Singapore's Universal Studios Theme Park Ends Year On a High

By : webadmin | on 9:15 AM November 21, 2011
Category : Archive

Ng Kai Ling - Straits Times Indonesia

Universal Studios Singapore seems to have wormed itself back into fun-seekers' good books.

Despite a bumpy debut last year, when its centerpiece roller coaster Battlestar Galactica spent most of the time out of action, more than 40,000 people flocked to the park for its seven-night Halloween Horrors event last month.

Ticket prices were quietly raised by $2 last Saturday but, from a straw poll of park visitors, few complained, as the park has more to see and do now.

The theme park wants to ensure they keep coming back, and plans to end this year on a high.

First, on Dec 3, the Transformers ride will have its world debut.

Then, on Dec 31, the park will unveil its 22nd attraction, a weekly float parade titled Hollywood Dreams.

Later that day, the park will rock to a party to welcome the new year.

Some of the park's harshest critics have become fans.

Greg Semon, 57, had splashed out on an annual pass when the place opened in March last year, and had decided not to renew it. He said he did not feel then that the park did enough to justify him paying between $338 and $638 for an adult pass.

But the retiree has changed his mind now, on the strength of what the park has done this year.

John Hallenbeck, vice-president of park operations, said he and his team have been building up the offerings to keep the park fresh. There were new attractions like Madagascar: A Crate Adventure and a Halloween event.

In the third quarter of this year, an average of 9,400 people visited the park daily, spending an average of $84 each. A third of them live here; the rest are from countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

Jane Chang, marketing and communications manager at Chan Brothers, noted that Universal Studios Singapore is becoming a popular destination in the company's itinerary. She said: "It's popular because its appeal is wide, from thrill-seeking young adults to families on a day out."

John Gerner, the managing director of leisure industry consultancy Leisure Business Advisors in the United States, noted that Universal Studios Florida also had problems when it opened in 1990, but welcomed as much as 50 percent more visitors once the rides were fixed.

Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times Indonesia. To subscribe to Straits Times Indonesia and/or the Jakarta Globe call 021 2553 5055.