Feel the Fear @ Nights of Fright 5, Sunway Lagoon – Malaysia’s Largest Festival of Fear

It’s night.

You’re in a theme park after hours.

A mist swirls around your feet, curling and uncurling like fingers. An eerie laugh cuts through the night air, sending chills down your spine. You round the corner and you meet..

A whole lot of nope.

As Jigsaw peddles towards you, you take a few steps back, turn, and run the other way, towards the exit. But as you approach the gates, you meet a figure. He closes in and… !

You let out a scream… but realise you’re not in a horror movie after all and you’re not doomed to some gory, impending death.

After all, it’s only Nights of Fright 5, Malaysia’s largest festival of fear – returning this Halloween to Sunway Lagoon to scare the living daylights out of patrons. 😀

Held throughout the month of October, the theme park comes to life (lol) after dark with various denizens of death: ghoulies and ghosties from both East and West. The gates of horror opened last weekend, and will remain open until the 31st. And they’ve got some pretty scary things in store for the brave (?) soul who dares to venture in.

Occult fans will know of Mexico’s infamous Isla de la Munecas, or Island of the Dolls – said to be haunted by restless spirits who make the hundreds, if not thousands, of dolls on the swampy island their home. Described as one of the ‘creepiest places on earth’, the bizarre collection began when the island’s owner, Don Julian, began collecting dolls to appease a little girl’s spirit who apparently drowned in the area. He was found drowned himself, 50 years later, in the very spot where the body was supposed to be found.

Well, you don’t have to travel all the way to Mexico to experience it, because Sunway Lagoon is bringing the island right to our doorstep, along with its residents.

If dolls aren’t your thing, then maybe a nice quiet seance and Ouija board game with the folks over at the abandoned attic of Mr E J Bond Esquire’s home.

Walk the tightrope between life and death at Day of the Dead in 3D, as you make your way through the darkness, illuminated by the occasional eerie glow from masked souls. Be careful though – you never know when they might want some company in the realm of the dead.

Fast forward to the year 2147, to a world of Dystopia: overrun with squalor, human misery, oppression, disease and overcrowding. The hospital plays host to crazy doctors performing grisly human experiments, while monstrosities and ghosts of the past haunt its hallways.

They even got Silent Hill to loan them some nurses.

Lol kidding.

If you’re up to some badassery, explore the iconic Ghostbusters Firehouse HQ and kick some ghost ass. Not literally of course. Touch not the ‘ghosts’ and they won’t touch you. Other infamous ghost locations include the Aldridge Mansion and Seward Street Subway, recreated to a tee.

Some local flavour is in order, and they have the Pontianak vs Pocong, a bloody affair of a lover returning as a Pontianak (vampire) and an unfaithful husband as a Pocong (a Malay version of a zombie) – seeking what is rightfully theirs in a classic battle of evil vs evil (this was the movie they should have made instead of Sadako vs Kayako!)

Fangirl to your favourite horror movie characters of all time (just don’t ask for an autograph) at Horrorwood Studios, where you’ll meet iconic greats like Freddy from a Nightmare on Elm Street, and Michael Myers from Halloween. They’ll even walk you down the red carpet, complete with large Oscar statues, velvet rope barriers and lights over at the Horrorwood Boulevard! 

And of course, it wouldn’t be a screamfest/fear festival without the perennial favourite – zombies. Survive the Zombie Apocalypse maze where the undead are always on the ready to tear you apart and drag you down.

Aside from the above mentioned places, there will be a total of 8 Haunted Houses5 Scare Zones11 Thrill Rides and 4 Show Stages, including attractions such as the Forest of Fear and Judgment Lane (modeled after the demolished Pudu Jail). Join the parade at March of the Undead, where characters walk about in haunting yet beautiful makeup and costumes, decorated with Mexican paper flags and large puppet processions.

Nights of Fright 5, presented by Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, runs from Fridays til Sundays until Oct 31. Doors open at 730PM til late and entrance is strictly for those aged 12 years old and above. Tickets are priced at RM64 per pax.

For more details, visit: NOF5. 

Dare you?

