VISITING malls will never be the same again for grown-ups who crave for their share of fun as IOI City Mall in Putrajaya introduces a themed family entertainment centre with attractions based on active participation.
The mall’s District 21, which takes up 70,000 sq ft of space, has 12 key attraction sites featuring various challenges and obstacles designed to cater to visitors looking for a different meaning to the word “fun”.
Upon arriving at the lobby of District 21, visitors are greeted by walls splashed with graffiti art coupled with dim lights mimicking the exterior of an abandoned building.
“We want to give our park visitors an environment they are not familiar with, to increase their curiosity before they enter the park,” said its manager Richard Steven Lee when asked of the design and the stark difference between the park and the mall’s surroundings.
Lee said safety was their utmost priority, therefore visitors were advised to sign an indemnity form before purchasing tickets to enter District 21.
Visitors would then proceed to a decontamination chamber where they will be told a story of the park and given a safety briefing.
“Park-goers are living in the future world and District 21 has been developed as a bootcamp designed to train them to survive and overcome obstacles,” he said.
With that mission in mind, park goers enter District 21 to try their hands and acquire different skills needed to survive.
Lee said the RM20mil park has five must-visit zones and these attractions have never been introduced in South East Asia.
Our first stop was the Power Station where visitors could try their hands on 16 interactive climbing walls equipped with an auto belay system for added safety.
“Not many people are climbers but with this interactive wall, anyone can try the sport and perhaps conquer their fear of heights,” he said.
Not all are easy, said Lee, as some walls also come with puzzles which the climbers have to solve as they make their way up the wall.
We then moved on to the Maze where visitors are given gloves and socks before they begin their journey navigating through a vertical labyrinth of tunnels, cages and a complete a host of challenges.
“Visitors have to challenge themselves through tunnels and narrow passages, where at some point it can even be at 10 metre above ground,” said Lee during the media preview.
For avid BMX bikers, be sure to make a stop at the park’s Pump Track area where an undulating course of uneven track awaits you.
Lee said the track was designed to allow bikers to move continuously without the need to pedal. Those who do not fancy riding a bike can opt for a scooter or a skateboard with helmets, kneepads and elbow pads provided.
Young children can visit the Low Ropes area where a hive of activities caters to them. Kids get to experience a seven element course with a continuos auto belay system attached to them for added safety.
They can move on to the Go Pedal area where they get to experience human powered karts around a 100m tracks course filled with different obstacles to test their skills and speed.
One of the highlights of the park is the Roller Gilder which is also the first indoor glider of its kind in the world.
Lee said the Bulgarian designed glider was a mix of a zip line and roller coaster ride. Armed with a harness, park goers zip down a cable trolley which runs along a pipe at a dramatic speed of 30km per hour.
“It is quite fast but you will get a quick view of the park at five-storeys high,” he said adding that each glide took about 20 seconds.
Another must-try is the Sky Trail which is the largest indoor rope challenge course in the country offering 23 elements.
Both Roller Glider and Sky Trail were undergoing security tests during the preview but Lee assured us that it would be open to the public soon.
Meanwhile, the public can try the Tubby Ride to enjoy the thrill of sliding down a snow bank or take a leap of faith at the Free Fall zone. Children can also jump or practice slam dunk at the Launch Pad area equipped with trampolines, as well as hop on the 24 seater Carousel on the first floor of the park for a spin.
Lee said the first-floor area, which is open to public, would also include a restaurant, entertainment zone and simulators next year.
“Patrons can enjoy the facilities at the first floor without purchasing tickets to the park.
“They will also be able to catch a glimpse of what the park is like from above,” said Lee adding that ticket holders would not need to pay for usage of rides on the first floor.
The park which opened its doors early in Dec also has lockers for patrons to keep their belongings and a small cafe selling drinks and snacks. Tickets to the park are priced at RM75 for children and adults while a non-active pass is at RM15 per person. The park opens from 10am to 10pm.