Monday, July 12, 2010
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, a major attraction located in the Lost World section
Location: Universal Studios Singapore
Park Section: Lost World
Type: Rapids Ride
Status: Soft Opening
Opened: March 18, 2010
Will you be able to handle it?
This ride, being a rapids ride, is rather gentle and slow as compared to coasters and other ride systems. However, there are some portions of the ride where it gets pretty bumpy, and of course, not to forget the drop at the end of the ride, which may be a little intense for some.
But be ready for some portions in complete darkness, and some pretty close encounters with dinosaurs during the ride.
Tips on Riding
This ride features a pretty low capacity ride system and it is also one of the most popular rides in the entire park, hence there will be long lines towards the middle of the day. Try going on the attraction right after the park opening, where the queue will be about 10-30 minutes long. As the day progresses, especially after every Waterworld show, the queue will be bumped up to 1h15mins and it will remain this way until shortly before park closing.
You may also get very wet on this ride, depending on which direction you are facing. Given that the rafts are circular, there is literally no way to chose a dry seat or a wet seat, hence it is recommended that you wear a raincoat before getting onto the ride just in case you get soaked.
The Ride Experience
The queue for this attraction is mostly held in a large sheltered area with switchback queue systems and it does lack the themeing that we come to expect from Universal. However, there are some small information posters about dinosaurs throughout the queue.
Another cool detail they did to make you buy into the entire Jurassic Park mythology is to have this complicated backstory regarding this tropical rain hitting Jurassic park, and that certain sections are closed due to the probability of flooding. There are evidence of this back story throughout the queue, from overhead announcements informing the closure of certain areas, to alerts on the video screens about the rainstorm.
To be continued...
Saturday, April 3, 2010
This post will deal with the comparison of the 3 incarnations of the Mummy ride in Singapore, Orlando and Hollywood. Check out the previous post for a detailed description of the Singapore incarnation of the ride.
The Universal Studios Singapore, Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida versions of Revenge of the Mummy are essentially the same. They both incorporate dark ride and roller coaster elements to immerse riders in the sinister world of Imhotep and his mummy minions. But there are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences.
Mostly, the differences have to do with real estate. In the Singapore version, the soundstage was built from scratch, while in the USH and USO version, it occupied the E.T. and Kongfrontation soundstages, respectively. The USH and USO soundstages occupy different footprints, while the USS version have an exact duplicate of the USO version. Orlando's and Singapore's larger width, depth, and height allow for a larger, longer ride. The Singapore version also have the advantage of an entire theme land dedicated to the Mummy theme, and since it was built 6 years after the original in USO was built, it also have the advantage of feedback and experience, allowing them to tweak some of the major story and queue elements.
- Ride Length- One of the major differences is duration. Florida and Singapore's Mummy clocks in at about three minutes, while Hollywood shaves 30 seconds off for about two-and-a-half minutes of fun.
- The Queue- In Florida, guests supposedly wander onto the movie set for the next 'Mummy" film sequel. Eventually, this morphs into the Mummy's tomb. In Hollywood, the line is shorter, and there's no pretense of a movie set. Guests there enter into the Mummy's tomb from the get-go. And in Singapore incarnation, guests supposedly enter a real tomb in the real Egypt, with not even a single reference to soundstages or filmaking.
- The Story- In the Singapore version of the ride, the guests have a "mission" to fulfill. They have to find the book of the living to destroy the curse, while in the USO and USH versions, the guests have no real mission.
- First Encounter- In the SIngapore version of the ride, the first encounter with the Mummy occurs with the Mummy performing a ritual on an archeologist, while in the USO verson, the Mummy jumps out of a coffin and sucks the life out of Reggie, and in the USH version, guests encounters the Mummy much later in the ride.
- The Launch- In Florida and Singapore, the vehicles launch 45 degrees up into the mouth of the Mummy. In Hollywood, it's a straight, zero-degree launch. Both versions reach top speeds of 45 mph, however.
