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Spaghetti Space Chase

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Spaghetti Space Chase is a ride at Universal Studios Singapore that opened on March 1, 2013. [1] The attraction, which operates in the park's New York zone, is a steel suspended dark ride combining animatronic figures, video footage, light and fog effects.

Synopsis

The evil Macaroni the Merciless has swiped all of the spaghetti on Earth, with Sesame Street being his latest target. Elmo and Super Grover 2.0 are called on to retrieve the spaghetti.

Gallery

The show

Characters

Abby Cadabby, Anderson Cucumber, Anything Muppet, Baby Bear, Bats, Bert, Big Bird, Chickens, Cookie Monster, The Count, Elmo, Ernie, Grover/Super Grover 2.0, Little Bird, Macaroni the Merciless, The Martians, Murray Monster, Narf, Octopus, Oscar the Grouch, Rosita, Snuffy, Telly Monster, Tiger, Zester and Shredder, Zoe

Development

Sesame Street at Universal Studios Singapore - Breaking News 06.1001:28

Sesame Street at Universal Studios Singapore - Breaking News 06.10.2012

First teaser, released October 2012

Since its earliest development stages, Universal Studios Singapore wanted to include Sesame Street in their park, but the option was set aside in favor of attractions with more marketing power, according to USS executive designer Kevin Barbee. [2] Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic (the original English version) was on the park's list of proposed attractions, only to be rejected later on. [3]

In 2008, work began on the attraction that would become Spaghetti Space Chase. However, the project was originally going to be a new version of E.T. Adventure. This concept was abandoned. Barbee explained: "The decision was made to do something more current instead. ET is very beloved but we have to stay up-to-date - there haven't been any new ET movies produced recently". [4]

Rumors of a Sesame Street / Elmo-themed dark ride being developed for Universal Studios Singapore first appeared on theme park insider Screamscape's website on February 1, 2012. [5] On May 24, as part of their newly formed partnership with Sesame Workshop, USS announced that it would open a new Sesame Street ride by the end of 2012. Andrea Teo, vice-president of Entertainment at Resorts World Sentosa, said of the upcoming attraction during the press conference on that day: "I think it's a very unique ride. It's got the same Sesame Streetkind of humour, it's a bit wacky, it's a bit way-out-there, it'll make you laugh and because it's a ride, it also gives you a bit of a thrill (and) adventure." [6]

The entrance to the Universal Theater building, originally intended for the announced but unfinished Stage 28 attraction, had a Sesame Street-themed facade that appeared as early as May 28. At the entrance were two sci-fi movie parody posters, suggesting that the new attraction would have an outer-space related plot. In August, the building was covered by a giant illustrated construction wall giving several clues to the upcoming ride's plot. In October, the new entrance and marquee were completed, and the attraction's title was revealed. Also in October, USS released its first teaser video for the attraction featuring Resorts World Sentosa spokesperson Robin Goh as a news anchor who reports of the strange disappearance of spaghetti around the world. The video also included the first (illustrated) images of the villain Macaroni the Merciless and his henchmen Zester and Shredder. Though the ride was originally slated to open by the end of 2012, it was pushed back to early 2013. On February 16, 2013, USS Annual Pass members were given a special preview of the ride. On February 18, RWS announced that the ride would officially open on March 1.

According to Kevin Barbee, spaghetti was chosen as the main concept because it relates to the Italian-American culture (mainly food) in New York City, where Sesame Street is set, but added that it "also related well with Asian culture, as spaghetti is a type of noodle" [7]

The script was written by Joey MazzarinoKip Rathke served as creative director for the ride's characters as well as for graphics and merchandise. 

Social media campaign

Contest big

On February 16, 2012, Resorts World Sentosa began posting teaser photos for the ride on their Facebook page. From February 18-25, RWS held a picture contest for Instagram users entitled Operations Spaghetti (#OpsSpag), in which users must come up with different ways to "protect" their pasta from Macaroni the Merciless - either by hiding it, using a disguise or camouflage). The winner(s) would be the very first "Super Sidekicks" on the ride's opening date. [8]

Grand opening ceremony

Universal Studios Singapore celebrated the ride's launch with a grand opening ceremony. Attending the event were John Hallenbeck, Vice President of Park Operations at Universal Studios Singapore and Peter van Roden, Vice President of Themed Entertainment at Sesame Workshop. The ceremony included a performance of "Another Sunny Day" and a ceremonial "spaghetti-cutting" (instead of the traditional ribbon) which is briefly interrupted by Super Grover 2.0 who accidentally crash lands onto the roof of Mel's Diner. He runs down to join the others, emerging out of the ride's entrance as van Roden and Hallenbeck proceed to cut the spaghetti.

The opening ceremony marked the first new vocal performance of Elmo after Kevin Clash's departure from Sesame Workshop in late 2012. Peter Linz provided the voice of Elmo for the non-musical portions.

Notes

  • The Fix-It Shop, which had been replaced by the laundromat in season 39 of Sesame Street, appears again in the street set portion of the ride.
  • This is one of Jerry Nelson's last performances as The Count. Nelson also voices the SSNN announcer.
  • Though Super Grover 2.0 appears, here he is referred to as Super Grover.

Performers

Sources

  1. "[1]", Resorts World Sentosa blog, February 18, 2013.
  2. "Bringing Sesame Street to Singapore", The Star June 2, 2012.
  3. "Universal Studios Singapore: What we got VS what we could have gotten", Ussingaporeblogspot.com November 13, 2009.
  4. "Pasta thief on the loose",AsiaOne February 24, 2013.
  5. "Screamscape.com - Universal Studios Singapore", Screamscape. February 17, 2012.
  6. "Sesame Street ride to open at Universal Studios S'pore", MSN Singapore. May 24, 2012.
  7. "New Sesame Street ride at Universal Studios Singapore", Yahoo Singapore. February 18, 2013.
  8. "[2]", [CHALLENGE] Pit your wits against Macaroni the Merciless in #OpsSpag!, February 18, 2013.
  9. "Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase - Grand Opening & Carnival at New York", Dejiki.com. March 1, 2013.

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