Sunday, 21 September 2014

USS Has Grown Up, with Magic Beans to Share

The thing that makes parks like Universal Studios Singapore (USS) stand out is the shows. Where most rides focus on rides, Disney, Universal and other movie brands attempt to achieve a fine balance between rides and shows. This evidence is in full display at USS, as the park unveils 2 new, exciting and interactive shows that will please the whole family.

 Sesame Street theme stage show When I Grow Up just replaced Monster Rock at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

As part of the Puss in Boots expansion, The Dance for the Magic Beans is a street show at Far Far Away

When I Grow Up - Sesame Street Stage Show

When I visited the park on 31 August 2014, it was mostly uneventful. However, outside the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, staff members were shouting fervently that it was the last show of Monster Rock. Of course, I watched Monster Rock over 5 times before, and heard them shout this many times before, but never with such enthusiasm. I decided to watch it - I only now know that it is the last time.

The new show, When I Grow Up, is actually an expansion of the existing stage show bearing the same name. With the addition of drop down LED screens, you will also find a full fledged Sesame Street backdrop and expanded costumes and props, this show is sure to be a delight for both the young and young at heart. I find the song particularly inspiring with its memorable tune and a powerful message behind it. 

4 Shows a day? Wow!

Look at the long queue 20 minutes BEFORE the gates open

Even before the show begins, there is a duo who walks around with attractive light sticks and Sesame Street puppets. While the items featured are for sale, the enthusiasm of the actors really sets the tone for the show to come. As with monster rock, a host comes on stage to warm up the audience. It is noteworthy that this show only prohibits "flash photography" and there was no announced restriction on normal photography, so you will get to see some snippets from inside the show.

 Its act cute time!

Notice the LED 3 large LED screens? There are also other props in the drop down screen including a multicolour LED rainbow, subway sign and traffic light. 

Midway through the show, audiences are invited to stand up and dance along. Elmo and friends also will run along the aisle and interact with guests (Super Grover even tapped on some audience members and urged them to stand up) 

The addition of When I Grow Up means that the Sesame Street theme is expanded to the Hollywood section as well. This show will be well received by families and kids but I think the youths will find it a little to cheesy.

The Dance for the Magic Beans - Puss in Boots

USS is going Puss in Boots in 2014. Among the many new features is the new street show located just beside Donkey Live at Far Far Away. This 5 minute show is actually a dance battle between Puss and Kitty, hosted by a really wild Bartender. I was actually surprised that despite the location of the show, there were almost 200 people viewing the particular session I watched.

First, the bartender will prepare the Milk Bar by opening the curtains and removing the show times panel. I think this is the only show in USS where curtains are opened manually. She then greets the audience and introduces us to the Magic Beans - bringers of great fortune. Audience members are also invited to stand up and stomp-stomp-clap, though I preferred that they simply asked guests to remain seated and tap-tap-clap, as it will not block the view of guests standing at the back.

 I be really honest, I cannot understand the first 2 sentences that she is saying.

Since she has 2 magic beans, why not just give one each to kitty and puss and forgo the competition altogether? 

When guests at the front stand up to clap and stomp, the block the view of guests standing at the back.

First, Kitty comes on stage and does a solo. Then, she is joined by Puss and they did a nice couple dance. It is noteworthy that some soundtracks are of the same genre used in Monster Rock, so perhaps this is a little tribute to the now closed show? The photo taking at the end of the show is well received by guests.

This is one happy couple! 

Puss and Kitty also comes down the stage to interact with guests 

Looks like a big mess of people? This is the queue to take photos with Puss and Kitty

This show is just one segment of the larger Puss in Boots expansion, which already sees the addition of new Souvenirs at Fairy Godmother's Potion Shop and new Meet and Greet sections. The highlight of this expansion, also the sixth coaster in the park, will open later this year. Puss in Boots and the Giant Journey is a suspended swinging coaster from Zamperla and the track work is mostly completed.

Talking about roller coasters, my mother told me that she heard news from 933 Radio Station that Battlestar Galactica Dueling Roller Coaster will open by the end of this year. So lets all be excited!