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Photo TR: Universal Studios Singapore Horror Nights

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Universal Studios Singapore Horror Nights

After being pleasantly surprised by Universal Singapore's Horror Nights event in 2014, it was almost a no brainer to try and get back this year. Add in the fact that three rides had opened since my last visit, and the trip was a lock. So last weekend I made my way to Singapore to see what the park had on offer for Horror Nights 5.


Once again it was a great event, anchored by four completely new mazes, each with a connection to local stories or folklore. I'm not much of a horror fan, so I always like when parks use original stories for these things, as they tend to do a better job with the narrative. Some of the mazes were designed to appeal to the park's Chinese market, and I definitely appreciated the variety this added to the haunt experience.


Hell House was themed to a life-size paper house, collapsing and burning up from the inside. True Singapore Ghost Stories: The MRT took victims through the pages of a horror novel and into collapsing subway cars filled with all sorts of unsavoury creatures. A very dark and disorienting maze, Tunnel People explored a strange race of people discovered by construction workers building Singapore's subway line. Siloso Gateway: Block 50 was the "hero" maze of the event, taking us through an apartment building with virus-infected inhabitants. Every single maze was very high quality, and there was no clear "best" or "worst" offering. Hell House was probably my favourite, simply because it had some very clever rooms and a theme that was not like anything I've seen before.


Three scare zones were set up around the park, and this was one area where the park had definitely learnt from some of last year's issues with guest flow, so all were easy to navigate and uncrowded. Once again the immersion level was quite high, with great sets and actors who were definitely having a lot of fun with their role. A hybrid maze and scare zone, Conterminated gave us a look at a zombie-infected area of the city, seemingly caused by massive piles of trash. Hungry Ghosts, based on Chinese folklore, demonstrated the consequences of not giving enough tribute to one's ancestors. The biggest scare zone, The Invaders, was set in the park's New York street. Appropriately this was based on an alien invasion, replete with flying saucer, lasers and giant guns.


The Pantages Theater didn't have a show this time around, with the park instead adding Beast Club, a smaller show/dance party in Egypt. This wasn't bad, and added some good comic relief to the evening. Given that the Waterworld arena was sitting empty during the event, it would be cool to see the park use that for a nighttime show in the future.


I was very impressed by the overall quality of the event - no corners had been cut for this one. The park was extremely busy on the night we visited (I found out later it was their biggest crowd ever) and even with our express passes for the mazes and rides, we didn't have a lot of spare time. Hopefully this will encourage the park to add additional mazes in future years to help soak up the crowds. In any case it's good to see a big turnout from the locals, and was well worth the seven hour flight to visit.



1am and it's time to board the 777 to Singapore.


Seven hours later, I've arrived. This city is super easy for westerners, kind of an "Asia for Beginners". Everyone speaks English, the train system makes getting around simple, and apart from the hotels it's pretty cheap.


Hello Universal!


Mandatory globe picture.


Puss in Boots' Giant Journey is the park's newest ride. "Giant", in this instance, refers to an encounter with a giant, not the size of the ride.


It's a Zamperla suspended coaster with an eggbeater lift (like a Volare) and plenty of brake runs to slow you down in the "show" scenes. Like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it's a blend of thrill and dark ride.


The queue is themed to a giant's kitchen. Complete with "Royal Snot".


Some giant recipes on the wall as well.


So the train is a sort of flying box that sways a little. To be fair, it's definitely not the least comfortable ride Zamperla has built.


Bumblebee isn't new, he's just cool.


Since my last visit Battlestar Galactica had reopened, with the most obvious modification being that the trains now have two seats per row rather than four.


It was great to see this ride open again, and both sides were pretty decent, even for a Vekoma.


With no inversions the Human side reminded me of one of Vekoma's family coasters, just a little bigger. It wasn't bad, but kind of tame with a few decent forces in the final helix.


The inverted Cylon side was much better, reasonably smooth with a great zero-g roll halfway through. We took a night ride on this a 1am, which was even more disorienting and unpredictable.


On to Horror Nights! The main street of the park was absolutely packed for the opening show. The show started with a reporter warning the crowd that something was not right and we should flee for our lives!


One of the Hell House ghosts appeared under the Blood Moon to start the night.


Various monsters from each of the different mazes were released to terrify the crowd, and the night begins!


We first checked out Hell House. The event had only just started so the posted wait was an hour, later in the night some mazes got up to 160 minutes! Fortunately we had the express passes.


A model of the paper house was on display at the end of the queue, along with an invitation to peek in.


