Legoland, Johor Baru

Everyone gave our trip to Legoland an enthusiastic two thumbs-up! Generally speaking it was clean, functioned well, and most importantly the kids loved it!!

We we lucky enough to coordinate the trip with our friends and their 2 children, one of whom is Remy’s best friend which made the trip extra special for the boys. We both took very different approaches to our itineraries: our friends decided to drive, and they spent a couple of nights in KL, and left there early enough to time the drive to arrive at the Legoland Hotel roughly when we did. Amazingly we got there within 30 minutes of each other! When we flew home, they circled back to Genting Highlands for a few nights, but that would have felt like too much for me personally and I was happy to get back home. Originally we considered doing the drive as well and instead of going to Genting we were thinking about going the other way towards Melaka but obviously we changed our minds!

To get to Legoland, we took a quick, and inexpensive RM130 r/t, 1 hour Air Asia flight. It left Penang at 7:50am directly to JB Senai Airport, and from there we took a 20 minute, RM43 Grab to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel very early not expecting to be able to check-in, but for an additional RM50, we were given the option to and we did so everyone could stash their luggage and we could get ourselves together for our day at the theme park… We sprung for the Premium Themed Room, which included free cancellation, free breakfast and a slightly larger footprint. The room we got was Adventure Themed, versus Pirate or Kingdom, and we liked it a lot. There were bunkbeds with a trundle for the kids and they had their own tv, then there’s a sliding door to the main room where we had a comfortable king bed. One really fun thing is that when you arrive, they leave a map so your kids can figure out how to find the “treasure” in their room, which were 2 mini-figure keychains. If you want, you can bring them to the theme park because there was someone near the front who will trade keychains with you. Our room was in the main structure of the hotel which was fully air-conditioned and actually quite cold so consider bringing a sweatshirt! I was freezing, especially in the restaurant.

I just want to mention that just 6 months ago we took Remy to the original Disneyland in Anaheim California, and these two theme parks are not comparable. Disneyland is massive, with a million rides (as well as a million people), restaurants and it’s got a lot more bells and whistles; but for what it’s worth Legoland was totally fun, more manageable and a lot less stressful!! Remy is 7 years old and was able to go on every ride, although a few of them did require adult supervision as he wasn’t quite tall enough, although in truth he would have been perfectly fine and happy to go without an adult. This park is great for younger kids, too much older and they might find it a bit small and limiting, and also a bit juvenile depending on their sensibilities! 7 was a great age and the 3 year old who was with us had fun, but her parents split up most of the day so both kids could play in age-appropriate areas, or go on age-appropriate rides.

We chose to go on a Tuesday (which is when the water park is closed), and other than one school-trip, the theme park was practically empty, and we didn’t wait on lines for any of the rides – an advantage of going during an International School holiday and not a local one! Then on Wednesday we went to the water park (which is when the theme park is closed), and while it seemed a bit more crowded than the day before, the longest we waited for a ride was maybe 5-10 minutes.

We decided to also stay the night on the Wednesday night, but honestly you could easily fly back to Penang in the late afternoon or evening (there are multiple flight times) and make it a one night holiday. Then on the morning of our 3rd day we went to the aquarium, which was very nice but nothing overly spectacular like the one in Singapore, could be done the same day as the theme park, or skipped altogether.

Do your research but the consensus is that the cheapest way to experience Legoland is to buy the annual pass, and I recommend the same, even if you just plan to go once. An adult pass is RM313 per person, and a child pass is RM259. It works out to be worth it for just the one trip, and if you decide to go again within the next year then that’s just gravy! The card also gives you 10% off F&B and all their merchandise. Having said that, there are only so many times I could eat the Legoland food. Almost everything you buy inside either theme park is deep fried. In fact the concession stands were probably the part of the parks that needed the most improvement – the wait times were very long, and seating can also be a challenge. At the hotel there is a pretty large menu with all of the usual suspects both local and Western, as well as a big buffet for breakfast and dinner (we were never there for lunch). Unfortunately I am not a big fan of most buffets, so on the second night we decided to go “off-site” to a really great pizza/pasta restaurant called Coppola’s, a 10 minute grab for RM17. The restaurant is located in a small plaza and there were quite a few other restaurants to choose from, as well as a new late night pharmacy which came in handy too. Our pizza was especially delicious, and the chocolate brownie and churros were dessert favorites.

Because the aquarium was very quick, and our flight back to Penang wasn’t until 3:45pm, we decided to hit up the Johor Premium Outlet Mall, which we passed about 10 minutes from the airport when we arrived. They have some very big designer names (Gucci, Ferragamo, Zegna, Prada, Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo) many of which you can’t even find in Penang, but the prices we not so compelling, and the selection not that exciting, that we ended up leaving empty handed but it was a decent way to pass the time before our flight. We were home in time for dinner and we would definitely recommend going to Legoland for a long weekend or even just a night!

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