Transformers and Madagascar Update December 02, 2011
Two new major rides opened in 2011:
Transformers: this much-hyped addition is a worthy reinvention of Universal's legendary 1999 Spiderman Ride that can be found in Florida and Japan. I would call it Spiderman 1.5: it's not an innovation, it's not a new legend (since it doesn't add too much to what we have already experienced at Spiderman), but it's nevertheless one of the world's finest rides to date, if not the very best. Giant 3-D screens combined with brilliantly-timed ride vehicle movements just work, and provide an unmatched ride experience. This is the Must-Do ride at Universal Studios Singapore. And it gets better and better the more often you ride it.
Something went wrong with Madagascar, though. The removal of the initially planned splash drops in this indoor water ride leave riders with a monotonous 'It's a Small World'-like experience, somewhat stiff animatronics and, apart from a few innovative fume and video projection effects, not much to remember.
With the addition of these attractions Universal Studios Singapore, despite its small size, turned into one of the world's best theme parks.
Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Singapore
In the Transformers queue
More Transformers queue
Storming the ride vehicle
Transformers ride vehicles
3-D glasses ready!
Embarking on the Transformers Ride
Queue-free Madagascar Ride
Madagascar on-ride view
Animatronics inside the Madagascar Ride
Somewhat unresponsive Madagascar riders
Park Review March 18, 2010
The newest addition to the Universal Studios theme park family in Singapore is definitely the little brother of the group, but despite its small size it is cleverly arranged with some excellent Universal attraction classics and a couple of novelties. The park opened in March 2010 with three major rides:
'Revenge of the Mummy' – an Egyptian-themed dark ride/indoor roller coaster very similar to the same-named ride in Universal Studios Florida that is packed with evil, ugly Mummies and great in terms of storytelling with plenty of surprising twists and turns.
'Battlestar Galactica' – a "dueling" twin roller coaster branded after the TV series which, though compact, mysteriously manages to last for ages. Definitely the wildest ride at the equator.
'Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure' puts a new spin – a couple of spins, in fact – on the Jurassic Park experience: here a river rapids ride in a 9-seater circular raft (as opposed to the huge log flume boats in other Universal Parks), it's a long and entertaining journey through Jurassic jungle with lots of dinosaurs, great fog effects and spiced with constant evidence of human failure. The climax, though, is inferior to the same-named rides in the US, with a mini-T-Rex and a similarly small and quick drop. Depending on where you sit in the raft, you might get extremely soaked at the ride's end. Extremely. Madly!
You can walk one time around the whole park in just 10 minutes, but it's packed with attractions: the 'WaterWorld' and 'Donkey Live' shows and the 'Shrek 4-D' cinema are all well done and worth the wait. 'Lights! Camera! Action! hosted by Steven Spielberg' is a new special effects show taking place in a stunning hurricane-over-New York setting: the water-, fire- and destruction-effects appear a bit orchestrated and slow-motion, but I was told that the ride is still getting tweaked. The remaining attractions cater to young kids.
The true highlights will open in summer 2010 and at the beginning of 2011: the world-premiere of the Madagascar indoor flume ride and the Transformers dark ride – an upgrade of the Spiderman rides found in Florida and Japan. These two will make the park experience complete. One thing's for sure: Universal Studios Singapore has made maximum use of its limited space and created the southern-most world class theme park on the planet.
New York in Singapore
New York area
Revenge of the Mummy entrance
Revenge of the Mummy ride vehicle
Ship housing the Madagascar ride
Madagascar entrance - scheduled to open in summer 2010
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure map
Jurassic Park loading station
Jurassic Park gate
Stegosaurus on the Jurassic Park ride
Jurassic Park Rapids
Charming story twist
Rafting towards the dark
The T-Rex showdown isn't very scary
Super-wet Jurassic splash
New York-themed street
New York side street
Introduction room for Lights! Camera! Action!
Steven Spielberg introduction
Lights! Camera! Action! set
Lights! Camera! Action! in action
Sci Fi City, home of the future Transformers ride
Battlestar Galactica dueling coaster seen from the lake
Battlestar Galactica dueling coaster
Battlestar Galactica: 'Human' coaster
Inverted Battlestar Galactica coaster
Shrek's castle hosting the 4-D movie
Donkey Live show
Universal Studios Singapore gate
Construction Update November 04, 2009
Universal Studios Singapore is nearing the finishing line.
I haven't had the chance to go on any of the rides yet, but here are my favorites from what I could see on-the-ground: The 'Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure', which, instead of lifting you on a slow ride through prehistoric-jungle like in the other Universal Studios parks, tosses you around in circular rafting boats with inevitable dinosaur attack-surprises; The 'Madagascar Crate Adventure' ride's cruise ship looks awesome from the outside and my guess is that the anticipated dark flume ride will be a mixture of 'Splash Mountain', 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and something totally new.
