Blog, Travel

Prudential Marina Bay Carnival, Singapore

Dates: 15 Dec 2017 – 1 Apr 2018
Opening hours: 4 pm – 11 pm

IMG_20180103_184300My cousins told me they wanted to go to this carnival and I agreed to come along because who doesn’t like carnivals? What could go wrong at a carnival? How was this not the best way to spend my time in Singapore? Why did I think it was a good idea to start the article by bombarding you with all these questions?

Anyways, you can probably tell where this is going. The super critical and not-so-easy-going part of me is coming out, so brace yourselves. Before I get to the review itself, let me just get a few details out of the way first (and maybe even point out some good things). This carnival, sponsored by Prudential, was situated at the Bayfront Event Space at Marina Bay Sands. It was certainly not difficult to find and ample parking space was available. We went on a weekday so the crowd wasn’t too crazy, the rides did not have long queues, and we had no trouble moving about. I do have to admit one thing: as we strolled around taking photos, I saw many people holding toys/prizes they won from the games. So it wasn’t one of those ‘rigged’ carnivals where barely anyone wins anything. But still…

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There were 3 main issues I had with the carnival:

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1. Pricing/ Ticketing

Initially it seems attractive because at the entrance it says ‘Free Admission’. So of course we were glad for that, because if we paid entry fees but didn’t actually like any of the games – that would be a complete waste. HOWEVER, what we didn’t realise in the beginning was how sneaky this ‘credits’ system was.

The games were up to SGD 8, and the rides were up to SGD 10. So let’s do the maths here. If a person goes to a carnival, they would want to at least do 3 rides and play 3 games, to feel satisfied with their visit and get the amount of exhilaration they were expecting. So how much could that be? Up to SGD 54! That is insane. I have to admit some of the rides did look very tempting, but was it worth it?

IMG_20180103_184156I went in a group of six, we used SGD 100 and got 100 credits. Guess how long that lasted? 1 roller coaster and a couple of games (bonus disappointment was that none of us won anything – but that’s on us and our lack of coordination skills). We prioritized going on the Euro Coaster because that looked the best and all of us were eager to try it out. It turned out to be 10 credits (SGD 10) – so there went 60 dollars, on this 2 minute roller coaster.

So even though we wanted to go on more rides, we just did not feel like it was worth spending all that money on. Normally carnivals are fun for families with kids, but to me this seems like a bad idea. Imagine if you had 3 kids – how much money would be needed for all of them to enjoy themselves here?

2. Food

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The food available was over-priced (surprise surprise). But our bigger complaint was that there was no variety. We got some beef chili cheese fries and sausages – the taste of both was similar to those instant foods, nothing much to it. If you’ve heard about the controversy regarding the Singapore Ramadan Bazaar, this reminded me of that. There was a lot of this random over-the-top ‘hipster’ food: rainbow burger, unicorn drinks and what not. But what about the local touch? There are so many varieties of Chinese, Indian, Malay or other more diverse food/snacks they could have included. But there was such a lack of the Singaporean vibe that it all felt very fake and unsatisfying.

3. Set-up

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One of my cousins actually called the set up ugly. I don’t know if I would go that far, but I do see the point. If we don’t want to spend so much money on the activities, you would think that at least we can roam around and get some of those insta-worthy shots. Nope. It was tricky to even get a few photos for this blog. There seemed to be unnecessary barriers everywhere, covering all the photo-friendly spots. For safety, some rides do need to have these, but these fences/barriers were literally everywhere.

I would not recommend this place to be honest, but if you are really curious and actually don’t mind all the things I mentioned above, go ahead! Who knows, maybe I’m just picky.

If you’re interested, check out the following links for more information:

 

 

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