Very excited to introduce Priyanka Elhence, our newest KetchupMoms Contributor. She will be writing all about Singapore, it’s environs and her experiences as mother of 8 yr-old twin boys. Follow her and take a dip into her fun times, angst times, quick-fix times and more.
Topping the list of highly-awaited movies, Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens cannot be released fast enough for die hard fans around the world! My three boys (read 8 year-old twin boys and dear husband) certainly can’t wait. But for newbies to this epic series, if you were planning a holiday to my part of the world in Asia – the gorgeous Singapore – put a little more effort and distance into your planning and head further to LEGOLAND, Malaysia. Conveniently located in Malaysia’s rustic Johor Bahru, the easiest way to get to it is a day or weekend trip from Singapore (it takes just over an hour point-to-point, including the drive across the border). Get the visas ahead of time and the trip is totally worth it. It’s the ideal mini-vacation.
My advice – stay the weekend at the LEGOLAND Hotel Malaysia- Between the water park (the largest LEGOLAND water park in the world, no less), the land activities and the incredible hotel, time just flies. The minute you enter the hotel with a giant castle in the middle of the lobby, you’re greeted by a moat of Lego pieces. Let the building begin! This is one place where every child wishes the check-in process would take hours while they roll around on the floor amid Lego pieces, building whatever their budding imagination fancies! And if you’re able to finally get the kids to the room, there is a choice of three cool Lego design themes for each floor. Choose from Kingdoms, Pirates or Adventure for the theme of your ‘weekend quarters.’ And the kids get to sleep in their own room, separated from yours by a sliding door. On a bunk bed. With their own TV. Wonderful, isn’t it? Treasure hunt in your room, complete with a clue sheet which will unlock a special treasure chest – but you have to be able to decipher the puzzle! Unlock the trove, and voila! Lego goodies such as magnets and key chains are yours for keeps.
Much closer than a galaxy far, far away
When you do finally get to start exploring, head straight to the centre of the Land Park, where you will find STAR WARS Miniland (parents, it’s air-conditioned, so that should make up for any grudges you have against spending hours in here). It’s as close to the real thing as you can get – unless of course you live at Disney Studios. Amazing exhibits and life size characters, including a full scale Millennium Falcon made entirely of Lego. Even I, the last Star Wars convert on the planet, was suitably impressed. To be honest, they sort of had me at Darth Vader standing outside at the entrance of LEGOLAND Malaysia.
This amazing stand-alone complex of its kind in Asia proudly shows off 2,000 Star Wars models on a scale of 1:20 using more than 1.5 million Lego bricks. Mind-boggling, right? Housed in a unique octagonal-shaped building, it recreates seven of the most famous scenes from the series – six from the beloved Star Wars films and one from the smash-hit animated series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Start off at a specially designed pre-screening area for a LEGO Star Wars movie, followed by a chronological walk through the Star Wars timeline featuring the planets Christophsis, Endor, Geonosis, Hoth, Kashyyyk, Mustafar, Naboo, and Tatooine. Yes, there’s several photo opportunities with a number of main characters including Chewbacca, C-3PO, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Yoda and many more. The Lego models are presented on raised platforms and stand 85cm high, complete with life-sized (Lego) models of C-3PO, Darth Vader and R2-D2 built with more than 80,000 bricks!! And to make the experience as authentic as possible, the displays also feature real sounds, actions and lighting effects!
And for Star Wars newbies, this exhibit is a great way to get your feet wet and learn the basics about the epic series. I have to admit, the excitement in the atmosphere is contagious and even I was getting excited about pressing as many buttons as possible for the sound and light effects! Parents, expect to be here for a loooong time – luckily it’s fully air-conditioned, and in the humidity of Singapore it makes life easier.
There’s not much more left to say. Except of course, ‘May the force be with you!’