Saturday, August 22, 2015

Optimize your experience at Universal Studios, Singapore

Universal Studios, Singapore is Singapore's key attraction and almost every tourist would be interested to check it out, as there're not too many such studios in the world. And it is very popular not without reason- here the movies you saw come to life, with adrenaline pumping rides, theme rides and so on. Universal Studios takes one full day to explore key attractions and 2 days if you want to enjoy every ride/attraction to your heart's content.
Universal Studios has lots of attractions on offer, but if you do not plan well, you will lose lots of time waiting in queue for a ride. In this post, I am listing some mistakes to avoid and tips to optimize your experience at Universal Studios, Singapore. This is based on what I observed during my visit there.

At a high level there're two strategies you can adopt-
Option 1: Pay more, buy a VIP ticket and bypass queue for key attractions. This will prevent precious time otherwise lost in queue. But VIP entry will cost you 298 SDG per person, compared to $74 of normal ticket.

Option 2: Plan your timing and sequence well in order to make the most of the day, using below tips.

Mistakes to avoid:
Avoid visiting on a weekend/holiday- weekends including Friday and holidays attract much larger crowd and this means for everything there’ll be longer queues. When you’re planning a 3-4 day visit to Singapore, ensure that at least couple of days are on weekdays and visit Sentosa on one of those week days. This will save you lots of time.
Not buying advance tickets- this results in loss of extra time as you wait in queue to buy your tickets. Buy online and save lots of time.

Not reaching venue on time. USS opens at 10 AM. If you arrive little early, you will probably get to enter on time and make most of the day. If you arrive at 10 or 10.30 am, you might end up spending some time waiting in line to get in. If you want to cover as many attractions in one day, then arrive early. Else you can buy 2 day pass. if possible by 8 AM else latest by say 9.15-9.30, you can spend some time taking photos around, visit other attractions that are open early and be ready to enter USS as and when it opens. If you arrive only by 10-10.15AM, it could be 11 before you can buy tickets and enter (depending on rush), losing precious time.

Not planning well on what rides to take and skip. If you’re keen on exploring every attraction, then either get a 2 day pass or a VIP pass, because 1 day will not be adequate to explore it fully. Most attractions have a display that indicates approx. wait time. Some attractions like Transformer ride are extremely popular and can have waiting time as high as 90 minutes or more. But some of these rides will have much less crowd post lunch session (with full stomach it is no fun to ride upside down). If you have VIP pass you will get priority backdoor access to all rides, else you need to plan well to minimize wait time. It might help to directly go to Transformer ride or Earth/Cylone rides in the beginning- as these are little far from entrance and part of the crowd dissipates in between visiting other less interesting rides/attractions. Alternatively if you can delay your lunch you can try some of these after 1/2PM by which time many get tired and go for lunch.

Express Pass: If you can afford to spend a little more, Express pass gives you a priority access. Not a back door access like VIP but a shorter/fast moving queue.

Advantages of a VIP Pass
SGD 298 VIP Pass is the most comfortable way to explore Universal Studios, Singapore. You will get a personal escort who will take you to all the rides one by one, through a back door priority entry (covers 8 key attractions only, not all). This saves lots and lots of time that others spend waiting in line. VIP passholders also get to click personal photo with movie characters (we missed this part). Because you will have a guide with you, they can hold the bag, take your pictures etc. Otherwise safeguarding your stuff becomes a challenge, as personal items are not allowed on most of the rides due to safety reasons. Other benefits include SGD 25 meal voucher, complementary welcome drink in the beginning etc. Do check USS official site for more details

Please note that there're discounts for children and senior citizens. Do check USS website for full details
Also when you buy a package tour, if you're told Universal Studios is included, most likely you're being offered a general ticket. If you've to wait 60-90 minutes per attraction in queue it is not going to be worth. Upgrade to an Express or VIP Pass or ensure that you're visiting on a weekday or buy a 2 day pass.  Else you will miss lots of rides and will have to go back disappointed.

This post is just about optimizing your visit to USS. Expect more posts on the attractions. If you have been to Universal Studios in Singapore do you agree with my thoughts above? Do you have any additional tips to offer?

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Mahesh Divya said...

singapore's Ramoji film city :-)

sameer said...

You have great experience. Visiting best studios is always best thing. Hope i will visit universal studio in future. thank you for sharing your experience. Keep updating.

ವಿ.ರಾ.ಹೆ. said...

Your tips are good and totally valid. I visited just 2 weeks back. My opinion is VIP pass is a costly affair that too if you are with your family and not earning in S$ or higher currency :). When I entered the Studios, I took the map and decided on some must rides to do. It worked well , even though we missed 2-3 rides because of rain and long queues. Best part is they display wait time so that we can decide to skip that or not. If we are ready to spend more, Express tickets help to bypass the queue.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks MD and Sameer

Shrinidhi Hande said...

THanks Vi Ra He for detailed comment.

Dhananjay said...

Well Said not on Holiday and weekends and as well we need to start @8 AM. We did the same and came out almost @9 in the night. We took photos with Movie characters it is not restricted to VIP pass ?