If we were to ask our kids to name their favourite place in Singapore, they would unanimously say “Universal Studios!”. With all that happy music playing, and all those fun rides, it’s really a wonderful family destination; you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Universal Studios Singapore.
A trip to a theme park like Universal Studios Singapore is likely to cause a dent in your pocket, and since having visited the park more than 10 times (maybe even more) would probably qualify us as seasoned USS-ers, I am taking the liberty to offer ten tips that we’ve found to be extremely useful.
Buy the 6-month season pass!
Last year we took the plunge and bought the 6-month unlimited membership. At $98 per adult and $88 for kids above 4 (below 4s go free), it was a big decision for us. But, considering a single day ticket is $74 for adults and $54 for kids, it did make a lot of sense seeing how we envisioned ourselves going on multiple visits.
Over the span of 6 months, we probably visited the park possibly more than 10 times, each time staying an average of 4 hours. So I’d say we fully utilised our cards. The season passes also offer a discount on food and merchandise. So if you’re in Singapore for a long time, or you call it home, buy it, buy it, buy it!
Buy tickets beforehand
If you’re only in Singapore for a couple of days, or really do only want to visit USS for a day (really? Are you sure?), do a search for promotions. The Resorts World page updates on its promotions frequently, and there are often discounts on USS entry tickets.
Even if you aren’t able to get a discounted ticket, buying your tickets beforehand saves you the hassle of queuing and purchasing your tickets just before opening hours. Because starting the trip by standing 45 minutes in the ticket line isn’t fun for anyone.
If you love the place so much that you think you’d like to visit it again and again, you can always upgrade your tickets to the 6-month pass (by paying the difference) at the Customer Service / Guest Relations Office before you leave the park.
Go on a weekday
This pretty much works for any place of interest but going to USS on a weekend of public holiday is to be avoided at all costs. The picture above was taken on a Saturday morning at 9.45am. The park opens at 10am.
The only difference I can think of between a weekday and a weekend visit (besides the crowds) is the Hollywood Dream Parade. It’s a fun parade, with a dinosaur and all, but from a big picture perspective, I think the overall experience is much better on a weekday.
Take height measurements
If you’re visiting USS with small children, take their height measurements before entering. There is a height limit for lots of rides, so measure your little ones before to avoid disappointment. There are really useful boards just before the entrance where you can place your kids and see which rides they can or cannot go on. Most rides have a 122cm height limit but some rides allow shorties in if they are accompanied by adults. In case you were wondering, yes they are quite strict about this. You can also check for height requirements on all the rides here (go to the Visitor Info tab).
Check the schedules but…
Ask any of the staff for the day’s schedules and you’ll see the timings of all the shows, street performances and character appearances. It’s fun to see familiar characters but don’t let the schedule run your day. It’s no point rushing from one place to another just to have a picture taken with all the characters.
Going for a show may be a good way to catch a breather between rides. When I Grow Up at Pantages Hollywood Theatre is a fun one for kids.
Tip: sit near the aisles because the characters will get off the stage about halfway through the show to mingle and give high fives and hugs among the audience.
We also like the Sesame Street stage show that’s held in front of the New York Public Library. Madagescar Boogie is also fun but it’s totally unsheltered so choose a cooler time for this show perhaps.
Tip: photo-taking sessions with the characters (one queue per character!) take place immediately after the show.
Take time to explore
Rushing all over the place to catch performances or go on the rides can get really tiring. Don’t forget to take some time to explore the place. My favourite is Ancient Egypt – it’s simply amazing! Walk through the alley next to Lights Camera Action in New York for some peace and quiet in “New York”.
If you’re visiting USS with children, remember that they will see everything with different eyes. You may be super excited about being part of an epic battle between humans and cylons but it may not be an 8-year old’s idea of fun. Similarly, some rides may appear super exciting to children but adults might struggle to stifle a yawn. If you’ve got a healthy parent-child ratio, you may choose to split and go on different rides at certain points.
Treasure Hunters in Ancient Egypt: My kids loved it and always argued about who to drive the car. Me on the other hand, let’s just say I took that opportunity to rest my legs.
Battlestar Galacticain Sci-Fi City: The 7-year old LOVED it. So while she and my husband went on it, the 3-year old and I enjoyed King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round (aka the carousel), and the Accelerator (essentially the ‘spinning teacup’).
This is an outdoor theme park and a lot of walking is involved so it is not the day for jeans nor high heeled shoes. Hats and sunblock are a must. Spectacle wearers may like to consider putting contact lenses on for the day because rides like Battlestar Galactica do not allow rides to have anything on them, including spectacles.
Well, you’ll need to eat
Ultimately, you’ll need to eat. Especially if you’re intending to spend a whole day at USS. We’ve pretty much eaten at most of the places, and only on our last day we discovered Hollywood China Bistro. In our opinion, it’s got the best value and it’s nice and quiet compared to the rest. Way better than $10 dino nuggets, I say.
You can also consider zipping out of the park and eating at Malaysian Food Street just outside the park (cheaper food, more variety), and then returning. Remember to get a re-entry stamp.
There are plenty of drinking fountains around the park, and it can get really hot so keep your fluids up.
Amber Rock Climb in Lost World is tucked away from most of the action. Most people I know who have been to USS either not seen it, or did not go for it because they were under the impression there was a fee attached. It’s free on weekdays and there’s a charge on weekends; open to all ages. Our kids (aged 3 and 7) enjoyed this tremendously!
Another bonus! There’s a little ferris wheel in Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop in Far Far Away that’s great for little kids who might otherwise be disappointed at not being able to ride many rides.
About Universal Studios Singapore
USS is located at 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269. Opening hours 10am to 8pm on most days but check website for updates. Tickets: $74 for adults, $54 for children aged 4 and above.
The best way to enter is via the Sentosa Boardwalk. The Sentosa Express will bring you right at the doorstep of USS but it will cost you $4 per person, and it is almost always crowded beyond belief.
Leaving Sentosa: Take the RWS bus out of Sentosa for free (board outside Casino entrance) – it’ll stop you at Harbourfront MRT station
Closest MRT station: Harbourfront.
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