When I grow up, I want to be…
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Two things crossed my mind as I stepped into KidZania and listened to our guide’s explanation of what this "indoor family edutainment centre" is all about.
“This is so cool! How I wish I had this when I was a kid. If only I was a kid again so I can enjoy this,” I said aloud.
The guide smiled knowingly.
“Almost every adult who walks into KidZania feels the same way you do. I feel the same way too,” he chuckled as he led us to the fourth floor of Curve NX where the ultimate playground lies.
Occupying the fifth and sixth floors with a 19-metre actual AirAsia plane (just the nose!) protruding out of the building is KidZania, a kid-sized city where children from ages four to 14 can role-play 90 different activities from 60 establishments.
The ticketing counter is on the ground floor and it resembles an airline check-in counter. “Kai!” greets a group of KidZania staff with their fingers placed on their chest in a “K” shape. KidZania has their own lingo with words like “Zank you” and “Z-U.”
The guide tells us that once you purchase your tickets, you will be given a boarding pass, KidZania city map, a security bracelet and 50 kidZos (KidZania currency) in the form of a cheque. kidZos are practically gold in KidZania and the best part about this currency is that it can be used in other KidZanias around the world.
The security bracelet is for parents to track their children’s whereabouts because at every establishment, the bracelet is scanned when the child enters or leaves.
KidZania’s real-life simulation begins at the entrance. A mock bag scanner is placed at the entrance and children can pretend to scan their bags before entering. Stepping into the “city”, the smell of popcorn wafted through the air and the sounds of children squealing with excitement can be heard. It really felt like a mini-city and I felt like a child in a place where dreams come true.
Here at KidZania, you can bank in your cheque to get your kidZo dollar notes. There’s even an actual ATM that dispenses kidZos!
From working in an emergency room as a doctor, acting in the theatre, being a judge in a courthouse, piloting a plane, modelling on a runway to working at a fast food restaurant, there are many role-playing simulations where children can work to earn more kidZos and spend it on goods and services.
“Children will learn how to make decisions on their own and choose to participate in what they like. KidZania enables children to be independent and they can learn how to do things adults do in real life,” said Waikuan Wong, vice president of communications, Themed Attractions. KidZania Malaysia is owned by Themed Attractions.
Real-world brands like Marrybrown, CIMB, KPJ Healthcare, Honda, AirAsia and many more bring authenticity to the role-playing experience. Each child is encouraged to complete tasks on their own to earn kidZos. There are Zupervisors at each establishment to lend a hand whenever help is needed. Through KidZania, children will learn how society functions, adult professions, team work, real-life skills and self-esteem.
For parents with babies aged zero till three, Urbano’s House is a playground for toddlers with a place for nursing mothers as well. Urbano’s House is located a floor above the main KidZania “city.” Children aged four to 14 can also visit Urbano’s House although it is more suited for toddlers.
KidZania Kuala Lumpur opens for business today and it is located at the Curve NX in Mutiara Damansara. Visitors can access KidZania via a link bridge from the Curve shopping mall.
Visit the website at http://www.KidZania.com.my for more information or contact the CareLine at 1300-88-KIDZ (5439).
KidZania Kuala Lumpur
2, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya
Operating Hours: 10am—5pm (Mon-Fri)
10am—3pm and 4pm—9pm (Saturdays, Sundays, public and school holidays)
Pricing: Child — RM55 (MyKad)/RM75 (non-MyKad)
Adult — RM35(MyKad)/RM55(non-MyKad)