After having arrived to Malaysia the night before, the next day would be for visiting a couple parks and exploring a bit of Johor. Being close to JB Sentral Station provided the benefit of being able to take a bus for only 5 Malaysian Ringgits (about $1.25 USD) to ride over to Legoland Malaysia (There were a lot of things in Malaysia that would be fairly inexpensive when compared to what they would cost back home, but I digress).
After around an hour or so, the bus would stop on the road a bit away from the park entrance, but only took a short walk through a shopping complex next door to get there. The one downside was that because of the timing of the bus, waiting for the next bus would get to the park about an hour after the park opened, and I was trying to pack a bit in the day as I was going to head back to Johor to explore before going to Danga Bay. So this resulted in arriving a wee bit (like an hour) ahead of park opening. So there was a bit of sitting around, mixed in with the occasional picture of the large mini figures outside of the Legoland Hotel.
Upon entering the park, when the opening hour finally came, I would find that it was going to be a reeeeeeeeeeeally slow day at the park, which fortunately meant that there wouldn’t be very long lines, which would mean being ready to head out a little bit earlier as the day went on, a blessing in disguise as the previous day at Universal, I was already starting to get a bit of sore feet after walking around Singapore the day before and then followed by essentially a whole day of walking the next day.
The first attraction I would try out has been added at a few different Legoland Parks, and that is Ninjago. When I first heard about this interactive dark ride, I thought that it sounded really neat as rather than most others which you use a laser gun of some sort, you move your hand above a sensor to simulate using the powers of Ninjago to attack enemies. The problem was that I apparently did not have my hand in the right place when trying to make the motions, as my aim was AWFUL. This didn’t exactly make me a big fan of the attraction, but maybe if I had it better figured out how I was supposed to move my hand above the sensor, it would have been a better experience.
After a bit of walking around, I would eventually come to the Lego Tower observation ride, and take it for a ride to enjoy the views from above. There were some great opportunities to enjoy the views of the park and the nearby city.
Having done a couple of these rides, I was ready for the first coaster in Malaysia, and that would be the Dragon. Every Legoland park in the world has some variation of this coaster, which starts with a dark ride portion in the castle where you see various scenes based on medieval times before going into the larger coaster portion outside of the castle. What helps to differentiate these rides is the coaster portion, as there are a variety of manufacturers the parks have gone with. This particular one is a product of the company Zierer, and is among the largest of the Legoland Dragon coasters. While Legoland specializes in making rides family friendly, I would think of this particular coaster as being on par with a ride that may be a kid’s first “big”coaster as it offers a ride more thrilling that a junior coaster.
Of course, there is a ride that could be a kid’s first coaster at this park, and that would be Dragon’s Apprentice, also coming from Zierer. While I had thought that this was a more unique layout based on pictures that I had seen of it, but upon seeing it in person, I found that it was the same layout as the Grover coasters at both Busch Gardens parks in the United States. A fun little ride that isn’t quite as detailed in its themeing as its big brother nearby, but certainly a great first step for the younger riders.
After getting the two coasters in the Lego Kingdoms section, I went park toward the back of the park to visit their 4D theater to enjoy the Lego Movie 4D Adventure. The show is based on the popular movie, and was a lot of fun. Like many other 4D shows, there are a lot of effects to give you a feeling of being in the show along with the 3D glasses such as fog and spraying water. While many of the same actors perform the same voices they do in the regular movie (with Chris Pratt being an exception as Emmitt was voiced by someone else), I got a really kick out of feeling like I had heard the voice of the actor for Risky Business before, and then confirmed that it was one of my favorite comedians, Patton Oswalt!
From the show, I decided to enjoy what is a primary feature of Legoland parks, and that is Miniland, where many large Lego models are created based on landmarks and buildings from that region or in some cases around the world. While there were models based on famous world landmarks like the Taj Mahal and China’s Great Wall and the Forbidden City, because the park is in Malaysia many of the models are based on cities and landmarks located in Southeast Asia, such as Kualak Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, Thailand’s Angkor Wat, and the Singapore Flyer.
