ESCAPE Petaling Jaya review

If you have a lot of pent-up energy from being cooped up at home during the various lockdowns, there’s no better way to let off some steam than to spend the day at ESCAPE Petaling Jaya – a sprawling 35,000 sqft adventure park branch in Klang Valley from the award-winning ESCAPE in Penang.

ESCAPE Petaling Jaya has a total of 11 rides and challenges, including 1 specially for kids under 12. Here’s our review on 8 of those rides – experienced first-hand by a thrillseeker, and ranked in 2 lists, one from the most to least thrilling, and the other from the most to least difficult.

–   Most thrilling to least thrilling   –

1. Atan’s Leap – stepping off a 4-storey ledge 

escape challenge pg - atan's leapImage credit: Escape Challenge, Petaling Jaya

Not to sound morbid, but if you have ever wanted to experience jumping off a building sans the grave injury, this is your chance.

Atan’s Leap is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It requires a whole lot of courage, risk-taking, and mental preparation once you’re up there looking down from the ledge.

First, you’ll have to go up a 20m-high platform, equivalent to 4 storeys. Once you have the harness on and are ready to take the plunge, you’ll be asked to just step off the ledge. 

It sounds terrifying but it feels like how you miss a step when going down the stairs, except this time you’ll experience free-falling for 2 seconds instead of a beat, before the rope attached to your back breaks your fall. You’ll dangle for a bit in the air then slowly descend and land softly on the mat. 

The scariest part of the Atan’s Lap isn’t actually the free fall but the moment you’re on the ledge. There’s no force pushing you forward so you have to muster up the courage all by yourself to take that step forward. It’s extremely daunting in the beginning, but exhilarating once you’ve actually done it. 

My kind of “mental preparation” is to not be prepared at all. “Ready? Go!” the instructor cheered me on once I was in position. Without even replying to him, I just stepped right off. My philosophy is that the moment you allow yourself to think, is the moment that will hold you back. So don’t let your own mind betray you and just do it before it gets a chance to. 

Scare level: 5/5
Fun level: 5/5

2. Slingshot – getting launched into the air like a reverse bungee jump

escape challenge pg - slingshot

Slingshot looks quite tame when you’re on the ground watching someone else on the ride, but the brunt of the launch can catch you off guard. 

Akin to a reverse bungee jump, the Slingshot flicks you as high as 10m into the air.

You’ll be strapped into a harness and slowly raised 1 ft up from the platform. After a few seconds, you’ll get thrown into the air like a rocket. But unlike a sturdy, big rocket, I looked like a human rag doll doing unchoreographed flips in the air, according to my videographer. 

Slingshot was my fourth ride at ESCAPE, and next on my checklist after attempting the Atan’s Leap. I presumptuously thought that it wouldn’t do much to get my heart pumping now that I’ve jumped off 4 storeys, but nope, the whole park heard me screeching when I was launched into the air, all right. 

Scare level: 4/5
Fun level: 5/5

3. Banana Flip – sliding down an almost-vertical slide 

escape challenge - banana flip

Banana Flip will be the first thing you notice once you enter ESCAPE. The 14m-high yellow slide is a sight to be reckoned with, with its bright hue and impressive length. Not to mention, it just screams SO MUCH FUN! Thrillseekers will be drawn to it like moths attracted to light.

You’ll first step into a capsule and be asked to cross your ankles and arms. The platform you’re standing on then opens up and you’ll slide down an almost-vertical slide. It then curves slightly upwards like a C and you’ll fly off into the air for a bit before landing on a big air bag. 

escape challenge - banana flipImage credit: Escape Challenge, Petaling Jaya

The best part was, hands down, when you slide down the crazy steep part. You get that jolting stomach-dropping feeling, but before you know it, the curve starts to slowly flatten and you can’t help but think, “That’s it?” The air bag makes up for the disappointment by giving you a good bouncy landing though.

Scare level: 3/5
Fun level: 4/5

4. Airbag – jumping off and doing flips from a 2-storey platform

escape challenge - airbag

Airbag is another challenge that requires you to leap off a ledge, except you can jump off in whatever style you want and without a harness this time. Imagine a swimming pool jumping board but instead of landing in water, you’ll land on a giant air bag.

Kids as young as 4 are allowed to hop off the ledge, so it’ll be a dream playground for those who are often reprimanded for jumping on couches and beds. You can even do some flips and twists in the air for added fun.