- Going Backwards- In Florida and Singapore, the vehicles go backwards early in the ride after encountering the scarabs. The backwards part of the ride only lasts a few seconds as a transition to the next scene. In Hollywood, passengers don't encounter the scarabs until halfway through the coaster part of the attraction. They continue the second half of the coaster ride facing backwards.
- The Turnaround- In Florida and Singapore, the vehicles drop onto a turntable a few seconds after going backwards and immediately before they launch into the coaster part of the ride. In Hollywood, the vehicles proceed backwards for the second half of the coaster ride and the turntable faces them forwards to the exit area for unloading.
- The interruption- In the Florida version of the ride, there is a false unloading scene where the Mummy sucks life out of the ride operator and sends guests into the second porton of the ride, while in the Singapore version, the interruption comes when the guests finds the book of the living, and Imhotep pops up, cursing the guests and sending them into the second coaster portion. In the Hollywood version, the interruption is when the vehicle stops in front of the Scarab infested wall.
- Fire- In Florida and Singapore, the Mummy unleashes a blast of real fire. In Hollywood, the ride uses a "faux" effect to simulate fire.
- The End- In the Florida version of the ride, the ending of the ride has a video with the coffee gag, while in the Singapore version, the ending features Imhotep trapped in a coffin.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Revenge of the Mummy, one of the best attractions in the whole of Universal Studios Singapore
The Revenge of the Mummy, located in the spectacular tomb in Ancient Egypt, is an indoor psychological roller coaster thrill ride.
Location: Universal Studios Singapore
Park Section: Ancient Egypt
Type: Steel Coaster
Status: Soft Opening
Opened: March 18, 2010
Designer: Universal Creative
Inversions, Loops, Corkscrews: 0
Duration: 2+ Minutes
Height Restriction: 122cm
Max Speed: 45mph
Will you be able to handle it?
The coaster part of Revenge of the Mummy does not have any inversions, does not do to any uncomfortable speeds, and reaches a relatively tame max speed of 45 mph. RWS even considers it a "family" attraction and it's less intense than Battle Star Galactica Coasters. But it does include high-speed launches, delivers some startling drops and out-of-your-seat airtime, and feels a lot more out of control because it is in the dark. Be prepared for a more aggressive ride. There will be moments where you feel that you will drop out of your seats, and some "uncontrollable" turns in the dark. There are also steep drops, but still still can be managed. The Linear Induction launch is an aggressive part of the ride, and it launches you straight into a fog filled room, so for those sensitive to fog, you may need to consider it twice. There is a backwards section to the ride too, but it is short, and more fun than intense.
On the "psychological" side of the thrill equation, I think just about everybody, save highly impressionable young children, will find the mummy motif more engrossing than gross-out. The sound effects will be loud, and there will be strobe lights and pyrotechnic effects (real flame).
If you're on the line, I'd advise you to suck it up, hold on tightly to the rider next to you and give it a try. Revenge of the Mummy is among the very attractions in USS, and you should try it at least once. Even if you find the ride a bit too unsettling, you'll be able to take comfort in its short duration; the whole experience lasts about three minutes, with the coaster portion taking less than half that time.
Follow the safety guidelines and do not bring a camera to film the ride. The camera will fly out!
Great Ideas, Great Technology The attraction's high concept, melding a special-effects laden dark ride with a thrilling coaster, is a remarkable theme park achievement. While there are other examples of indoor coasters that attempt to incorporate a story, nothing comes close to Revenge of the Mummy. The introduction of magnetically launched coaster systems provided the linchpin to make the hybrid ride possible. The Mummy's conveyance system, which uses linear induction motors, or LIMs, allows the ride to blast off like a coaster. The real breakthrough is a modified, slower version of the LIMs (called SLIMs) that transport the vehicles through the dark ride parts of the attraction. The technology allows the car to vary its speed through scenes, seamlessly transition from the dark ride to the coaster, and even travel backwards at one point.
The journey begins as you enter the huge Egyptian tomb located in the Egypt section of the park. The story for this portion of the park goes like this: It is in the 1930s, the golden age of Egyptian exploration. A group of archeologists are excavating this spectacular tomb when something horribly wrong happened. The mummy in the tomb has gone back to life and you are trapped in it too.
