Saturday, July 11, 2015

Universal Studios Singapore (USS)

I live in Singapore since the first day USS opened but I have never entered it even once, not even after knowing how fun Disneyland is. The reasons are simple: I don't really enjoy the thrill rides (thanks to the queue) and I am not a fan of the shows featured (Shrek, Madagascar, Jurassic Park, etc). Today was my first time entering and experiencing USS thanks to the free ticket for Team NILA appreciation day.

Our entry time was from 5pm and the queue was already super long. We even shouted the count down before 5pm. Crazy. Haha.. As expected, I was not too excited once I entered. So don't call me a cheapskate for not wanting to pay to enter, I just don't think it is worth it. Haha.. Firstly, USS is still so near to Singapore main island and Sentosa that you can see them. I always wonder why theme parks are often located far from the city and now I think they have a very good reason: it allows visitors to experience being in a totally different/magical place. I did not feel that with USS. Secondly, space constraint is always a big problem and USS is really so squeezy. Despite the different 'themes', as they are located too near to one another. When you are in a location, you can see a different 'theme' at the background when taking photo. For example, you can see the Battlestar Galactica roller coasters from the Egyptian theme. In addition, the space constraint also makes the place very dense with humans. I brought camera but I did not use as I don't like to have strangers in my photos. When I went to Disneyland Paris, although it was crowded, because of the huge area, I still could get photos with no strangers at the background. Lastly, the buildings are too nice and new that they feel FAKE. They do not convey any feeling of realism that you are in a different magical land. It was a completely different feeling from Disneyland. Although I knew the castle and the buildings were human-made, they looked and felt believe-able and they invoked the feeling that I was really in a fantasy land. It is also certainly quite sad to see short queue to take pictures with the characters (Woody Woodpecker, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, etc). In Disneyland, the queue was super long even for less popular characters like Eeyore. Bleah..

Due to the limited time and the long queue, I only had the chance to experience 3 rides: The Transformers, The Mummy, and Battlestar Galactica Cylon. I enjoyed The Transformers very much. We waited for about 30 minutes and the ride was about 5 minutes. Although it may be considered as 'level 1' for the adrenaline rush, I find the 3D to be very clear and vivid. I could somewhat tell what was going on (i.e the story/journey during the ride) and that made the movement effects more exciting. I guess I am a big boy now and knowing that these were fake, I did not shout, not even when things were flying towards me. Haha..

The Mummy can be considered the next higher level for the adrenaline rush with faster and more abrupt acceleration, deceleration, and changes in heights. It was pretty dark for most parts of the rides that all the changes in speed and heights were not that scary. The ride itself was also rather short (definitely shorter than the Transformers) and at the end, it felt rather anticlimatic, especially since we queued for almost 45 minutes.

We had dinner at the Goldilocks which I find still expensive even after the $10 food voucher. It was very crowded and was considered 1 of the more popular eateries. The fried chicken looked burnt and not nice to me so I don't what the hype was all for. At 8pm, there were some fireworks which were obviously not as impressive as SEA Games fireworks. Haha.. However, in photos, I got some pretty nice effects. Those circular light effects are not due to flash photography by the way.
Outdoor rides were suspended from 7pm onwards because of the fireworks. It resumed after and we wanted to go for Puss in the Boots which unfortunately had technical problems. There was no other choice except for that notorious Battlestar Galactica. I have never ridden any roller coaster in my whole life. This would be my first and this was as crazy as it would get. I was more scared of vomiting than the heights. We queued for close to 1 hour and although the ride was quite short, this was my only ride of the night that I WAS GLAD IT WAS NOT LONGER. Haha.. Yes, I am a scaredy cat and I was scared that I was going to die. Haha.. I always thought this kind of rides would not be so scary when I cannot see anything with my spectacles off. The dramatic acceleration and free-falling were scary enough even if I could not see anything. Climbing up was bearable but the falling down was really really scary. I would say that the falling down sensation was a near-death experience. On the 'good' side (or perhaps morbid side), perhaps if I were to die because of a building collapsing or a plane falling down, I sort of 'know' how it will feel like =X

Battlestar Galactica has 2 rides: human and cylon. Cylon is the inhumane one because the leg was dangling. Anyway it does not matter whether the leg is dangling or not because the ride is too crazy. I could not even feel when I was upright or I was upside down. Well, that is another item struck off from my bucket list. Haha.. I don't think my heart can take it if I have to do this when I am a few years older.

I took an early leave instead of staying with the group I went with until the closing. On the way out, there was a free photo booth for us. The queue was only about 5 people so I just thick skin and went for it although I were alone. I wore green shirt and the background was green too!! In the printed photo, my head is floating on a black background. Lol..

I guess this will be the last of SEA Games-related memories.
Thanks for the once-in-lifetime memories and experience

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