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UAE 2017 - Part 6 - waterparks


Strata Poster
So - last month I spent just over a week in Dubai - 5 days with the ECC and 3 extra days, and lots of theme park fun was had.

Day 1 - Legoland and Bollywood park

First park of the trip was legoland dubai, we kicked off with an ers on the dragon coaster (ooh!) - even though it was a saturday, both parks were pretty empty, so ironically the queue during ERS was far bigger than the rest of the morning.

It's a Zierer coaster, and like the one in windsor it starts as a dark ride, and then goes outside for a coaster - it was ok for a family coaster.

The second coaster was dragons apprentice - a zaqmperla "family gravity effort"
The lego dragons were more interesting than the ride!

the park also had a few flats, as well as a dark ride shooter and a submarine thing like windsor has. It was all rather small and underwhelming, but did have some interesting lego models.

even the miniland area was limited to just dubai and a bit of (I think) Egypt.

One kinda highlight was that the miniland burj khalifa had a recreation of the fireworks

All done with the park by about 11, I moved on to Bollywood park (part of the same resort, along with motiongate), only to realise it didn't open until midday, so about 40- minutes wait, and a group grumble about legoland!
One closed entrance!

The bad thing about bollywood is that there are only 4 main attractions (soon to be 5) but no coasters, along with several shows, and the "main" show is rather poor.
The good thing is that the other shows were pretty good, and the attractions are all executed very well, and the park itself looks pretty nice

Was sure I took more pictures of the area with the sholay and lagaan rides
Sholay was a 3d dark ride / shooter - made a bit quirky by the fact you get to shoot at people rather than ghosts or something.. the preshow also seemed to feature hitler

Had a few goes on this and really enjoyed it!

Lagaan was a simulator, with the "show" being shown from the PoV of a cricket ball on a trip around a fairground, complete with large mechanical model cricketers - the animation had a slight monty python feel about it - and it was outstandingly well put together! a definite not to be missed attraction, also the pre show and safety announcements are fabulously camp!

The not yet opened ride is an immerion tunnel - "don the chase"

The hall of heros contained the krrish and ra-one rides

Krrish is a flying theater and ra one is a 4d cinema - both are just that little bit quirkier than usual - so definitely worth doing.

I think bollywood park has great potential to be a fantastic place - a few flat rides, and a coaster or two would go some way to getting there - but considering the place has been just a few years in the making, it's a really solid start.


Strata Poster
Part 1b - Motiongate.

The third of the dubai parks and resorts attractions. Arrived to temperatures around 35..

I'm sure there should be a crowd of people here...

or maybe here..

Ahah - It's rammed.... ;-)

Headed towards the dreamworks area as it was indoors/

The madagascar area featured "madagascar mad pursuit" - an indoor gerstlauer infinity coaster - with a launch

Being fully enclosed, there wasn't much to photograph - it was quite a nice ride - more family oriented,

The dreamworks area also had a few flats,
Kung fu panda

Which contained "unstoppable awesomeness" - a simulator - quite nicely themed, but not as well polished as lagaan.

The shrek area with a not yet opened dark ride

and the soon to open how to train your dragon area, with the soon to open dragon gliders coaster (similar style to arthur at europa park)

oh - and an elaborate fountain.

Next up was the smurfs area (apparently they're huuge in the UAE!)

Which had the smurfs village express roller coaster

Sure I took a better picture than that - anyway, it's a Gerstlauer family coaster - and was rather fun!

Lunch was barbecue chicken wings. MMmmm - they seem to serve everything with almost "American size" portions of fries...

after that - on to the "columbia pictures" area, which actually appears to be complete!

The green hornet - I love me a gerstlauer bobsled!

Ghostbusters - dark shooter

Underworld 4d cinema - surprisingly good!

Hotel transylvania - trackless dark ride - Apparently they're still working on the effects, so at the moment it's a bit sparse, but it did tickle my goongasm buttons - there's a lovely bit in a corridor with all the cars crossing each others paths and entering little side rooms!

