I embarked on the ride of my life on Monday. It took place on an island that I had associated more with slow moving vehicles from the first experiences that I had on it. Of course these days, the island is a very different place from the one which for a time, I would visit on Wednesday afternoons, arriving by ferry from Jardine Steps before making my way on foot to what was the canoeing lagoon at the far end of the island. The island now hosts one of the two integrated resorts in Singapore, the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and has Singapore’s new Wonderland (Wonderland was the amusement park to be at when I was growing up in the 1970s), Universal Studios Singapore in which I managed to get an invite to for a preview of the relaunch of the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters, Battlestar Galactica. Having long outgrown my adrenaline craving days during which I even paid a visit to South East Asia’s first looping roller coaster at Siam Park in the outskirts of Bangkok, I would have normally hesitated if I was offered a ride on a roller coaster that takes you some 14 storeys up in the air and gives you a sense of a near miss with another at speeds of up to 90 km/h, but when the opportunity arose, I somehow grabbed at it.
So with a bunch of fellow blog kakis, I found myself staring up at the 14 storey high mess of steel, pretty imposing from the bottom looking up and I started to have second thoughts about it …after all, I’ve had my share of thrills and spills in my youth and maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Somehow though, I got caught up with the excitement that was buzzing around me and I somehow lost that initial apprehension that I had and having left all my loose items behind (including my glasses – my glasses flew off during my first ever upside down roller coaster experience at Siam Park!), I soon found myself walking along with the group up to the first ride, on the Human Coaster, one that was supposedly the less intense of the two – one without any inversions. I had perhaps thought to myself that that wasn’t going to be too bad … after all, it was only going to last for a mere 90 seconds … Seated and locked into a centre seat (phew!) next to the barefoot prominent blogger Dawn Yang, it wasn’t long before we were blasted (the coaster unlike most sets off at high speed) up the rails and after that initial sense of trepidation, I actually found myself enjoying the rush of adrenaline that I got … there were moments when we were literally off our seats, held only by the restraints … and before we knew it … it was over in a flash!
Stepping off and in spite of my legs being a little wobbly, I found myself actually wanting more. That certainly had to be the Cylon Coaster! The Cylon, we were informed would offer us the experience of several inversions: a zero-G roll, a cobra roll, vertical loop, cockscrews and as when we were on the Human Coaster, the Cylon wasn’t running, we would be experiencing one of the features of the rides, a near collision which is said to be mere inches apart. Seated in the Cylon, one is suspended under the rails – and also features a deep pit filled with mist which provides a sensation of a near miss with the ground. It did sound a little scary, but after that first experience, I was actually looking forward to it!
The ride on the Cylon I must say was the ride of my life! I wasn’t at all disappointed – as we were twisted, inverted and thrown along the 975 metre track … an experience that I guess only can be described by the word “Awesome”! Maybe I was too caught up with being whisked around but the near miss sensation seemed more exciting than scary … and at the end of it as the coaster ground to a halt, the 90 seconds seemed a little too short …. and it an experience that I will certainly look forward to reliving on my next visit to Universal Studios Singapore.