Read last year’s experience here: Nights of Fright 4 

School Holiday Fun @ Sunway Lagoon’s Wildlife Adventure

Back when I was a kid, school holidays = I get to mess around the house or go on a trip with the fam. Hooray!

Now that I’m a working adult, school holidays = less traffic on the roads in the morning. So Hooray to that too!

For those with kids, even better news: Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia’s premiere theme park, is having an exciting and educational programme for the school holidays! Suitable for both kids (and the young at heart!), the Wildlife Adventure gives visitors the chance to get outdoors and spend time together, while enjoying fun and interactive activities revolving around the theme park’s mini zoo. The lineup includes a Wildlife EduHunt, Wildlife Multi-Animal Show, mystery box, animal feeding and identifying the smallest monkey in the world. 🙂

I’ve been to the mini zoo in Sunway Lagoon several times, and was always impressed by how well maintained it is as well as the number of animals they have – over 150 species from around the world ! I especially like the aviary where you can get upclose and personal to the feathered friends who roam around freely.

One of the birds with beautiful plummage you’ll find at Sunway Lagoon’s aviary.

So what’s in store for guests? Take part in the Wildlife Eduhunt Challenge, where you’ll have to complete 10 challenges ranging from Peek-A-Print, Mix & Match, Mystery Box and more, as well as collect stamps at designated spots. The best thing is, while you’re having fun, you’ll also stand a chance to win fantastic prizes, including a 2D1N stay at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, and a Xperia C5 Ultra Dual smartphone. The EduHunt Card can be purchased at the Main Entrance or Wildlife Park (Rimba).

 

Malaysian supermodel Amber Chia posing with an albino python and guests during the event launch! 🙂

Besides the Wildlife EduHunt, parent and child in teams of two will be able to showcase their creative and artistic side in the ‘Get Wild, Paint, Snap & Post’ contest, with 30 minutes to face paint their team partner, snap a photo and upload it to their Facebook with the hashtag #SunwayLagoonMY and #SLWildlife Adventure. The prize? A cool Fujiflim Instax Mini 8 Camera, complete with a Twin Pack Film of 20 sheet prints! 🙂

Even if you’re not into joining any challenges or contests, it’s still going to be a fun day out at the theme park exploring the mini zoo, especially since they have star attractions like lions and a white tiger. There will also be feeding sessions for swans, macaws and squirrels – a good chance for the little ones to interact with wildlife! Be entertained while watching educational Wildlife Multi-Animal Shows.

Sunway Lagoon’s Wildlife Adventure is available from now until 11 June 2017.More info: sunwaylagoon.com/wildlife-adventure/

Photos courtesy of GoCommunications PR

Nights of Fright 4 @ Sunway Lagoon

Do you spook easy? 

All the more reason to face your fears at Nights of Fright 4, Sunway Lagoon‘s annual screamfest held every October in conjunction with Halloween. For the entire month, the usually fun theme park turns into a house of horrors come nightfall, with ghosts and ghouls prowling the streets and creepy things at every corner.

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C and I went for the launch recently, where we got to try out the entire park and its attractions ! It was a bad idea to wear makeup (really hot, stuff was melting off my face. I guess I looked even scarier than the ghouls) and platform boots (which made it hard for me to run haha) but I came from work so there was no time to change.

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A total of eight haunted houses and six scare zones await, each with a different ‘theme’ – from zombies and Chinese vampires to graveyards and the foggy streets of London. Not all of them were available for the preview, but it was more than enough for us that night!

The main area has lots of Halloween-y props like Jack-O-Lanterns, creepy hands and figurines, and of course, actors dressed up in bloody costumes or toting axes, cleavers and chainsaws.

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Like this guy. I think we can be good friends. He hissed at me – for some reason he smelled like garlic.

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Since it was media preview night, there were small stalls with free snacks and drinks – all with funky names like Green Slime, etc. Loved these cutesy chocolate balls made to look like Tim Burton’s Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas, and pumpkin heads.

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Aside from the scare zones and haunted houses, guests are also allowed to ride on the dry theme park rides, such as the 180 degree Pirate Ship (wanted to go on, but afraid of puking), a water slide, the Merry Go Round and more. What a steal !

