At the leisure island resort of Singapore, Sentosa Island, two of its most popular attractions are celebrating grand re-openings this summer, offering new interactive experiences for visitors. The first will be the Merlion, which is the symbol of Singapore and Sentosa’s 37m-tall landmark. The whimsical revisioning of the Merlion story includes an animated theatre show, a lively pre-show, and greater guest interactivity.
Jack Rouse Associates (JRA), an American design and master planning firm, designed and produced the new Merlion experience as part of their project to redevelop several attractions at Sentosa Island.
JRA has been working on the project in conjunction with Los Angeles-based BRC Imagination Arts, which is responsible for revamping Sentosa’s Images of Singapore, Warehouse of the Four Winds, and Celebrations attractions. Those attractions are slated to open next summer. Also opening next summer is a JRA-designed refurbishment of the Merlion plaza area and a new food court and retail store associated with the BRC projects.
"At Sentosa we are always looking at new, fun and interesting ways to surprise and delight our guests. We embarked on a multi-billion dollar, long-term redevelopment plan for the island in 2002, and the current re-opening is a crucial milestone for the resort island," said Darrell Metzger, CEO of Sentosa Leisure Group. "I am delighted that the creative expertise of Jack Rouse Associates and BRC Imagination Arts, two of the international industry's top independent design and production companies, has been helped us make the guest experience at our attractions a memorable event."
A New Merlion for a New Sentosa
The Merlion or "Sea Lion" is the half-lion and half-fish creature of Singaporean legend. It is considered Singapore’s benevolent guardian and is one of the many mysteries of the sea. At Sentosa's Merlion, visitors walk through the 37m-tall structure shaped like the sea lion, to the top of the lion's head for a captivating panoramic view of the island.
The new Merlion experience begins with a pre-show that introduces visitors to sea mysteries from many cultures. Lively and original music follows guests as they pass dioramas depicting mermaids, lake monsters, sea serpents; movie creatures and other deep-dwelling enigmas.
Diorama of Mermaid
The attraction’s main theatre showcases Singapore’s own sea mysteries–the storm that threatened Prince Sang Nila Utama in the 11th century as he traveled to the island he would name "Singapura," or Lion City; and the development of the Merlion as a symbol of welcome and guardian of Singapore’s good fortune. These stories, presented using animation from Hollywood’s ACME Filmworks, are told in a themed space that puts audience members into the heart of the action. Afterward, visitors can participate in an interactive experience, which allows them to see whether they, too, have been touched by the luck of the Merlion.