A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to experience Universal Studios Singapore (USS) on a budget: $25 per person covering all rides, a $10 meal voucher and a $5 retail voucher. K. went free as she was under five years old. All this was part of the Ministry of Education (MOE) Family Day 2013. Daddy actually missed the opportunity as all 6000 tickets were sold out. However, we were one of the first to jump at the opportunity when another 1000 tickets were offered.
The event opened its doors at 7 pm. We took an MRT down to Harbour Front station and hopped onto the monorail, alighting at Waterfront station. By the time we arrived at USS, it was already about 7.20 pm. Daddy rushed to the Waterworld Amphitheatre to drop our lucky draw tickets just in time before the cut-off for the drawing of the top ten prizes, while Mummy took the kids on a recce of the vicinity before finding somewhere nice to eat.
|The crowd at the Waterworld Amphitheatre, eagerly anticipating the lucky draw results!|
|It's a pity we didn't win anything. The coupon numbers were so 'nice'.|
|There were a number of these adorable giant soft-toys walking around the Hollywood section. As much as A. wanted to take photos with it, K. was intimidated by their overwhelming presence and preferred to stay away.|
|We decided to eat at the Hollywood China Bistro as we had cravings for something soupy...|
|Pork rib soup.|
|Wan Ton Noodle Soup.|
|Stir fried tofu with mushrooms and vegetables.|
|Fried rice with shrimps.|
The total cost for these dishes came up to over $50. Good thing we had the meal vouchers which gave us a $30 discount. The kids took a while to finish all this food, and when we were done, Daddy still had cravings for the items at the snack booths along the walkways.
|Gourmet popcorn! We tried chocolate, caramel, and usual sweet and salted versions.|
|Daddy couldn't resist the giant roasted turkey legs!|
|These sold out quickly.|
On our post dinner walk, we headed out to the 9.15pm "Madagascar Boogie" at the Madagascar Street. The street performance was a song and dance by the cartoon's characters. After the item, children were granted free photographs with the characters.
|Visitors gather around for the street show!|
Next, A. went for a ride on King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Around, which was basically a fancy carousel with characters from the movie. Carousels are a favourite among the girls, but once again, K. did not meet the height requirement and had to sit out with Daddy. Mummy accompanied the older girl on the ride.
|Can you find us? Hint: look for the giraffe!|
After the ride and a little more popcorn, we stroll through Far Far Away, soaking in the pretty lights and street life. We passed through quickly, moving on to The Lost World where we found yet another carousel. However, lighting and thunder started to flash across the sky an all rides in the The Lost World section were closed while we were in queue. We're still thankful that despite the flashes of lighting, the sky never opened up and the rain stayed away.
|Entering the gates of Far Far Away...|
|The night scene in Shrek's kingdom.|
|This castle houses the "Shrek 4-D Adventure" ride.|
|Mummy gets help to navigate their way toward The Lost World.|
|The Dino-Soarin ride in The Lost World allows riders to control their own 'flying dino' with the push of a button. We were next in line but never made it on to the ride due to the inclement weather.|
Disappointed, we left the queue and proceeded to find yet another ride. We quickly walked through Ancient Egypt as mummies were not our cup of tea. At the Sci-Fi City, we watched the roaring star attraction (that we will probably never try): the Battle Star Galactica. K. asked Daddy if he likes to ride roller-coasters, and Daddy replied by saying that even though he'd sat on some before, he'd never do something to scare himself and there was no shame in sitting out.
|The Accelerator ride in Sci-Fi City. Spin your heart out on this ride! A. went for a couple of rounds (literarily) that night...|
|Mummy and A. after the ride... they still look fresh enough for another round!|
|Meeting Bumblebee along the streets of Sci-Fi City... may I have your AUTOgraph?|
|Lights and action at Sci-Fi City.|
We looped round the park through Seasame Street at New York! This place was popular among the kids as they were familiar with many of the characters from the education DVDs mummy lets them watch sometimes. The main attraction here for A. was a ride called the Seasame Street Spaghetti Space Chase, which she went on with mummy. K. stayed outside with Daddy and soaked up the night-life atmosphere and lights.
|Street scene in New York. Somewhere around the corner is our beloved Seasame Street.|
|Entrance to the Seasame Street Spaghetti Space Chase!|
|Visitors boarding the ride!|
|Special lighting effects bring the storyline to life!|
|From the information pamphlet: "Go on a space mission with Elmo and Super Grover 2.0 to stop Marcaroni the Merciless in his plot to steal all the spaghetti from earth..."|
|Nostalgia upon seeing some of our childhood favourites.|
|Elmo and Super Grover save the day... I mean the spaghetti...|
|And I guess they apprehended Macaroni the Merciless?|
|Flashy cadillacs parked outside Mel's Drive In, a vintage styled restaurant.|
There were initially no plans to blog about this experience. This was because many of the snack booths and a few of the rides were closed after 7pm. In addition, it was difficult to take good photographs using our mobile phones in such dim night-time lighting. Also, K. was often either too intimidated by the dim atmosphere, or by the large life-sized mascots, or did not meet height requirements for the rides, and sat out most of the rides and attractions.
|One of the many closed snack-booths.|
However, even a mere three and a half hours there proved to be blog-worthy, and although the number of rides we tried were a mere handful, the chance to be there and soak up the atmosphere turned out to be something we decided to share.
More photographs of the event can be found HERE on the Ministry of Education Sports and Recreation Club's (MESRC) website.