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Flashback: My phone is ringing and as I reach for it, read that it’s the JB Bureau chief who’s calling.  “Hello, what's up?” I greet him cheerfully.

Master Wu [Left] and the Ninjago heroes in
a dramatic Spinjitzu performance
Being the busy man he is, Fairuz plunged into the subject right after the initial greetings.  He asked if I can cover an event at Legoland Malaysia Resort and I replied, saying that I had already accepted their invite and was going to attend the launch of Ninjago, the Ride.

“Good!” he said with a sigh of relieve. 

I told Fairuz that I was going to witness the exciting launch of the all-new Ninjago, the Ride event and write a story for Life & Times Travel, now called Jom!  This is a much anticipated happening at the resort and I’m not going to miss it.

Then Fairuz set me straight.  He said I’m to do the story for LET and not Life & Times.

The LET app logo that appears on smart devices
Maybe I’m just too buried under with working on my Johor stories that I missed out on the recent launch of LET. 

So he explained that this is a New Straits Times online magazine accessible through an application for smart devices called, Leisure, Entertainment and Travel = LET.  And its free-of-charge.

After we discuss the story guidelines, he directs me to the LET editor for further details on the submission deadline and procedure.

I thank Fairuz for the opportunity to share my Legoland Ninjago Ride experience in LET and he replies with a kind comment, “You are the best person to do this story.”

Before doing anything else, I quickly downloaded the app for LET to experience the convenience of reading the online pages.

Fast-forward to the exciting event, touted to be the grandest since the official opening of the resort in 2012. 

Lego model of Master Wu at the
entrance to the Ninja Training Courtyard
On that bright and sunny day, the media – from throughout the region – turned out in full force.  Together with die-hard fans of Ningago from Legoland Malaysia Resort’s annual pass holders and their families, the crowd swelled as the temperature rose in the afternoon heat.

Always a good host, the resort had a buffet spread designed with Japanese themed snacks and desserts to keep everyone comfortable while waiting for the VIPs to arrive and the event to start.

The official launch programme kicked off on the arrival of VIPs, Interim General Manager, Legoland Malaysia Resort, Young Pil-Kim; Chief Marketing Officer, Themed Attraction Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd, William Edwards; Yang Dipertua, Majlis Perbandaran Johor Bahru Tengah, Dr Badrul Hisham Kassim; Director of Tourism Johor, Mohd Gadaffie Abdul Aziz; Director-General, Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab; Director of Sales & Marketing, Legoland Malaysia Resort, Thila Munusamy; Chief Executive Officer (Attractions) and Themed Attraction Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd, Phillip Whittaker.

We wait with bated breath as the drums thundered in a dramatic performance and the audience watch as Master Wu, the distinctive Ninjago character, walks onto the Ninja Training Courtyard, to perform a pantomime and introduce the mission of the ninja heroes.

One for the album: the VIPs at the launch of
Ninjago, the Ride in Legoland Malaysia Resort
The two MCs, speaking in English and Mandarin, cautioned the audience not to try this at home just before the four Ninjago young ninja heroes – Kai (Fire), Jay (Lightning), Cole (Earth) and Zane (Ice) – burst onto the courtyard to demonstrate their elements in a series of stunts in the ancient martial art of Spinjitzu.

Local child celebrities dressed as young ninjas, Bryan Herbert, Blair Herbert, Puteri Balqis, Mia Sara, encourage guest volunteers to join in a few games to sharpen their skills in throwing the shuriken and wielding karate chops before being welcomed into the Training Temple to face enemies and the Great Devourer!

I watch all the activities with interest as I eagerly anticipate being among the first in the region to have my own Ninjago Ride experience. 

When the time came, the VIPs and annual pass holders went ahead for the first rides while I enjoy a few sips of chilled Japanese green tea before I take my turn to step into the Training Temple.

Check out my contribution in January 2017 LET issue Number Eight, under Destination: Lego Ninjago Characters Come To Life.  

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