Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Edited: After your reading of this article, don't miss the new Grand exclusive report on Universal Singapore with 45 panoramic pictures showing you the whole park! It's HERE.
Universal Studios Singapore will finally open Sunday, Feb 14th, but only for a "sneak-preview"! In theme park world there was "Grand Openings" or "soft-openings", thanks to Universal there is now the "sneak preview" days! In addition to this the Resorts World Sentosa Casino is opening also on Sunday Feb 14th. Frankly, they've found a smart answer to the problem: how to open a theme park not totally operational during Asia biggest holiday when we need people in a casino which is ready for opening?
So, this sneak preview will be every night from Feb 14 to 21 and the park will open from 5pm to 9pm. Good news: admission will be $10 only and with a same-value dining voucher! I tell you more below about what happened this week, but first, the official press release.
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore’s First Integrated Resort Casino opens 14 Feb 2010; Celebrates with Universal Studios Singapore Previews
Singapore, 11 Feb 2010 - Singapore’s first Integrated Resort (IR), Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), will begin the first day of the Tiger year with the soft-opening of its casino and a preview opportunity to stroll through the amazing environments at Universal Studios Singapore and enjoy the specially themed dining and shopping venues that will complement the incredible attractions, rides and shows that soon will be revealed.
The casino, the Resort’s much-anticipated attraction, will have its first play at an auspicious hour with a private ceremony and welcome its first public guest at 12.18 pm. A day of festivities at the Integrated Resort has been planned to mark the red-letter day, including the debut of its public attraction, Lake of Dreams, and evening previews at its Universal Studios theme park.
The casino opening is part of the initial phased opening of Singapore’s first IR that began on 20 Jan 2010 with the opening of its four hotels: Crockfords Tower; Hotel Michael; Festive Hotel; and Hard Rock Hotel Singapore. Its shopping and dining promenade, FestiveWalk, soft-opened on 30 Jan 2010.
Chairman of Resorts World Sentosa and the Genting Group, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said: “In less than three years since the time we broke ground and commenced construction for Resorts World Sentosa, we have taken our vision from drawing board to reality. This is a significant milestone in Singapore’s business history. We promised to deliver a true Integrated Resort, and we have not deviated from that.”
Chief Executive Officer of Resorts World Sentosa, Mr. Tan Hee Teck said: “We know a lot of Singaporeans are looking forward to the opening of both our major elements, the casino and Universal Studios Singapore. We are ready to soft-open the casino but are still fine-tuning the rides and shows in the theme park, which are still on schedule to open in the first quarter of 2010. However, since its Chinese New Year, we decided to offer Singaporeans a week long preview of Universal Studios Singapore with a special and unique first-to-see walk-through opportunity. The theme park’s unique restaurants and shopping venues will be open for guests, although rides and shows will not be operational. However, we are confident that the park’s design, vistas and photo opportunities will truly excite and impress guests and motivate them for return visits when fully operational.”
“We celebrate the New Year with the people of Singapore and are thrilled to provide a sneak peek of Universal Studios Singapore during this festive holiday period,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts. “It’s an exciting time for all of us and a great opportunity to share a glimpse of the action, thrills and adventure that Universal will bring to the region.”
For sneak peek week, Universal Studios Singapore will open from 5pm to 9pm every night from 14 Feb to 21 Feb. Admission will be by $10 tickets, rebated by a same-value dining voucher. Sale of the tickets starts from 11:18am Friday, 12 Feb 2010. Guests can visit the box office at the Universal Studios Singapore front gate to purchase tickets for another day (there will be no same day ticket sales available).
Following the sneak peek week, Universal Studios Singapore will open on 22 Feb 2010 to Resorts World Sentosa, Genting, and Universal employees followed by limited audiences of staff families, charities and invited guests. It expects to welcome its first public guests in early March.
Singapore citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents can start buying the casino levy at the similar time of 11.18 am on Friday, 12 Feb 2010. The levy can be bought from counters outside the Resorts World™ Sentosa casino and online at www.rwsentosa.com. Details of the tours, levy terms and conditions will be posted online from Friday. Enquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or 6577 8888/99.
(end of press release)
So, what happened during this crazy week at Universal Singapore? Well, until yesterday no opening date was announced, not even sneak preview days but Universal Singapore teams worked all days long to fix the technical problems they have on some attractions and to finish all the usuals security tests.
Everything was done to have the park ready to open this week-end - which is Chinese New Year week-end, the biggest holiday of the year in all Asia. I told you last time that some attractions were not fully operational but at least two attractions are definitely not ready for an opening this month. Universal Singapore informed their staff that the Lights, Camera, Action special effects show located in the New York area probably won't be operational before the end of March and the big Madagascar flume ride may not be ready before April. And all the week other USS teams worked on the Jurassic Park ride to make sure it will be fully operational next week-end. If they were small "A" Ticket rides it won't be a problem, but unfortunately the three of them are very good attractions, kind of "D+" or "E" Ticket rides so let's hope they will be operational as soon as possible.
Although USS teams are doing absolutely all their best to have all rides working and safe as soon as possible but even during the park sneak preview days some of the rides won't be operational, as they say in the press release. Nobody is to blame in all this as what happen at Universal Singapore happen for any theme park in the world, and specially theme parks with sophisticated rides. The more sophisticated a ride is, the more difficult it is to have everything working fine. And you know how reality is, so you'll understand that there is no reason that everything works fine at the first push on the button.
If someone must be blame, it would be the guy who choose Feb 14th as the date of 2010 Chinese New Year (there is no "guy" to blame as Chinese New Year happen at the second new moon of the year). If there was not this Chinese New Year next week-end everybody at USS would be probably more relax right now. But there is so much money spent during this holiday that i can understand that Universal Singapore considered a Feb 14th opening as a priority, even in sneak preview mode.
Universal top executives who arrived at the park this week to have a better idea of the situation finally did the right choice or at least the only choice acceptable for the guests security, i.e to have a "sneak preview" of the park with not all rides operational and they'll do a Grand Opening celebration later when all USS 18 attractions will be ready to welcome the guests.
And Don't miss the new great exclusive report on Universal Singapore with 45 panoramic pictures where you will see the whole park! It's HERE.
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Pictures: copyright Universal Studios - Resorts World sentosa