Sunway Lagoon is not a big name park like Disney or Universal, but it is among the top 10 most visited water parks in Asia. It is currently home to one of the world’s largest wave pools and the world’s largest funnel type water slide. Although this park also has substantial theme park and wildlife park facilities, most people will associate Sunway Lagoon as a water park.
NEW for 2016: Nickelodeon’s Lost Lagoon
Adding movies and cartoons to theme parks seems to be the latest trend in Malaysia – 20th Century Fox, MAPS… At Sunway Lagoon, the Nickelodeon zone includes a children’s play area and seven. Yes, no kidding, seven water slides. Thats the same number as Adventure Cove Waterpark!!!
The most intense slide is Monsoon 360, which is an aqualoop (think Torpedo at Wild Wild Wet but you actually go partially upside down). The 4 tube slides each have unique character, and the 2nd drop from the highest slide is actually quite intense. The area really has a strong adventure and mythical feel, but I don’t see much of Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer or Blue’s Clues.
When I visited, Sunway Lagoon is still making the final touches. The Children play areas and a couple of the slides are still not open. This includes the largest ones: the aqualoop and a freefall wall slide. There is also a small roller coaster under construction.
The River Rapids ride is not too bad, given the really hot Malaysian climate. The length is a little too short, though, and there is little to see (unlike, say, Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure). There is no big drop in this ride, so you will not get too wet. There is also a raft slide called Colorado Splash, but you will not get wet.
Sunway Lagoon has several flat rides that are by far the most intense rides of the park. Pirate’s Revenge is a 360 degree pirate ship, which means the ship will rock all the way to the point when it is completely upside down. The other, Tomahawk, is even worse as it spins you head over heels continuously for over a minute. As I do not like going upside down, I did not go on the flat rides.
There are a few kiddy rides as well, such as a Carousel near the entrance and a spinning teacups ride Apache Pots near the escalators. Personally, though, I find this park not very kid friendly as the proportion of kids attractions is too low and they are very widely dispersed. There is a small playground for kids as well, and when I say small, I really mean it. Finally, the area is connected to Extreme Park by a large suspension bridge.
If you think 1 haunted house is bad enough, try having 4 of them back to back. That’s what Scream Park is all about. Located underneath the lift hill of the roller coaster, I actually went an extra round on the coaster instead of going inside.
From what I heard, there are actually some special elements like 3D based scare effects. However, the haunted house as a whole is rather uneventful and there are very few actors or props to bring up the fear factor (the darkness and background music was doing most of the scaring).
For me, this is the area that makes Sunway Lagoon special. The activities offered here are more reminiscent of a sports park or a campsite based resort, yet they were able to squeeze them into the confines of a theme park. The most popular attraction is by fat the Flying Fox, which spans over the massive wave pool. Even though the landing is in the wave pool, there is no splashdown so it is possible to participate without getting the upper body wet (you still need to wade out of the wave pool) I did not ride simply because the wait time was over 1 hour when I arrived.
The park also offers archery, though the targets are way too close to be any fun. Paintball target shooting and ATV rides are also included in the admission. Surprisingly, I find the trampoline to be one of the more exciting complimentary activities there, though it is quite physically tiring. For a little relaxation, there are also swan Pedal Boats.
However, the most exciting attractions here all requires additional payment. The bungee jump will drop you off from the middle of the suspended bridge, but your wallet will also drop by RM130. The go-kart is another pay per ride attraction costing RM20, though I must admit the circuit is quite short. The karts top about 50kph, from my visual reference. Large scale paintball matches and the G-Force X are the final rides that need extra payment. However, I can assure you that given the number and variety of attractions at Sunway Lagoon, you can have an enjoyable day without ever participating in one of these pay-per-ride attractions.
I have only 1 word to describe this section – unnecessary. For one, most people are busy at the other 4 zones and spend little time viewing the animals (my party wanted to view them just before park closing but the park told us that the area is closed by 5pm). However, the worse part is that the animals are kept is really cramped conditions. The truth is, Sunway Lagoon does not seem to have the expertise to nurse and take care of these animals, I can see that they are really lonely and lethargic (compared to, say Zoo Negara or Singapore Zoological Gardens).
