Thursday, November 26, 2015

Legoland with littles (Part 1)

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you would notice that we are not really fans of themed parks. Children really don't need much to keep them entertained, and I find that the boys are usually content and happy to run about in nature. So we put off visiting Legoland Malaysia for the longest time, even though most of our friends have gone there and have raved (or blogged) about how much their kids have enjoyed it. We felt that it would be better to visit when the kids are older, and we didn't have to worry so much about nap-times, height restrictions, and terrible twos. However, we were recently invited by WTS Travel for one-night's stay in Legoland Hotel, along with passes to the theme and water parks and coach transfer, so we decided to give it a try!

The coach ride was smooth and comfortable. There are two pick-up points for coaches headed to Legoland, and we boarded the coach at the Singapore Flyer. There are quite a few pick-up times each morning, and if you are early, you might find that you are able to board the earlier coach instead, which means more time at the parks later. WTS Travel provides coach transfers, or packages with park tickets and coach transfers, and you can get the details here

The journey was relatively short, so aside from Baby J trying to bounce between me and the hubs, the kids were more or less well-behaved, though we were probably the noisiest family on the bus! We had brought along books and our quiet book, so the boys were occupied most of the time. I would say that driving your own car across is more convenient, especially with the kids all strapped into their carseats. However, should you not have that option, the coach transfer is a great way to head to Legoland. Just remember to pack light (cabin luggages are great), since you'll have to bring your luggage down from the bus when you cross the immigration checkpoint. Do also bring something to keep the kids occupied on the bus, and prep the kids mentally about what to expect, and how to behave when going across (very important especially when you have strong-willed kids, as we learnt!). 

Legoland Hotel has a pretty late check-in time at 4 pm, but we managed to check-in much earlier. If you have littles who still need naps, it's best to check with the hotel if you can do an earlier check-in. 

The check-in process was fast, and the kids were kept busy in the hotel lobby, which had many stations for them to build with Lego bricks, both big and small. 

The hotel rooms are split into three themes: Kingdom, Pirate and Adventure, and a lot work has been put in to transform the rooms to fit their themes, from the wallpaper, carpet, and Lego decorations scattered around the room. We were given a Kingdom-themed room (I had requested not to have Pirate-themed room, since the kids get spooked by skull-and-crossbones motifs). 

You could tell that a fair bit of thought went into making the room kid-friendly, from how they had two sinks in the toilet, one which was positioned lower for easy access for the children, to the inclusion of a box of Duplo blocks for the kids to play with in the room. 

I loved how the room was partitioned into two sections, one for the kids with a bunk bed and a trundle bed, and the other for the parents with a king-sized bed, and a sliding door that you can close in between. That was really handy when Baby J was napping on our bed, since the older two could continue playing in their part of the room. Another thing about naps: staying in the hotel is really convenient, since the older kids can stay in the parks to play, while their younger siblings can head back to the comfort of the hotel to sleep!

The beds were really comfy!

Some complimentary beverages were provided in the room, and I loved how they included decaf amongst the tea and coffee sachets.

I think one highlight for the older two was the treasure chest in the room. You are given a list of clues, and solving them gives you the combination code to open the chest. They were awarded with two keychains and a magnet for their efforts. (A word of caution though, for those who have kids who want to work on their Lego sets when staying in the room: do ensure that they pour all their pieces into a box or tray, since the colourful carpet makes it really hard to find any dropped pieces!) 

If you have littles who take ages to eat, and need their naps, then it might be more practical to have your meals at the hotel, or at the parks, to maximize your visit. There is a mall just next to the hotel that has various eateries, but we opted to eat at the hotel for our dinners, simply because we were just too tired to walk! You can read more about the dining options at the hotel here

Breakfast is provided with the hotel stay, and is served at the Bricks Family Restaurant. The variety of dishes is quite mind-boggling, and the food is pretty good (what you'd get at most hotel breakfasts). We certainly enjoyed all the local food that was served!

The restaurant also serves buffet lunches and dinners. However, they only open at 6.30 pm for dinner, so we opted to dine at Di Mattoni instead, since that was open from 3 pm onwards (but as such, does not offer lunch options). 

Di Mattoni was a cosy little restaurant that served Italian food, and we found the pizzas pretty good and quite value for money! 

Kid's pizza on the left, and a regular pizza (which is pretty huge!) on the right for the adults. 

One nice feature of the restaurant is this large Lego baseboard, which forms a Ninjago picture after many of these smaller plates are filled up with tiny bricks. The older two spent a fair bit of time working on filling up their smaller Lego plates, and had a fun time trying to find out where to put their plates when they were done:

The kids really loved their stay, from the lifts which got them dancing every time they entered, to the comfortable room with all it's Lego and kid-friendly features. As for the adults, we were quite impressed at the level of service, and how all the staff we met were friendly and helpful. Junior J enjoyed his time there so much, he got pretty upset when we had to leave! He now lists Legoland as one of his favourite places to visit. I must say that the hotel rates are pretty pricey though, but a occasional stay in this hotel might be something we might consider, if we want to celebrate a special occasion. You can go here and here to read more about the experience of other families staying in Legoland Hotel Malaysia

Thank you, WTS Travel and Legoland Malaysia for having us!

PS: This is Part 1 of a two part series on our experience at Legoland Malaysia. Stay tuned for our guide to surviving both parks when you have toddlers in tow! 

We were sponsored one night's stay in Legoland Hotel, coach transfers, as well as two day tickets to the Legoland theme and water parks for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are our own. 

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