SINGAPORE: It's that time of the year where you spot random people toting giant plush toys on the MRT.
That's right, the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is back in town, offering more than the chance to win an over-sized toy unicorn, a rainbow lion or a pug with doe eyes.
The carnival - touted as Singapore's biggest - opened its doors to the public on Saturday (Dec 22) with 22 rides, three of them new. Notably, prices for most rides have been lowered this year, with the exception of that for the Mach 5 which is priced at 14 tokens.
And if you’re worried about long lines, here's a quick cheat sheet on what's worth the wait.
1. Freak Out/Spring Break
A new addition to the carnival, this ride starts off easy, but at full throttle, it’s a heart-stopping thrill. Not knowing which or what way you’ll be spinning, while plunging down face-forward definitely adds to the exhilaration.
Just remember to keep your game face on at all times – the ride's seating arrangement allows full view of your fellow riders and their scream faces.
2. Wave Swinger
This new ride is as family friendly as they come. It was flown in from Italy for the first time to Southeast Asia and features mural panels of iconic Singapore landmarks such as Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.
But be warned, it quickens to an exciting spin after a couple of slow and steady beginning rounds. Perfect reason for dating couples to cling on to each other.
3. Jumper Jumper
An experience that would make 90s hip-hop duo Kris Kross so proud, this turned out to be the most unexpected ride of the lot.
Incredibly harmless to start before descending into a series of stomach-churning twists, turns and giant hops. Imagine jumping and spinning around on an office chair.
4. The Star Flyer
No visit to the carnival is complete without an Insta-friendly shot of the neon-lit Star Flyer which rises almost poetically amongst the steely backdrop of CBD buildings. It moves at a slower pace than the Wave Swinger.
5. Mach 5
Still the most expensive ride in the carnival at 14 tokens, but definitely worth going on for a stomach-dropping spin. Hop on the impressive 55m-tall monster mechanical arm for a great view of Singapore at its peak, before plunging down at 130 kmh and finishing off with 360-degree flips.
Pro-tip: Don’t gorge at the food stands before you get on.
6. S$3 million worth of carnival prizes
Tossing a ring on a bottle, flinging a hoop over a Carebear or knocking a trio of milk jugs down with a ball – it all sounds easy but let's just say the games look deceptively simple.
They actually require some strategy, skill and a whole lot of luck. If you do manage to score a giant unicorn or banana plushie, a Yoda doll or a sequinned doughnut – remember to hoist it on your shoulders so everyone knows you're a champion.
There's also a grand lucky draw with a S$10,000 prize.
7. Food, glorious food
The food on offer isn't your usual carnival fare of hot dogs, candy floss and popcorn. You can get a bucket of meatballs (chicken or beef) from Sofnade heaped on twister fries and potato mash topped with cheese sauce and cranberry (S$12) or a bucket of milk tea or lemonade (S$7).
There's also an assortment of churros flavours – ondeh ondeh, Oreo, chilli crab, salted egg from Loco Loco (S$6 a cup).
For those who need a bigger carb-hit, SingaIndo serves up various Indomie dishes including Aburi shrimp mentaiko, a super-spicy sambal gila, Thai basil and cheesy cheese.
The carnival will be open from 4pm to 11pm daily save Jan 18, Jan 24 and Feb 15, 2019 and runs all the way till Mar 24. It is just a stone's throw away from Bayfront MRT station.