My family and neighbours made a long-awaited visit to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) for dinner and a walk-around. For an entrance fee of two dollars under the Hollywood After Hours pricing, we had a wonderful time basking in the sights and sounds along the streets. It feels mildly unfortunate that the focus and controversy over the casinos have robbed USS of its deserved attention and credit.
All of us were captivated by the festive and cheery atmosphere of the general setting. My mother was delighted with the overall theme park experience, and the degree of effort put in for the design and conceptualisation. Having been privileged enough to visit a few different theme parks in various countries, the construct of USS has been equally remarkable in quality and innovation. Subtle touches such as the service trams in the large car-park, the movie screenings, and the riveting background tunes made the journey more convenient and enjoyable.
Of course, there are areas for improvement. First, it might be wise to extend the weekend opening hours to accommodate families who enter to have dinner at the restaurants. On our visit, we almost had barely sufficient time to enjoy the ambience after the meal since the closing time was at nine. Also, the narrow configuration of some of the shops made them almost inaccessible – especially for prams – when the massive crowds gather. Some might also lament the fact that more effort could have been put in to integrate several Singaporean elements: in terms of themed eateries or the enhanced addition of lush greenery in the area.
There may be long queues and crowds, but what is an entertainment hub without the hustle and bustle all around. The general hub-bub of activity – of individuals from Singapore and all over the world – reflects USS’s immense global attraction and popularity; though its eventual sustainability would depend on its ability to continue maintaining its standards and further innovating. The slightly smaller size and scale of the area should not deter the future progress of developments or additions in an assortment of fields; rather, it should encourage the team to continue pushing established boundaries.
The continued success of USS would certainly reaffirm Singapore’s renowned status as a booming metropolis, and a regional tourism hot-spot. A big thank-you to all the management, maintenance and service staff for the committed, albeit arduous, excellent work; and for making our experience a memorable one.