Universal Studios Singapore

22nd October 2010

Our plan to visit Universal Studios Singapore was hatched back in March of this year, shortly before a seat fell off a train on the human side of the Battlestar Galactica duelling roller coasters. Both tracks remain silent over seven months later, and there is no indication at the moment when they might reopen. Universal's decision to go with an unproven product from Vekoma for its star attraction seems utterly bizarre in hindsight, especially when a successful equivalent operates in Florida. The overall investment in the new park must have been astronomical, to the point that a few million more for a pair of B&M coasters should have been a drop in the ocean.

On entering the park our first port of call was riding Canopy Flyer (#1595), on the grounds that coasters of this design tend to have fairly low throughput. As luck would have it, we were able to enjoy two laps before any other patrons arrived, one facing in each direction. Setpoint's latest version of this design is their best yet, with no perceptible bumps in the track and smooth braking at the end of the course. When we passed the ride again later in the day the wait time had hit an hour.

Battlestar Galactica

Our next stop was at Enchanted Airways (#1596), a custom roller skater design with some wonderful attention to detail in its theming. Guests are reminded not to bring on poisoned fruit, magic beans, non-prescription potions, flagons of mead, flaming kilts, or (in a nod to Singapore public transport) durian. The ride experience was decent if not outstanding, though we were very impressed with its appearance; the landscaping around it adds a huge amount to the ride.

The only other operational coaster was Revenge of the Mummy (#1597), a copy of the version in Florida (and thus a superb coaster). It is at this ride that we ran into my only major criticism of what is otherwise a superb park. Patrons of this ride are required to leave all loose articles in lockers, and that much makes sense. Unfortunately the locker area is incredibly badly designed; it is narrow and cramped, and today only had one entrance (as the exit towards the ride queue was roped off). Access to lockers was greatly impeded by those standing around waiting to unlock theirs.

With the coasters completed we caught three shows. Monster Rock involves covers of various pop songs performed by evil spirits from the Universal catalogue such as Dracula and the Phantom, and was pretty good, though it'd be better still if the lyrics were identifiable over the sound system. Shrek 4D is the same show from the rest of the Universal parks, but still funny even on repeated viewings. Finally, Waterworld is impressive visually even if I couldn't follow much of the plot line. The last ride of the morning was on the Jurassic Park rapids ride, where Martin and Lisa got completely drenched.

There are two other attractions near Universal Studios that are well worth the time. The Sentosa Luge is similar to an bobsled ride, albeit along a roadway with steerable sleds. This has the major advantage that one can easily overtake slower drivers. The experience is great fun, albeit rather dangerous for the more inept. A few minutes further away is Megazip, a lengthy zip-line from the heights down to the beach. I'd never been on a standard zip-line before, and really enjoyed this one.


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Universal Studios Singapore

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