Universal Studios Singapore – Park Update 08/2013

Universal Studios Singapore - Park Gates

We’re back with the August 2013 issue of the monthly Universal Studios Singapore Park Update.

Highlights:

  • Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon
  • New Attraction Construction
  • Universal Express Unlimited
  • Halloween Horror Nights 3 News

Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon

Universal Studios Singapore - Unavailable Attractions

Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon is still closed. It’s almost a month now, with no formal announcement or statement from the park. Park staff were unable to comment on a reopening timeline for both attractions.

Universal Studios Singapore - Battlestar Galactica Closed

Universal Studios Singapore - Battlestar Galactica Cylon closed

The crew members stationed at the ride entrance probably have the most arduous jobs of repeatedly telling guests all day that both rollercoasters are unavailable.


New attraction construction

Since late July, work for the new attraction (due to open in 2014) has commenced. The area has been blocked off with these themed walls.

Universal Studios Singapore - Construction at Far Far Away

Back in May 2013, I speculated that the new ride back may be based on a DreamWorks Animation IP (since that stretch of the park is “DreamWorks-land”) – although I have a feeling something cute and yellow might take over the area for themselves. Some theme park fansites are saying that it’s going to be a Kung Fu Panda attraction, which is a DreamWorks Animation production. The park has yet to announce anything, so there’s hope for a miracle.

I’m personally wishing it’ll be instead a small London area with King’s Cross Station and a train ride to bring guests to an entirely magical world out of the current park boundaries, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Maybe in an alternate universe.

The old castle walls at Far Far Away have been demolished. Its just a flattened area now with heavy machinery. At the moment, the entire area (approximately) marked out in this aerial image is being prepared for this new attraction and of course, the themed area surrounding it.

USS_2014attraction

You might want to know that a Kung Fu Panda themed area already exists at Dreamworld in Australia, complete with a thrilling aerial carousel ride called Pandamonium. Not the most exciting thing to have at USS, plus I think most people are over Kung Fu Panda.

Universal Studios Singapore - New Attraction for 2014 under construction

While Kung Fu Panda would fit nicely with the other Dreamworks lands (and the character is already in the park for meet and greet), is it the best thing the park can build? While I’m not crazy about the Minions from Despicable Me, it seems that they’re as popular as Hello Kitty in the region. I would say that Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem would be the most feasible and commercially-viable addition to the park.

If you could choose, what would you want the park to build here? Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness? Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem? Far Far Away expansion? Springfield? Portkey to Wizarding World? Universal Wonderland / Hello Kitty Town? Please do discuss.


New Park Guide

I believe this came out at least two months ago, but I’ll post this to document it with the monthly updates. These are the current designs for the park map and guide. There is a special edition for weekends. The contents inside are very similar – the weekend edition basically reminds guests of the parade in the evening.

Universal Studios Singapore - New Park Map

The park maps now mention a Birthday Month Special booklet which is filled with retail and food discount vouchers. If you’ve used it, do let us know what it is about!


Universal Express Unlimited

Universal Studios Singapore - Universal Express

I’m not sure when did this practice begin, but a new “Unlimited” variant of Universal Express is now available at the park. Universal Express Unlimited allows guests to access the Express queue lane with no limit, anytime all day. This was previously only offered to guests under special programmes, such as, but not limited to: VIP Tours, Breakfast programmes, Incentive programmes and certain Annual Passes. The usual Universal Express Pass only allows access to Express queue once per attraction only.

In the past, Universal Express Unlimited Pass was available only at the two parks in Universal Orlando Resort.

Like the multi-park RWS Attractions Pass, this product doesn’t seem to be formally marketed or even announced. There are no signs or posters advertising this product (yet), but it is readily available if you ask. It’s like a queue-skipping speakeasy.

Universal Express Unlimited (paper wristband) – $70

This is the price for Peak Day, when the normal express passes go for $50. I am not sure if there is a different price for Off-Peak Days.

Valid for an entire day, the Universal Express Unlimited access is tagged to a temper-proof paper wristband. Unlike the usual Express Pass, where you can pass unused tickets to anyone, the unlimited option is non-transferable and would be void if the wristband is torn.

Is anyone else also concerned that the park is trying this option? Universal Express has always seemed like a system without sound science (unlike Disney’s Fastpass). At times, it has caused “queue meltdowns”. I’m sure some of us will still remember the great 3-hour wait for attractions during Halloween Horror Nights last year; and the turbulent period during the first months of Transformers: The Ride. If HHN2 proved anything, it is that many guests are willing to submit and buy Express passes if the Express line is the line that’s actually moving. And that will significantly increase the cost of visiting the park for a lot of people. Oh well.

A similar option will be available during Halloween Horror Nights 3, so do brace yourself for potentially crowded and hectic nights as last year. Even the park staff has warned me that park management expects last year’s insane wait times to return.


Halloween Horror Nights 3 news

Universal Studios Singapore - HHN3 maze construction

Construction has commenced for the haunted houses – black walls and tents are coming up. Nothing much to say now since it’s still 2 months away.

Halloween Horror Nights 3 Universal Studios Singapore construction

For the first time, one of the haunted houses (Songs of Death) this year will be located at a backstage area between the queue building for Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure and show building for Revenge of the Mummy.

Universal Studios Singapore - HHN3 maze construction 2

The outdoor queue switchbacks for Rapids Adventure have returned for a while now.

Universal Studios Singapore - HHN3 maze construction 3

It is very likely that the queue building for Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure would be used to hold the main queue for the haunted house starring the Maiden of the Opera, Songs of Death, which is also aptly titled in Chinese, 《音魂不散》.


