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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Legoland in Johor to open on Sept 15

Visitors from Singapore expected to make up a key 'resident market' for Legoland Malaysia
The Straits Times - April 26, 2012
By: Kenneth Goh
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Legoland in Johor to open on Sept 15 Children trying out models that will be part of the rides at Legoland. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

ASIA'S first theme park centred on a popular brand of children's toy blocks will open in Johor on Sept 15.

Legoland Malaysia is located in Johor's Iskandar development region, a 15-minute drive from the Tuas Second Link. At 31ha, it is considerably bigger than the 20ha Universal Studios Singapore in Sentosa, which its general manager names as its rival.

In a press conference held yesterday to announce Legoland Malaysia's opening date, general manager Siegfried Boerst, 49, said: 'It is good to have another quality entertainment spot nearby, which can attract more people around the region to visit these two theme parks.'

At the same time, he said that visitors from Singapore will make up a key 'resident market' for the park. He expects that around 30 per cent of the projected one million visitors in its first year of operation will come from across the Causeway.

According to him, advance sales of annual passes to the theme park from Singapore have been good since sales started in December last year.

Sold through Sistic, the annual passes each cost RM275 for an adult (ages 12 and above) and RM210 for a child (ages three to 11). Day passes each cost RM140 (S$60) for adults and RM110 (S$45) for children.

At Universal Studios Singapore, which opened two years ago, an adult day pass costs from $68 and for a child, from $54.

Legoland Malaysia is the sixth theme park in the world based on the iconic Danish brand of playing blocks. The others are located in Billund, Denmark; Windsor, Britain; Guenzburg, Germany; and Florida and California in the United States.

The Johor park will have 40 rides and attractions, including Miniland, which houses miniature Lego versions of monuments across Asia such as Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, India's Taj Mahal and Singapore's Merlion. More than 50 million Lego bricks will be used to build installations around the theme park.

Mr Boerst says the park's stand-out feature is that most of its rides are family-friendly with seats catered for both parents and children, 'so that they can interact while having fun on the rides'. One such attraction is The Dragon Coaster, a roller-coaster ride that goes up to 20m high.

The general manager also announced that a 249-room Legoland Hotel located at the park will open by early 2014.

Jointly owned by Iskandar Investment and Merlin Entertainments Group, Legoland Malaysia will cost RM720 million to build. The Britain-based Merlin also manages the other Legoland theme parks around the world.

Communications specialist Nina Mueschenbron, 32, visited the park in Germany four years ago and was impressed by the Dragon Coaster and miniature cities made of Lego bricks.

The mother of a two-year-old son said: 'I am curious to find out how this Legoland theme park will turn out.'

Resorts World Sentosa, which owns and operates Universal Studios Singapore, is unfazed by the potential business threat Legoland Malaysia represents.

Its spokesman Robin Goh said: 'We are excited about the opening of Legoland, as it would attract stronger overseas visitorship for both Singapore and Malaysia, by giving more bang for the buck to travel to both countries in one visit.'

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