularly if the coasters at Sci-fi city are too much for you.
Live comedy with Donkey
Donkey Live digital is one fun live audience attraction. The live show is synonymous to Monsters Live or Nemo and Friends in Disneyland, it takes place in a small theatre setting called the Hook’s knight’s club, comprising of several headless pirates playing musical instruments in the club. The show is hosted with a live host engaging audiences via a computer-controlled animated show system, featuring, well who else, but Donkey! Audience engagement is key for a fulfilling show so do sit back relax and enjoy the questions. Moreover, the show runs a fixed number of shows daily, so do check the daily timetables for details.
Puss in Boots Giant’s journey ride
The last of the main ride attractions in the Far Far Away sector is also the newest. I am talking about the Puss in Boots Giant’s journey ride. It is a heavily-themed and custom Zamperla Inverted steel coaster with their trademark spiral lift. The ride entrance does look daunting, like a scene from jack and the beanstalk.
Also, the ride queue area has some really hilarious recipes and notes plastered all over the upper ceiling, good for a read for a laugh and to pass the time. On boarding the ride, park guests ride on board an inverted “basket” gondola with on board audio commentary. It tells a story along its 430m ride length with several high speed elements as it zips around a castle and getting chased by giant geese.
However, I found the heavy gondola with all the hardware and theming feels rather sluggish as a fast paced ride and is more suited as a fun family ride and not much of a fast “suspended roller coaster” at all.
All in all, that concludes my exploration of the Madagascar and Far Far Away areas. The sectors are each unique in their own right, with plenty of family rides to cater for kids (and kiddults). Next up, if you are up for dinosaurs and stunt shows, the next following sector of the park features prehistoric roots and explosions.
Continue on our journey to the Jurassic park Lost World and Water World sector.