There was also a bucket of these tickets. The idea was that you found the right character to give this to in the maze and something cool would happen. We didn't figure it out, but a cool feature.


A paper car was parked out front. On fire.


The full-size paper house. Everything in here was designed to look like it had been made of paper, including the actors. The basic story was that the house was on fire (pretty much the worst thing that can happen in a paper house) and demons were climbing out of the ashes. There was a particularly effective narrow corridor with rubber hands grabbing at you, which definitely creeped me out.


Hungry Ghosts was a medium-sized scare zone in the Jurassic Park area.


Like Hell House, this was based on Chinese folklore. In this case, the tradition of giving sacrifices to one's ancestors. Or the consequences of not doing so.


This area worked much better than last year, where the previous scare zone had been a giant mass of human gridlock. Plenty of fog helped break up sightlines and make it seem more immersive.


I have no idea what this is, but it was huge and looks very Chinese.


Creepy Chinese grandmother not happy with her afterlife.




As always, the undead were happy to pose for photographs.


And my favourite piece of themeing for the night - the Jurassic Park body dryers rethemed as a pagoda. I love that the park went to this effort rather than just hiding them behind a black tarp.


The monsters took turns posing under the blood moon throughout the night. This is the leader of the Tunnel People.


Mel's Drive-In gets a little more sinister after dark.


True Singapore Ghost Stories: The MRT had a very effective entrance, where you walked through the pages of a book to get into the maze. The story inside was pretty much as the name says - scary stuff on trains. There was a lot of walking through trains and train stations, but it was hard to get a grip on the narrative. That said, the quality of the maze was still very good.


Tunnel People was particularly cool. This one was centered on the idea that Singaporean construction workers had delved too deep when building the next stage of their subway, and had encountered a strange race of subterranean inhabitants. This maze was very dark, with lots of obstacles to climb around and under. A few quite effective "smell" effects were used - think sewers and garbage. There were actually two sides to this maze, and the greeter took a lot of pleasure in splitting our group up between left and right sides.


Conterminated was a combination maze and scare zone set in a back alley of New York. It followed a familiar "quarantine/virus" theme - why the authorities are letting all of these people through the quarantine area was not explained.


This one had some of the creepiest actors of the night, including a dude in a kiddie pool filled with dirty diapers, and people emerging from giant piles of trash.


This "infected" comes from Block 50.


Which was the final maze of the night. This one got bonus points for being air conditioned (important when it's 80 degrees and 90% humidity), and was the biggest maze of the event. It was set inside an apartment block where some virus had turned everyone into zombies (because that's what viruses do I guess). This one wasn't particularly scary but I definitely appreciated the impressiveness of it. The actors (zombies and police) really sold the story, and the sets were very realistic.


After all that scaring, time to take a ride on Transformers, better than any of the films.


Lake + lighting package = arty nighttime reflections.


Puss In Boots was definitely better at night - the show scenes were lit up and the dark ride parts were more effective, where in the day it had seemed more like random bits of theming around some coaster track.


The Invaders was a very big scare zone, featuring aliens and alien-fighting soliders.


The whole New York street was full of big set pieces, very impressive.


You need a big gun to fight ET.


Every so often a show would start, where the aliens would battle. This included a very cool effect where a rocket was fired at the UFO, missed, and exploded on the New York Library building behind.


Nobody was willing to help this poor soldier.


I'm assuming this UFO is a bit like the Tardis, bigger on the inside.


They didn't like the soldiers but the aliens were quite patient with photographers.


This is the kit you need to fight an alien invasion.


Gotta get that all-important night ride on Mummy! The one in Singapore takes the best parts of the other Mummy rides, improves on them, and has a very impressive exterior.


Opposite The Mummy was Beast Club.


"Welcome to the dance. One rule: nobody may wear more skulls than me!"


This monster had some moves. The giant ewok on his right is the titular "Beast".


The whole show was basically music with some camp fun. A couple of audience members were even selected to be "sacrificed".


Yes, that's a four breasted woman. Classy, Universal.


Overall, this was a really good event. I look forward to seeing what the park comes up with for Horror Nights 6 next year!

Edited by azza29
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Wow, amazing photos of what looks like a great park! I love that huge chains like Universal and Disney have to tailor their parks to the local tastes and cultures and I'm glad this is the case with HHN too. It sounds like they have come up with some really creative ideas rather than just applying a new IP or theme to existing ideas. Your night time photos are great, and I'm glad you had fun

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Thanks for posting! Other than the Cabin in the Woods haunted house that USH/USO has put on, this event has gotten my attention the most. The unique Chinese stories that are brought to life look interesting, genuinely scary, and well put together. Appreciate you writing and posting about them!


