This is the second installment of my Universal Studios experience. Here is the link for the first part: https://nehaslife.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/singapore-thailand-trip-the-universal-studios-experience/
Day 3: 27th May – Singapore
The Lost World zone was dedicated to the Jurassic Park series. There were quite a few activities here. The Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure was something I wanted to visit the very second I read about it in the studio guide. The idea of the ride is pretty cool. It is a ride through the Jurassic Park by the means of a river raft. The only reason I was reluctant was because the guide said that there was a high possibility of us getting soaked and I was in absolutely no mood to get my new denims wet. One of the girls who had just completed her ride was kind enough to lend her “survival gear”. I reciprocated the generosity by giving it to someone else after my ride was done.
Our circular raft floated through the river and we saw dinosaurs in their “natural habitat” on either sides. The dinosaur automatons of stegosaurus, parasaurolophus, velociraptors and tyrannosaurus were so realistic that I almost believed that I was a part of the Jurassic era. The highlight of the ride was the “Hydroelectric Plant”. The raft was elevated to a height of about 40 feet and then stopped. The creepiest part was seeing the tyrannosaurus roar at us, after which we fell down the slope, most of us getting completely drenched. As we moved to the unloading station the two dilophosaurus shot water at the raft drenching the riders who got the least wet. It was a good experience and totally worth it.
The one with the longest queue was the Canopy Flyer, which incidentally had the shortest ride time, and was the waiting period of 70 minutes did absolutely no justice to the time required to complete the ride, which was barely half a minute. We had a bird’s eye view of the park but it was essentially a roller coaster ride without the thrill of one. I was really disappointed.
There were two attractions in this zone we couldn’t explore – Dino Soaring and Amber Rock Climbing. Dino Soaring is basically a ride for children. Amber Rock Climbing, on the other hand, looked time consuming.
We proceeded to have lunch at Friar’s and Goldilocks but unfortunately the vegetarian options were limited and expensive. Unfortunately for us, the food we ordered was too dry and we had a hard time eating it.
The next zone was “Far Far Away”, which had attractions like the Enchanted Airways and the Shrek 4D Adventure. I really love the “castle” where the show was being screened. And the pre-show with characters like the Magic Mirror, Gingerbread Man Gingy, Pinocchio and the three little pigs was amazing. I really liked the fact that they had named the 3D glasses as OgreVision Goggles.
We enjoyed the 4D show as our seats bobbed up and down with Shrek’s horse and carriage. Our faces were sprayed with water on two occasions. The first being when Donkey sneezed (eww!) and the second being towards the end of the show. Unlike the experience I had a day earlier I genuinely enjoyed this experience as I had not seen the movie.
The Enchanted Airways was another attraction in this zone. It is a junior roller coaster (compared to BSG 75). The ride was short but fun while it lasted. We skipped attractions like the Magic Potion Spin and Donkey LIVE because of the not-so-great reviews we got from others.
The next place on the studio guide was Madagascar. There weren’t many attractions there and hence we decided to go to the Crate Adventure. After experiencing rides such as the Transformers and the Revenge of the Mummy, I felt that this one was very boring, although my younger cousin seemed to enjoy it. My sister and I almost fell asleep in the ride.
We went back to the Sci-Fi City and Ancient Egypt to have another go at the Transformers and Revenge of the Mummy rides respectively. I really wanted to experience the treasure hunt ride that I had missed out on earlier in the day. I was glad that the estimated wait time was 5 minutes but it was only after reaching the ride that the attendant told me it was closed down for the day (for maintenance). Slightly disappointed we proceeded to the zone we hadn’t checked out yet – Hollywood.
Hollywood was exactly as I had imagined it to be. There was only one attraction there – Monster Rock. I should have noticed the thing earlier in the morning. It was 5.25pm by the time we reached the Pantages Hollywood Theatre and unfortunately missed the first 5 minutes of the last show for the day. It was spectacular seeing monsters like Phantom, Dracula, Frankenstein, She-Wolf and the Mummy sing and dance to the songs. I really liked them singing “The Time” by Black Eyed Peas. The thing that amazed me the most was them performing to Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” and making it actually sound infinitely better than what it originally was. I was amazed at their ability to sing and dance non-stop for 25 minutes. Those were definitely the most entertaining 25 minutes of the day.
I missed out on the “Lights, Camera, Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg” show in the New York zone due to lack of time. We saw a couple of performances and sipped on Coke as we waited for our driver to pick us up. Overall, it was one of the best days I had in the trip.
Here are a few pointers if you are planning to visit the Universal Studios
- An entire day to explore the Universal Studios is essential. Have a Studio Guide with you in advance before you visit the Studios. It will help you plan better. Avoid wearing clothes that take time to dry.
- Express Pass is slightly more expensive than the normal pass and allows you to experience fast without waiting much. The catch, however, is that you are allowed on a ride only once.
- There are some rides which are a must-visit. Off the top of my head I can include Transformers, Revenge of the Mummy, The Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure and Monster Rock in this category.
- There are some rides which you can avoid to save time. I can put Accelerator and Canopy Flyer in this category (if the wait period is too long)
- There is an entrance to WaterWorld from within the Universal Studios. Enquire more about it before you visit the Studios.
- If you plan to visit the Rapids Adventure in The Lost World zone, it would be desirable to have a raincoat or a spare set of clothes.
- Lockers are available and the usage for first 45 minutes is free of charge. You may need this for some rides like the Revenge of the Mummy
- There are separate queues for those going solo. You tend to get a chance faster.
- Character meets-and-greets happen throughout the day in different zones. Don’t miss out on a selfie opportunity with the characters. My favourites were the Soldiers of Anubis and the Velociraptor. Check the Studio Guide
- Monster Rock is a spectacular show. Do not miss it. Check for the show timings as soon as you enter the Studios.
- Battlestar Galactica BSG75 Roller Coaster ride has been closed to the public for good. It will be replaced by a new ride by end of 2014.
- There are a lot of gift and souvenir shops. Minion Mart was really cute.
- Lastly, I was not satisfied with the vegetarian food. Carrying your own food items might be a good option.