Sunday, February 28, 2010

universal studios singapore photo of the day

Part of a series of ongoing photos of the day.

One of the hotel in Resorts World Sentosa

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review of my visit to Resorts World Sentosa

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

universal studios singapore photo of the day

Part of a series of ongoing photos of the day.

Entrance plaza

universal studios singapore photo of the day

From now on, I will introduce a new type of post called the photo of the day. That is, I will post a photo per day about Universal Studios Singapore or Resorts World Sentosa. I will try to post as consistently as possible, so expect to have a little piece of USS magic everyday on your computer. To start, I will post 2 photos. Keep waiting for tomorrow's post!

A neat touch to the Hollywood area. Recreation of the walk of fame.

Authentically recreated facades of Hollywood

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Universal Studios Preview Photos Part 1

I visited Universal Studios Singapore preview on Sunday. It was an amazing experience. Here are many of the photos that I have taken. Enjoy.

The Entrance to Universal Studios Singapore

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

A statue on the promenade

To be continued...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Universal Studios Preview

I will be going to the Universal Studios Singapore preview tomorrow, so expect a full picture review with many videos to come.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Review of my visit to Resorts World Sentosa

Resorts World at Sentosa, Singapore's newest and most exciting development, is open, and the casino and Universal Studios Singapore will open tomorrow for preview.

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

Universal Studios Preview

Universal Studios Singapore Festive Tours

Universal Studios Singapore will open 5 pm to 9 pm every night from 14 Feb to 21 Feb. Visitors can purchase tickets, costing $10 each, and get dining and shopping vouchers of the same value. None of the rides and shows will be open. The park’s dining and retail outlets will be open for dinners/quick-bites and shopping.

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

Breaking News from Straits Times


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

Feeding the Rumor Mill

The breaking news today is that Resorts World at Sentosa has gotten its casino license from the Singapore authorities after many weeks of delay. So how will this impact the opening date of Universal Studios Singapore and the casino.

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.