Travelling south along Malaysia’s west coast, signs to Johor flash by and excitement builds with every kilometre. Someone spots a flag carrying the universally recognisable logo in the distance. A chorus of kids from various families from all over the world begin chanting together. LEGO-LAND! LEGO-LAND!
LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort is perhaps one of the most underrated theme parks in the Southern Hemisphere.
Aussie’s have loads of reasons to have Malaysia on their radar. Now I’m adding LEGOLAND to that list. The food in Malaysia is fantastic (and not too spicy), the water is safe to drink, it’s affordable and takes no more than ten hours to get here from Australia. Having spent the last two days exploring LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort’s three parks, I can report that LEGOLAND is a must.
The Resort has three theme parks and a hotel. The original LEGOLAND Park takes visitors on a journey through eight themed areas with loads of rides with varying degrees on intensity.
Over at LEGOLAND Water Park, prepare to get soaked with more than 20 awesome slides, a lazy river, a huge wave pool and play equipment.
In May 2019, LEGOLAND added SEA LIFE Malaysia. This unique aquarium offers close-up encounters with more than 13,000 sea creatures. Eleven different habitat zones represent species from the Malaysian rainforest, coral reefs and the deep sea.
Theme Parks give even the oldest fuddy-duddies permission to be silly, and this fuddy-duddy was ready for some action. Here’s what I thought of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.
As you make your way through the turnstiles and rush to the main courtyard, you’ll come face to face with some of your favourite Lego friends. The Main Stage is where you’ll catch live performances and meet & greets. Check the schedule beside the stage to make sure you don’t miss out.
Behind the stage, a familiar figure stands out above the crowd. If you’ve arrived from Kuala Lumpur, you’ll recognise it immediately. A replica of the PETRONAS Twin Towers mad entirely out of Lego. This is just one of the incredible creations in Miniland.
Miniland is the centrepiece of every Legoland park. This one features dozens of incredibly detailed replicas of Asia’s most famous landmarks. It took three years to complete and is made up of more than 30 million Lego bricks.
Countries including Singapore, China, Vietnam and India are all featured in miniature size. Having seen the Taj Mahal in person not too long ago, I must admit, it’s a fantastic replica.
LEGO City is a world where kids are in charge. The rides take on real-life jobs and situations that just might spark a sense of ambition in their young minds. At Rescue Academy, teams of future-firefighters must race eachother to put out the flames.
Over at the Driving School, kids can get behind the wheel of their own miniature car and navigate the signs, traffic lights and fellow drivers on the course. It’s a similar deal at the Boating School, except young sailors swap tryes for rudders and steer their vessel around the river.
Aspiring pilots can jump in the cockpit at LEGO City Airport of kick back and enjoy simply being a passenger on the LEGOLAND Express train.
The LEGO Theatre in Imagination Zone runs fun, interactive 4D shows throughout the day. The kids will love the bursts of bubbles, strong winds and water sprays. LEGO City 4D: Officer in Pursuit is the hottest new title to hit the silverscreen. The policeman always get the bad guys in the end, but not without a bit of action first.
Swap those 4D glasses for VR goggles at The Great LEGO Race. This virtual reality roller coaster is the first of its kind, sending riders on an epic race through a uniquely LEGO world.
A highlight of every LEGO park, the Build & Test centre is where creative minds can build anything their hearts desire. With thousands of lego bricks at their disposal, kids can build towers taller, racecars faster and figurines bigger than ever.
The best vantage point to see the whole park is from the Observation Tower. It lifts passangers more than 40 metres off the ground, overlooking the LEGOLAND Waterpark next door and SEALIFE Aquarium.
When you walk into LEGO Kingdom, you’ll feel as if you’ve travelled back to medieval times. The castle spires shoot high into the sky, as coloured flags wave about in the breeze. The Royal Joust turns riders into a medieval knight, riding along on their noble LEGO steed.
