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Dubai is on track to becoming one of the best family entertainment destinations in the world. With two grand amusement parks having opening this year (IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts) and a myriad of exciting existing kid centric family attractions (check out our article 25 Things You Must do in Dubai With Your Kids), and it’s sheer proximity to India (just a 3.5 hour flight away!) Dubai has become a favored destination among Indians.
The following are four of the newest places to open its doors this year: Bollywood Parks(TM) (part of Dubai Parks and Resorts), IMG Worlds of Adventure, The Green Planet (an indoor tropical forest) and Mattel Play! Town.
Bollywood Parks(TM), Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai Parks and Resorts has been one of the most awaited openings of this year. This massive, 1.7 million square foot park, boasts of 5 attractions: Bollywood Parks, Legoland, Legoland Waterpark, Motiongate, and Riverland. While the first two are self-explanatory, Motiongate has movie based attractions and Riverland explores attractions from different countries.
Sholay: The Hunt for Gabbar Singh ride
The park we managed exploring this trip was the Bollywood parks. I have to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect upon entering this space. Did I really want to take a trip to a “foreign” destination only to immerse myself in a Bollywood Park? I am happy we did however, because the park was amazing.
The entire park, as the name suggests, screams Bollywood, but I have never seen Bollywood look so cool. It’s as if you have entered a world of sets, with the center piece being the opulent Raj Mahal palace where you can also catch the world’s first Bollywood musical.
Double decker buses, a local train that houses a restaurant, hoardings with some of your favorite movies, and various areas where troupes of dancers bust out in to the favorite Bollywood hits du jour, all the while encouraging audience participation, are things you can expect.
RA.One: Unleashed ride
And then we get to the rides. These were amongst the most spectacularly inventive and technologically advanced rides I have been on. The way the rides managed to thrill as well as incorporate some of the biggest Bollywood hits was worth seeing. You can help Jai and Viru against Gabbar and his gang with a cool shooting ride called Sholay, The Hunt for Gabbar Singh with 3D projection, themed show scenes and 4D effects. Go to the village where Lagaan took place on the Lagaan Thrill of Victory ride which is a motion based simulator experience, we loved it. The highlight was the Krrish ride, which was one of the most awesome virtual ride simulators, where you help Krrish save the day. The other highlight ride was RA.One, which is a virtual ride based on a movie of the same name. This is a 4D multi-sensory theatre experience which makes for an unbelievable ride.
Bollywood themed food corner
There are various shows and attractions as well. We caught the amazing Dabaang show, a truly epic stunt extravaganza, worth watching. My kids were unable to figure out if all the fighting that took place in the show was real or not!
Hall of Heroes which houses the epic rides RA.One: Unleashed and Krrish: Hero's Flight
My kids can’t wait to get back to Dubai to explore the rest of Dubai Parks and Resorts, especially Legoland and the Legoland Water Park, which they could tantalizingly see from the Bollywood Park area. Next time!
For more information click here.
IMG Adventure world
It boasts of being the largest indoor amusement park in the world, and is as large as 28 football fields! Welcome to IMG Worlds of Adventure. With temperatures soaring in the summer, this completely air-conditioned park is a welcome addition to the Dubai entertainment landscape. Note: it’s pretty cold in there…dress accordingly!
Samosa House Restaurant with Auto Rickshaws for seating!
The park is divided in to 4 distinct zones: Marvel, Lost Valley - Dinosaur Adventure, Cartoon Network and IMG Boulevard. There are also 28 restaurants, 25 retail shops and a 12-screen state-of-the-art cinema.
Our Top Picks per zone (keeping in mind we have 5 and 8-year-old boys):
Zone 1: The Lost Valley- Dinosaur Adventure.
My kids are obsessed with Dinosaurs and so this zone was naturally thrilling to them! Be prepared to answer the question “are these dinosaurs real?” every couple of minutes! Here were their favourite rides:Forbidden Territory (Dinosaur Zone)Go on a mission to find the eggs of a nearly extinct dinosaur species. Obviously it’s a race against time and the ride getting you to your destination will come across various species of dinosaurs. Thrilling enough for the whole family (but not too scary!)
Forbidden Territory ride
Climb up and slide down this fortress, using ladders, nets and tunnels. It’s a great time to take a seat and have a coffee while your kids are running up and down in this enclosure!
