None of us kids knew that we were actually going to Universal during our Singapore trip until the morning of. I was imagining that a trip to Universal was out of the question since we were in the country on a holiday weekend, but my parents' theory was that New Year's Day was a great time to go to Universal Studios since surely no one else would want to wake up so early after partying all the previous night. Besides that, it was promising to be a cloudy, rainy day, the kind of day when theme parks are traditionally avoided.
So, we headed out, and arrived and got in line to purchase entry tickets about an hour before park opening. Once tickets were purchased, we wandered around the Resort World entry area, taking photos and taking in the sights. Sarah, who had been to Universal back when she was a little too short for some of the rides, was in a state of blissful excitement, jumping up and down, and telling Mom and Angel and I (the uninitiated) about all the wonders we were about to experience.
We got in line, about 20 people back from the main gates, and they started letting us into the part about 15 minutes before official opening. "Elves" were handing out candy canes to everyone at the gates, and we also grabbed a time schedule for the day's shows. Since it was the first of January, all of the Christmas entertainment was still going on, which meant a few extra shows and festivities.
As we'd previously planned, we headed straight for the Transformers ride, rushing through the beautifully detailed Hollywood and New York lands. We loved the details in the queue of Transformers, but we didn't have much time to see them as the wait was less than 5 minutes.
After that, we headed for BattleStar Galactica, where Angel, Rebekah, and MaryGrace went straight for the Cylon track while Dad and Sarah went on the less-intimidating Human track. Mom and I sat this one out. Mom waited patiently and I waited not-so-patiently for them to get off of their ride. Since I had a few minutes, I wandered back into New York and took a few photos, including a selfie with Vin Diesel since no one else was around.
We headed to the Mummy ride next. Mom sat out this one again, as Sarah warned her that it was quite intense. I thought it was not as scary as Sarah's dire warnings made it seem, but still fairly intense. Disney roller coasters are pretty much my comfort threshhold, I'm not one for extreme rides, but this one was okay for me.
We headed into Jurassic World next, where we braved the water ride without buying ponchos, since those cost money and who minds getting wet on a water ride? Dad opted out of this one, staying dry and carrying all of our stuff that we didn't want to get wet. This was a really suspenseful ride, but not a particularly wet one. We hopped off, still mostly dry, and went straight to Far, Far, Away, to get in line for the Puss in Boots Coaster.
We were just about at the front of the line for the coaster when the heavens opened and the clouds that had been threatening all morning turned into a downpour. I was worried that they'd close the ride and our time in line would have been in vain, but they didn't, and we proceeded onto the coaster, where every single one of us got completely and utterly soaked. This coaster in the rain was much more of a water ride than the actual water ride, we all agreed. I posted a photo on Instagram of a rain-soaked Angel and I after the ride.
It was still raining heavily when we got off, but we really wanted to make the first showing of "Waterworld" which Dad claimed was a really cool performance. We left "Waterworld" with Rebekah claiming that when she grows up she wants to be the actress in the show. Rebekah also happened to make a friend during the performance, one of the villains came up and sat next to her and tried to use her as a human shield. All of the rest of the family found that quite amusing. We then visited Donkey LIVE and Shrek 4-D Adventures, both of which we found less-than-amusing, primarily because my entire family universally thinks that Shrek is a highly overrated film.
After the shows, we were getting a bit hungry, so we stopped for a shared meal at Mel's Diner, where everyone else split burgers and Sarah and I discovered the wonders of cheezy fries. I still think those cheezy fries were the best food I had in all of Singapore. You can't judge until you've lived as an expat long enough in Southeast Asia to appreciate some plain old American diner food. ;)
Becausewe're only happy once we're seen all the shows in the park, we hustled straight to "Sesame Street Saves Christmas" immediate showely after lunch.
And right after the show, we stayed on the Sesame Street theme and went to the Spaghetti Space Chase. This ended up being one of my favorite rides in the park, and we went back again in the evening to ride it.
I loved the funny details in the Spaghetti Space Chase queue.
After that, we went to Lights, Camera, Action! with Steven Spielberg (if you saw the instagram post about Sarah trying to hypnotize away Angel's 'fear' of Steven Spielberg, this attraction is what inspired that event). Then, in quick succession, we rode Madagascar: A Crate Adventure (Loved the detail and design of the queue, good thing, too, because this line was a little longer than most on this day), and Enchanted Airways.
After that, we wandered through "A Scrooge Christmas Splendor." I love the design of this 'show,' in which actors in the costumes of Scrooge's London wandered through the street, interacting with guests. This guy, in particular, was really funny, and had a whole conversation with Sarah. Here he is inquiring how she got all the way from Malaysia to London and asking how long the boat journey took.
It was after the Scrooge performance when my parents showed signs of slowing down. They opted to sit in one place for the next hour and a half until the evening Christmas entertainment started, while Angel, Rebekah, and MaryGrace opted to head off for a couple of rides, and Sarah and I headed off in a different direction to ride the rides we preferred. Angel and the girls repeated Battlestar Galactica and Transformers, while Sarah and I preferred to increase our total ride count by accomplishing the Canopy Flyer in The Lost World and Treasure Hunters in Ancient Egypt. After we got out, we wandered Hollywood, checking out the gift shops, until hunger impelled us to rejoin our parents and share another order of cheezy fries from the diner.
Once everyone had regrouped, we spent the majority of the evening watching the night's special Christmas performances, which included a light show, stilt walkers, along with a number of stage performances. In between shows, we ducked into Transformers and Spaghetti Space Chase and Lights, Camera, Action! for a 2nd taste of fun, since lines were very short by this point.
We left the park at about 9:30 p.m. after the close of the final performance, thereby, according to our definition, successfully "opening" and "closing" the park. We tend to figure amusement park tickets are only really worth it if you're in the park before it opens and stay until after it closes.
My ride count (unique rides) was 10 for the day, with 2 rides repeated. Sarah beat me by one, since she was brave enough to ride Battlestar Galactica and I wasn't.
Have you been to a Universal Studios park anywhere in the world? How did your experience compare to my tales from the Singapore park? Are you a park opener and closer like we are, or are you content with a shorter, less exhausting, day?