Not for the faint of heart, The Dragon roller coaster will test your courage. Older kids can fly through the royal castle on the back of a firebreathing dragon. Younger kids may want to start at the Dragon’s Apprentice and work their way up to the big one.
Stepping even further back in time, Land of Adventure takes visitors on a journey through time. From Ancient Egypt to the time of the dinosaurs, you’ll find a range of rides in this section of the park. Dino Island is a crowd favourite where visitors board a canoe, voyage through the pre-historic jungle and come crashing down a 12-metre waterfall.
On the Lost Kingdom Adventure, you’ll embark on a daring journey into the depths of an ancient temple. Things take a turn and you have to shoot your way out. Lucky you’re equipped with a laser gun to protect your hidden treasure.
LEGOLAND Malaysia has multiple dining outlets to curb your cravings. The Market Restaurant serves as the main dining hall. You’ll find a mix of Malay, Indian, Chinese and western options. Check out the kids section for smaller, simple meals and sweeten the deal with a dessert at the end.
Burger Junction has a long list of options, all served with a side of French fries, coleslaw and a drink. The outdoor tables look give you the best seat in the house to watch the Dino Island ride come crashing down into the water. Most of the combo meals around around 35-40 ringgit (~$12-$14).
For a quick bite, grab a hot dog from the Snack Corner near the Central Theatre or sit down and relax at the Cafe right by the entrance. Here, you’ll find a range of sandwiches, cakes and pastries.
LEGOLAND Waterpark Malaysia
In my opinion, the waterpark is the resort’s best feature. I spent hours floating along the lazy river that snakes around the park, ducking from the LEGO figurines shooting their water pistols from the riverside.
In the heart of the park, a huge play area is equipped with multiple slides, a jungle gym, water spouts and an enormous tipping bucket that delivers an absolute drenching.
Some of the larger slides require a floaty. You can grab a single or double donut and head follow the signs up the stairs. Or bigger groups can take one of the green rafts to the top and hurtle down the slide five at a time.
The Wave Rider needs to equipment. Just assume the “mummy” position and shoot down the tube. The green slide is enclosed for most of the way so you’ll feel as if you’re shooting through space in total darkness. The blue slide is less scary and way more fun. They both end at the same spot for siblings can race each other.
Around the waterpark are several stations to get creative with LEGO. Up near the slides, you can build your own boat and send it down the river to see if it floats. You’ll also find LEGO building tables near the cafe.
If you just want to chill and go for a swim, LEGO Wave Pool is perfect. The huge speakers at the front of the stage play great music all day long, and there’s a snack bar on the left hand side if you fancy a bite to eat. There are plenty of flotation vests around the shoreline so kids can float around with ease.
Legoland waterpark has lifeguards stationed all over the place. Literally, everywhere. The kids couldn’t get into trouble if they tried. But of course, parents should always stick close by.
If you want to keep your personal belongings safe, you can rent a locker for the day. You’ll find these right as you enter the park, along with the change rooms and main bathroom.
SEA LIFE Malaysia
The latest addition to LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort takes visitors on a mesmerising journey beneath the ocean’s surface. SEA LIFE Malaysia offers a fun, interactive and educational experience for those who dare to dive in.
Just across from the original LEGOLAND Park, SEA LIFE is a two-storey aquarium with 25 huge display tanks full of marine life. The aquarium is split into eleven habitat zones, each one representing a different ecosystem or region. In these zones, more than 13,000 sea creatures swim, float and bob about.
The Ocean Tank features a walk-through tunnel where sharks, rays and colourfish fish swim right overhead. Vibrant corals and sea plants also fill the 385,000-litre tank.
At the rock pools, you can get a close look at the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. You’ll even have the chance to touch a star fish, with a specially trained SEA LIFE staff member on hand to teach you about these underwater favourites.
Stingray Bay is another special place to learn about the residents of the aquarium. Live talks and videos are played throughout the day so you can watch the rays swim around the tank while hearing about their diet, mating habits and lifestyle.
