23 August 2012

Kidzania, Kuala Lumpur

Children everywhere, lights, noise, excitement......greeted us the moment we entered the 5th floor of Kidzania in Mutiara Damansara.

I was pretty excited myself.

We were somewhat confused when we first arrived to find ourselves at what appeared to be AirAsia check-in counters! They had made the registration counters a mimic of AirAsia, and the kids couldn't wait to go upstairs.

Kidzania  is a theme park for kids with a twist - children get to role-play adult professions. Children perform "jobs" and are either paid for their work (as a fireman, doctor, police officer, journalist, shopkeeper, etc.) or pay to shop or to be entertained. There is Kidzania currency, which teaches children about earning, spending and saving.

A key component of the KidZania experience is the integration of real-world brands to sponsor the "city's" business and activities. Sponsors comprise major local brands across industries such as airlines, banking, fast food, utilities, mobile phone operators, car makers etc. Brands and companies that children can recognize and relate to.

Kidzania in Malaysia is one of 11 Kidzania chapters (currently). Hey! It's rare that KL got picked ahead of Singapore for any major franchise.....it's a good thing that Malaysians are multi-lingual as tourists can bring their kids here since English is used. Singapore will get its own Kidzania in 2014.

My son homed into the secret agent station, while my little girl seemed lost and confused. She didn't quite understand the concept at first and said she didn't want to work, she wanted to "play".

We spent a long time waiting for my son to get his turn at playing secret agent and in the end we left him there. I took my little girl to the Pos Laju job station and she donned the uniform and teamed up with 2 other "work mates" and off they went with their instructions to pick up 3 packages. Of course moms were hot on their heels, and when the "nagivator" got lost, the dads stepped in to tell the kids which way to go to CIMB bank and TNB for their pickups. For their efforts, they were paid 10 Kidzania dollars each. My little girl now understood the concept and wanted to work more!

My son finally got his turn to be secret agent and had a lot of fun. He also scaled the 100+ wall to ring the bell at the top, surprising me with his success as the climb didn't look very easy and he isn't exactly the McGyver-type! Well done, son!

My girl also had a makeup session that she had to pay for, and brother-and-sister worked together at the BHP station as well as had a cooking class at the Ayam Brand shop. My advice - SKIP the Ayam Brand cooking class. It was a waste of time, boring, and a waste of Kidzania money! We will go for the Marry Brown burger cooking class next time.

There are still many many more professions that we didn't have time to try. Looks like repeat visits are inevitable. I should let them open Kidzania CIMB accounts the next time we are there......

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