There was one last coaster to ride, and that was the Great Lego Race, a Mack large wild mouse coaster that currently offers a VR experience. This is where my planning for this trip would come back to bite me. As luck would have it, the day that I came to the park was the first day that this coaster was closed for refurbishment……When looking over dates, I had thought that I would be there at a time outside of its maintenance period, but I think I was thrown off by the date as I forgot that most countries write the date ahead of the month, unlike here in the states where we typically write the month first. So when I saw 04/03/2019 on the website, my mind went to April 3rd, not March 3rd as they actually meant. So it was a bummer to miss a credit so early into the trip, but at least it was a model that is fairly commonly cloned, so missing it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Plus with it being located pretty close to Singapore, it would be easy to add to a return visit to Legoland with a return visit to Singapore in the future.
On the way to the other side of the park for trying to see if the log flume was open, I ran into some friends from the Lego Movie as characters from the movie were doing meet-and-greets with visitors. In this case, it was Emmet and Lucy. I wish I would have timed it better to meet Lego Batman, but it was neat to have seen these two at least.
Unfortunately, the Dino River Adventure log flume would also be closed, but from when seemed to be due to technical issues, and by this point, my feet were getting really sore, so I started looking at the schedule for the bus to get back to Johor. As luck would have it, There was a showing of the Ninjago show at the City Theater which would end with just the perfect amount of time to get back to the bus stop for the next. The show itself was really cool! While I have no familiarity with Ninjago, what I really liked about this show was the use of projections to make the background on the stage as they could really enhance the show with the use of the projection technology that reminded me a lot of the projection shows featured at Disney parks.
The characters of Ninjago are essentially minifigure-shaped puppets, and the puppeteers where dressed as ninjas. In a way, this seemed kind of like the way the puppeteers blend in with the show for Finding Nemo the Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom by dressing in costumes inspired by creatures of the sea, but this was a brilliant way to “hide” the puppeteers for this show since ninjas are meant to be stealthy and unseen. While you can technically see them, the focus is certainly more on the colorful puppets, which helps the effectiveness of this costume choice.
At this point, even though I was able to sit for a while for the show, my feet unfortunately were starting to get the best of me, and I was worried that if I kept going, it could make the next few days hard, so I figured that the best thing I could do was head back to the hotel and give them a rest. So used a couple pillows to elevate them, took some ibuprofen, and ended up dozing off for a couple hour nap. While this ended up costing me the time I had planned to wonder around Johor, it would prove to be a wise choice as it made a HUGE difference as it relieved the pain a bit.
After waking up from my couple-hour snooze, and getting some food at a nearby restaurant while letting my phone charge a bit, it was time to head to another amusement park. To get to this park, I needed a cab, and I found that the easiest way to get a cab in Malaysia was with the use of an app called Grab that will hail taxis kind of like Uber, but you can pay the driver with cash or card.
Danga Bay Theme Park is located near a fairly large seafood restaurant, and this was a significantly smaller park than the previous two parks visited that was more like a regular amusement park. One of the highlights of this park was that it had a great night time atmosphere from the lighting.
When it comes to this park, those who may wish to visit it would want to know that it is only open at night, which made it perfect to add after visiting Legoland which is open during the daytime. Another perk of this park is that if you are coming just for the coasters, you can buy individual tickets for the ride.
For the sake of coasters, this park offers two. One of which was the Blackhole Odyssey, a Zamperla powered coaster, and family coaster, a smaller coaster whose designer at this time is not known. More or less they were notches on the belt, but at least with Blackhole Odyssey there was some fun lighting in the building for what was otherwise a pitch-black ride, and the family coaster was a unique coaster and layout.
The ride that I really enjoyed checking out wasn’t actually a part of the amusement park as it was operated by a separate vendor that specialized in bike and cart rentals. This ride was listed at the booth as the Space Rings, which was essentially a cart with two very large wheels on either side of it. The weight distribution would cause some great rocking back and forth at times, and it was self-controlled by one of the passengers. Easily the most fun ride of the night.
And that would be the end of the day that would be all about the parks. Legoland was enjoyable for what was the best version of the Dragon coaster, and the really cool Ninjago show, and Danga Bay would make for a fun closing of the day after getting a much-needed break in between. What would come next would be the first water park of the trip followed by a flight to Kuala Lumpur.