Around the aquarium, you’ll find plenty of oppourtunities to learn and interact with the exhibits. One of the best places to top and spend a few minutes is the learning and discovery centre. There are plenty of iPads to go around with staff on hand to answer any question your curious young marine-enthusiasts might have.
A group of 20 Junior Rangers were recruited to help with the process. They conducted field experiments, cleaned up beaches and waterways, recovered fish from out in the wild and helped make a home for them at SEA LIFE Malaysia.
SEA LIFE operates on a strategy of “breed, rescure and protect.” To back this, they have a team of more than 300 marine biologists, aquarists and support staff around to world to ensure the values of the SEA LIFE brand are upheld.
To round out your experience, it really is worth spending a night in the Legoland hotel. Kids can fall asleep and wake up in the morning, still immersed in the world of LEGO.
The fun begins before you even check in. The lobby has two huge LEGO pits with a grand castle and jungle gym. Kids can get stuck in while parents sort out the boring stuff. There’s also a stage in the lobby where regular performances are put on throughout the day.
When it comes to your room, you can choose your own adventure. Opt for a Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure or Ninja themed room, each with interactive games, treasure hunts and plenty of LEGO to keep the kids happy. Parents can stretch out in the king-sized bed while kids crash in the bunks and pull-out trundle bed.
A sliding door seperates the kids room from the adults, each room with it’s own airconditioning unit and TV. The bathroom even has two sinks, one slightly shorter so young kids can reach.
The buffet breakfast at Brick’s Family Restaurant is extraordinary. The variety and quality of the food is unlike anything I’ve experienced in a while. Omelets, eggs and noodles can be customised and made for you on the spot. It’s worth sampling the salad spread so you don’t have to feel guilty about going back for a second croissant. Hint: Wait until they come fresh out of the oven and drizzle some chocolate auce over the top.
It gets a bit hectic in there during peak time (8:30am-10am) but the food is replenished quickly so you won’t miss out on any of your favourites.
Brick’s is open for lunch and dinner as well. Again, the local dishes were some of the best I’ve had in Malaysia. If the kids have been wanting to branch out and try a Nasi Kandar or Laksa, this is the place to do it. If you’re not a fan, you can just grab a new plate and start again. The Pumpkin Paperi was so good, I had to go back for seconds.
I even threw together my own steaming bowl of noodles. You grab a bowl and pick out your ingredients with the tongs and the chef behind the counter will whip it up for you.
Save room for dessert though. The sweets table is unbelievable. More than a dozen types of cake, all beautifully decoratedand cut nto bite-sized squares so you can try one of everything. There’s also a chocolate fondure station with fresh fruit and marshmallows.
Kids can even decorate their own doughnut or choose the toppings on a traditional Malaysian favourite, Ice Kacang.
Guests of the hotel get special discounts on park tickets and have the convenience of being able to dry off and get changed when going between parks.
How to get there?
If you’re flying into KL you can take the Legoland shuttle service down to Johor. It leaves at 7am and takes around five hours with a toilet stop in the middle. The bus company is called ‘Causeway Link’. The shuttle leaves from the Swiss Garden Hotel on Jalan Pudu. You’ll see a sign with the Legoland sticker and know you’re in the right place.
The coach is spacious and comfortable with plush, reclining seats. You need to purchase tickets in advance as the seats fill up quickly. No need to print out your ticket, you can just show the driver your phone. Luggage and strollers can be stored in the undercarriage free of charge.
As the crow flies, Legoland is actually much closer to Singapore than KL. Johor is on the southern border of Malaysia above Singapore. To reach the park from the city, you can jump on the Singapore flyer. The journey takes around 1.5 hours. This is a more frequent service than the shuttle from KL but we still recommended you book your tickets in advance.
The border crossing process can be time consuming and, I’ll admit, a little confusing. You must pass through two check points – the Singapore immigration checkpoint and the Malaysian one. If you’re unsure of where to go, just ask for directions.
*The writer was hosted by LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort. All opinions are her own.