Genting for kids 云顶马来西亚

With the September holidays around the corner, those planning a short trip up north will always have Genting on the radar. Recently there were news that the Outdoor theme park in Genting will be closed for 3 years from Sep 1st for a complete revamp to morph into a 20th Century Fox theme park.
In the meantime, parents with kids will be wondering if it is still worthwhile to bring their children up the mountains for a short getaway. It seems like Genting had been synonymous with family getaway for decades. It is usually a must do milestone for families in Singapore, a rite of passage that all parents with kids need to take. If they survive the 8-10 hours trip to Genting on the bus with the kids, they would have pass the Genting Test.

Will the closure of Genting outdoor theme park bring an end to this "tradition"?

The Journey
Our mode of transport was the bus. Daddy told us the buses of today are way better back then when he was up the mountain with Grandparents. Back then , they do not have entertainment such as Aircon or Tv. There isn't an expressway from tuas and trips takes as long as 12 hours or more.
Pit stop
We took the double decker transtar coach at Golden Mile at 630am. It is the normal class or what is known as premier or 1st class in Transtar. Apparently Transtar has the best 'normal' class rides to Genting. From the parking bay, the bus looks relatively new, but the interior is a little dated ( cloth covered seats vs leather seats). There are other newer buses plying the same route. . The tv works but comes in limited channels and there are no 'games on board ' as advertised. In addition, there is an accompanied guide but she does not sell food on board as advertised. Her role is simply to hand out and collect earphones.

There are 2 pit stops or toilet breaks. If you are travelling with younger kids, it would be safer to put them on diapers as the timing between stops can be erratic. As we were there on a public holiday, the bus ride took a long long long 10 hours compared to the normal 7 hours ride to Genting. In between , there was even a minor skirmish between the driver and one of the passenger( that itself is another tale altogether). It must be the extremely long travel time that made patience a rarity.Overall the ride was smooth. We even took a few hours nap in between. During this ride, we were given free rein of the iPad lest we become restless. Pit stops were about 20 mins long, enough for a quick dash to the loo if needed. For the first timers, do note you only need to bring your bags down for X-ray at the country you have arrived in and not departing from. We recommend smaller size luggage for this procedure.
Bottomline, we survived and would give the bus ride a 3.5 star out of 5. The ride back was more or less the same, except there is no guide and no earphone. We suggest you bring your own headphone with a 3.5mm jack.
Long long long long long JAM!!
The Hotel
Resort hotel
Although there are 6 hotels to choose from in Genting, the most popular choice will be the "once largest hotel in the world" First world. Another option you can choose would be the Resort hotel, but do note rooms are limited and often booked by the regulars of Genting- the Genting card members affectionately know as the 'high rollers' of Genting.

We managed to snag a room in Resort hotel. Daddy had insisted that it is this hotel or nothing else as he had some experiences with the 'permanent residents' of First world hotel that checked in without reservations in the night. We don't exactly know what he mean but we decided it is wise not to query.
Watch this space for a review of Resort hotel @Genting Highlands.
First world
For those who like a little more class, Maxim's and Genting Grand are the other choices. However we heard it is even harder to book a room there as bookings are only open to casino guests or Genting rewards silver and above card members.
Top 10 Kids activities in Genting
Genting may be synonymous with gambling, but it is actually a child's playground as well. With the closing of the outdoor theme park, we explore what you could do in Genting with kids of age 2 to 8.
  • First world Indoor Theme Park
The must do thing for young kids would be the indoor theme park housed in First World Plaza. For a family with 2 kids, we suggest you get the day pass for unlimited rides. There are a mixture of children rides such as Carosel, Ride de Paris, Bumper car and family rides such as Rio Float, reindeer Cruiser, mini train. Adults have their share of fun with the Euro express, an indoor roller coaster, bumper cars and 4 D rides.For a price of just RM 109(less than $50) it is a sweet deal for a day of fun.
So many rides
Just take note that the queues can get a little long during peak period, so it may be best to avoid weekends or public holidays.Do not the water play area featured on their website is closed as well. We do not know if it is permanent, but since it is part of the outdoor theme park, it may be up for revamp too.
Around First World Plaza
  • Vision City
Vision city
For those seeking a 'quieter, alternative, head down to Vision city below Genting Grand. There are numerous arcade games and some kiddie rides. Rides are cheaper at RM 4 compared to RM 8 per ride at the indoor theme park. Think Timezone Singapore but 5 times larger.
Let's go for safari
  • Snow World
If you think the cool weather in Genting is not cold enough, you might want to take a trip to Snow City. We had skipped this as we recently visited the Singapore version at the Science center.Admission charges are found here.
  • Indoor Entertainment
Entertainment @Times square
Keep an eye out for various entertainments at Times Square. There are dances, songs and magic show galore. Best of all , it's free!
  • Genting Bowl
Genting bowl
The kids would love the glow in the dark bowling alley. If they are too small to bowl, you can always entertain them with your strikes and spares. The glowing pins and balls will make any kids go ohhh and ahh with every bowl.

