In the land of Sandokan: a day trip to Legoland Malaysia from Singapore

We are in Singapore for a few days, and Legoland Malaysia is less than 90 minutes by bus from the Lion City… even if we are not too fond of amusement parks in general, we decide the Lego bricks are worth making an exception, since our son is very fond of them. A month before leaving, we decide to tell him and he literally jumps up and down with joy: every single day since then, he will be asking us how long ‘till Legoland!

We buy the park’s tickets online: 7 days earlier or more give you a discount of 20% on the entry price, which is not a bad deal. We opt for the Legoland and Waterpark combo ticket, which allows us to visit the waterpark, too – it lets you go in and out of Legoland as many times as you wish (there’s a reason to it and later I will tell you why). After that, we book the official Legoland bus from Singapore. Finally the grand day arrives: we reach the bus stop in Singapore 30 minutes earlier than we should, and so does everyone else. Everyone is on board 15 minutes ahead of schedule, so the bus leaves. Soon we reach the border/(s), the procedures happen to be really smooth, and in no time we arrive in Nusajaya, the satellite city of Johor Bahru, still under construction, all “devoted” to entertainment. In case you are interested you can also visit other amusement parks: Thomas Town and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.

Legoland Malaysia opened on 15 September 2012 and it has not been a successful venture: we count our blessings because the park is not crowded at all and there is no waiting time to enter the attractions. All in all I must say that we spend a pleasant day, there. Legoland is mostly suited to families with kids in the 2-12 age group, but at least half of the (few) visitors did not have any younger ones in tow. We’re not sure what the point is, to go as an adult – but whatever… The skies are greyish so when we reach the gates they recommend we go to the Waterpark first, as it closes in case of thunderstorms. The waterpark is nothing to write home about, but our son Stefano had a ball: first he had some fun in the toboggans of the Joker Soaker (a water playground), then he enjoyed floating along the Build-A-Raft River. What can I say about it? The river runs so slowly that we (adults) get bored within seconds. Still, we decide to smile and pretend we are thrilled!

Eventually we enter the “real” Legoland park, which is divided in 7 thematic areas and offers over 40 attractions. The highlight is definitely the Star Wars pavillion; everyone agrees that it is truly amazing – even dad, who still has to figure out the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. The second highlight, according to my son, is the driving school, which has two distinct locations according to age groups. Kids line up to watch a film about road rules (in English and Chinese) and after that they can hop on a tiny car and drive along designated roads, with traffic lights, crossroads, and yield signs! Not being able to speak and/or understand any of the two languages is not a problem: Stefano “ran” towards a blue car in pole position, hopped on it, started the engine and drove off… Easy peasy, really. At the end of the driving session parents can buy their children a Legoland driver’s license with their photo printed on it… needless to say, my son considers it his most precious treasure!

Other attractions that he was fond of, in no particular order, are  the Miniland, the Lego Ninjago Show and the Lego Technic Pavillion. Miniland is set in a garden right in the middle of the park: over 30 million Lego bricks were used to reproduce Asia’s, in scale 1:20. His favourite? Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where he asked to be taken in the near future. The Lego Ninjago Show, in the Lego City area, was also a hit – though we adults found it quite boring.

The Lego Technic area was quite interesting, in particular the Lego Academy pavilion, with a huge Albert Einstein’s face made of bricks on the outer wall. Several times during the day there are free workshops on robotics for kids aged 8 and above. They are 45 minutes long and you learn the first elements of robotics and where you are taught how to program the brand new Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot. You have to complete 4 missions, including launching a rocket and picking up moon rocks..

Stefano era interessato e quindi l’ho iscritto, mentendo un pochino sull’età (gli ho aggiunto solamente un mese, niente di trascendentale). Che dirvi? Decisamente 8 anni sono veramente troppo pochi, a meno di avere un mini-nerd in famiglia, e così ha avuto un notevole bisogno di aiuto da parte di mamma per completare le 4 missioni previste. Però, alla fine, ce l’abbiamo fatta! E con grande soddisfazione generale…

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