Jandy and I planned to spend our second day in Singapore at Universal Studios, Singapore’s second integrated resort and Southeast Asia’s first movie theme park (and the second in Asia after Japan). This would be a first for both of us as it was still under construction during our 2009 Singapore visit (it only opened on March 18, 2010). After our buffet breakfast at Amara Hotel, we took a taxi (S$14) to get there, dropping off at the entrance of Resorts World Sentosa. At the entrance of Universal Studios is the large and famous revolving globe.
We were in luck at the ticket booth as we got 20% off the one-day ticket when I paid via my BPI Mastercard (valid until November 18). We also received a S$10 retail voucher upon presentation of our charge slip at the Guest Services Counter.
The main entrance area of the park is Hollywood, a replica of the famous Hollywood Boulevard. Its only attraction is the 1,500-seat, indoor, Broadway-style Pantages Hollywood Theater which is fully equipped to host plays, musicals and performances. The theater is accompanied by several restaurants, a variety of flagship shops and also features a replica of the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Hollywood Boulevard, framed by dynamic architecture and palm trees, made us feel that we have landed in the center of the entertainment universe. Here, there are “Daily Meet and Greet” (10 AM-7 PM) special character appearances from the wacky Woody Woodpecker, the glamorous Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Beetlejuice, Betty Boop, Po (from Kung Fu Panda), Frankenstein’s Monster and Winnie Woodpecker (we posed with the last three).
Outside Mel’s Diner, we also watched the 4:45 PM performances (other show times are 10:45 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:45 PM, 3:15 PM and 6:15 PM) of Daddy O’s (a boy band group singing classic surf songs of the 1950s and 60s) as well as the 2:30 PM and 4 PM shows (other show times are 11:30 AM, 1 PM and 5:30 PM) of Mel’s Dinettes (waitresses “shaking, rattling and rolling” to the high energy hits of the 1950s and 60s).
After the show, we went inside Mel’s Drive Inn for snacks. This classic 1950s-themed diner, based on the 1973 hit U.S. film American Graffiti, serves up all-American favorites such as delicious rocket sauce burgers, French fries, chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, onion rings, root beer floats, thick and frosty milk shakes and Cokes the old-fashioned way plus golden oldies on the jukebox. We both dined on crispy barbecue chicken burgers with French fries and Sprite (S$10.80 each).
At the Pantages Hollywood Theater, we watched the 4:15 PM (other show times are 11 AM, 1 PM and 6:15 PM) showing of “Monster Rock,” a major Broadway musical featuring the infamous Universal Classic Monsters in a live rock-n-roll style indoor revue show with pyrotechnics. The theater is fitted with cutting-edge cinematic technology, including state-of-the-art digital projectors. This mega-monster spooktacular features great music, dancing, comedy, special effects, and enough pyrotechnics to wake the dead.
Before leaving the park, we dropped by the Universal Studios Store, a shopping extravaganza which offers the largest variety of Universal Studios-themed collectibles, toys and apparel from all 7 themed zones of the park. Here, I bought 2 shirts (1 with collar and the other round-necked) for Jandy, using my S$10 retail voucher.
Too bad we missed out on the Lake Hollywood Spectacular, one of the main highlights of Hollywood After Hours. This special live pyrotechnics show happens every Friday and Saturday night (9:30 PM) and is set to a musical score over the central lagoon of Lake Hollywood in the park.
Hollywood also has several other restaurants. Celebrity Cafe & Bakery is a 1950’s-themed food outlet where guests can dine on freshly-made gourmet sandwiches, coffee, puff pastry pies and classic desserts. It serves all-day breakfast. Hollywood China Bistro is a stylish yet casual Art-Deco restaurant where guests can feast on both traditional Cantonese favorites and “East meets West” cuisine in a modern setting straight out of a Hollywood movie set.
There are also a number of retail outlets. The Dark Room is a store that sells a wide variety of camera accessories for the photography needs of park visitors. Star Characters sells exclusive Dream Works Animation character merchandise and other fun products and keepsakes. Silver Screen Collectibles offers authentic collectibles of celebrities straight from the Hollywood Walk of Fame such as celebrity photos and posters, collectibles, books, as well as Betty Boop themed souvenirs and apparel such as photo frames, shirts, sexy lips pillow, cups, combs, bags, purse, etc..
Superstar Candies is a candy store that sells a wide variety of sweets and treats with star appeal such as candy floss and homemade fudgeto park visitors with a sweet tooth. At Brown Derby, guests can shop for headwear of all types including visors, character hats, novelty hats, wigs, Universal Studios logo caps and other stylish lids. That’s a Wrap, at the theme park exit, also sells apparel, toys, novelty hats and other souvenirs.