The USS is one of the most famous theme parks in Southeast Asia, drawing thousands of customers daily. What this means for you is if you don’t plan your trip properly, you’re in for a nasty experience.
Make no mistake, USS is not a wallet friendly place (figuratively and literally as you will soon find out), especially for those who earn in Malaysian Ringgit. I can’t for the life of me understand why people would pay expensive tickets just to queue up for hours. But hey, we all have different definitions of fun, so if you simply have to go, here are some tips that will hopefully minimise your pain when you find yourself jostling with thousands of other sweaty visitors in the humidity of the tropics.
1. There are three types of USS admission tickets
- One Day Ticket : You get to spend one whole day of fun-filled queues in the theme park
- Season Pass : You get to enter USS every day for six months
- Annual Pass : You get to enter USS every day for one year (damn you must really like crowds)
1.1 One Day Ticket
Adult (Age 13-59) : SGD 76
Child (Age 4-12) : SGD 56
Senior (Age 60 and ↑) : SGD 38
Normally the Adult One Day Ticket retails for SGD 76 if you’re a noob. If you like saving money like me, avoid the queue on the day itself and buy it online. They have different kinds of promotions that can help you save money. For instance, right now there are two promotions for One Day tickets.
This promotion lets you buy up to six Adult One Day Tickets for the price of SGD 68, a savings of SGD 8 per person and RM 24 per person if you earn in Malaysian Ringgit. It expires on 31 December 2017.
This promotion is a bundle offer. Unfortunately it is only available to Singapore residents. If you buy four Adult One Day Tickets, you only pay SGD 252 instead of the full SGD 304. That’s a savings of SGD 13 per person. The offer expires on 30 September 2017.
Since the promotions change from time to time, do check this link for their latest promotions. And don’t forget to click on ‘Read More’ for the small prints. Those can really screw you over if you don’t take it seriously enough.
By the way, your One Day Ticket has a 30 Day validity from the date that you selected. Let’s say you selected 1 September, you can actually choose to go any day from 1 September to 30 September. This one is pretty cool.
1.2 Season Pass (unlimited 6 months admission)
Adult (Age 13-59) : SGD 98
Child (Age 4-12) : SGD 88
Senior (Age 60 and ↑) : SGD 88
Apart from being able to enter USS every day for six months, you get some other perks, if you can call it that.
You may choose to buy the Season Pass online or you can upgrade your One Day Ticket to a Season Pass at the theme park on the day itself before you exit at the Guest Services. According to the website, you can enjoy some savings if you do that, but it wasn’t disclosed by how much.
As for promotional prices, I don’t see anything right now other than a bundle price should you choose to go to more than one park within Resort World Sentosa (RWS). You may check out the bundle promotions here.
1.3 Annual Pass (unlimited 1 year admission)
Adult (Age 13-59) : SGD 188
Child (Age 4-12) : SGD 158
Senior (Age 60 and ↑) : SGD 158
Apart from being able to enter USS every day for one year, you get the same perks as the Season Pass.
You may choose to buy the Annual Pass online or you can upgrade your One Day Ticket to an Annual Pass at the theme park on the day itself before you exit at the Guest Services. According to the website, you can enjoy some savings if you do that, but it wasn’t disclosed by how much.
2. There are normal tickets like the above, and then there are Express tickets
Basically the normal tickets only allow you to stand where the queue is long. If you have extra money to spend on the Express ticket, you may now stand where the queue is shorter. It’s a bit like queuing up on the Business Class line when you get on planes.
The express ticket is NOT an admission ticket, so if you ONLY buy Express tickets, the only place they will let you stand is outside the theme park. You have to buy any of the three normal tickets above (Day, Season or Annual) and then pay extra to add on the Express ticket on top.
How much extra do you have to pay? This is where it gets fun (for them, not for you).
