Universal Studios Singapore

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Universal Studios

Theme parks are always an exciting part of a family vacation. When we took off on our 3-week Asian adventure we were thrilled to work in a trip to Singapore's Universal Studioslocated in the Sentosa Resort World.

The resort island spans 121 hectare and hosts 1500 rooms with six hotels. This is Southeast Asia's only Universal Studio. It has had more than 6 million visitors so far. While I am by no means a theme-park expert, I thought this would be an amazing opportunity for the girls and me.

Universal Studios Singapore is located on a fun-filled luxury island. The theme park is part of a huge entertainment complex. There are a total of 65 different uniforms worn by the team members of Universal Studios Singapore. The staff comes from 28 different nations, making it truly a global community.

There are seven 'worlds' to visit all with rides, shows, shopping and food that are related to a certain movie or series of movies. There are 18 theme rides including the world's tallest pair of dueling roller coasters in the world.

Universal Studios Singapore

Our journey started on Sesame Street. How fitting that our girls got a bit of home while in Asia! The new Sesame Street attractions are set in a virtual New York located on the steps of the NY Public Library steps' right by the famous lions. This street entertainment is just the first portion of the Sesame rollout. In the show, Elmo, Erie, Bert and Grover bust a move and interact with the kids.

The classic landmarks of NYC have 558 facade windows, with the names of the original architects who had built the actual landmarks of NYC. My 4 y.o. was mesmerized by the street show and post-show the hugs from Elmo. There are plenty of chances to meet and greet characters. Unlike Disney, there is no fee required. If you need a souvenir, there's a cute little street vendor right next to the show's stage area. Later in the year, a Sesame Street themed ride (an indoor Elmo ride) will open plus a character breakfast program.

As we walked to the next 'land' we stopped to see The Dinettes--a trio of singers and dancers' perform outside Mel's Dinette in Hollywood. Everywhere you turn there's a show going on!

Let's not leave out the action. Some of our favorite rides were in 'Madagascar.' Based on the popular animated series, the water ride 'Crate Adventure' was silly fun. The kids recognized all the characters (you've got to love King Julien!). And the clever merry-go-round is full of fun monkeys, lemurs and of course, lions to ride.

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Far Far Away is also ideal for little kids. It's easy to find this area--just look for the huge castle! Tucked inside the Fairy Godmother's Potion Shop is a tiny and delightful Ferris wheel. And we all (maybe this grown up most of all) hooted with glee watching Shrek & Co. in the 4D-animated movie/ride called 'Shrek 4D Adventures.' The most daring ride we tried was the Enchanted Airways, a zippy little roller coaster. And we had a nice lunch at Friar's and soaked up a little air conditioning before heading off for more thrills.

The largest production number we saw was the awesome Water World, a show full of effects, explosions and action. It's based on the eponymous movie that starred Kevin Costner. You won't want to miss this water show! But be warned it is loud and possibly very wet if you sit in the front rows. Fun Fact: The pool at the theater holds 5 million gallons of water, equivalent to nine Olympic pools.

Big kids seemed to relish the major rides like the Canopy Flyer and the Battlestar Galactica dueling coasters called the Human and the Cylon (one of the rides is seated and the other suspended - both are spectacular).

We walked under and around these rides and heard lots of screams, my 7yo desperately wanted to go, but she didn't meet the height requirement and I was playing single mom on the visit. I couldn't leave the 4 y.o. behind. Fortunately, the older girl was placated with all the other exciting options.

Overall, I can report that the park is immaculate. No trash ANYWHERE. In addition, the park never felt crowded and the longest we waited in a line was 15 minutes (though my kids were too short for the serious action rides and I did notice those had longer lines).

Though we never found the lines a problem, there is an 'Universal Express' pass that allows you to skip the regular lines and go right to the front.

Heat is an issue in Singapore, but the park had tons of shaded and air-conditioned options to keep the whining at bay. There's plenty of shade, clean restrooms and places to rest in between all the excitement. The food options are varied from ice cream to veggie wraps.

We took a cab from the Fullerton and it took about 15 minutes, on the way home, we tried the subway which was so clean you could eat off the floors (but please don't) and we thoroughly enjoyed the longer, and cheaper, public transit option.

For rates and park times visit: www.rwsentosa.com

Momtrends paid for all food, travel fees and souvenirs.

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