A Universal Christmas

Entrance at Elf Street

We had friends visiting from Kuala Lumpur (‘KL’) in Malaysia for a few days. We took the girls (2 x 12 year olds and a 10 year old) to Universal Studios for the day whilst mum and dad went off to explore Singapore on their own.

Where is it?

Universal Studios is on Sentosa Island in Singapore. It is part of the Resort World Sentosa Singapore group and run by Genting Resorts.

It’s a 10 minute stroll on the Sentosa Boardwalk from Singapore but that’s the hot option; walking in 30C heat is no fun. The RWS 8 bus from VivoCity or Harbourfront or SBS 123 from Orchard Road take you to the resort. The Sentosa Express boards from Level 3 of VivoCity. By car: Park in B1 East (red zone). Taxis have a drop off point underneath the resort.

Finally the scenic way is by cable car on the Mount Faber Line and Sentosa Line. There are some amazing aerial views from Faber Peak Singapore at Mount Faber, Harbourfront and Sentosa Island. It costs $35 (£20.15) for both lines and operates from 8:45am to 10:00pm (last boarding at 9:30pm). Note these times if the park is open to 10pm!

The park itself is split into zones of Hollywood (Elf Town), Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci Fi City and New York. It’s not a big place in terms of acreage, which is great for the feet, but there is plenty to see and do with 24 rides, shows and attractions over the seven themed zones.

When?

The park was open from 10am to 10pm due to the Christmas holidays. The park normally closes at 6pm. It is open 365 days a year.

The longer opening hours are definitely needed when the park is this busy as the queues were huge. The shortest queue was 30 mins and the longest queue (which we didn’t join) was 2 hours for the Jurassic Park Rapid Adventure.

How much are the tickets?

It’s not a cheap day out. A one day ticket costs as follows:

Adult (Age 13-59) – S$76 (£43.76)

Child (Age 4-12) – S$56 (£32.25)

Senior (Age 60 and above) – S$38 (£21.88)

Express passes are available, enabling a significant queue jump on a lot, but not all, rides. However, these are really expensive and there are no discounts for children or seniors. These are in addition to the normal ticket price.

Express Pass S$110 (£63.34)

Unlimited Express Pass S$140 (£80.62)

What did we do?

The first ride of the day was Enchanted Airways in Far Far Away. It’s a mini coaster and a good ride for all the family. Next we went to The Lost World and went on the Canopy Flyer which was another gentler ride. We moved onto the Amber Rock Climb and the older girls reached the top whilst the youngest had a very good attempt. Then we went to the Waterworld Show and sat in the soak zone (yes we did get wet). It’s a spectacular show with stunts, diving, pyrotechnics and explosions.

Waterworld Show

Lunch followed in the Discovery Food Court which was so packed that we had to sit outside in the sun to eat.

We then split into two groups while the older girls and my husband went on the thrill rides of Ceylon and Revenge of the Mummy we (me and the 10yo) went on Treasure Hunters (a Jeep ride) and Shrek 4D Adventure. We regrouped to go on Madagascar: A crate adventure.

After all this the girls were tired so we hit the shops in Elf Town to buy a few souvenirs and pictures as memories from a great day out.

Additional things to do at Christmas

Elf Town

Just beyond the entrance is the Main Street into Universal Studios. This was transformed into Elf Town for Christmas. Christmas decorations in candy stripe everywhere. The main stage decorated in an elf theme. There were statues for picture opportunities including whether you were naughty or nice and an elf toy workshop. The shops had Sesame Street characters for picture opportunities and also a statue of the Transformer Bumblebee.

Oscar’s Grouchmas

This was scheduled for 2:30pm but was cancelled due to technical issues. The staff told us to return an hour later for a photo with the characters. (I thought this was rather a poor response for a disappointed child who had travelled from KL to be honest.)

Presentation Day

An elf performance on the main stage. We saw this in the background whilst the girls were shopping for gifts on the Main Street just before we were leaving (7pm). It looked good.

Santa’s snowy sleigh parade

The Christmas themed parade with the characters and the big man himself. 7:45pm through the park. We missed this as we left at 7:30pm as the girls were tired and wanted dinner.

Santa’s Christmas Light up party

This was in the New York Stage at 8pm but we had already left the park by then.

Christmas fireworks spectacular

10pm in the Hollywood Lagoon. We missed them as it was starting so late.

And finally…

We had a great day out in the hot sun (it was 32C all day). Sun cream is not sold anywhere within the park. I had to leave the park and go to the pharmacy in the resort to buy sun cream. This appears to me to be a massive oversight on behalf of Universal and I think there should be some sold on site. However I was able to leave the park by obtaining an invisible stamp (visible by ultra violet) and presenting both the stamp and my ticket to re-enter the park.

Universal Studios is always an enjoyable day out but I would highly recommend not going during the busy holiday season as the queue times are very long and the sheer crowds make queuing everywhere (food, drink, toilets) inevitable.