While in the queue (which is positively enormous, think: marathon length, and can accommodate a slew of riders on peak attendance days), tabloids show messages like this "Find the book of the living and destroy Imhotep" . There are some pretty spectacular statues and drawings in the queue too, so you may want to take some time to check it out.
The core of the queue winds around a burial chamber and an archaeological dig. In the center is an enormous Egyptian statue that sits above a freshly unearthed keystone.
Confronting the MummyThe queue eventually leads guests up to the second level where they board the ride.
The 16-passenger single-car vehicles look nothing like coaster trains. Made to resemble industrial carts, they are articulated in the middle to accommodate the ride's twists and turns. The loading area actually have two platforms so as to double the capacity of the attraction.
In the first scene, words like "Find the book. Destroy Imhotep" are written all over the walls, and a ghostly voice beckons.
In the second scene a slightly mummified archeologist tells us once again to find the book of the living in order to get out. This scene is made to resemble the altar in the Mummy movies where Imhotep sucks the life out of victims in order to grow into a more human form. An imposing and highly fluid Mummy animatronic character turns around sucks the life out of the archeologist. He turns to the riders and says, "With your souls, I will rule for all eternity." As the word eternity reverberates around the corner, the vehicle moves out of there and into the next chamber.
Scarab and launchThe vehicle speeds around a corner and crashes into a wall. The wall cracks and scarab beetles pour from the wall and invade the car as the lights fade to black. This effect is heightened through the use of sound effects although I think Universal could have upped the psyche-out fear quotient here if it had employed those calf-level tickling devices it uses in Shrek 4-D, which is just a simple string connected to a motor under the seat, which creates a tickling effect when spun.
This is where the ride gets serious. While the invading bugs distract the passengers, the track behind the car switches. The vehicle proceeds backwards, but instead of retracing its course, it makes a straight, steep drop into a turntable.
As you start to feel dizzy, the vehicle stops in front of the book of the living, the book that you have been looking for all this while. Then the Mummy pops out from behind the book and curses the guests, before flames erupt from the ceiling. These are real flames and you can basically feel the heat from them.
The vehicle goes into a sharp drop and into a fog filled room, where it goes into the second coaster portion. There are a few more turns and then the vehicle goes into the last scene.
In this last scene, Imhotep is trapped inside a coffin and he curses and taunts the riders from inside. The vehicle then goes into the unloading station.
Overall, the ride is an impressive one, and the psychological aspect of the ride really adds to the appeal of the ride. Ride it more than once to catch the details!
Friday, March 19, 2010
I wasn't there yesterday, as the opening day tickets sold out as fast as it was released. Industry insiders estimated that only approximately 3000 over tickets were sold for the opening day, therefore making it so hard to get.
This small guest number was for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons was to facilitate guest and crowd control on the attractions. The ride operators are new in their positions and hence it will be disastrous if a huge mob of guests turned up, leaving the new park operators with little idea of how to handle them.
This small guest number also created some interesting situations. The queues for the attractions were incredibly short. I remember seeing one photograph which says: Revenge of the Mummy coaster wait time - 5 mins. This allowed the guests to experience all the attractions within a short 8.28am - 6pm day.
Yesterday was full of surprises. One of them was the weather. It was sunny when the park opened, but within a few hours, it started to rain, then stop occasionally, then started raining again. This cycle continued for the entire day until the park closed. The deluge helped to lower the temperature, making theme park going in a tropical country more bearable. The rain did not cause many inconveniences as half of the attractions were indoor ones, and the streets also had shade and rain covers to protect the guests.
Another surprise was the extended opening hours. After the park officially "closed", certain portions of Hollywood and New York were open and there was a spectacular fireworks display in the central lagoon, to cap the day off.
Looking into the future, Genting CEO announced that there will be a major attraction rolled out every year, for the next 3 years, with the 2011 attraction being the TRANSFORMERS ride. Phrase 2 of RWS will also commence, which includes an oceanarium, a maritime museum, a water park and 2 more hotels.
