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Hot Hot Heat - UAE Fall 2022


Hyper Poster
As I've said several times before (and in my last TR), I usually travel to parks for reasons besides simply visiting parks. Most often, the reason is an auto race. This trip was an exception, but with an asterisk. Late last year, my good friend's wife asked me to take him to an F1 race for his birthday in 2022. Seeing how he has an early October birthday and she's a teacher, she couldn't join. So, with each of our spouses sitting this one out, I decided to seize the opportunity and go some place that neither would want to visit, but both my friend and I would love: Russia! By early January, I had the entire trip completely booked.

Yeah, we all know what happened there...

F1 was eventually thrown to the wind and we opted to just do a cred trip. Enter UAE. After much deliberation and scouring of flights, we shelved other ideas due to cost constraints and opted to head to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While I'm actually going to UAE in November for the F1 season finale, this trip would afford the ability to sufficiently visit all of the parks.

Day 0 & 1 - Flying to Dubai and Dubai Hills Mall

Literally days before our flight, Orlando International Airport opened their long awaited international terminal. Emirates moved their operations to the new terminal two days before our flight, so we would get to experience the new terminal.

It was whelming. The terminal is incredibly bland. Every shade of white, gray, and tan that you can imagine. And almost nothing was open. They literally had stands set up to give away dinners because none of the restaurants were open.

The situation in the terminal was mildly annoying, but our giant bird awaited. Before long, we would be on the incredibly long direct flight to Dubai.

I had booked a hotel across the highway from the airport in anticipation of us being exhausted from not sleeping on the flight. However, we both felt fairly energized upon landing, so we threw caution to the wind and ventured out into the city for our first cred...

After a quick look at the map, we unanimously agreed that Dubai Hills Mall beckoned.

Dubai Hills Mall would be the first of numerous malls that we would experience during the trip and it really set the tone. These malls are incredibly nice. The indoor mall is a dying breed in the US, especially in the south. Dubai Hills Mall was nicer than any mall I had ever visited. We also very quickly began to understand why indoor malls are so popular in UAE; the heat and humidity is insufferable.

The first cred of the trip: Storm Coaster!

The presentation was pretty spectacular. The ride features a pre-show that is no fewer than 2 minutes long. It was extremely well done and personally amped up the excitement.

We ended up doing two rides with one ride in the front seat. The verdict? It was nothing overly amazing, but it was a lot of fun. The vertical launch and subsequent airtime at the top were fantastic. And the first inversion, the outward banked diving loop, was one of my favorite inversions of all time. That entry is masterfully executed. However, the ride is trimmed really hard. Unnecessarily hard even. It had several great moments, but you couldn't help but feel that they could have loosened the reigns a little. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic way to open the trip.

Before we ventured back to the hotel to crash for the night, we grabbed dinner and it was here that I would develop a love obsession: the minted lemonade.


Hyper Poster
Do I spot a Brian? 😂
😆 Good eye. My travel buddy for this trip has been found out.

Day 2 - Ferrari World & FunWorks

After a decent night's rest, we set off for Abu Dhabi for the next few days. This day would bring Ferrari World, arguably the most anticipated park. The entrance to the park is actually located inside of the Yas Mall, which is home to a sizable FEC called FunWorks. Ferrari World was set to open at noon, but FunWorks opened with the mall at 10am so we got to the mall early to go ahead and knock out their cred...

Nestled in corner of FunWorks is Yolo Works which has to be a front runner for the most awesomely bad named coaster outside of China. It's an I.E. Park Drifter, which I have been morbidly curious about for a while. I was excited to try the one at Sochi Park, so I was irrationally looking forward to trying this thing out. But What is Rational? Unfortunately, while the FEC was open, the coaster wasn't scheduled to open until 1pm. That would have been useful information to have known before getting to the mall so early. We then had 90 minutes to kill until Ferrari World opened.

Most of our extra time was spent eating lunch at the Emirati restaurant seen just to the right of the entrance to Ferrari World. Except it wasn't lunch because they don't serve lunch before noon, so we had breakfast at 11am. In all fairness, our respective meals were a lot more like a lunch dish than a breakfast dish and was quite delicious. They don't play around with their spices in these parts. I wasn't complaining. Some serious flavors going on.

I'm not sure what it is suppose to be, if anything, but the entrance to Ferrari World is definitely a bit impressive.

After a nice a little countdown played on a large screen ahead of the gates, the park opened. The sheer size of the structure is so incredibly impressive.

We went straight to Formula Rossa, but were greeted by an employee who informed us that the ride was currently down and that we should go experience other attractions for a little while. So, we did an about-face and continued around the park.

The first major coaster we happened upon after that was Turbo Track. For a ride that was bit in the center of the park 7 years after the park opened, they integrated it really well. It's a rather strange installation though; three-wide cars, forwards and backwards seating, and a twisted spike that doesn't even twist 180 degrees. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the backwards ride a decent bit. The launch has a nice little punch and, even though you know it's coming, the fact that you can't see the approaching airtime hill results in the floater air providing a weird rush. The difference in temperature as soon as the car leaves the building and goes up the spike is laughably shocking. It is just soooo hot and humid. It's of course incredibly brief. As the car pulls out of the spike, it does a weird little vibration as it seems to struggle to track well and the brakes come on unnecessarily hard and early. So much so that they speed you back up slightly to get back to the station. It seems like a weird controls miss.

The front seat was fine, but it provides the ability to anticipate the airtime hill, so that really takes away from the ride a bit. However, it's cool to see how close you get to the top of the spike.

Say what you will about the concept of a park themed to a car brand, but this place is so nice and well done. It sets a bar that I'm pretty sure Ferrari Land doesn't reach. I spy across the distance our next coaster though...

I've wanted to ride Flying Aces so badly ever since they began constructing it. Immediately, I was blown away by the queue. I never expected theming to that level. Literally the entire queue is heavily themed to World War I camp. It's almost like a walk-through attraction of its own. I have experienced very few rides in my life that have a queue that can match the level of theming through its entirety.