Blast off is a new gen S and S combo tower

I still prefer intamins (Fritt fall at grona is FAB!)

The only water ride on the trip (except the water parks) was a rapids ride here

Unfortunately it had gone tech (and is still listed as out of action on their website.)

Finally - a shot of the under construction Lionsgate area (capitol bullet train looks cool)

So - all in all, It's a good solid start for a park which has only recently opened, but it's difficult not to be a bit miffed at paying such a high price for entry, when about a quarter of the park isn't finished yet.

And finally for this part - a grumble or 2 about theme parks in the UAE in general

1 - The prices. Other than the FECs, the pay one price parks (and waterparks) are ridiculous - typically over £50 each, some £60 - even at the pre brexit rate it was only about £10 less. The "1 day, 2 parks pass" here at about £80, will give you plenty of time for both bollywood and motiongate

2 - They all have strict no outside food policies, full bag searches, and anything except baby food and water is confiscated - I even had a packet of chewing gum taken at aquaventure... yes - a packet of flipping chewing gum!

But just to tame it a bit - the food prices in the parks weren't as bad as I was expecting - at Bollywood I had a masala dosa (spiced potato pancake) which was about £6, HUUGE, and one of the nicest theme park meals I've had!


Strata Poster
No replies yet?? :'(

Part 2 - Global Village and Antics land (seems I didn't take pics - sure I got some in antics land)

The first couple of parts here aren't quite chronological, as we did global village on the first evening, and Antics land before Motiongate, but I thought I'd put the dubai parks and resorts reports all together.

So global village is a huuge marketplace, Only that description doesn't really go far enough. There are pavilions for around 30 countries (although a few are grouped together like "the Americas" and "East Europe") - and each contains a wide variety of stalls(15-30) selling fashion, foods etc. from that country - I did see several people going round with shopping trolleys full of purchases. It only opens for about 5-6 months of the year, hours are around 4pm-midnight and they get more yearly visitors than europa park. I'd happily spend a few days wandering around the pavilions - they didn't hassle you like they do in the souks!

It also happens to have a reasonably sized funfair - this year the rides were owned by mellors group, the line up featured 3 coasters - 1 - The powered mine train from american adventure (with painfull seat mounted ball pokers), 2- A big apple and 3 - "baby aviator" - a dubious cred - powered inverted thing. I may also have ridden a ghost train, haunted house and fun house whilst there

oh why didn't I take more pics? - anyway I nicked one of stevie b's just to illustrate the aviator thing:

Antics land was a FEC inside the sharjah mega mall - they had a reasonable shooty dark ride, suspended monorail, a pretty decent haunted walkthrough thing and a roller coaster - which was a bit brutal but not too terrible. worth spending an hour or 2 ins there!


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Antics land was a FEC inside the sharjah mega mall - they had a reasonable shooty dark ride, suspended monorail, a pretty decent haunted walkthrough thing and a roller coaster - which was a bit brutal but not too terrible. worth spending an hour or 2 ins there!
Thunder Mountain was awful. :p They practically opened the coaster for me, but it left me with a sizeable bruise on my leg as I didn't anticipate the final flat turn before the station!

Pink Cadillac

Giga Poster
Nice report so far but eek at the prices! I've literally never seen a UAE park even remotely busy.
Madagascar Mad Pursuit intrigues me! What was it like?


Strata Poster
Thunder Mountain was awful. :p They practically opened the coaster for me, but it left me with a sizeable bruise on my leg as I didn't anticipate the final flat turn before the station!

Madagascar Mad Pursuit intrigues me! What was it like?
it was pretty good fun - aimed more at families over big thrill seekers - just one jaunch, no inversions, bit of airtime - that sorta thing!


Staff member
Social Media Team
I'm penciling in Chinese New Year next year for the UAE. I want to catch it after most stuff is open and before it starts to close down since the current business model and ridiculous growth has to be totally unsustainable.