The only exhibit that people experience is the tiger enclosure, and that’s because it is located at a primary pathway on the way to the Water Park. Moral of the story, leave the challenge of showcasing wildlife to the wildlife professionals.
The other new attraction is WaterPlexx 5D. The park claims it is the first in the world and I must say the quality of 3D images is actually quite decent for Malaysian standards. However, I think there is too much water splashing around and it frequently hits the 3D glasses so I spent half the ride wiping water off the glasses.
However, seating is really at a premium here. There are far too few seats and some of the dining outlets (especially those a the locker area) do not even have any seats for customers. This is something I hope Sunway Lagoon can look upon. I also feel that the park is overkill in its food and drink policy – it is almost like an airline, anything other than water and baby formula is not allowed. There aren’t many water coolers in the park, so happy hunting.
The longest queue lines for this park is at the ticket purchasing counter and the lockers. While you can bypass the former by buying online tickets, you cannot avoid the latter. My advice is to either rush to the lockers first thing in the morning or to wait till past 1pm before purchasing them (note that some rides don’t allow you to bring your belongings on board, but Sunway Lagoon is quite lenient about letting people put stuff on the loading platforms).
There are very limited queues for most of the theme park rides, perhaps with the exception of the Roller Coaster as there is only 1 train in operation and the lift hill is so slow. The haunted house queue appears long, but this is because guests are dispatched in batches once the critical mass is hit (or the minimum time interval) the entire group will be dispatched into the attraction. At extreme park, all attractions have short or no queue except ATV ride and Flying Fox, which exceeds 1 hour in the afternoon.
For the water slides, be careful of Cameroon Climb and African Pythons. In addition to the queue for the floats, there is a queue for the slides themselves. This means you are queuing twice. The same is true for Congo Challenge, but that one usually no queue. Vuvuzela moves at almost 600 people per hour, so even it extends all the way down the 10 story slide tower the queue will not be more than 45mins. Waterplexx 5D also has long lines, as the theater is really small (120 seater, as far as I remembered)
[tip] Avoid going to the water park in the hottest time of the day (1pm-3pm), the queues are the worse then. If you want, use the wave pool or lazy river.
Sunway Lagoon offers a lot. I am not kidding about this. However, quantity often comes at the expense of quality, and I really hope the park is able to find it’s niche and focus on it. Most attractions are worth a visit, but not more than one. In fact, I think this park is best for moderate level thrillseekers as a large proportion of rides are quite (though not very) intense.
I think the park can do a better effort in maintaining cleaniness especially of the water in the play areas, and PLEASE, PLEASE provide soap in the toilets. There is a variety of light food options, though for full meals you have to eat fast food. Even though the resort claims that you need 2 days to complete, I think 1 will suffice.
- The park uses a wristband payment system. Do not forget to return to the ticketing counter at the end of the day to get your refund of any remaining cash in the wristband.
- Lockers in this park are quite small. Please bring the bare minimum required (extra set of clothes, towel, soap, umbrella, sunblock and thats it). You need to pay extra for a larger locker which isn’t really that large either
- You do not need to be in swimming costume or trunks to take part in the water park attractions. Just t shirt and shorts will suffice.
- If possible, refrain from leaving stuff at the loading platform even if the staff allow. Sunway Lagoon is not exactly one of the most crime-free parks
- WARNING: Sunway Lagoon enforces a 2 person on water slide policy (even though the safety instructions say 1 person up to 135kg is allowed). If you come alone or in odd numbers, you have to pair WITH OTHER PEOPLE YOURSELF to ride the 2 seat water slides.
As a theme park:
- Roller Coasters: ☆☆
- Thrill Rides: ☆☆☆
- 3D/Simulators: ☆
- Kids Areas: ☆
- Shows: ☆☆
- Dining: ☆☆☆
- Price: ☆☆☆☆
- Overall: ☆☆☆
As a water park:
- Lazy River: ☆☆☆
- Wave Pool: ☆☆☆☆☆
- Kids Area: ☆☆☆
- Water Slides: ☆☆☆☆☆
- Special Attractions: ☆☆☆
- Theming: ☆☆☆☆
- Overall: ☆☆☆☆