Operations of the ride were kind of baffling. They would assign rows of the train in a room just outside the station. You could see through the cracks of the doors that the train was just sitting there and would continue to sit there for minutes at a time. Sometimes it was like they were waiting for a full train, but other times it seemed like they were just waiting a specific amount of time before loading again. Eventually, the doors would open directly into closed queue gates, where we would then wait another 15 seconds before those were opened as well. Once seated, they didn't tell you not to fasten the seatbelt to the lapbar, but if you did, the operator would unfasten it when they got to you, check your restraint, then refasten the seatbelt and pull down. It was bizarre.

Finally, the doors opened and it was Time to Go Outside. The lift hill might as well be considered a launch because it takes a matter of a few seconds before you get ripped over the crest. But again, the heat was just shocking. The heat index hovered around 118 degrees F (48 C) with a dew point around 82 F (28 C). Instantaneous sweating. Frankly, the combination of the insane heat and high speeds made it hard to keep my eyes open during the first few drops before finally adapting.

But holy smokes, what a ride. While I was incredibly excited to experience it, I'll be the first to admit that the POVs made the ride look like it fizzled out badly towards the end. However, that wasn't the case at all. The pacing throughout the layout was excellent. Nearly each element brought strong forces of some sort, whether it was positive, negative, lateral, or some sort of combination of those. You're just constantly getting tossed. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I like it better than Skyrush by a pretty large margin. The layout is much more interesting, the ending is much stronger, the forces are more plentiful (though admittedly not quite as intense), and it just feels like a more complete ride. A few re-rides confirmed it's spot in my top ten.

Though nowhere near the level of theming in the queue, even the exit back into the park was really nicely done.

We carried on towards Fiorano GT Challenge and continued to be stunned by the theming. It feels just like Italy except everything isn't falling apart. 😬 There are lots of little details to be discovered as well if you look closely.

Much to our disappointment, but expectation, only one side of Fiorano was running. We asked if they switch sides every other day or something, but they seemed to indicate that they only run the left side unless it's an extremely busy day and they'll open the right side as well. However, the right side generally goes unused. I have to say though, the cars of the trains are stunning.

Fiorano proved to be one of the shocks of the trip! We both loved it. It gets major points for its uniqueness. I just envision Maurer providing a proposal and Farah saying, "yep, looks good, except you see all of this banking? Take it out." The ride is truly themed to driving a Ferrari. In addition to the four launches, there are numerous brake sections and little to no banking in the turns. However, the cars are so comfortable and the trains track so well that the experience is perfectly enjoyable. Given the size and nature of it, it's kind of a strange project for Maurer to land, but they did an excellent job with it. I just wish there was more theming and landscaping out along the layout, but the same can be said about all of the coasters at Ferrari World.

Again, the park is just so well done, clean, and fairly charming. It was pleasant just to walk around the place.

Obligatory photo of UAE's Flying Turns. Moving on...

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but Brian and I are both huge F1 fans. Given that the park was largely empty, I wanted to take the opportunity to try out some of the simulators. After getting a taste of the sims included with admission, I really wanted to try the upcharge sim in the old F1 car mounted on a giant motion base. You can see Brian giving it a go here. It was pretty awesome. The motion base is incredibly dynamic and very well synced. It's rather stunning to watch it in action, but when you're "driving," it doesn't really feel like your being tossed and tilted. It honestly just feels like you're being subjected to the forces of driving a high-performance car which is what you want in a simulator. I honestly worked up a sweat during the 4 minute experience.

It's hard not to appreciate the scale of this place. The structure is absolutely massive. As a former structural engineer, I was in awe.

As Brian was taking his turn on the sim, I saw on the wait time board that Formula Rossa had finally opened for the day, so we quickly made are way over.

Sure, the layout looks pretty bland, but it's hard not to get excited about the fastest roller coaster in the world, right? I joked with Brian that I feel like Intamin went to their layout designer and said, "we want you to simply try to recreate Rita, but do this line of coke first." Formula Rossa was the resultant. Rita scaled up x3 with some extra airtime hills added for good measure.

First ride we took what we could get, which was towards the back of the train. With the ride being down for several hours already, we didn't want to take chances. But then we ran right back around to experience the front seat. Wow. That launch... it sounds stupid to say in text, but it just. keeps. accelerating. Every ride, we'd get about 2/3rds down the launch track and I would do the internal split second thought of, "I should close my mouth because my face is going to get ripped off." The speed is astonishing. And sure, you get launched directly into brakes, but that doesn't stop people from loving Maverick. Despite the immediately trimming, I still got yeeted out of my seat for what had to have been a solid 3 seconds before finally getting driven back into the seat in the first turn.

And sure, the layout is bland, but you can't translate the feeling of hauling *** through a POV on YouTube. By the time you hit the airtime hills at the end (not much airtime to be had though), the speed is almost normalized before the brakes jolt you back into reality. It was an excellent ride. The one odd thing though is the launch doesn't punch. It's not exactly slow, but it doesn't put your head back like you'd expect. I don't know if that is a lesson learned from the accelerators before it, or if it's meant to feel more like an F1 car leaving the line, but it's definitely not the departure that you expect from an Intamin launch.

I can't get over the trains though. It's not like I haven't seen plenty of pictures and videos of them before, but they are just so incredibly massive. They are also fairly detailed for a coaster train, which I appreciated. I love that they didn't spare much expense on them. However, they are absolutely a never-in-America product. They aren't particularly easy to get in and out of. I'm glad they were made though.

After Formula Rossa, we tried out Viaggio in Italia, Ferrari World's take on Soarin'. It's a flying theater where you fly over Italian landscapes, but man, it was not good. It's probably the worst execution of a flying theater that I've experienced. The scenes were fine, but they kind of abruptly changed and the motion of the theater just didn't match the video well. If I were the park, I'd be asking to have it re-programmed.

We went and did all of the park's dark rides as well. Benno's Great Race was a fun take on a shooter ride. Unlike all other shooter rides, it actually had scenes where you need to hold the button in order to drag something like a door over to a frame to help build a car. It was clever and rather fun. The other rides left something to be desired. They have two dark rides that feature Spiderman-type ride systems and neither required it. It really feels like the park got sweet talked into getting technology that really wasn't necessary.

After all of the dark rides, we made our way back for a few more rides on Formula Rossa. The heat was still insufferable, but I had to go out on the observation deck to get some good photos and video. The sound of the launch, particularly the cable, has to be in the top 10 of most satisfying sounds in the world.