Strata Poster
Part 3 - IMG worlds of adventure
IMG worlds of adventure is billed as the worlds largest indoor theme park, containing 4 zones, 3 coasters, some extraordinary tech, awesome merchandise and good food (all prepared on site) - so how do they plan to follow up from this? why - they're building an even bigger indoor park, of course..

Anyway - onto the current titchy version... ;)
Being indoor, it made photography a little tricky

First up was ERS on Doc Ocks revenge - an indoor mack spinner - Love these rides, and this was no different, being enclosed there's not many photo-ops, other than the bit of track that pokes outside into the main floor area!

we then had a q+a session with the owners, this was delayed by about an hour as doc ock had broken down mid ERS, and they had to be evac'ed. This delay + the fact we were leaving a bit early to ge to sega republic, meant I was getting "park completion anxiety" - enhanced by the big presentation on the park, and land of legends which they gave us!

eventually we were allowed out!! The first area was the cartoon network zone

Here was the ben 10 3d (or was it 4, 5 or 11odd) cinema, an air race (powerpuff girls), the gumball shooty dark ride
the adventure time ride of ooo (suspended monorail)

And the lazytown area - with kiidy rides and the lazytown show - which was quite good fun.

Then onto the lost valley area - which had the parks other 2 rollercoasters

Which is a blue fire clone - I actually enjoyed it a bi more than the original - the launch is next to a big screen with dinosaurs on (you see a bit more of the effect in the back. The ride itself is lovely and smooth.
And predator

A eurofighter - it was ok.
The other major ride here was "forbidden territory" which was basically the dinosaur safari bit from jurassic park!
Loved this - went back for a reride later but it had gone tech!

Then the marvel area.
as well as the spinner, it had a themed topspin, a dumbo style flat and 2 further hi tech rides:
Avengers battle of ultron

Which was similar to spiderman at universal ioa - I love the tech in these rides and it was great fun - but think the story in spiderman was a bit easier to follow
and hulk - Epsilon base

A simulator with a difference - the "ride vehicle" is actually more like a tagada (but with 3 concentric rows of seats), and some amazing use of hydraulics, video and 3d projections to give the impression of being in a fast moving flying saucer - again the story is a bit clunky, but you can forgive that when the ride is so great!

The other major attraction was the haunted hotel.

A great haunted walkthrough - ony thing with a bit of a queue (15ish minutes)

Pictures don't really do the park justice - it's superbly themed inside. I also bought a fair amount of the merchandise here (it's too good to cal l it tat!)


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I wasn't hugely impressed by Hulk actually. I thought it was a bit strange having parts of the action take place behind you and it made the whole thing feel a bit disjointed.

I did quite like the concept though, and the ride vehicle was really fab (from an engineer's perspective), but I don't think the ride was all that great. It was certainly in a lower league to the Battle of Ultron ride next door!


Strata Poster
I wasn't hugely impressed by Hulk actually. I thought it was a bit strange having parts of the action take place behind you and it made the whole thing feel a bit disjointed.

I know what yiou mean TBH - maybe I've let my opinion of the concept and vehicle cloud my judgement!

anyway - Part 4 - Ferrari world.

Tuesday was the day for Yas waterworld and ferarri world - but I'll save the waterpark review for another part.
On the subject of water - it does rain there!
They don't have drains there, and send a big hoover-lorry to suck it all up, but at least we could still get to abu dhabi, (not my vid),

anyway - Ferrari world felt like more of a showroom, with a few racing themed rides (including some obvious sales pitches), and an italy version of soarin, as well as a shooty dark ride. I felt the place inside was rather bland.

We were a few days to early for turbo track - but it looks quite cool poking out through the roof!

The 3 (4??) coasters there were
1 - Fiorano GT challenge - A "Racing" launched coaster
Which was obviously aimed at families, but I found a bit tame compared to say, Juwelen, or even back lot stunt coaster, also operations were AWFUL - 4-5 minute dispatches!

