Animation park in Ipoh draws the crowd

IPOH - Fans of local hero BoboiBoy, Smurfs and Dreamworks Animation Studio can now relive their dreams and enjoy their company right here in Malaysia.

More than 7,000 excited visitors thronged the much anticipated Movie Animation Park Studios' (MAPS) soft opening at Bandar Meru Raya here yesterday.

They were among the first to experience the country and Asia's first animation-centred theme park, costing RM520 million (S$168 million).

Adults converged at the Stunt Legends Arena where South-East Asia's first thrilling car and bike live stunt shows were performed.

And the children joined BoboiBoy and friends in an exciting 4D motion adventure on the Floating Island.

The "action-packed" 15-minute show left many, including forklift driver Wun Chee Seng, in awe.

"It was my first experience in a 4D theatre. I must say it was pretty intense," said the 40-year-old, who was with his wife and two children.

"We were sprayed by water and felt jolts of lightning."

At the Fantasy Forest Zone, one of six themed zones offering over 40 attractions within the 21ha theme park, K'ng Wen Fei, six, braved the Whirling Wizard, a child-friendly drop tower with her brothers Yu Hai, 10, and Yu Shien, nine.

"I wasn't scared at all. I can't wait to grow up and ride on the Megamind Megadrop," she said of the country's tallest drop tower that descends 52m within three seconds at the Dream Zone.

Teacher Norfazilatun Mohd Zin, 45, who came with her husband Mohd Faris Othman, 44, and daughter Farahusna, 14, said: "It's really impressive, much more than we expected.

"We're spending a really special Hari Raya together this year."

Animation Theme Park Sdn Bhd director Ramelle Ramli said they received "very positive feedback" from visitors.

"We are very satisfied with the overall operations, including aspects of safety and security.

"Some minor hiccups will be addressed promptly so that the people can enjoy themselves thoroughly in the park," he said.

Ramelle said plans were in the pipeline for more new attractions, including a roller coaster ride, while The Dream Zone and a few more rides were under "technical rehearsals".

He expressed confidence that MAPS would receive about one million visitors a year. "May be, even 1.2 million," he said.

"We've been actively promoting MAPS on roadshows in India, Nepal, China, Indonesia and Singapore.

"In addition, we are also working closely with local and foreign tour agents, Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Perak to promote MAPS," he said.

In conjunction with the soft opening, those who purchase Day Passes at RM131 (adults) and RM104 (children and senior citizens) via until Friday will receive complimentary entry tickets for a second visit.

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