About Me

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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

All About Making Fun Summer Memories: The Legoland Waterpark

Before our summer tan fades, I'd like to talk about the place where we got our new exotic coloring - The Legoland Waterpark in Johor Bahru.

If you have the time for at least an overnight stay in Johor Bahru, Malaysia; you may want to avail of the combo tickets that Legoland has to offer. The combo tickets allow you entry into the dry and the wet park, at a much discounted rate. Tickets are 20% cheaper too if you book weeks ahead, online. For ticket details, please click on this link.

According to the Legoland staff at the gate, Johor Bahru (JB) is known for it's odd weather, were it could be sunny moment and raining with thunderstorms, the next, most especially in the afternoons. He advised us to head out to the water park first and go to the indoor displays that Legoland has to offer, should it rain.

our 7 year old MAX, Papa and some dude who couldn't bring himself to ride alone, despite the many empty cars available

Fortunately for us, the weather was just hot, hot, hot! Imagining that a freak thunderstorm might occur, Phil, MAX and I got checked out the Star Wars exhibit and the boys got a nice rollercoaster ride in, before we went to the gate at the side of the theme park to enter the Legoland Waterpark.

As early as now, keep your tickets on hand if you plan to re enter whichever park.

To give you a brief idea of what this waterpark is all about, FYI, it is the world's largest Legoland Waterpark. It has around 20 thrilling slides and has more than 70 Lego models spread around the park.

Like all theme parks, it's got a little of everything for everybody. Here's a rundown (with descriptions from the Legoland website):

For younger children: Moms and Dads, worry not about bringing life vests for your kids. The Legoland Waterpark has all these on hand, in various colors and sizes and are free for use inside the park (this means you can't bring it home). Life guards are stationed everywhere too. Anyway, for the younger kiddies, this park has the Duplo Splash Safari (5 year old and blow only), where there are shorter slides and interactive, kid sized Duplo figures. Since none of us belong in this age group, we enjoyed the other areas instead.
Duplo Splash Safari

For older kids: There's the Twin chasers (Two side-by-side enclosed red tube slides that stretch nearly 130 feet and pour into a wading area below), the Lego Slide Racers (Race down the slides with 5 others on a mat and see who reached the fastest. A thrilling ride for the whole family.) and our favorite, the Red Rush (A family tube slide where up to six (6) people can ride together down a 312-foot-long curving track on an 11-foot in diameter half pipe).

Red Rush

the path and stairs going up was uber hot especially when the park staff tell you to take off your shoes a couple of steps away from said path and stairs (still at the Red Rush)

For the whole family:
- Build A Raft River (Design and build your unique LEGO raft and set afloat on a voyage around the lazy river.)

fish out all those floating lego pieces to decorate your raft

life guards all around, despite the waist deep water (I'm 5'6)

I should have brought a hat and some shades with me here...

- Imagination Station (interactive, educational and imaginative fun! There are two interactive tables. On one, kids can build bridges, dams and cities out of DUPLO® bricks and test them against the flow of water. On the other, they control the flow of water by creating patterns out of LEGO® elements.  In another area, a musical water stand with a series of holes on top that squirt water allows kids to become conductors of their own water symphony as they cover holes creating new music notes.)
- Joker Soaker (A fun, interactive playground with various lengths, heights and types of slides that offer something different for every member of the family. Guests can wade in the surrounding pool and be surprised with a torrential spill from a 300-gallon bucket.)

Joker Soaker's super fun!!!!!

if you're wearing contact lenses, put on your goggles while walking around, just in case you get some of the water from the 300 gallon bucket, dumped on you

mini buckets and squirters make for ultimate soakage (not a word, but using it anyway)

open slides of different heights are fun. Just cover your nose on the way done to prevent snorting in some of the water in the wading pool below

the closed slides go up to 3 stories high. Phil and MAX were the kings of these slides that day ;)

- Lego Wave Pool (Families can catch a gentle wave or simply cool off in this perfectly sized wave pool where the waves are just big enough for all ages to enjoy.)
trying out the borrowed life vests of the park, while Mama and Papa finish their lunch

the wave pool's waves are gentle and at the deepest end, the pool's just 1.2 meters deep

- Brick Buster (Blast down the slide with 2 or 3 friends in a tube and pass through two 2 tunnels of extra fun.)

brick blaster

- Splash N Swirl (You can splash and swirl on your own or share a tube with a friend. Spin your way down the slide but don’t get dizzy.)

wave rider and the splash n swirl
- Wave Rider (Slide down 240 feet in this open body slide feet and “splash out” into the water below)
- Tidal Tube (Are you brave enough to slide down 240 feet in this closed body slide?)

