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- 2-way air-conditioned coach (45-seater)
- Legoland JB day pass entrance ticket
- Chinese-style dinner
- Group insurance coverage
- Guide and driver tipping
I thought that it’s a pretty good deal and bought it quickly. Decided that I’d spend my birthday at Legoland this year. Yes, I planned my own birthday 🙂
On 22 September (Sat), we made our way to Newton hawker centre. We had to gather by 9am for departure at 9.30am. I have to state at this point that I really hate group tours. I do not enjoy being herded around in a big group of strangers and prefer to do things on my own, at my own pace. When we arrived at Newton and I saw the hordes of people gathered there, my heart sank. There were sooooo many people! Anyway, since we were there, I decided to not be grouch and make the best of it. Registered our presence and we were told to look out for our coach which is ‘Bus 4’.
I was pleasantly surprised at the coach. It was very clean and was a double-deck coach. Seats were also comfortable and most importantly, the air-conditioner wasn’t turned to sub-zero degrees. PASS!
We departed at about 9.35am and headed to the Woodlands Causeway. Apparently, there were 9 coaches (!) leaving for Legoland JB that same morning. Urgh. After the usual customs clearance, it took about 30 minutes to get to Legoland. This is the vast area of land that greets you when you first arrive. Legoland JB is, literally, carved out of empty land.
We left Singapore at 9.35am and arrived at Legoland JB at 11.30am. Hwah, 2 hours! After alighting from the coach, we took a 5-7 minutes walk to the main ticketing area. Here’s us looking all fresh and non-sweaty. This look didn’t last very long…
Before we arrived, the local tourist guide (a young lady named Susan) cautioned us that as it was a Saturday, plus the fact that the theme park just opened a week before, it would be “very, very, very, very, very, very crowded”. Yes, she repeated the word ‘very’ many times. I psyched myself up for huge crowds, similar to this scene taken on opening day on 15 September.
When we arrived, this is the ticketing area that greeted us:
Didn’t look too crowded and best of all, as we were on a ‘group tour’, we simply walked to the gates and entered with the group tickets managed by the tourist guide.
As we were going to have the entire day there (!), our strategy was to take. our. own. sweet. time. for. everything. Oh, there’s an optional tour to Johor Premium Outlets (about 30 minutes away) but we decided to pass. Didn’t hear very good things about it.
It was close to lunch time but we decided to walk around first before heading to lunch. We started at Lego City where there were loads of Lego figurines dotting the entire area which made for fun pictures.
These Lego cars were pretty cute! Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to Junior Driving School as they are meant for for kids 3-5 years old. Boo. We had to settle for posing in the stationary cars. Red for me, blue for the boy 🙂
There were also a couple of eateries located around the park (7 outlets, apparently) and when we took a peek inside the Market Restaurant (air-conditioned), there was snaking queue for lunch. Oh well.
Just outside the restaurant was a Lego Policeman taking souvenir photos. There wasn’t many people in the queue, so we snapped a picture too.
You don’t see it in the pictures but I had the umbrella out AT ALL TIMES. You can’t really tell from the pictures but it was BLAZING HOT. Think concrete on the ground and sun right above you. There was also minimal shade around the entire park. Well, there were benches placed IN THE SUN so obviously, no one sat on those. There was a resting area that was pretty much like a bus-stop. Think long bench, one rectangle roof. That’s it. No fans, no mist. Well, I guess some shade was better than no shade. So yes, if you intend to head to Legoland JB, bring an arsenal of sun protection:
- big umbrella (with UV protection!)
- sunblock (with a high SPF)
- hat (the bigger the better)
- handheld fan (with extra batteries!)
- lots and lots of water
After our quick photo, we saw that a large crowd was moving into an area to watch a live show, so we followed suit.
