Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sanrio Love at Hello Kitty Town, Johor Bahru Malaysia

Hello Kitty Town in Johor Bahru, is the first Sanrio Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan. So when I got an invite to visit it so I could blog about the experience, I was really game to go.  I always wanted to take Sofia to visit, but during our past JB trips, we always went to Legoland first because we wanted to maximize our Legoland Annual Passes, then we always ran out of time, since we don't really wake up early enough.

This trip was special to me, because it was the first event I got invited to as a blogger. It was so special, that I flew in with Sofia to Singapore for the weekend (on my own pocket - as the trip was not sponsored!), just so we could join the group for this visit.

Our lovely friends from Travel Delight took care of all the arrangements. Our communication was done mainly through email, including arrangements for transportation (SG$30 per pax) that includes a pick-up and drop-off directly at your home.  It's a bit more expensive than if you decide to take the bus, you can read my posts on how to do that here, but it's also worth the convenience since you don't have to go down (both times) at the border if you are travelling in a private car.   

The real benefit of the pick-up for us is that we were forced to get moving it time for our 7:45am pick-up, when normally, we wouldn't be out of the house until noon.
The van was very comfortable. Tim and Fi, just continued sleeping.
Going in a private car, doesn't mean you'll get there faster. The traffic approaching the border is normally bad, since everyone needs to show their face during the passport inspection. I even saw signs that said that Singapore registered cars must have 3/4 tank of fuel when departing Singapore. I can just surmise that like a lot of other things, fuel must be much cheaper on the JB side. We passed the Tuas Second Link Border which is 15 minutes away from the Theme Parks (vs the Woodlands border we take by bus which is much farther).

We arrived in Puteri Harbor around lunch time, given the several pick-ups we did since we arrived with other bloggers, plus the traffic at the border crossing.
Sofia's #OOTD :
Zara Tres Chic shirt, own leggings, and Michael Kors Sandals
Hello Kitty Town and Little Big Club is in a non-descript building
within the Puteri Harbor Complex.

Upon entering, you'll see the top 3 floors where the indoor theme parks are housed, the Ticket Counters, an information desk, and the Red Bow Cafe and Sanrio/Little Big Club Store, both of which you can enter without paying for entrance to the theme parks.
Sofia and Ninong Tim at the Red Bow Cafe
The Red Bow Cafe was serving mainly snack fare, so we opted to look for
more substantial food outside while waiting for our tickets.
We ended up having our first meal of the day at Shilin, our favorite
Taiwanese Snack Place. Misua and Chicken Chops FTW!
Once we got the Visitor Passes for myself and Tim, and Sofia got her 2-Park
 Entrance Pass and Hello Kitty Card we were good to go.
Kitty, me and Sofia before we entered.

We stopped by the information desk to get everything we needed to make the most of our visit.
Theme Park Map and Attractions
Entertainment Schedule
If you're travelling by bus, it's also good to ask for the bus schedule,
so you can plan your visit accordingly.
The Hello Kitty Town Activity Card allows you to do the different activities
 once per person, which helps manage the queues.

We visited on a Saturday, and the theme park was quite busy.
The entrance to Hello Kitty Town is on the second floor of the complex.
Upon entering, the first thing you see on the right is the Wishful Studio where you can do some activities. When we arrived, the lines were long, so we opted to do other activities first. Then our time ran out, so Sofia only managed to do the Nail Salon and the Jewelry Making activity.
I was quite surprised that people were lining up for the Nail Salon because it was only when I got in that I realized that you had to do your own nails! Given that it was a theme park for kids, I was surprised again that it was just plain, colorful polish that was provided. It wasn't even Nail Polish for kids (the safe if you bite your nails, scented, or peel-off kind). Since I am quite finicky about what goes on my daughter's fingers, I opted to put it on her toes instead. It was only when we were halfway done with the painting did they tell us that this was not allowed. (There were no signs. Good thing, they allowed me to finish painting Sofia's 10 toes) I really think this activity needs a lot of improvement, especially for it to be little girl friendly.
We went for the all shades of ROYGBIV peg.
Sof and her newly painted toes.
The other activity Sofia did was the Jewelry making. I was too busy dealing with a stressful situation, so Tim went with Fi so we didn't get any pictures.
I think Sofia was just given a chain and a charm
to put together.

On the left side of the entrance, there was a Tea Cups Ride.
Only Sofia got to ride because Tim and I only had Visitor Passes. 
Beside the Tea Cups, they have the Kawaii Photo Center where you can look
at and purchase the photos taken by the official Theme Park Photographers.