Photos around the park

Universal Studios Singapore - Park Gate Crowds

The park was very crowded for a weekday. At the entrance, some lines to enter the park went as far as the Universal Globe.

Universal Studios Singapore - Transformers Wait Time

Transformers had a 80 minute wait time less than an hour after park opening. This usually happens only on public holidays or school vacation.

Universal Studios Singapore - Chevrolet Camaro / Bumblebee

Over at the Chevrolet Camaro / Bumblebee, a new sign has been added:

Universal Studios Singapore - Chevrolet Camaro / Bumblebee info board

The nearby EVAC does not have a similar sign, however.

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase queue 2

There’s good business at Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase. It’s been a long time since I saw the line starting as far as from Hollywood.

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase queue 3

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase queue

And that’s with all the sidewalk queue switchbacks filled up too.


While I end this month’s park update, I would like to thank the readers who have sent in tips, photos and updates. I’m always happy to receive news and opinions from you, so if you would like to contribute to the monthly park updates, just contact me either via a message on Facebook or the email form here.

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12 Responses to Universal Studios Singapore – Park Update 08/2013

  1. km August 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Quite disappointed no update on Human/Cylon.
    Still holding back on my intended annual pass purchase. No hurry, since the park don’t semm to be hurrying in giving accurate updates and reports on the closed BSG ride.
    Not a big fan of halloween, so I won’t be missing a lot at the theme night. Don’t like getting spooked. Cos I pee in my pants.

  2. Andrew L August 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I heard that the new ride might be yet another kiddy ride/ dark ride… Let’s face it… Universal Studios can never compete with Disney in animatronic design…

    Like you, I really hope they can bring Platform 3/4 here… But unless they can take over Sentosa Golf Course or Pulau Brani port, it is not going to happen…

    I do hope the upcoming attraction is a thrill ride. If not, I do not think I will extend my annual pass for another year.

  3. Ardhana Pradipta August 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Really really hope that Harry Potter ride will be available in Singapore. Maybe demolished Enchanted land and change it to HP world? :P

    OR merge the Waterworld and New zone to become HP world. do you think its possible/feasible?

  4. Michele August 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Love reading your updates,thanks! Brought my nine year old son to uss last sat since it was his birthday this month. For the birthday booklet he had a free jurassic park badge and popcorn. Also a coupon that said we could save 15% on KT Grill or Chinatown Bistro and 10% at selected retail outlets in universal studios.

  5. Hilary Leighter August 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Dear Nicholas

    Please may I say that yours is the best blog ever.

    Unfortunately I need to unsubscribe now – hopefully will come back to you in a few years. We have just had to curtail our holiday as I slipped on the slippery pavings in the KL Bird Park and broke my arm – so we never made it to Singapore, am back in the UK..

    Always enjoyed your blog, Hilary

    • Dejiki August 19, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

      Hi Hilary,

      Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear about your accident in KL. Wishing you a complete and speedy recovery.

  6. camille September 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    hello! would you know if october is a peak season for USS? i wanted to go on a weekend so we can see the dreams parade and lake hollywood special but im worried about the long lines at the rides. i dont want to purchase a universal express pass since we are travelling on a budget.

    now im thinking are those shows a must see or my USS visit can be complete without watching those shows? please help! thanks so much! :)

  7. KM September 5, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Wah, USS now have $98 Season Pass. Valid for 6months.
    Trouble is, with the raining season approaching… don’t know if there will be many opportunities to visit the park dry. PLUS the big ride BSG, still not open? Or is there some progress in that avenue?

    So, who’s going to get the $98 Season Pass?

  8. KM September 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Visiting USS again tomorrow… dunno how many times liow.

    This time I will be going with my 3.5yr old nephew. Hope to beat the child prices when he turns 4. At 3.5yrs old, he enters free.
    I on the other hand, turning 40 shortly, will have no option. Can only buy full priced adult ticket at $74. Unless I want to try getting something from People’s Park complex at one of its travel agency. I hear that they sell cut-price tickets and some even offer retail and f&b vouchers. Will check it out later this afternoon.

    The only offers I know now are: $98 for 6-month season pass, Sunday adult admission at child price $54. Other than that, it’s normal price $74.

    Not sure how the crowd will be on a Thursday, school holiday in Sg and in M’sia. It’s nearing the exams, so maybe some segment of the school holiday population will be studying instead of USS-ing.

    Not sure how a 3.5yr old will enjoy the rides. Not even sure if he has the guts to go on the Transformer and The Mummy. But I’m sure he will enjoy the madagascar and the merry-go-round, shrek donkey show, 4d, and maybe the dragon roller coaster. I’m sure he won’t mind the simple Lost World ride. He should enjoy the jurassic park ride in the sky, but maybe not the water rapids. He will be fine at the Waterworld show, cos it’s only a show… with loud bangs and booms. Sesame Street will surely blow his mind… with characters coming to live. Monster show maybe ok. And the Steven Speilberg show should be easy for him.

    Scary for me. 3.5yr olds can be quite unpredictable.
    Hope that I can have some help and assistance when required.

    Will let you know how the experience went.

    • Wong January 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      From the pictures I have seen from the other Universal Studios, I’d prefer Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Land of Oz, Snoopy, Simpsons, E.T., Woody Woodpecker or new Transformers attraction, as well as a more genuine “Sesame Street” to be built at Universal park.

  9. Amsyar October 7, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    My sister, who is working at USS says that they’re building a Puss in boots ride on the empty plot of land.

    • Ben Rittenhouse December 16, 2013 at 4:26 am #

      Did she say whether it was a dark ride or just a flat?

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