Singapore was high on my list of places to experience and as the theme park enthusiast I am, Universal Studios Singapore as well. This past July, I made that a reality during the hot and humid summer. I spent a week in the wonderful city of Singapore with a day at Universal Studios Singapore!
Tickets for Universal Studios Singapore were provided by KKDay. A huge shoutout to them for making the day possible. Get your tickets instantly through their website and app. Save an extra 5% when you use the KKDay app with coupon code APP5OFF.
In this trip report, I’ll share with you my experience at Universal Studios Singapore including where I stayed, what I rode, and most importantly, what I ate. For more on Universal Studios Singapore see our Christmas trip report from Explorer Matt! Also, don’t forget to listen to the audio version of this trip report in our podcast.
Where I stayed
The toughest decision when wanting to go on any trip is figuring out where to stay. Universal Studios Singapore has a few hotels at Resorts World Sentosa — where the Park is located.
Since I was doing a solo trip my price range was on the lower end. I debated on staying somewhere cheap and figuring my way to Resorts World Sentosa. Instead, I opted for Genting Hotel Jurong, which is on the west part of Singapore (opposite of the Changi Airport).
Genting Hotel Jurong costs about SG$185 or US$133 per night. I stayed here for a total of 3-nights. The easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport is public transport or by taxi (which is quite affordable). I was fortunate enough to have my Auntie Roz collect me from Singapore’s stunning Changi Airport and take me to the hotel.
The main reason I chose the Genting Hotel Jurong was that it’s an official hotel for Resorts World Sentosa. The hotel had a free shuttle to and from the Resorts World Sentosa area where Universal Studios Singapore is. Takes about 30-minutes and shuttles run from the early morning to the late evening.
What I did
Once I got to Resorts World Sentosa, I had to walk from the bus stop up to Universal Studios Singapore. It’s painless and there are signs everywhere. Everything is in English, so I ran into zero issues.
I had every intention of arriving at the Park when it opened, but I opted for having extra sleep. I arrived at the gates around 11:30 and got into the Park within 5-minutes. Opened up the KKDay app and scanned my Park ticket and voila, that’s it!
Usually, before a trip to a new-to-me theme park, I’ll study the map beforehand. This wasn’t the case this time around. I don’t take my own advice sometimes. Once I went through the gates I grabbed a map and took a quick glance to acquaint myself with the layout.
Those Wait Times
A look at the wait times through the official app showed that the lines weren’t too bad, so I wasn’t concerned. The highest times were for Battlestar Galactica: Human vs. Cylon, which is a set of duelling rollercoasters themed to one of my favourite TV shows.
To give you a sense of the size of the Park, it’s quite small compared to the other Universal Parks (I haven’t been to Hollywood yet). My first ride of the day was Transformers The Ride, which is identical to the other parks. It offers single-rider so I took advantage of that and waited for about 30-minutes, while stand-by was around 90-minutes.
Transformers & Mummy
I’m the guy that’ll get so motion sick it results in being sick for the remainder of the day. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with Transformers. While I did get a tad motion sick, nowhere near as catastrophic as I imagined in my head. The ride itself was mindless fun and I can’t complain.
The result of riding Transformers first made me motion sick enough that I skipped the Battlestar Galactica coasters. I convinced myself I’d ride them later in the day — spoiler I didn’t.
Instead, I ventured into the nicely-themed area of Ancient Egypt and used the single-rider queue for Revenge of the Mummy. The show building is massive and I appreciated the sheer scale. The inside was a bit too dark for me to take notice of anything that stood out, I was also walking through the never-ending single rider queue.
The posted time for the single-rider queue was 90-minutes but it took 45-minutes at the most. This is an almost clone of the version in Orlando. The most notable differences are the absence of quirky dialogue from Brendan Fraser and ceiling fire that makes you question if this is the end. Overall, it’s a fun indoor coaster.
About that Singapore Summer Heat
The heat and humidity by mid-day were over 30°C and being directly in the sun wasn’t ideal. This made me zig zag quickly through The Lost World (Jurassic Park) area without even considering trying any of the attractions there. On top of that, my poor planning skills (I say that and here I write about planning) resulted in me missing the showings of WaterWorld.
As for the crowds, since I am used to the ones at Tokyo Disney Resort, it didn’t feel overly busy to me. I was there on a Thursday, so I can’t speak for how it would feel on a weekend or holiday.
I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder.
Now, for my favourite part of my time at Universal Studios Singapore, the land of “Far Far Away.” Yes, the Shrek franchise has its own themed area. As I walked through the gates All-Star by Smash Mouth was playing (at least it was in my head) and there stood Shrek’s castle. The castle itself is quite impressive but unfortunately, it houses the dated Shrek 4-D Adventure.
As a fan of the Shrek movies growing up, I couldn’t help myself but explore and find all the small details.
To get myself out of the sun, I hopped in the standby queue for my 4-D adventure with Shrek. The inside was less than impressive compared to the outside. As for the “Adventure” itself, its as I remember it when I saw it back in Universal Studios Japan back in 2003. I’m quite OK never doing this again. On the positive side, I had a break from the heat and sun for an hour.
