With 40 interactive rides and family activities, Legoland Malaysia is a day of fun for Hanna Hussein
WHEN I was small, I loved building small houses and creating my own imaginary town. Nothing could quite consume my time and attention than playing with Lego bricks — those colourful plastic pieces that fit together in so many ways. We can build anything with them — castles, cars, spaceships, and more.
It never occurred to me then that we could build an entire “human-sized” city from Lego bricks.
So when I set foot in Malaysia’s Legoland, I go, “Wow!” The playland brings back memories of my childhood, and it makes me feel like a child all over again.
Located in Nusajaya, Johor, Legoland Malaysia is the sixth in the world and the first in Asia. It opens its doors to the public this Saturday.
It’s packed with heart-pumping excitement featuring seven themed areas with more than 40 interactive rides so you can push, pull, pedal, climb and even fly through a full day of non-stop fun.
Every journey has its beginning and in Legoland, the adventure begins at the iconic archway, the first thing you see at the park and a must-snap-spot.
Go in and you’ll see The Big Shop with its large selection of Lego toys and souvenirs — key chain, magnets, mugs, cute Lego containers — you name it, everything’s here.
I must warn you, the shop will entice you and your children! My advice: Don’t buy your toys at the beginning of your adventure at the park, or you’ll have to drag them around all day.
Beside the Big Shop are Mini Market, The Brick Shop and The Brick Shop Photo, all promising a fun shopping adventure.
For your convenience, there are lockers and baby strollers for rent.
Here’s where you kick off Project-X, an adrenaline-pumping roller coaster ride.
Screams can be heard from afar and looking at the 45-degree track, I know instantly that this can be scary especially for a newbie like me. But after enduring the five minutes of suspense and thrills, all I want to do is scream for more.
It’s a ride that’s worth queuing for.
To cool down after the ride, try out the Aquazone Wave Racers where you can power-ski over water and get ready to get shot at by a water splasher.
Don’t forget to spin as fast as you can until you get weak in the knees at the Technic Twister. This manual speed control via hand-wheel machine will make you feel tipsy to the core.
Who said Lego is all about playing and no learning? Legoland also offers educational programmes for children through its hands-on activities. Send your children to the Lego Academy as well as Lego Mindstorms where they can undergo a tutorial and learn to build a programmable Lego toy.
This centrepiece of Legoland is where you can see landmarks from 17 cities in the region including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, China, India, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.
See landmarks such as India’s Taj Mahal, Singapore’s Merlion as well as Malaysia’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers standing almost 10m-tall in detailed miniature.
More than 30 million Lego bricks are used to create Mini Land, and the best thing is that the small city is animated, so you can bring the models to life at the touch of a button.
Legoland photographers are scattered around Mini Land. They can shoot a photo of you in a picturesque scene of your choice, and you can get it printed at the The Brick Shop Photo at The Beginning area for a reasonable price.
Children take control here. Why? Well, this is the only place that offers a driving licence to children aged 3-12.
The city’s Junior Driving School as well as Driving School teach children to understand traffic rules and drive.
If your child passes the driving test, he moves on to learn to steer a boat at the Boating School. Here, let your child be the captain while you are the passenger.
At City Airport, your child learns to control and fly an airplane.
Your Lego City tour will not be complete without hopping onto the life-sized Lego Train at Legoland Express where you can see the park from every angle.
There are also fun family activities. For instance, at the Rescue Academy, family members can race against each other on the fire brigade to put out fire or on the police mobile unit to stop robbers from getting away.
Land of Adventure
Land Of Adventure opens in Legoland next year. It’ll be a place to discover the worlds of pharaohs and dinosaurs.
You’ll also get yourself wet, wet, wet at Dino Island where you can slide from the peak of a volcano. Watch out for dinosaurs along the way. The ride will make you feel like you are a character in the movie, Jurassic Park.
Be a hero at the Lost Kingdom, a laser-blasting hunt for lost treasure. Enjoy a bounce up and down on the giant Beetle Bounce.
Head for Imagination where creativity knows no boundaries. As soon as you enter this section, you’ll be amazed by the gigantic giraffe Lego structures in front of the Baby Care centre.
There’s also a Build And Test centre where inventors of all ages can bring their imaginations to life and test whether their creations can really work at the slope test lane.
Next, catch a 4-D movie at Lego Studios. Despite the long queue, the 15-minute movie is very entertaining and feels very real indeed as it incorporates 3-D effects with the added effect of wind, snow and water.
The Kid Power Tower is the place to prove your strength. You’ll need to pull yourself up and get a great view from the top. But get ready to end up with red, sore palms.
The best section of Legoland for me is Lego Kingdom. Not just because I fancy big castles and princesses, but I also love the thrilling roller coaster ride and The Dragon ride.
The Dragon ride has me baffled at first because it goes through the scenes of the Middle Ages first. It starts to twist and turn wildly at mind-numbing speed only when it moves out of a cave.
At the end of the ride, my hands shake uncontrollably.
The ride is not for those with heart problems and high-blood pressure or pregnant mothers.
If you are afraid of The Dragon, you can try out the Dragon’s Apprentice, a roller coaster for younger ones.
There are also other rides such as the Royal Joust and the Merlin’s Challenge which you must try before you leave.
Medini, Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia. Tel: 07-597 8888. Fax: 07-597 8804. Website: www.legoland.com.my
This is subject to change without prior notice, as it depends on events taking place at the park. Some days, it may close at a stretch but generally, the park is open from 10am to 6pm or 10am to 8pm. It’s best to call ahead.
How to get there:
Nusajaya is about four hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Highway. Take the Tuas/Nusajaya/Pontian/Tanjung Pelepas Exit 253 and proceed to Nusajaya Exit 312. From there, Legoland signage will lead to the park.
• One-day ticket: RM140 (adult) and RM110 (child).
• Annual pass (unlimited entry for 12 months): RM275 (adult) and RM210 (child). For latest promotions, go to the Legoland website.
Many hotels and resorts in Johor also offer room packages with passes to Legoland, including Pulai Springs Resort (see story on page 14).
Tempt your tastebuds
HAVING fed your imagination, treat yourself to an extensive selection of meals at Legoland restaurants
1. The Cafe
Love pastries, buns and breads? Indulge in freshly-made European meals and sandwiches at The Cafe located at The Beginning.
2. Robot Kitchen
Located at Lego Technic, this offers Asian delights including curry puffs, pratha wraps, steamed pau and keropok lekor.
3. Market Restaurant
Try its signature roast chicken or fried black pepper udon.
4. Snack Bar
Those with a sweet tooth will love the ice-cream, pastries, popcorn and smoothies here.
5. Jungle Cafe
Up for burgers and hot dogs? Go to the Jungle Cafe at the Land Of Adventure.
6. Pizza Mania
Located at The Imagination, this offers Italian delights such as pizzas, pastas, salads and desserts.
7. Knight’s Feast
If grilled food is your thing, Knight’s Feast should be your choice. Enjoy grilled burgers, hot dogs, sausages, chicken, fish, satay and more here.