Universal Studios Singapore – Update 01/2014

Universal Studios Singapore - Lanterns at New York 2

Universal Studios Singapore celebrates Chinese New Year with seasonal park decorations and festive goodies! Find out what’s new at the park in the first update of the year!

Chinese New Year at the park

From now till 14 February 2014, the park will be in Chinese New Year mode.

Universal Studios Singapore - Gong Xi Fa Cai Ticketing Counters

Even the ticketing counters have festive greetings.

Universal Studios Singapore - Lanterns at Hollywood

But in the park itself, the decorations this year are simple: several chains of red lanterns along New York and Hollywood. Along with this: Typical Chinese New Year music, like the ones you hear in malls, fill the air in the Hollywood and New York zones of the theme park.

Universal Studios Singapore - Lanterns at New York

The music is disconcerting. It feels like we’re going to the mall..? and not Universal Studios?

Universal Studios Singapore - New York stage

Another element of seasonal park decor: The Universal Studios Store has a new store display, featuring seasonal merchandise. We’ll go into that later.

Universal Studios Singapore - Photo-op with Woody Woodpecker and Winnie Woodpecker, Chinese New Year Outfits

During this festive season, Woody Woodpecker and Winnie Woodpecker will be dressed in “auspicious” outfits.

Universal Studios Singapore - Woody Woodpecker and Winnie Woodpecker in Chinese New Year Outfits

Universal Studios Singapore - Woody Woodpecker and Winnie Woodpecker in Chinese New Year Outfits 3

Universal Studios Singapore - Minion Photo-Op

But not your favourite minions!

Universal Studios Singapore - Minion Photo-Op 2

Here’s a tip for anyone interested in meeting the minions. Grab the park’s Times Guide (the white slip of paper next to park maps) when you visit. The the exact appearance times are listed on the guide (but only for minions).

Universal Studios Singapore - Oscar the Grouch in Chinese New Year outfit

Five Sesame Street characters will also have seasonal outfits. They will only appear like this outside of stage performances.

Universal Studios Singapore - Oscar the Grouch in Chinese New Year outfit 2

Universal Studios Singapore - Oscar the Grouch in Chinese New Year outfit 3

I wasn’t able to wait for all five of them to appear, so here’s a photo from RWS showcasing Sesame Street in Chinese New Year attire.

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street characters in Chinese New Year outfits
Sesame Street © 2014 Sesame Workshop. Universal Studios Singapore ® & © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Universal Studios Singapore - Park Guide, Lunar New Year edition

And oh, here is a special Lunar New Year edition of the park guide. The map remains the same, with just a mention of the Lo-Hei at Universal Studios Singapore event on 30/01/2014. The event is a reunion dinner (banquet) at New York zone in Universal Studios Singapore. Find out more about it here.

With a menu designed by the chefs of Feng Shui Inn (Crockfords Tower) and Forest, this certainly is a unique opportunity for a luxurious 团圆饭 (tuan yuan fan; reunion dinner) coupled with three park attractions that will be open for 1.5 hours during the night. More nights are available for Lo-Hei Dinners at the park, but the line-up does not include dinner at New York street (30th Jan exclusive) and the three attractions will only be open for an hour.

Red Packet Giveaway

During the festive season, the park will give away red packets (hong bao) as part of a promotion called ” Sure-Win Hong Bao Surprise”. Guests will receive one red packet at the park gates, right after your ticket is scanned at the turnstile.

Universal Studios Singapore - Red Packet giveaways

The entire resort is participating in this – that includes S.E.A. Aquarium or Adventure Cove Waterpark during the event period. What can you win? The best prizes will only end up with a fortunate few. For the rest, it’s little treats of discounts or free-with-purchase prizes. I got a “Free Ice-Cream” (with any Meal Combo purchased) coupon.