On the far end of “Far Far Away” is the family-friendly coaster “Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey.” You head off with Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws to search for the precious golden eggs. The standby queue had a posted wait time of 60-minutes and was accurate.
The family-friendly coaster is fun for everyone. It’s not too fast and I wouldn’t hesitate to take smaller Explorers. My only complaint is it’s in desperate need of a paint job. Quite a few of the characters in the various scenes you pass through are discoloured from the sun. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the coaster experience was.
Once Puss in Boots was satisfied with my helping in the search of the golden eggs, it was time to leave “Far Far Away” and “move it move it” over to the Madagascar area (I can hear your audible groan).
Oh, sugar honey ice tea!
I’m all for a movie-themed boat attraction and I knew I had to give “Madagascar: A Crate Adventure” a try. The show building is a gigantic ship, which I am always fond of. However, the next 25-minutes in the standby line were a test of patience.
You’re thinking “Chris is being a tad dramatic.” That may be true, but wait and hear me out. To provide some context, for those Explorers with little ones that watched Madagascar on repeat for 6-months straight, you know of what I speak.
The chorus from the early 90s dance hit “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Reel was on repeat throughout the entire queue. Credit to those crew members who have by this point blocked out the song. For myself, after about the 2-minute mark, I was over it, which was a pain because there were still 23-minutes left in the queue by that point.
After listening to the chorus on a loop for 25-minutes it was time to get into the boat and visit Madagascar. For what the attraction was, it was silly fun. However, don’t expect anything earth-shattering. After hearing that iconic 90s dance song on repeat for 25-minutes, I was looking forward to the scene from the movie that utilized the song.
What was strange was the fact that in comparison to the volume in the queue, the volume inside the attraction during the scene with King Lemur was awfully quiet. I have zero ideas on why it was so quiet. Overall, it was a fun little ride and I couldn’t wait for any more than 10-minutes for it because of the music loop in the queue. As you can tell, the song struck a chord with me. That or the heat got to me, we’ll never know.
My plan is coming to a boil!
The surprise stand-out attraction was “Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase” back in the New York-themed area. From the outside, it’s almost impossible to tell what it is. It’s a family-friendly attraction (if that wasn’t obvious cause it’d come as a shock if it weren’t) where you help Super Grover and Elmo bring spaghetti back to Sesame Street.
The ride system is like that of Peter Pan at Disney Parks. The story is adorable and some of the one-liners from a few of the characters are downright hilarious. My favourite was from the villain yelling out “My plan is coming to a BOIL!” It’s so bad, that it’s worthy of a snorting laugh. I waited for about 10-minutes, which is worth it.
Also in the New York area is “Lights! Camera! Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg.” If you remember the Twister attraction from Orlando or have been on Backdraft at Universal Studios Japan, then you know what you’re in for. A massive storm comes through New York and you’re on a sound stage where practical effects from wind, water, and fire occur. It’s short, sweet, and quite thrilling.
Alright, I’ve told you all about what I did but what about what I ate? I’m glad you asked. I did have a few things while I was at the Park.
What I Ate
Oddly, I didn’t eat as much as I thought I would during my visit. The main reason was I wasn’t feeling 100% so I didn’t want to chance anything. With that said, I did have lunch at the StarBot Café, that’s outside the Transformers ride.
Summer featured two Transformer-themed burgers, one was chicken fingers with honey mustard and the other soft shell crab. At first, I thought the soft shell crab burger was a processed meat burger. That wasn’t the case, it was a fully deep-fried soft shell crab between two buns.
I like to think of myself as adventurous when it comes to my culinary choices, but since my stomach wasn’t feeling 100%, I opted to go for the chicken finger burger instead. Do you know when you’re hungry and need an easy filling meal? That was the case here, or at least that’s what I told myself.
Either way, the burger was delicious and I loved the sweet potato fries that came with it. I’m also a sucker for the yellow bun with the Autobots logo on it. Slap a logo on anything and I’ll love it (I’m easy to please what can I say).
For the remainder of the day, I didn’t have anything else to eat — did I mention my stomach wasn’t feeling 100%? I did happen to catch a glance at an adorable Elmo-themed spaghetti and meat sauce dish. The sauce was shaped as Elmo. At first, I thought it was a raw piece of meat, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.
What I loved
I stayed right until the bitter end to stroll around the park and browse the shops. While browsing through endless souvenir magnets I began to create a list in my head of what I loved about Universal Studios Singapore. For my first and only day at the park, there were a few standout aspects:
- Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase
- Shrek’s Castle
- How easy it was to navigate
Universal Studios Singapore Tips
- Download the official wait time app
- Get your tickets in advance to avoid waiting
- Ride Battlestar first thing in the morning
- There’s plenty of food options outside the Park too (get a handstamp to re-enter)
Overall, I had a great day at Universal Studios Singapore. Would I recommend it? Of course, but I wouldn’t make a special trip to Singapore just for Universal Studios. I’d visit the park for one day then soak in all that Singapore has to offer because there’s a ton to do there. The official website for Universal Studios Singapore is a great place to start planning your vacation. I’m a fan of Dejiki who has tons of updates for USS, make sure to check them out.
I spent another 5 days in Singapore itself. If you’ve made it this far, let me know if you’d like to hear more about Singapore and Universal Studios in the comments!