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They tell me not to feed the trolls… but I-scream is made to be shared.

Sorry. Ignore my lame-ness.

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We passed through the London Fog area, which is inspired by old Victorian era London and Jack the Ripper. The street was installed with some sort of machine that billowed out clouds of fog – so it was difficult to see. Jigsaw made a surprise visit, and some pretty, ghastly pale chicks in corsets were also hanging around.

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Our first stop was the Horrorwood Studios. We went in a group of eight.

Protip on surviving Malaysian horror houses – always walk at the back, coz the actors only scare the people in front. xD

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Bloody baby doll, candles, skulls, scorpions – all the ingredients needed for a scary occult ritual/ fortune telling session.

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Me as a mom. lol.

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These people were prowling the theme park throughout the night.

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Didn’t manage to take pictures of the other horror houses we went into because was too busy enjoying them xD But I did go in the Malaya High School, a school-themed haunted house with crazed students and screaming teachers with chainsaws, as well as Diyu, the Journey through Judgement which was an outdoor section done to look like a trip through the different Chinese levels of hell. My favourite attraction was the Chaonei No.81, where participants had to wear 3D glasses and the inside was filled with scary glow-in-the-dark masks and masked actors.

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Doors open at 7.30pm and the final ‘show’ is at 11.15pm.

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Tickets are priced at RM58 per pax, which is well worth it in my opinion. Ticketing and more info at  sunwaylagoon.com/nof4/. Happy Haunting! 

*photos not watermarked are courtesy of Sunway Lagoon.

Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon@ Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia

As far as theme parks go in Malaysia, Sunway Lagoon takes the cake. Opened in 1997, the place is massive (I’d know. I ran a race here before and it left me half dead). Even though it’s pretty old, it hasn’t lost its appeal, attracting millions of visitors every year. The dry rides are meh (pirate ship, coaster, ferris wheel.. standard stuff), but the real winner is their wet theme park. Slides, tubes, 5D water theatres, surf beach, a massive Vuvuzela, wave machine… you name it, they got it.

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Image credit: Sunway Lagoon

And now….they’ve opened up a new section called Nickelodeon’s Lost Lagoon: the first Nickelodeon themed amusement park in Asia. Visitors can enjoy 14 new rides in addition to the existing ones at no extra charge. Of course, I couldn’t miss it when they invited me and my colleagues to attend the launch!

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From the surf beach entrance, it was a good 10min walk under the hot sun to the Lost Lagoon area. Thankfully, media gets star treatment and we were ferried right to the doorstep on a train. 🙂

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The entrance overlooks the pond/volcano structure sitting in the middle of Sunway Lagoon.

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Clowns and performers dressed in tribal costumes to suit the ‘Lost Lagoon’ theme greeted guests as part of the launching gimmick.

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This reminded me of that gameshow I used to watch as a kid called Legends of the Hidden Temple. Made to look like an ancient temple, there were animal motifs alongside weathered brick and overgrown tree trunks.

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Walking through an avenue lined with quirky fish statues.

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Souvenir shop. There were also food stalls where we got free flow of snacks.

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It was a very sunny day and the fan (?) did jack all to cool us lol.

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Media area. The VIPS arrived and gave their speeches.

The gazebos and decorations were a quirky mix of Nickelodeon and tribal motifs. Notice that the hut is shaped like a pineapple. I dont have to tell you which Nickelodeon character lives in a pineapple under the sea, right? 😀 The tree branch is obscuring it, but Spongebob was sitting right at the top of the water feature. Mascots of the well-loved cartoons including Dora the Explorer, Boots and Patrick Starfish also made an appearance.

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Slime time! The green bucket was filled with goo which poured onto a couple of poor kids at the bottom of the pool lol.

After that, we were given free reign of the park for the day so we could try out the rides! Colleagues and I changed into our wetsuits, dumped our stuff into the locker and headed out. They closed the Lagoon area until 2pm, so we went to the main water theme park area for the Vuvuzela ride.

