The best way to enjoy Universal Studios Singapore, without the hassle of trying to orientate yourself and putting up with long queues, had to be via the Resorts World Sentosa VIP Tour. This tour provides priority access to key attractions around Universal Studios Singapore. You will be pampered with exclusive treats such as complimentary dining, exclusive photo opportunities with Universal Studios Singapore characters as well as Universal Express access on rides, attractions and performances. As the name of the tour suggests, you will be treated like a VIP around the attraction.
This kind of preferential treatment does not come cheap though – a 1 day VIP tour for Adult (Age 13 and above) and Child (Age 4 – 12) cost S$298 and S$228 respectively, compared to the S$60 – S$70+ for a normal day ticket to Universal Studios Singapore.
The VIP Tour provides you with Universal Express access to Universal Studios Singapore rides and performances, meaning you get on the express/priority queue and board rides ahead of everyone else in the normal queue. There will be benches and seats set aside for you, clearly marked with “Reserved Seating”. To show off your VIP status, you also get a VIP lanyard and commemorative pin. There will also be a guide assigned to your group – in our case, the guide Kyla was a friendly and helpful lady who was attentive to our needs and helped arranged for a private meet-and-greet and photo session with 2 groups of Universal Studios Singapore characters – Shrek & Princess Fiona (Fiona was unavailable) and the cast of Madagascar. The exclusive meet-and-greet session is only limited to 2 groups of characters per tour so choose wisely – the more popular characters included Marilyn Monroe and Kungfu Panda too.
Each tour last approximately 5 hours – 4.5-hour tour of Universal Studios Singapore and 30-minute tour of FestiveWalk (a short strip of restaurants and souvenir shops at the entrance to the park). During the 4.5-hour tour, our guide, Kyla brought us through secret backdoor access to the priority queues for all the rides, saving us loads of time from queuing. If you enjoyed the ride and would like to go again, your guide could bring you to the priority queue again. This is different from the Universal Express pass (an additional S$30 – S$70 on top of normal admission ticket) which grants you priority access to the rides only once. There is also a VIP Reception Lounge where you “check-in” for your tours – you can enjoy complimentary refreshments e.g. coffee, tea or bottled water as well as potato chips here.
Universal Studios Singapore is divided into 7 areas, each with its own theme and distinct rides – Far Far Away with the Shrek theme, The Lost World – Jurassic Park theme, Madagascar, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, New York and Hollywood.
Far Far Away is modelled after the Kingdom Far Far Away in the movie, Shrek. Two must-do attractions in Far Far Away had to be the Shrek 4-D Adventure and Enchanted Airways. The Shrek 4-D Adventure is set in fairytale adventure where you join Shrek in his rescue of Princess Fiona – if you had experienced Sentosa’s Pirates 4D Magix adventure, the 4D-ness is more or less the same but with a longer story plot; 4D here refer to 4-Dimensional. The Enchanted Airways is a small roller coaster with just as much excitement and twists and turns of a regular roller coaster – the ride lasts for only about less than 2 minutes but still as scary – with the closure of the Battlestar Galatica (at the moment), this is the only open-air roller coaster in the park now.
Look out for Shrek characters roaming the parks too e.g. the very good-looking Puss in Boots. The Far Far Away kingdom is also one of the best place to take photos especially with the beautiful Far Far Away castle in the backdrop.
Universal Studios Singapore Enjoyable Experience Tip #1: If you are pressed for time, avoid the Donkey LIVE show which is an interactive ‘live’ show with Donkey. There are other more interesting performances and exciting rides in the park.
Just beside Far Far Away, the Lost World hosts a number of fun rides and performances where you could get quite wet – one of the must-see performances in the park had to be Waterworld; if you have been to other Universal Studios around the world, you would probably had seen the same performance but if you havent, come early for the best seats – the seats are divided into Wet and Dry zone so choose wisely if you intend to stay dry during the show. The Canopy Flyer offers 2 different experiences in its rides. This is a flying vehicle which provides you with a bird’s-eye view of Jurassic Park and it has a front-facing and back-facing seat. If you choose a front-facing, you could get a good view of the Lost World but if you want more excitement in your ride, choose the back-facing as it feels more like a roller coaster ride when you cant see what’s coming up.
For the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, there is a 50-50 chance that you will get wet so be prepared. This is basically a raft which can seat up to 9 persons which floats along a man-made river with various “attractions” (scary dinosaurs) along the bank. The last part of the ride is where it gets really exciting (you have to experience it for yourself) and 50% of the passengers could get really wet (depending on the side of the raft they are in).
Universal Studios Singapore Enjoyable Experience Tip #2: For the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, bring your own poncho if you intend to stay dry – disposable plastic ponchos (such as the one we wore) are available for sale at about S$2 each. If you want a free one, ask nicely from someone who had just completed a Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure – you might get one for free.
The next theme park Ancient Egypt is also linked to the Lost World – the most popular ride here is the Revenge of the Mummy – queues for this ride can take hours. This is a ride where you plunge into total darkness in this indoor roller coaster with scary mummies along the ride – not for the faint-hearted.
Universal Studios Singapore Enjoyable Experience Tip #3: If you are pressed for time, avoid the Treasure Hunters – this is a slow ride on a desert jeep (which you can’t control) through an abandoned Egyptian excavation site. This ride typically attracts quite a long queue – one consolation is that this ride provides a great view of the Far Far Away castle across the Universal Studios Singapore lake. There are other more interesting performances and exciting rides in the park.
Universal Studios Singapore Enjoyable Experience Tip #4: Nearer the closing time of the Universal Studios Singapore rides (about 5-6pm), I had observed (during a Saturday) that the queues for the rides are much shorter e.g. Revenge of the Mummy only takes 15 minutes so if you want to save time queuing, you might want to consider saving these popular rides for the later part of your exploration around Universal Studios Singapore. This is quite a risky move as it might not be applicable for super-peak periods e.g. school holidays/public holidays.
We will end off this post with a sneak preview of what Universal Studios Singapore has to offer: