A Day at Legoland Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
On the day to day tourist travels through Singapore. We spend some time on Orchard Road, passing through the Far East Plaza in Singapore. I happened to come across a Legoland Malaysia brochure which advertised an easy Hop On Bus to Legoland Malaysia which was a mere 10 minutes from the Singapore / Malaysia border. I thought this would be a great experience for WT73Jr and a neat opportunity for me to get across the border to Johor Barhu in Malaysia, as I’d never actually been to the other side of the land /bridge border, despite visiting Singapore for over 35 years.
This post is one chapter on our trip to Bali and Singapore. This trip was redeemed through Lifemiles, AAdvantage and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Dodging Volcanic Ash, Bali and Singapore via Delta, Asiana, KLM and Japan Airlines Business Class
- Delta Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Los Angeles
- Delta Sky Club Lounge, Los Angeles, USA
- Star Alliance Business Lounge, Los Angeles, USA
- Asiana Airlines Business Class: Los Angeles – Seoul Incheon
- Asiana Airlines Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Denpasar Bali
- The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia
- A Week Around Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
- Sunset at Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia
- White Water Rafting Ayung Rapids, Monkey Forest and Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia
- The Premier Lounge, Bali, Indonesia
- KLM World Business Class: Denpasar Bali – Singapore
- Contrasting the Old and New of Singapore
- Plant Life from Around the World at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
- The Singapore Zoo, Singapore Botanical Gardens and Hawker Food Stalls, Singapore
- A Day at Legoland Malaysia, Johor Barhu, Malaysia
- SATS Premier Lounge, Changi Terminal One, Singapore
- Japan Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Tokyo Narita
- Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge: Tokyo Narita, Japan
- Japan Airlines Business Class: Tokyo Narita – Vancouver
Attraction: A Day at Legoland Malaysia Theme Park and Water Park, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
“An International DayTrip to Legoland Theme Park, perfectly aimed at nine to eleven year olds.”
Getting to Malaysia:
Despite the easy advertisements, booking a day ticket involving an international border was anything but easy. this process was anything but. The bus taking customers to and from Legoland were employed by a third party contractor that had nothing to do with Legoland itself. Although instant bookings were advertised online, there was no availability unless you checked more than 48 hours in advance. We ended up having do go to a face to face booking at the WTS travel office at the Singapore flyer, the departure point for the Singapore leg. There, it was a bit of a complicated process as they had sold out of the paper admission tickets for the part and were only able to sell the transport portion. We paid the tickets, received an invoice and were asked to return on the date of travel to exchange the invoice for an actual ticket, then board the bus. It seemed no one was checking who got on what bus exactly as we rode busses that were 15 minutes off from our scheduled departure time.
Although the trip is actually quite short in distance, the whole process took quite a while; about two hours in each direction including travel and the border check points. Our trip took us up the AYE expressway up to the Singapore Tuas departure checkpoint, a border facility that was build as a secondary entry and exit point over the strait between Singapore and Malaysia. It’s actually constructed on man made reclaimed land.
My uncle had mentioned that there were restrictions on Singaporeans purchasing gas on the cheaper Malaysia side, to the point where it was Singaporean law that departing residents fill their cars up to 3/4 tank to minimize tax looses on the part of Singapore. We even saw signs reflecting this on the way. We all disembarked the coach and received an exit stamp and surrendered our Singapore landing card.
We then crossed the bridge into Malaysia where we traveled about 7 kilometers up the road in a fenced and secured freeway area to the Malaysian checkpoint. The Malaysian border check point was much more spartan than the Singapore one.
We disembarked the coach and were stamped into Malaysia without any questions other than the usual passport processing. The passports were checked and travelling as a single parent, I was not questioned in either direction about the whereabouts of my son’s biological mom (back home in Vancouver). I guess the Interpol child watch check (if it was performed) was good enough. The whole border entry and exit process took about 45 minutes outbound and one hour on the inbound.
Crossing from Singapore into Malaysia:
How did South East Asia look on the Johor Barhu, Malaysia side? It was pretty deserted. It was nothing like the dense land mass of Singapore. It was lush, jungle like and isolated. It wasn’t long before we started seeing the signs of Malaysia in the form of Petronas gas stations.
Leaving the Malaysian customs check point, we headed indeed about 10 minutes up the road towards Legoland Malaysia. The first impression weren’t great. The park looked small and is located in the middle of a half constructed industrial park surrounded by over grown vegetation and incomplete landscaping. It was an area that had yet to grow into itself. Despite this, spirits were high as we had finally made it to the destination.
The Legoland Malaysia Park:
We arrived to the Park. The first order of business was for the “I was here” picture.
There are two options in the Legoland park. There is the Legoland portion which contains all the bricks, attractions and things a person would typically associate with legoland. There is also a Legoland themed waterpark. Since you only live once, we opted to try both parks on our one day visit.
If you happen to be planning this as a day trip from Singapore, , the park only took Malaysian Ringgit currency, except for in certain souvenir shops. Despite being a border attraction, there were no Singapore Dollars at the food counters accepted and credit cards were limited to the point of entry. There was no money changer on site, so I spent a bit of time running around trying to get the right amount of money for the day, with the rest placed in a locker for storage while we went to the water park portion.
