Guide to Universal Studios Singapore: best rides and inside tips for Sentosa’s family theme park

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If there is one attraction for kids in Singapore that ticks all of the boxes for a thrills and spills family adventure, then Universal Studios Singapore comes up trumps. If you’re looking for things to do with kids, you can never go wrong with an awesome day out at Sentosa, and the fun factor is instantly ramped up when Universal Studios Singapore features on the itinerary. Whether you have a roller coaster loving teenager in tow, a toddler who’s into all things Shrek, or a kiddo who loves the all-singing, all-dancing shows, this is one destination with something for the whole gang. But before you head over to meet a Minion, hang out with Alex the Lion and snap a photo with the Sesame Street gang, you’re going to need our essential guide to conquering Universal Studios Singapore with kids. (Don’t miss our survival tips at the end!)

THE ESSENTIALS

Opening hours: 10am to 7pm daily, 8 Sentosa Gateway, 098269

One day tickets:  Adult (13-59 years): $76, child (4-12 years): $56, senior citizen (60+): $38

Express add on (one time per attraction): $30 per person

Express add on (unlimited): $50 per person

Annual pass: Adult: $188, child: $158, senior citizen: $158

Annual pass with express: Adult: $288, child: $258, senior citizen: $258


THE RIDES

Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase: Little ones love, love, love this ride (and big ones too: we won’t tell you that a certain 14 year old counts this as one of his faves): hold onto your hats while you blast on a space mission with Elmo and Super Grover to foil a dastardly plan by Macaroni the Merciless to steal all of Earth’s spaghetti!

 

Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs CYCLON: If you have a roller coaster fan in the family then this is THE ride you should be getting in queue for. Not for the fainthearted (nor for those under 125cm in height), you will be propelled around loops, drops and heights at crazy speeds in an intergalactic battle of duelling roller coasters. Make sure you try the red and the blue rides: our legs are still wobbling from the blue one!

Accelerator: Prepare to be twirled and whirled into oblivion on this speedy ride suitable for the whole family.

Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle: A ride and an experience all in one fun hit, Transformers are brought to life on this fast-paced ride where you’ll join Optimus Prime as a freedom fighter in the quest to defeat the forces of evil. Kiddos need to be at least 102cm to join the adventure.

Revenge of the Mummy: A roller coaster in the dark, you say? Evil mummies, scarab beetles and high speed scares? Enter the world of The Mummy if you dare (and as long as you are over 122cm tall).

Treasure Hunters: Take it down a notch or two after The Mummy and embark on a more sedate taste of ancient Egypt where you and the kiddos can drive a jeep through an abandoned excavation site. Expect more of those scarab beetles, but at a way more leisurely pace. This one is suitable for the whole gang.

Canopy Flyer: Soar around this mini-coaster and get a bird’s-eye view of Jurassic Park as you swing above the trees on the Canopy Flyer. Dino fans must be 92 cm or taller to ride.

Dino-Soarin’: For the littles who are too small for the Canopy Flyer, this fun merry-go-round will still give them the chance to fly like a Pteranodon, just without the high speeds.

 

Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure: What starts out as a seemingly gentle river ride through dino-territory rapidly turns into a scary but fun adventure the whole family will love. Expect to get wet. Pssst: if you have a child measuring under 107cm step away from the ride. They won’t be allowed to board and you will have a sobbing mess on your hands for the rest of the day. The kids get upset too.

Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey: This one is higher and faster than it looks, so make sure your kids are prepared for a roller coaster journey through the swashbuckling tale of Puss, Kitty and some giant golden eggs. Kids need to be 100 cm and above to ride this one.

Magic Potion Spin: Kids love this small ferris wheel found in Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop. It’s suitable for all ages and there are no height restrictions, plus it is indoors so it’s the perfect excuse to get out of the sun for a bit (and have a sit down!).

Enchanted Airways: If you have little daredevils who are not quite ready to graduate to the bigger roller coasters at the park, this junior coaster ticks the box. It’s pretty swift around the track and the drops are fairly big, so definitely not one for the less brave in the family (husband: I am talking about you). Height restriction for this one is 92cm.

King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round: Small folk love this Madagascar-themed merry-go-round but be warned: the kiddos won’t let you off until you have ridden every single character.

Madagascar: A Crate Adventure: Make a splash when you board the cool boats around this Madagascar themed river ride. You may get a little wet (but you’ll also have a lot of fun!).

 

THE EXPERIENCES

Shrek 4D Adventure: Join Shrek, Princess Fiona, Donkey and the gang on a 4D caper that the whole family will love. Sit in a moving seat as you are bounced along an adventure involving ghosts, onions, dragons and, of course, ogres.

Amber Rock Climb: Kiddos will love testing their climbing skills while scaling the lofty heights of the Amber Rock Climb. They’ll also gain some palaeontology know-how while they search for precious stones and fossilised insects as they make the climb.

Lights, Camera, Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg: You’ll literally feel like you are being blown away when you experience a sound stage transformed into a major hurricane in New York City, right before your eyes. This one has no height restrictions, but it may be a little scary for smaller tots.

 

THE SHOWS AND PERFORMANCES

Sesame Street When I Grow Up: Head to the Pantages Hollywood Theatre for an all-singing, all-dancing stage show where Elmo and the gang decide what they want to be when they grow up.

