Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. New Straits Times. February 28, 2012. (English).It is a world they can call their own. No adults are allowed. They can become anyone they wished within the walls of KidZania Malaysia, located at Curve NX in Mutiara Damansara. The 60 establishments there give them the opportunity to become, among others, reporters, CSI in vestigators, judges and superstars.
KidZania Malaysia is the 9th of its kind in the world. It was founded by Xavier Lopez in Mexico City in 1996. The first park opened in 1999. Besides Malaysia, it is in eight other cities in six countries.
KidZania aims to provide children and their parents a safe, unique, and very realistic educational environment that allows kids between the ages of four to 12 to do what comes naturally to them: role-playing by mimicking traditionally adult activities.
When entering KidZania through an “international air port”, the kidZanians (the children) are each given a Radio Frequency Identification Tag. This will enable staff and parents to locate the child at any time needed.
Each child is also given a cheque of 50 kidZos, the “currency” used in KidZania, and an ATM card for use at the establishments. With kidZos, they can buy services and food. They can earn more kidZos by “working” at the estab lishments.
They can then venture off on their own to find the establishments that interest them and spend their day learning and being inspired with real-life experiences.
Per establishment, a child is encouraged to spend 15-30 minutes. Each establishment will be handled by “Zupervisors”, who have been trained to deal with children and have undergone specific pedagogical training courses.
At kidZania Malaysia, the children will be exposed to real brands already in existence here such as AirAsia, The New Straits Times Press, CIMB Bank, Media Prima Berhad, KPJ Hospital and many more. There is a court house, a fire station and a police station in the “city.”
There are real-life activities at these establishments with the busy reporter on his assignment, a fireman putting out fires, a beautician at work , a TV crew in the midst of a TV production, a doctor saving a life, someone learning how to drive a car and a magician mesmerising his audience with his magic tricks.
Adults are not allowed to enter the role-play estab lishments except for the Theatre and the TV Studio. They can observe through the windows.
For kids under the age of four, a dedicated section is provided called the ‘Urbano’s House’, which offer specially- designed activities. Located on the mezzzanine floor, which can also be accessed via an elevator, it offers specially- designed activities for the kids.
There is also a baby room and a nursing room nearby for parents with toddlers and infants.
The KidZania Malaysia indoor park can cater up to 1,700 people at one time. It will open on February 28.