Sunway Lagoon review
There’s a few places of interest that I haven’t visited yet in my 18 years living in the Klang Valley. One of them is none other than Sunway Lagoon near Petaling Jaya. Despite being just 15 kilometers from my place, I have not actually visited the popular theme park for several reasons. First it’s rather expensive. I didn’t have the urge to visit them then when I was younger and I as the years go by and I had a few children of my own, the ticket prices have gone up considerably as well. So it didn’t become our first choice when deciding on holiday destinations. Not until recently though. My wife through a friend of a friend of hers fixed for us a few tickets for only RM250. That’s like 50 ringgit each for my family of five. Unbelievably cheap right? Don’t ask me how they got it although I believe the tickets were bought under some corporate accounts hence the massive discount.
We arrived early that Saturday morning, just after the park gates open at 10:00 AM. There’s ample parking around the theme park either at the Sunway Pyramid mall or one of the few hotels in the surrounding area. We were looking for the Pyramid Tower Hotel parking which offers a 7 ringgit single entry rate but somehow I missed that one and parked at a different hotel instead and paid double the price. Never mind, as long as you don’t park haphazardly and get your car clamped or towed away. We got our wristbands beforehand so on the day we just waltz in casually through the entrance. Of course we need to scan our wristband first at the gate. They do check your backpacks for outside food but not so thoroughly like some people reported. Honestly if we hid some sandwiches or nasi lemak at the bottom of the bag, we should have got away with it. There’s so many attractions and rides to try, so many places to visit but only 8 hours to do all of that so understandably you can’t possible do them all. Our plan was to try as many rides and attractions as we could for the day and if we missed some of them, it’s okay. There’s always next time (or is it?).
First order of the day was to rent a locker and stuff our bags and belongings into it. There’s two types of lockers - one regular school-sized locker for RM22 and another bigger RM43 baggage locker. Remember to bring only the bare necessities along because the regular locker is not that big and you don’t really want to carry a bag all over the park. It will be a real chore when somebody has to look after it when every body is in the water. Towels and spare cloths are really all that you’ll ever need. Ideally you should stuff everything in the locker and just bring yourself to the parks. Some rides even require you to remove your glasses, wristwatch and jewelries so bear that in mind. The dress code is pretty relaxed inside Sunway Lagoon. You can get away with pretty much anything - track bottoms, t-shirts and hijabs in the water. Being a muslim majority country, Sunway Lagoon wouldn’t want to turn away the half of their customers with a strict dress code.
Sunway Lagoon is basically divided into two wet and dry parks. Technically there are 6 parks but they are divided into wet and dry parks with a several of them featuring wet and dry attractions. The totally wet parks include the water park (duh) and Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon while the dry parks are amusement, wildlife and scream parks. The extreme park and some parts of the amusement park features both wet and dry rides. We decided to try out some of the more popular rides in the water park first in the morning before the crowd swell in the afternoon and later. Some of the must try rides include the Vuvuzela, African Phyton and Congo Challenge among others. Some of these rides have height limit, usually below 110 to 120 cm so be prepared to leave your kids behind (with an adult) before you try them.
From the water park, we moved to the extreme park to try out some of the rides. Our younger children went off to the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon since they don’t get to try much of the extreme park rides anyway. Later we had lunch at one of the restaurants available inside the park called Lighthouse Bistro. Sure enough the food price was easily double of that outside so we bought the cheapest one off the menu. After that we continue on to the surf beach to enjoy the artificial waves. They only make the waves once for half an hour just on weekends or public holidays so you’ve got to be there when they do. The frequency if I remember correctly is once every 5 minutes and it’s quite fun. Unlike a real beach, this one is pretty harmless and even the young ones get to enjoy it.
Around 5 o’ clock we left the wet park, changed and moved on the the amusement park. I know we should have gone sooner but trying to reason with your kids who were enjoying the water park too much about that. It is only later that they realised they don’t have much time to try out the other parks. Still we get to try some of the rides at the amusement park which were quite fun. They were not as numerous as Genting’s theme park but still enjoyable. We tried out a few carousels, before splitting to try the ferris wheel and roller coaster. Much to my disappointment however, it started to rain while we were waiting for our turn. And they were pretty adamant not to operate the roller coaster in the rain for fear of lightning. So we tried the only other interesting place available which is the Scream Park a.k.a the haunted house. The were not kidding when they say children below 7 are not advised to come in. Hana insisted of following us into the house at first but changed her mind after the first door. Luckily we just escort her out through the entrance nearby to her waiting mother and then continued with our walk-through. I would strongly advise against bringing your primary school or younger children along cause you could possibly scar them for life. As a man of reason and science, nothing inside the scream park could scare me much although a few of the jump-scares managed to ever so slightly startle me. Instead I feel rather sorry for the tireless workers in make-ups trying to scare the visitors out of their wits day in and day out. C’est la vie.
By the time Adam and I finished the scream park, the place was already closed. One park we didn't get to visit that day was the wildlife park because there were simply not enough time. We proceed to the exit in the drizzling rain. I know visiting the souvenir shop was not really a good idea with these kids around but I did anyway and end up buying fridge magnets and a few key chains for them. Did we had fun at Sunway Lagoon? Absolutely. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, even me and my wife enjoyed all of the rides. Did we had enough time to try it all? Absolutely not. Some of the rides have prohibitively long queues so we decided to try out only the most interesting ones. Also, many of the rides impose a height limit so your kindergarten-going children most likely won’t able to go in. So being a model parent like we are, we had to skip some of the good rides altogether as not to disappoint our youngest one (too much). Ideally we should need around two days to fully enjoy all the parks available but then we would need to buy one ticket for each day. And they’re not exactly cheap either, just like the expensive food they sell inside. If money is no object, you should allocate two days to try out everything inside Sunway Lagoon, one day for the wet park and the next day for the dry parks.
My final advice to you is to come early so you’ll have more time to try out most of the rides and attractions. Buy your tickets in advance and online so you’ll skip the long walk-in queue. Coming on weekdays and school days should get you much cheaper tickets but that would mean your kids will have to skip school for the entire day (maybe you could try it at the end of their term and/or after exams?). Remember to look for the Pyramid Tower Hotel and park at their basement to enjoy the 7 ringgit per entry rate. Don’t forget to wear sun block for yourself and especially for your kids. If you’re visiting for the day, set a time out from the wet park and follow through it or else you’ll miss the other parks. They don’t officially allow you to bring along your action cams or smartphones during the rides but most of the time, they’ll just look away and let you use them anyway except for one that involves a vacuum tube which prohibits jewelries let alone cameras or phones. Despite my iPhone being waterproof and all, I don't have the guts to carry it along for the rides and every where around the park so I just used my trusty GoPro instead. If you have one, it's the best type of camera to bring along. Small, unobtrusive and fits nicely in your pocket. Also although the ticket says access to all parks, you still need to pay separately for the pay-per ride activities like bungy jump, G-Force X and go kart. If you haven't visited it already, Sunway Lagoon is a nice place to bring your family to for a fun day in the water and also the rides at the amusement park. Yes it is a bit expensive but for me at least, it's really worth it. For more info on ticket prices and promotion, visit the official Sunway Lagoon website.
Posted on Saturday, March 25, 2017