2 - Flying aces
As a big lover of skyrush, I was really looking forward to this one, thinking I may get a new top ten - not quite, a great coaster but didn't quite give me that "I WANNA GO AGAIN AND AGAIN" feeling that I get out of the big yellow ride of joy.

3 - Formula Rossa.
Hard to believe it's 7 years old now! Anyway - The ride totally exceeded my expectations - it's not all about the launch (although that's great), but the hills, twists and turns are delicious, in the back it's a teensy bit juddery, but I don't think you can avoid that on a ride this fast! It's now my number 3 coaster

We also had a chance of a free ride on "Yolo coaster" nearby
I was considering it - but it was about a 40 minute walking round trip, and Rossa was just so good!


Strata Poster
Part 5 - Adventureland Sharjah, Sparkys and Hub Zero.

This was the last morning with the ECC group, and we kicked off with the Burj khalifa, and moved on to adventrueland in sharjah.

Can't seem to get on to photobucket at the mo - so I'll save the BK for later and use RCDB for adventureland.
Adventureland was another mall FEC, this one had three coasters

Forest train and kukulcan were zamperla powered coasters, unusually forest train was a slower paced one, quite a nice touch I thought!

the third was rocket cycles - a zamperla motocoaster - but with a lift hill instead of a launch - it was quite nice! most of these Mall parks had been good!

I then left the group at the airport and made my way to Sparky's in the al ghurair centre - easy enough to get to on the metro, Get off at union station, there are only two exits, head away from the bus station. once out - head towards the crossroads, and walk past mcdonalds, shortly after there's a mall entrance, sparky's is on the second floor

They seem to be a bit inconsistent with minimum spends here - I was told 75 dirham minimum, but some others who went before were allowed to pay for just the coaster

1 thing to watch for here is the turnstyles are a bit eager, turning the moment you swipe your card - I missed my chance on the coaster and had to wait for the attendant!
They have an IE park spinning coaster, which is actually good fun (and I could have probably spent the whole 75 dirhams on..), and a shooty simulator which was better than I thought it would be. They also have a ghost train which I was looking forward too - unfortunately it was out of action, apparently has been like that for a while. :(

And then to hub zero - which is a hi tech indoor theme park. I got a taxi here from dubai mall metro stop - bit of a nightmare as the taxi's don't have satnav, and the driver didn't know where it was.. >:-(

no coasters, but simulators, a robocoaster, immersion tunnel and a retro arcade.
1 - Hack attack is a VR shooter - I sucked at it! didn't like it at all!
2 - Resident evil was a trackless dark ride shooter - If you forget about the shooting element, the ride itself is a lot more enjoyable!
3 - Asura's wrath was a 4d cinema, but on the day i visited (and maybe days before or afterwards), the 3d element of the film wasn;t working - which begs the question, if you watch a 2d film with seat shakers and leg ticklers, is it called a 3d cinema?
4 - Dragon age was the robocoaster, was looking forward to it, but it had a weight limit of 100 kgs - so I was spited!
5 - Escape from midgar - the immersion tunnel - Great tech, decent ride.

So - with a few decent attractions, worth a couple of hours, particularly if you can find a discount ticket - Although I did notice that you appear to be able to pay per ride (which isn't mentioned on their website)


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Ahhh... mopping up the Dubai mall crap creds. I did most of these in one big day, just driving to each one, but it turned out to be a reasonably stressful day as the traffic is a bit of a nightmare! :p

Pink Cadillac

Giga Poster
IMG world looks cool, but I don't think they're getting that expansion they speak of. Would you say it was a half/third of day park?


Strata Poster
Part 6 - waterparks.

As mentioned, we did Yas waterworld on the morning we did Ferrari world, I was also planning to do aquaventure on thursdy, and wild wadi on saturday (having discovered friday was a weekend day out there!!)

So - 6a - Yas waterworld.
The rain had kept the crowds away, so I think we were about the only people there, first up was bandit bomber -

Seemed better than the version from hershey park, but they'd turned the water effects off due to the weather.