Universal Studios Singapore will remain in the soft opening period until further notice. 18 of the 19 built attractions are open (Madagascar ride opens in mid 2010). Attractions may open or closed without notice in this soft opening period.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Ticket sales will be available both on site as well as on line from March 10 9am.
Note: Certain attractions may not be opened during the soft opening period.
Annual Pass is divided into two types of passes: Superstar Pass and fun pass.
Enjoy unlimited admission for 312 days (Most weekdays and weekends)
> Universal Studios Singapore lanyard with 2 pins.
> S$25 Resorts World Sentosa gift voucher.
> 5% discount off selected F&B outlets at Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa.
> 5% discount off selected retail outlets at Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Store and Resorts World Gift Shop.
> Receive our monthly E-bulletin on the latest happenings in Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios Singapore.
> 10% early bird discount for Universal Studios Singapore events.
> Sneak previews of new rides and attractions.
> Entitled to a maximum of FIVE Universal Studios Singapore day passes at 10% discount for your accompanying guests during your birthday month.
Enjoy unlimited admission with no black-out dates for 365 days
> Universal Studios Singapore lanyard with 4 pins
> S$100 Resorts World Sentosa gift voucher
> 5% discount off selected F&B outlets at Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa
> 5% discount off selected retail outlets at Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Store and Resorts World Gift Shop
> Receive our monthly E-bulletin on the latest happenings in Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios Singapore
> 10% early bird discount for Universal Studios Singapore events
> Sneak previews of new rides and attractions
> Entitled to a maximum of FIVE Universal Studios Singapore day passes at 10% discount for your accompanying guests during your birthday month
> One complimentary pass to Halloween Horror Nights™
> 30% off the rack rate of the Resorts World Sentosa VIP Tour
> Enjoy unlimited climbs at the Amber Rock Climb™ which is an attraction in The Lost World™
> Enjoy complimentary Universal Express access to all the attractions in Universal Studios Singapore
> Reservation made for a Deluxe Room in Festive Hotel™ and Hotel Michael™ will enjoy a complimentary upgrade to the Deluxe Family Room and the Club Deluxe Room respectively
Each Annual Passholder may enjoy different benefits from time to time throughout the year
To enjoy the benefits, simply present your Annual Pass and personal identification at the time of redemption
Ticket price structure are as follows:
One Day Weekday Pass
One Day Weekend Pass
Two Day Pass
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Walking down Hollywood Boulevard, the buildings at the two sides will open up to this vast expanse of space which is the central lagoon. This is not a huge lagoon by any means, but at least they had managed to squeeze in a lagoon in this small piece of land.
I did notice some pyrotechnic equipment in the middle of the lagoon, and this made me wonder if there will be a lagoon show at night. I think it will be an excellent idea and it will encourage people to stay in the park for a longer time. This will benefit both the guest and Universal Studios Singapore and the guests will stay longer and spend more in the park, so it will be pretty easy to recover the amount spent on the lagoon show.
At this wide vista, we were able to look at all the lands, and this offers an excellent photo opportunity. The ancient Egypt land looms majestically at the other end of the lagoon. On the right, Mel's drive in sits handsomely by the waterfront, complete from neon signs and vintage cars. The Pantages theater sits directly opposite Mel's Drive In and it is a faithful recreation of the original in Hollywood, just much smaller and sandwiched between the brown derby and a retail shop. Inside, it contains one of Universal Studios Singapore's best show, the Monster Rock, aka Monstrocity. More on that in a later article. If you were to look closely at the windows of the Pantages theater, you will see some names on it, names of people involved in the creation of either the show or Universal Studios Singapore as a whole, acting as an end credit of some sort. Check that out next time. It is pretty cool.
The entire Hollywood area is filled with details. I could only imagine how much fun they had putting these little details and fun bits into the land. For example, there are authentic 1940s red fire hydrants, rusty street signs, and even a pedestrian crossing.
To be continued...
