Monday, November 6, 2017

Tips for Surviving Kidzania!

So the boys received free admission into Kidzania as part of the NEHA event covered here. It was Aiden's third time, but Ian's first. And I am so glad that we procrastinated Ian's trip to Kidzania because he is now at the age where he understands the concept of going to work to get a job. Of course, he enjoyed the experience mostly with the help of Aiden. Aiden really took care of his brother - making sure that they were always seated together, explaining things that they were going to do, and of course, keeping each other company during the longggg queues. The medium of communication in Kidzania is English, hence the boys understood every word being explained by the Zupervisors. It was definitely an enjoyable outing for the boys.

Anyway, I won't even bother explaining the concept of Kidzania. But I think it is worth noting that they have now implemented a 'sticker' booking system in which kids are allowed to book an activity that they want to do in advance. You can only book ahead for six 'popular' activities namely the fire fighter, policeman, and making chicken burgers at McDonalds (ground floor) and also Air Asia pilot, making Vitagen at the Marigold factory and manufacturing vitamins at Pharmaniaga (upper floor).

I digress. Back to the subject, tips for those who are looking into a trip to Kidzania for the upcoming school holidays:

I think this doesn't really make a difference if you're going during the school holidays. Outside of holidays, weekends are packed but weekdays may be just as busy with school trips. However, you get more hours by going on Saturday or public holidays as they close at 7pm (instead of 5pm). Choose wisely!

Registering themselves at the bank. Super funny - the lady gave Ian a piece of paper and pen to write his name, and of course Ian didn't know how. Tapi muka confident scribble scribble bagai sampai the lady pun tunggu dengan penuh sabar. Nasib baik Babang was beside him to save the day *chuckles*

Plan Jobs Ahead
You will really need to plan your day and jobs that you want to do. Get your kids to identify the map ahead of your trip so they can choose the jobs that they really want to do. There are only 5 booking sessions (hiring time) on Saturdays,public/school holidays (4 on other days) for the six popular activities, so really - there is no way that they'll get to do all six in one day. Arrive as early as you can. Kidzania opens at 10am so plan to be at the ticketing counter 30mins before so you can get through the door at 950am - just in time for the 10am hiring time. Also, it is human nature to start from the bottom, so why not start from the upper floor first to beat the crowd?

First job of the day, delivering parcels. Ian followed his big brother everywhere!

They then went to work with the electrical company. Super important job - carrying the monkey ladder around town!

Attempting to fix a broken electrical circuit in front of McDonalds.

Plan Hiring Time Ahead
The hiring times are 9.50am, 11.40am, 1.30pm, 3.20pm (and 5.10pm for Sat,public/school holidays). Booking times are stated on stickers. Only kids are allowed to queue for stickers (no adults are allowed on behalf!!!) and kids are only allowed to have a maximum of two stickers per booking session (if you're lucky enough to score 2 that is!) *chuckles* Also, I'm half minded about advising you to arrive 15 minutes earlier than the hiring times. Why? Well we arrived early for the fire fighter and pilot activity, and in both cases we were assigned the very first slot. Unfortunately with the very first slot it meant that you had to remain in line and wait for the last slot of the prior hiring time to finish, and also sometimes staff take a short break in between hiring times. (Whereas other kids who got later slots were already off doing another job while we were waiting.) However, please do arrive early for the McDonalds hiring time. They actually ran out of numbers five minutes before hiring time even started! And of course, arrive early if you're going during school holidays - period!

Ian insisted on working as a pump attendant at BHP (while Aiden wanted to work as a toll booth operator for Plus Highway). Ian's partner was an equally 'fun' size, so they had extra supervision throughout their job.

Okay Ian, next time Mummy won't bother going down from the car to fill in my fuel. It's quite obvious that you can do that now! *giggles*

Aiden had to wait over 20 minutes, to do his dream job. He loved it!

Since Aiden was still busy waiting in line, Ian decided to work at MBPJ, checking business licenses around town. Thankfully he was accompanied by a lovely little girl who understood what to do! Ian tukang pegang kertas jer!

Managing Kidzos
If you have two (or more!) kids like us, they won't appreciate their Kidzos being mixed together. We brought two named pouches for Aiden and Ian, and in there we stuffed their hard earned Kidzos, ATM card and random stuff they made or collected along the way. If they can manage their own things, try getting a lanyard that is spacious enough for them to stuff their Kidzos and comfortable around the neck.

