Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sixth Legoland in the World Opens in Johor, Malaysia

I don’t remember playing with Lego bricks as a kid but my children are fortunate enough to be gifted with various Lego sets while they were growing up. The bricks are so colorful and challenging to one’s creativity that my husband and I would also find ourselves trying to come up with original designs whenever we play Lego with our boys.

I know there are lots of stuff you can create out of Lego pieces but I was blown away by everything I saw in Legoland Malaysia. My 13-year-old son, who writes for Manila Bulletin Funpage, and I were invited by Tourism Malaysia and Cebu Pacific to the opening of the first ever Legoland in Asia last week. We were one of the few members of the international media to get a sneak peek of the place one day before the theme park officially opened to the public.

Legoland Asia definitely brought out the child in me and in the other adults in our group. We had a lot of fun checking out the rides and touring around the place. There are so many things to see which really delighted the senses.

Amongst the many attractions, my favorite area inside the theme park would have to be the Miniland where we found amazing replicas of cities around Asia. The first display we came near to looked very familiar. It has a big church like our cathedrals in the Philippines and it also has jeepneys! What confirmed that it was indeed a representation of our country was this building with a sign that clearly says “Barangay Hall”. It’s so amazing how the creative team got even the littlest details right.

As we continued to tour the place, we found ourselves exclaiming over new discoveries that took our breaths away. I was very much impressed at the likeness of the miniature versions of Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers, the Great Wall of China, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, India’s Taj Mahal, and a whole lot more.

What further make Legoland unique are the thousands of big and small figures scattered all over the place. Our group from the Philippines got to meet Pat Demaria who introduced himself to us as the “Mayor of Miniland”. From him, we found out that each Lego structure was built using glue in between each and every single brick. Just imagine, Miniland alone utilized around 30 million Lego pieces constructed by 150 people over a period of two and a half years. Now THAT is dedication to the craft!

with Pat Demaria (wearing blue)
Of course, a theme park won’t be a theme park without the exciting rides. Although Legoland is targeting families with children 12 years and below, there are still attractions that will delight the young-at-heart. My son and I joined throngs of people in lining up for Project X, a thrilling ride that looks like a roller coaster with cars that can only accommodate a few people at a time.

I also went on a ride in the Beetle Bounce with several Muslim girls and we had so much fun getting bounced up and down along a tall tower. My son and I also rode the train that took us on a scenic tour around Legoland.

Those who’d like to bring home mementos would enjoy browsing the various stuff inside Legoland’s souvenir shops. I particularly love how the Lego brick bags look as well as these colorful caps.

We went back to the theme park the next day to take more photos and try to ride more rides. Since the place has officially opened to the public, it was really packed with people when we got there around 9:30AM. Fortunately, the observation tower accommodates a lot of people so we got to ride that one. The platform rose and turned slowly giving us a 360-degree view of the whole area.

Finally, it was time to go. We had to leave early because we’re traveling back to Kuala Lumpur that afternoon and it would be a five to six hour trip. (Note: If you're coming from Singapore though, I was told that travel time is only around 30 minutes to Johor). From the bus, I got my last glimpse of Legoland as I savor the fun moments of being there with my son and of us having a grand time with newfound friends. I’m sure years from now, we’d still be looking at our pictures and smile at the wonderful memories created there :)

We took so many photos and they won't fit in this blog post. Please do view them here and here to see more awesome stuff you can expect to find when you also visit Legoland :)

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