Countdown at Universal Studios

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Google Plus automatically made this photograph a GIF with the sparkles and it's quite exciting to me (!!!)

Hello there :-)

So I celebrated New Year's counting down for the first time outside and I did it at the Bubblegum Pop Countdown 2014 held at Universal Studios Singapore (USS) with Emily - whom I've spent my past 4 countdowns with. It was such an amazing experience because I've never did anything like that and celebrating with a whole ton of other people felt so exhilarating. I think it's definitely a great venue to countdown for people my age because it has a party/ club vibe with a bit of wild atmosphere but at the same time it's kind of family-friendly and the touch of characters makes everything so joyful, carefree - childhoods are usually always awesome. 

Before I get into the countdown itself though, I spent the day at USS as well. Even though the Singapore theme park is really quite small and it gets really repetitive and rather boring if one's been there numerous times, I still really like it! There's just something about places like these that give off a wonderful, light and carefree feeling and everything looks beautiful, making them utterly picturesque. 

Emily and myself decided to make this a leisurely visit (i.e. no crazy rides and no rushing to rides) because we wanted to take things slow so that it'd be relaxing. Plus, we had to last through the night as well - we shouldn't be wasting our energy in the day! Therefore, we ended up taking lots of photographs, and this post will be a photo spam of sorts :-) Apologies in advance, unless you like photos. 

Fourth time at USS! Really am a very blessed girl, in my opinion. 

The one place in Singapore that reminds me so much of other countries/ fairy tales because of the architecture - and I'm so happy they still had their Christmas decorations up even though it was 6 days after the actual day! I definitely look really joyful in this photo :') 

Oh, and actually it's been quite some time since I've been to USS - they have two new character additions that I'm elated about and no lie - they are by far my favourite cartoon characters (not just because they are the latest members of the USS family) and they are Sesame Street and the Minions from Despicable Me! The last time I was there, they were just constructing the new Sesame Street ride so it was really refreshing to finally get to see it in action! I remember how I used to watch Sesame Street daily without fail before going for my kindergarten classes in the afternoon and my favourite character is Elmo :') And the minions aren't really a part of my childhood but I like the Despicable Me movies and they are insanely cute so, what's there not to love? 

Emily in a minion cap! 

And then, our search for the characters - or rather, humans in costumes - commenced! We still didn't get to take photographs with a lot of them though, everything's super spontaneous and really just based on luck. Oh, but it was really cute that some of them were decked out in Christmas gear. 

Frankenstein! He looks 10x less scary with furry ear muffs and a festive scarf! :') We were evidently still quite scared though heh 

PUSS in BOOTS! Need to learn how to do that innocent looking face from it :") 

Egyptian men! :-) They try to be super scary all the time and can go as far as chasing you around the park. Because we took two photos (one on Emily's phone and one on my camera), in between snaps, they bent down to snarl into our ears and it's so weird because their snarls are so incredibly real and I have no idea how they managed to make such a sound. 

With Oscar the Grouch hehe! He was the only Sesame Street character we managed to meet up close and personal which was quite unfortunate but at least we met him :-) He's super cute - quite unlike his grouchy character in the shows - and he can go into his trash can!

The beautiful castle :') I'm seriously amazed at how they are able to construct buildings like this - they should just do it all around Singapore. 

We really took a very leisurely journey around the whole place - we barely sat any rides except for the Sesame Street one, the Transformers ride, Enchanted airways, and yes as far as I can remember, that was it. It was still really fun though. Oh and we watched Monster Rock, which is an in-house rock "concert" featuring monsters and it was actually my fourth time watching the same show but this time, it was really quite special!

So in essence, the show's about monsters rocking out to popular songs and it's really quite entertaining and fun to watch. Halfway through the show, the characters would walk down the aisle and I saw that someone in front of me stretched out his/ her hand and the Dracula (the guy in the middle in the picture above) hi5-ed it so I decided to be spontaneous and do the same and stretched my hand out. Unfortunately for me, he didn't actually hi5 it so I was quite sad (and probably quite embarrassed because it is terrible to not receive a hi5 when you offer one) but then I suddenly felt someone touch my hand and it was him - he came back when he realized he missed me out! I didn't turn back to look at him because I was feeling super awkward at that point in time but Emily did and according to her, he acted like he was heartbroken that I didn't look back and he blew me a strange Dracula kiss! I think it was a really good move on the actor's part to make someone in the audience feel so special :') So, for the rest of the show, the two of us were freaking out about the Dracula - also because he was the most good looking one out of the male cast. I do wish I turned back to witness what he did though. 

:-) There's always something wrong with my face hahaha why am I so weird

We found crates and a great place to activate self-timer for our cameras so photo-taking ensued. I guess the great part about USS is that you can actually feel comfortable taking a whole load of photos and know that you won't be judged. At least, not too much. 