Lake Hollywood Spectacular: If your kiddos are all about a cracking fireworks show, then head over to Universal Studios on select Saturdays and ooh and ahh when the sky lights up to a musical score once the sun goes down. Check the schedule before you book your tix.

Mel’s Dinettes: Stop for food at family-friendly restaurant, Mel’s Drive-In, and catch the waitresses as they shake, rattle and roll to vintage tunes. Check the board outside the diner for daily showtimes.

The Cruisers: If you miss the Dinettes at Mel’s Drive-In, then there’s still plenty of grooving to join in with if you swing by while cool group, The Cruisers are jiving and shaking their thang.

The Rockafellas: Hit the streets in the New York Zone and watch as the Big Apple is brought to Singapore by the B-Boyin (breakdancing for those unhip folk like me who had to Google that) group, The Rockafellas.

Sesame Street Stage Shows: Keep an eye out for regular New York street shows where the Sesame Street gang will be performing to toe-tapping tunes including Dance with Bert and Ernie.

Waterworld: This is a sure hit for the whole family where you can expect to see death-defying stunts, awesome explosions and lots and lots of water. Bring your rain mac if you are brave enough to sit near the front! The show is located next to the Lost World Zone.

Donkey Live: Sing and laugh (a lot: it really is hysterical) with Shrek’s sidekick, Donkey as he hosts an interactive live show in the Far Far Away Zone.

The Dance for the Magic Beans: Cheer on Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws as they show off their smooth flamenco moves to the crowds in the Far Far Away Zone. Hang around after the performance for a meet-and-greet with the feline stars.

Madagascar Boogie: The kids will love to move it, move it (apologies for having probably put that catch lil’ tune in your head) when they see their fave Madagascar characters shaking and boogying up a storm in the Madagascar Zone.

 

Your little minions can meet the real ones!

THE MEET AND GREETS

Sesame Street gang: Strike a pose with Elmo, hug Big Bird or hang out with Oscar the Grouch. The cute crew can be found at various timings in the New York Zone.

People of Earth: It wouldn’t be a Sci-Fi zone if there wasn’t an alien or two roaming around: Meet and take a pic with creatures from other worlds at various timings in Sci-Fi City.

Autobots: Kiddos will want in on snapping a photo with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee at the daily meet-and-greet sessions in Sci-Fi City. Roll out, freedom fighters!

Egyptian Royalty: Head to Ancient Egypt to hang out with Egyptian royalty, happening at various times throughout the day.

Diane the Dino: Meet Jurassic Park’s newest addition: an infant triceratops named Diane! Look for her in The Lost World zone.

Shrek and his gang: You’ll get your Universal Studios Singapore happily ever after when you bag a family shot hanging out with Shrek, Puss, Donkey and Princess Fiona in the Far Far Away Zone.

Minions: Your own little minions will love getting a hug and a hi-five from a real-life Minion over in the Hollywood Zone.

Hollywood Walk of Fame: Strike a pose with silver screen royalty including Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and Woody Woodpecker along the legendary Hollywood Boulevard.

 

RETAIL THERAPY
If your kids have been saving up their pocket money and are itching for a Shrek plush or a Minion water bottle then you’re absolutely in luck. Each zone has its own themed gift shop chockablock with every bit of Universal Studios Singapore memorabilia you could possibly think of.

 

WHERE TO EAT
With a whopping 16 food and drink outlets dotted around the park ranging from family-friendly pizza joints to delish burger shacks, a Chinese bistro to good ol’ Starbucks, there is a feast for all ages and budgets for sure. There are also Halal and vegetarian options at most of the outlets.

 

OUR INSIDE TIPS:
We’re a seasoned bunch of Universal Studios Singapore fans here at HoneyKids, and amongst us have a brood ranging from grumpy teen to itsy bitsy newborn, and all ages in between. Take note of these tips ‘n’ tricks for making things easier on your day out…

Stroller hire: Pop bubba in a baby carrier for an easy way to navigate the crowds, and then hire a stroller on site when the little one needs a nap. Rentals are available as you walk through the entrance (eyes right, people) and prices start at $10. Double buggies are also available if you have two sets of weary legs.

Lockers: Towing kids, bags, strollers and the kitchen sink around an amusement park is not our idea of a fun day out: Look out for locker rooms dotted around the park in the Hollywood, Sci-Fi, Ancient Egypt and Lost World zones. These are roomy enough for bags, but if you want a bigger affair to store that kitchen sink, then look out for the bigger lockers near the entrance of Universal Studios Singapore. Prices start from $12 for four hours.

Express passes: Queuing in the heat is not fun. Queuing in the heat with whiny kids is akin to poking sharp sticks in one’s fingernails. Spending the extra cash on express passes is well worth it if you are heading to the park in school holidays or at the weekend. Express tickets are an add-on buy and start at $30 per person. Little ones under four are free anyway so no need to pay the extra for them.

Timing: Weekends, school holidays and public holidays are inevitably chockablock all year round. If you can, go during the week. If you have no choice but to go at peak times, then make sure you get there early before the queues build up.

Nursing room and baby care centre: No need to have to feed your baby on the Madagascar merry-go-round: Universal Studios Singapore has a dedicated nursing area and baby centre near the Annual Pass Lobby next to the entrance.

Bring spare clothes: Some of the rides and shows involve water and you will get soggy. There is also an area outside the Lost World where water fountains are absolutely irresistible to kiddos needing to cool off.

 

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