Visiting Universal Studios Singapore soon but not sure where to start? Here are our tips in making sure you have a grand time despite heaps of people lining up on your all time fave rides too (without spending extra on the USS Express Pass, of course!).
IN THE KNOW
Universal Studios Singapore is South East Asia’s first and only Universal Studios theme park with 24 rides and attractions spread across 7 themed zones. We booked our tickets ahead of time via Klook - this gave us a 10% discount (during the time of my booking back in May 2018) and also saved us time from lining up for tickets at Sentosa. It was a convenient way to purchase tickets because all you needed to show upon entry is the mobile QR code.
But the question still remains, with so many rides and attractions to choose from - how do you maximize your whole day visit to Universal Studios Singapore especially when travelling with kids?
OUR TIPS & EXPERIENCE
The best tip I can share with everyone visiting Universal Studios Singapore is to look at USS as if it was a big donut on a stick.
If you look at the map, everyone enters through Hollywood Street (that is the stick) and the lagoon is your donut hole. The main sections such as New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar are all parts of the donut. With this in mind, make your way down Hollywood Road until you reach the lagoon – this serves as your back way leading to your preferred destination. The key point here is you take less time looking at other sights and focus on the first ride or attraction you want to take. Think of the initial sights as distractions where most tourists would start first because it is the first thing they see.
And since we were “ahead of the crowd” we had time to take photos of these instagrammable places without having to wait for our turn WOOT – WOOT!
Now, depending on your preference, who you are travelling with, and if you have USS Express Pass – this determines the path you will take once you enter the park. In our case, we did not have a USS Express Pass so we made sure to put those rides high up on our list. We then made a MUST RIDE list per themed zone and selected key attractions in order of preference. If in case the line was really long, we skipped that attraction first then went back once we were done.
Ancient Egypt – Treasure Hunters
Far Far Away – Enchanted Airways, Puss in Boots, Shrek 4D Adventure
The Lost World – Canopy Flyer, Dino Soarin’, JP Rapids Adventure, Water World
Madagascar – A Crate Adventure, King Julien's Beach Party Go Round
New York – Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase, Lights Camera Action
Sci Fi City – photo of Transformers
Hollywood – The House of Pantages was closed for renovation during our visit so instead we admired pop up shows on the streets of Hollywood
You would notice that we excluded some rides because it was not our preference to ride the bigger roller coasters like Battle Star Galactica, The Mummy and the Transformers. It is really important that you think about your key rides to ensure you get to experience everything in a day. When travelling with kids, you have to factor in that you need more rest and pit stops compared to travelling with teenagers and adults.
#1 Ancient Egypt Zone
Treasure Hunters (3 of 5 stars) is a slow ride for young explorers to ‘drive’ their own jeep through an abandoned Egyptian excavation site. You get to see mummies, scarabs, cobras and much more.
#2 Far Far Away Zone
Enchanted Airways (4 of 5 stars) was a fast yet short roller coaster ride. We were not prepared with how fast this ride would be, but nonetheless safe for the little ones. You are required to leave your bags at foot lockers prior to your ride.
Puss in Boots (3 of 5 stars) will take you up on the story of how this brave and cheeky cat saved the kingdom and the golden eggs. No need to leave your things, just make sure you tuck your things safely inside the carriage.
Shrek 4D Adventure (4 of 5 stars) is a film showing the fairy tale of Shrek and Fiona. The film is complete with your chairs bouncing, air blasts and water sprays. It was a fun ride but the queue here gets really, really long.
#3 The Lost World Zone
Dino Soarin (3.5 of 5 stars) allows your kids to be the pilots of these prehistoric creatures. You can go as high as you want with this ride.
Canopy Flyer (3.5 of 5 stars) initially looked scary to all of us but we soon found out that it was a very safe and unfortunately a very, very, very short ride. It’s a roller coaster attraction that gives you a bird’s eye view of the park while seated on movable chairs with your legs dangling in the air. Bags are required to be left at lockers before the ride.
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (5 of 5 stars) will make you line up for eons but the wait is worth it. One of the most memorable rides we have ever been on. Make sure to bring a poncho and waterproof your belongings as it will definitely get wet. (You can leave your things in a locker but it is a bit expensive) Your shoes will also most likely get wet. The ride takes you through the ruins of Jurassic Park (very similar to the movie) and will take you through the laboratory and splish-splash you in a minute.
Water World (5 of 5 stars) is an amazing show that takes you through a time where there is no more land and people live on make shift islands. It’s an action packed show with fireworks, blasts, jet skis, stunts and so much more. If you want to get wet, stay in front of the stadium!
#4 Madagascar Zone
A Crate Adventure (3.5 of 5 stars) is a river boat ride with Madagascar friends Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria. It takes you through the land of Foosa and how our heroes courageously save the day. This was the perfect time for Mommy and Daddy to snooze for a bit :)
King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round (2 of 5 stars) is a short and uneventful carousel with Madagascar characters and music. If only the ride was a bit longer, I think we would have given an extra star.
#5 New York Zone
Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase (3 of 5 stars) is an indoor dark ride with Elmo leading a space mission. It was a refreshing ride just because of the air-condition environment.
Lights Camera Action with Steven Spielberg (4 of 5 stars) was an amazing insider view with how special effects are done for movies. Make sure you stand within the yellow lines of the planks so you feel every movement of the stage. A must experience in our books!
#6 Sci Fi City Zone
#7 Hollywood Zone
She got a chance to Spin the Record for Mel’s talented singers – what a birthday celebration this is for her!
AGUIVENTURE FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS
Determine what you must see and experience at Universal Studios Singapore. Check out ride and attractions reviews, and see if there are new seasonal attractions such as Halloween that would affect your itinerary. Try to make a list so you can visualize how your day would look like.
Try to visit on a weekday when there are less tourists and kids. You save on time from lining up and get more out of your visit.
Arrive 30 minutes before the park opens. When we visited USS, they allowed visitors to enter a few minutes before the opening hours.
Get a map upon entry to the park – this becomes your guide for everything inside.
If you plan to see Water World, don’t forget to check the show time.
Bring a water bottle – there are many water refilling stations in the park. You will save on a few dollars and also on plastic waste.
Food is not allowed inside the park premises.
No need for big camera lenses (unless you are here to take photographs and not be on the rides) – most of the time you will be required to leave bags before going on the rides.
The Lost World opens at 11:00 am so plan your itinerary with this in mind.
Bring a poncho for the JR Rapids Adventure. You are sure to get wet here.
Bring extra change of clothes as the hot and humid weather of Singapore will make you sweat.
Cash and credit card are widely accepted inside the park.
Sunglasses, hats, fans and sunscreen are necessities. You can also bring an umbrella should you prefer more shade.
"BEST DAY EVER," says the little birthday girl. We were all pooped out after all the heat, the lining up and the roller coaster of emotions but it was a grand day we will never forget. We hope our tips would help you in your plans when visiting Universal Studios Singapore. Until next theme park!