Where fighting supervillains and watching sea creatures can be a learning experience
A world where children grow by learning and thinking --- that was the vision that Ole Kirk Christiansen had in mind when he established the LEGO Group in Denmark in 1932. He started as a humble carpenter who just wanted to put up his own wooden toy business. The name LEGO was adopted from two Danish words, ‘Leg’ and ‘Godt’ which meant “play well.” A combination of those words can also mean “I put together” in Latin --- and which captures the spirit of the world- renowned brand that continues to dominate the toy industry.
Throughout the company’s history over the decades, its vision has remained true to its core. Children who play with the famous Lego blocks “play well.” Imagine a theme park that looks like it’s built from those blocks, and you’ll have a place where kids’ imagination can thrive. It will give them a place where they can just be themselves. That’s why these young ones and their parents fly to Legoland Malaysia.
Kids rule inside Legoland Malaysia. During my trip, I witnessed parents marvelling how their children could have built wonderful designs despite having only bricks to build on. You also have adults who, despite their respective ages, are still kids at heart and share the fun. For family-oriented Filipinos who only want the best for their kids, Legoland Malaysia is only one hour’s drive from Singapore.
The hotel where adventure begins
Legoland Hotel in Malaysia is one of the most creative and child-sensitive hotels I’ve been to. As soon as I walked into the place, all I could think about was how to be a kid again.
From wallpapers to beddings and sheets, everything inside the Legoland Hotel room was LEGO-themed. Every room has a treasure box and guests can play by unlocking its code by answering the clue sheet. Guests can win LEGO products and discount cards which they can use for their next purchase at the Lego store.
Not to be missed is their restaurant. It’s classically LEGO-themed, too, from cups, tables, to utensils---except the food of course! Food served at the Legoland Hotel Malaysia restaurant showcases Malaysian cuisine, but also tries to serve its guests with various international dishes.
The theme park
The main attraction of Legoland is its theme park which is never crowded, although a lot of kids do want to experience it. Another thing that makes it different is that each kid can join in the activities, including the rides. This approach is very different from those in other theme parks, which make a distinction as to which rides only adults can take part in.
A rollercoaster buff, I’ve ridden almost every model available, and I’m not easily impressed by just any ride. But the Great Lego Race VR Coaster was one of the unique ones I’ve ever been to. The roller coaster itself is designed for kids to stay comfortable and safe, but there’s a twist. Attendants handed us VR goggles---which means that a person’s excitement is leveled up by the virtual experience it gives him or her.
I’ve always been a fan of LEGO and their Ninjago series which by far, was one of the most successful products they have launched. It even has a cartoon series show and several movies! This interactive ride is a treat for kids who loved Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane, Lloyd, Sensei Wu, and the rest of the characters. Fighting villains through every scene, the Ninjago ride was simply awesome.
There were also driving lessons inside Legoland Malaysia; kids can even get a Legoland driving license.
On the other hand, what I loved most about the Legoland theme park is their Imagination Room which is designed to enhance the thinking capabilities and creativity of kids.
Guests can actually join sessions there which teach them how to make a simple code that will make a LEGO Mars Rover work. They can build a LEGO car with any LEGO block and test its capability for speed and durability. They can stack up LEGO bricks to form a durable building and test its resistance to earthquake through a simple simulator.
Fun under the sun
Families can also chill and watch a movie through a big screen while sipping lemonades and enjoying the cool waters at Wave Pool inside Legoland Waterpark.
This waterpark offers slides and slopes that reach starting from above an elevated area to a bigger pool down; these fun funnels are called Lego Slide Racers, Tidal Tubes and many more. Another thrilling experience also comes inside Joker Soaker: you can wait inside a huge bucket while it is being filled --- and then be poured over the water spilling out of it.
Cabanas are also available where families can take a rest!
Under the sea
Sea Life Malaysia offers kids the chance to acquaint themselves with the living creatures that live under the waters. More than 13,000 fishes and 120 types of species can be seen inside this aquapark. These creatures are divided into 11 different habitat zones where they are observed by guests.
Attendants inside the facility teach children to appreciate sea creatures such as crustaceans, jellyfishes, sharks, and many more. One can also go through a water tunnel and marvel at the wonders of the underwater world.
Legoland Malaysia is definitely a very different world. Spanning 76 hectares which are equivalent to 56 football fields, it offers a lot of activities for both adults and most importantly, Legoland’s main guests – the kids. I don’t think I can get enough of Legoland Malaysia. I might just come back soon to go back being a kid, treated like a kid, and most importantly, learn like a kid.
Text and photos by Stephanie Tumampos