  • Ripley's Believe it or Not
Ripley's Believe it or not!
Bring your troops on a journey they will remember. Ripley's is an interesting place to introduce your kids to a world less known. Away from mainstream exhibits, be awed by the amazing people , animals and wonders found around the world.

Genting diehards would not miss the chance to sit on the luckiest chair in the world made entirely out of horseshoes.
Luckiest chair in the world
  • Genting International Showroom
Superstar of Magic
If you intend to take a little of Genting magic memories with you, we recommend you to watch Superstar of Magic 3. Helmed by 7 world class and award winning magicians with various magic acts, it is surprisingly entertaining and humorous.

Ed "Magician of the year" is the funny host whose tag line "It's Magic" had become Daddy's catchphrase. Other crowd favourite are Lim Jae Hoon the Korean Dove whisperer, Double fantasy votes world best cabaret duo in 2009 and the imposing mentalist Aaron Crow.

There were no impressive sets or the run of the mill "cut of the assistant into 2" acts, but it is good old fashion sleight of hand tricks that gives this show its ohhhs and ahhhhs.

  • The Visitor's Gallery
Visitor's Gallery
Take a peek at the visitor's gallery and show the child how Genting was borne 48 years ago. The kids would love the mini replica of Genting on display.
Admission is free.
  • Genting Skyway
Genting skyway
Do you know you can step out of the mountain in style?
We recommend a trip down the mountains on the longest cable car ride we ever sat. The 3.38km trip down Genting can get scary at certain spots.
Ready for the ride
Nevertheless it did not stop us from enjoying the ride. A two way trip cost about RM12 or less than sgd 5.
There is a mini shopping mall down at the hill. However most would use this opportunity to visit th strawberry farm nearby
Be warned, the holiday crowds can get massive at the bottom of the hill. On the day we went, it was Hari Raya and we were greeted by thousands of people at the station waiting to get up to Genting. It really made us felt like Sardines in a can.
Genting Cable Cars
In the end, we had to forgo our Strawberry farm trip and figure a way back to Genting. Luckily Genting skyway have an express tickets back to Genting. With Hobson's choice, we had to purchase the ridiculously high RM ticket for a trip back. It is either that or risk spending hours queuing up for a ride back.
  • Strawberry Farm
Big C imagination of Strawberry Farm
We tried, but we failed to reach Strawberry farm due to the unexpected crowd at the cable car station. Nevertheless take half a morning to head downhill via Genting Skyway to the Strawberry farm. Shuttles are available and admission is free. Full information available here.
Picking strawberries on a cool morning is always fun for kids.
  • Food Feast
Restorant Good Friends
There is a maze of Restaurants, fast food and cafes in Genting. You would not have problem finding a place to feed the hungry little ones.
Dim Sum time
Dim Sum @ Genting
As most rooms options does not include breakfast , you need to source for your own meal. We recommend the Good Friends Restorant for a hearty mean of dim sum. The price is surprising cheaper compare to having a McDonald's breakfast with a 6 dim sum meals costing slightly over RM 50.Do note that Popular Restaurants can be quite full so do make a reservation for the one you like to dine in, especially for dinner time!

On that note, we conclude the list of things to do with young kids in Genting. One of the main gripes we had is the smell of smoke in Genting. Although some places are slanted to be smoke free, there are still a lot of places in between that smokers can light up ( e.g public walkways, hotel lobbies, part of the mall) . This created a lingering smell that may make smokers out of the child via second hand smoking. For Genting to be truly kids friendly, this should be address.
Bye bye outdoor theme park!
The outdoor theme park may not be around for the next 3 years, but as you could see there are still a lot of things to do in Genting for younger kids. However if you do have older kids or teenagers, an alternate trip to Sunway Lagoon may be better to satisfy adrenaline junkies. It would also mean a Casino free environment.

Going home
Before you know it, a 3 Days 2 night road trip comes to a halt. It is time to head back to Singapore. Do head down to the bus terminal located at one end of First World Plaza for your ride back. There are no signs en route from Resort hotel, but just head to the directions of First World hotel and you will have no problem finding your way there.

In the meantime, for those parents contemplating taking this rite of passage, good luck and have fun!

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