Monday, February 28, 2011

~ Punggol East Family Day - USS Here We Come (Part 2) ~

After lunch, we braced ourselves for more rides and longer queues. Most of the rides needs at least 25-45mins waiting time at The Lost World. We joined in the line for Dino-Soarin waiting to soar up in the sky in one of the Pteranodons. The children are getting impatient seeing the long slow-moving queue in front of them and standing under the hot weather doesn't makes them feel good. Thanks to the covered shelter, wall fans and water-cooler units, it makes our wait less temperamental and more bearable.

We headed straight to the Canopy Flyer where it states an estimate of 40mins waiting time at the entrance. I was a bit hesitant to take the ride initially since it does look kinda scary sitting on the vehicle and flying round at high speed. However, Denver & Gladys are so persistent on riding the Canopy Flyer and here we are! The waiting time isn't as bad as I thought and soon enough, it was our turn! Guests will need to deposit their bags at the side and take out their loose footware (slippers, flip flops etc) and sit on it. This is to avoid losing them during the 1 minute aerial ride.

I started to feel scared and worry if Gladys is game enough to take the ride. Luckily Hubby will be taking care of her while I close my eyes and scream my way through with Denver. Many times, I felt as if I am flying out of the vehicle and could not look! How can one have a good eye view of the Jurassic Park from the top at this speed??? Hahaha. I must applaud Gladys for her bravery as she safely completes her first thrill ride without crying or having wobbling legs. Denver enjoyed it so much that he wanted to go for another round! Seeing the long queue, I gave that a pass and we move on to Rapid Adventures.

This is one of the favourite rides in the Park and we were lucky that the queue isn't that long. We heard the longest waiting time can go up to 2 hours during peak hours! Since Rapid Adventure is well-known to make it's guests wet, we brought along our own poncho.

We are still missing one poncho, we bought a "Survival Gear" for $2 SGD. For those who likes to get themselve wet, save the $$ from buying the gear, hop on and enjoy. The circular raft took us on a ride along the waterway where we saw dinosaurs and hearing them roar. Moving into the tunnel and gradually in total darkness, we could only hear the sounds and eventually got hit with a big splash towards the end of the ride, after the plunge. Luckily we had our ponchos to protect us from getting all soak.

Kids with their Survivor Gear on. :)

That pretty much ends our adventure at the Lost World as we go into the world of Ancient Eygpt. Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor roller coaster ride which is too thrilling for us to take and so we took  a motorcar ride at the Treasure Hunters. Gladys wanted to take the front seat and control the wheel but she ended up dozing off while queueing for the ride only to be awaken when she is on board. Nevertheless, she enjoyed the car ride even though Denver finds it kinda boring.

No Thanks.. We are not going for the Mummy ride.

From ancient ruins, we go into the future - Sci-Fi City. You will not miss the Battlestar Galactica - High Speed roller coaster that is finally in operation after a technical fault was detected during the test runs last year. The twists and turns and loops makes this the main attraction in the Park. 

We also went on our own spinning and twirling action at the Accelerator. The children had fun and wouldn't mind for a second round. Waiting time is extremely short (not sure if it's because it's getting late) and we had a good spin.

Photo-taking everywhere whenever we spot Mascots around USS.

Part 3 - To be continued...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

~ Punggol East Family Day - USS Here We Come (Part 1) ~

Our first visit to Universal Studios Singapore was a year ago where we went for the Sneak Preview (no rides/show) for $10 SGD per ticket. This time round, it's a totally different experience as we will be entering the park with all the rides waiting for us. ^_^

Rivervale Community Center has organised a Punggol East Family Day Event at Universal Studios Singapore at a discounted rate! (about 30-40% off the usual weekend rates)! Not only that, it comes with free transportation, breakfast, drinks, door gifts and lucky draw!
Adults - $50
Children - $30
Senior Citizen - $25

We woke up early to meet at our destinated RC by 8am. Free bottled drinks, packet drinks, nasi-lemak, mango pudding and free caps were given out! Big Thanks to the sponsors and organization committee!

We settled down and had our breakfast so that we do not need to bring so many packets and bottles to USS. Buses were already waiting to pick up all the residents to the park. We set off at 830am and arrived at around 9 plus in the morning. There was already a huge crowd outside the entrance as we waited for our turn to take group photos.

