Free entry a hit at attractions over Jubilee weekend

A Marina Bay Sands volunteer distributing bottled water to people lining up to visit the ArtScience Museum which offered free admission to its three exhibitions over the Golden Jubilee weekend.
A Marina Bay Sands volunteer distributing bottled water to people lining up to visit the ArtScience Museum which offered free admission to its three exhibitions over the Golden Jubilee weekend.PHOTO: MARINA BAY SANDS

Singaporeans got into the SG50 spirit over the Golden Jubilee weekend by waiting patiently in line for hours to enjoy free admission to some attractions.

The queue never let up at attractions offering free entry such as the ArtScience Museum and the cable car to Sentosa.

Free round-trip cable-car rides were offered to Singaporeans and permanent residents on Monday, and the wait time at HarbourFront Station reached an estimated 10 hours by 1pm, according to Mount Faber Leisure Group, which operates Singapore Cable Car.

It had doubled its staff strength in anticipation of the large crowds, and saw an average of 2,500 riders per hour in each direction on both the Mount Faber and Sentosa lines.

Patient riders queued between four and five hours on average.

Over at Science Centre Singapore, 80,000 people took advantage of its free admission for citizens over the long weekend.

A centre spokesman said tickets to many of its attractions were fully distributed by morning, and queueing time ranged from half an hour to three hours.

More than 26,000 people stood in line also for an average of two to three hours between Friday and Sunday for free admission to the three exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum.

Organisers of the free events took to social media to provide updates on wait times and queue closures.

The Marina Bay Sands museum attracted such a large turnout that it had to close the queue at around 3.30pm on all three days, despite its stated last admission of 6pm.

While there were complaints on Facebook and Twitter about the long wait times, and requests to extend the free entry period, others took the waiting in stride.

Ms Chee-Yan Kan, who waited 30 minutes to board a cable car at the Merlion station, said she and her family enjoyed the free ride.

And Ms Hannah Fong, who queued for about an hour on Friday morning, thanked the ArtScience Museum for the free entry: "This visit to The Deep was really amazing; we got to see a rare collection of deep sea animals. My dad enjoyed The Deep and the Singapore STories exhibitions."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Free entry a hit at attractions over Jubilee weekend'. Print Edition | Subscribe