Saturday, August 22, 2015

Our Kidzania Manila Experience

The kids had no school last August 13 so me and a fellow mommy decided to bring the them to Kidzania to take advantage of the cheaper rate while it’s still on soft opening (from August 7 until October 7, 2015). Plus, it was a weekday so we were expecting less people.

First off, we already bought tickets at National Bookstore (Ticketworld) beforehand since I saw online that tickets can get sold out (especially during the weekend). Side kwento pala, a few days after, we found out that our school field trip will be at Kidzania too! Ayayay! And I’m sure almost all the schools will be going on field trips here, so if you’re not in a rush to go, wait na lang for your school so as not to double expenses. But it’s ok, I wouldn’t mind going again especially since there are so many activities that can be done.

everyone has their own security bracelet

Anyway, I read other blogs beforehand that gave their own accounts of their visits but the ones I read were mostly during the media launch. Seeing the various activities and areas in Kidzania was helpful, but I think it’s a bit different when you visit as a paying customer. I want to share my own experience and observations since I was a bit disappointed with some parts and I believe they definitely still have a lot of things to work on.

Take note that if you’re going to the basement parking, the entrance is along Rizal Drive, which is at the back of the building. Almost everyone like us kasi went to the street where the main entrance of Kidzania was facing. Parang drop-off point lang pala un. Just use Google Maps or Waze if you’re not familiar with the area.

There is basement parking in the building itself but it’s quite expensive. P40 for the first 4 hours then P50 PER SUCCEEDING HOUR. We ended up spending P190 for the day (to think ang mahal na nga ng tickets right!).

Field Trips
Since they opened to the public just last August 7, I wasn’t expecting that they were already accepting field trips. But when we got there, I saw 2 huge buses with school kids unloading. So even if you go on a weekday, expect a lot of people from other schools. But I’m sure it’s still better than the weekend.

field trip kids

Fire Station Activity Rant
We decided to do the fire activity first since based on what I read online, it seemed to be the most popular activity. So we wanted to do it na just in case there were more people later on. We were the 3rd batch and they said each batch was 20 minutes. But we lined up for almost 2 hours! Based on the time, each batch took about 45 minutes. And the worst part was they weren't even able to ride the fire truck! 

The thing was, there were so many students in the main plaza who did a performance. I found out later on when I checked Kidzania’s IG that it was apparently the birthday of Eugenio Lopez. So when it was our turn for the fire activity, they couldn’t use the fire truck because obviously the street was blocked by all the dancing students. I was very upset along with the kids and the other parents. I wish they could have warned us beforehand that they wouldn’t be using the fire truck during this time so that we could have done another activity instead right? When we complained about this, the staff said we would have to line up again if the kids wanted to ride. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? E di wala na kaming nagawa buong araw! Forget it, good thing our kids were able to ride an actual fire truck at school already before hmph! We just took their pics by the truck na lang din.

Activity Times
There are signs (plaques) right outside each activity telling you the capacity of kids allowed and duration of each activity. Some 10 minutes, some 15, some 20. However, we soon realized that the time is waaaay longer than that, like with our fire station experience. Especially since in other activities, they only have 1 staff member manning the entire place. 

For example, in the Construction activity, it said duration was 15 minutes. Quick lang right?

However, there was only one girl helping the kids wear their uniforms, collect their passports, pay them their kidZos… then she has to clean the entire place after for the next batch of kids! As in dismantling the blocks, putting back the tools, hanging the uniforms… So the turnaround time for each batch was actually around 30 minutes (or even more depending on the speed of the staff member).

see all those blocks? she has to take them apart one by one pa...

Same with the Baby Care activity, which had 20 minutes as their duration. I timed it and each batch took about 45 minutes. It's either they do something to stick to the actual stated time, or change what's written on the plaque so people will have a more realistic time frame. I mean come on, it's not just 5-10 minutes difference were talking about here, it's more than double the said time.

It would make such a huge difference if they added more staff members. I mean, at least 2 for each activity right? And they need to fix their system to maximize the time and manage the lines especially in the popular attractions.

For example. The PaZZport Office area only had 2 staff members. And almost everyone passes through here! People were already complaining, especially since the lines got so long when the field trip kids showed up.

So imagine for each kid, they need to get your details and input it on the computer, take the photo of the child, get the payment, then fix the passport (manually I might add). The time will really add up. I suggest you do this at once when you enter Kidzania since the kids get extra kidZos per activity. We were so excited to do the Fire Acivity first, then realized after the kids didn't have a passport. Plus, it's a nice souvenir too.

Staff Lunch Breaks 
Another popular activity was the Baby Care. We were already lined up for a while and based on the number of kids, I knew we would be in the next batch already. However, as soon as the batch in front of us were inside, the staff says that the nurse will go on a 1 hour lunch break after. Ok, I get that they need their break time too. But couldn’t they have announced this earlier or put a sign saying that lunch break was from this time to that time? So again, people won’t waste their time lining up. And don’t they have a replacement or sub for that person? Other activities didn’t go on lunch break naman...

they placed this sign AFTER they told us about the break

The thing was, we came back after an hour and good thing we were the first in line. But then there was still no one there. One mom called a manager already and we were told the activity would resume at 2:15pm. It was past 2:30 when the staff member arrived. Again, they should be more conscious with the time, considering everyone is trying to cram as much activities as possible within the day. And for the sign, I think they should put WHAT TIME to come back later right?

Suggestion for faster turnaround time
I don't know how helpful this suggestion will be or maybe they've already considered this but it's just not doable. But based on what I saw (and this was also from the other parents' observations we were with), they can definitely maximize time by adding more staff members and overlapping the batches (even during peak times man lang).