The two of us had a minor freak out session when we saw that one of the windows of the "shops" there featured psychic reading services because it's an inside joke between the both of us that I'm actually psychic because I used to see strange things that would come true eventually and we were the only ones who believed it then. Well, it technically didn't remain a joke because in Primary 6, it was finally proven in front of my whole class by my teacher who said "There is a psychic in this class" and told everyone that I was a psychic. There's a pretty weird story behind this and I don't think I reveal here. At least, not in this post :-) But yes, that could totally be my shop - "Madam Yap Psychic Readings".

Emily with my duckie bag - she's the one who gave me this bag for my birthday last year! :-) To everyone who's been asking where I got my bag from, go and find this girl HAHA

Dancing my little maniac dance because there's no one to judge me and we finally got the street to be free from passers-by! 

105! :-) One of my favourite Waddle classes ever! But they're 205 now so goodbye to innocence. At least, they were still 105 when I took this photo because technically it was still 2013. 

Ahh this entire street reminds me so much of Sesame Street and I think I've said it enough times in this post already but am still going to reiterate the fact that I love love love love love Sesame Street! It is my childhood (together with Hi-5, Blues Clues and Powerpuff Girls) :-)

Churros (I actually bought it because of Phionna and her obsession with churros) but this one, which costs $4, was really quite disappointing! It was cold, stale and incredibly chewy. I guess some people like really chewy churros but this one was excessively so. I think I'm going to try making my own churros sometime soon though! 

Starbucks recently opened a store in Universal Studios and I guess that's one of the only places within the theme park where you can actually get decent food. I don't know, but the food at USS is overpriced and of low quality. At least the prices of the food at Starbucks here is the same as Starbucks stores outside of the park, not that it is any low anyway. But compared to the rest of the park, it's actually reasonably priced. I thought it was quite a stretch though, to have only one barista making the drinks of a whole load of people - there's really high human traffic there! But he managed quite well and the people here were probably more patient. 

Hot chocolate (because it was my lucky day that day - girls, if you know what I mean); I couldn't drink cold drinks or I risk the pain getting worse. It was exciting though, because it's my first time having my "name" written on my drink at Starbucks. I really do not like giving my actual name to coffee shops (usually CBTL) because it's Chinese and therefore difficult to say so I normally say Yap but this time I tried Ju HAHAHA. 

I must say, Woody Woodpecker and his girlfriend are the most into character ones of the entire theme park! They spent more than two minutes with everyone - not just for a photo but playing and teasing them. It's quite amazing to see that they didn't just want to get their job over and done with but actually invested time and effort to make people smile and laugh. Well, it ended up with us getting this really deranged photograph of us. 

Pepperoni pizza with a drink and their dessert of the day (Oreo Espresso) - it was a combo and costs around $15!

Afterwards, we took a few rides before heading for dinner. We ate at the pizza place because it serves the most decent food but chose an outdoor seat so we'd be able to watch the Sesame Street Christmas show at the same time, which was a great experience for myself. 

Yay eating with live entertainment is pretty nice!

Eating cookie monster while watching cookie monster on stage. To be honest, this was a really bad cupcake in terms of taste but I got it because I remember how these cookie monster cupcakes with the cookie in his mouth used to be all the rage on tumblr with those lovely images and some of my closest friends had those pictures as their profile pictures for a period of time. I guess it's still quite cute :-) 

By the time we finished dinner, it actually turned dark (super quickly, it was quite scary to be honest)! We went around the park for a while, took a few photos with more characters and took some rides. 

With the fairy god mother from Shrek! Grant us a wish please :-) 

Marilyn Monroe! She actually resembles her quite a lot :-) 

We saw many people walking around with party hats and wanted them too. It started getting extremely crowded because there were some people who got tickets only for the Countdown Party (i.e. didn't come for the entire day) and I don't exactly favour crowds so. However, we had a feeling that they were giving out the party hats and we were right :-) We headed to the entrance to grab a goodie bag free of charge, which contained a hat, a clapper and a horn thingy - all the essential party items. I thought that it was a really nice touch! 

The goodie bag wahoo! 

Geared up to party in the party hats - no prizes for what colour I chose for mine ;) 

They opened the rides that day till around 11.30pm, which is really cool because normally everything closes at around 7pm if I'm not wrong and it's not everyday that you get to sit the rides in the dark. However, the two of us didn't really want to sit the rides since we already had the entire day for that. So we went for the countdown party at around 8pm and managed to be in the front row! 

The atmosphere was really quite party/club-like. I'm pretty sure 406 would have loved it here. 

Acrobats and stilt walkers were all over the place! :-) The atmosphere was quite insane. 