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Legoland Malaysia and some touristy Singapore

In what may well be the most trouble I've ever gone to to visit an amusement park, the day after Horror Nights we took the bus to visit Legoland Malaysia for the first time. All of the group had been to at least one Lego park before, but Malaysia was a first for all of us. The park is still new, having only opened in 2012, and all of the staples are there - Technic coaster, Dragon coaster, Egyptian shooting dark ride, 4D theatre, etc. But in the space of three years it's managed to achieve an "unfinished yet run-down" aesthetic.


Now our group isn't exactly the target market for this park, so bearing that in mind we kept our expectations in check - hoping to be charmed rather than thrilled. Legoland Malaysia wasn't without highlights - the Ninjago stage show and Star Wars miniland were both excellent, and the park let us ride the credits despite the rain. But overall the place was a bit sad. Miniland was literally melting apart, audio was broken on multiple rides, and for the most part the place was dead, maybe 200 people in the park at most on a Sunday afternoon.


Back on the other side of the border, Singapore has more to offer than just Universal Studios, notably the very unique Haw Par Villa. This place is magical and terrifying, and is literally a "themed park" just outside of the city. It was built by two brothers to depict various tales of Chinese mythology, including a memorable journey through the Ten Courts of Hell, which I understand many Singaporean children are subjected to in order to encourage them to behave.


Also on our itinerary was the excellent Adventure Cove Waterpark. No photos, because that would be creepy. But while Adventure Cove might not be particularly big, it's spectacularly themed, and has an epic lazy river that actually takes you through some of the exhibits of the aquarium below. The park also had a good selection of slides, as well as a water coaster and wave pool. Definitely worth a look to get some relief from Singapore's humidity.


One of Singapore's newer attractions is Gardens By The Bay. Most cities put greenhouses in their botanical gardens, Singapore built huge airconditioned domes - one housing various trees and plants from around the world, another with a huge man-made mountain housing a "cloud forest". I'm not typically one to go out of my way for plants, but I was very impressed by this place, especially as it makes for an impressive feat of engineering.



will get you an air-conditioned coach ride from Singapore to Legoland Malaysia and back. The journey takes about 90 minutes each way, including stopping for the border crossings. Hooray for bonus passport stamps!


And so we arrive at the (not quite finished) park gates.


Apart from the bucket hat, this dude reminds me of me more than I'd care to admit.


A hazy Sunday afternoon at Legoland!


I always appreciate the effort that goes into making these parks look like they're built from giant Lego pieces.


Merlin sure love their franchise model. I think there's one of these in every Lego park, all with the same design.


Pigeon recipes or recipes for pigeons? Hmm...


If this was a real Lego train, it would have fallen off the track going around a corner.


The Ninjago stage show is a fairly recent addition to the park, having only opened the month before our visit. I wasn't expecting much, but went in to enjoy the air conditioning.


It was actually really good! The back wall and floor were projection mapped to change from scene to scene, and the puppeteers did a great job of bringing life to the characters.


The story itself was on par with your average theme park fare, but overall I was glad we bothered to check this out.


Lost Kingdom Adventure is the same shooting dark ride you've been on everywhere else, right down to the unreliable sensors.


Dino Island didn't offer much of either. It did, however, have a flume ride and a shop.


Can't fault them on the themeing, and this drop was surprisingly wet. The outdoor section has music and animatronics, like a budget Jurassic Park. Sadly the audio cut out about 20 seconds into our ride, which made for a solemn journey through Dino Island.


4D movies are another great way to beat the humidity. Clutch Powers 4-D was, well, exactly the same as in Florida.


Something a little more interesting - Star Wars miniland! This one is all indoors, so the models won't fade over time, and the guests won't fade in the heat.


Mos Eisley Cantina. These models are cool but I always find the brick-built people a little weird, like the opposite of charming Lego minifigures.


Epic Hoth Battle scene!


And from Return of the Jedi. C-3PO looks a lot like Bender in this one.


Next up - the observation tower ride. I spy some credits!


Dragon Coaster is a Lego park standard, this one was dressed up for Halloween. The ride itself was very strange, with no sound in the dark ride part. Riding past the mute animatronics, we could only wonder what they wanted to say.


Dragon's Apprentice is a very small coaster that we rode just as it started to pour rain. The ride ops were good enough to still give us the mandatory second lap though. Wet wet wet.


Hey it's backwards Coast Rider! We had saved the best for last, with another damp ride on the Project X wild mouse.