Like here in Baby Care, the nursery is separated from the reception. So it's possible that while Batch A is inside with the babies, they can have Batch B come in already so they can have their passports stamped, wear uniforms, and be briefed about the activity. In this case also, the staff member was alone, so she had to do everything herself which took more time.

Same with the Fire Station activity. which starts with the kids wearing the uniforms then watching a safety video. Then after, they go to the hotel to put the fire out then ride the truck. Sana, once the kids are putting the fire out in the other area, they can ask the next batch to come in already and put on the uniforms and maybe watch the video. Just to lessen waiting time in line for everyone right?

maybe the next batch can watch the video already while the others are putting out the hotel fire

Eating Area
I think they need to add more tables and chairs in the eating area, especially where McDonald's is. When we were there, I saw field trip kids all sitting on the floor. In fact when it was my turn to eat (we just took turns while waiting in line with the kids) I had no table and just ate my food using another chair. Plus, they should be prepared for the amount of people. When I ordered chicken from Mcdo, they said to come back for it in 20 minutes. And to think there are more people on weekends right!

Oh, and they have a very limited menu for McDonald's. No fries, burgers, or nuggets. It was just the fried chicken, spaghetti and the sundaes.

Manage your time, priorities, and kids
You will definitely not be able to do all the activities your kids want because 1) there’s only so much time in the day & 2) there’s so much to choose from!

Our game plan was really to do the popular ones first just to get it out of the way. Our priorities were really the Fire Station, Aviation Academy, and Baby Care Center. The rest, whatever had the shortest lines na lang. The girls ended up doing 6 activities (Fire Station, Aviation, Baby Care, Emergency Room, Construction, and Beauty Salon) while my son was able to do 7 (Fire Station, Aviation, Baby Care, Emergency Room, Gas Station, Car Dealership, and Police Station). We arrived at 9:30 and left until the 4:00pm closing. So if you really want to make the most of your day, be there as early as possible. 

It was funny since the parents in line were all becoming friends na kasi we all share the same sentiments and of course, chika na while waiting. Usual question was, “naka-ilan activity na kayo?” The others 3-4 lang, so we considered ourselves lucky already. Imagine if we didn’t line up that long sa Fire Station? Baka naka extra 3 activities pa kami. We were joking nga, mas marami pa kaming nasakyan sa Hong Kong Disneyland lol! ;p So just expect to line up and wait. 

Also, because of the capacity per activity, some kids ended up crying (hysterically) when they were cut off. So sometimes, the staff would allow na lang 1 more person just so they’d calm down. May nagcomment tuloy na mommy, “sana pala nagwala na din anak ko kanina!” haha! Just check the sign na lang at once for the limit so you know if you will make it to the current or next batch pa.

Get ready to stretch those leg muscles!
I don’t know about the other parents who’ve been here but we were super tired from standing up almost all day darting from one activity to the next! Even if they say that only child visitors can line up and enter, of course we still had to accompany and wait for them right outside since they're young pa (4-5 years old). And of course, to take pictures! :)

For those with older kids, I'm sure the parents can just relax and sit down somewhere and just meet them after. But for our kids, we have to really stay with them and stand where they can see us. So we weren’t even able to check out the parents lounge haha. I wish they had chairs or benches while waiting in line for the kids though. You could see the younger ones getting impatient and tired from standing up. Tip, bring those mini folding stools/chairs if you have them, since they'll be super handy here!

are we next?

Closing Time
They start closing the activities around 20-30 minutes before closing time (4pm on weekdays) and just let one final batch in. So just be aware in case you still want to squeeze in an activity your kids really like. Line up for it na before you miss the cut off.

good thing we still made it to the final batch of the beauty salon, whew!

Also, we didn't make it in time to the bank to deposit our kidZos and get our ATM card. So we just have to hold on to the kids' money until we come back next time.

Even though we were so tired already, I think bitin pa din un time! Sana they open until 6pm man lang. ;p

You can mostly see what your kids will be doing and take pictures, but there are some activities with limited visibility. Like the Aviation School since you couldn't really see what they were doing inside the simulator. But they have official photographers roaming around to take nice close-up shots. Be sure to check out your child’s photos before you leave. They’ll scan your kid’s bracelet and all the photos taken of him/her within the day in the different activities will pop out. Here are the prices:

so cute!

Anyway, hope this prepares you for your future trip to Kidzania. I understand this is just their soft opening so they definitely have a lot of things to improve on. Hopefully when the time comes for us to have our field trip, they have already addressed these issues.

But did we have fun? Of course we did! The kids even said they liked it better than Disneyland since they really enjoyed doing actual grown-up stuff. I honestly can't wait to be back and see the kids do more activities. :)

For all details / FAQs, check out Kidzania's website at


  1. Sis thank you for a very honest review. I personally don't 'believe' sponsored reviews and i often question its credibility. Buti na lang there are bloggers like you :)

    1. agree much! Iba pa din ang experience pag paying visitor talaga. =)

  2. I agree with your "sis" totally. This is such an unadulterated review of Kidzania Manila. We have yet to visit it and now we are more excited to do so. Hopefully soon. :-) Keep on writing!

  3. I'm glad that I've read your post so I can manage my expectations. We wanted the fire station and aviation academy too, my son really wanted to ride the fire truck. I do hope, marami kami magawa lalo na limited time lang pag Fri-Sun. While reading your post, feeling ko nga mas mabilis pa pila sa Disneyland. hehehe!

    1. Haha yes in our experience mas mabilis pa talaga sa Disney! But hopefully it's better na now, good luck to you and hope you have a great time! :)

  4. Is a great place for kids to learn how to make money but i really hate the waiting.

  5. yipee!excited nako for this coming fieldtrip of my son at Kidzania. thank you for the tips ms. helene :) - abbyarnoc



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