These are the two major world-exclusive rides to Southeast Asia's only Universal Studios park, complemented by 'Battlestar Galactica', a dueling roller coaster that will certainly satisfy thrill seekers and 'Revenge of the Mummy', a brilliant dark ride and probably an upgrade from its existing versions in the American parks.
Universal globe and gate at the back
Baobab tree opposite Madagascar ride
Madagascar flume ride
Enchanted Shrek castle
Shrek 3-D castle
Jurassic Park gate
Jurassic Park area
Jurassic Park river rapids ride
Rapids through the JP gate
Attacking dinosaurs on the Jurassic Park ride
Jurassic Park loading station on the left
Battlestar Galactica under construction
Battlestar Galactica dueling coasters
Battlestar coaster close-up
Mummy meets Battlestar
Mummy statues under construction
Entrance to the Mummy ride
Universal Studios Singapore from above, November 2009
Universal Studios Singapore, November 2009
Universal Studios Singapore globe
Sentosa with Shrek castle
Construction Update May 11, 2009
It’s really thrilling to come back to my favorite theme park construction site. Universal Studios Singapore has made remarkable progress since my last visit just over two months ago. The ‘Revenge of the Mummy’ roller coaster building is pretty much covered up, its neighbor ‘Lost World (Jurassic Park)’ river rapids ride has expanded visibly, the ‘Waterworld‘ stunt show stadium looks almost complete, pylons of the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ dueling coaster are being erected, coaster tracks of all colors are lying around and new structures are popping up all over the site.
Given that construction of Universal Studios Korea hasn’t commenced yet and Universal Studios Dubailand is delayed until 2012, this is going to be the only Universal Studios offspring arriving in the near future and the most anticipated theme park opening for years.
The gates are due to open in about ten months. I can’t wait. Theme park fans, I guess this will be a good reason to travel all the way to Singapore from wherever you are! Thanks to Guangyi, Leona and Robin from Resorts World Sentosa for enabling me an on-site preview adventure.
Universal Studios Singapore, May 2009
Universal Studios Singapore construction details
Universal Studios Singapore model
Resorts World Sentosa, May 2009
Sentosa island entrance
Waterworld stunt show stadium
Jurassic Park building
Jurassic Park: The Lost World river rapids ride
Worker, Lost World, Waterworld
The Lost World river rapids ride
Mummy coaster tracks stored on the site of the future lake
More Mummy coaster tracks
Mummy coaster part transport
Revenge of the Mummy building
Revenge of the Mummy building from inside
Coaster track inside the Revenge of the Mummy building
Wild twist in this Battlestar Galactica dueling coaster track
Battlestar Galactica coaster tracks
Columns erected for the Battlestar Galactica dueling coaster
Battlestar Galactica columns close-up
SFX theater building
SFX theater under construction
Undisclosed dark ride building
Construction goes full speed
Bangladeshi worker posing in front of undisclosed dark ride
New structures everywhere
Universal Studios Singapore
In the backyard of the Waterworld stadium
Construction Update March 02, 2009
Universal Studios Singapore is the world's most anticipated theme park opening ahead. From spring 2010 Singapore visitors and residents will enjoy a brand-new 'Mummy' ride, the world premier of a 'Jurassic Park' river rapids ride, a 'Battlestar Galactica' dueling roller coaster, a 'Waterworld' show, a 'Transformers' ride and some yet unannounced surprises.
Everything Universal touches encompasses imagination with a keen eye for detail and I am sure that this park will be no exception. Many thanks to Leona and Robin from Resorts World Sentosa for meeting me at my favorite theme park construction site! Have a look at the newest photos taken on March 2nd, 2009:
Resorts World Sentosa under construction
Merlion in the background
The Mummy Ride building
Mummy Ride building up close
Inside the Mummy building
Mummy Ride from the other side
Jurassic Park river rapids ride u/c
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure in the making
Jurassic Park (foreground) and Waterworld (background) u/c
Battlestar Galactica ride rising
Battlestar Galactica column foundations
The Mummy Ride building rises at Universal Studios Singapore
Resorts World Sentosa construction board
Construction Update October 03, 2008
Universal Studios Singapore is under construction at the moment and scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2010. Together with Resorts World Sentosa this is the most amazing theme park construction area for the time being.
I will keep you updated on the progress here.
Resorts World Sentosa model
Resorts World Sentosa site, October 2008
Universal Studios Singapore model
Universal Studios Singapore construction site
Universal Studios Singapore site
Resorts World Sentosa billboard
Work on Universal Studios Singapore
Workers on site
Universal Studios Singapore u/c
Parking garage in the making
Universal Studios Singapore parking garage piles
Monorail passing through the future Resorts World
Universal Studios Singapore site, 2008
Resorts World Sentosa model seen from the main island
Universal Studios Singapore model at the RWS office
Universal Studios Singapore entrance model
Model of The Mummy Ride
Jurassic Park river rapids ride model
Detailed Universal Studios Singapore model
Sentosa island entrance
Singapore's landmark, the Merlion, on Sentosa island
Model of the Waterworld show stadium and the adjacent Jurassic Park section