I took this photo because I'm a racing nerd and was ogling Yas Marina Circuit. However, it also highlights the amount of real estate the park has to work with. The overall roof structure is gargantuan and there is plenty of land underneath these wings that can be utilized. In this case, it sort of looks like they started to develop something and then backed out.

After a few rides on Formula Rossa, we made our way back to the star of the show: Flying Aces. We took some time to step out onto it's observation deck a snap some photos.

I couldn't be bothered to wait for a train to be dispatched. I was already melting. Of note though, I always thought the heartline roll was a little random while watching POVs, but it actually works really well. If anything, I wish there was one more somewhere in the layout.

The station is themed to make it seem like it's always dawn, which matches the queue theming.

We closed out the night by just marathoning Flying Aces. I'm not one to normally marathon a single ride, but this was an exception. It wasn't uncommon for us to get off and get all the way back through the queue and make it onto the train before it had been dispatched. And it was pure bliss. Back row, left seat *chef's kiss*

As we strolled out, I couldn't help but really take in the beauty of this place. I might sound ridiculous, but I absolutely loved this park. Loved it. It was beautiful, it was thrilling, and it was a ton a fun.

But another cred beckoned...

Yolo Works!! We returned and awkwardly waited at the entry for ten minutes before somebody came and let us on the ride. The ride was laughably bad but I had a great time if that makes any sense. First, it was way more technologically advanced than I expected. It had a magnetic launch system that was driven by a spinning fin which I had never seen before. Every time the car crosses the spinning wheel, it would experience a harsh jolt and would then awkwardly drift through the turn. I forget how many laps the cycle included, but it was a lot and we laughed the entire way through. And as you would expect, the OTSRs were wholly unnecessary. It was money well spent.

After getting some dinner in the mall, we made our way to our hotel for the next two nights; the W Abu Dhabi Yas Island. For those who aren't aware (which is probably most of you), this is the hotel that is inside of the Yas Marina Circuit. We were extremely excited to stay there, but the artistic wall behind the front desk was... interesting.

The façade of the hotel is pretty iconic, though it does obscure your view from the balcony a bit. Regardless, we had a prime view of where Nicholas Latifi became a catalyst of history.

After a solid day, we wound down for the evening and turned on the TV. It was at this moment that I learned that camel racing was a thing. I was entranced. So much for a good sleep that night...
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Best Topic Starter
Another solid entry. Felt much the same about Ferrari world and the same about that damn spinning Mall thing.

Weird reading a report i got a blow by blow account of by Brian a few weeks ago 😂

Looking forwards to your review of the Zamperla Motorcoaster 😁


Roller Poster
That Flying Aces queue surprised me too. I've never really seen or heard anyone talking about it, so it caught me off guard when I walked through it for the first time. It really is an amazing coaster. I agree on the Formula Rossa launch too. Not sure how you guys got on Yolo Works, but I suspect since you were in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi you bought some ticket system that worked for a few of them? I only had time in Abu Dhabi and wanted to have one ride on Yolo Works, but they wouldn't sell me a ticket unless I took some crazy expensive multi ride ticket. Argued for about 30 mins and then gave up and moved on to Warner Bros.


Hyper Poster
Day 3 Part 1 - Yas Waterworld

Neither of us are big waterpark fans. I often find that waterslides aren't worth the wait for the short experience. And while I often find tube slides to be on the tame side, body slides often scare the daylights out of me. Nevertheless, we weren't going to pass up the opportunity to experience the unique Bandit Bomber coaster at Yas Waterworld. We honestly discussed potentially riding the coaster and leaving, but we opted for a fuller experience of the park and I'm glad we did.

We arrived at the waterpark about 15 minutes early and I was not in a hurry to step outside of the car. The heat index was already 105F/41C at 7am. I falsely assumed that UAE had nothing be dry heat. Obviously, we eventually had to step out and make our way in. Even as soon as you enter the park, you realize it's on another level. The theming is so beyond most water parks.

Once you get through the main gate and indoor entry plaza, you emerge right in front of the wave pool with this view. Not bad.

1665974328045.jpeg The park is so well manicured. However, I can't imagine being here in June, July, or August. I'll come clean; we took all of these photos after we'd essentially wrapped our visit. Brian opted to put on shoes. I didn't and I had regrets. My feet got absolutely roasted on the concrete.

Holy cantilever. I kind of would have liked to have seen the giant orb light up, but oh well.

This was some of the coolest theming in the park; giant cannons near the Bandit Bomber entrance.

I don't feel like this is a park that is covered often, so I'm going kind of photo heavy without a ton of commentary. At this point I should probably talk about the lone cred at the park: Bandit Bomber. It's the only Vekoma Splash Party installation in the world and it came on the tail end of existence of the Setpoint water-based Swing Thing. It features two lifts and several block brakes, but it is really nicely integrated into the main mountain of the park and all of the subsequent theming. There are even sections of waterslide queues with water blaster guns for smoking the riders. You literally can't access the water guns unless you are queuing for the respective waterslides.

Oddly enough, any sort of onboard water drop feature has been completely removed. So, it's purely just a roller coaster in a waterpark where any moisture you receive is almost purely dependent on other guests in the park. Therefore, you get off completely dry if you visit on a day where there is no crowd like we did.

They had six snake-themed tube slides. We opted to do only two of them. The purple and green on the far right was pretty long and somewhat wild. For a tube slide, it was rather enjoyable. However, I actually got stuck in the toilet bowl on the slide in the far left and had to push myself around before dropping out. Rather anticlimactic.

The park really is impressive to just look at. They did a fantastic job with it. It is so much more pleasant than the concrete palaces with waterslides plopped down like the average American waterpark.

I just love the integration of the entire park. There are so many slides, pathways, rivers, and a coaster intertwined. I kind of want to go digging for construction photos because this place had to be a nightmare for the project manager.

The views from some of the slide queues are incredible. This is looking out towards the front of the park with Warner Brothers World in the background.

I have nothing to say. I just thought it was a cool shot worth sharing. *Checks RCDB* Okay, so it's already out there. Oh well. Still a cool view.

Peek nerd moment of the trip thus far; went to the top of the highest slide complex and then asked the attendant to let me past the chain because I wanted to get some sweet snaps of Flying Aces. She judgingly obliged. Worth it. 😍

Also, please just take in the scale of the Ferrari World structure. I totally get that the actual indoor park space of Warner Brothers World is larger, but my word, the Ferrari structure is an absolute unit.

