Universal Studios Singapore5th June 2011
My original schedule for this trip had a planned late start this morning, mainly because I wasn't expecting to arrive into the hotel before midnight. As it turned out this proved to be grossly optimistic; a severe flight delay meant that it was just after four in the morning by the time I'd made it to my hotel room. I took the decision to set my alarm for thirty minutes before the end of the hotel breakfast service, reasoning that I'd need at least some sleep in order to enjoy my day at the park!
As a result it was almost noon by the time I reached Universal Studios. The weather was on the far side of awful, with a severe thunderstorm in progress and projectile rain bouncing off the ground at ankle height. Rather than head for anything outdoors, I joined the lengthy queue for the new Madagascar dark ride. I'm probably the wrong person to write a review here, given that I've not seen the movie, but I can say that the quality of the scenery was top notch, and the kids in the boat (who probably had seen it) seemed to be having the time of their lives. One small tip for the future passenger; watch out for the waterfall!
With no let up in the rain, I headed for the next closest indoor attraction, the Donkey Live show. This was quite entertaining; children from the audience were invited to interact with an animated donkey on screen. The responses were extremely fast, and personalised with the child's name. My assumption is that there must be a voice actor backstage somewhere, as one of the kids had a ridiculously obscure name which I can't see being pre-recorded (and even if it was, selecting the right sound file that fast would have been an pretty challenging feat). Whoever was playing the role today sounded just like Eddie Murphy; I'll leave it to the reader to judge whether that constitutes a good or a bad thing!
The sky was beginning to clear at this stage, and Battlestar Galactica (#1627) had opened. The staff insisted that rain ponchos should be left in a locker, a slightly bizarre policy from the perspective of this writer; it's not like a poncho will come off when you're wearing it and it's secured by a lap bar. My first circuits were no fun, but I managed several more after the rain stopped which were much better. I felt the Cylon track (the inverted side) was a vastly superior experience overall, mostly due to superior ride quality; the train on the Human track was shaking a lot, and the auto-tightening restraint did it no favours. Enthusiasts should be aware that assigned seating applies on these rides; while you can ask to queue for front, you are not permitted to wait for back; also, those over a certain height have to sit in the inside seats due to clearance issues with the ride support structure.
I'd bought myself an express pass, which I used to take a whirlwind tour of some of the other attractions; Treasure Hunters (pointless), Jurassic Park (with poncho!), and the other three coasters. There being nothing else on my hit list for the day, I took one final front seat lap on each side of Battlestar Galactica before heading for the airport.