Destination Malaysia

Malaysia's greatest theme parks

David Hogan Jr. for CNNPublished 27th November 2015
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This article was originally published in November 2015.
(CNN) — Malaysia is fast becoming the theme park capital of Southeast Asia, with 16 theme parks and water parks spread around the country, and 10 more reported to be opening in the next few years.
Tourism's on the rise in Malaysia, and international and local corporations have been working together on a host of ambitious new projects with an emphasis on family-friendly attractions rather than white-knuckle roller coaster rides.
The planet's first Twentieth Century Fox World is set to open at Resorts World Genting late next year, with about 25 rides and attractions based on Fox films such as "Ice Age," "Rio," "Alien vs. Predator," "Planet of the Apes" and "Night at the Museum."
Entertainment-themed concepts in the works include Ipoh Perak's Movie Animation Park, Malacca's Jurassic Park and a rumored park inspired by Malaysian cartoon characters Upin and Ipin park in Sepang Selangor.
Meanwhile, video game giant Ubisoft is planning to open a park in Kuala Lumpur by 2020.
For water fans, there's the Eco Marine Theme Park in Malacca, the Ocean Quest Marine Theme Park and Ocean Splash Water Park at Desaru Johor, Langkawi Eco Theme Park on Langkawi Island, and Splash Park at Port Dickson.
Here's our pick of the country's best theme parks that are open right now, all found on the Malaysian peninsula.
Most of the parks require at least a half-day or full day to do them justice.

Kuala Lumpur

This fun theme park is inside Berjaya Times Square Shopping Mall in the Golden Triangle, Kuala Lumpur's shopping and entertainment hub. At 12,360 square meters spread across three levels -- including a Fantasy Garden and Galaxy Station -- it's the country's largest indoor theme park.
The star attraction is the indoor roller coaster which loops and turns inside the mall itself.
When the rides are done, there are numerous hotels nearby and the many shopping malls of Bukit Bintang to explore. It's a great destination for families planning a stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Admission: RM 51 ($12) for adults and RM 41 ($10) for children.
An educational theme park for youngsters, KidZania is housed indoors at the Curve NX building in Mutiara Damansara. It's 30 to 45 minutes by taxi from the city center.
The concept is a children's city built to scale: The little ones choose an occupation -- be it police officer, construction worker or chef -- then don a uniform and get to work.
While the kids are busy, adults can pop next door to The Curve -- one of Kuala Lumpur's premiere shopping malls -- or visit IKEA or the eCurve Entertainment Center. The Royale Bintang Hotel and Royal Chulan Hotel are a five-minute walk away. The park gets very busy at weekends, so weekday visits are best.
Admission: RM 38 ($9) for adults and for children aged two to three years old. RM 75 ($18) for children aged between four and 17.


Asia's first Lego theme park, Legoland Malaysia opened in 2012 in Nusajaya, Johor -- near the border with Singapore -- and has since expanded to include a water park and a hotel. Next year it will introduce a new ride based on Ninjago, the ninja-themed Lego play sets.
It's part of the Iskandar Development, which also includes some hotels and smaller-scale theme parks, such as attractions inspired by Hello Kitty and Angry Birds.
Most visitors come here as a standard tour package, but by car it's a four-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur or 30 minutes from Singapore. It's highly recommended for families and anyone who grew up with Lego. They also have an excellent "Star Wars" display.
Admission: RM 225 ($53) for adults and RM 180 ($43). Combo tickets for both theme park and water park.


A 40-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur and 15 minutes from private airport Subang SkyPark, Sunway Lagoon is a multipark extravaganza, with 80 attractions spread over 360,000 square meters.
Adrenaline junkies will love the Extreme Park and scare-seekers can test their courage at the Scream Park. For water lovers, there's the world's largest man-made surf beach and the world's largest water ride: the Vuvuzela.
The park is connected to the Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall and the 5-star Sunway Resort Hotel. Everything's within walking distance, making things easier for families.
Admission: RM 150 ($36) for adults, RM 120 ($28) for children aged 11 years and under.


Founded way back in 1992, A'Famosa is one of the grandaddies of the Malaysian scene.
It's home to a water park, safari park, Old West theme park, as well as plenty of sporting and recreational activities. There's also a range of hotel resorts and accommodation, and they host weddings, celebrations and business and other events.
Located in Alor Gajah, it attracts visitors from southern Malaysia and Singapore. It's a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur or three hours from Singapore.
Safari Wonderland: RM 74.00 ($18) for adults and RM 63.00 ($15) for children.
Water Theme Park: RM 48.00 ($11) and RM 36.00 ($9) for children.
Old West : RM 59.00 ($14) for adults and RM 48.00 ($11) for children.


Located in Sunway City in Ipoh, this theme park, water park and spa is hands down the most popular in the state of Perak. Managed by the Sunway Group, the Lost World of Tambun offers many attractions including an amusement park, water park, adventure park, petting zoo, tiger park and tin-mining experience.
One of the highlights here is Malaysia's longest man-made adventure river, measuring 660 meters long.
To get here, drive along the PLUS Highway towards Ipoh, Perak, and then exit at Tambun. From there follow the directions to the theme park.
It's a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. There are plenty of hotels and resorts nearby to choose from including the stunning Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat and the Lost World Hotel in the park itself.
Admission: RM 47.55 ($11) for adults and RM 41.58 ($10) for children.


What started out many years ago as a simple water park has now expanded into a full theme park and resort city catering to locals and international visitors alike.
The huge water park covers close to two square kilometers, and among its many attractions are a six-lane water slide, a Penguin Island, and Malaysia's largest wave pool.
Its sister attraction, Bukit Gambang Safari Park, is the country's biggest safari park and home to Malaysia's only white lions. Nearby hotels include the Caribbean Bay Resort, Arabian Bay Resort and the Global Heritage Resort Villas.
To get here, take the East Coast Expressway, exit at Gambang then follow the signs. It's about 200 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur and 340 kilometers from Singapore.
Admission: RM 70 ($17) for adults and RM 50 ($12) for children. Includes entry to both parks.
Resorts World Genting was Malaysia's first fully fledged theme park and has been around for 30 years. It'll get a new lease of life when the world's first 20th Century Fox World theme park opens here in late 2016 or early 2017.
Genting Malaysia CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay has said $300 million is being invested in the project and most visitors are expected to come from Malaysia with international arrivals coming mainly from China and Southeast Asia.


The good old-fashioned fun you'll find here doesn't require electricity or cutting-edge technology.
Kids can climb trees at Go Ape, swing through the air at Tarzan's Rope or try the human-powered go-karts called Zoom Bugs.
It's not just for kids either. As Escape declares on its website, "growing up is optional," and people of all ages can enjoy leaping through the air at Atan's Leap, climbing Gecko Tower, or racing downhill at Tubby Racer. The park opened three years ago and offers a physically active alternative to Malaysia's other theme parks.
While out here on Penang Island, visitors can also experience the rest of the island's food, culture and heritage, including the capital George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Admission: RM 72 ($17) for "Big Kids" (13 to 60 years) and RM 50 ($12) for "Junior Kids" (4 to 12 years).