Monday, June 20, 2011

Bringing a Toddler to Universal Studio Singapore

Pei Pei and I had a hot date to Universal Studio Singapore on 19 June!

I got the ticket at a special discount from my workplace, DaDi was not keen to go as the ticket is very expensive, and there is not much discount for family members. I am not that adventurous to bring two toddlers there all by myself, thinking that Hao Hao is too young to appreciate an outing to a theme park, so I decided to bring Pei Pei there.

We headed to Monster Rock @Hollywood. We queued for almost 10+ minutes to enter the theatre, the show was supposed to start at 11am, but don't know for what reason, it started almost 15 minutes late! While waiting for the show to start, Pei Pei entertained herself by grooving to the rock music. Some visitors were also entertained by her "performance".

When the show started, Pei Pei was not afraid of those performers who were in those moster costume (e.g. She-wolf, Dracula, etc), but she was not comfortable with the loud music and started to fuss, we moved to the seats at the back of the theatre, where she enjoyed the dance and music for about 10 minutes, before she started to fuss again. Think she had reached the maximum of her attention span, so we left the theatre halfway through the show. My first mistake of the day (-.-")

To avoid the lunch crowd. we had an early lunch. We passed by Mel's Drive-In, where I asked Pei Pei whether she wanted to have fries. After I checked the price, the food is rather expensive and I wanted to leave, but Pei Pei kept wanting to eat the fries. Sigh, I should not have asked her in the first place. Just imagine a set of classic cheeseburger meal costs $10.20!

Pei Pei took the packet of fries and declared that it belonged to her. I only managed to steal two pieces.

When we reached Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, Pei Pei was keen to take the boat ride. However, this became my second mistake of the day (-.-") I did not anticipate that the tunnel would be very dark, and the music and narration were very loud. Pei Pei was very scared, I had to hug her very tightly throughout the whole journey and consoled her. Until now I still have no idea what the story of the boat ride was about!

Then we went to King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round, a merry-go-around that made Pei Pei happy. She did not want to sit on those that can move up and down, so we sat in a sedan chair that would not move vertically. She enjoyed the ride very much!

I did not learn from my first mistake of the day and brought her to see Shrek 4-D Adventure @Far Far Away. She refused to put on the glasses, anyway, they were too big for her. To play safe, I chose to sit at the row of stationary seats in the middle of the theatre. Again, because of the darkness and loud music, we left the theatre with other panic parents and crying children halfway through the show. Third mistake of the day (-.-")

I was very interested to watch WaterWorld @The Lost World, a live action performance with fireworks and explosions. Obviously this was my fourth mistake of the day (-.-") I carried the terrified Pei Pei and stood at the back of the gallery, the staff automatically opened the door for us to exit.

We walked through Ancient Egypt and Sci-Fi City since there were nothing for her to play or see. Only took some photos along the way.

I was told that Lights, Camera, Action! Hosted by Steven Speilberg @New York was not scary for kids at the entrance, but it turned out to be my fifth mistake of the day (-.-") I myself was also shocked by the sudden movements and noises in the studio setting of a hurricane. Pei Pei was very scared and I had to hold her tight and covered her ears. Lucky the duration was quite short.

We watched some street dance performance where Pei Pei saw a pizza restaurant and pestered me that she wanted to eat pizza. Pei Pei's pseudo-pizza - that smiling face, together with a super small cup of milo and Woody's lunch box, costs $9.50.

We walked back to Madagascar to watch street performance of the animals dancing. Pei Pei requested to take the merry-go-around again, and insisted to sit on the "flower". I could not find any "flower", actually she meant the grass sedan chair that we sat earlier on (-.-")

Before we left Sentosa, we did not forget to buy something for DaDi as Father's Day present - a packet of Garrett popcorn, which DaDi got to eat only some in the end, the rest was consumed by MaMi and Pei Pei :p

Though terrified by some of the attractions, Pei Pei was happy, and told DaDi and 婆婆 that it was fun, and she wanted to go there again. Poor MaMi suffered shoulder and back ache as a result of carrying the 14 kg girl around most of the time from 10am to 5pm.

Survival Guide for Toddlers' Parents to Universal Studio

In my opinion, Universal Studio is not very suitable for babies and toddlers. We saw many panic parents and crying kids in various attractions. For attractions that involve thrill rides, definitely count them out. For shows, some children are afraid of darkness and loud music / noises (e.g. my 35+ month-old Pei Pei). But of course if your toddler is an adventurous one, then he / she may be able to enjoy.

Preparation before you go:
  • If you want to really enjoy yourself there without feeling wasting $$ on the expensive ticket, yet not to scare your toddlers out of their wit, do bring along a village of relatives / friends... or make sure at least the number of adults = number of children + 1. So that you can take turn to take the thrill rides / watch the shows / eat instead of swallow.
  • Bring along ear plugs to protect the toddlers' ears, as the music / noises in some shows are really very loud.
  • To minimise the weight of your bag, bring boiled cool water for your toddlers, no need to bring water for yourself, as there are many water dispensers there. To play safe, do not let toddlers drinking from those water dispensers.
  • As the food there are rather expensive, bring along some small snacks for both yourself and your toddlers. I brought some bread for Pei Pei, but her eyes were very sharp to spot the fries and pizza when we were walking around. Pei Pei was the one who "chopped me carrot".

When you are at Universal Studio:
  • Before you enter Universal Studio, there is a booth for VIP tour outside the entrance, grab copies of maps (as your toddlers will fight with you for the map), each copy consists a leaflet of show time. Plan the show time carefully so as not to miss the shows that you want to watch. Reach the place at least 15 minutes earlier if you want to have a seat with better view.
  • The waiting time for many attractions is about 15 minutes, but some can be as long as one hour. Skip those that require long waiting time, as some children may fuss during the long wait, else bring along small toys or books to keep the children occupied. We were quite lucky that day as the longest waiting time was about 15 minutes, even though it was a Sunday during June school holiday. Pei Pei and I kept talking and disturbing each other in the queue.
  • If you do not bring along your own strollers, there is rental of single / double strollers at the entrance. But for my case, Pei Pei just wants to be carried, so renting a stroller would be a waste of $$.
  • Never force your toddlers to do things that they are terrified of. While we were queueing to take photo with Woody, a girl who was older than Pei Pei, cried and looked terrified by Woody, yet her family members insisted that she should take a photo with it, and pointed at Pei Pei that she was not scared. Though Pei Pei did not cry to that extent throughout the whole journey, whenever she expressed that she was afraid or not comfortable, I would bring her away from that scene first, if possible (except the boat ride where I could not stop the boat!), then explained to her what was happening, listened to her talking about her fear, and consoled her.

Actually I feel that Disneyland would be more suitable for toddlers, especially Pei Pei and Hao Hao who love Mickey Mouse so much. Anyway, I'm glad that Pei Pei is happy. Seeing my children being happy is my greatest happiness (^.^)

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  1. I'm thinking of going with Ian and hubby, but after reading your blog, maybe we should reconsider and chio more adults to come along.

  2. Wanna go disneyland together ?

  3. Yes Meili! Let's go! Want to go next year June :D

  4. I love to visit Universal Studio one. I like it very much and specially Ride The Movies there.

    1. Kristeny, we didn't managed to try most of the rides haha.


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