Universal Studios Singapore - Giveaway and RWS Red packets

The red packets given this year look much better than last year’s, probably because it’s a variant of another design. It’s also smaller, like those “$2 Red Packets”. The horse motif extends to the back. On the right: Resorts World Sentosa’s luxuriously embossed red gold packets, is probably big enough for $1000 notes.

Universal Studios Singapore - Red Packet Giveaways in the park

While walking around Hollywood, a crew member gave another one. Still the same “Free ice-cream with meal purchase at USS” coupon.

Chinese New Year Store Display at Hollywood

The large store window at the Universal Studios Store (Hollywood zone) is occasionally re-decorated a few times a year. The current iteration is probably the most fanciful so far.

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street-themed Chinese New Year Store Display

The highlight appears to be the same “Limited Edition” plush toys and Sesame Street red packets (hong baos).

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street-themed Chinese New Year Store Display 2

This Sesame Street Hong Bao Set looks like a Universal Studios Singapore park exclusive item. Anyway the characters featured (and chinese words) are:

Cookie Monster – 福 – Fortune
Elmo – 春 – Spring
Oscar the Grouch – 吉祥 – Auspicious
Zoe – 心想事成 – Wishes Come True
Abby Cadabby – 大吉大利 – Prosperity
Big Bird – 恭喜發財 – Kung Hei Fat Choy!!

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street-themed Chinese New Year Store Display 3

Universal Studios Singapore - Cookie Monster and Elmo plush toys, Chinese New Year edition

The Chinese New Year Limited Edition Elmo and Cookie Monster plush toys go for $29.90 each. There is a new promotion: 2 plush toys for $49.90 (or around that price).

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street Red Packets

We’re back to the USS-exclusive Sesame Street red packet set again. You can find lots of them at Big Bird’s Emporium (New York zone).

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street Red Packets 2

You can’t choose which characters to have; each Sesame Street hong bao set has all six characters. The first design is randomized to show variety. You can see all 6 designs can be seen on the back of the set, like so…

Universal Studios Singapore - Sesame Street Red Packets 3

Take your time to decide who gets the Oscar the Grouch hong bao.

Photos around the park

Universal Studios Singapore - Star Characters store display renewal

After Celebrity Cafe and Bakery radically transformed into Starbucks, the neighbour store, Star Characters, is also going through some changes.

Universal Studios Singapore - Star Characters store display renewal 2

Inside the store, walls have been put up surrounding the window. The rest of the shop is still heavily themed to Shrek. So it seems to be a new window display. What did the old one looked like – Did anyone remember?

Universal Studios Singapore - Battlestar Galactica

It’s exactly six months since the Battlestar incident and the fates of the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters has yet to be decided.

Universal Studios Singapore - Battlestar Galactica 2

BSG is still under attraction review.

Universal Studios Singapore - Battlestar Galactica 3

The lagoon below the tracks sadly reflects the state of the ride above.

Universal Studios Singapore - Oasis Spice Cafe outdoor section

The outdoor section of Oasis Spice Cafe has been cleared of most tables and chairs. Only a couple remain. What’s going to happen here?

Universal Studios Singapore - Friar's

Friar’s Good Food looks a bit different with all the umbrellas taken away, and what looks like new awnings extending into the tiny indoor dining hall.

Universal Studios Singapore - Friar's 2

I really miss the old Friar’s (probably pre-2012) where they served wraps. Now, with a menu of fried meat and chips, it is more like an extension of Goldilock’s across the street.

Universal Studios Singapore - Madagascar Poster Stand

Some new poster stands have appeared in the park. They are nicely themed!

Universal Studios Singapore - Sci-Fi City Poster Stand

Here’s one at Sci-Fi City. Although personally I wouldn’t be convinced to buy anything when this poster is placed right at the middle of the Battlestar Galactica floor emblem.

Universal Studios Singapore - The Cruisers

I’ll end this post with a nice photo of The Cruisers performing at Hollywood. Is anyone planning to visit the park during the Chinese New Year holiday weekend?

