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The best thing about theme parks is that there’s always something for the whole family, be it gravity-defying roller coasters or a relaxing ride on the Ferris Wheel. Lucky for us living on this side of the world, some of the best theme parks can be found in Asia! We’ve narrowed it down to five that you should consider for your next family trip.
Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia
Widely considered to be one of the best theme parks in Malaysia, Sunway Lagoon in Bandar Sunway, Selangor has over 90 rides and attractions spread across six zones. There is a Wild Wild West themed area with classic rides such as coasters, a Ferris Wheel and spinning cups, while the Water Park has exhilirating rides that include a giant Vuvuzela ride, a man-made Surf Beach, as well as the country’s first surf simulator. Older children and adults can venture into Scream Park which features four interactive ‘scare’ experiences. Adrenaline junkies can head to Extreme Park for some heart-thumping paintball, bungee jump, flying fox or ATV rides. Sunway Lagoon is home to the country’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, which spans the length of the park from one end to the other and offers scenic views of the fun going on below. Also within the park is an educational mini zoo that is home to over 140 species of birds, reptiles and mammals. In 2016, the park added Asia’s first Nickelodeon-themed attraction to its repertoire,featuring rides and characters from hit cartoon series such as Spongebob Squarepants and Dora The Explorer.
The first of its kind in Asia, Legoland Malaysia in Iskandar Puteri, Johor is a haven for fans of the block-building toys. Unlike conventional theme parks with typical thrill rides, the emphasis is on fun and learning, so rides are less adrenaline-pumping and geared towards younger children, making it the perfect destination for families. There are over 40 rides and attractions, most of which feature interactive games and building. Build your own houses, cars, skyscrapers and more – you can even test out some of your creations! Sky Cruiser is an aerial monorail ride that allows guests to pedal along a track above the theme park, while those who want to experience the excitement of a roller coaster without actually being on one can challenge the Great Lego Race, a virtual reality coaster set in the Lego world. Be a gallant knight or a regal princess at Castle Hill, a Lego Knights-themed attraction at the back of the park. Other nearby attractions include the Legoland Water Park and the Legoland Hotel.
Ocean Park, Hong Kong
Opened in 1977, Ocean Park is a household name in Hong Kong. It is separated by a mountain range and covers two areas, namely The Summit and The Waterfront, which can be accessed via cable car or a funicular railway. The park underwent a major revamp in the mid 2000s, emerging bigger and better than ever, and now boasts over 80 rides and attractions. Apart from the usual theme park rides, Ocean Park prides itself in its educational programmes and entertainment, focusing on animal and environmental conservation. The Amazing Asian Animals area showcases some of Asia’s endangered creatures, such as giant pandas, red pandas and Chinese alligators, while the Aqua City zone houses a Grand Aquarium with a display of 5,000 fish. Polar Adventure is dedicated to animals such as penguins, walruses and sea lions, while Rainforest features 70 exotic animal species. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the local culture at Old Hong Kong, a replica of the streetscapes between the 1950s and 1970s.
Located within Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore is the quintessential place to visit while on holiday in the island republic. There are 24 rides in seven themed zones, mostly modeled after well-loved films from the movie production giant. Sci-Fi City, for example, has the Battlestar Galactica dual coasters and a Transformers 3D Dark ride, while Ancient Egypt features a high speed dark ride based on The Mummy film franchise, complete with towering guardian statues at the entrance. Be transported to the Hollywood Boulevard of the 1970s, or New York City with its sidewalks and classic landmarks. Then, venture to the kingdom of Far Far Away as seen in the DreamWorks animation, Shrek and rescue Princess Fiona from the clutches of an evil villain.
Built in the same style as its counterparts in Florida and California, USA, Tokyo Disneyland is a massive 115-acre theme park that consistently rates among the most visited theme parks in the world. It has seven themed areas, including the four traditional Disney ‘Lands’: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, as well as a World Bazaar and two smaller areas called Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown. Attractions are based on American Disney films and fantasy, such as the iconic Cinderella’s Castle and rides that take visitors through scenes of classics, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio. Westernland brings a bit of the Old West to visitors, the main highlight being the Rivers of America, a man-made waterway that is home to the Mark Twain Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island. Futuristic Tomorrowland sports a more urbane look, with exciting rides such as Space Mountain that propels visitors through a dark tunnel at high speeds.