To put it simply, we were not the target audience. It was something about safety around the garden and the audience (i.e. kids) had to point out to the ‘Danger Detective’ (small guy in green) the danger spots in the garden. The set was rather flimsy and it was a little hard trying to understand the accent of the actors. Also, they weren’t really very funny nor engaging. Or maybe it was just us. To make things worst, a little kid sitting behind the boy decided to throw up all over. (Was the show that bad?!). Thankfully, the projectile missed the boy narrowly but at this point, I decided that it was time to go. And so we left halfway.
At each ‘world’, there were various game stalls where you can pay to try your hand at various games. Like this basketball game. It costs RM$20 for 3 attempts. Or was it RM$25? I can’t remember. You just need to put one ball through the net to win a giant Angry Bird.
Did I really want a giant Angry Bird? Well, not really. But it sounded like fun so the boy (who used to play basketball) decided to try and win one for me. Awwwww. The 2nd shot was -this- close but alas, it was not meant to be. No Angry Bird then. Which was a blessing, really. It was too darn hot to be carrying a stuffed toy around the entire park!
Next, I tried my hand at fishing for some erm, fish. This was a sure-win game because for RM$25, you get 4 tries. Each fish contains a number. Add the numbers up and you’d get to select a prize from the relevant category. I was taking it very seriously, as you can tell from the photos.
After all that effort, I managed to get….
A tiny psychedelic lizard. Yes.
Well, better than nothing eh?
When it got too hot to walk around or play silly games, we ducked into one of the shops to cool down for a bit. Aircon rocks. As you can tell from the picture below, there weren’t too many visitors so we could act silly with the merchandise on sale.
We headed next to the “Imagination” world where (according to the website) ‘creativity knows no bounds’. This is also where parents of little kids can take a rest at the ‘Baby Care’ area. We spotted many prams and strollers parked outside.
Again, lots of Lego figurines around the ‘world’ and we decided to go on this ride (bottom right) called Kids Power Tower. Well, I had no idea it was only for kids when we were there! Turns out that only one adult can go on one set of seats (probably a weight limit). It was hard work! You had to use a pulley system to pull yourself to the top of the tower.
My arms were crying out in agony and my palms were getting abrasion from all that pulling. I wouldn’t recommended it unless you are a kid and you have an adult to do all the work. Boo.
We also went up on the Observation Tower. It reminded me of Singapore’s Tiger Sky Tower on Sentosa. Except that there wasn’t exactly a lot of exciting stuff to look at. Just lots of undeveloped land, really. Apparently, there will be a Legoland Water Park that will open in the second half of 2013, followed by the Legoland Hotel Park in 2014. More details here.
Next up: : Lego Kingdom
Spotted this roller coaster ride that looked suitable for adults (finally!) and it didn’t look too crowded. It’s simply called The Dragon.
We waltzed right to the front of the queue and because there were only 2 of us, we were ushered straight to the front of the queue to fill up the space. Yeay! One thing to note: Bags had to be placed at the platform on the left of the roller coaster. Importantly, don’t leave any valuables in your bag! The boy was wearing bermudas with buttoned pockets so we kept our valuables (and passports) in there. Rather strange that there are no lockers near the rides.
The ride was…ok. If you’ve been on the Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios in Singapore, this is relatively mild. Then again, there weren’t many rides catered to adults at Legoland JB so this was possibly the most exciting. At least to us.
After all that excitement, it was finally time for a late lunch. Headed to Knight’s Feast where only outdoor seating was available. In the shade though, thankfully.
Got a mixture of chicken nuggets, french fries, and half dozen of chicken satay. The satay was surprisingly good! The rest were typical instant-tasting food. Then again, we were hungry and needed to refuel. The yelow bag you see above contained all the food that was served on a plastic tray. A waste of paper/resources, if you ask me. But the bag was pretty cute (so we kept it).
Our last stop: Miniland!