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
At just 20 hectares, Universal Studios Singapore is the smallest of Universal's theme parks (less than half the size of either of the Universal Orlando theme parks, and even smaller that Disney's California Adventure), but it is loaded with 20 attractions in this compact park. It is made up of 7 distinct lands, each with a theme related to movies.
Universal Studios Singapore is part of the new Resorts World Sentosa development on Sentosa Island, south of the main Singapore Island. Despite its island location, Universal Studios Singapore might be the most easily accessible theme park I've ever visited. I took Singapore's MRT to the Harbourfront station, from where I took a short S$3 monorail ride into the heart of Resorts World Sentosa.
To get into the park, you would have to walk under the Universal Studios Singapore archway, and I tell you, that archway is grand. It is the most unique of all of the Universal Studios archways. It is a rather neat to actually see the monorail pass above your head , above the entry turnstiles. Once inside the park, you will walk below a replica of the Hollywood sign. The Hollywood main street, looks a bit like the Hollywood section of Universal Studios Florida, except covered with a huge, translucent canopy, to keep tropical rainstorms at bay. And it is short. Very short, but very immersive, probably one of the more immersive lands.
When I first walk down the Hollywood boulevard, it was like drinking from a water hose. The sights, the sounds, and yes, even the smells hit you the moment you walk into the park. Once you pass under the Hollywood sign, it is like entering a whole new world. The area music is playing, which is very evocative of the golden age of Hollywood. The smell of the popcorn car on the boulevard also hits you. There are even meet and greet characters such as Kung Fu Panda, Woody etc. By the time I got over this sensory overload, I started to run up and down the street, trying to take in all of it.
At the sides of the street, there were authentically recreated facades that captures some of the iconic buildings of the LA area. That includes the five and dime shop, the dark room, and even the brown derby. One the side walks, there were also names on them, recreating the walk of fame.
At the end of the Hollywood "zone" lies the park's lagoon, from which you can see each of the other park zones surrounding it. I noticed what looked to me like pyrotechnic equipment mounted in the lagoon, so does it mean that there will be any fireworks show when it officially opens? We will wait and see.
Wait for more articles regarding Universal Studios Singapore preview.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Hollywood area
View of the entrance from Hollywood
One of the facades
View towards the lagoon
View towards the New York area of the park
View towards the Madagascar area of the park
View of Pantages theater, the main theater of USS, containing Monster Rock, a rock musical featuring the classic Universal Studios monsters
Transition between Hollywood and Madagascar
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
In order to get the preview tickets, guests would have to go down to RWS personally to purchase the tickets at the ticket booths in front of the Universal Studios Singapore entrance. So I made my way down to RWS to buy 2 tickets for the preview. (Note: All preview tickets have sold out)
I made my way to Sentosa using the Sentosa express, a monorail connecting Sentosa island to mainland Singapore. The admission price to Sentosa is S$3 per person.
While on the monorail, I took a few pictures of RWS. I think that the journey from the mainland to Sentosa really builds our anticipation and excitement. When I caught the first a glimpse of the Shrek's castle, I do feel something in my eye.
The monorail station is right in the heart of Resorts World Sentosa.
It leads straight into the shopping and entertainment area of Resorts World, an area called Festive Walk. Festive Walk is further divided into 3 areas, the Bull Ring-which is the entrance plaza to Universal Studios Singapore, the Forum-a retail and dining walkway leading into the casino, and Waterfront(Currently under construction)-a dining and shopping area at the waterfront, facing the mainland.
Festive Walk led straight into the entrance area for USS and when I first saw the globe, I was awed by the scale and the magnificence of the globe, and this hulk of metal is actually rotating. The background music was also playing, and it added to the ambience of the area.
I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the service and the general staff of Resorts World Sentosa. The staff was really friendly, helpful, enthusiastic, and the adjectives goes on and on. The staff was also very efficient, and I got my preview tickets with no wait. I think the the staff of RWS really made this place stand out as the premier integrated resort in SEA. I hope to see this continue through the years, and improve along the way.
The entrance to Universal Studios Singapore is marked by a archway.