Ugh... just look at it. Love that integration. How many times can I say some variation of "integration" during this TR?

After two hours, we decided to bail. We had hoped to do the family slides, but they never opened. We were initially told, "thirty minutes." Thirty minutes later, we were told, "thirty minutes." Thirty minutes after that, we were told, "an hour." Not worth it. Plus...

THE HEAT INDEX WAS 121F/49C!!! I have never experienced anything close to this heat/humidity in my life and I live in Florida! I was ready to leave and get inside. Fortunately, Yas Waterworld had some amazing shower and bathroom facilities. The niceness of the bathroom/restroom/washroom/loo/whatever would become a theme throughout UAE. The showers were a nice bonus though. Fit with soap dispensers and everything. So, I was able to get cleaned up before immediately getting swampy during the incredibly short walk between Yas Waterworld and Warner Brothers World.

That being said, I loved the park. The slides that we did were fairly enjoyable and the scenery of the park made it a fun place to lounge around. I would totally go back, which is not something I usually say enthusiastically about a water park. I had fun. I was ready to cool off though.


Hyper Poster
Day 3 Part 2 - Warner Brothers World and Random Shenanigans

We walked the couple hundred meters from the entrance of Yas Waterworld to the entrance of Warner Brothers World where we couldn't get inside with A/C soon enough.

The park is rather stunning as you walk up to you. It's sort of cartoonishly majestic.

Even before you've entered the gates, the place is pretty impressive. Despite the fact that it's been open for four years, it looks brand new.

The front plaza is among the most impressive of any park I've been to. The scenery is simply incredible. They did a stunning job with the coloring and lighting.

We chose to head right upon entry which leads directly to Bedrock. I'll be upfront. I'm very much a coaster and thrills kind of guy. I'm not one to watch POVs of dark rides and as soon as I saw that the park was only getting a family invert and a Zamperla spinner, I kind of tuned out. I paid some attention when photos of the Intamin invert started to emerge, but I generally never had remotely the same interest in the park as I've had for parks like Ferrari World, Motiongate, and IMG. That being said, it was immediately apparent that this place was going to be a lot of fun. Either you're a kid and this scenery is magical, or you're a grown *** adult like me and it's wonderfully nostalgic.

As true goons, we went straight for Fast and Furry-ous, the Intamin family invert.

The trains were fantastic. The seats and restraints were perfectly comfortable and it was impossible not to love the theming that was applied.

Despite the fact that the coaster is more or less a clone of the Vekoma SFC 395m model, I was surprised by how it felt so much faster and dynamic than the Vekoma models, especially with the shorter trains. The theming was a lot of fun as well. I'm sure a lot would be lost without the video screens up the lift and faux rock work, but it was a fun little coaster.

The park kind of seamlessly transitions from Bedrock to Dynamite Gulch (Fast and Furry-ous) to Cartoon Junction seen here. Admittedly, the area isn't huge, but it still is pretty seamless.

After a whirl on Ani-Mayhem, a fun, trackless, shooting dark ride, we made our into the area that I found to be the most stunning of the park: Gotham City.

Sure, I now notice the obviously unthemed ceiling with its exposed duct work, but it was practically unnoticeable in the moment. The lighting, the music, the ambience... it all set a tone that was enveloping.

In the background you can see Joker Funhouse. It's literally a funhouse. Again, I had not done much research on this park so I new next to nothing about most of the attractions in this park. I couldn't believe that they actually built a modern-day funhouse. Unfortunately, some of the features weren't work and the fun of the mirror house was lost on me by virtue of being the last person in our respective group, but it was still cool that they opted to incorporate this type of attraction in a modern park.

I still find the artwork on the wall behind the Zamperla Super Air Race to be pretty stunning. We gave the ride a go, which was fun, though a bit of a weak cycle. I'm not sure the height increase of the super air race helps all that much, but it wasn't a bad feature by any means.

Next was Batman: Knight Flight, which is a name that I will always associate with Six Flags Ohio (showing my age). Again, I had done little research on the rides at this park. I just don't care enough about dark rides. All I knew about this one was that it uses a similar ride system to Forbidden Journey at IOA. The theming was incredible. Apart from the sorting hat, I will flat out say that the queue theming was better than FJ. As for the ride? Yeah, it was better. The story line was great, the animation was incredible, and the combo of the animation and motion didn't make me nauseous. It's not my outright favorite dark ride, but it's in the discussion.

From Gotham City, we progressed into Metropolis. This area was also incredibly well themed, but felt strangely deserted. The park was empty for the most part anyway, but this area felt particularly empty. Of note, it was home to a flying theater themed to the Green Lantern where @CedarPoint6 and I both learned that lanterns actually come in different colors. Never was a comic or superhero guy. The attraction was pretty fun, though I wouldn't have complained if they didn't make us climb all the way up to the top row of the theater (they weren't running the lower levels).

The star of this area was Justice League: Warworld Attacks, which uses a Spiderman-type ride system. Again, I knew nothing about it going in, but I loved it. The ride vehicles probably could have gone through a few more design iterations as they felt oddly large and encompassing to the point of inhibiting your view at times, it was still an excellent dark ride. It wasn't quite Spiderman, but it wasn't far off for me. For a hot second, I honestly wondered if it was better than Batman: Knight Flight. It's not, but it's close. Honestly, Spiderman, Batman: Knight Flight, and Justice League might be my three favorite dark rides. I'm sure I'm forgetting something egregious that I will get skewered for, though.

At this point, you're at the completely opposite side of the park from Bedrock. We grabbed some drinks at the diner pictured before making our way back around for a few re-rides and, most importantly, for a ride on Tom & Jerry. How did we miss it?

So, Tom & Jerry Swiss Cheese Spin, the Zamperla spinner, was logically in Cartoon Junction. We just totally missed it. Unless you spot the small sign or the house. there is no reason why you would realize there is a coaster there.

The theming in the queue was excellent. I really loved it. The ride itself was a lot of fun as well. It utilizes a new spinning car/train design from Zamperla that I suspect will be used on Cedar Point's new Wild Mouse. I would have liked some more spinning, but they tracked extremely well. The ride was butter smooth. The theming up through the lift hill was fantastic as well. It was screen-based and made it seem like you were Jerry and Tom was trying to get you. I just wish they would have carried some of that theming throughout the layout. Instead, they opted for large cutouts illuminated in lights. Regardless, it was still good fun.