Since it was the Punggol East Family Day event, we were allowed to enter the park earlier than it's usual opening hours - 10am.

We headed towards Waterworld where our Guest-of-Honour, Michael Palmer gave a short welcoming speech and also conducted the lucky draw. Well, none of us are the lucky winners among the 2000+ strong crowd. :) But everyone is already a winner with all the goodies and a nice day out at USS today!

As soon as the lucky draw ended at around 1045am, we headed on straight to Far Far Away. This is Gladys' favourite spot because of the enchanted castle as well as the gingerbread house. :)

We queued up for our first show - Shrek 4-D Adventure as we made our way into the castle after waiting for 10 mins. Gladys was extremely delighted as she was brought into a dark room with an introductory story of Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey's adventure. We were later being led into the theatre where the real adventure beings in 4-D! Put on your glasses and enjoy the 3-D film as you go on a bouncy ride, experience the water sprinkles on your face and wind blowing beneath your feet and on your face.

Coming out of the castle, we spotted the gingerbread house. Hubby paid $11 for 2 gingerbread man cookies (1 each for the kids). It sure is expensive but Gladys won't leave without one. :)

Going into the Fairy Godmother's Potion shop, you will spot a mini Ferris wheel (Magic Potion Spin) at the back of the store. This is more suited for younger children who wish to circle round inside the swaying wooden vat.

For the more adventurous ones, hop on to the Enchanted Airways - an outdoor family roller coaster ride. Denver is very keen to take on this challenge and Daddy accompanied him on his first junior roller coaster spin! Not only that, they were seated at the very first row! Wooooooooosh.....

While the 'boys' were away, I spotted Puss-in-boots and followed him to queue for a photo shot. That spares us from the gruelling ride. Haha. :)

Waterworld is our next destination and it is a MUST-WATCH live-water show in USS. Do not leave without catching this trilling stunt performance that comes with real explosions! There are 3 show-times for Waterworld (12:30pm, 2:30pm, 5:30pm). Do plan your rides/stops within the park to avoid disappointment. 

Waterworld Stunt Act Settings

Prior to the stunt performance, it is accompanied with a fun-filled water splashing session. Remember to choose your seats very carefully to avoid getting wet if you are not game enough. However, if you like to have fun, enjoy the excitement and wished to be entertained, take a seat in the Splash-zone area right at the front. ENJOY & BEWARE!!! You have been WARNED! :)

Initially, Denver was sitting at the Splash-zone area. After seeing the first round of spraying.. he changed his mind and decided to sit with us at the Dry-zone. I guess he prefers to see others getting wet instead. Hahahahaha... :)
Waterworld Show

We were famished after the Waterworld show despite taken some bread earlier on. There are many F&B options in USS and we decided to have our lunch at the Discovery Food Court in The Lost World. There are many Singapore's local delights like chicken rice, laksa etc and we decided to go for the Halal food which has the shortest queue. Dining in USS is not cheap, but we have to fill our stomachs to rejuvenate ourselves before moving on for more rides. :)

Part 2 - to be continued.... ^_^

Saturday, February 19, 2011

~ The ArtScience Museum @ Marina Bay Sands ~

The ArtScience Museum is officially opened on 19th February 2011! This unique "finger-like" architecture has been called "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore" by Mr. Sheldon Adelson (visionary chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp). Each 10 "fingers" has different gallery spaces, supported by the round base in the center. The tallest "finger" stands at 60m above ground.

Since we are near the ArtScience Museum, we walked over from Marina Square just to have a sneak peak on it's opening weekend. 

 Hubby piggy-back our 30+ kg sonny.

The ArtScience Museum is mainly divided into a few levels.

Level 1 - Lobby : This is where ticketing are purchased before entering the various galleries. Each admission ticket gives you access to all the exhibitions open at the Museum.

Adult - $30 SGD
Child - $17 SGD
Senior (above 65 years) - $27 SGD
*OCBC cardholders are entitled another 20% discount off ticket prices.

Basement 2 - Main Galleries : Gallery spaces and where you can locate the Museum Shop and SweetSpot Coffee.

Basement 1 - Restrooms and Bag drop area.