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12 Responses to Universal Studios Singapore – Update 01/2014

  1. Danee January 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Sadly, it’s just one of those signs before it became into what happened to pre-1990s Japanese abandoned ghost theme parks. USS really need to step up their game on the marketing and management. With the SEA economic boom, all upper middle class citizens from south east asian countries would prefer to go to European countries, Japan or the USA if they want to go for theme park holidays. Whilst, the lower middle class is too tight with their money to even buy the merchandises. It will be so sad to see another brilliant entertainment project in SEA to go awry.

  2. J January 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Hi Dejiki.
    Is it possible to get character appearance timings from park staff for all characters besides the minions?

    • KM January 24, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      If I may reply on behalf.
      Character appearances and performances etc. are listed in a list that is printed and distributed (and can be obtained at the entrance). Not sure how else you can see it online, unless somebody actively goes to USS everyday, scan the list, and update on some online site.
      Then again, it just goes to show that everyday is a different day at USS. And everyday brings new surprises for all visitors.

  3. Terry January 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    I was quite disappointed about the way RWS has been dealing with the Battlestar Galactica issue. And I was equally disappointed at the sorry state of Shrek 4D, in view that some of seats have not been working properly (I am not referring to those stationary ones). Maintenance needs to be more robust, really. I just hope RWS will not forget about this theme park when Genting Highlands is getting a new revamped theme park in the near future. I hope RWS needs to re-look at its oveall strategy as this theme park seems to be losing its glam and lustre gradually.

  4. Mega youtubeboy January 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Hi Dejiki! nice update as usual :-)
    Could you give us an update of the construction at far far away?:-)

  5. Melly January 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    I went today. Kinda disappointed in some rides. shrek 4d as above comment said wasnt working properly n i kinda saw a small line in the screen. not sure if it screen or projector causes it.

    the battlestar fountain. the one near transformer seem to be in very bad shape.

    I heard from the staff that a Minion mart is coming soon! a minions own store. maybe a minions ride coming soon? a minion coaster maybe.

    but heard betty boop shop are gonna be revamp.

    the madagascar ride need be revamp as it seem old as it already 3 movies n it still based on first movies. n the river sides can c the paint coming off.
    n hope they can do a more accesible for wheel chair. as there this guy cant climb stairs n need go out by entrance queue.

  6. Melly January 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Maybe you can add.

    they having offer 3 tshirt for $59.
    n 2 mug for $20. only certain designs

  7. SirEdge
    Twitter:
    January 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Great to see some angpao in USS, and Oscar seems to be the most inventively-dressed for the lunar new year.

    I’ll be in Singapore for a seminar next month, and was planning to drop by USS for the first time, but I’m quite disappointed that Battlestar Galactica is still closed.

    If that’s the case, is there anything that will make the park worthwhile? I guess Transformers?

    • Dejiki January 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      It is unfortunate that Battlestar Galactica is still closed. The new updates to the park are more friendly-oriented, with a great focus on Sesame Street. The park has some other mildly thrilling attractions: Revenge of The Mummy, Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure and Transformers: The Ride.

  8. summerterry February 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Hi Dejiki, do you feel that Battlestar Galactica will ever open again? What’s your guess? It seems to me that USS is not doing anything this time, unlike the first time round when USS opened, when USS did tried their best to repair it. Let us know your view :)

    • Dejiki February 9, 2014 at 12:48 am #

      It is unclear if BSG will reopen in the near future. The park was strongly motivated to reopen the ride during the first closure, as BSG was the star attraction at the park. Since then, the interest for BSG has been diverse – especially with the addition of new attractions. In short, it does not appeal to the majority of park guests.

      I would say that with the recent closure, the park management has been reviewing the financial viability of keeping this attraction running.

  9. noname March 6, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    BSG is a goner . They lost the License due to safety issues . Seat flew out again during test. So in order for Bsg to reopen they must tear it down and redo it Which is not going to happen.

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