I’ve “flown” on the Singapore Flyer a couple of times, both day and night. The experience by day and that by night is different. If you want to see both day and night, you could go on two rides, and hence pay double for the two rides. Or, you could time perfectly your single ride so that you see both day and night on that same ride.
The trick is to figure out when sunset happens on the evening of your ride. One complete revolution of the flyer is approximately 35 minutes. Time your actual boarding of the capsule so that sunset happens shortly before you reach the maximum height of the ride. You don’t need sunset to happen at maximum height to get the “half-half” experience, because that high up in the sky, you’d actually still be seeing more of the sun.
Of course, there’s a little compromise. You’ll see day on the way up, looking toward the east side of Singapore. Then you’ll get the night experience on the way down, looking toward new Marina Bay Financial Centre and the western side of Singapore.
On this ride, sunset was at 19:07. I boarded the capsule at 18:54, and disembarked at 19:28. Maximum height was reached at about 19:11.
So here’s 18:54, just prior to boarding the capsule:
This is about midway on the ascent, at 19:02:
Then, the next photo is one minute past the official sunset. It’s still quite bright, even though the sun isn’t quite there anymore.
Here we are at almost maximum height, just prior to 19:11. Yes, you can see the dinner capsule ahead of us. It’s not occupied yet. The diners boarded the capsule in the next revolution. Dinner, in case you’re wondering, costs $142.48 (online booking, for normal non-festive occasions), and you get to ride two revolutions, which is approximately one hour.
Then, about a quarter way down at 19:19, we are beginning to see sky darkening, the skyline of the Central Business District in the background lighting up, as well as the lights from the ArtScience Museum, the Helix Bridge and Marina Bay in the middle.
Finally, a few minutes later, at almost 19:23, we see a darkened version of the previous photo shot. The Benjamin Sheares bridge takes up a bit of the foreground in this shot angle.
You can choose to board a little later if you prefer a darker night view.
Just remember to give a little time to go through the Journey of Dreams tour (exhibit display) before the flight, and maybe about 10 minutes, depending on the number of people in the queue, before the actual boarding of the capsule.
So for example, if you want to be in the capsule at 18:54, then be in final boarding queue by 18:44. This is after the photo-taking, which is after the Journey of Dreams tour. Give yourself maybe 20 minutes for that tour, so you should be at the ticket gate at 18:24 or so.
Incidentally, it’s nice to have the west side going down because, well, the city skyline looks nicer in the night. The flyer wasn’t rotating this way originally when it was first opened. In July 2008, the rotation was changed to what it is today, which basically has the wheel turning toward the financial district. It’s good for feng shui.