Here at WOU, our vision is to offer a site where travel and entertainment enthusiasts can find the most informative news for destinations and films that universally matter. To keep in line with our goal, we have decided to offer some insight into parks and attractions that don’t receive as much coverage as some of the major global destinations but are equally prodigious. By spotlighting these unique locations, our fans will continue to be both well-informed and amazed at the wide world that is the theme park industry.
For today’s topic, we will discuss the least talked about Universal Studios park. From the success of the chain’s flagship resort, Universal Orlando, to the active movie sets at Universal Hollywood, to even the 4th most visited park in the world, Universal Studios Japan, it can be easy to forget that there is indeed another Universal Studios park. Situated on an island in southeast Asia, Universal Studios Singapore is perhaps the most unique park in the company, as it offers a different twist on existing Universal parks.
Universal Studios Singapore (USS) is the newest park in the chain; it soft opened on March 18, 2010, and it officially opened on May 28, 2011. The park is part of a larger resort complex on Sentosa Island in Singapore called Resorts World Sentosa, which is also home to several hotels and other attractions such as the S.E.A. Aquarium. The park spans 49 acres, making it by far the smallest Universal Studios park (in comparison, Islands of Adventure is about 110 acres). For its size, USS is packed with more than 20 attractions throughout 7 themed lands, several of which are not found in any other Universal park. Universal Studios Singapore has expanded its offerings in recent years with the introduction of Halloween Horror Nights in 2011 as well as a new attraction opening in 2015.
Universal Studios Singapore features several themed lands that are present in all Universal parks as well as some that are unique to this location. Upon entering the park, the first land guests come upon is a section themed to Hollywood. This land serves as the park’s entry area, complete with shops and dining options. One aspect that separates this Hollywood area from the one in Orlando is the presence of a canopy over the street. This feature is also on the street in the New York section and acts a shield from rain and the sun.
In the New York section, adjacent to Hollywood, park guests can experience the “Lights, Camera, Action!” special effects show as well as a family ride themed to the characters from Sesame Street. This section of the park is very similar to the others found in other Universal parks in terms of architecture and old-time inspired style.
Perhaps the biggest departure from any land Universal has built before is Sci-Fi City; this area is themed to a sprawling metropolis set in the future. Here, guests can experience Transformers: The Ride 3D, which, at the time of its opening, was the second version of its kind, as well as the marquee attraction in all of Universal Singapore, the Battlestar Galactica dueling coasters. Standing at 140 feet tall, these coasters intertwine with each other and soar over the park’s central lagoon and the pathways around Sci-Fi City. Unlike Dragon Challenge, which consisted of two inverted coasters, Battlestar Galactica has one sit-down coaster and one inverted coaster, making the near-miss elements something to behold.
Ancient Egypt is home to Universal’s first land dedicated to The Mummy franchise. The entire land is themed with old ruins, archaeological dig sites, and a massive temple that is home to the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster. In the other Universal parks, the Mummy replaced an older attraction, meaning they had to use an existing building to squeeze the coaster in. Here, the land was designed for this attraction, making this version of the coaster longer than any of the others. Ancient Egypt has more to offer as well. Around the massive statues and monuments that decorate the land is a children’s ride that features old jeeps driving through ruins.
Deep in the back of the park lies The Lost World, a section devoted to the Jurassic Park franchise. This land is mostly inspired by the second and third films in the series, but does borrow some influence from other Jurassic Park films. The front of the visitor center has two massive bronze statues of a T-Rex and a Spinosaurus battling each other (inspired by the famous duel in Jurassic Park III); this certainly makes for a grand entrance. The only ride in this themed area is the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, which features round shaped rafts rather than the long boats on other Jurassic Park attractions. The ride’s storyline is also slightly different from other versions. On this version, guests are on a mundane river tour of the park when a flash flood washes them away into an uncharted territory full of raptors and whitewater rapids. The attraction culminates in a face-to-face encounter with a T-Rex. The Lost World is also home to the popular WaterWorld Stunt Show.
Far Far Away is home to the characters from the Dreamworks animated film Shrek. This area is based on the castle themed city seen in Shrek 2. The most impressive feature of this land is the massive Far Far Away castle which is home to the Shrek 4D attraction. Characters such as Donkey, Princess Fiona, and Puss in Boots are always walking around for guest interaction. Some of the other attractions found here are Enchanted Airways, a family coaster, and the most recent addition to the park, Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey.
Lastly, the seventh land in Universal Studios Singapore, which is also themed to a Dreamworks film, is home to the Characters from the Madagascar series. This lush, tropical setting is geared towards families, featuring two rides within it. The main draw for the land is a crashed freighter ship, home to the Crate Adventure, a state-of-the-art indoor water ride with animatronics and projection effects. Just as with Far Far Away, all the characters from the Madagascar films interact with guests.
Universal Studios Singapore, while small in size, is one of the more unique offerings in the Universal park chain. With all of the exciting additions coming to the other resorts as well as a whole new park coming to Beijing, it can be rather easy to forget this park even exists. Nevertheless, Universal Studios Singapore is still an amazing destination to explore, and it is equally exciting as the other Universal parks and resorts. For more spotlights on other parks and for all the latest on the theme park world, stay tuned here at WOU.