KidZania Manila opened its door to kids in the Philippines on August 7, 2015. We went there on its first Sunday, August 9th, without much expectation, and we were pleasantly surprised by how organized the place was, even though it was so new. Sure, there were minor problems, but overall, we thought the ticket price was reasonable in view of the educational value that it provided.
Since then, we have been back a few times. There are so many role playing rooms that it is simply impossible for a child to try out all of them in one visit. Below is an account of what to expect when you visit Kidzania Manila for the first time.
You can purchase tickets online, or walk in. On weekends or holiday, it will save you time if you book online, as the ticket line onsite could be long.
On Saturdays, the opening hours are divided into two sessions, the first from 9am to 2pm, and the second from 3pm to 8pm. On Sundays, there is only one session, from 10am to 5pm. Ticket price on weekends and national holidays is P1,100 per kid (4 to 17 years old) or P600 per toddler (1 - 3 years old) and P770 per adult. Ticket price on weekdays is P900 per kid or P500 per toddler, and P630 per adult. On weekdays, the session is longer (9am to 4pm).
Even though only kids below 8 years old are required to be accompanied by an adult, we would advise you to have an adult or teenager to go inside with a kid below 12 years old because they may need to buy snacks inside, or get separated from friends because the place is big and at times crowded for kids. But note that an adult cannot help with lining up, since the child has to be there to keep the place in a line.
There will be a lot of things to do inside, so you should go there before the session starts to allow time to finish the registration process. Don't forget, apart from those who have booked online and walk-in guests, the registration desks also have to entertain group or party participants, so the registration hall can be crowded at the beginning of each session.
Since Cebu Pacific airways is a major sponsor of Kidzania, the registration counters and uniform of registration personnel are made to look like the airline's real check-in counter area.
Once it is your turn at the registration counter, you can make payment. For first time visitors, some forms have to be filled in to provide personal particulars. Then everyone will be given a tag in the form of a plastic wrist band that has electronics embedded in it.
Each visitor will be given a boarding pass that looks similar to that for boarding an airplane, and each child visitor will also be given a bank check for 50 KidZos, a currency that can be used inside Kidzania for paying for some activities. The child will need to deposit the check at a playbank once inside the activity area of Kidzania to get the KidZo bills that can be used in Kidzania.
A play bank is inside to allow participants to deposit and withdraw their play money
Just like boarding an airplane, we passed through a gate to get inside KidZania.
Let The Fun Begin!
First floor is the larger of the two floors.
The establishments on this floor include driving school and educational institutions. Whenever a uniform includes a hat, child visitors would be given a head net to wear for hygienic purpose. Neat!
Pretending to be fire fighters are one of the most popular roles that kids can do in Kidzania.
The popular destinations at this floor are the fire station, construction site, and hospital. This floor contains a lot of establishments that encourage physical activities, such as the climbing building, stadium, and driving school. This floor also has a lot of establishments that let child visitors earn for their work, albeit in Kidzos money.
Those construction workers have really decent uniform and gear.
Laying brick couldn't be easier in KidZania.
Kidzos are good money in KidZania.
Work hard, then you will get paid! That is at least one good lesson that kids can learn in KidZania. Some of the play stations in Kidzania will give out Kidzos after an activity. Example: construction work.
At the first floor, some battery powered vehicles will pass by from time to time. The fire engine will transport little firefighters to the play-fire scene, for example, and as can be seen in the video below.
Map of Mezzanine floor
The mezzanine floor has only foot traffic, no vehicles.
The mezzanine floor has Aviation Academy, Cooking School, TV studio, Farm Store, pizza shop and a number of other establishments. This floor has a lot of establishments in which kids can spend their Kidzos - for educational purposes of course.
The Flight Crew Training center, located at the mezzanine level, is another popular facility that usually requires spending some time in lining up.
Imagine flying a plane at 7 years old! Kids get to turn up the engine when taking off and use the landing gear when the flight is over. Adults are not allowed to go into the training center. Bummer! Adults would like to fly flight simulators too!
Eating arrangement. There are currently about three food establishments inside KidZania: Via Mare, McDonald's and Shakey's Pizza. In the Kidzania building but outside Kidzania, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and J.Co Donuts are already open. These are your only options since you do not want to waste time going to the restaurants outside of the building. Also, since there is no activity for parents except to watch the kids, many of them just sit in the eating places while waiting for the older kids to finish. Therefore, it is always hard to find seats at the eating place.
Pazzport system. Instead of a membership system, KidZania offers a pazzport system. For P250, your child can get a Pazzport. After collecting stamps from 30 establishments, the kid gets to be promoted to a higher level of Pazzport, called Distinguished CitiZen, which lets the pazzport holder get more points from each points-earning activity and other perks. The highest level, called Honorable CitiZens, requires 60 stamps to achieve, and entails more perks.