Right next to Tom & Jerry was Scooby Doo: The Museum of Mysteries, which is a dark ride that was closed during our initial pass.

Again, the theming in the queue was excellent. The ride itself was enjoyable, but it felt like they missed an opportunity with the figures throughout. It mostly features mannequins that don't move or barely move. It would have been massively improved by simply having some projection mapping on the characters faces. Simply is probably laughable, but you get what I mean. With a higher budget, it could have been an immensely different ride.

As we made our way back around for one more lap of the park, I started to pay more attention to the theming and finer details. Obviously, this forklift is fun, but then you notice the rocket smashed into the window just above the anvil.

This bit of theming clearly isn't subtle, but it is still very well executed and enjoyable.

After a few re-rides, it was time to peace out from Warner Bros. World and venture into Abu Dhabi proper...

1666034509402.jpegSo, the Abu Dhabi city centre is actually a good 30 minute drive from all of the major parks which are located on Yas Island. We ventured into the city to
Khalidiyah Mall, home of a Sparky's FEC location which itself is home to a custom SBF coaster!

Unfortunately, the coaster wasn't running. Well, ****. Good news though! We had 3 day tickets to all Farah Experiences Parks. To Ferrari World we go!

We got back to Ferrari World for the last few hours of operation and as we were walking through the park, I heard Four Seconds of Noise that had a distinct sound. I swiftly walked to what I thought was the source and, sure as the world, it was UAE's Flying Turns: Mission Ferrari. It sounds like a shopping cart and the car doesn't look like it tracks particularly well through the exposed inversion, but I really hope they are able to work out the kinks of this ride and get it open soon.

I've already covered Ferrari a bit, but we grabbed a ride or two on Formula Rossa followed by several blissful rides on Flying Aces before the park closed for the evening.

After dinner in Yas Mall, we made our way back to the W and up to the rooftop bar. A glass of Macallan was a nice way to polish off the last night in Abu Dhabi.
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Staff member
Social Media Team
I couldn't face going to Warner Bros in February this year after they announced both of the coasters were down for maintenance, but I sure was kinda gutted as it looks fantastic. Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it too!

Perhaps I'll head back at some point once the airport and SeaWorld are open...


Hyper Poster
I couldn't face going to Warner Bros in February this year after they announced both of the coasters were down for maintenance, but I sure was kinda gutted as it looks fantastic. Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it too!

Perhaps I'll head back at some point once the airport and SeaWorld are open...
Oof. I can't blame you there. It's a fantastic park, but no coasters takes a bit away. It is certainly nice that the Farah parks do such a good job updating their maintenance schedule on the websites, but that's a disappointing pair of attractions to have down at the same time. I highly recommend a visit the next time you return though!

And speaking of closed coasters, day 4 will be bringing the DXB parks.


Roller Poster
I couldn't face going to Warner Bros in February this year after they announced both of the coasters were down for maintenance, but I sure was kinda gutted as it looks fantastic. Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it too!

Perhaps I'll head back at some point once the airport and SeaWorld are open...
I had about 3 hours of my day left and skipped both coasters at Warner Bros as both had 50min+ waits. I did actually stand for about 20 mins in the line until i gave up and did the dark rides instead, which were well worth the visit alone.


Hyper Poster
Day 4 - Motiongate... and Legoland... and Bollywood

With Motiongate being one of the more intriguing parks of the trip, we budgeted a full day for the park in anticipation of riding a lot of attractions and wanting a lot of re-rides. The only other item for the day on the original itinerary was Storm Coaster which we knocked out immediately after landing. With numerous coasters and heavily themed attractions, anticipation and hopes for the park were high.

Driving into the parking lot, I had to stop for a moment and snap some shots of Bombay Express. I knew going into the trip that it wasn't likely to be open. Nevertheless, it's a pretty spectacular looking ride if I may say so.

We arrived at the gate a little before park opening and patiently waited in the sweltering heat. Once 11am hit, the gates open and then tens of people started to go through the gates, and the shenanigans began.

Despite having numerous turnstiles with scanners, none of them worked. You had to have an employee scan your ticket and then open a gate that would typically be used for individuals who can't pass through the turnstiles. Strange, but whatever.

The main street just after the entrance to Motiongate is rather well done, but you can immediately see the crowds that we were dealing with this day. We opted to head directly to Green Hornet to start the day.

The theming of the queue was pretty nice, though I've always found it to be an odd IP choice. I'll be honest and admit that I kind of enjoyed the movie, but it wasn't overly memorable and was critically panned.

The coaster itself was fine. I had really high hopes for this. I'm realizing that I have high hopes for most Gerstlauer Bobsled models. The bar was set so high with Vilda Musen at Grona Lund that I was let down by Tiki Waka at Walibi Belgium. Green Hornet made me feel kind of bad for saying anything negative about Tiki Waka. In all fairness, Green Hornet was fine. It just wasn't very dynamic for such a tight, fun-looking layout. Not bad, but completely forgettable.

After Green Hornet, we walked next door to Ghostbusters only to find that it was closed. So, we walked next door to Hotel Transylvania only to find that it was closed. So, we walked next door to Zombieland only to find that it was closed. So, we walked next door to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but that was actually advertised as being closed due to maintenance so we couldn't judge that one. This led us to our next coaster... Smurfs Village Express.

The theming in this area was excellent, but it was unfortunately washed out pretty badly from the brutal sun and heat. The queue for the coaster was quite massive, which I can't imagine waiting through on a hot day.

We walked up to an empty station and the ride ops sort of jumped up with excitement. It kind of reminded me of the scene in Cars when a random couple pass through Radiator Springs and everybody gets super excited about potential customers. It was rather endearing though. It didn't matter that we were two grown men looking to ride a family coaster. They were honestly excited to have riders and the enthusiasm and complete lack of judgment was appreciated.

The ride was actually shockingly fun. For a family coaster, it had a solid layout, some nice dynamics, and was really smooth. Honestly, any park looking to add a family coaster should be eying this model.

After Smurfs, we immediately made our way to Capitol Bullet Train only to find that it was closed. So, we walked next door to Now You See Me, which had a closed sign in front of the door, but was actually opened.

