This week Emily and I took the five year olds to Legoland.
It’s ironic, really, that the border to Malaysia is closer to my current apartment than my favorite mall is to my in-laws house but until Monday I had never crossed it. I read up on the process of driving to Malaysia and asked for advice on Facebook, but I definitely had anxiety as we embarked upon our journey.
In the end, I needn’t have.
On a Monday morning there is no real traffic or delay at the border. You drive to the checkpoint that looks a lot like a toll plaza. The border guard takes the passports and your identity cards. You tap your cash card and are sent on your way. Driving across the long bridge between the Singaporean and Malaysian checkpoints reminds you that Singapore is, in fact, an island. You complete the same process on the other side, minus the Singaporean ID cards. They don’t charge you a fee there–about a kilometer past the checkpoint is a toll booth where you can buy a Malaysian tap n go card for tolls (although that is the only toll booth between Singapore and Legoland). The toll there was 7.50 ringitt. My friend Sammi gave me photos of the turns needed to go to Legoland, but it’s pretty straightforward and took less than a half hour from the border.
We parked at the mall next to Legoland. It’s actually attached to the entrance to the amusement park, and only cost me 1 ringitt for eight hours (less than 50 cents Singapore). It was convenient for us to go back there after lunch to drop off our morning stuff and our souvenirs and to pick up our things for the water park.
My biggest concern about Legoland, and the reason we hadn’t yet visited was whether Elanor was tall enough for the rides, and if there was any point in taking Rhiannon at all. I learned that if your child is under a meter, there is very little they can do. Elanor happens to be about 96cm, but while there are stands with minimum heights, no one was enforcing them. So while 4cm would have been a huge issue in Singapore, she was allowed on the rides in Malaysia. I would not, however, recommend doing this with my 88cm two and a half year old.
The first thing we say when we entered the park was someone dressed as Emmett from The Lego Movie. Thanks to this, I have been singing “everything is awesome” for days. However, this and some kits in the souvenir shops were the extent of the movie merchandising–which surprised me.
Before we went on any rides we explored the miniature lands. Here Elanor and Aiden examine a Lego Singapore, complete with Merlion. My favorite parts of these scenes weren’t the large buildings, but rather the small details. In Kuala Lumpur there were two figures changing a flat tire. In miniature Angkor Wat there were monks exploring the temple. The scenes are all Asian, and I’m curious to hear from friends if the ones in Florida are all American and if the ones in Denmark are all European.
Our first attempt a ride was a bit of a failure. About two-thirds of the way through , it stopped. Here we are, being escorted out off the ride on foot.
The great thing about going on a weekday is that lack of lines. We did the 4-D ride, which was the only time int he regular park that we had to wait in line. Here Emily and I are on the observation tower. We also visited the Duplo land, which is under a tent covering and one of the few things Rhiannon could do. The kids rode the jousting ride twice and would’ve ridden a third time had we let them. Our final ride of the day was the roller coaster, after which the kids were ready for a break.
Our last stop before heading out of the park was a dance party in the castle area. Aiden and Ellie are trying to follow the steps, but the real star of the photo is the blonde kid.
We stopped back at the mall to have lunch at Burger King and to grab our swim stuff.
I left my camera in the car while we were at the water park, so I don’t have any pictures of it specifically. But you can see it in the background of this shot from the observation tower.
We did the half-day cabana rental for 175 ringitt. For the cost you get a private cabana–think big private tent. Inside the tent are two chaise loungers, two more chairs, a fan, a safe (think typical hotel safe), and a fridge. In the fridge are four bottles of water, two of coke, two of sprite and two of lemon tea–all complimentary. There are also two souvenir towels provided. It was a fantastic base of operations that allowed us to rest and regroup as needed.
The few family waterslides we tried were great. The biggest issue was the brick blaster. After waiting over 30 minutes for a raft, it was absurdly heavy and we barely managed to drag it to the top of the slide only to find out that there was a max of three people. By contrast, the Red Rush has a tool that takes the raft up to the top for you, so you need only climb up the stairs.
My favorite part was the build a raft river. We didn’t have much luck building a raft that didn’t break apart under Elanor, but we certainly had fun trying. Even without a lego raft, we did a few circuits around. I probably would have done another few, but we were running out of time and the kids wanted to play at the Joker Soaker play area. So Emily and I chilled out in the cabana and kept an eye on them from the comfort of our chaise lounges.
We stayed until the park closed. By the time we changed and got back to the car it was closer to 6:30 or 6:40. The drive back to the checkpoint was fast. We didn’t wait on the Malaysia side, but there was about a 20 minute wait on the Singapore side–closer to 30 to clear immigration and have our boot checked by customs (which is standard).
If you have a child around six and over a meter tall, I’d definitely encourage you to take a weekday off and go visit. It will give you a quieter day at the park than you’ll probably have on a weekend. If it’s possible, drive yourself so that you’re not tied to any bus schedules.
Having successfully driven us into Malaysia, I’m not nervous anymore and am now ready to go check out the outlets on my next trip.
Full set of Legoland pictures here.