After all the swimmin and splashin, I'm sure you'll be hungry and thirsty in no time. RIght beside the Lego Wave Pool is the beach grill.

The Nasi Lemak and Roast Chicken plus the chicken nuggets and fries were great meal options. Phil's fried chicken was just blah. Too much overcooked breading and uber dry chicken meat was something we didnt expect. Based on experience, Malaysians seriously know their chicken.

the nuggets here are better than that of McDonald's

nasi lemak with roast chicken

Near the Joker Soaker is the Brick Cafe. By this time, I was dying for a cup of Ribena AND ice cold Milo. I tried this prawn thing, which, from the time I started to the time I finished snacking, was a flavor I could not find. BTW, Food and drinks brought from the outside aren't allowed in the park.

do cover your food, even if you'll be gone for a few seconds. Saw these huge black birds attack someone's meal :P
the alleged "deep fried prawn "
Just in case you forgot to bring your towels, swimwear, sunblock and cooling lotions as well as protection for your tech, head on out to the Brick Water Beachwear shop. Of course, other Lego merchandise and the bricks as well are available. BTW, don't expect anything to be cheaper than the prices you see at the malls.

Despite the fact that there were no lines in the rides, as it was exams week for the folks in Malaysia and Singapore,  we enjoyed our waterpark visit over that of the theme park's.  Not that the latter was bad, it's just that the heat in the mostly unshaded park (hope they plant more trees around in the near future) was made tolerable by all the water activities. To each his own I guess.

body dryers, lockers and shower rooms. This is also the place to pick up your official park photos and get a new pair of shades and airbrushed tattoos

cabanas come with the shaded recliners, a fan , a safe and a mini fridge

the longest stroller/wheelchair ramp I've ever seen

Oh and just in case you're wondering, there are big and small lockers available for rent at the Legoland Waterpark. There's a long, long stroller ramp to after the entrance so I guess it's stroller friendly and the showers and facilities are clean. No hot showers though (They do have liquid soap in the showers) or swimwear dryers and hairdryers. There are those dryer pods though, but you'll have to be wearing the clothes to dry em (hot hot hot in the JB heat!). Cabana's with two recliners, a mini fridge and a fan are available for rent as well. The flaps close around, giving you shelter from peeping eyes and the glare of the sun.

We have a fabulous time at the waterpark. We don't mind visiting it again in the near future, especially the red rush ride :)

someone here wanted to swim without having lunch to have lunch :P
From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Angry Birds Activity Park - It's Not Just For Kids!

We've heard about the game, we've seen the countless merchandise and have gone on several kiddie birthday parties with it as a theme. But did you know that there's an activity park that revolves around it?!
someone's just rearin to enter!
What am I talking about you ask? I'm talking about the ANGRY BIRDS ACTIVITY PARK in Johor Bahru, Malaysia!

KOMTAR's a great place to shop and dine too!
Located at the 3rd floor of the KOMTAR JBCC mall (right across the JB Immigrations building), the 26,000 sq. ft. indoor and air conditioned activity park is a child's (and active adult's) dream.

keep it on you if you want to re enter

The state of the art activity park has a little something for kids of all ages, and is open from 10 am to 10 pm, in 3 intervals. To avoid confusion, buying tickets allows you to still re enter the park after each shift ends (everyone is asked to leave), since they allot an hour between these "shifts" to tidy up the place.


We bought our tickets online (please see link here), but you can also buy it at the entrance itself. No discounts apply for non-Malaysian residents, so either way's good.

Prices are as follows:

Tickets & Packages

Tickets Normal Rate MyKad/ MyKid Holders
Single Entry RM75 RM75 RM60
Annual Pass RM230 RM230 RM180
Family Pass of 4 Persons RM280 RM280 RM218
Family Annual Pass RM850 RM850 RM700
School Groups RM50 / Student
Birdday Party Please click here for more detail
Angry Birds Activity Park Johor Bahru reserves the right to change the price without prior notice.
Child below 3 years old and senior citizen age 60 and above is complimentary. However, valid proof is required upon entering the park.

