Universal Studios Singapore
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Transformers: The Ride
Location: Sci-Fi City
Being encased in a surround-sound car with a sunroof for a viewing screen feels strange at first, but it’s the first IMAX screen you face with your 3-D glasses that shows you why this four-minute ride is an involving experience. The story goes that you are recruits travelling in Evac, a newbie Transformer trying to get the Allspark. What with the shakes from an angry Decepticon grabbing the chassis of the car, rumbles from explosions and plummeting down 30 storeys, you won’t notice that you’re watching 3-D movies horizontally with no crazy hydraulics. But it’s not for a lack of movement – in fact there is so much Michael Bay-ness going on that you’re soaked in the action – and almost literally at one point. Because it is a high-tech multi-sensory experience, you literally feel the heat as a missile blows up, and get sprinkled with a liquid substance when a robot gets punched in the stomach. Even if you hated the movies, you’ll still love the ride.
Scare factor: 4/5
Location: Sci-Fi City
No matter how many planes you’ve flown on, your heart rate will always double at the mention of turbulence. But ‘technical glitches’ found on a rollercoaster – one that zooms at 90km/h, twists, turns and propels you over 14 storeys into the air (‘Human’) – takes that fear factor to a whole new level. Especially when the second track, where shoulder straps provide a (false?) sense of security, turns 360 degrees a couple of times and has your legs dangling in mid-air. Riding on ‘Human’ feels like you’re being thrown into the skies. According to one TOS staffer: ‘You will die!’. While said in jest, the recent closing-for-repair of the ride makes a few minor bumps on board sound like a walk in the park. Tip: don’t wear flip-flops or strapless sandals; do leave your belongings behind; and hold on tight, really tight.
Scare factor: 5/5
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure
Location: Jurassic Park
This is meant to be a scary ride. It’s not. Instead, it whirls along – there are no paddles to control the circular tub – to the ebb and flow of a powerful water current that tosses your raft into blind corners where predatory dinosaurs have been positioned, jaws open. Fun to the point of being silly, in this adventure the reptiles look fake when you and your companions should be screaming at the top of your lungs. The coup de grâce is when your raft rides a cage lift and you look above and see a giant dinosaur about to bite your head off. Then the door opens and you get thrown one storey down. Fun! Tip: bring extra clothes or rent a poncho ($1.50): you will definitely emerge dripping wet.
Scare factor: 5/5 (if you’re a particularly nervous child)
Location: Far Far Away
Better suited to kids, this one’s designed like a track for mine cars. The ride lasts no more than a minute, during which you undergo a couple of swerves and one measly dip. Easy! This should whet your appetite for the other major rides. Tip:newbies should start on this one.
Scare factor: 1/5
Location: The Lost World
If you’ve done the Sentosa skyride and barely broken a sweat, then you’ll like this inverted ’coaster. Instead of a view of the harbour, you have a bird’s-eye view of Jurassic Park, where ferocious T-Rex dinosaurs and cunning velociraptors are meant to lurk. Two pairs of seats are arranged back to back, and the ride is generally smooth, with two or three banked curves that should elicit a shout of glee (or fear). Tip: if you love your designer flip-flops, do leave them behind as your feet will be suspended in the air.
Scare factor: 2/5
Revenge of the Mummy
Location: Ancient Egypt
The indoor rollercoaster-slash-ghost train travels through a pitch-dark room and has enough surprises to scare the bejesus out of you – flying (fake, of course) mummies and insects, water splashes (real), and a live flame that bursts suddenly on top of your head. The ride is filled with the kind of special effects that make you feel you’re part of a psychological thriller. Tip: there’s a minute’s unnecessary walk through mazes before you reach the ride. Once you get to the pick-up point, grab the front seat and guess when the ride’s about to make the biggest and fastest descent.
Scare factor: 3/5
Tickets: $66-$72 (adults); $32-$36 (senior citizens); $48-$52 (children). Updated 5 Nov 2011.
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