They really went all in with the faux Fremont Street Experience, which I love. It was pretty stunning, though it felt very empty. They seemed to have stores within it, but they weren't open so it felt desolate.

Now You See Me was one of my more anticipated coasters of the trip. First, Maurer spinners more often than not are excellent. Second, I love non-inverting loops. Third, I have a weird fascination with the rides that were meant for Six Flags Dubai.

The ride was a lot of fun, though maybe not quite as good as I hoped. Notably, it didn't spin as much I was generally expect from a Maurer spinner... that is, until you hit the second RCT-style lift hill. Something about the shaping right before it caused our car to always go into a spin of madness. It wouldn't relinquish until just before the station. Where was that in the rest of the layout??

The NYSM queue provided a decent view of John Wick, yet another Six Flags Dubai transplant. Like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, this ride was actually advertised as being closed for maintenance, so I couldn't fault the park for its closure. I also couldn't help but notice the extensive ground clearing next door.

With Capitol Bullet Train still down, we made our way to the last section of the park that we had yet to explore: DreamWorks. Mind you, we had been in the park for 30 minutes at this point.

Honestly, the park was really pleasant from a theming standpoint, but the heat made it tough to fully enjoyable and the sun had clearly done a number on pretty much everything within its sight. DreamWorks was a welcomed reprieve. One, it feels like DreamWorks should have been its own indoor park. Two, the entire park should have been indoors. Even if it was a conglomerate of indoor buildings, it should have largely been enclosed much like Ferrari World and Warner Bros. World.

Also, I loved this sculpture at the entry of the area along with the artwork on the walls and ceiling. Extremely well done.

We headed directly to Madagascar: Mad Pursuit. This ride was highly anticipated simply because it was largely a mystery. The ride is pretty much entirely in the dark, so it's difficult to know much about it.

Verdict? It was excellent. Absolutely excellent. Going in, it seemed so strange to have a launched Infinity coaster without inversions, but it worked so well. The theming was great and the ride was quite intense. It was super dynamic and full strong forces. At this point, it was easily the third best coaster of the trip by a landslide behind Flying Aces and Formula Rossa.

One thing I never realized prior to visiting, and even before boarding the ride, is that the coaster actually emerges into the main Madagascar plaza. Maybe this is more known than I realized, but it took me by surprise.

We continued over to Dragon Gliders only to find it closed. So, we made our way over to Shrek's Merry Fairy Tail Journey only to find it closed. So, we continued over to Kung Fu Panda; Unstoppable Awesomeness only to find it closed. So, we made our way back outside to Capitol Bullet Train only to find it closed. So, we made our way to... No, let's just stop. Let's just do a debrief of what was closed at this point:

-Capitol Bullet Train
-Hotel Transylvania
-Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
-Shrek's Merry Fairy Tale Journey
-Kung Fu Panda: Unstoppable Awesomeness
-Panem Aerial Tours
-John Wick
-Dragon Gliders

And with most restaurants closed, it was time to just leave the park and try to find a restaurant in Riverland, the DXB equivalent of Universal CityWalk, and regroup over lunch. Maybe give the park to get their stuff together.

We made our way to an Irish restaurant that had received positive reviews from other goons, only to discover that it no longer existed. In fact, almost nothing actually existed. The place was a ghost town. Every restaurant that we looked up, we discovered had permanently closed. There didn't seem to be any available restaurants that were still operating. So, we made a slow walk back to Motiongate, trying not to sweat more than we already were.

When we got back, we managed to find an open restaurant and grabbed lunch. We then ventured out to see if anything that we were missing had opened. Mercifully, Ghostbusters and Hotel Transylvania had both opened.

We then made our way to Ghostbusters, which had finally opened and was a decent enough dark ride. Hotel Transylvania was.... interesting, sort of. It's a trackless dark ride, which actually makes fun use of the technology by crisscrossing paths with ride vehicles throughout the ride cycle, but the ride experience itself left a lot to be desired.

At this point, we'd exhausted our options and this was the list of unavailable attractions:

-Zombieland Blast Off
-Kung Fu Panda: Unstoppable Awesomeness
-Green Hornet
-John Wick
-Capitol Bullet Train
-Panem Aerial Tours
-Dragon Gliders
-Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
-Shrek's Merry Fairy Tale Journey

That's nine marquee attractions. NINE. Yes, two of them were advertised as being closed, but that is still SEVEN marquee attractions closed. How is this acceptable, even in the low season? We had no choice. We did something that makes me cringe. We went to Guest Relations.

It was immediately obvious that we weren't the only ones who were unhappy, but we weren't giving them an earful, unlike some of the other guests. We asked if they would let us come back on another day in hopes of more rides being open. They obliged under the condition that we leave the park immediately. If we stayed, it felt like we'd be Waiting for Nothing, so we happily accepted seeing there was no reason to stay.

Despite having been given plenty of reason to just leave the grounds, we both agreed that was should just see if we can knock out the other two DXB parks while we're here. So, onward to Legoland!

After trying to buy tickets from an employee who wanted to make it very clear that this park was intended for children, we had our tickets in hand and were ready to cred hunt. Turnstiles? Same situation as Motiongate. Just ignore and go through this gate that is swung open for you.

After the initial main entrance drag, folks are forced to enter Miniland. First, this was not a problem as it had A/C. Second, holy smokes, this was spectacular! Not only were the buildings incredibly well done and not sunwashed, but I actually learned a thing or two. It was honestly kind of astonishing. Nevertheless, we had credits to grab.

Well, this is... unique. The first coaster we came upon was Dragon's Apprentice, but it was closed due to... heat. So, we carried onto the larger cred of the park: Dragon.

Dragon is a Zierer Force Five coaster. Unless you've visited a Legoland park, there is zero chance that you've experienced one. Arguably the best part was watching the ride ops try to school the kids in line about manners and not line jumping. I was honestly impressed that they even made the effort. I don't feel like that would have happened in American parks.

The dark ride portion was fine, but the sound wasn't working. The rest of the coaster was also relatively fine. Enjoyable to a degree, but nothing noteworthy.


Eventually, we learned that the second cred at Legoland wouldn't open for at least an hour so we made our way over to Bollywood. After our departure from Motiongate, we developed a plan to go to the park regardless at night, but I really wanted to hop over for some daylight photos of Bombay Express. Upon entry, we discovered that this park was pretty stunning. And empty. It was also empty.

