There’s a theme park to suit everyone in Malaysia
Malaysia is fast becoming the theme park capital of Southeast Asia, with almost 20 theme parks and water parks spread around the country, and plenty more reported to be opening in the next couple of years.
From the rag tag amusement parks of yesteryear to a group of shiny new ones down south, Malaysia has come a long way with its adrenaline-inducing attractions. But with so many to choose from, deciding which ones to visit can be a task in itself, albeit a pleasant one. So, to make it a little easier for you, here are some of Tourism Malaysia’s top amusement parks we are sure will appeal to kids of every age.
This fun-filled theme park can be found inside Berjaya Times Square Shopping Mall in the Golden Triangle, Kuala Lumpur’s shopping and entertainment hub. At almost 12,500 square metres and spread across three levels – including a Fantasy Garden and Galaxy Station – it’s the country’s largest indoor theme park. The star attraction is the roller coaster, which loops and turns around within the mall itself. And when you have finished with the rides, there are numerous hotels nearby, and the many shopping malls of Bukit Bintang to explore.
An educational theme park for youngsters, KidZania is housed indoors at the Curve NX building in Mutiara Damansara, just 40 minutes or so by taxi from downtown KL. A children’s city built to scale, kids can dress up as everything from a policeman or a construction worker through to a chef or a doctor, and ‘get to work’. And while they’re busy, mum and dad can pop in next door for some retail therapy to The Curve, one of Kuala Lumpur’s premier shopping malls.
Everything is awesome at Asia’s first Lego theme park. The award-winning LEGOLAND® Malaysia is one of Malaysia’s most popular destinations, and it’s not hard to see why. With an ever-changing host of exciting events and interactive attractions, it is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser for kids of every age – not to mention anyone who has grown up with LEGO.
Part of Johor’s seafront, Iskandar Development, which also includes hotels and several other smaller-scale theme parks, the resort includes a water park and a hotel. A four-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur or 30 minutes from Singapore, if you visit just one theme park in Malaysia, make sure it’s this one.
Just a 40-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon is a multi-park extravaganza, with more than 80 attractions spread over a gargantuan 360,000sqm. Adrenaline junkies will love the Extreme Park and scare-seekers can test their courage at the Scream Park. For water lovers, there’s the world’s largest man-made surf beach and the world’s largest water ride – the Vuvuzela. Plus the park is connected to the Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall and the 5-star Sunway Resort Hotel. Even better? Everything’s within walking distance, making things easier for families.
Founded in 1992, A’Famosa is one of the granddaddies of the Malaysian theme park scene, but still definitely worth a visit. Home to a water park, safari park and Old West theme park, not to mention plenty of sporting and recreational activities, there’s also a great range of hotel resorts and accommodation nearby to suit every budget. The perfect place to while away an afternoon when the kids tire of sightseeing in Malacca!
Located in Sunway City in Ipoh 2 hours’ drive north west of KL, this theme park is hands down the most popular in the state of Perak. Managed by the Sunway Group, the Lost World of Tambun offers a fantastic array of attractions including an amusement park, water park, adventure park, petting zoo, the popular tiger park and tin-mining experience in a nod to Ipoh’s colonial heritage. One of the highlights here is Malaysia’s longest man-made adventure river, measuring a whopping 660m long.
Aside from the theme park, Ipoh has transformed itself from a town built on tin to a popular destination for families offering famous local delicacies, old town houses gentrified into hip eateries, small boutique hotels along its famous Kinta River, and age-old limestone caves with temples. Plus there are plenty of hotels and resorts nearby to choose from including the stunning Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat and the Lost World Hotel in the park itself.
What started out many years ago as a simple water park has now expanded into a full-scale theme park and resort city catering to locals and international visitors alike. The huge water park covers close to 2 square kilometres, and included amongst its many attractions are a six-lane water slide, a Penguin Island, and Malaysia’s largest wave pool. Next door, Bukit Gambang Safari Park is the country’s biggest safari park and home to Malaysia’s only pride of white lions. Nearby hotels include the Caribbean Bay Resort, Arabian Bay Resort and the Global Heritage Resort Villas.
Although it only opened 3 years, for good old-fashioned fun it’s hard to beat Escape Adventureplay. Forget cutting-edge technology. This is the place to watch the kids climb trees at Go Ape, swing through the air at Tarzan’s Rope or try their luck a human-powered Zoom Bug go-kart. And the entertainment is not confined to children either. As Escape proudly declares on its website, “Growing up is optional” – a motto which visitors certainly seem to have taken to heart, with people of every age leaping through the air at Atan’s Leap, climbing the Gecko Tower, and racing downhill at Tubby Racer.
One of Malaysia’s most popular holiday destinations, there’s plenty to see and do in Penang beyond Escape Adventureplay. With a huge range of accommodation options on offer from luxury options like George Town’s venerable Eastern & Oriental Hotel through to the family friendly Hotel Penaga, the island’s food, culture and heritage make it a ‘must see’ spot on any trip to Malaysia.
And in case you thought these weren’t enough, 2017 will also see the long awaited opening of several new upcoming theme parks. Twentieth Century Fox Studios is set to open its first ever theme park at Resorts World Genting late next year, with the new and much feted Twentieth Century Fox World to host around 25 interactive rides and attractions based on some of the Studio’s most popular films including Ice Age, Alien vs. Predator, Titanic, Planet of the Apes and Night at the Museum. Estimated to cost more than RM2.5 billion (US$560 million), this Hollywood-themed attraction will cover an area of about 10.2 hectares and will replaces the 30-year-old Genting Theme Park, which closed in September 2013 to make way for the new attraction.
Other entertainment-themed concepts in the works include Malacca’s Jurassic Park and Ipoh’s soon-to-open Movie Animation Park Studios, touted as Asia’s First Animation Theme Park. Built at a cost RM520 million (US$117 million), MAPS will offer 40 attractions in six thematic zones when it opens later this year. Meanwhile, video game giant Ubisoft is planning to open a park in Kuala Lumpur by 2020.