Remember when we were kids and one of the best things in the world was when our parents would bring us to a theme park where we could play all day? Now, as we are getting
older more mature, those theme parks we used to visit have either changed so much or are non-existent anymore which leaves us really nostalgic for those good old days. Oh, to be a kid again!
Here are some of those old theme parks in Malaysia that you have probably visited when you were a kid but have since gone defunct. It was fun while it lasted!
1. Desa WaterPark, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 2000 – 2016
After entertaining visitors to the park for about 16 years, the park finally closed its doors on September 30 2016. Families used to enjoy going there for the famous Thunderbolt, one of Asia’s longest uphill water coasters, and several other attractions. Although it had lessened in popularity over the years as more exciting theme parks were built, they still had a faithful following. After all, they survived for 16 years!
The 16.99ha land, which was owned by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), was sold to Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd for a mixed development project that includes high-end bungalows, multi-storey towers and condominiums as well Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip).
2. Mimaland, Selangor
Date: 1971 – 1994
In 1971, Malaysia’s very first theme park was opened to the public and everyone was excited to finally be able to visit this highly-acclaimed place. The name of the park, Mimaland, is actually an acronym of the word combination Malaysia In Miniature Land.
It used to be a really happening place for the whole family to enjoy and they even had a mini “Jurassic Park” before it was cool! Located at Ulu Gombak, it had a huge lake, a giant maze and big slide that kept visitors coming back for more.
However, a series of unfortunate incidents caused the theme park to close down. In January 1993, a 27-year-old Singaporean visitor was killed while on the giant slide at the Mimaland pool. The park closed for a while to ensure that the slide was safe and they reopened for some time before a landslide damaged the walls of the Mimaland pool in May 1994 and caused them permanently close.
It is now abandoned and looks really tragic as no company has taken the responsibility to revamp the area. However, the derelict park still attracts visitors who are curious to see how it looks like now while others are more interested to check out rumours of the park being haunted.
3. Wet World Wild Adventure Park, Penang
Date: 2013 – 2014
This theme park was located at Moonlight Bay, Batu Ferringhi and was touted as one of Asia’s first seawater adventure parks which had Penangites excitedly waiting for its grand opening. The park featured outdoorsy attractions such as rock climbing, running tracks and trampolines, but they were different because everything was made out of bouncy inflatables floating on the water!
However, several complaints were received as people were saying that they could not access the public part of the beach anymore as well as the steep prices of admission tickets. Unfortunately, in less than a year after they opened, Wet World Wild Adventure Park closed down abruptly. Many of them who had purchased tickets in advance were given a refund.
4. Safari Lagoon Water Theme Park, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 1998 – 2007
20 years ago, the first ever rooftop water theme park was built on top of the Pandan Safari Shopping Complex and was supposed to be the third biggest theme park in Southeast Asia when they opened in 1998. The theme park, which was located on the complex’s seventh floor, was also known as the biggest of its kind in Malaysia and measured 120,000 square feet.
Today, it is still quite obvious if you ever use the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) as drivers often pass by the complex with lush greenery on the rooftop with its prominent giraffe statue still visible. The theme park has a safari theme and was so popular among the locals as they enjoyed family outings but in 2007, the park’s dark secret was exposed when a tragic accident occurred, leaving an employee dead after being trapped inside a high-pressure water pump compartment.
It was publicised that the park had actually been operating without a license for the past eight years and although they were ordered to close down in 2005, no action was taken. After a while, even the eatery that was located on the rooftop space closed down, followed by the entire building in 2015, where it still stands deserted today.
5. Starlight Express Theme Park, The Mall, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 1987 – 2006
If you were a kid born before the new millennium, then you would have probably been to the popular Starlight Express theme park located at the iconic The Mall at Jalan Putra back then. Many families loved to visit that place as it was seen as “the” place to go back then and it was one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.
Starlight Express was an exciting indoor theme park that featured thrilling rides such as a swaying pirate ship, Matter-horn and the roller coaster built into the wall named Tornado and then changed to Horror Express.
However, The Mall was slowly losing out to other newer malls and was in dire need of refurbishment. Sunway Group bought over the old complex to renovate and renamed it Sunway Putra Mall. Although older Malaysians will lament the loss of Starlight Express, as a replacement they had Malaysia’s first London street themed family park which showcased 35 retail brands catering specially for parents and children.
6. Mines Wonderland Theme Park, Selangor
Date: 1997 – 2011
Mines Wonderland was a truly magical place when they opened as there were so many attractions there to keep the whole family entertained. The park, which was part of Mines Resort City, was built on top of the world’s largest open cast tin mine so you can bet that it was really huge.
Attractions such as the Light Fantasy Show, Ice Factory, various water cruises on the huge lake and the water taxi rides in the adjacent mall made it a really fun place to be. There was also a small zoo with some amazing white tigers for you to admire.
Sadly, the theme park closed down in 2011 and Mines Resort City was revamped into Mines Wellness City today which is the very first of its kind in Malaysia.
Which one of these theme parks have you visited before and which one do you miss the most?
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