Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, a nine-minute indoor flume ride inspired by the animated movie Madagascar, made its debut on 16 May.
The ride takes guests on a river boat adventure with the famous escapees from the New York Zoo — Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo.
"The nice thing about Madagascar: A Crate Adventure is that it really is a ride that's available for three generations — from kids to adults to grandparents, everyone can ride it so it's a great addition to Universal Studios Singapore," said John Hallenbeck, USS vice president of park operations, on the day of the ride's opening.
While some have described the ride as a little too tame, Hallenbeck feels that that is exactly what makes it a family ride.
"It's obviously not a rollercoaster that goes upside down five times like Battlestar Galactica, but it's exactly what the park needs and it's here in Madagascar, which is a movie that is about families and about kids, so it really appeals to everyone."
39-year-old editor, Edmund Tay, who was one of the first members of the public to take the ride on its opening, shared the same sentiments.
"My kids had fun, the ride's definitely suitable for the younger ones," said the father of a six-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son. "The elderly will have no problem with it as well."
We were a bit apprehensive at first," admitted Isaiah Kuan, 37, and Klessis Lee, 33, who had with them a 2-year-old daughter.
"But it's cool, especially for the kids. The video was nice; there were surprises… jets of water and more."
What else can riders expect?
"There're 12 scenes, 89 animated figures and a flying hippo, which is kinda interesting," said Kevin Barbee, executive designer of USS.
"There're some chimps in the ride that fling banana-flavoured poo at you as you go through, so there's some fun and whimsical things that really match the DreamWorks brand as you go through the ride."
Amidst all the excitement though, the newly opened ride was down for approximately 20-30 minutes at 11am due to a technical glitch. Several park-goers were turned away as a result.
"There was a technical difficulty that we had never seen before," said Daniel Cuffe, USS assistant director of park operations. "The ride was good to go for three months. It was an all systems go. It's the first time we're experiencing this."
Explained Hallenbeck, "Any attraction that we have in its infancy will have some technical difficulties so it's something that's the nature of any world-class attraction that we have. Obviously we wanna make sure that everything is perfect before we allow people to go in, so they're just taking a look at something and as soon as everything's fine, we'll be back up in a run."
To visitors' relief, operations resumed quickly thereafter.
With the grand opening of RWS coming right up on 28 May, park-goers certainly have got more surprises in store for them.
"This is just the beginning of a great year here at Universal Studios Singapore," promised Hallenbeck.
"We'll have a big push for annual passholders to come back and renew their annual passes… Transformers is scheduled to open by the end of the year, and other surprises that I can't really talk about right now. But 2011's gonna be a great year for Universal Studios Singapore."