Friday, December 4, 2015

Legoland with littles (Part 2): 6 survival tips

Much has been written about both the Legoland theme park and water park, and we have also shared about our stay in Legoland Hotel Malaysia. It's a great place to visit as a family, since it's just across the causeway, and day trips are possible. I must say that it's best to go when the kids are older (four and above), since there are a lot more rides and slides they can take when they are bigger, and you don't have to worry about naps. However, for families with more than one kid, you'd probably find yourself paying a visit with a toddler in tow. If so, this post is for you, since this is more or less a guide to surviving (and enjoying) Legoland with littles. Here's our survival checklist of tips (which also applies to those bringing older kids):

1. Check the weather, and pack accordingly:
We visited the parks during the hazy period, and were given one day tickets to the water park and theme park, and advised to visit the water park on the first day if the weather was good. That turned out to be great advice, since it poured on our second day there! Both parks have very little shelter, so be sure to bring along umbrellas if you are visiting the theme park (doesn't matter at the water park since you'll be drenched most of the time). Since the haze was still lingering when we visited, we brought along masks. Those didn't stay on very long, since everyone got really hot and uncomfortable wearing them, so we tried to keep the kids at indoor activities to minimize haze exposure.

2. Get a map, and plan your visit before you go:
If you are visiting Legoland with toddlers or babies, you'll find there is less time to explore the park since you need to factor in nap-time. Also, the rides have different age limits, so if you have more than one kid, you might have to plan to split up during some parts of the visit, especially to avoid the case where you have a toddler screaming that he wants to go for the ride that his big brothers are going for! You also do not want to queue up for a ride, only to find out that one out of three kids are eligible, so do your planning!

The best thing to do would be to check out the rides online (activities for the theme park here, and those for the water park here) before your visit, and get the kids to list the rides they would like to (and can) take. Get the kids to plan a route around the park (this is even more so for the theme park as it is much larger than the water park). I found this post (and the links at the end of the post) by Life's Tiny Miracles very helpful during our planning process.

Try to visit during weekdays, and avoid the weekends, since it gets very crowded on weekends and the queuing times can get much longer. There is a baby care area, and I am told that the younger kids can take their naps there, otherwise, you might want to see if your young ones can nap in the pram. We were staying in Legoland Hotel, so we could easily skip across and back to our room when Baby J got tired, so that was really convenient.

3. Settle your meals in the park to save time.
It can be quite troublesome to leave the park to have lunch before returning again, and I think certain tickets also do not allow you the option of re-entering the parks. So it's best to eat in the park (on the go if possible!), and there are dining options in both parks. If you are worried about food allergies or the price, bring your own food. Otherwise, we found that the Market Restaurant food was pretty yummy, and they had both local and Western options, as well as kids' meals.

4. If you have a few kids with you, check out Lego City:
We found that there were quite a few rides that catered to all ages at Lego City, so we chose to spend quite a fair bit of time there. All three loved boating school, since they got to steer the boat! (Do note that they only allow one adult with one child in each boat, so if you have three or more kids, some kids would have to wait their turn.)

Junior Driving School was another ride they loved, but Baby J was too young and had to be content watching his brothers drive the cars around the circuit.

5. Note the indoor areas in case of rain or haze:
For the theme park, there are indoor areas which are great to visit if it starts to rain, or if there is haze. The kids enjoyed exploring the relatively new Star Wars exhibits, and there were buttons to press to activate the models, which kept them engrossed for awhile.

That aside, the Lego Academy room provides boxes of bricks and guides to building various models. This is a good place to hang out with the younger ones if the older kids are off riding the scarier rides!

6. Be prepared to split up at the water park if you have toddlers:
Many of the fun rides have a height limit. To my surprise, the usually cautious Junior J loved the Red Rush and many of the other slides, and the hubby went with him. I stayed with the younger two since I couldn't do many rides with the big baby bump anyway.

Here were some of the activities we checked out together as a family:

:: Duplo Splash Safari: We probably spent the most time here, since it was just a shallow pool with floating large Lego blocks. The younger two loved their time there, and Lil J spent alot of time trying to construct a raft to ride on.

:: Imagination Station: This allows kids to build and test their own creations against flowing water, but this was more appropriate for the older kids since the water table was too tall for Baby J.

:: Build-A-Raft River: The older two loved this, but Baby J was terrified initially, even though he was being carried all through the ride! However, he calmed down and enjoyed himself the next round.

:: Wave Pool: All three loved bobbing around in the wave pool, and life vests are provided for the kids.

I admit, we were initially a little skeptical if the visit would be worthwhile, since we had to bring all three, and there would be a fair bit of juggling to do, not to mention toddler tantrums! But the kids really had a really good time there, so much so that Junior J was close to tears when we had to leave. He now lists Legoland as one of his favourite places to go, and promptly drew this picture the day after our trip (It show the entrance to the park, and says "I love Legoland")!

Once again, thank you, WTS Travel and Legoland Malaysia for having us!

PS: This is Part 2 of a two part series on our experience at Legoland Malaysia. Click here to read about our experience riding the coach to Legoland, and our stay in Legoland Hotel!

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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