The Wizard of Oz meets Hello Kitty in new attraction at JB theme park

It is the eve of Halloween and a witch has made an early appearance.

Fret not! It is only Hello Kitty in costume as she stars as the Great Witch of Oz from the timeless classic 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum.

Hello Kitty in Oz is the latest attraction to open in SANRIO HELLO KITTY TOWN in Puteri Harbour, Johor.

Fans can look forward to this whimsical combination as it opens to the general public tomorrow, Oct 31. Just in time for Halloween!

AsiaOne had an exclusive sneak peek at the new section of the park today and spoke to the park's General Manager Mr Fahruddin Najumudeen.

He told AsiaOne that the Land of Oz is in chaos and Hello Kitty being the Great Witch of Oz has called upon her heroic friends (other characters from SANRIO) to help bring normality back to the Land.

Guests who visit the new attraction will each receive a smart electronic device in the shape of a Hello Kitty figurine at the start of each game. The device will have to be used to kickstart each activity.

Each guest will participate in a series of four activities in total and must accomplish three successfully. Once they do these, they will be able to restore the Land of Oz back to order -- and also bring home a souvenir!

Unfortunately, land was not restored when AsiaOne visited as we won only one trophy. 

The attraction will have its guests enter in sessions, with up to 30 people being able to participate at the same time, says Mr Fahruddin.

Just before stepping into the main area which holds the 'remnants of Oz', guests will walk through a tricky mirrored maze.

Players will be able to stop for multiple photo opportunities such as by a little house that looks like it was inspired by the Tin Man from 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' as well as pose with Hello Kitty dressed as the Scarecrow from Oz.

Those who enjoy collecting Hello Kitty memorabilia have an extra reason to visit the park for its newest themed attraction as it offers a retail shop at the end of the game that can only be accessed by guests who visit Hello Kitty in Oz.

Each of the four activities may be a little challenging for the young ones but as the park encourages the whole family to take part, it should come as no problem for all in solving them.

Mr Fahruddin said he hopes to help parents take storytelling for their kids to the next level by having families go through a "time tested and well-loved story" such as the classic Oz with a Hello Kitty twist.

He also believes that if Singaporean families are looking to "try something new", SANRIO HELLO KITTY TOWN would be worth a visit.

"With the weakening of the Malaysian ringgit, it's the best time for Singaporeans to cross over and come for the weekend for entertainment," said Mr Fahruddin.

"We're a comfortable indoor attraction where you can escape the heat, haze and rain. It's also (in a safe area)."

Since its opening in 2012, the park has seen a steady stream of visitors despite the shifts in the economy. A total of half a million people visited SANRIO HELLO KITTY TOWN in its first full year alone, said Mr Fahruddin. 

Although the park had previously showcased a different themed attraction (Black Wonder), Mr Fahruddin said Hello Kitty in Oz is the first major content change that they've had.

But he sees this change as an "investment" as they have brought in something "new, modern and relevant" to the park.

The experience of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' meets Hello Kitty is one that is unique and is not offered anywhere else in the world except at SANRIO HELLO KITTY TOWN in Puteri Harbour, Johor.

To say SANRIO HELLO KITTY TOWN is a great fit for fans of Hello Kitty is as good as stating the obvious but with its latest themed attraction, it makes a fun family activity as well as for anyone who appreciates a classic tale -- with an appearance by Hello Kitty, of course!

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/SanrioHelloKittyTown.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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