Sunday, 6 December 2015

USS Christmas 2015: Santa's All Star Christmas

Every year, Universal Studios Singapore transforms itself into a winter wonderland. with beautiful decorations, Christmas themed shows and, of course, fireworks. 2015 is no exception. In conjunction with RWS 5th anniversary, the 2015 USS Christmas event is bigger, grander and more exciting than ever before. In fact, there are not 2, but 3 Christmas themed shows this year, and I must say that the quality of the shows have improved noticeably from 2014.

USS Christmas Santa's All Star Christmas 2015

About USS Christmas 2015

USS Christmas 2015 is titled Santa's All-Star Christmas. It is themed to Santa's toy factory, and kids of all ages, both naughty and nice can explore the 4 themed areas and 3 nighttime shows. In addition to the highly popular Sesame Street Saves Christmas, 2015 sees the addition of "Fairytale Remix" show, which depicts some classic Christmas fairy tales with a twist. The toy soldiers are also back this year, but this time, they are joined by the Minions, Penguins of Madagascar and Marilyn Monroe.

Before we continue, please be informed that the Christmas fireworks will only start on 12 December 2015, and as far as I know, on weekends (read: Saturdays) only.

Santa's All Star Christmas Decorations

No Christmas event is complete with decorations. In particular, lots and lots of colourful lights. For the 2015 Christmas, the Hollywood, New York and Far-Far Away areas of the park are transformed into colourful and vibrant world. 


The Hollywood section follows the theme of Santa's toy factory very closely. There are lots of presents and Christmas storybooks all along Hollywood Boulevard, and even the Christmas tree is made of boxes and boxes of presents! 

Since it's Santa's All-STAR Christmas, why not make all the snowflakes stars?

For 2015, even the food carts and stalls are not spared from the decoration frenzy

Kids, ready for some storytelling?

If I had a million dollars for Christmas...

New York

This is also where you get to see all the Christmas themed shows! FYI the Stage at the New York Library this year is very big!

Far Far Away

And the Surprise: Sting Alley

Yes, for 2015 Christmas, USS expands on the New York Christmas decorations with more decorations at Sting Alley. For those who don't know, Sting Alley is a small, highly themed walkway that links the main New York street with the waterfront area. I think that the decoration is especially realistic because the area is very enclosed, intimate, and close-up. There is almost a village-like atmosphere.

USS Christmas 2015 decoration
This is the new, Christmas entrance to Sting Alley. Remember that during Halloween it was some "biohazard" signs?

A Hollywood Christmas Gift

Given the popularity of Toy Soldiers in the 2014 season, RWS has decided to bring them back to USS for the 2015 Christmas event, with a twist. This time, the toy soldiers are giving out Christmas presents to random guests in the audience, and the presents also come with it many surprises. For example, when the first guest receives a penguin plush toy, the Penguins of Madagascar will come up on stage. They even created a parody of a Christmas song specially for the Penguins!

3 lucky guests will get to take part in this show, and 2 kids get to walk away with Penguin or Minion plush toy - provided they are on the "nice" list!

The location of the show is also changed to Hollywood. 

I think changes like this really adds more variety and unpredictability to the show, which makes it more exciting. In fact, this is the norm for USS 2015 Christmas shows: Small changes that add an element of surprise from last year's versions.

The Toy Soldier's usual antics are back! However, there are fewer acrobatic moves this year. I guess the USS Acrobats are diverted to another show, which I will explain in the next section

Poor adult participant, the present that is presented to you is meant for Monroe, and not for you!

You can actually find the exact same soundtrack that they used for the minion dance online! Just type Minion Jingle Bells on youtube!

Fairytale Remix Show

The Fairytale Remix show is the new show for USS Christmas 2015. It adopts classic winter stories and moments like "The Little Match Girl", "Frosty the Snowman" and a few others, and meshes them together into a uniquely USS story. However, before we begin, let's watch the New York Library dancing lights show!

Alright back to the show. I actually enjoyed this more than the Hollywood Christmas Gift. I think that this show had a bit if suspense, and some of the stories really brought back some childhood memories. 

What I dislike is that people will take the chairs from the pizza restaurant and bring it all the way to the front, so reducing the number of people that can view the show clearly (because normally people in front sits on the FLOOR). I hope USS can enforce that seats at the restaurant should stay at the restaurant.

Bedtime story anyone?

Remember I talked about where are the acrobatic toy soldiers? Well, I suspect they have become Elves this year!

The arrival of Ginger bread-man was actually quite a surprise. Never actually seen its mascot before.

and finally...Sesame Street Saves Christmas.

Having won multiple awards by attraction critics and industry associations, it is no surprise that USS will be showing Sesame Street Saves Christmas again for 2015. This time, there are a few little twists that I think really makes the show special. 

Sesame Street Saves Christmas USS 2015
Yeah! Christmas is no longer cancelled!

The venue is unchanged: Hollywood Pantages theater. There are usually 4 shows per weekend with the last show about 7.00pm

In fact, after watching this show I ask myself: why is this one so successful while the usual "When I Grow Up" is less so. After all, both are Sesame Street. After watching both multiple times, I think the reasons lies in the storytelling. In Sesame Street Saves Christmas, there is a distinct plot with introduction, suspense and resolution. However, When I Grow Up is just one aspiration after another, so I think it feels a lot more repetitive (read: boring) than Sesame Street Saves Christmas which has a clear story.
Wow! Even the host have Elvish ears!

Finally managed to catch the dustbin in a nice pose!

This year, Santa is revealed to be hiding inside this giant box. Note: This is NOT a magic trick!

And the world of Sesame Street with receive their Christmas presents. But what about me?

Special: Battlestar Galactica

Yes, I know there is nothing Christmas about this ride. However, I think it is worth mentioning that Battlestar Galactica will open till about 9.00pm (maybe a bit earlier on Fireworks days). The experience at night is actually quite different from that in the day and its worth a ride. Especially Cylon's drop into the trench before and after the loop: the red warning lights at the bottom really makes the hole feel a lot shallower than it is during the day.

Also, on days when USS operates 2 trains, the queue after 8pm is, let's just say, very short.

Battlestar Galactica at night!

The Verdict

USS Christmas 2015 marks the last chapter of RWS 5th Anniversary celebrations, and I must say, it is a good one. The slight changes in the shows really helps to add new flavour, and I really like the new decorations at Sting Alley and the Fairytale Remix show. 

I just wish that USS could display the fireworks on every day of the Christmas event, rather than waiting for the 12th. In fact, by doing so they can really brand the theme park as a whole day attraction rather than a place where people will leave at, say, 5-6pm. Also, I wish they can set aside some pathways that are "for guests passing by only" at the outdoor shows. It is really, really difficult and disruptive for people to squeeze through the guests who are viewing the shows.

Love Christmas 2015, perhaps you may want to explore Gardens by the Bay's 2015 Christmas event as well. You will really do me a favour if you share this post with your friends and like the Second Drop Facebook Page!