The park is divvied up into 4 zones:
1. DANGER ZONE - for bigger kids. The area features a huge scooter ramp known as the Lazer Bird Scoot and the SPACE DROP AIR BAG, where one could drop from a 2 storey structure and land on a giant air bag.

remember that visit to the fire station in 1st grade? The drop and roll thing never gets old

scooters + ramps = leg cramps

2. UTOPIA - for all ages. The area features an AIR PARKOUR TRACK for future ninjas to practice on, the ANTI GRAVITY TRAMPOLINE (a favorite of MAX), the BIRD WIRE SLACK LINE for future tightrope walkers, a GIANT LEAP FOAM PIT where you can safely drop into after you dive, swing or launch yourself (ANGRY BIRD STYLE) into. Lastly, there's the PIGGY SHOOTING GALLERY where you shoot those evil piggies using foam balls and a tennis ball launcher. This was my favorite spot :)

there are "levels" for these trampolines. Some allow you to clear five feet dividers in a single leap :)

happy that our son was willing to try all these new things without fear :)

My hearing may be uber sensitive, but I am NOT AFRAID!

run, jump, scream and have fun!

a little help from dear ol'Dad

upper body strength is required :P

the lights turn on once you've shot all the bad piggies

tennis ball launchers are your ultimate weapon in this zone

don't be afraid to launch yourself-Angry Birds style, into the foam pit

3. CLASSIC - for school age kids and adults, there's the ANGRY BIRDS GO! KART TRACK. Kart your way to victory in a go kart race, like in the game or give your legs a bit of a workout in this circuit. There's also the BIRD NEST CLIMBING TRACK for the kids. Its basically a giant playground with lots of places to climb, slide and explore.

Phiiil! Where are you?!!

GO! karts
safe and well made playground equipment

appropriately dressed

I'd hate to see the bird that laid these eggs

4. SOUTH BEACH  - last but not least, this is the perfect place for tired kids and toddlers. In this zone, you'll find giant touch screens where you could play ANGRY BIRDS VIDEO GAMES. There's also the BALANCE BIKE LAGOON where toddlers can specials bikes to move up and down little ramps. Awaken your child's imagination up on CAPTAIN BLACK BIRD'S SHIP. Watch some Angry Birds cartoons inside the CINEMINE and have some fun and play a game of RED BIRD SONA.

South Beach

bird crazy by the Cinemine entrance

a big and some clubhouse type of structure make this a great place to take a breather

Should you visit the place, take note that food and drinks aren't allowed inside the park. However, there is a lounge area for the park, where you can purchase thirst quenchers, ice creams and snackage. Parents and guardians can hang out here, should you choose not to accompany the child inside. A balcony on the second floor overlooks the activity park, allowing you to see what's going on inside. The park staff is present all over the place to make sure that everything is in order.

lockers for rent and cubby holes to store your shoes in

vending machines at the lounge. If you prefer something else, there's a KFC outside the park  a few steps away from here

facilities are well maintained and super clean

Socks are also a must have. If you didn't bring one, there are socks sold at the ticket counter. There's a designated area to safely keep your shoes. There are also lockers for rent that are reasonably priced, just in case you need to stash your stuff.

Should you require more Angry Birds merchandise, there's an ANGRY BIRDS SHOP at the front of the activity park. It's got a little bit of everything, from the various Angry Bird Games. For the Star Wars Angry Birds, they only have the Yoda bird stuffed toy to represent it. Seriously, doesn't anyone stock Darth Vader anymore? Just saying :(

more shopping...

home, school and office supplies are available too

not to mention apparel, food and toys!

more pig and Star Wars related merchandise please :)

Despite my sprained ankle and Phil's bad back, we had SOOOOO much fun with our son MAX! We got to goof off and play kid-style. BTW, you might encounter the parkour teens in the park, practicing their American Ninja Warrior like moves. Those lads are indeed impressive.

giant touchscreens may be found around the park so you could play an Angry Bird game anytime

MAX pretty much owned Blackbird's ship that afternoon

Another thing impressive about the place is how it was put together. The place is seriously well made :) Aside from the stuff mentioned above, there are others things to do in the park (ex. Space Soccer at the Danger Zone).

it's seriously like being in a game!

some of the Angry Birds games are well represented in the park

space soccer

there's this weird laser game inside that I can't seem to figure out :P

We loved the place! Hope you'll love it too!!

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!