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Mini Trip Report: Battlestar Galactica - Annual Passholders' Night

 

I was at the park last night for the second APs' Night. Apart from ERT (Exclusive Ride Time) from 8pm~11pm, there isn't really a programme for the event. Superstar Passholders got extra perks, such as free refreshments, free on-ride photo (per passholder, I was told) and unlimited Universal Express for that night. As for the "others" like me, the consolation prize was just 2 special postcards, a lanyard card (I supposed they wanted to give lanyards but decided on paper wristbands in the end) and 15% off BSG merchandise.

 

 

BSG will "officially" reopen tomorrow (21/02) but the truth is: it has been running secretly for full park hours (not intermittently) for the past few days. I had some small talk with other APs, apparently they thought that the park actually organized an "exclusive special sneak preview" and that "the ride is opening up for the first time since last year". Oh well.

 

Although the ride has soft-opened for 2 weeks now, there are still a number of glitches (in fact, I didn't even encounter them during the secret soft-opening) last night. CYLON wasn't able to start until 25 mins past 8pm because the platform gates refused to open (shorted out or something, the lights were all off) - the engineers had to actually open up the gate control console and check all the wires. Later in the night, I was stuck on the ride for another 20 mins or so because the restraints were locked shut and the control room was unable to release them. Then, a crew member brought out this strange looking box with a large cable and had to manually override the locks for each restraint individually, by plugging a cable into a socket at the back of each row.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A week ago, on 18th March 2011, marks the 1-year milestone for Universal Studios Singapore. Interestingly there are no plans to move on from this soft opening, and I think this is perhaps the longest theme park 'soft-opening phase' i've ever heard of!

 

Here's the programme slip comparing 2010 (left) and 2011 (right). I collected the 2010 slip during my first visit on 22nd March last year, but it's more or less the same as the 18th March, with some different timings. From 12 March till 20 March, the park was open from 10am ~ 9pm due to school holidays in Singapore.

 

 

Apart from some changes and tweaks for certain attractions, the park's offerings are still the same with BSG back up and running. Frankly, I've gotten tired of waiting for Madagascar (supposed to be open by June 2010) and Transformers (supposed to be open by Spring 2011 - but i'd suspect they are going to wait for USH's to catch up and build it along with, to cut costs) and Stage 28 (missing in action with no news, although stated in park map as operating??)

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Apart from some changes and tweaks for certain attractions, the park's offerings are still the same with BSG back up and running. Frankly, I've gotten tired of waiting for Madagascar (supposed to be open by June 2010) and Transformers (supposed to be open by Spring 2011 - but i'd suspect they are going to wait for USH's to catch up and build it along with, to cut costs) and Stage 28 (missing in action with no news, although stated in park map as operating??)

 

Transformers is slated to open in late-2011, while Madagascar Ride is slated to open by Mid-2010. I've heard that Madagascar ride might be able to open in April or May. I think they may have their official opening after Madagascar and Transformers open. Followed by the Grand Opening of Resorts World Sentosa, when the entire resort is completely finish.

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Transformers is slated to open in late-2011, while Madagascar Ride is slated to open by Mid-2010. I've heard that Madagascar ride might be able to open in April or May. I think they may have their official opening after Madagascar and Transformers open. Followed by the Grand Opening of Resorts World Sentosa, when the entire resort is completely finish.

 

Keeping my fingers crossed for that, but it seems like the Grand Opening may occur in Early/Mid-2012 at the rate things are going. They're still doing foundation work at the west zone, and there might still be a short soft opening for that zone's facilities.

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Some scaffolding work has been installed at the Universal Globe and the area around it has been boarded up. Seems early to say but it appears to be the wayyy overdue repair work! FYI the Globe has not been spinning since October 2010!

 

Here's a photo snapped by my friend, Darryl M:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

GRAND OPENING: 28 MAY 2011

finally! after 14 months of soft opening!

(and finally! they've decided not to make major announcements 3 days before things happen!)

 

Universal Studios Singapore will hold its Grand Opening Celebrations on 28 May 2011, a day when celebrities and guests come together to celebrate Southeast Asia’s Number One theme park.

 

Come join us as we celebrate the Grand Opening of Universal Studios Singapore. Enjoy the the special Procession lined up just on the Grand Opening Day. Indulge in special promotions at the dining outlets and meet the stars of Universal Studios Singapore® and take him lasting memories.

 

DETAILS:

Date: 28th May 2011

Operating Hours: 10:00am - 09:00pm

Highlights: Action-packed stunt and a Grand Procession

www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Attractions/UniversalStudiosSingapore/GrandOpening

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I was at the park yesterday for a few hours but it was really too crowded to stay! Seems the latest promotion (20% off ticket prices when purchased with Mastercard) and possibly the situation in Japan has pulled in tourists from all over. Wait-times for popular rides such as Jurrasic Park Rapids and Battlestar Galactica hover over 105 mins. Even the high capacity Revenge of the Mummy had a long wait of around 70 minutes. Alas, the second loading/unloading platform is still not utilized and there's at least 4 empty cars parked there.