Before the concert officially started, there was a DJ on stage and he was really rocking it - like to me, he's a really good DJ (I haven't seen many, to be honest but-); he had really amazing transitions between songs and he knew the exact parts and things to do that could potentially make people quite high. One thing I felt was that he could actually made one's heart pound with his beats and music. I could literally feel my heart racing. I later learnt that he's DJ toMU from Japan and I really liked him. However, at the start it was quite weird because only the front row (that includes Emily and myself) was actually appreciating the music. We were actually dancing and grooving because we were all teenagers probably less than twenty and there was this huge gap between us and the second row, who were all just standing there stiffly and it was so so so weird. They were basically just staring at our backs. I felt quite bad for the DJ himself because it seemed as though he wasn't good enough to get everyone to start dancing. 

Fortunately, the gap closed when the concert started officially. It was quite a pity though, that not everyone really enjoyed the music by the DJ because he was good! 

Minions on stage omg - their names are Jerry and Steward! At first I saw them having a phototaking session but the queue was closed and I didn't manage to get a photo with them but they are so insanely adorable and cute. 

The emcee, Johnny (if I'm not wrong) asking a little girl a question and she won herself a minion soft toy hehe it was so cute because he kept telling the audience "Imagine what she must be thinking - the minions are right in front of me!" Also, I realized from this photo that her pants actually matches that of the emcee's! Sort of. 

They are so cute omg just look at them try to walk down the stage!!! 

The emcees for the night! And the performances started at around 9.30pm if I'm not wrong :-) 

Kylie Minogue tribute artist! To be honest, I couldn't really enjoy the performances by her because I didn't know any of Kylie's songs and I didn't really know how she looked like anyway so I couldn't see a resemblance of any sort either. So it was rather tiring having to stand through her songs. 

The Cruisers! They are like an in-house 80's USS act but I guess this was a bigger stage for them - they usually perform at the mini stage outside the Diner in the theme park. It was so weird how at one point in time halfway through a cheesy love song, all four of them were staring at me as if they were serenading me and I'm pretty sure it wasn't my imagination cos Emily turned to look at me too HAHAHA it was hilarious. 

Mel's Dinettes! They are basically like the female version of The Cruisers :-) One thing to note, all of them can sing and dance amazingly - like their choreography and timings are all on point. I guess they are professional performers. 

Britney Spears tribute artist - it's actually the same woman as the Kylie Minogue one and I couldn't get over that fact for a while when I was there but I know more Britney songs and I know how she looks as well and I can say that this tribute artist is quite good at what she does! There is even a difference in her voice when she sings as Kylie and Britney and it's really quite accurate to the original singers. And I think she deserves props for being able to remember all the dance moves and things like that. It's quite clear that it can be really tough.

When it was around 11.30pm, all the characters from the theme park came out to the stage and it was like this blast of colour and cuteness! Look at Oscar the Grouch in the above picture - when everyone's celebrating, he still has to remain in character and act like he couldn't care less. It's so adorable I can't stand it! 

Look at all of them dancing to welcome the new year! 

And of course, HELLO 2014! HAPPY NEW YEAR :-) 

It was all so exciting and it felt amazing because there were fireworks right in front of our eyes and everyone was dancing. 

Can I just draw your attention to Bert and Ernie hugging at the bottom right hand corner of the above photograph? :') It looks so amazing how their brotherhood still comes first hehe I can't imagine the people wearing the suit and hugging. 

And wow I wonder who took this photograph for us heh heh :-) I found it at the Resorts World Sentosa facebook page so all credits to whoever the photographer was! I think it's quite a cool and rather valuable picture because only the two of us are looking at the camera and the atmosphere's captured quite well. 

Quite nice! 

After the counting down, DJ toMU came on stage again and started dropping his beats! This time, everyone was really high and it wasn't just the first row dancing this time - everyone had their hands up and were celebrating the start of 2014 together. 

From his perspective :-) I'm sure he was a lot happier at the response he got the second time he went on stage. 

First photo together for the year 2014! 

We decided to leave the crowd earlier before the park closed at 1am because we didn't want to have to jostle with everyone. So we went around one final time to take a few shots. 

Lying on the road because we can! 

Well, this was quite crazy :') 

Final shot with the party and the stage in the background! 

And off we went! :-)

When we were outside, we realized that there was an insanely long queue for the Sentosa Express (the monorail) and were informed by the staff there that there was a high chance we may miss the last carriage. So we headed for the shuttle bus service! Thank goodness I was familiar with the place from my multiple times visiting the area in 2013 - we managed to get on the first bus we saw! 

And after all the partying, we were both thirsty, hot and sweaty. This bottle of earl grey milk tea was my salvation :') I had to overlook the fact that the coldness would cause me pain but it was well worth it. 

That concludes how I spent my New Year's Eve and a part of my New Year's! :-) Emily came to stay over at my house, as of every year and surprisingly, we didn't fall asleep immediately when we got home. I don't even know how we managed to survive for so long - our stamina blows my mind - but we slept at 4/5am! I even woke up at 8am, which was really weird but thank you for everything, Emily! It's always such a blessing to be able to spend these two special days with you without fail. 

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