By Lloyd Green
THE GATEWAY TO YOUR CHILDHOOD
OKAY, so you’re a parent and your kids want to go to LEGOLAND Malaysia. They’ve been dreaming about this day since….well forever actually. The only ones that need real convincing are you and your wife. Sure, there’s the rides, displays and themed hotel room but what’s in it for you — other than the large hole in your wallet? I mean, you guys are the ones reading all the blogs and reviews and all of them say how much fun your kids are going to have. Yes, I agree that is the main kick for you; to see little Jack and Emily running around having the time of their lives. But you must be asking yourself….’how much fun am I going to have’?
Well, if your childhood days were spent playing pirates, kingdoms and all kinds of LEGO fantasies — yes guys, I’m talking to you; the Gen Y nerds now aged 25 to 35 with a few kids in tow — then this is the theme park for you. In the same way Toy Story 3 was levelled at Gen Y adults that fell in love with the original Woody and Buzz flicks, LEGOLAND Malaysia passes all the tests in sending you down memory lane and on an adult journey where it is still cool to get get excited about a life-size LEGO statue of Chewbacca.
Those moments of nostalgia begin as soon as you step foot in LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort. Whether you are with your kids or a childhood mate, that sensation of being young again is real. There is LEGO everywhere and everything you see is coloured, shaped or moulded to match the all-out LEGO explosion. There are swarms of kids building LEGO in the many ‘brick-pits’ located in the lobby and you can’t help but wander over there and join the fun.
The hotel room is the real surprise. Themed bedrooms may be a thing of the past but not when you’ve got an entire ‘adventure’ or ‘pirate’ mural to stare at each morning. And for the kids, there’s a box of Lego for them to play with and a safe to crack with some take home gifts inside. This is a lot harder than it seems and best left to the imagination of the kids to solve. How hard can it be to count the number of lizards, bugs and spiders on the floor? All in all, the room creates a sense of happiness for everyone and is the perfect base to explore LEGOLAND the following day.
WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE! LEGOLAND MALAYSIA RESORT (PIC BY LLOYD GREEN)
The theme park itself is a lot of fun. If you go there expecting massive roller coasters and cutting edge rides, you will be sorely disappointed. But face it, the park is aimed and children, young kids and their families and it caters perfectly to them. That doesn’t mean you still can’t have some fun. Like in Toy Story 3, the humour of many of the displays and movies (LEGO Ninjago, LEGO 4D and Star Wars) is aimed directly at to you. There are plenty of lame dad jokes and while not crude the dialogue is definitely of the adult nature giving you plenty laugh about. Even the park guide has a hint of sarcasm to it. Instead of ‘Lost Child’ it has ‘Lost Parent’, presuming you have ventured off into another world.
LEGOLAND Miniland is a winner too. It’s essentially the reason why everyone falls in love with LEGO in the first place; building cool stuff. The attention to detail is crazy: It took three years to create and was completed by a team of 100 builders from around the world. In all, 30 million LEGO bricks were used — 500,000 alone on the Petronas Twin Towers replica. Other famous landmarks include KLIA airport, the Taj Mahal plus an interactive naval re-enactment. If that’s not enough, they’ve also gone all out on the Star Wars Miniland display with interactive models from the first six Star Wars episodes.
I guess the only criticism of LEGOLAND Malaysia is the lack of atmosphere. There’s no doubting you and your children will have a great time (your poor wife will have two kids to look after) but when you gaze around and see only a handful of people on the rides, it’s hard not to question why this adventure-haven isn’t more popular. The harsh exposure to the Malaysian sun is one factor, possibly the price too, but there’s definitely no qualms over the staff and up-keeping. The grounds are immaculate and every volunteer, shop assistant and ride operator has a winning attitude. Generally these are the aspects that suffer when a theme park loses its appeal. Perhaps it was more to do with the fact I went on a Wednesday and during school; in that case I suggest you go then as there’s no waiting, no hassles and total freedom to do whatever you want.
LEGOLAND MINILAND TOOK THREE YEARS TO COMPLETE
And do check out the LEGOLAND Water Park. Like its big brother across the road, the rides are suited to children and families so don’t get your hopes up of a Wet N Wild styled one kilometre sea odyssey. But it does do its job of cooling you off after a long day in the sun and there’s plenty of attractions to keep you entertained for a few hours.
Overall, LEGOLAND Malaysia gets a thumbs up. Particularly if you love LEGO and you want share the father-son, mother-daughter moment of reliving your LEGO-playing youth with them. Whether it is value for money is another question? (Prices can be seen here: http://www.legoland.com.my/). But if you treasure fantasy, imagination, memories and good old fashion fun, you’ll be willing to fork out any amount of cash to experience the magic of LEGO once again.