Despite initial fears, Legoland Malaysia won us all over in the end.
We turned up for our two-night, mid-week mini-break with the thirteen-year-old muttering darkly about “totally lame holidays”, the eleven year old plugged into Minecraft, and me, well, let’s just say after a sweaty August afternoon battling the crowds at Ocean Park one year, theme parks these days are locked firmly away in my “room 101”.
The reason for the trip were my two littlies, aged eight and six, and both big Lego fans. They were bursting with excitement and eagerly descended on the huge bins full of Lego in the reception area.
The park was opened in Jahor, Malaysia, in 2012, boasting a 249-room hotel and theme park with over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions. The adjacent water park opened its doors the following year.
We had booked an “Adventure room” (the alternative was a “Pirate room”) which was decked out in a castle theme, with flaming scones on the walls, a four-poster double bed with a coate of arms hanging over it and various other castle-like details. Little touches like lego shaped bars of soap and a lego treasure hunt leading to a goodie bag in the safe when we first checked in took it to the next level for the kids.
The room itself was entirely practical for large families – there was a lounge area, two sets of bunk beds with pull out trundles, two bathrooms and a separate double bedroom. There was also a travel-cot neatly stowed in one of the wardrobes.
Further attractions include an open air pool on the roof and restaurants. Unfortunately we never got to use the pool – after a full day in the park and dinner, everybody was more than ready to hit the hay.
The restaurants comprised the Bricks Family restaurant, the Skyline Bar (which with four kids in tow we never got around to using), and the Di Mattoni Restaurant. The Bricks Family restaurant was buffet style, but rather bland for adult tastes. The Di Mattoni Restaurant on the second night was more of a hit. There is also a small shopping mall adjacent to the hotel which did a good line in cafes, sandwich shops and waffle bars.
However, the highlight of the hotel were the lifts, which boasted spinning glitter balls and piped disco classics (Village People, anyone?). By the third consecutive ascent/descent I feared we were never actually going to reach the park.
The park itself is divided into several areas – Lego City, Imagination, Lego Technic, Miniland, Lego Kingdom and so on. Mid-week the crowds were non-existent and we barely had to queue all day. There was enough to keep all ages satisfied, with Project X (an aerial roller coaster) in Lego Technic the overall favourite.
We had pre-bought two-day tickets, so having nailed the theme park on day one, we used the second day to explore the waterpark. This has been imaginatively constructed, with big foam lego bricks to build your own raft on the lazy river, and a lego boat construction area with water feature for racing the finished vessels. This kept the six-year old fully engaged for almost an hour. Again, there were enough thrill rides and flumes to keep the older kids happy, too.
By the second night I was feeling a bit lego-ed out, but the kids were now hooked, all four of them happily adding bricks to a huge Lego mural on the wall of the Italian restaurant.
“Actually, it was pretty cool,” admitted the 13-year old in the car back to Singapore, before plugging herself back onto Instagram. High praise indeed.
Booking details for Legoland Malaysia are at legoland.com.my
The park can be reached by flying to Singapore, from where a Legoland car can be booked to meet you from the airport.