3. Express add-on prices
While I hate giving people money, I hate wasting time more. So if for some unfathomable reason I find myself in USS, I would opt for the Express add-on. Because it just doesn’t make sense to spend SGD 76 to queue up for hours.
If you choose to opt for it, please have a physical copy of the Express add-on for you to show at the rides. One Express ticket PER one A4 paper. They sound pretty anal about it on the website, better do as they say. I also recommend printing several copies and keeping them in a locker because you might get wet and tear the paper or lose it.
There are different Express prices for Day, Season and Annual tickets.
3.1 One Day Ticket: ‘Dynamic’ pricing for Universal Express and Universal Express Unlimited
Ah yes, there is no end to people’s creativity when it comes to sucking your money dry. There are two things you need to know here:
- There are TWO types of Express add-ons you can choose from:
– Universal Express add-on allows you to join the shorter queue only ONCE PER RIDE
– Universal Express Unlimited add-on allows you to join the shorter queue AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE
- Dynamic pricing is basically bullshit jargon for ticket prices that go up and down based on demand. The more people buy it, the more expensive it becomes.
Universal Express add-on : Starts from SGD 30
Universal Express Unlimited add-on : Starts from SGD 50
What you have to remember is while your normal One Day Ticket has a 30 Day validity from the date that you selected, your Express add-on only has ONE DAY VALIDITY. If you choose 1 September and you don’t go on that day, consider it sunk cost.
3.2 Universal Express add-on for Season Pass
You have to pay SGD 100 on top of the price of the admission ticket.
I’m not sure if the price is ‘dynamic’ as well. It doesn’t say. I’m also not sure if this add-on is Unlimited or just the normal one where you get to use it only once per ride.
3.3 Universal Express Unlimited add-on for Annual Pass
You have to pay SGD 130 on top of the price of the Season Pass.
The website makes it sound like a fixed price. But I’m not sure if the price will fluctuate.
4. Avoid peak periods when purchasing your Express add-on
If you want your Express add-on to be as cheap as possible, avoid peak periods (like weekends, public holidays and school holidays, typically in March, June, September and December) and go during times that people don’t want to go, like when there’s a freaking typhoon or when Indonesia decides to grace the whole of Southeast Asia with their annual haze ceremony.
5. Opening hours and availability of shows
Not all shows are available every day, so if there are specific things you look forward to, it’s wise to check their calendar first.
The prices vary depending on:
- Number of hours you rent it for
At a glance, here are the prices of the lockers.
6.1 Size of lockers
There are two locker sizes, Small and Large. If your luggage won’t fit in the Large locker, you may opt for a whole day bulky storage at SGD 35 PER ITEM at the USS Rental Counter near the main entrance. But DO NOTE that according to their T&C, if your things get lost or damaged due to their negligence or otherwise, they are not to be held responsible.
There is one locker spot outside the theme park (if you want to store outside food and drinks) and four locker spots inside the theme park.
Since the theme park is huge and it’ll be tiring to walk back and forth between rides and your locker, you should use lockers at the right places and for the right amount of time. Refer to the map below for locations.
Lockers are important because some of the rides are so extreme that they don’t allow you to carry ANYTHING in your pocket, even your wallet as a safety measure. There is a checkpoint for some of the rides where someone will pat you down for items on your body. If they find something on you, you will not be allowed to join the queue until you deposit all your belongings in a locker. Technically, your spectacles should not be allowed either, so I would suggest wearing contact lenses just for the day.
The uber extreme rides are Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs CYLON in Sci-Fi City and Revenge of the Mummy in Ancient Egypt. For Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure in the Lost World, you should store items you don’t want getting wet. You could also bring a dry bag and skip the lockers for this one.
6.3 Number of hours to rent the lockers
I personally would go for one day hire for both small and large lockers, especially if you got yourself a good spot. There’s no telling how long you’ll be queuing up for and instead of worrying about the minutes ticking, just get it for the whole day. You might even buy some souvenirs throughout the day which you will not want to carry around. Your camera might be too heavy to carry all the time. For Muslims, your prayer cloth can get quite bulky. Heck you might get sick of your kids and want to put them in the locker.
