Here’s my review for the Hello Kitty in Oz, a new attraction @ Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.
At the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, as soon as I had stepped through the doors after a short briefing by the Librarian of Oz, the first thing that greeted me… had been a mirror maze filled with lovable Sanrio characters. This was before I had stepped into the Hello Kitty in Oz attraction.
These had included Ruby the white Japanese hare, Sapphie the King Charles cocker spaniel and Garnet the pink Persian cat, who are all from Sanrio’s Jewelpet series.
A beautiful enchanted wonderland
But after successfully navigating through the mirror maze, I found myself inside a beautiful enchanted wonderland that completely blew my breath away. Toadstool houses were “growing” on a beautiful green grassy field. I had literally felt as though I was in a fairy-tale.
To the left of me was a tin-coloured house containing more clocks than I could have ever imagined. Behind me was a creepy silver-coloured gypsy tent with a statue of Hello Kitty’s smiling face on the top. In front of me was the doorway to the magical Emerald City that was simply calling for me. And all this was connected together… with a yellow brick road.
I had been completely mesmerised and found myself falling under a spell. Yes, I could scarcely believe that I was actually at the magical Land of Oz – the iconic creation by author L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
But I had not been simply there to play and have fun though. I had a mission to complete. With the help of Hello Kitty aka the Great Witch of Oz, I had to save the Land of Oz from certain destruction.
Where should I begin? I had looked towards Hello Kitty the Great Witch for help…
Hello Kitty in Oz is the newest attraction at Puteri Harbour’s Sanrio Hello Kitty Town
This mission to save the magical Land of Oz from meeting its devastating end – is the setting for Hello Kitty in Oz, the newest attraction at Sanrio Hello Kitty Town in Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya – a short 20-minute drive away from the Tuas gateway to Johor.
Said Fakhruddin Najumudeen, General Manager of Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, “I am very honoured and thrilled that Hello Kitty in Oz is finally here at Sanrio Hello Kitty Town. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic that has brought joy and magic to countless lives and to have it adapted to Hello Kitty is something that we can truly celebrate.”
He continued, “This will be a permanent addition to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and I am sure that this will be an experience that will excite children and adults alike, as this is the only Hello Kitty in Oz attraction in the world.”
Thanks to the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, I had been invited to take a sneak peek at the Hello Kitty in Oz attraction at Puteri Harbour, with members of the media from Singapore and Malaysia, when it was opened on October 31.
Takes place after Dorothy defeats the Wicked Witch of Oz
Hello Kitty in Oz takes place after Dorothy defeats the Wicked Witch and has returned home. There has been widespread rumours that the Land of Oz is ending and Hello Kitty, the Great Witch of Oz, is very worried. So in a decision made with a heavy heart, she removes a chapter from the Great Book of Oz – hoping to change the ending.
Alas, her actions had unfortunately proved to be detrimental… as the Emerald City Machine malfunctions, thus plunging Oz into chaos. So that is where visitors to the exhibition, like me, come in… to help Hello Kitty, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man to save their world. And if you do, you will be richly rewarded…
A performance in action
Four Interactive Games
In order to help Hello Kitty the Great Witch to save Oz, visitors have to play four interactive games. The games are not overly challenging and they suit both children as well as kids-at-heart.
We had about 20 minutes to get through the four games, which would be more than sufficient for most people.
The games begin at the creepy-looking Kuromi’s Tent. Kuromi the Fortune Teller offers to read your fate with her cards. But do not fall for her readings – instead you must pay close attention to the cards she deals. Your fate is in your own hands.
This is typically a memory game where you have 15 seconds to remember the order of 6 cards on a computer terminal, and then arrange the cards according to the exact same order. You have one chance to do so.
The Wood Factory
Wood Factory is the second game. Here, the Great Witch calls on your to challenge your strength and determination. In his haste to respond to the Great Witch’s call, the Tin Man has abandoned his post – so there’s not enough wood to warm the fires at Oz. That’s where you come in, to chop wood. The more wood you chop, the closer you are to helping the Great Witch save Oz.
This is a game where you ‘chop’ wood by closely following the instructions on the computer screen – regarding how many times each piece is supposed to be chopped. I took some time getting the hang of this game, but once I did, it was pretty simple to play.
The Corn House
Once you successfully pass Wood Factory you will reach Corn House. You are hungry and tired and in need of food. So the delicious smell of freshly-roasted corn calls is very tempting. But with nobody in the room and not a soul to watch the fire, the corn may quickly turn to ash. It is up to you to take charge – and ensure that the corn is roasted to a bright and golden yellow.
This game is pretty similar to the third game, whereby you follow the instructions on the screen to wave your hand over the imaginary fire. If you do it too hard and the corn will burn and if you wave too lightly and the corn won’t get cooked. But the instructions are pretty easy to follow once you get the hang of it.
Avoid the flying fishes
This is the last game and before you can unlock the Emerald City and save Oz, you’ll have to keep your wits about you… so that you won’t be distracted by the flying fishes. In this final game, you will need to locate the Emerald City machine and use it to capture the letters from the lost chapter to save Oz and subsequently return home.
This game reminds me a little bit of 1980s PlayStation game Tetris. We had to use the three buttons to control and manoeuvre the floating letters into the correct boxes, but at the same time, avoid the fishes. Once you get the hang of it though, it isn’t really hard to play.
Upon completion of this final game, you will be able to collect a souvenir postcard containing your results.
Following this, there is also an amazing photo room whereby you can get to take pictures with Hello Kitty the Scarecrow plush toys. These were so irresistibly cute and adorable that I could not help but pick them up to cuddle!
Before you leave the attraction though, do not forget about the Oz World Alley – a special Hello Kitty in Oz souvenir retail shop selling limited-edition merchandise that is unique only to the theme park and cannot be bought anywhere else.
Once I saw the items available here, I was on cloud nine and was so tempted to purchase every single thing in the shop. However I held back from spending too much, and opted for an adorable Hello Kitty the Great Witch plush toy.
Plenty more to see and do at Sanrio Hello Kitty Town
Apart from the official merchandise store, there are plenty more things to see and do at the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town. These include Hello Kitty themed rides, and an iconic Hello Kitty house too. As well, there are also plenty of food and beverages available – and all prepared with a Kitty symbol on them.
There are also puzzles and games to try your hands at, opportunities to dress up as Hello Kitty and take photos, as well as chances to make Hello Kitty souvenirs that will definitely appeal to Kitty fans of all ages alike.
Key Sanrio characters are also walking around for meet & greet sessions and you can chance upon them if you are there at the right times. These include Dear Daniel, My Melody, Bad Batzu-Maru and of course, Hello Kitty herself.
Thanks again Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, for the opportunity to visit the magical World of Oz.