Firefighters for the day! 

Ian's fire helmet was too big for him and kept falling off. But he just picked it up and plonked it back on his head while continuing to 'fight fire'. So confident!

My handsome firefighter boys.

Walking back into the station after a job well done.

Using Kidzos
Every child will be given 50 Kidzos at the start of their journey. If you opt to join their B.KidZanian program (RM38 per child - one off fee), your child will earn/save an additional 2 Kidzos at every job they do, and a discount of 5 Kidzos at the Kidzania Department Store. We didn't bother doing this.

If you are not planning to come back, encourage your kids to also spend their money at activities which you will need to 'pay' for (reflected as 'negative (-) Kidzos' on the board) and stay away from the Kidzania Department Store at the end. (We learnt the hard way that you can't use real cash to buy top-up Kidzos for Ian's toy of choice!) If you are planning another visit again, you can always opt to pool your Kidzos for a better shopping experience. You can deposit your Kidzos into the bank or bring the paper Kidzos home. Kidzos do not have any expiry date. However, keep in mind that items at the Kidzania Department Store are expensive. A small pack of erasers was 100 Kidzos, a wind up racing snail was 150 Kidzos, a hand grabber was 300 Kidzos and the animal shaped monster truck that Ian wanted was 400 Kidzos! As a guide, Aiden and Ian only managed to do 10 jobs and accumulate ~130 Kidzos each at the end of the day!

Posing for photos as dentists. The last time we were here, Aiden bawled and didn't complete this job. Alhamdulillah, no problems this time around.

Even Ian had a hand at attending to the 'patient'.

Doctor Aiden confidently doing a filling on his 'patient'.

Keeping Your Tummies Full
No outside food are allowed (except for milk powder for babies). They will check your bags. Please please please, get your kids a hearty breakfast in the morning! They will forget about food the minute they step foot into Kidzania. Try to get a lunch time slot for the McDonalds 'make a burger' job - this can be their lunch time treat. Food and snacks are quite pricey, and options are limited. As a guide, a plate of chicken rice is ~RM17, pasta carbonara is ~RM13.

We managed to take a short break at the Parents' Lounge while the kids were in here. Since we couldn't take photos while they were in the cockpit, we had to purchase their handsome pilot photos from Kidzania.

Parents' Survival
Since we couldn't trust Aiden and Ian to roam around unaccompanied, we pretty much followed them everywhere. Hubby and I took turns having lunch, and we only managed to camp in the Parents' Lounge (right beside the AirAsia air simulation terminal) while the kids were safely doing their Pilot job. Do note that no kids are allowed inside the Parents' Lounge. Also, bring an oversized bag with you so you can stuff any leftover food from lunch (I carried half a muffin everywhere *giggles*) and water. Another tip, leave the stroller at home! You will also end up ooh-ing and aah-ing at your adorable kids in their respective jobs, so remember to charge your cameras (mine went dead halfway) and clear the storage in your phones for the hundreds of photos/videos you will eventually be taking.

The very impressive Gleneagles hospital.

Surgeons of the day. Can you see how Aiden is the furthest away from the 'patient'? *chuckles* According to him, the patient's heart was still pumping while they were doing 'surgery'. So realistic!

Waving hi to us.

See how Aiden conveniently pushed his lil' brother to the front? *facepalm*

Comfortable Shoes, Please!!!
My first time at Kidzania, I wore heels. Bad mistake, big time. The upper floor flooring was really uneven so I had to navigate carefully. Also, Hubby and I ended up standing most of the time, escorting Aiden for each job he did. I looked in envy at parents sitting in the Parents' Lounge, having kids old enough to explore Kidzania on their own. So please, adults and kids - stick to sneakers or flats.

So the consensus among the boys was that the fireman and pilot jobs were their top favourites. Ian also enjoyed putting gas (he said gas, not fuel!) in the car, while Aiden loved being a toll booth operator and a postal delivery man. *giggles* Anyway, we're planning another trip soon and hopefully we'll manage to cover the rest of the jobs that we didn't manage to do this time around. Wish us luck with the holiday crowd!!!

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