Children’s dreams come true today as ingenious plastic toys we all know as Legocome to life in the grand opening of Legoland Malaysia in Johor NusaJaya, southwest of Malaysia. It’s the first Legoland in Asia and Malaysia’s first international theme park.
Siegfried Boerst in the Sept 14 Media Launch
September 15, 2012 is a special day as this is the first day of a long weekend holiday in the country as it coincides with Malaysia Day. With a parking space for more than 3,500 cars, Legoland Malaysia is expecting about 15,000 visitors today as early as 9am according to Legoland Malaysia General Manager Siegfried Boerst.
Legoland Malaysia is a full day family theme park that features about 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions spanning 76 acres. This is the sixth Legoland in the world which started 44 years ago in Denmark. Other countries with Legoland are the United Kingdom (1996), California (1999), Germany (2002) and Florida (2011).
Did you know that the whole of Legoland Malaysia contains more than 50 million LEGO bricks and 15,000 Lego models? (Of course this doesn't count the rides because, although some were patterned to look like one, they are not made of actual Lego bricks.)
Life-size Lego Figures
The big park is subdivided into seven themed areas or sections and they are the following:
THE BEGINNING: Surely, you will not miss the entrance to the park with a gigantic and colorful Legoland Malaysia signage greeting all the visitors – children and young-at-hearts alike.
Legoland Malaysia Entrance
This is also where you buy Legoland Malaysia tickets. Upon entering the ticket gates, you will be immediately enticed to shop for Lego toys and merchandises from The Big Shop, The Brick Shop, and LEGO pick-n-mix. But of course, you don’t give in just yet unless you want to be carrying around baggage that early.
Souvenir Shops - The Big Shop
MINILAND: This is the highlight of every Legoland Park. Here, you will find Asia’s famous cities and significant landmarks recreated in miniature sizes and made of LEGO bricks onangko a scale of 1:20 which consumed more than 3/5 of all the Lego bricks used in the entire park.
China Lego Recreation
Thailand's Wat Arun
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
And what do you know, the Philippines has it’s own Legolandminiland section made entirely of Lego bricks and toys where the the provincial town of Bolinao is featured complete with jeepneys, tricycles, a barangay hall, and a church. This is something to anticipate in our next week’s Legoland Malaysia feature.
Sago in Bolinao Philippines
IMAGINATION: For me, this is the core unique feature of the park different from other themed parks in Asia such as Universal Studios Singapore, Lotte World in South Korea, and HongKong Disneyland.
Build and Test Center
Imagination is a special place where children’s creativity rules. Inventions and innovations come to life in Lego bricks at the Build and Test Centre where they can build their own Lego creations using an almost unlimited set of Lego bricks and parts. They can even make use of an electronic race track with their wheeled machines.
Moreover, kids can enjoy the community in DUPLO Playtown, a 4D movie at Legos Studios, the DUPLO Express, the manually operated and fun Kid’s Power Tower, and Observation Tower.
LEGO TECHNIC: These section characterizes the high-tech world of rides and interactivity.
High speed rides for the brave are featured here with the switchback track Project X as the Park’s fastest ride while the Aquazone Wave Racers offers a thrilling surf experience.
The most interesting part for me is the Lego workshops for the young where budding robot designers can build the future at Lego Mindstorms that already incorporates programming Lego robots through hands-on computer short classes – isn’t that something! Other attractions include Technic Twister and Lego Academy for the really young ones.
Lego Technic Rides
LEGO KINGDOM: If your child loves magical fantasy and castles, The Dragon and The Dragon’s Apprentice offer guests a roller coaster ride on a dragon’s back. Although I haven’t tried The Dragon, I think this ride is more suitable for older children. The younger children can take The Dragon’s Apprentice which I think is a tamer version of The Dragon.
The Dragon Apprentice
Moreover, they can explore the treetop playground in The Forestman’s Hideout. The shows at the Castle Stage take the audience back to the age of damsels and dragons. Other attractions include the Merlin’s Challenge and the Royal Joust. You may shop as well for souvenirs at The King’s Market.
Kids' Easy Ride
Dragon Apprentice Ride
LAND OF ADVENTURE: Pharaohs and dinosaurs dominate this area. Go on a canoe trip to where Lego dinosaurs still roam at the Dino Island.
Land of Adventure
Hunt for hidden treasure in Lost Kingdom using laser-blasters for the active kids while younger children can create their own play-adventures in the Pharaoh’s Revenge play area. Other attractions available are the ‘bouncey‘ Beetle Bounce. Be reminded to shop again at The Adventure Depot.
Lost Kingdom Adventure
LEGO CITY : Children take the controls in this more interactive setup as captain-wannabees take the wheels in battery powered boats at the Boating School.
Other interesting activities include a Driving School that allows kids to steer their own cars on a true-to-life traffic circuit and the Rescue Academy where families can race each other to put out a ‘fire‘. These are still in the last phase of construction, however.
Other ongoing attractions in the Lego City are the Lego City Airport, Legoland Express, and The Shipyard.
Legoland Theme Park
Legoland Malaysia Ticket Prices
Guests can choose between a Day Ticket(one day single entry) or a Legoland Annual Pass which is valid for 12 months (unlimited visits during normal operating hours).
There are 3 restaurants, 4 food stands and 11 food carts within the park with ‘The Market Restaurant‘ at ‘The Beginning‘ as the largest.
Taj Mahal Lego Scale Model (1:20)
How To Go To Legoland Malaysia
We went to Kuala Lumpur via Cebu Pacific and made a 4-hrs bus ride to Johor Bahru where Legoland Malaysia is. Another option would be through Singapore which is about half an hour by car.
Dragons Said: Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Route
The park’s development is made possible through the partnership between Themed Attractions and Resorts (TAR), Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) and Merlin Entertainments Group. As the long-term plans for Iskandar Malaysia comes into fruition, the people of Malaysia should continue to expect more changes and developements even beyond Legoland in Johor Bahru.
Legoland Water Park is scheduled to open in early 2013 while Legoland Hotel will launch in 2014.
Petronas Towers Lego Model
Asian culture place high value in family relationships and togetherness. So it actually occurred to me as a surprise that such a child-friendly and family-oriented theme park has reached Asia only now. Nonetheless, all is good news as Legoland Malaysia opens today.
Congratulations to Malaysia in being the first to bring Legoland to Asia and strategically locating it in Johor Bahru as part of its long-term development plan for the zones and areas. For more information about Legoland Malaysia, check out www.LEGOLAND.my. Don’t forget your park map! Let’s Go Legoland Malaysia!