Level 3 - Upper Galleries : Consisting of 10 gallery spaces and is the only floor that occupies all 10 "fingers".

Level 4 - ArtScience Galleries : Permanent exhibits of Curiosity, Inspiration and Expression Galleries.

ArtScience Museum consists of 21 gallery spaces and it's design is inspired by a lotus flower. We can spot lotus flowers in the pond surrounding the museum. Another interesting fact is the Museum's dramatically-curved roof collects and channels rainwater through the central atrium down to a 35m tall water drop and into a renewable water supply for the restrooms which is part of Singapore's Green Mark program.

If there is an opportunity, Hubby and I hope to drop by the museum again and visit its galleries some day. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

~ Sentosa Flowers 2011 (春节花会) ~

Sentosa Flowers 2011 (春节花会) is back and this is the first time we are visiting the annual event since it's first launch in February 2005. Every year, it will showcase a variety of flora exhibits which coincides with the Chinese New Year period.

Sentosa Flowers Date: 3 Feb to 13 Feb (Free event but island admission and transportation charges apply)
Location: Sentosa Boardwalk, Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout, RWS Festivewalk

Sentosa Flowers Map

We started our Sentosa Flowers trail by entering the Carrot Land (胡萝卜国)and was welcomed by 2 rows of big "carrots". Carrots means good luck or "好彩头" in Mandarin and there are over 100 varities in the world in all sorts of colours and sizes.

We only arrived shortly and Gladys started to complain about the heat and tiredness...insisting Daddy to carry her up the slope to the Merlion Walk. How 'clever' of her. :)

@ the Merlion Walk

Most of the flora display seems to be concentrated at the Merlion Plaza and Imbiah Lookout area as these are the places drawing the most crowd.

Take a stroll and be amazed with the various types Orchid flowers at the Orchid Treasure (Merlion Plaza).
My Sweet Valentine (甜蜜情人) - approximately 2.5m by 2m with the giant heart made up of 1000 real roses to signify love a thousand times over. A great place to take a picture with your love ones as Valentine's Day is approaching.

Gladys spotted the Wish Charm ($2 each) and wanted to write her wish on the paper too. Hubby finally gave in after she gave her super grumpy look. Hahahaha. It took them ages before they finally completed writing down their wishes and hanging it on the tree. We also met our friends Andy & Mengchoo who have come to visit the event for the second time to capture more photos. ^_^

Trees Of Life (生命之树)

Adventure With Ants (蚂蚁历险记) - Step in to learn more about the life-cycle of ants and how these little insects are beneficial to humans. (Although Mommy still dislikes ants in the house). :D

Gladys keeping her distance from the giant ant.

Eggs-sighting (蛋开眼界) - Is it Easter already? The Spring Rabbit is out to find its nest of huge 1.2-1.5m long by 1m wide Easter Eggs. The Chinese believe eggs symbolise fertility, and so after a baby is born, red eggs are given out to announce the recent birth.

We went through the Rabbit Trail and took more bunny photos.

Strange Mushrooms (奇异菇) - These bioluminescent mushrooms which emit yellow-green light are supposed to be best viewed at night. 

Giant Tulips (巨型郁金香) - the 2.5m tall giant tulips are made from fibre-glass and will be illumiated at night. I'm sure it will look fascinating in the dark.

Spring Is In The Air (春意满人间) - At first, I couldn't quite make out what this was. :p Taking a closer look, it is actually a Giant bird (10m long and 5m wide) decorated with assorted flowers.

Zodiac Spring Rabbit (生肖春兔) - Since it is the Year of the Rabbit, this is one of the most popular photography spot with the longer queue in line. We definitely cannot miss taking a picture with the Zodiac Rabbit. :)

Another vibrant flora display with the Resort World sign.

Walking down to the RWS Festive Walk, you will spot all the 12 Chinese Zodiac decorated by various flowers in different colours. All of them looked beautiful!

I heard it was pretty crowded over the weekends and we also saw a lot of people even on the weekdays. Nevertheless, it is a worthy trip down to the annual Sentosa Flowers event. Remember to bring your caps, brollies, cameras and extra bottled drinks to make this a more enjoyable experience. Catch this extravaganza flora themed event before it ends on this Sunday!