I love the random themeing you see around Lego parks, this one didn't disappoint.


Mediocre rides aside, the main draw of a Lego park is usually the Miniland.


Some parts were under renovation, I wonder why...


Let's take a closer look at the Petronas Towers peeking out from behind the walls.


Yeah, they're literally melting apart. The Malaysian sun has not been kind.


No, that's not a clever stone Lego effect. Those bricks have melted.


From a distance it still looks OK though.


Back To The Future! Awesome!


Nice little Mission Impossible homage here.


Lego boobs are less alluring than I'd imagined.


So because it was near Halloween, there were a few "spooky" touches around Miniland, including this Ghostbusters tribute.


And a little nod to Thriller.


Singapore makes an appearance too, although the geography is a bit off. The real Singapore Flyer is nowhere near anything of interest.


I guess this is a traditional Malaysian village. No idea why she's walking on the roof though. About to jump?


The Taj Mahal was decidedly less melty than some of the other models. I guess they're gradually replacing them.


Pirate ships are the highlight of any miniland, and the best Lego models in general.


This house is basically levitating on the lake. They have some water level issues I think.


After a solid four hours, we were basically as tired as this dude, so it was time to catch the bus back to Singapore. To be honest I don't know if this is a park I'd come back to, at the very least it needs some time to establish itself first.


On to something much more cultural, Haw Par Villa.


Enter, and be terrified!


The whole park is weird concrete statues like this. I am sure they all have some meaning I am too ignorant to understand.


Plenty of photo opportunities all over the park.


Each more disturbing than the last.


The "Ten Courts of Hell" is the main draw of this place.


It's quite graphic, so if you're squeamish maybe skip the next few pictures.


There is one diorama for each "court", depicting wrongdoers being punished for various sins. This man-on-a-stick is being thrown into a volcanic pit for either robbery or inflicting physical injury.


Tomb robbers are tied to a red hot copper pillar and grilled. Same applies to drug addicts and those who "urge people into crime and social unrest."


Disobedience to one's siblings results in one being ground by a huge stone. And so it goes on.


Chastened, we headed outside to this sight. I have no idea how to interpret.


There was also this, possibly a statement on aged welfare.


Why is there a Statue of Liberty, you ask? Because, that's why!


For the animal lover, a giant monkey.


Australian animals were not forgotten either.


We shall end with sea-snail woman, in what looked like one of the newer exhibits.


More culture. Sentosa Island is home to the enormous SEA Aquarium, which sits underneath the Adventure Cove waterpark. Normally I don't bother with photos in aquariums because they always end up looking awful, but somehow this place had the right lighting and clean enough glass to give some passable pictures.


This tank was full of Finding Nemo's greatest hits.


Some fish.


Ooh jellyfish.


More Halloween themeing here too, this fish didn't seem to mind.


Next stop was the superb Gardens By The Bay, with a hazy view of the Singapore Flyer.


The Supertree Garden is entirely man-made, each of these "trees" is covered in living plants. gets you an elevator ride to the viewing platforms.


In true Singaporean style, the number of rules is only limited by the size of the sign.


Tree maintenance is done using very big cherry picker cranes.


The "skywalk" is a narrow bridge joining two of the larger trees. The trees look the same from up top, but the scale is quite impressive.


All of the plants on the tree "trunks" grow on this spongey stuff.


The main draw of the Gardens is the greenhouse domes.


The flower dome has plants from all around the world, and is a huge space.


If you're into chrysanthemums you will love this place.


Some very cool sculptures are featured in the dome.


Some of the plants are quite, uh, interesting.


Next door is the Cloud Forest, containing a huge man-made mountain complete with waterfall.


Every couple of hours the "mist" is turned on, for a stunning effect.


The carnivorous plants exhibit was quite interesting.


These ones lure insects into the liquid held in the base of their "leaf", where the poor unsuspecting bug is then digested.


Some Lego models in the exhibit as well, not bad.


You ride a lift to the top of the mountain an then take these walkways down, the whole place is extremely well done and about twenty degrees cooler than outside.


Last stop was the Marina Bay harbour to see the "Wonder Full" light and water show, which is World of Color but less entertaining.


The story is essentially a propaganda piece about how awesome it is to be Singaporean. Anyway that's all from Singapore and Malaysia, hope you enjoyed this trip report!

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Thanks for that we looking at a cruise out of Singapore in 2017. I mentioned universal to the other half which she liked then she got even more excited thinking HHN these photos have just sealed the deal lol.


Great report


Stu K

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