Some advice for those of you with small children at the end of the post.
This past Wednesday, I took Elanor and one of her friends to Universal Studios Singapore. This was Elanor’s third visit to Singapore. Her first visit was a few weeks after we moved to Singapore in early May 2010. She once visited when her grandparents were here but she was too small to do most rides. I held off on bringing her back until now–at 95ish cm, she is big enough for all but a few rides.
We arrived just in time for the Sesame Street show in New York. You can find Elmo, Grover, Bert and Ernie dancing on the sidewalk by the “New York Stock Exchange.”
After the show, we continued our Sesame Street theme and took the first of three rides on Elmo’s Spaghetti Space Adventure. Minimum height for the ride is 92 cm. Rhi isn’t yet–we won’t take her to USS until she is. Rhi missing out on an Elmo ride would cause drama. The ride is well organized with a news report by “Anderson Cucumber” giving backstory. I will say that the ride was a bit disorienting the first time–there was so much going on that it was far more enjoyable the second time. I could’ve lived without the third time, but the kids asked nicely.
Opposite the Elmo ride is an attraction called lights camera action. It’s a really cool idea–they recreate a class 5 hurricane on a soundstage. I thought it was amazing, but the two kids were in tears by the end of it. When the kids asked to see it, I had reservations, but they both begged. Those of you with young kids should learn from my mistakes and pass it up.
The park is laid out in a circle. After New York is the Sci-Fi area. There are no rides that young children can ride on in this section. Roller coaster fans will be sad to know that it has been announced that the Battlestar Galactica coaster has been closed permanently.
There is a ride in Egypt that young children can ride, but it was closed. The Mummy Returns coaster is operational, but has a higher minimum height.
Jurassic Park was next. Both kids enjoyed Dino-Saurin, where the kids got to pilot a pteranadon (a huge thrill for Ellie, who is a giant fan of the Pteranadon family on Dinosaur Train). Both were tall enough for the Canopy Flyer, but neither was comfortable with the height of the ride.
Shrek’s 4D adventure was a hit with both kids, although E was confused at times as she hasn’t seen the Shrek movies. The 4D story is so complete a story, though, that she’s now a huge Princess Fiona fan (and even requested a Fiona doll for her souvenir).
We broke for lunch at Goldilocks in Far Far Away. One of the kid meal options is dinosaur chicken nuggets. The kids got the nuggets, fries, and a beverage along with a souvenir lunchbox with Woody Woodpecker on it. Neither kid knew who he was, but they were both very enthusiastic about the lunchboxes.
After lunch they took a ride on Fairy Godmother’s ferris wheel (inside the souvenir shop), which was also the only ride they were big enough to ride on alone.
Donkey’s Interactive show was reasonably good fun, although I don’t know that I’d say it was worth a long wait. (The 4-D adventure, however, remains a favorite and well worth almost any wait).
Ellie had no desire to go on the dragon coaster. Her friend did want to ride it, so we left our bags and my phone with her (so she could watch every frozen related video on my youtube app).
Madagascar is the other kid-themed land at USS. It is worth noting, however, that if you can’t stand the “King Julien” version of “Move it” you will want to rush through this part of USS as fast as humanly possible. It figures heavily on both rides and in the penguin street show. The kids enjoyed King Julien’s carousel enough that they rode it twice. Madagascar’s Crate Adventure was also a multi-ride adventure (also twice).
After almost five hours, our last project was to pick up a few souvenirs and to wave goodbye to the Minions. There is a great deal of minion merchandising, although there is no ride. (perhaps that can be the replacement for the BSG coasters?)
Advice for visiting with young children
Know the height of your littles to avoid disappointment. Most rides have a minimum height, with many requiring an adult between the minimum height to ride and the minimum height to ride solo. Check here to get a sense of how many rides your child is ready for.
The rides that require an adult to ride with a child will require one adult per child. The Elmo ride had a spare staff member that could ride with a second child (it’s a 4 person car, so they take the other row of 2 in the space ship). The Crate ride has a seat wide enough for four across, so one adult can ride with both. I was able to ride on the carousel between the two kids as well. For the other rides, I had to ride once with Ellie and then once with her friend.
There aren’t a lot of healthy snacks for the kids in the park–they don’t check bags on the way in, so if you want to bring fruit slices or veggie slices, do so in your bag. In park snacks are all cotton candy/cookies/ice cream–which are fun, but sugar highs are rough, and the crashes worse.
While there are princess souvenirs in Far Far Away, none of them feature the ogress Fiona, only the human. I find this disappointing, to say the least (especially given that her ogress form is the one taken most).