Embarrassingly enough for a site that purports to know everything about being a mama in Singapore, Sarah, our Editor and I discovered that neither of us had ever been to Universal Studios… a shocking miss that we had to remedy, stat! So one hot June morning we trotted off with Ollie (4 years old) and Elodie (3 years old) for a fun day of theme park fun! We’d done our research and of course knew enough to turn up as the gates were opening at 10am, but were still quite surprised at how many people were also eager beavers like us! We also sourced recommendations from mamas-in-the-know about which rides would be suitable for littlies, so once inside we beetled our way straight to the Madagascar zone to check out the Crate Adventure ride.
Now Universal Studios (for those who didn’t know – like me!) is themed around “The Movies”, so every ride shows little snippets of film, with moving interactive characters. In the case of the Madagascar Crate Adventure ride, all your kids’ fave animals make their appearance along the side of a river, which you ride a boat along, getting a little wet and wild along the way! Pssst… it’s pretty tame so you don’t need to worry about tinies getting scared!
After the Crate Adventure (10 minute wait) we headed to King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round (10 minute wait) — a carousel where you could either ride on the backs of animals (with safety harness) or sit in a carriage. This was probably the most underwhelming ride of the day but would be suitable for tinies or if you have elderly visitors in tow! To be honest we’d probably say you could skip this one if you’re short on time and racing ahead of the crowds.
If you’re heading clockwise around the park (like most people will), next on your trip will be the Far Far Away zone which is all about SHREK… hurray! Our kids didn’t meet the height restrictions for the Junior Rollercoaster so we headed instead for the air-conditioned cool of the Shrek 4D Adventure (15 minute wait). This is a movie experience which begins by standing in a “dungeon” with actors presenting a short movie and then being ushered into a movie theatre where the real action begins. We’d hate to be guilty of spoilers so we can’t tell you too much about this part, but I was a bit worried my daughter would wee herself with fright she was so scared, but afterwards she pronounced it brilliant and said she wanted to do it again! Definitely a highlight.
By this time we were feeling a bit peckish, so jogged through The Lost World (nothing very suitable for tinies but looking at dinosaurs is always fun!) and ended up at the food court. It was clean and dished up a decent Chicken Rice and Dino-shaped Chicken Nuggets, so basically job done. We did kick ourselves when we saw the Mel’s Diner in the Hollywood section with its burgers and milkshakes though, so if you can hold off eating until then we’d recommend it!
Feeling refreshed we strolled through Ancient Egypt (admiring the chiseled torsos of some Egyptian soldiers!). We could have tried out the Treasure Hunters ride, which involves a trip in a vintage motorcar that’s suitable for smalls, but there was a 20 minute wait that we weren’t feeling, so we headed on through to Sci-Fi City to check out the enormous Transformers and street performers (who our kids were totally mesmerized by). Both the Transformers Ride (40 minute wait – but it’s supposed to be amazing!) and The Accelerator looked somewhat risky for kids with very full tummies so with visions of motion-induced vomiting flashing before our eyes we strolled on to New York!
It’s worth planning your visit to catch the Sesame Street shows that happen thrice daily at times sign-posted around the park… we sadly just caught the very end of one of the shows but it looked like a great time! The Sesame Street characters also hang out on the streets to wave, say hello and participate in photo sessions. It’s worth noting that while it may seem that only professional photo opps are available (i.e. where you pose for a photo which you’re then charged for), staff will agree to let you take your own photos with your personal cameras and phones, you just need to ask!
Our final ride was the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase (10 minutes wait), which was a delightfully silly and surreal suspended ride through space, which our kiddos adored. It is seriously quick though mamas – we were a little surprised by just how speedily it was over!
After a quick browse through the gift shops (they’re everywhere!) it was time to head home, tired and happy and accompanied by questions of when we could come again! It’s only $24 to convert your day pass to a “season pass” (6 months) so if you see yourself even coming twice in 6 months it’s worth it financially.
What to bring: Hats and sunscreen and dress for the heat! Perhaps also some healthy snacks if you’re not into the fast food options (though we kind of just went with it).
Sassy Mama Tips: We went on a weekday morning and it was fairly peaceful – if you can do the same you’ll obviously have shorter waiting times. If you’re hitting the park on a weekend or public holiday you might want to consider splashing out on a VIP pass which lets you skip to the front of all the queues. Buy your tickets online to avoid needing to queue at the ticket booth! Taking extra cash with you is also recommended mama as there’s only one ATM located inside the park (and you’ll need some extra dollars to pay for lunches, photo ops, and any merchandise your littlies convince you they need!). And lastly, if you can manage it, we’d leave the stroller at home. We didn’t bring ours and found it super easy queuing for rides without the added stress of having to ditch the pram all the time! You can rent them on-site for the day however ($15) if you do get desperate.
Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa, Singapore 098269
Tel: (+65) 6577 8899
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: 10am – 7pm on weekdays, 10am – 8pm on weekends and public holidays.