For the older set: While my kids didn’t go on either of these, the older ones would enjoy the Velociraptor ride (a roller coaster ride that goes from 0-100 km in 2.5 seconds!) and The Predator (a 400-metre-long vertical roller coaster).
The Dino carousel
Zone 2: Marvel
The kids couldn’t wait to enter the world of Spiderman, The Hulk and Thor. Having recently watched The Avengers made it all the more exciting! Here were their favourites.
Avengers Battle of Ultron
This “dark-ride” is fun for the entire family. Help all your favourite Avengers to battle the evil Ultron, in this thrilling adventure ride.
Hulk Epsilon Base 3D
This unique and thrilling ride takes place in a “state-of-the-art stereoscopic cinema dome”. See Hulk battle his deadliest enemy-The Leader in this 360-degree 3D setting…the entire circular theatre actually spins! You feel like you are being transported, albeit virtually, to witness intense battles between the two foes. Great for the entire family.
Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge
This roller coaster ride, is short (400m) but thrilling. With all its twists and turns, it’s the closest you will feel to being Spider-Man, traversing the New York City skyline! My 5-year-old loved this ride but it was a bit too scary for my 8-year-old (and shhh...me!)
For the older lot: Thor Thunder Spin. Not for the faint hearted, this ride is all about SPIN! Be prepared to do a lot of that!
Zone 3: Cartoon Network:
Powerpuff Girls Ride
Ben 10 5D Hero Time
A cool (especially if you have Ben 10 fans) multi-sensory, 5D theatre experience…be prepared to feel the elements like water or a gust of air on your face, and don’t be scared when something tickles your legs!
The Amazing Ride of Gumball
Our family loves a good shooting ride and this was just that. Enter the world of Gumballs science project and zap all the objects that have magically come to life!
Live Show: Lazy Town
You can also catch a live show which incorporates acrobatics, music and dance and a nice message! My kids loved seeing Sportacus do his superhero moves!
For the Older lot: The Powerpuff Girls Ride-Don’t let the look of the ride or its name fool you! Expect to do 360 degree turns in your carriages in this adventurous ride!
Zone 4: IMG Boulevard
Bellhop welcoming you to The Haunted Hotel
The Haunted Hotel is the star attraction here (Strictly for the older lot-15+). Get ready to meet (or run away from!) living Zombies and other scary things once you“check-in”!
For more information click here.
The Green Planet
Trust Dubai, to have one of the largest indoor botanical gardens in the world. This educational and recreational bio-dome, features over 3000 plants and animals. Walk through the sealed doors in to a tropical rainforest, which is kept at the same temperature and humidity levels as the real deal. The main focal point of the bio-dome is a giant tree which is the “largest indoor, man-made and life-sustaining tree in the world”. So while the tree is man-made, real plants have been planted on it which adds actual life to this non-living but eerily real looking tree!
Once ushered to the top of the bio-dome, you will spiral around the different floors of the bio-dome, catching animals and fauna along the way. See Toucans, Sloths, Porcupines and many more animals, and numerous amounts of fauna all inherent to a tropical rainforest. Your kids will learn a lot along the way, through interactive displays (you can even hold a rather large cockroach—though I wasn’t bold enough to do so!).
All in all an awe-inspiring and educational experience for the kids!
For more information click here.
Mattel Play! Town
Thomas the Engine 4D movie
A great attraction for the younger lot (2-11), is Mattel Play! Town, “an interactive themed eduplay attraction”, set in a 5000 sq metre space. On offer are a myriad of experiences so that children can learn adaptive skills, team building, problem solving and interpersonal skills and frankly, just have fun! Think Kidzania, but with some of the most popular characters out there.
Budding builders in the Bob the Builder space
Here they can meet and interact with Barney, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Engine. Kids will love dancing with Angelina the Ballerina, the adventurous ones will love the climbing and scaling heights at the Bob the builder area, and help hone their fireman skills with Fireman Sam. In all the areas the assistants were super helpful and encouraging the kids along the way! The Barney fans will love hanging out at Barneys cosy house and feel like they are in the TV show! My kids loved the 4D Thomas the Engine movie too. Knapford Station, a multi-level soft play adventure space, will be a hit, especially for the little ones.
Budding Firemen at the Fireman Sam area
Parents can find ample place to sit and relax too in a safe environment for kids…always good to know!
For more information click here.
Check out part 1 of “Explore Dubai” in the article: Destination Dubai! Fun for the Whole Family!