We recently took a trip to South Africa to visit family and friends and decided it would be great if we could stop over in Singapore, head across the border into Malaysia and take the boys to Legoland. As we only had a 2 day stopover, I knew it would be tight but I was determined to make it work. I took to the “blogisphere”* and read all the reviews from families with young kids that I could find. All very helpful, knowing kind of what to expect & to look out for. Although, admittedly, I did forget a lot of the tips until I experienced the situations for myself, and then I was “ohhh, yeah now I remember someone said this or that about this”.
So, without further ado, here is our experience of Legoland Malaysia aka LLM(& maybe a tip or two if you are planning a visit).
As we were going to RSA for my father’s birthday, the timing of our LLM trip was not something we could control,if you like. Thinks like day of the week/weather/tourist seasons etc etc didn’t even come into play. We were flying back to NZ on a specific date so that was when we were going to LLM. When I later went to look into weather & what not, I realised that we would be visiting during Singapore’s school holidays, albeit the last few days (not the Malaysian ones though, so that was a relief) and everything I read about the best time to go said to avoid school holidays and high season! Which I assume to be Nov/Dec/Jan but don’t quote me on that.
Anyway, we arrived in Singapore from Cape Town at 06.10am on a wed, after an almost 14 hour flight, Master 6 slept about an hour on the shoulder of the stranger next to him, while Master 1 dozed here & there and Master 5 slept exactly 0 seconds the whole way! Needless to say we were all a little tired when we landed! After working out that we had landed at terminal 3 and had to make our way to terminal 2 to fetch our hire car, we strolled between the 2 easily. Only about 10min or so, we didn’t bother with the skytrain.
After picking up the car, working out that the GPS they gave us was faulty, replacing said GPS we were on our way. I chose the self drive option as it just made sense when lugging around 3 kids, 2 backpacks,1 large tog bag and 3 carry on packs! Oh, and a stroller. It meant that we could come and go as we pleased, not having to wait around for buses/taxis. I had planned on driving but Hubby basically said “good luck”, so I made him drive! It was pretty busy in Singapore itself, but the drivers were strict rule followers, and once we got onto the highway, it was easy going. I had expected the border check point to be busy, as I had seen & read some horrifying accounts of how busy it was. We went the Tuas check point way as it is supposedly less conjested than the main Woodlands one. It took us all of 10min to clear both sides! We had a singapore cash card already loaded with cash, from the car hire place, to pay the toll & then just purchased a Malaysian touch & go one on the Malaysian side. Both can be topped up easily. Everything is very well sign posted so it was very simple! They do make you open the back window to check passengers, but you don’t have to leave your car until the return journey, where the driver has to open the boot for a quick inspection when entering Singapore. Presumably to check you aren’t bring ciggies & alcohol over the border. Also, on entering Malaysia your car needs to have the tank 3/4s full to avoid a $500 fine. LLM exit is well sign posted so no hassles there either. All in all, it took just over an hour from Singapore airport to the car park at LLM.
As we refused to pay the almost NZ$400 per night to stay at the Legoland Hotel, I had booked us into a 3 bedroom apartment for a mere NZ$89! Albeit a 10min drive from the park, KSL resort. Comfy beds & lots of space for the 5 of us, although no wifi or eating places within walking distance. And we were on the 20th floor, with windows that swung right open! Luckily, the kids were too tired to do anything but sleep from the time we arrived until the morning!
Anyway, back to LLM, we arrived just as the park opened at 10am. I had purchased our tickets the week before, online. They seem to always have some special going on so I got ours for buy one get one 50% off. And Master 1 was free into the main park and 11ringgit to get into the waterpark (which included 2 swim nappies, which are compulsory) Because of the special, I bought separate 1 day tickets into the main park & waterpark. I thought it would be better to go into the main park on our first day, due to being so tired, keeping us more alert on the second day when water would be involved! When using these tickets, it has to be booked for a certain date, with no refunds if the parks close due to bad weather. I believe they close the water park completely if there’s thunder, but again, don’t quote me. It did indeed rain around lunch time on our first day but the rides carried on & it was a welcome relief from the relentless humidity! The combo tickets didn’t fall within the promotion so they worked out a bit more expensive but I would go for those if we ever found our way back to Malaysia again. They allow multiple entry into both parks & to move freely between the two. Our single day ones only allowed one entry into whichever side we had booked for the day.