This is where the famous landmarks around Asia are recreated using Lego bricks. Took tons of pictures here so here goes:
That green thingy you see above is a sound box where you press the button and you can hear typical sounds of the destination. For Cambodia, you can hear Cambodian music. I think? I can’t quite remember. The heat was getting to me by this time…
Tanah Lot, Bali
Hoi An, Vietnam. I was excited because we’ve been there!
The cannot-miss-it Petronas Towers.
I have to highlight one particular building. Check out the sign on this building in Malaysia. SNOT Savings?! Seriously?! Made me laugh.
After all that frenzied photo-taking, it was time for a much-needed respite at The Big Shop. It’s your typical theme park souvenir shop selling all things Lego-related. There were lots of theme Lego sets on sale, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, SpongeBob, etc. If you’re a huge Lego fan, this would be a good place to hang out for a bit. Oh and the aircon helps too. A lot.
There were also lots of people milling about the photo collection counter. There were official photographers dotted around the theme park to snap your pictures. They’d then hand you a coupon with a number on it so that you can
pay through your nose for buy a souvenir photo. Which is what we suckers did.
We bought this 89-piece Lego brick photo because it was sooooo cute! You can take it apart and fix it back again, just like a jigsaw puzzle. Now, go on, make a wild guess: How much did we pay for it? Here’s a closer shot:
I stuck the Darth Vader keychain on it because I bought it and have no where to use it. For now. Check out the litte Lego man sitting at the foot of the photo. He’s holding a camera and a Lego flag! Awwww.
As the gathering time was at 6pm at the main gate, we still had some time to kill so we decided to go check out the 4D theatre called Lego Studios. We waited for about 15 minutes before we were allowed into the air-conditioned hall. (Have I already mentioned that aircon rocks?).
Turns out that the movie wasn’t particularly exciting or engaging. It was a silent movie about car racing. I was expecting my seat to shake/move but none of that happened. At one point, there were strong winds and “snow” fell upon us. That was as 4D as it got.
Here’s our final shot taken at the entrance of the park. We tried to get the Legoland facade into the picture but as you can clearly see, we failed. Alamak.
Side note: Right opposite Legoland JB is the Mall of Medini. In time to come, it will become South Malaysia’ largest retail mall. There was a decent mix of F&B choices, such as KFC (where we had a snack!), Shilin Taiwan snacks, Manhatten Fish Market, Absolute Thai, etc. A good place to have “proper” food after your jaunt at Legoland (if you need a place for dinner). There was also a shop selling local produce and I bought 2 bags of “beh-teh-so” from San Shu Gong. Turns out that they’re very famous in Malaysia. We must be the only ones who don’t know about this. Doh. And yes, it was yummy!!
The day ended with dinner at Cathay Restaurant at Kulai. It is one of those huge restaurants that are typically seen in JB where they have 3 huge halls. One hall was having a chinese wedding dinner and in another, there was us, a whole group of ravenous tourists from Singapore. Check out the stage set-up, ready for a wedding! It made us giggle.
Dinner was, surprisingly, decent. Menu consisted of sharks’ fins soup (!), sauteed prawns, herbal chicken, sweet and sour fish, stir fried vegetables, fried tau pok, pork belly with yam, ending with watermelon slices for dessert.
We left the restaurant at about 8.30pm and finally reached home close to 10pm. Here’s Moon with her new toy from my (weak) attempt at trying to win something at the game stalls. She spent the day with my mum who was dog-sitting her.
So the question that everyone have been asking: Is it worth a trip to Legoland JB?
Well, it depends.
If you have children between the ages of 6-12 years old, I think they will enjoy it. It also depends if they are seasoned travellers and have been to Disneyland, USS, the works. They may not be as impressed if they have been to these theme parks. Also, it’d be a different story if you’re a hardcore Lego fan. You’d probably enjoy looking at the intricate Lego structures dotted around the entire theme park.
For us, we paid S$79/pax for the entire day which included a decent dinner. Was it good value? Definitely! But one thing’s for sure: If you’re headed to Legoland JB, BRING SUN PROTECTION!!!!