Had an unpleasant experience with a staff member. I was wearing my glasses, and didn’t realise it wasn’t allowed on the ride. He stopped me at the bottom and said I had to remove them. There were no lockers nearby and I am blind as a bat without my glasses, so I told him I won’t be able to see. Mind you, I was perfectly civil.

“Oh, you can’t see ah? Then you can’t ride lah.” he said rudely.

Wow. I didn’t want to make a scene because we were there to have fun after all, so I looked at him, shook my head and said “You have great attitude”. Sunway Lagoon, you seriously need to look at training your staff to behave like human beings with manners…. especially a particular staff member manning the Vuvuzela ride at 1pm on Feb2.

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That unpleasant episode aside, we had loads of fun. Once the Lost Lagoon opened, we hopped on over there and went on the Jungle Fury. This was so fun we went on it twice. The first time felt dangerous because the staff actually pushed the tube into the slide before everyone was ready, and I barely hung onto the handles. The ride was so bumpy that I almost got thrown off a couple of times. But hey, that’s what made it adrenaline pumping!

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Image credit: Sunway Lagoon

There was a long line waiting for the Monsoon 360, where guests drop almost vertically down the slide. I was too chicken to go on this lol.

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Image credit: Sunway Lagoon

Last but not least, the Kurabango, which I also sat on twice. That steep drop on the right makes it feel as if your heart is flying out of your chest –  and just when you thought it was okay, your tube propels backwards again at top speed. Woot!

Also went on two other slides called Cobra Creek and Boa Constrictor – good, fun and exciting slides that get your blood running but won’t give you a heart attack.

The Lost Lagoon is a great addition to the existing water rides at Sunway Lagoon, and the good news is there is no extra charge. There’s a good balance of exhilarating (for you adrenaline junkies out there) and family-friendly (baby pools, small slides, etc for the kids) so I recommend coming here to experience it for yourself. 🙂

Tickets: Adult Malaysian (12 years and above – RM120), Child (RM96).

Opening hours : 10am – 6pm (Daily). Come during weekdays if possible, weekends are mad. Unless you don’t mind lining up for like an hour for one ride.

 

Fun for all the Fam – Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

So earlier this week, I got to attend the TRIKSTARS media preview: it’s a magic/illusion show happening at Sunway Lagoon theme park from Dec 5 – 20. Looking forward to that !

And since I was already in the area, I hung around for a bit . 🙂 Brought E here last year when he visited Malaysia, so it sure brought back memories.

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Divided into several sections, Sunway Lagoon is pretty old, having opened its doors in 1997. I remember going there as a kid and it was always a super fun and rare treat, because Malaysians are not blessed with many big theme parks. There have been many changes and additions over the years, but the place seems to have focused more on developing its water theme park. The dry park rides are old and quite sad – there’s a small roller coaster, a Ferris Wheel, a pirate ship, a Tomahock and more family friendly rides like carousels and teacups.

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The wet park, on the other hand, is fun and exciting – especially the Vuvuzuela, the world’s largest vortex ride! The launch tower is 11 stories high and it plunges through 152m of awesomeness. I rode this a few times when I was here last year, because one time just isn’t enough. That drop from the tube into the vortex especially. 🙂

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Slides for the kiddies who can’t go on crazy rides until they’re older.

 

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The Zulu Walk area has restaurants and souvenir shops on both sides. Food is pricier than usual in the theme park. For convenience, there are no cash transactions, as you have to buy a pre-loaded card for any F&B purchases.

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Locker/changing rooms are also here.

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There is a mini zoo next to the Zulu Walk, which houses a variety of animals. At the entrance are some colourful parrots. Staff will come by to feed them and visitors can take photos with them at certain times of the day.

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The mini zoo is divided into sections. The wooden gazebo-like area houses small animals such as tortoises…

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Fluffy sleeping ferrets…

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And cute sleeping lizards.

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Over at the open-air Jungle Trail, larger wildlife can be found.

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What does the otter say? Otters make a high-pitched, clucking noise, like birds. Or hyenas. Idk.

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A sleepy, slow loris.

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And this raccoon. It was white (?). An albino, perhaps?

