Tuesday, 2 December 2014

USS Christmas Update 1 December 2014

I remember, in the old days, when everyone swarmed to Orchard Road when it was Christmas Season. Now in 2014, there are so many alternatives, from Christmas at Garden's by the Bay to Sentosa's Playcation. However, Christmas at Santa's Land at Universal Studios Singapore (USS) is one of the best holiday events in the country.


At USS Christmas 2014, snow will fall in New York street every hour, and you will get to meet dozens of Christmas characters like Elf and Candy Cane, the Toy Soldiers and, of course, Santa himself. Decoration is well done and even better at night, so I suggest you make full use of the extended operating hours till 9pm. So lets call "Ho Ho Ho" at USS Christmas 2014!


USS is Transformed!


The moment you step through the gates, you will be welcomed into Santa's Land and find Hollywood Boulevard lined with giant presents and Christmas rings. Look closely at the fa├žade: There are actually Christmas themed Sesame Street memorabilia on display! More surprises are in store at Universal Studios Store, with a little corner dedicated just for holiday products.


This is Hollywood Boulevard all dressed up for Christmas!


Dear santa...

Minions want Bananas for Christmas!

There is a large “throne” at the end of Hollywood is where you can have your photo taken with Santa. Using your camera is fine, though you can also opt for your photo to be taken professionally and then purchasing them at The Dark Room, located beside Minion Mart. Elf and Candy Cane also walk the streets of Hollywood, and you might event catch the Minions from Despicable Me in Santa’s hat!

Ho Ho Ho! You can take pictures with me every hour!

Santa's Kitchen is located to the right of the Sesame Street Entrance.
It is where the Christmas Dinner Buffet is served.


Even the information displays are snowing!

The New York area is decorated in a relatively similar way, with 1 main difference: There is a giant Christmas Tree at the public library, and the tree is made up of… well, you guessed it: Sesame Street plush toys! You can take photos with the Toy Soldiers at the public library, though I wish USS actually published when the characters will come out for meet and greet.


New York Street in the day!

Find your favourite Sesame Street friends!

Photo taking with the toy soldiers!

There is also minor decoration at Far Far Away and Madagascar areas.





Sesame Street Saves Christmas


Introduced last year, Sesame Street Saves Christmas has be awarded the IAAPA Brass Ring for best show production. And this year, USS has raised the bar by bringing this show in the Hollywood Pantages Theatre!


4 Shows a day, and the theater is quite full during all 4!

What a nice place to catch a little photo before the show begins.
You can't climb on the sleigh, though.

You will first be greeted by the Sesame Street gang who are all singing and dancing, pumped up for the Christmas celebrations. Abby Cadabby brought the North Pole to Sesame Street, and the gang was greeted by Santa’s elves. There was only 1 problem – Santa’s beloved red nose reindeer Rudolf was missing, and he had to cancel Christmas.

Ice breaking by the show host
This show is full of familiar Christmas Carols

At first, the Sesame Street gang was just ranting, then Super Grover showed up and took the place of Rudolf, saving Christmas. At the end of the show, Abby Cadabby made her first successful spell (considering how many times she failed in When I Grow Up), and snow began falling in the whole theatre.

The elves come to deliver the bad news.
Christmas is #Cancelled!

Christmas has been saved! But where is my present?

Santaland in the Dark



My favourite part of Christmas has always been the beautiful lights at night, and USS certainly did not disappoint me this year. In the evening, Hollywood and New York really come to life as the whole place will be lit by thousands of sparkling jewels strung along the Christmas rings and in front of many shops and restaurants. There is also a Christmas Buffet Dinner at Santa's Kitchen which costs $40 per guest ($20 for child). For more upscale dining, there is also the KT’s Festive Buddy Platter located at KT’s grill.

I am falling in love with this sight!


Meet Elf and Candy Cane along Hollywood Boulevard

Welcome to Santa's Kitchen! It looks so different at night!

The most vibrant and colourful part of USS at night is the New York Public Library, where the giant Christmas Tree comes to life with synchronised neon. All rides are open till 9pm, and there is special Christmas fireworks at 9,30pm on select nights! Tip: At 9pm, once all the rides are closed, head straight to New York as there will be almost 30mins of continuous snowfall.

New York shines at night, with the giant Christmas tree as the centerpiece
Add 9pm, New York explodes into a light show and the greatest snowfall of the day!

Far Far Away lit by enchanted flowing trees!

Santa’s Toy Soldiers in The Changing of the Guard


New York Public Library is also home to the show Santa's Toy Soldiers in The Changing of The Guard.

Anticipation is built up as a giant projected countdown timer emerges on New York Public Library. Once the timer reaches zero, the sergeant comes on stage alongside a… well… announcer. Here the Toy Soldiers are ordered to march in, and they do so from the back. From here on, there is lots of singing, dancing and antics. Some of the toy soldier’s even performed acrobatics. The announcer attempted to stop this ill-discipline but to no avail.

Alright everyone, let's count down together!

Atten-hut!

Oh when the Saints go marching in...


Snow falls at the end of the show and the cannons shoot out a giant mass of confetti, which is very well received by Children. This show only takes place at night, so I really suggest that you stay a little later to experience this humour filled show.


Vocal solo!

Soldier discipline breaks down as everyone removed their smart red jackets

Look at the kids enjoying themselves with the confetti after the end of the show

Christmas Fireworks Spectacular


When I saw the name Lake Hollywood Spectacular on the RWS Website. I was disappointed that USS is using the standard fireworks show. However, I was wrong. The first hint of the special Christmas version comes from workers setting up lasers and spotlights all over the lagoon. Then, the announcer would say "Christmas Fireworks Spectacular" instead of "Lake Hollywood Spectacular"!

This show is about the same length as the original Lake Hollywood Spectacular, but the addition of spotlights really add more visual depth and crucial festive colours into the show. There were some really creative uses of the fireworks. I just wished they used more familiar Christmas tunes for the fireworks soundtrack.



Conclusion


Christmas at Santa's Land at USS really has everything I want for a beautiful Christmas – food and Christmas snacks, Christmas Decoration and tunes of familiar Carols, and just a light hearted, playful atmosphere. The period after 8pm is also my favourite as most people have left and the queues will vanish.

How do you wish your Christmas celebration will be like? Please share in the comments.