Our first visit in 2011 a few months after the opening of Universal Studios, Sentosa, (USS) we were happy to return and see what has happened and what was new.
The Hollywood Dream's Parade, a new attraction, was not on because of Halloween at the park,
When the parade is on it runs on Saturdays and Sundays and selected holidays @ 6.30pm, and brings to life characters from blockbuster movies and a number of floats that run from New York down the back road through Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt to the Shrek Kingdom; Far Far Away .
The parade should still run at the weekends even if the time is changed so visitors get to see it even if other events are happening at the park.
Halloween takes over the park at the spooky time of year, and the park has gone to great lengths to provide some very amazing scenes of devastation and destruction placed strategically around the New York area.
The park ran Horror Nights 2 from 19th - 28th October from 8pm to 1am. During the day you can see where all the horrror night action would take place.
Extremely hot during my visit, and my wife chose to sit in Mel's Diner for most of the day. It was even uncomfortable walking around for any length of time due to the heat which seemed very extreme even for Singapore.
At the front entrance we were confronted by our first problem to get in. I had booked and paid for our entry tickets several months prior to our trip, and the day we turned up at Universal Studios, when a huge birdman rally was happening at Sentosa, creating huge crowds for taxis and the monorail, and being a Sunday....it was pointed out to us we were a day to early, our entry tickets were for Monday! Slightly confused and embarrased, we were asked to see Guest Services who explained an extra $10S (for both of us) would allow us to enter that day, that being the difference from a peak day to a non peak day admission! On top of that we were provided with free fast queue passes for several rides perhaps as a gesture and good public relations!
We decided to stay since we were already there. The park was quite busy but not crowded. I think most were keeping out of the blazing heat, and doing very little else.
After refreshments at Mel's Diner, cold icy drinks, burgers, fries, sundaes etc, enjoyed some time looking around at the halloween decorations and a new hip hop dance show by a team of expert dancers and featuring some youngsters from the crowd at the Palace.
Great food at great prices here, other food outlets other than the carts serving delicious hot dogs, include Discovery Food Court at The Lost World, Oasis Spice 'Cafe', with middle eastern specialties in Ancient Egypt, Louis NY Pizza Parlor, KT's Grill and KT's Bar in New York, in Hollywood is the Celebrity Cafe and Bakery, Hollywood China Bistro and and Mel's Diner.
Over at Madagascar there is Marty's Casa Del Wild with Asian favourites, roast chicken and vegetarian specials, Glorias Snack Shack with a selection of Japanese yummy delights, and at Far Far Away is Goldilocks for a bucket of 7-spice chicken pieces, Ben & Jerry's American flavoured ice cream, Friars has sandwich wraps.
At the 'Lost World' we were introduced to Diane, Jurassic Parks newest addition!
Souvenir shops are at the main universal Studios Store on Main Street near entry, there are several stalls with souvenirs, plus The Dark Room for photos and accessories and photo frames and Silver Screen Collectibles and Superstar Candies.
Attractions include Monster Rock, Transformers the ride, Battlestar galactica Cylon and Human, Revenge Of The Mummy, and Treasure Hunters at Ancient Egypt, Waterworld, Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure and Sesame Street characters have arrived at USS!
Ancient Egypt has some striking Egyptian statues that stand very tall and you jump on a jeep and take a ride through an Egyptian excavation site!
Do not forget sunblock, a poncho and drink plenty while you visit do not dehydrate, and look out for Hollywood characters that could be anywhere.
Show times: Monster Rock: 11.30am,1.30pm 4.30pm, Donkey Live - one show every half hour from 11am, Sesame Street 11am, 2.15pm and 4.15pm. Daily show times are with studio guide on entry.
For some real movie action and how movie sound affects are made, Lights, Camera, Action is presented by Steven Spielberg and is very good.
At Far Far Away there is the Shrek 4D Adventure, Donkey Live and Fairy Godmothers Potion Shop with a Magic Potion Spin, that wasn't operating. The Fairy Godmother must have run out of potion!
The Madagascar characters perform in King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round and take a river boat ride on A Crate Adventure.
Outside the main gates is the huge Universal globe, rotating slowly for great photo opportunities, and some souvenir stalls, ticket booths and retail outlets including Hersheys Chocolates, and Garrett Popcorn.
The Sentosa monorail runs above and the nearest station is only a few minutes walk away from the main entry of the theme park.
Not having been to Los Angeles, cannot compare USS with LA, but would imagine this is on a much much smaller scale and has only a minimal comparison if any. All works well within the park, staff are very friendly and polite, the park is excellently clean and the restrooms well maintained.
Following a downpour that occurs frequently for no reason in Singapore, staff are busy sweeping away puddles.
Shop and food outlet staff are obliging and rides operators extremely firm with the queues keeping everyone orderly and organised.
The main stadium for the pirotechnics show at Lost World, "Waterworld", (from the Kevin Costner movie), is huge and can cater for a lot of people, is covered and lucky front rowers can be expected to get a splash of water from the guys playing around with their water guns, just be warned. Seating is marked if you don't want to get wet.
On a day like we have had today you'd just about want to be right in the pools anyway! The show takes about 40 minutes.
When in Singapore, make it a must visit for a great day out, and take home heaps of souvenirs from the shops bursting with collectibles and souvenirs featuring all the different aspects of the park.
So from about 18 months in between visits, the park is somewhat unchanged, except this year with the addition of Transformers 3D the ride, a huge line up here but to avoid the long queues the Universal Express can be purchased if you are a ride fanatic which means you can skip the regular lines at all rides and attractions.
Admission Adults $74 Child $54 (4-12yrs) Senior +65 - $36. Non peak days Monday to Friday $4 less per ticket.