Friday, 10 April 2015

Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey: USS new Roller Coaster

Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey opened last Wednesday, 8 April, as the sixth roller coaster in Universal Studios Singapore (USS). In true Universal style, this new ride has good landscaping and a distinct storyline. As a guest, you are enrolled by Puss and Kitty to search for hidden treasurers, while evading, of all things, a giant duck!!??

Puss in Boots' Giant Journey Entrance
Puss in Boots' Giant Journey is the newest addition to Universal Studios Singapore!


USS Began construction of this new ride one year ago in April 2014. At that point, there was a lot of speculation, ranging from Kung Fu Panda to Despicable Me. In July, there was a leak from manufacturer Zamperla though details were sketchy. Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) finally announced in September that the new ride is a Puss in Boots roller coaster. However, the ride was late. They promised in their press release in September that Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey shall “open by the end of the year”.

Puss in Boots and the Giant Journey is a one of a kind ride and Universal Studios currently has no plans to replicate it at other theme parks.

This was how the site looked like in June 2014

Before entering

Advertising for Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey is surprisingly extensive. When I alighted at Harbourfront MRT station, the entire platform was lined with posters of this new ride. In fact, you can find posters all over the Vivocity area, and there are even more advertisements after you enter the park.

If you are cash strapped, you will be pleased to know that USS has a Puss in Boots Giant Journey Opening Special offer of SGD68 till 6 May 2015, and that includes a meal voucher worth SGD16.

Puss in Boots' Giant Journey advertisement
You can find the adverts on the subway!

And even in the park!

Puss in Boots sales cart USS

The entrance and queue

The entrance is very elaborate and the castle lift hill gives the ride a very dramatic effect. However, I think USS should do a better transition from the relatively urban Far Far Away town to the rural castle. It is too sudden and feels out of place. Height requirement is 100cm but kids below 122cm must be accompanied by adult.

USS New Ride 2015 Puss in Boots
Maybe its just me, but I think the transition to this rural castle is too sudden

One inside, you really get to appreciate Universal’s attention to detail. The short 150+m queue line (apx 45 mins total) begins outside the castle and you get to see the beanstalk and other mythical plants up close. Then, there is a giant screen where Puss invites you to join his perilous journey in a flying machine. Of course, there are also lots of props, all oversized – great for kids. I am not sure everyone will appreciate Puss’ sense of humour, though.

Mythical Beanstalks all over the place!

Isn't this cute!!???

Puss in Boots' Giant Journey pre-show
This giant screen gives you the background story for the ride. Don't worry, the video length and the time spent in that section of the queue is actually quite similar.

If you agree with this type of humour...

For Singaporeans, please take note: There is NO aircon throughout this entire ride and queue. It is 100% sheltered, though. Also, the path is quite uneven and wheelchair users may encounter some difficulty. There are no stairs or steps throughout both the standard and express queue.

USS no smoking zone
No aircon doesn't mean yes smoking.

Sometimes, I wonder what some of props are for. This looks just like...a fishmarket!

Or this oversized library

Nice props. Just wish that the ceiling is just as well done.

The ride vehicle

Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey is a suspended swinging coaster. It is the only roller coaster I know of that seats 3 people in a row. I just wonder why they did not have a special single rider queue. Maybe next time. Estimated departure is 40 seconds which gives a capacity of 800 riders per hour.

USS New Ride Puss in Boots
Name me another roller coaster that seats 3 rows of 3 passengers!

The seats are typical size and there is no space if you carry a big bag. Yes. You are required to bring your bags up for the ride. Every seat has its own speaker and, thankfully, personal lap bars (I avoid riding Madagascar because the whole row lap bar can be quite painful when people squeeze it down). Photo is allowed on ride but not at the unloading area. No video or flash photography allowed.

Just some detailing work on the vehicle

Puss in Boots' Giant Journey vehicle
Every single seat has a speaker. Well, in this case, a target speaker!

The ride

Puss in Boots’ roller coaster begins with a spiral lift hill. I think this is a good strategy for land-scarce Singapore. You can a good bird’s eye view of the park at the top, where there is a brake run. Following this is a series of small drops and show scenes where the giant, we shall say…duck…will try to stop you from finding the treasures. An elaborate party marks the end of the ride but there is still a little surprise at the end.

A spiral lift hill is an excellent solution to save space. It actually feels a little intense going up!

I shall leave the specific details for you to experience, though. One more thing: the drops, though only 2 stories tall, are very well shaped. You can actually get partial airtime at each of the 3 drops, something you can’t get at USS’ other 2 family coasters.

And there it is! The giant "Duck"!

The ride is over...but there's still a little surprise later!


After the hugely successful Sesame Street franchise, it is very clear that USS is pursuing the family oriented road, and I must say this ride fits the bill very well. The show scenes are simple and easily understood by kids, yet there are little elements of humour that appeals to parents. The roller coaster elements are very short so most kids will not find it too intense.

Puss in Boots exclusive bins. Cat food only!

Another one of Puss' nonsensical works of art.

However, I seriously doubt this ride is the Holy Grail that will drastically boost USS attendance. At best, this is a mid-scale attraction and Puss in Boots is simply not the most popular franchise in Singapore. I will analyse the possibilities of USS new ride 2016/2017 in a future post.

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