The Legoland Water Park:
We started with the water park as the weather was forecasted to turn rainy a little later in the day. Of course, this is a family experience as the place is over run with excited screaming kids. I have to say that I enjoyed it.
It is certainly something to see an entire water park covered with bricks. This place was no exception. Bricks were coming out of the wood work in different areas
The water park had the usual water park features. As compared to North Amercian water parks, the Legoland Waterpark didn’t have any one outstanding new or usual feature to it. It did have a doughnut hole inner tub ride which I though was pretty entertaining, although I don’t think that is unique at all to water parks in this area.
The park had the usual water slides. The water slides were pretty basic being aimed at under twelves years of age, and didn’t have some of the exciting features that you’d see in water parks that would attract teenagers.
In addition to the sliding events, there were other boat racing events where you could build your own boat, and then have races.
Topping the water park off, were the odd interesting lego themed displays. I’m not sure exactly what this was, but it sure looked animal like and spooky.
We spent about half a day at the water park trying out all the themed rides. It was a good distraction and it was the right order to do the water park before the Legoland Amusement Theme Park.
Visiting the Legoland Amusement Park:
From there, we headed next door to the regular Legoland Amusement Park. This park contained all the things you would expect to see in a Legoland park. Since there were rides to be involved, I checked my big SLR camera and had to rely on my iPhone for most of the pictures.
These include Lego themed roller coaster style rides. The roller coasters were a little on the smaller side. The target audience was aligned with their Lego product. It was aimed more at children instead of teenagers
Good old Albert Einstein was watching over the Lego Academy.
The park featured many exhibitions. We headed into the Lego Academy where Star Wars was the current lego feature. Before we knew it, I was examining the Millenium Falcon and the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine in all its detail. For those that don’t speak Star Wars, the Mos Eisley Cantina is the famous bar in the first movie of Star Wars Episode IV with the cool band playing the saxophone where Han Solo tore up the place.
There were also some large scale out door models outside. The models were all of major buildings around the world. There were a few traditional favorite, along with some new school favourites. These are samples of the Taj Mahal in India, The Forbidden City in China, and the Karawiek Boat in Yangon Myanmar.
There were some good roller coaster rides in the park. Admittedly some of them had me screaming like a school girl. I thoroughly embarrassed my son “Dad -You are such a child!!!” he announced after I got off the rides. We also got throughly drenched on the log flume ride.
Partway through the amusement park visit, lightening struck. Rather, it started thundershowering and there were lightening strikes in the distance. In Legoland terms, this mean that almost all of the amusement rides (roller coasters, log flume rides etc) were closed. We were pretty much stuck without the ability to do anything for a good ninety minutes while mother earth down poured upon us. As with all storms in SE Asia, this one didn’t last too long. The park was a little slow in keeping its guests updated; I’d ask when things were planning to re-open (if today at all) and I would get these I don’t know looks from all the staff. The park did play it extremely safe in that the skies were almost completely clear by the time they re-opened the rides.
We took in all of the attractions, and we were able to get through the park in a reasonable day.
Crossing the Border from Malaysia into Singapore:
At the end of the day, we left for the bus back to Singapore. We had a 5:30 PM reservation, although they seemed to just stick us on any bus without the actual name check to make sure we weren’t left behind.
As we returned to the Singapore Border crossing, there were huge vehicle lines to get in. It was almost like trying to drive from Mexico into the United States. There were even “Queue Orderly Violators Prosecuted” signs.
I wondered who would travel by bus in this part of the world where there is so much air travel? As we disembarked for immigration clearance at the Singapore Tuas Border check point, I took a look around in the Singapore Entry passport queues and noticed that most of the passports were Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. We were pretty much the only westerners around, save the odd backpacker that looked totally out of place amongst the asians with their Louis Vuitton purses (even in the bus stations).
We went through the entire reverse process for the entry customs for Singapore. The screening was a little more intensive toward the documents but hardly any questions. We went back on the bus once everyone had cleared customs and back toward the drop off at Singapore Flyer. It was about 8 PM by the time we returned and were off the bus so we decided to walk over to Marina Bay Sands to get some late dinner at Din Tai Fung. There were some nice night views on the bridge over towards the Fullerton Hotel.
My Thoughts on Our Day Trip to Legoland Malaysia
Legoland Malaysia was an interesting diversion to our time in Singapore. It was an interesting day and it ticked the check box when it came to exploring the park and getting to see what Malaysia looked like on the opposite side of the strait.
Would I visit the Legoland Malaysia park again? Probably not. The park is pretty basic by North American standards. Even our visit to Hong Kong Disneyland when WT73Jr was six was a more fun filled and more exciting day. Those that have been to Hong Kong Disney will know that it’s not all too exciting compared to some of the parks that are out there. Others that we ran into on the trip commented that the park wasn’t anything compared to Universal Studios Singapore, which we didn’t get a chance to visit on this particular trip. WT73Jr found the park “okay” but nothing really to write home about. The sense of adventure of the day trip and crossing an international border was probably the most exciting part of the whole thing.