Universal Studios Singapore – Update 12/2011

Universal's Christmas Tree Light Up!

This month’s highlights at Universal Studios Singapore include:
Park Crowds this Holiday Season
Christmas Merchandise
Universal’s Christmas Tree Light-Up!
Boogie Countdown Event Details


Park Crowds this Holiday Season

As this is the park’s best season, be ready for crowds and long waits for attractions. The aggressive marketing for Transformers: The Ride paid off, with majority of the park’s early guests running towards the attraction when the park opens in the morning.

Transformers Queue Chaos

Chaos at Transformers

So the queue leaks out of the ride entrance and extends to New York. I’m not sure why the park does not anticipate this behaviour (I’ve seen it at least 3 times already) and struggled with opening extended switchback queue areas later. I mean, yes, this gives the ride’s earliest guests the shortest walking distance, but what about the next few hundred?

Even so, there were moments in the afternoon where the queue area is almost completely filled and the line started at New York anyway. This ride is definitely the most popular attraction now, so I would recommend that visitors either be part of the morning rush, or save it for the evening, where queue times usually go below 45 minutes.

The Single Rider queue for this attraction is still useful, but due to inconsistent management of that queue, it could be a short wait, or a lengthy 35-60 minute wait – totally dependent on the crew member stationed at the end of that line. Of course, that’s a lot better than the normal line.

After operating for more than a month, Transformers: The Ride has improved stability and less prone to breakdowns. I did notice however, that the ride vehicles are dispatched at a lesser rate. Minor glitches (malfunctioning projections) may still happen, but the park is very generous and would offer One-Use Express Passes for guests who did not enjoy a complete experience of the ride. I’m also pleased to say that the situation at the loading platform has improved, with at least 2 (and often 3) crew members stationed here to manage the lines efficiently and more importantly, able to maintain their pleasant disposition.

While I don’t wish to endorse Universal Express (a less elegant solution compared to Disney’s FastPass), it is very useful during this season to experience all attractions, with ample allowance towards the end of the day for more second runs on the rides.

UPDATE 27/12/2011: Single Rider is now offered at Battlestar Galactica. Please ask a crew member at the Universal Express entrance for a Single Rider wristband.

Wait Time for Rides (Weekdays)

As I’ve mentioned, expect longer than usual wait time during this peak period. Precise wait times are often unpredictable, so I can only provide the range of wait times that have been observed during the park’s busier hours (10AM~4PM) on weekdays. Expect 25~100% longer wait times during weekends.

After 4PM, wait times would usually drop as park guests start to leave the park. Once again, these are estimated wait times.

Lights, Camera, Action! – Presented by Steven Spielberg: 15~30 minutes
Accelerator: 10~25 minutes
Transformers: The Ride: 35~140 minutes
Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN: 35~70 minutes
Battlestar Galactica: CYLON: 25~60 minutes
Revenge of The Mummy: 20~60 minutes
Treasure Hunters: 35~65 minutes
Canopy Flyer: 45~75 minutes
Donkey Live: 20~35 minutes
Enchanted Airways: 25~40 minutes
Shrek 4D: 30~45 minutes
Madagascar: A Crate Adventure: 25~45 minutes

Wait Time for Rides (Weekends/Public Holidays)

Data will be added once available. Wait times are expected to be 25~100% longer than weekdays for weekends.

Lights, Camera, Action! – Presented by Steven Spielberg: 15~60 minutes
Accelerator: 20~30 minutes
Transformers: The Ride: 60~180 minutes
Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN: 35~60 minutes^
Battlestar Galactica: CYLON: 25~50 minutes^
Revenge of The Mummy: 20~60 minutes
Treasure Hunters: 35~85 minutes
Canopy Flyer: 45~75 minutes
Donkey Live: 20~35 minutes
Enchanted Airways: 35~75 minutes
Shrek 4D: 30~60 minutes
Madagascar: A Crate Adventure: 25~60 minutes

^- Battlestar Galactica may operate with dual-train mode (for each track) during high peak periods – one train would load/unload while the other is active on the track. The queue moves briskly despite even if it starts from the outdoor queue areas. The loading checks is very quick, with as many as 5-6 crew members working at the platform (as opposed to just 2 on most days) so guests should pull down their safety restraints as soon as they get seated!

This is why wait times could be shorter on days with extremely high attendance. However, do note that dual-train mode is not guaranteed on all days, or at all times of park operating hours.


Christmas Merchandise

Let’s take a look at some of the park’s Christmas merchandise!


Christmas Merch Area

As Universal Studios Singapore does not have a concrete Christmas event (or any seasonal event for that matter), it is just generic Christmas items for now. Let’s give the park a few more years to come up with something like Grinchmas in Hollywood or Universal Wonder Christmas in Japan.

Pencils

LED Float Pen

Of course, fancy pencils and light-up pens.

Mug


Christmas Tee

Mugs and T-shirts. The design is simple and festive. If you look closely you will notice characters from the park… Sci-Fi City clearly not represented for some reason. I’ve not spotted guests wearing this T-shirt – but if you want to talk about T-shirt fashion trends at the park, the “What’s H-OT~” trend is definitely battle-worn metal emblems (aka Tranformers) right now.


USS Bear

These items are available at the Universal Studios Singapore Store at Hollywood and the Souvenir Stall near the Christmas Tree at Hollywood.