Go for this “ride” when you need to take a breather from more energy-exerting rides such as Atan’s Leap and Banana Flip. 

Scare level: 2/5
Fun level: 3/5

–    Most difficult to least difficult   –

1. Coco Climb – climbing up a coconut tree with your bare hands 

escape challenge - coco's climb

For those who grew up climbing trees, you can now relive your childhood on the Coco Climb. This challenge requires a lot of upper body strength as the coconut tree stands completely upright, and there are no hand grips for climbers to pull themselves up with. 

Measuring up to around 8m, the tree is also quite slippery so climbers will have to rely on their grip strength to haul themselves to the top. Plus, you know Coco Climb is the most physically difficult challenge in the park because it’s the only one where you get rewarded with a medal if you can successfully climb up the tree and ring the bell hung on its peak. 

Difficulty level: 5/5
Fun level: 3/5

2. Monkey Business – tackling obstacle courses in the air 

escape challenge - monkey business

Monkey Business is the main obstacle challenge course in ESCAPE. There are 3 levels to complete, with each level increasing in height and difficulty

In total, there are 56 obstacles comprising zip lines, rock climbing, Tarzan swing, tightropes, and many more. 

Level 1 is very doable for someone with moderate fitness level. You should be able to complete it in around 30 minutes. However, it escalates quickly as the obstacles in Level 3 require strong core and arm strengths. For example, you’ll need to cling onto a rope and swing to another platform Tarzan-style.

escape challenge - monkey business

The key to conquering Level 3 is to take it slow, because it’s the longest course in the park – some may take up to 2 hours to complete it, so you will need a lot of stamina and endurance to take up this challenge. 

Pro tip: Wear training gloves to protect your palms from friction and you’ll also have better grip on the ropes!

Difficulty level: 5/5
Fun level: 4/5

3. Gecko Tower – scaling a building, Spiderman-style 

escape challenge - gecko tower

The Gecko Tower is like a rock wall, but with a twist. You get to climb a replica of a 1950s Old Malaya building facade that’s complete with doors and windows. 

Unlike regular rock climbing that has hand grips and footholds screwed into the wall, The Gecko Tower lets you navigate your way to the top by climbing up window sills, arches, and pillars. You’ll be strapped to a belay line for safety purposes.

While this challenge is moderately easy to conquer, the novelty factor of scaling a ‘building’ makes it quite memorable. You can also race your friends to the top if you are feeling competitive.

Difficulty level: 2/5
Fun level: 3/5

4. Mini Aerobat – doing stunts while swinging on a trapeze

escape challenge - aerobatImage credit: Escape Challenge, Petaling Jaya

Experience what it’s like to be a circus acrobat on the Mini Aerobat.

You’ll first get a briefing on the ground and be taught a couple of tricks on how to swing on the trapeze before going on it. The first trick you’ll do is to hook your legs on the bar and swing upside down. 

Once you’ve mastered that, you can then perform a backflip and finish off with a perfect, graceful landing. It sounds difficult but this is easier compared to the rest as there will be a harness supporting your midriff, so you’re actually not clinging onto the trapeze all by yourself.

The Mini Aerobat challenge is as fun as it looks. There’s also a sense of accomplishment when you’ve mastered the 2 stunts above, which will make you want to go on it repeatedly. 

Difficulty level: 2/5
Fun level: 5/5

ESCAPE Challenge is a thrillseeker’s haven

ESCAPE Petaling Jaya checks the boxes of satisfying a thrillseeker’s need for adrenaline rushes, and comes complete with obstacle challenges that can truly test one’s strength and endurance. 

The challenges are gruelling, especially more so if you’re scared of heights, but the feeling of liberation once you’ve conquered them is a reward well worth the hustle.

We spent around 4 hours in the park on a weekday when there is a smaller crowd, so do factor in a longer waiting time to get on the challenges during the weekends. 

Whether you’re going with a group of friends, your bae, or family, it will be a laughter-filled, bonding day. 

Online ticket prices are as follows: 

1-Day Pass
Children aged 4-12: from RM45.50
Students and adults aged 13-60: from RM68.60

2-Day Pass
Children aged 4-12:
from RM77.60
Students and adults aged 13-60: from RM117.60

Address: GB-07 Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya, 47301 Selangor
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10AM-8PM (Closed on Mondays)
Telephone: 03-7665 110
ESCAPE PJ website | Facebook

For more things to do in Klang Valley during the weekends, check these out: 

Photography by Danny Ko and Julia Thong.

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