I STOOD in the queue, patiently inching my way through the crowd to the ticket window.
Even though it was a private event for media members, I saw people trickling in after 10am, joining the throng in front of the ticket windows.
Several young women in the queue behind me were curious about the park brochure in my hand, and asked to borrow it for a peek before they entered the spanking new Legoland Malaysia, the much-anticipated family theme park in Nusajaya.
As they pored over it, I couldn't help but overhear their discussion in planning on how they should start exploring the park in an anti-clockwise direction so that they can dry off from the probably-will-get-wet-rides before they reach the next attraction.
I politely interrupted, informing them that there are dryers provided for a small fee. They seemed rather impressed by my knowledge of the park, I must say.
By this time, they also spotted my Press tag that I held ready for presentation at the ticket window because identification was required to get my admission ticket.
This started us on a friendly chit-chat about the media visit to Legoland Malaysia and its public opening scheduled tomorrow.
The women were from Starhub Media, Singapore.
Among the sea of people waiting at the park entrance, I spied photographers armed with tripods and cameras, proving that there is much excitement about the first Legoland park in Asia among a host of local and international media representatives.
It struck me that I was standing on this same site on Dec 2, 2009, when I witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony before the start of the park's construction, which was officiated by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
And here I am again to see the park open and ready to welcome visitors.
Looking back to that sunny day in 2009, I remember picking my way across an expanse of dusty, red earth to join the media group which was seated under several tents pitched on a spot in the 31ha site of Medini North in Iskandar Malaysia.
The event organiser had arranged for Ghani to shift a lever in a hydraulic excavator to tip its bucket filled with thousands of multi-coloured Lego bricks.
The act of tipping a gigantic mound of colourful Lego bricks to the ground with a loud crash signified the start of the construction that would turn a vision into a tangible reality in future.
The souvenir item that I received from the ground-breaking event -- aptly a bagful of Lego bricks -- was given to my young nephew to add to his Lego collection.
I can recall how proud he was to create a double-propeller plane from these bricks.
With the official opening of Legoland Malaysia, a new generation of children is introduced to the world of Lego, while many adults can fondly relive memories of their childhood spent in hours of creative fun playing with Lego bricks.
My reminiscing ended when I reached the ticket window and received my admission ticket. Armed with my ticket, I joined the queue again -- this time to get my ticket scanned before entering the park.
I made a beeline for the guest services counter at "The Beginning" to ask for directions to the Media Centre in the park and was directed to it with instructions to look for it behind "Einstein" in the Lego Technic section.
Before finding the giant portrait of Albert Einstein sculptured in Lego bricks that was situated between Lego Mindstorms and Lego Academy, I was distracted by enthusiastic yells from riders enjoying the Technic Twister and the Aquazone Wave Racer.
While I watched them thrilling in the spinning and splashing of their rides, my attention was suddenly riveted to shrieks above, coming from excited riders on the aerial tracks of Project X, the park's fastest ride.
I finally found my way to the Media Centre, where I met Siegfried Boerst, the park's general manager who was being filmed for a television show.
Boerst is certainly upbeat about the opening of Legoland Malaysia, the sixth Legoland park in the world. The other parks are in Denmark, England, California, Germany and Florida.
While all the rides, restaurants and attractions are open in the park, construction is still in progress on the adjacent Water Park (opening next year) and Legoland Hotel (opening in 2014). It's interesting to learn that the 249 family rooms in the park's hotel are designed in Lego themes for guests to enhance the Lego experience beyond the other attractions in the park.
As I strolled about the park, I saw families with young children, teenagers and young adults having endless fun with interactive experiences in attractions that are designed with the highest international quality standards.
While the park has lovely garden landscaping with a clump of trees, I just wished there were more trees to provide a greater canopy of shade because I was getting burnt under the scorching sun.
But one thing is for sure -- Legoland Malaysia is certainly an attraction Johoreans can be proud of.