USS Globe Container

The Universal Globe Container started appearing at many park merchandise stores. It does not really open easily but well, the globe can be rotated (manually). For $21.90, (and if you have some dry ice at home) you can have the music such as “Journey to the Island” from Jurassic Park playing and have your personal Universal Globe experience at home.

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A new shop has opened at New York (and is the first and only merchandise shop at New York) selling leather bracelets. They go for $9.90 each and can be personalized with engraving. Two fonts are available: Script and “Modern” (The standard san-serif “name tag” sort). The bracelets can be customized further with add-ons, such as rivets for $1.50 each, and “Butoonz” (bracelet buttons) for $2.50 each.

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The bracelets come in all sorts of styles and colours imaginable (within reasonable expectation for the $9.90 price range) which makes it a nice and affordable Christmas gift idea. However, there is no park logo or any “Universal” insignia on them – it’s a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.


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The young (and trying to be young) ones will be elated to know that the park now sells balloons! Choices include… star-shaped and button-shaped balloons and like the leather bracelets, they do not have any logos/characters or Universal insignia on them. You can find Balloon sellers walking around Hollywood and get a balloon for $12.

Given how the souvenirs are so generic and have no brand identity, it seems like the park is just testing the feasibility of these new souvenirs.


Universal’s Christmas Tree Light Up!

Every night, the Mel’s Dinettes and Daddy-Os would perform in front of the Christmas tree at Hollywood, entertaining guests with tunes like “Sleigh Ride” and “White Christmas”. The performance lasts about 12-13 minutes. Universal’s Christmas Tree Light Up! is performed at 7:00PM every night, with more performances at 7:45PM and 8:30PM on most nights. Check the park schedule on the day of your visit!

Universal's Christmas Tree Light Up!

Universal's Christmas Tree Light Up!

Universal's Christmas Tree Light Up!

Universal's Christmas Tree Light Up!

Universal's Christmas Tree Light Up!

Towards the end of the show, a “lucky” family will flip the switch and light up the Christmas tree. I’m not sure how “lucky” is defined as the family pictured here are VIP Tour guests. After the Christmas tree is lighted, “snow” will start falling at Hollywood!


Christmas Tree Lighted Up!

The viewing area for this show is quite narrow – flanked by 3 food/merch stalls, so if you want the best view – best to get here 10-15 minutes before the show starts.


Boogie Countdown

Universal Studios Singapore will host its second Countdown event this year!

Park Hours for 31st December 2011 from 10:00AM to 1:00AM (1st January 2012).

Highlights include:

Premiere of the Hollywood Dreams Parade
Tribute performances by various bands, playing music by ABBA, The Beatles and Bee Gees
Experience park attractions until 12PM!*
*Some attractions close at 11PM (Battlestar Galactica for example)

Tickets

Two tickets are available:

Day Pass: $74 (Adult), $54 (Child), $36 (Senior)
Event Ticket*: $68 (Adult), $48 (Child), $28 (Senior)

*Free Party Packs available for the Event Ticket holders, limited to first 5000 redemptions only.

How are the tickets different?

Day Pass: Visit the park from 10AM on 31st December 2011 and stay all night.
Event Ticket: Visit the park from 6PM and stay all night.

Annual Passholders

Fun Pass: $58 (Enter the park at 6PM only)
Action/Superstar Pass: Free Admission all day/night!

Eat-All-You-Can Meal Deals

The park is offering this “Eat-All-You-Can” promotion during Boogie Countdown. For a flat fee of $49.90, guests can eat as much as they like at the 7 participating outlets from 7:00PM onwards till closing.

Eat-All-You-Can Meal Deal: $49.90 per person

Eat-All-You-Can Meal Deal – Early Bird Special (Purchase before 7PM): $44.91 per person

Eat-All-You-Can Meal Deal – Annual Passholder Special: $39.92 per person

Drink-All-You-Can Add-on

Of course, you can add free-flow beer or soda to your Eat-All-You-Can Meal Deal. Prices include a souvenir bottle.

Drink-All-You-Can Add-on: $25 per person

Drink-All-You-Can Add-on – Early Bird Special (Purchase before 7PM): $15 per person

Drink-All-You-Can Add-on – Annual Passholder Special: $10 per person

Drink-All-You-Can (Only)

Don’t feel like binging? Get sugar-high on fizzy drinks then with free-flow beer or soda. Prices include a souvenir bottle.

Drink-All-You-Can: $30 per person

Drink-All-You-Can – Early Bird Special (Purchase before 7PM): $25 per person

Drink-All-You-Can – Annual Passholder Special: $20 per person

Retail Merchandise Discounts for Annual Passholders

Annual Passholders can enjoy discounts for all retail merchandise at the park.

Fun Pass and Action Pass: 10% Discount
Superstar Pass: 15% Discount

For more details and to purchase tickets, visit this page: http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Attractions/UniversalStudiosSingapore/BoogieCountdown



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It is a great idea to spend the holidays at the park and enjoy the festive mood. Do make plans beforehand to make the best out of your trip. Park hours during this period is extended till 9PM, but this does not mean that the park closes at 9PM. If you are step into an attraction’s queue at 8:59PM, you will be able to enjoy the attraction.

Stay tuned for the next update for coverage on Hollywood Dreams Parade and Boogie Countdown!

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