We hadn't even ridden anything, or even stumbled upon an attraction, but the park was absolutely beautiful.

As I wished, we made our way over to Bombay Express for some photos. The ride looks fantastic. It looks like it could open any day. Everything is in place, though there was no train in the station.

We went ahead and grabbed a +1 on Taxi #1, the Zamperla Gravity 80STD... you know... seeing how we were spurned by the Zamperla Gravity 80STD next door due to high temps.

I hated that it was still closed, but it was great to see it in person. I'm sure it'll be a great ride once it finally opens.

At risk of sounding obsessed with Bombay Express, I decided to do something that I don't normally voluntarily do; ride a Starflyer. These rides scare the crap out of me. Normally, they are the one ride that my wife drags me on and I begrudgingly join. However, I wanted to take in the full view of Bombay Express, and I think Brian, by principal, just didn't have it in him to sit out a ride. So, up we went. It was terrifying, but not entirely regrettable.

At this point, the sun was going down and the temperatures were beginning to drop, which meant that it was still insufferably hot, but the sun wasn't beating down on black fiberglass, so the kiddie coaster at Legoland was now open. We grabbed our second consecutive Zamperla Gravity 80STD, took one more spin on the Zierer Force Five, and then made our way back to Bollywood to properly experience the park.

We knew that Bollywood had several dark rides and simulators, but we didn't know much about any of them. The first we encountered was Sholay: The Hunt for Gabbar Singh. This turned out to be a shooting dark ride where your gun looks like an actual revolver. The ride feels like a Bollywood version of an American Western film where the intention of the ride is to shoot actual people... with your revolver. It was fun and yet one of the most bizarre and unusual ride experiences I've ever had.

We then made our way to Krrish: Hero's Flight, a flying theater, before being told that there wasn't a show for 10 minutes, so we should go to RA.One: Unleashed, a 3D simulator. We obliged. And after being told to put on our 3D glasses, we were informed that there weren't actually 3D glasses for the ride. It was... fine.

We then went back over to Krrish, where we were told that there wasn't a show for 10 minutes.... fine, whatever. Funnily, the pre-show room featured a poster which tries to explain the vehicles that we will be riding in. It served its purpose, but it was humorous because it literally appeared to be an actual Dynamic Attractions drawing with a sketch drawn over it.

Krrish seemed to be like an Indian superhero and I rather enjoyed the attraction, but I couldn't tell you much about it.

Bollywood was absolutely beautiful at night. It was a very intriguing park. I would have loved to have gone up in the Ferris Wheel... but it was closed.

1666153621436.jpegBombay Express looked quite stunning at night as well. The blue lightning was quite nice. Hopefully, one day it opens to the public.

We did two more dark ride/sims at the park. First was Lagaan, which was a motion simulator somehow themed to Cricket. I would love to provide a coherent explanation of the ride experience, but I simply can't. It was, without a doubt, the most bizarre and inexplicable ride experience I have ever had in my life. I'm sure there is a POV out there somewhere, but I can't be bothered to look for it.

Lastly, we did a simulator called Don: The Chase. Once again, we were met with a pre-show that discussed putting on 3D glasses, only to board the vehicle and be told there are no 3D glasses. Super strange... and the ride was fine.

We had nothing left to conquer at this point. We had completed the three DXB parks to the best of our ability, so we made our way to our hotel in Dubai where we would stay for the remainder of the trip.

We checked into our hotel near Dubai Internet City and promptly went for a walk in search of dinner. It was at this moment that we were shocked to learn that parts of Dubai has some Las Vegas vibes. Anybody who has been to Vegas probably recognizes cards of this nature floating around the strip or being handed out by a character who slaps them against their hand.

After some doner and a shower, we made our way to one of the hotel bars where I capped off the night with my cocktail of choice: a nice G&T. Goodnight Goodnight.

Next up...Day 5: IMG, plus some extras
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Staff member
Social Media Team
We had a similarly frustrating day at DBX - though didn't bother with Legoland, so no comments there.

Huge number of major rides were inexplicably closed, no staff really seemed to know (or care) what was going on. Was a real shame.


Hyper Poster
I was so disappointed with Motiongate. I want to like the park. And with everything being open, I think I could like the park. But at least till my next visit, every time I think of the park I'll first remember all the closed rides (and stupid secured glasses policies).


Best Topic Starter
Seems I got lucky with Motiongate. Only closed ride was kung fu panda and that was because it hadn't even opened yet. Loved the park especially the unique Shrek dark ride.


Staff member
Social Media Team
Seems I got lucky with Motiongate. Only closed ride was kung fu panda and that was because it hadn't even opened yet. Loved the park especially the unique Shrek dark ride.
That was my experience, only Kung Fu Panda was open as well, but only later in the day. I was fully expecting closed stuff since it was dead, but everything was open. It's a shame to hear it's not like that anymore.


Hyper Poster
Could it be the time of year and more is in motion during the relatively cooler months? Here's hoping they haven't just given up year round based on low crowds.


Staff member
Social Media Team
Could it be the time of year and more is in motion during the relatively cooler months? Here's hoping they haven't just given up year round based on low crowds.
My [bad] experience was first week in March 2022 - highs in the region of 27°C from memory.


Hyper Poster
Finally back at it after a brief holiday at the beach.

Day 5 - Dubai Drone, IMG, and some random FECs

At this point, we were so far ahead of schedule that we were doing things a bit ad hoc. The last remaining large park was IMG, so that was definitely on the docket for the day. But with the park not opening until noon (which is quite common in UAE), we decided to start the day out at the Dubai Mall which is home to Play DXB (formerly VR Park Dubai) and the entrance to the Burj Khalifa.

We conveniently parked at the mall entrance located right next to the FEC. Admittedly, we did not know about the name change and just assumed based on all of the information that we were seeing/finding that it was the same place. The entrance is quite impressive!

Play DXB is home to the custom Gerstlauer spinner known these days as Dubai Drone. We procured enough credits for two rides each and made our way up to the station. Obviously, given the park's old name, I knew that the ride had VR at one time but I didn't realize it still did, so I was a little surprised when they automatically handed us VR headsets without asking. I'm not really one to do VR on rides, but thought I'd go ahead and try it.

