First visit to Kidzania, a place that the ks been asking to visit for so long, was like fighting war but surprise surprise we managed to do 6 stations despite the crowd (many online would comment that they could only complete 4-5). I guess we were a little unlucky that we bumped into a rather large pcf group which also meant that unpopular stations were crowded as well. Nonetheless, the kids managed to be cabin crew, make chicken burger for lunch, become shop assistants at 7-11, make candies, make pizza (Kay) and origami (Kai) and pretend to be fire-fighters.
So based on our 7 hour torment from 10 to 5pm (yes it will be quite tormenting for the parents), I decided to pen down some tips I thought might be useful for friends planning to visit.
So, here goes:
1/ go before opening time. It is not crazy to go 45 minutes before opening time because they need you to check in and that spells the start of your queuing day. Going early also means you dash to top priority station fast without worrying about crazy queues. I would strongly reccomend to dash to the pilot and cabin crew station to get the time slot first. Of course you can dash to the fire fighting or police stations first but bear in mind that they do not give time slot. The moment you miss the first quota it means a wait of at least 40 minutes.
2/ slot the food stations in between the career stations, you need the food to help them tahan the queue (parents are NOT ALLOWED to queue on behalf). Forget proper lunch, eat as you queue, that’s why I say Kidzania is like warzone with all the poor kids eating while queuing and the fire engine sounding.
3/ Bring iPhone and iPad — yes I know it defeats the whole purpose of bringing them to a such a place but trust me, it makes everyone very happy because the queues are crazy. They do provide wifi for guest and the so ask the crew for the password. Oh, yes, bring a power bank.
4/ Plan the stations that the kids want to do before the visit. If pilot, cabin crew, fire fighter and police happened to be on the list, dash to the top priority one first then the second priority as last station before you leave because this ensure kids are happy at the end of the visit. For the ks, we went to Qatar airline first and got a very early slot and we ended with fire fighting. Wait was about 75 minutes but because they have competed all the stations they wanted, they were willing to wait for this last minute decided station, with the help of food and iPhone. When planning the stations, let them decide and plan around that. When we were there, I see that parents kinda force kids to do what they want their kids to do. Obviously they snubbed stations like cleaners, shop assistant, tour operator and made their kids wait at hospital, dental clinic. (Typical )Can’t blame Kidzania really for the long queue, if parents only pick such stations, right? It’s easily a 90-120 wait for such career stops and you only earn kidzos and not spend them. I guess this is why I see many online rants that they could only complete 4 stops. But if your objective is just completing as many stops as possible, my advice is only slot in 1-2 of such career stops. I really think the Vault and courier service are something worth trying as they get to push the cart around the Kidzania and deliver the items. The wall climbing looks quite awesome too. Fashion boutique where the kids catwalk also looks quite fun. The key is try to let the kids decide what they want because they are the ones queueing.
5/ There are stations that allocate time slots such as the aviation station and candy shop. Ask the crew for the time that they give out queue numbers, expect to queue a bit earlier before the queue time if you want earlier time slots. Avoid over planning while waiting for such activities because it’s you need to take into consideration queue plus activity time. Chances of missing the time slot is quite high and once you miss the time slot, they won’t rearrange for you.
6/ Bank visit. The bank is constantly crowded because kids need to activate the Kidzania debit cards personally in order to unlock the 30 kidzos (Kidzania currency) on top of the 20 kidzos cash. We actually found that visiting the bank while waiting for your time slot a good idea because the queue at the bank is about 25-35 minutes while other stations have queues of about 35-120 minutes which means they are too long to becomesfillers. So just let the kids queue while you sit down on the many chairs located outside the bank. Anyway if you are only going for the career stops that earn kidzos can forget about activating the bank cards, because they also give out the ‘salary’ in cash. So, in this case activate before you leave will do.
7/ Wear comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking (to check on waiting times) and standing (while yor children sit down in the queue). There are many seating areas around but some parents are very good at snatching and some are basically permanent statues there. Also, popular stations have very few or even no benches for parents to rest their legs. (Btw there is a no-kid-allowed parents lounge on level 2, if you want peace and quiet while the kids go mad, just park yourself there)
8/ keep calm and queue on. There will be rude queue cutters and many parent paparazzi who won’t care about you also wanting to take picture of your kids. They will just smack their face right at the glass panals to get the best photos of their precious. Take a deep breath and rant on your fb.
So here are my after thoughts based on our grueling 7-hour visit. Will we visit again? Honestly probably. The girls would like to try a few other stations such as the pilot, courier service and the police. But only if we get the same deal as we did today. I will never pay at the original ticket price just to go in to 罚站。