7. Bring your own food and drinks
SGD 1 is more than MYR 3 nowadays, so not only the food within USS is already marked up, as Malaysians, you will have to triple the amount. My friend ate a set of two fried chickens, tater tots and a soft drink (not refillable) which cost him SGD 15. That would be more than RM 45 for us Malaysians. Can you imagine paying RM 45 for two miserable pieces of chicken (especially when you’re tired, hot and hungry)? Yeah, I can. It’ll piss me off to no end. PACK YOUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS.
You cannot bring outside food and drinks into the park because they prefer to charge you exorbitant prices inside the park. If you feel like being a bad boy/girl, just bring it in since people don’t really check your bags. My friend saw people eating small packets of nasi lemak they brought from home in the park. Just dispose of them responsibly and don’t make a mess.
But if you want to be a good boy/girl, there are lockers outside the theme park for you to store your food. You CAN go outside the theme park and re-enter whenever you like, as long as you get some sort of stamp on your hand. Always keep your admission ticket with you because they will want to see it every time you re-enter.
8.Bring lots of cash in small denominations
The restaurants accept credit cards I’m sure, but you’re going to need cash for the lockers and the various food stalls when you feel like having something small and quick.
9. Redeem your refillable mug early
My friend bought a ticket online which came with a free refillable mug. Redeem the mug first thing so that you can refill your drinks at restaurants for only SGD 1. He didn’t know this, so he spent a small fortune on canned and bottled drinks throughout the day.
10. Waiting time
The average waiting time per ride is about 45 minutes. The popular ones will go for about 1 hour 30 minutes. I suggest bringing a mini Daiso foldable chair you can stuff in your bag for some of the tamer rides. You should also wear something you don’t mind getting a bit dirty should you choose to sit on the floor while waiting.
11. Wear sunscreen and bring your hat and sunglasses
It’ll be hot. The queue is long. At least protect your skin. You could also bring one of those mini fans as well.
12. Wear something thin and quick-drying
Some of the rides will spray you with water, so do wear something that dries quickly and light enough to withstand the hot sun.
There are drying pods for you to dry yourself if you get too wet, but they’ll charge you SGD 5. And no, there are no shower facilities in the park. Bring a change of clothes and a towel and a plastic bag to keep your wet clothes in.
13. Strategise your rides
Either you come REALLY early (like one hour before the park opens) and get ahead of the queue OR you can do the less popular ones first. My friend said that at around 3pm-4pm, the queue for the more popular rides get shorter, so keep your eyes peeled.
14. Halal restaurants in the park and Muslim prayer room
Here’s a list of Halal eateries within the Park:
- Mel’s Drive In
- Oasis Spice Café
- Marty’s Casa Del Wild
There are also food carts in and around the park offering things from popcorn to kebab. They didn’t say if it’s halal though.
If you want to ask for God’s forgiveness before getting on some crazy rides, the prayer room is next to Battlestar Galactica’s lockers.
15. Height restrictions for rides and others
If your children do not make the height, they cannot get on the rides. At a glance, here are the height restrictions. If you want something more detailed, click here for a thorough Visitor’s Guide (PDF).
BUT if they DO make the height and are below 4 years old, they get to enjoy all the rides for free. Don’t forget to bring strollers for the kids. Lots of parents just park the strollers outside restaurants and rides.
16. Child swap
The park allows one parent to take care of their child/children while the other parent goes on a ride. When one parent is done, the other one can go without having to queue up all over again.
17. Getting to USS from the airport.
If you come in a group, my friend recommended Ubering. It’s cheaper and much faster.
I hope this guide helps you in some way. I personally found their official website quite confusing which is why I decided to compile some of the information here. If you would like me to include more information in this post, do let me know in the comments section and I will include them.
Have fun and take care 😀