And it was then on to the slides. first up was Liwa loop = one of those terrifying trapdoor slides, with a tilted loop - was almost bricking it as the countdown was happening!
Dawamma has been out of action for a while now, and we seemed to miss out on falcons falaj (both 6 man tub slides). so next up were Hamlools humps and Jebel drop.
If anything, these rides were even scarier than liwa loop - you can really appreciate/dread the steepness of the drop on Jebel drop, and you build up a good speed on hamlools humps, and I'm sure you actually leave the slide briefly! Brilliant stuff.

Sebag is a six lane racer slide, taken face first
All six lanes are similar enough so you only need to do one if you're in a hurry, but it's great fun, and has a nice airtime drop!

The next tower was home to "slithers slides"
https://yaswaterworld.com/rides/slithers-slides/ (**CONTAINS SPoILERS**)
the 6 slides were all completely different and a few had real surprise elements, so I'll try and remember my order of preference:

6 -
Features two lovely half pipe elements, and you may turn backwards.
4 -
Fairly straight, but has "airtime"
3 -
Features a toilet bowl
2 -
Just twisty
1 -
Just twisty
5 -
Just twisty

Would have loved the whole day here - but I guess some of the people on the tour didn't like waterparks.

6b - Aquaventure.
There are two main slide towers here, so I'll go over poseidon first.

Aquaconda - a 6 man tub slide - pretty good fun
Zoomerango- another 6 man tub slide with a FAB half pipe element with lovely ejector airtime! My fave water ride ever!
Slitherine - Speed slide - not as good as jebel drop or hamlools humps from Yas
Poseidons revenge - another trapdoor + loop slide - same as Yas.

The tower of neptune has some standalone slides, and some which are connected to the crazy river or rapids.
Leap of faith - Speed slide, which goes through a tunnel inside a shark infested aquarium
Shark attack - slower tube slide, which meanders through a tunnel inside a shark infested aquarium
The connected rides are all masterblaster type - there are five of these spread over the three levels and the ziggurat which will take you up to (i think) level 2 of the tower, these were pretty good fun, but the thing I didn't like about them, is that the "exits" lead to the crazy river, and you have to go round the crazy river (or rapids) to get back to the tower entrance (unless you want to battle against the current!). That said - the rapids were good fun!

It was then about half 12 - 1 and the place was getting quite busy, even though it was a school day (maybe people making up for the three weeks of maintenance before), I thought I might get one more master blaster in, and then zip off to wild wadi, the queue was about an hour, and by the time I'd changed and got on the monorail, I knew I didn't have enough time for wadi as well!

6C - Wild Wadi.
Rainy weather with lots of thunder forecast, and the fact I was knackered ment I didn't end up doing wild wadi! (another reason to return!)

All in all - Zoomerango was the best individual ride, but Yas waterworld really had the edge over aquaventure, the whole slithers complex was great, and the speed slides were really scary!


Strata Poster
Part 7 - Garden glow.

I'd been looking forward to visiting here - it's open evenings - so I decided to visit on friday.

It's quite easy to get to by public transport - Metro to al jafilya, take the exit signed "bus station" and head towards the building with a ball on top

head round the roundabout, once you're under the bridge you can sneak across the grass to the car parking.

Unfortunately, in between the roundabout and the bridge, I found out about rain in dubai again. This time there was thunder too!
Waited about 15 minutes for the rain to calm - headed to the ticket office to find they were closed because of the weather, semi understandable as there was thunder, but there was about 4 hours of the evening left, and the rain held off for the rest of the night - GRRRRRR!

still - the cityscape looks cool at night!

Went back the following day, it had been quite rainy during the day, but the evening was nice enough, at the same point in my walk there - it started to rain, what can only be described as light drizzle, hardly enough for long sleeves even!
I saw the pineapple all lit up at the entrance

and pretty lights all round

But in the 5ish minutes it took between the "rain" starting and getting to the entrance - they'd taken the decision to close the place again. DOuBLE GRRR!


Staff member
Social Media Team
Ah that's a real shame. It looks like a reasonably funky little place.