The sign outside Universal Studios reads: Unavailable Attractions- Madascar A crate Adventure and Stage 28. I believe that these are the 2 attractions that could not make it for the opening day.
After that, I went back to festive walk, and in the middle of festive walk sits a huge fountain called the lake of dreams. It will come alive every night with spectacular lights and lazer show.
That pretty sums up my visit to Resort World Sentosa. I will be back with more photos and reviews after visiting the Preview for Universal Studios Singapore. Till then, see ya'!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Ticket sales start from 11.18am Friday, 12 February, at the ticket booths outside Universal Studios Singapore.
Admissions will be limited to 3,000 guests a day to ensure guests get a good experience. Members of the public are discouraged from turning up for the tours without a pre-bought ticket.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Feb 8, 2010
RWS casino to open by CNY
The doors to Singapore's first casino and Universal Studios theme park will be flung open by the Chinese New Year, which is widely regarded as an auspicious time. --PHOTO: REUTERS
THE doors to Singapore's first casino and Universal Studios theme park will be flung open by the Chinese New Year, which is widely regarded as an auspicious time.
Tenants and staff at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) told The Straits Times that they have been gearing up for the big opening at the end of this week.
One tenant said yesterday they had been told by the management that the theme park is targeted to open on either Feb 12 or 13, and the casino would open on Feb 13.
'We were told this a couple of days ago. We are very excited about good business during Chinese New Year,' said Mr Zie Samad, manager of Chili's, a restaurant which is just beside the theme park entrance. Entertainment veteran Dennis Foo, who is opening a new club at the integrated resort (IR) by early May, said 'more than three people in senior management' had told him the theme park would be taking in its first guests this week.
Mr Foo toured the IR last month and pronounced the casino '100 per cent ready'.
Several casino staff, who spoke to The Straits Times on condition of anonymity, said they were told to be ready for the casino's opening before Chinese New Year.
Found on the Straits Times, Singapore's premier newspaper
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Well,to look at it, there are a few factors to consider.
Firstly, it is the Chinese New Year. Well, it is no lie that Sentosa receives its highest visitor numbers during the New Year season. If you have ever been to Sentosa during the New Year weekend, you will know what I mean. People will literally have to queue for at least half an hour to get onto the Sentosa express to get into Sentosa, and they would have to queue for another hour or so to get out of Sentosa. The New Year weekend is also when attractions in Sentosa have the longest lines out of the entire year. The majority of the visitors will come from China as they have a long Chinese New Year holiday. There will also be many local visitors, those who are not Chinese, and have nothing to do during the New Year weekend to come visit Sentosa. So will Universal Studios Singapore open before or during the New Year weekend? It is for you to decide.
The second factor is the licenses for operation. Universal Studios Singapore requires at least 3 license to operate: the public entertainment license, the ride safety license and the general operation license. From as far as I know USS has received all 3 of their licenses and is ready to open. And the casino has also gotten its license, hence in theory, both are ready to open.
The third factor is the amount of completion. USS needs to get all their staff trained and all the rides working before it opens.
Therefore, it is very likely that USS and the casino may open either this week or then next. We will wait and see.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
One of the most exciting and most well covered land is the Sci-fi city. It is one of the smallest lands in the whole of Universal Studios Singapore and undoubtedly one of the best lands in Universal Studios Singapore as it houses 3 headliner, gate-busting attractions. The Battle Star Galactica Human line, Battle Star Galactica Cyclone line, and the Transformers ride opening in 2011.
Lets talk about the headliner Battlestar Galactica coasters first. Here are some stats:
-It is the tallest pair of roller coasters (Not the tallest coaster, but the tallest pair)
-The coaster will be launched from their stations at high speed instead of the traditional chain lift.
-Each coaster feature either several inversions, a zero-g roll, a Cobra roll, corkscrews, vertical loops and near collisions mere inches apart.
-Part of the ride will take place over a lagoon.
This ride will also feature a new generation of interactive storytelling queues, where there will be different sides of the story of Battlestar Galactica told on the two queues.
This ride will be like the spinning tea cups on steroids, with a futuristic themeing. It is mainly a children's ride.