November 23, 2012 – Hello everyone. We’re back with another update from Universal Studios Singapore, this time covering “Sci-Fi City” – home to Transformers, Battlestar Galactica, and Accelerator.
Here we go!
Here it is: the transition from New York City into Sci-Fi City.
One of many information boards within the park. Good in theory, but bad in practice. Unlike the information boards at Universal Studios Hollywood, Singapore’s display boards rotate between in-park promotions, show times and wait times. God forbid if you missed something that you needed, which usually meant waiting around five minutes to have that same piece of information reappear.
Another shot of Sci-Fi City Plaza. Note New York City lurking underneath that bridge.
Transformers: The Ride – Singapore edition. Compared to Hollywood, they definitely got the better end of the stick in terms of a facade, don’t you think? We’ll see how Florida soon compares.
A shot opposite of the Transformers entrance. Not sure if the theming is attached to a certain movie or franchise. Anyone know what “Daybot Robotics” is?
Sure beats a mural.
Interesting note about wait times. Out of all the parks I’ve ever been to in the world, Singapore – by far – had the oddest park fluctuations I’ve ever seen. When the park would open, Transformers would balloon into a wait time of about 2 hours. As the day progressed into the afternoon, you could practically walk on board – which I did, multiple times. Even after their parade celebrations, Transformers was still a walk-on attraction in the midst of a large crowd. Unusual to say the least.
In terms of queuing, both parks are practically the same. If we’re talking technicalities that only fans would notice, you could say Singapore lacked the vibrating Allspark room and had more subtle lighting overall.
…and of course, you can note the differences in layout and design – but that’s to be expected in a different location. The design motifs between both parks remain the same. I’ll have a walkthrough video of the queue in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.
In terms of the actual ride, there’s only one major difference – picture quality. To be blunt, Singapore lacks the new digital projection system that Hollywood (and Spiderman at Islands of Adventure) employs. Think of the differences between Shrek and Terminator, and you’ll get what I mean. The difference in picture quality may not make much of a difference in a traditional theater attraction, but for an attraction like Transformers, it makes a huge impact on the overall ride quality. The difference in quality is very apparent, and Hollywood fans might be disappointed at Singapore’s ride experience based on the picture quality alone. Odd cost cutting decision, to say the least.
They do have this to compensate though.
If it’s any consolation in trying to figure out the theme for Sci-Fi City, I heard Halo music lingering in the background. The whole area is eerily similar to Marvel Superhero Island at Islands of Adventure – but definitely more generic.
One last shot of the canopy section of Sci-Fi City. We’ll be heading into the coaster portion of the park.
More props from the film. Seems like they really went all out for Singapore.
Accelerator, a traditional amusement park ride. Nothing too special to mention here.
Anyone willing to provide a translation?
Battlestar Galactica. Think of Dueling Dragons (now Dragon Challenge) over at Islands of Adventure.
I don’t have a pristine recollection of Dueling Dragons, but I can’t note any notable differences between the two in terms of ride experience. Like Islands of Adventure, the ride is split into two entrances: Human and Cylon.
One important note: Singapore is very serious about bringing objects on board to ride. In fact, they’ll wand you for any metal objects and force you to empty your pockets (metal coins, cameras or cell phones on board) into a locker or bin – a la airport security. I even got nagged for bringing a pair of headphones. Just something you should take note of if you plan on filming or taking an on-ride photo. You’re going to need a handler.
Would be remarkable if this actually worked.
That’s it for Sci-Fi City at Universal Studios Singapore!
And unlike the last two portions of the park (Hollywood and New York City), Sci-Fi City finally begins a trend of themed lands housing multiple attractions under a single brand. In terms of theming, almost all of the elements of Sci-Fi City resembled Islands of Adventure in one way or the other. That’s not necessarily a bad thing , but something I definitely noticed as I wandered throughout the area. So in other words, if you’re looking for something dramatically different from any other Universal park, you might be disappointed with this section of the park. Attraction wise, Battlestar Galactica and Transformers were great experiences that I would definitely check out alongside Accelerator (if you have the time). Hollywood fans might notice the stark difference in picture quality between Singapore and Hollywood, but I’m guessing most guests could ultimately care less. Other than that, a strong land with a great list of attractions.
That’s it for me. Stay tuned for an update from Ancient Egypt. For now, please do check out our forums and join the conversation, like our Facebook and follow us on Twitter! See you real soon with another follow up.
– Jon Fu
About the Author: Jon Fu
Jon Fu is the editorial director of Inside Universal and oversees the creative direction of the site’s content.
Jon originally founded InsideUniversal.net in 2006 as a summer hobby aimed at providing families and fans a resource for all things “Universal Studios Hollywood”. Since then, the website has taken him throughout the United States and around the world – including to places like Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
Jon currently resides in Santa Cruz, California with his bamboo plant. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.