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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Theme park in Nusajaya expected to open its doors in September

ASIA’S first Legoland theme park — Legoland Malaysia — in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, Johor is set to open its doors to visitors on Sept 15.

Legoland Malaysia general manager Siegfried Boerst said work on the park is now approximately 75% completed with most of the rides and infrastructure already installed.

He said, in March contractors began work on “theming” the park and next month they would begin the installation of 50 million Lego bricks and models into the park.

“We are ready to welcome one million visitors through our gates in the first year of operations or between 10,000 and 15,000 daily,’’ said Boerst.

He was speaking to Malaysian and Singaporean journalists during a site visit recently.

The US$200mil (RM608 mil) theme park on a 30.75ha site will cater to families with children from two to 12 years old with 40 rides, shows and attractions.

Many of the rides are hands-on, so visitors can push, pull, pedal, programme, steer, squirt, splash, crawl, climb and build for a full-day of non-stop fun.

“The park is divided into seven theme areas, with each area designed for children to explore and enjoy all the activities,’’ said Boerst.

The theme areas are called The Beginning, Lego City, Miniland, Land of Adventure, Imagination, Lego Kingdom and Lego Technic.

He said what sets Legoland apart from other theme parks is the “interactivity and participation to stimulate the imagination and creativity of children”.

Boerst said the combined components of play, bonding, and experiencing while creating would allow children to share the values with their friends and peers.

“This offers unique opportunities for families to bond and strengthen relationships in today’s world dominated by digital gadgets,’’ he added.

Boerst said the response to the park’s pre-opening promotional drive, which began in January, was good with 35,000 annual passes sold online by the closing date on April 16 .

He said the figure was the highest ever recorded for the sale of pre-opening annual passes for any of the Legoland theme parks.

Boerst said 60% of the passes were bought by Malaysians and the remaining 40% by foreigners, with Singaporeans making up the majority of foreign buyers and the rest from other countries.

Other Legoland theme parks are Legoland Billund in Denmark, Legoland Windsor outside London, Legoland Deutschland near Gunzburg, Germany and Legoland California and Florida in the United States.

There are also plans to open a Legoland Hotel on a 0.97ha site next to Legoland Malaysia in 2014. The hotel will also be the first in Asia and the fourth Legoland Hotel.

The other Legoland Hotels are located in Billund and Windsor, with a third one set to open in California next year.

Legoland Malaysia is a joint-venture project between Iskandar Investment Bhd and Merlin Entertainments Group — the world’s second-largest operator of visitor attractions.

Merlin Entertainments operates 78 attractions, six hotels, two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company runs, among others, Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, The London Eye, Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye and Skywalk, Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventure.

By The Star

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