Saturday, 2 November 2013

Complaint: Sentosa Spooktacular 2013

Well, I can't even fathom how infuriated I am right now at the time of typing this entry; but I just hope to voice out my opinions after attending the event.
(Credits to my boyfriend for helping me to carry my bags and taking the photos while I was in costume. Most of the below featured photographs were taken by him.)

In fact, it is heart-wrenching for me to be posting this as I am just an ordinary Halloween fanatic just like anyone else who deserves to have a well-spent one with loved ones ; and I had been looking forward to writing how much fun I've had.

Unfortunately, reality is just not the case but a far cry from my expected version of Halloween. Don't get me wrong - I am not a tough customer, but just one who simply wants to enjoy the event for the price I paid.

Just as some of you are aware, I was so, so looking forward to what was supposed to be one of the grand Halloween events in Singapore - Sentosa Spooktacular

After hearing about how highly raved it was from previous years, I decided to purchase the tickets for my boyfriend and myself despite feeling the pinch of how much I've paid. (Fancy that - It was NOT cheap at all even though I got them through a deal website for $66.60 with a few perks.)

In fact, I had been wanting to go for Spooktacular since it was held during previous years; but the price ALWAYS never failed to stop me in my tracks - and it took me a great deal of hesitation before I finally decided to go for it this year.

Of course, with that amount of hefty price paid - I was really expecting an awesome and one of the most memorable Halloween ever spent. I pinned my hopes way too high.

However, it was one of the worst turnouts for me - beyond ridiculous waiting time, illogical time frame of walking the haunted trails and the treatment of having to be classified as "low class" just because the tickets I purchased were just NORMAL passes instead of EXPRESS ones. (People who can afford the express passes will be given priority)

It was so apparent that money is still the bottom-line above all. 
Simply put; if one cannot afford the express passes (which will require a top up of around $26?) ; then one shall suffer the fate of having to go through the long waiting time just for a trail that lasted less than 15 or 20 minutes; whereas those with express passes will be able to smile happily and complete the 5 haunted trails.

The main reason WHY I am so infuriated was because we were only able to complete ONE freaking trail out of the FIVE that we were supposed to enjoy for the price that were paid. It's not even justifiable as we were not even late when we got there; but somehow wasted majority of our time on queuing up.

In other words, we spent money to QUEUE and waste our time - Just because OUR tickets were NORMAL passes.

Don't get me wrong - I am fine with queuing; but the waiting time can make even the most tolerant person flare up.

 Let me recount how I spent my Halloween at Sentosa Spooktacular:

- We reached Beach Station at 7pm. (Spooktacular was supposed to start at 7pm and end at 11pm)

-We had to wait for the tram that would be sending us straight to the venue at Fort Siloso (We had no other option as it was our first time there and thought it was good that there was transport to the destination). However, the tram queuing part was quite bad as well; and we had to spend quite some time waiting for it.

-I believe it was nearly 8pm when the tram dropped us off where Spooktacular was held - BUT alas; there was still a long walking distance away from the ACTUAL destination. So we had to spend more than 10 minutes walking through the pathways that led us there, etc.

- We were made to wait again and watched scary videos on a large screen at the entrance before the curtains were opened for us. (Note: Time was wasted on the waiting part before the video was shown)

-When we FINALLY got in, there were wandering scare actors; which I thought was kinda cool as I loved the atmosphere. We took some photographs together before proceeding to the queue for the haunted trails. As there were 5 trails available, we had to choose one randomly (since we thought we would be going for the rest eventually anyway). However, we were completely appalled when it was stated that the queue was around 60 minutes long PER trail. In reality, it took MORE than that. (And can you imagine they only allow small batches to enter at one time? This added on to the insanity of queuing as we felt as though the queue was taking forever. Is this right that we should feel like this for the amount of price we paid?)

-After so much impatience and helplessness, we finally got our turn (like FINALLY!!). Right, the haunted trail was quite good and the scare actors were very professional - there is no denial about that. The whole trail lasted for around 15-20 minutes.

And... That was it. 

Yes.. Just like that.

There was no chance for us to queue up for any other trail anymore. The queues for the rest of the trails were INSANELY long - so ridiculous that I felt it was impossible for us to complete even the slightest 2nd trail. I believe the event staff were busy filtering between those with express passes and normal ones ; as those with express ones would be given priority to enter. We were asked what type of passes we had - and could only helplessly reply they were the normal ones. The staff took a look at the queue, and gave us an embarrassed smile. It was apparent that it was impossible for us anymore should we want to catch the last train back home.

Can you imagine how sucky I felt at that very point of time? For the $66.60 paid PER person, I actually felt cheated. In fact, I can safely say that I spent $66.60 just to take photographs with the scare actors; queuing up for ONE of the FIVE haunted trails.... and that was it.

Let me breakdown the time frame and you will understand why I mentioned it's illogical:

Sentosa Spooktacular event: 7pm to 11pm (4 hours)
There are 5 haunted trails in total. 1 trail requires around 1+ hour of waiting time for normal passes. (There were people who experienced up to 90 mins of waiting time!)

5 haunted trails = 5 x 1 hr+ = Approx. 6 hours
And the approx 6 hours are SOLELY the time spent on waiting and EXCLUSIVE of the amount of time spent on walking the haunted trails.

So how..? Technically speaking, one will need around 7- 8 hours to complete everything; whereas the event is only 4 hours. Even with extended hours, I doubt they are enough!

So can I safely assume that this event is only catered for people who can afford express passes?

Normal passes were treated as the lowest class of the lot; and I believe it is one of their gimmicks to get people to "upgrade" to express ones so they could earn more. Well, Sentosa Spooktacular - If this is one of your ways to scare off those with normal passes using the "wasting-time" method, then I shall tell you that you have succeeded.

You have successfully scared my friends and I, YOUR first-time customers into not returning anymore. I know that you could make do with not earning our money since there are still so many people out there who were willing to PAY for express passes and get to enjoy what they wanted; but I just hope to voice out my displeasure and opinions on what I think of the event as a normal pass holder.

To cut the long story short, if YOU do not have the capability and ability to cater to the amount of people, then there is no point in pushing your ticket sales because there are bound to be very unhappy customers like me who felt underprivileged to go through this undeserving experience.

It beats me why there were even express and normal passes in the first place; it's just like encouraging people to invest in the express ones for the ultimate experience and normal ones are just for people who couldn't afford it and yet trying their luck to get the most out of it.

Even if this is not their intention; but this is exactly what and how I feel like as a customer.

I thought that it would be better if Sentosa Spooktacular only charges for what we go for. In other words, to charge per entry to one haunted trail instead of making customers pay full price and yet had us give up the rest of the trails due to the insanely-long queue which we have no control of. I understand that we are at the losing end no matter what- but still; it's just a simple welfare and spare of thought for people like me. At least, I will be contented with only paying what I go for.

Nonetheless, I shall post the few photographs that were taken at the event - Now the only thing we can do is to make ourselves look like we are soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying the event when we are apparently not...

With my love:

Ending this entry with a bear I bought at the event; the only thing that I thought was cute:

I am not posting this with any means of "spoiling" Sentosa Spooktacular's reputation or anything for that matter; but I am just expressing how unjustifiable I felt the whole event was for me. So much for a Halloween!

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