During my family trip to Singapore, we went to visit Universal Studios at Sentosa.
The Singapore Tourism Board kindly gave me and my 3 children entry tickets into Universal Studios. We purchased my husband’s ticket and our express tickets upgrade ourselves. More on the express upgrade later.
It was absolutely fantastic. My kids voted it to be the best experience ever! It is definitely a MUST-VISIT attraction if you are travelling to Singapore with children.
First up, let me lay it straight: it is not cheap. You kinda have to think of the whole thing as a “once in a lifetime” experience and something worth saving up for.
We spent the whole day there. We arrived at 9:45am (doors open at 10am) and we left at 6pm, because we were all too tired to go on.
It was an epic day :)
My kids, aged 10, 8, and 4 enjoyed the rides the most. There were also shops, street theater and movies/shows…but my boys (and my husband) were totally focused on thrill seeking.
The whole park was divided into themes – Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar. And in each theme there were 3-4 rides and attractions.
We arrived early and did the big Sci-Fi rides first. This was a good move for us, because later in the day the queues for the rides became really long. Plus my bigger kids were instantly happy because we got the glamorous and famous rides out of the way.
My favourite ride (and my 8 year old’s) was The Transformer Ride. It had 3D screens, a clever storyline, it was jaw-dropping, brilliant and so much fun!
I also really liked the Jurassic Park Rapids Ride too.
Pictured above is the Battlestar Galactica Ride. I looked up at it, saw the tangle of metal tracks and nearly fainted! Unfortunately the ride was closed that day, due to technical difficulties. The boys were sooooooooooooooooooo disappointed. And I was soooooo relieved that I didn’t have to join them!
This was outside The Revenge of the Mummy Ride.
My 10 year old liked this one best, because there were lots of steep falls and parts of it was in complete darkness!
The visual design of everything was so well done and impressive. Nothing looked shoddy or old. It was all so clean and well looked after. Even the toilets were soooo clean.
My 4 year old couldn’t go on any big rides, because he was too short. You have to be taller than 102cm or 125cm to go on most rides. But even IF he was tall enough, I wouldn’t let him go on the bigger rides, because I knew he would be too scared of the themes and the rollercoaster swerves.
But… there were LOTS of rides suitable for younger kids, like the Sesame Street Space Chase (pictured above) which was just a cute ride with lots of Sesame Street scenes.
And he also went on the Mummy Returns Treasure Hunter ride, a Jurassic Park flyer ride (this was quite high and he loved it!), a flying dinosaur ride, a Madagascar ride, a Madagascar ferris wheel and a Shrek themed mini-rollercoaster. He enjoyed everything and he didn’t feel left out at all. Even my bigger kids enjoyed those rides.
There were also lots of “family” experiences that he could go on too – the fake Hollywood set (the fake fire and hurricane made him cry though) and a Shrek 4D Adventure Movie.
And this was the Waterworld Show… a live action-packed show with stunts, explosions, boats, jet-skis, fake gunshots, flare guns and lots of splashing water. It was funny AND exciting.
I have to be honest and say the queues were really, reeeeallly long… even though we specially scheduled our trip to Singapore to AVOID school holidays and weekends.
Some of the waiting times (there were digital clocks to warn people of the long wait) were 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 50 minutes, and one was even 70 minutes!!
BUT. Each ride and attraction had TWO queues – one for regular ticket holders and one for express ticket holders. See the photo above! Do you notice the EMPTY Express Lane?! And the people who appear to be camping semi-permanently in the regular lane?
We purchased 5 x Universal Express Tickets at $40 each. This is in addition to the basic ticket price. This allowed us a once off express pass to EACH of the rides.
We would arrive at a ride, show our Express Ticket, and then walk up the express lane past *literally* HUNDREDS of people who were waiting (and had been waiting for 30 minutes!), and were immediately allowed to get onto the ride after a 1 minute wait!
I felt a bit bad for them.
But it was SO WORTH IT. My justification for this extra $200 cost was that…it was a small extra price compared to the whole cost of going to Singapore, and it meant that we maximized our fun time.
As I said, we arrived at 10am, ate lunch, we did ALL the rides and attractions in the park, had time for dinner, and finished at 6pm. And this was with a 2 – 5 minute wait for all rides. I would think that if we had long waits, we would have had to miss out on a lot of the rides.
This was us in the Far, Far Away Land, where everything was Shrek themed. It was 4pm and my kids were getting a bit tired. Not meeee!
Some tips on how to have a great day:
1) Bring sunglasses, hats and sunscreen.
2) Wear good walking shoes.
3) Bring your own water bottles. There are water fountains everywhere and you can refill your bottles very easily.
4) Bring some snacks. There are lots of places to buy food, but it was just handy to have a few muesli bars to munch on for extra fuel.
You know, as a parent, I strive to give my children as many different experiences as I can… particularly focusing on how to appreciate the fine, simple and delicate pleasures of life – like building sandcastles, collecting autumn leaves, finding driftwood on the riverbank.
But spending all day in this highly contrived and artificial environment… and seeing my kids EXPLODE with sheer happiness, exhilaration, excitement and utter glee after stepping off a roller-coaster ride – oh man, I felt that I’d gone to the other extreme of super parenting and YUP I FELT LIKE A GOOD PARENT TODAY HAHA!
Overall, yes, it was a fantastic day!
We had been talking about this family trip and planning a visit to Universal Studios for many months… and it was just wonderful for us and the kids to enjoy it SO SO MUCH!!
The Singapore Tourism Board kindly gave me and my 3 children entry tickets into Universal Studios. We purchased my husband’s ticket and our express tickets ourselves.