We shuffled our baggage around so that I had all the valuables in one of our carry on packs, which came into the park with us, and left the rest in the boot of the car. If anything was stolen from the car, it wouldn’t be a disaster as everything important was in a secured locker within the park.(40 ringgit for the day) We took in our own stroller but I believe you can hire one inside the park. It came in handy for a tired Master 1 as there wasn’t much for him to do that first day. Parking was 10ringgit and a 2 min walk to the entrance
Hubby & I took turns riding with the older two boys, Master 6 was far more adventurous than Master 5 so he got to ride twice on most of the faster rides.I think the longest we waited to ride anything was 5 min. Most of them we walked right onto! I read a lot of reviews, with most people saying that the roller coasters were pretty tame & more geared towards the kids. Well, duh, it IS Legoland! But we found the faster rides quite hair-raising! Hubby refused to go on The Dragon as well as the Adventure Island water ride…admittedly he made his decision after seeing Master 5 & I completely soaked at the end! I’m glad we kept that til near the end as it’s no fun walking around with soggy underwear, despite using one of the body dryers!
The roller coasters were just enough to make us scream, but not to lose our lunch.
The Aquazone WaveRacers were a hit with the boys, great to cool down too as you get a bit of water sprayed on you. Most rides had a height &/or age restrictions. Both my older boys could ride everything, although a couple had to be with an adult, and a couple we said that Master 5 was actually 6 as he will be 6 in 4 months and is practically the same height as his brother. I have lost count of the number of times I was asked if they were twins! He didn’t go on the big roller coaster so I didn’t feel the need to not allow him on the “lesser” rides because of 4 months.
Hubby indulged in a curry while in the park, which was apparently delicious, but the kids & I stuck to drinks and then icecream as it was just too hot! We didn’t get to any of the 4D shows as it wasn’t really something the kids were interested in.
Master 5 enjoyed Merlin’s Challenge with Hubby, very tame fastish train like ride. And the older two had a go on the Dublo train but apparently it was boring (although I secretly think Master 5 enjoyed it immensely!) We skipped the Lost Kingdom as the ride didn’t appeal to any of us! We ended with the Rescue Academy & Driving School, with Master 1 napping, and Hubby helping the boys “put out a fire”. This one made Hubby work hard, moving a fire track & then pumping water for the kids to squirt the fire! My camera had dies by this point so no pictures, which I am gutted about as it was great fun! The Driving School was hilarious. Master 6 was so serious & followed all the road rules, Master 5…not so much! I am pretty sure you would fail your license for ramming cars purposefully! You could purchase a drivers license afterwards but we didn’t bother.
About half way through the day, we stopped in to see the Star Wars miniland… O.M.G…blown away! It was incredible. Room after room of large displays of Star Wars lego, with moving bits and all! This was by far Hubby’s favourite park of the day (it was airconned too, which helped!) Master 6 refused to have his picture taken, I’ve forgotten why!
The pictures don’t do it justice really, this is just a sample of what was on display!
As it was still raining after the driving school, and the older two were starting to unravel, we skipped miniland. Which was just as well as Master 6 had a complete meltdown on the walk to the car, I forget why exactly!
Of course, our GPS was not equipped with Malaysian addresses so we got lost, returned to the Legoland Hotel and got a taxi to lead us to the resort we were staying at…well worth the 32ringgit! Note to self, make sure directions are printed off & don’t rely on just reading the email on your phone when it’s time to drive, especially if your battery dies….
I will blog about the Waterpark tomorrow…
*that’s a word now,right??