The nice thing about Hello Kitty Town in Malaysia (vs Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo) is that it was very easy to get your picture taken with the famous Sanrio characters. In Tokyo, we seemed to bump into a lot of Sanrio second-stringers, if there's such a thing. Hahaha.
Photo-op with Hello Kitty
Sof was really happy to meet Bad Badtz Maru because
she thinks he's cute.
But she really fell in love with his naughtiness.
He covered her face for the picture so we had to take another one.

I think the main highlight of Hello Kitty Town, is Hello Kitty's House. In Tokyo, you need to pay extra to be able to enter Hello Kitty's House, so I was glad I already saw it in Malaysia. From the pictures I've seen on blogs. I think it's pretty similar.
Even from the outside, Hello Kitty's House looks impressive.
At the entrance to Hello Kitty's House, they stamp your activity card,
so you can only enter once.
The entrance hall has a beautiful stained glass domed ceiling,
couches and portraits of the Kitty Family members on both sides.
After the entrance hall, you enter the Dining and Living Room areas where
 there's a Piano, Kitty Flat Screen TV and Kitty Monitor on the Study Table.
The living room, leads into the Kitchen.
Where they have the most awesome Hello Kitty everything.
Then they have a bathroom with the biggest Kitty tub I've ever seen.
It's so big, 2-3 people can bathe at the same time.
Kitty also has a separate walk in closet with the clothes and all her accessories.
There are two bedrooms, decorated in full Kitty fashion. 
Tim and Sofia were so tired from waking up early, they just had to catch a nap.
Before exiting, there is also a computer with some interactive

Sofia's favorite part of the theme park was Friendship Land.
Friendship land is a big play area, where you collect the flying soft balls, so that you can enter it in a machine, that will make the balls come out of the flowers, then the kids chase it, and the same cycle goes on and on and on until the kids, or the adults watching them get tired. Hahahaha.

Right across from Friendship Land, is the Cinamoroll Cafe, which has a seating area, which makes it the perfect place to rest. I just noticed that the food they offer, is similar to what you can get at the Red Bow Cafe.

The last attraction in Hello Kitty Land, is Black Wonder, where you enter Heartful Forest, to attempt to rescue Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel, who've been kidnapped.
There's a schedule, so you can just line up a few minutes before the activity.
When you enter, you need to get your card stamped.
You'll also be asked if you want to rescue Hello Kitty or just walk around.
If you say rescue, you'll get a lamp to help you with clues.
We're ready to Save the World!
There are certain stations where you log-in your lamp to collect clues.
Then there are 5 rooms, where you're supposed to collect 1 letter each.
In one room, we got a letter T, so I immediately guessed, our magic word
was KITTY.
And I was right! If you get it correct, it means you were successful in
saving  Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel, and they give you a Certificate for it.

And like all great theme parks, Hello Kitty Town, also has a show and a character parade.
The Characters not only perform on stage,
They also come down and sing and dance with the kids.

We had to rush through our visit due to some unforeseen circumstance, but over-all Sofia enjoyed herself. It was just a pity, she wasn't able to do the other activities.
As usual, one of our favorite stops, is always the store. We never leave
empty-handed, and this time, Badtz is the newest addition to our family.
There is a Starbucks in the complex, so I was happy to get my
Asian Dolce Latte fix before heading back to Singapore.
Sof was happy enough to use her new Badtz Maru pillow on the trip back.
Our host Shirlynn, from Travel Delight even gave Sofia some
Hello Kitty gelatin which she enjoyed having for dessert.
It came in very pretty packaging too.

I was able to visit Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo, Japan just a week ago (to be blogged about separately), and I must say that Hello Kitty Town in Johor Bahru, while much smaller, already gives a comparable experience, especially if you love all things cute, and all things Sanrio. 

If you are based or travelling in Singapore, check out for good deals on Hello Kitty Town, and Little Big Club (to be blogged about separately). just saying.

One of the great things about going on a blogging event, is meeting fellow bloggers. We met another Filipino family based in Singapore, because Cherry, the mom, is also a blogger. You can read her review of Hello Kitty Town here. I wish I discovered her blog when I still lived in Singapore. She has a lot of interesting posts.

Hello Kitty Town
Johor Bahru, Malaysia


  1. Hi Nicole,

    Awww, thank you for your kind words. I also enjoyed browsing your travel posts, love how you always come up with very detailed posts that are useful to your readers.

    Thanks for linking up to my post too. It was great meeting you, Sofia and Tim too. Hope to bump into you again here in Sg soon. :)


  2. Hi! Can the 2 park pass be used on separate days?

    1. Hi Joyce, I'm not sure but I don't think so.