 

So here's some photos:

The Globe is now completely sealed up and er, there's huge posters of the Orlando globe for visitors to take photos with. There's a curious grey door that i'd want to investigate soon.

 

Rick O'Connell has arrived at Ancient Egypt, along with some other generic Egyptian characters (not photographed) which are not from The Mummy franchise.

 

Madagascar has the new information sign installed. Close up below:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rather interesting info about the Madagascar ride from Screamscape:

 

The latest batch of information from Universal Singapore confirms that Madagascar should be opening in the very near future after months and months of delays. In fact, a few more interesting stories behind the lengthy delay were also passed on. As we had heard before the original boat designs were flawed as they did not work within the flume built for them. The boats (from Hafema) were too heavy, sunk too low in the water, and just were not able to navigate the lifts and hills.

Apparently new boats, in use now, were constructed by a different manufacturer. A new problem arose from them, as those boats would drop down a flume drop at one point in the ride (near the end I assume) and cause a sizable wave to move through the flume to the outside portion of the ride. The water would apparently splash out in all kinds of locations that were not intended to be wet ever, causing more problems.

As we had heard before, a few scenes construction into a second floor area of the ride were abandoned, forcing a rebuild of some of the existing scenes on the lower end to not only connect the flume, but to also attempt to re-tell the story correctly.

 

A sizable wave? Did they accidentally build a second JPRA in the park and not realize until it was too late?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Madagascar: A Crate Adventure

 

Just came back from Annual Passholder's Preview. I have a POV video uploading right now. *SEE BELOW*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some notables:

 

- Story is heavily based on the first Madagascar film. Essentially, it is a "Madagascar in 7 minutes" ride.

 

- There is no drop, or actual lift "hills". Two mini-hills however, one at loading/unloading, one in the middle (to make the boat move faster or stop it entirely) right before the segment that adds/removes boats to the ride.

 

- As there are no drops, it is not possible to get wet except by those props that spray water. And there are quite a few of those.

 

- Boats are loaded/unloaded in pairs, but there is a gap between each boat. The scenes are all timed to "animate" for individual boats.

 

- The motion of the boat is designed to feel as if it's a floating crate. There's a series of wheels (like 5-6 per side) hidden under the water surface to "bump" the walls along the water channel. Movement is entirely controlled by the water currents.

 

- The boat capacity is capped at 4 adults per row, with 5 rows per vehicle. There appears to be 20 boats (as observed from the numbering, but not sure how many are used at any time). Loading is efficient but unloading isn't, because there is a long lag-time to release the (rather redundant) lap bars. The way loading works: Split the standby-line into 2 queues, then further divide each queue into 5 rows, putting them into a holding area (that's right beside the actual boarding area).

 

- As to why the lap bars take longer time to release.. Well, the entire restraint system is manually locked/unlocked with a wench. Crew members would turn a key at the back of each boats to unlock/lock. So I believe the boats are built really simple with no electronic parts.

 

- The animatronics.. well. seemed rather disappointing, especially after what we've seen from Disney's Little Mermaid ride. There ARE some good ones but generally most of them seemed quite robotic or rather static. The only thing I like about them is there is a lot of detail to them, with fur and texture etc.

 

- Projection screens: There's four HUGE ones and it appears to be digital. Very sharp and vivid. There are smaller ones littered around the ride, all looking great so far.

 

- Fun Pass tier Annual Passholders were given some plastic garlands, a little lanyard card and Madagascar themed notepad. Free refreshments were also served throughout the night. All in all, the event was better planned than Battlestar Galactica. I will never forget the poor little drink stand that was placed outside BSG!

 

POV video:

Edited by digimax
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^^ I think I am the only person in the world who like that ride, lol.

 

Thanks for the pov... I am a bit confused though... I heard(before opening) that there was a drop, yet I did not notice one. Was there one and I just didn't see it?

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^^ I think I am the only person in the world who like that ride, lol.

 

Thanks for the pov... I am a bit confused though... I heard(before opening) that there was a drop, yet I did not notice one. Was there one and I just didn't see it?

 

I like Monsters Inc also.

 

The post earlier said that Screamscape is reporting the drop had to be removed. Can we confirmation on this?

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^^ I think I am the only person in the world who like that ride, lol.

 

Thanks for the pov... I am a bit confused though... I heard(before opening) that there was a drop, yet I did not notice one. Was there one and I just didn't see it?

 

I like Monsters Inc also.

 

The post earlier said that Screamscape is reporting the drop had to be removed. Can we confirmation on this?

 

I sort of like it BUT I generally love indoor dark rides (whether slow or fast) in general.

 

Yes, the drop was in the original plan. It does not exist anymore. In actual fact, there is supposed to be a SECOND level in the ride building which was scrapped. The reason why it took so long to open was because they had to rebuild.

 

I'm trying to plot out (from memory) a rough ride layout but my guess is that after the "partying" scenes - the part where guests see the "Mt Foosa" plan - is where most of the major redesign work happened.

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