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It’s housemate was so fluffy it looked like a ball (!) 🙂

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Flamingoes.

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The aviary section has a small waterfall and birds/waterfowl roamed around freely. It’s a nice place to get upclose to peahens, peacocks, ducks and the like.

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Being a bird is just a state of mind. I am not defined by feathers and beaks. – Squirrel in the Aviary

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There was also a big cat display with one male and one female white lion. The enclosure was quite small for them though 😦

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Prices for the theme park have gone up since I last visited… to a whopping RM150 for adults and RM120 for children (!!) The family package for two adults and two kids is RM292. If u buy online, there’s a 15% discount.

Is it worth it? Personally, the ticket price is too pricey for me, but if you’re willing to fork out some money for a fun time without having to travel out of state, Sunway Lagoon is a nice place for family-friendly entertainment.

For more details, visit www.sunwaylagoon.com.

TRIKSTARS: Masters of Trickery at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

School holidays are something to look forward to at Sunway Lagoon, as each year they bring in amazing international acts and entertainment from around the world. Last year, it was LumiAir – an circus/acrobatic ensemble from France. I went to watch that with my ex-colleague, and really enjoyed it!  It had everything: death-defying stunts, colourful and energetic dances, elaborate costumes and fun, fantasy storylines which reminded me of my childhood and watching the Royal London Circus (it was very popular back then!)

This year,  the theme park will be kicking it up a notch with TRIKSTARS: Masters of Trickery, featuring a star-studded cast of magicians and illusionists. Expect trickery and illusions of the highest order, delivered by award winning performers from Las Vegas and Europe.

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I was lucky enough to attend a sneak preview earlier this week at Sunway Lagoon. 🙂

The production is put together by Dion Randall Productions, an Australian entertainment production house led by husband and wife team Nina and Adam Bahoudian (above, center). They have over 30+ years of experience in the field, so rest assured this will be a great show. This is also the first time they’re organising one on Malaysian shores!

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First up on the sneak preview was Nightmares by Magus Utopia, all the way from the Netherlands. This magical ensemble have won numerous awards since 1997 (!) Combining unique storytelling with strong visuals and magic, their performance consisted of the yellow guy in blue suspenders being tied up by two creepy fiends. After which they plucked a member of the audience wearing a blazer, disappeared behind a black curtain and voila! Emerging just seconds later, the seemingly tied up dude had put on the audience member’s clothing 🙂

How’d they do it? Unfortunately for us press, they aren’t allowed to reveal their secrets!

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Next on stage were Sebastian and Kristina, illusionists and magicians from Hungary. The duo performed the classic ‘sword box’, replacing knives with umbrellas. Sebastian opened up the simple paper box and folded it to show that there were no secret compartments, before his partner climbed in and he started driving umbrellas through the box with gusto.

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Of course, you know how this turns out. The lovely lady emerged unscathed. 🙂

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The cast with Sunway Lagoon general manager Sean Choo (in blue) and Adam and Nina (center).

Other acts that will be in the  90-minute show:

  • The Wizardy of Phelston Jones: blending magic and comedy as he picks on audience members to help out with his illusions
  • King Charles Troupe: the first all African-American troupe to play in the Ringling Circus, this group of youths play a game of high-energy basketball in a razzle-dazzle style on unicycles; as they dribble, pass, shoot and weave their way on the court-stage.
  • Sylvester the Jester: Known as the ‘real-life’ Cartoon. Looking forward to how he translates this on stage!
  • Rudy Coby: The ‘coolest’ magician on Earth.
  • To cap it off: Songstress J’aime Holland of Deep Creek Road fame will be serenading the crowd with tunes!

TRIKSTARS will be running from Dec 5 – 20 at the Amphitheatre, Sunway Lagoon at 8pm (except Tuesdays).

Tickets are priced at RM194 (Adult – VIP), RM144 (Adult -Normal) and RM164 (Child – VIP), RM114 (Child-Normal)

To book your tickets, go to : http://www.ticketcharge.com.my/en/current-events/trikstars-masters-of-trickery.

 

*Photos courtesy of Sunway Lagoon/GoComm