Have you ever wondered how it is like to visit Universal Studios Singapore as a visually-impaired person?
Today’s guest blogger, Patricia, is visually impaired and been to USS more than five times. In her post “I Can’t See but I Can Play“, she shares her experience at the amusement park and tips for other visually impaired individuals.
With the post, Patricia hopes to encourage other physically challenged individuals to step out and participate in more activities and attractions. Here’s an edited excerpt of the blog post:
My first trip to USS was in October 2013. At that time, my sighted friend brought my another visually impaired friend and i there. Both of us did not identify ourselves as VIs so we joined the normal queue.
It was fun though while waiting for our turn to go for our rides. So ended up we only took a few rides and watched a few shows. But one of the staff there over at one of the rides, actually noticed my group of people and gave us the express queue. Haha.
Recommended attractions for visually impaired individuals
Transformers The Ride
It’s an in-door ride which you can experience hot air, water and motion. I like this ride is because of the motion that I can experience. Although i can’t really see what is display on the screen in front of me, the motion itself is enough for me to enjoy the ride. I remembered we took twice that day? I’ll never get tired of it. It’s a must for me to ride it whenever I go to USS.
Revenge of the Mummy
It’s also an in-door ride. There are many non-visual special effects and you can even feel the heat from the fire. Do not worry about falling out of your seat etc. Just hold on tightly to the handle in front of you and just shout as loud as you can because, most of the other riders will be shouting as well. Haha..
4 reasons USS is visually-impaired friendly
1. Most rides have alternative entry and exit routes
If you go up the normal or express queue at Revenge of the Mummy, you will know that it involves some steps. However, there is actually another way up using the lift. There are two rides in USS (Canopy Flyer, Revenge of the Mummy) that provides alternative entry by lifts so I do not have to worry about falling on the steps. Even on rides where steps are inevitable (Enchanted Airways), the crew will help to find routes that reduce the number of steps I pass
2. Friendly and helpful staff
Most of the staff here are able to make special arrangements to accommodate someone like me, especially at the loading area. For example, at Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, a team member will hold onto my hand and slowly guide my way out of the ride vehicle which is a big step and at Sesame Street they even stopped the boarding travelator to allow me to get on more easily.
3. Relatively simply park layout
USS has a simple circular layout so it is very simple for someone like me who cannot read the maps. It is not too difficult to find my way around once I have visited a couple of times. Nonetheless, I do hope that they will add a 3D version of the map where VIs can feel them. [Editor’s note: Now a Universal Studios Singapore Braille Map is available.] Maybe something that will announce the attraction name when we press on them. Haha!
4. I get to save queue time
Because most of the barrier free routes follow the express queue, I am entitled to use the Express lane whether I have the Express pass or not. This means that I can ride a lot in a very short time. In fact, in my last visit I took all the major rides in about 3 hours. Find out other ways to save queue time at USS.
Try to persuade a friend to come with you. As a VI can bring up to 1-2 other people in the group to ride with him/her in the alternative entrances, it can be a major persuasive factor for some one who does not like queuing.
Read the complete blog post: “I Can’t See but I Can Play“.
Universal Studios Singapore now has Universal Studios Singapore Braille Map for visually-impaired guests.
You may approach Universal Studios Singapore Guest Services Lobby and speak to the Guest Services Team Members for more information.