If you have preschoolers, Thomas Town is one place you might want to visit. Located in Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya, Johor, Thomas Town is an indoor theme park which covers two floors.
The first floor features Barney, Pingu, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and a Pingu Igloo area with arcade games. As you enter, there is a Barney play area to your right, which looks a lot like the set from the television show.
There is also a stage on this floor where all the characters perform live shows. Do check the timetable for this, as we missed the Thomas live show, which my Thomas-obsessed 2-year-old would have enjoyed.
We managed to catch the Bob the Builder show which was enjoyable and highly interactive, with Bob and his crew asking for the kids to help find his missing bricks to build a garden wall.
When there aren’t any live performances, kids can sit on the beanbags provided and watch TV shows starring the various characters.
There is also a Bob The Builder play area, designed for children aged 3 to 12, with climbing areas, balls and other fun stuff.
On the top floor, your pre-schooler will have a great time with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. My little Thomas fan enjoyed the top floor the most, with all the Thomas-themed rides.
Here you’ll find another huge play area where even pre-teens will have fun. There are six rides with Thomas himself chugging along a track around the play area, and Windmill, Colin’s Crane Drop, Harold’s Helitours, Bertie the Bus, and Bumping Buffers. The Sodor playground was thoroughly enjoyed by my toddler and his older sibling, with climbing frames and obstacle courses.
Officially, kids need to be 90 cm or taller to ride Windmill, Colin’s Crane Drop, Harold’s Helitours, and Bertie the Bus, but they allow you to get on Bertie, Windmill and Harold’s if you are around 80 cm. Tiny tots can also go on Thomas, although the official minimum height is 110 cm.
There is a also thoughtfully-placed parents’ lounge with massage chairs at the Sodor playground, and if one gets hungry, there is the McBunn Cafe on the top floor. There is a Red Bow cafe downstairs by the entrance, as well as a souvenir shop. The Puteri Harbour building also offers plenty of other F&B outlets.
On the whole
Overall, Thomas Town is an enjoyable theme park for most pre-schoolers, with the added advantage that it is indoor and air-conditioned. Do pack sweaters for your children in case they are sensitive to cold.
The theme park is slightly on the small side, especially compared to outdoor parks such as Legoland. This however means the rides can easily be done in a couple of hours, leaving you with more time to venture onto other activities.
Tickets are RM85 for Thomas Town alone, or RM125 for entry to both Thomas Town and the Hello Kitty Town indoor theme park located in the same building. Malaysians enjoy a 20% discount so don’t forget to bring your MyKad. Under 3s enter free.
What we loved:
1) The park is indoors
This saves you and your little ones from the scorching heat. The park is also perfectly geared towards preschoolers, with all their favourite characters. We really enjoyed the live shows.
2) Wide choice for hungry tummies
There is a good variety of F&B outlets outside the theme park at Puteri Harbour, so you and your kids shouldn’t go hungry.
What could be improved:
1) If you are breastfeeding or need to pump, Thomas Town itself does not have a nursing room. You will have to go to the ground floor where they have a nursing room next to the ticketing counter.
2) Food options inside Thomas Town itself are limited.
3) Thomas Town entrance fees are a bit pricey. Unlike other theme parks, there are no annual passes.
By Hazlin Hassan
Hazlin Hassan is a freelance writer who spent 12 years in the news industry, first as a TV journalist and then a foreign correspondent. From writing about politics, she now focuses on the more important things in life: dirty diapers and never-ending hospital appointments.