This might come as a shock, but the VR program is themed to flying a giant drone around Dubai. And to be honest, I absolutely loved it. It was so incredibly well done. The scenery was fantastic, any latency was negligible, and the premise was simply a ton of fun. I was genuinely stunned by how good it was. For the second ride, we declined the headsets and, a bit to my surprise, it wasn't as fun. I can't entirely explain why, but it just felt shorter. Maybe because the VR made the lift hill part of the story? Regardless, high marks for Dubai Drone personally.

It was still early in the day and we really weren't worried about the crowds at IMG given our experiences at the parks thus far, so we decided to wander around Dubai Mall for a while.

The mall is absolutely enormous. It is apparently the second largest mall in the world by land mass. It was also the nicest and most impressive mall I've ever been to. Indoor malls are absolutely a dying breed in the US, but it was quite enjoyable to meander around this place. Maybe it's nostalgia? Maybe it's the fact that we weren't profusely sweating outside? I enjoyed it regardless.

Speaking of profuse sweating, we decided to make our way outside to get a good glimpse of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. It is a truly stunning building in person. What also took me by surprise is how narrow the building appears in person. The upper portions of the building don't look like they can be very large from a floor space standpoint (and they aren't).

After a few photos, we made our way back inside for a nice lunch before make our way to IMG Worlds of Adventure.

This park feels like it's in the Middle of Nowhere. It's fairly close to Global Village, which was still closed for the season, but there is a pretty good plot of desert between the two parks. As you enter the grounds of the park, you follow a road that takes you pretty much all the way around Velociraptor, their Mack Blue Fire clone. It is badly faded due to the sun, but still looks fairly impressive.

This is obviously just a snapshot of one portion, but it doesn't do any justice for how large the park appears on the outside. I didn't feel like there was any way it could be smaller than Warner Bros. World, which is advertised as the largest indoor park in the park in the world.

Based on the car park, it didn't seem like we'd have to worry too much about queue times. I felt kind of bad because there were employees in large golf carts/trams ready to take you to the park entrance. But given how close we were, it felt ridiculous to take them up on the offer even with the intense heat and humidity.

Upon entry, we were immediately greeted with large temporary curtains which I hope were truly temporary and blocking some sort of remodeling. But once through the turnstiles, we were met with this few and fork in the road.

This is where things started to get a little difficult for me. The bar was set really high by WBW and Ferrari. Even the entrances at the DXB parks were pretty impressive. This felt a bit like a hodge podge.

We went left.

The aesthetic quickly became... interesting. There were lots of colors that clashed. There was the tunnel of dead trees that felt too cartoonish to seem like they were intended to appear real, but felt too real to appear like they were meant to be cartoonish. There was the tiny coin operated-type carousel on the sidewalk outside of a random store. Immediately, the park feels like it's not very cohesive.

Continuing on the path in search of a coaster, we came across this random indoor section for children that featured a giant sandbox with backyard playground equipment like what you would find in your neighbor's yard. Despite the fairly expensive admission ticket, it was apparent this was going to be a different kind of indoor park.

We eventually found the path to Velociraptor as it was marked by this banner. The sign kind of feels like an indication that the park wasn't laid out particularly well.

We then made our way through the labyrinth of queue for the coaster. I'm not even kidding when I say they could remove the queue and have enough space for a fairly significant attraction. It is truly massive and largely unneeded.

It's a Blue Fire clone as you know, but I like Blue Fire clones and I quite enjoyed this ride accordingly. They were running one train, which was to be expected, and it felt like a car in the middle of the train had a wheel going bad, but it still gave a really enjoyable ride. The lights on the train are wholly unnecessary when outside, but were a nice touch during the indoor parts.

The pre-show section featured a large screen to the right of the launch track, which was kind of neat, but also meant that riders are looking right when the launch hits. It seems like something should occur to cause riders to look forward before the stators punch.

With Velociraptor under our belts, we made our way to Predator. You can see how dark it is in this section of the park, but also see the strange trash bag-like ceiling design that dominates your view throughout the park.

Predator is a mirror-image clone of Falcon at Duinrell which I had ridden earlier in the month. I enjoyed the setting of Falcon more, but Predator delivered for what it was. It was short and fun. Honestly, my only complaint about WBW is that they don't have more of major thrill ride. Something similar to a Gerstlauer 320+ would potentially fit the bill.

The entire Lost Valley area, which is home to both looping coasters, looks rather cool, They are clearly trying to go for a pseudo-Jurassic Park vibe, but it's also clearly done on a budget. Nevertheless, somebody was given a budget and they did the best they could and it was a fairly neat area. We would go on to experience The Forbidden Territory, which was an Indiana Jones/DINOSAUR-esque ride experience on a budget, and it was certainly an experience. Honestly, I'm sure it was a limited budget and they did a decent job with it. For better or for worse, I was amused.

Even more amusing was that the ride exited into, not a gift store or photo booth, but a room that looks suspiciously like an empty gift store that once had a photo booth.

We made our way to the Marvel zone, which is its actual name, so that we could knock out the last cred at the park: Spider-Man Doc Ock's Revenge. It's just a clone of Sierra Sidewinder, but I was excited because 1) I hadn't ridden Sierra Sidewinder since 2008, and 2) I've become a Mack stan since then.

The theming in the Marvel area was a noticeable step up from the Lost Valley zone. It wasn't quite Universal/WBW/Flying Aces quality, but it was very well done.

The ride was also quite fun as well. Again, the theming was nice and the ride spun much more than I ever remembered Knott's version spinning. Second best spinner of the day.

We also made a point to experience Hulk: Epsilon Base 3D. This is a circular 3D motion theatre developed by Falcon's Creative. I played with a model that they had at the IAAPA show floor a handful of years ago and was pretty excited to actually try out an installation.

No lie; I loved it. I had major question marks for how a ride system of this nature could be integrated into a story line, but it was done extremely well. It was tons of fun, thrilling at times, had excellent animated, and was simply executed really well overall. My only complaint was that you could see the emergency doors throughout the ride which breaks the immersion.

Again, the theming in Marvel was very nicely done. It wasn't quite WBW-level theming, but they did an excellent job. The Avengers Flight of Ultron trackless dark ride was also excellent. It's essentially their stab at a IOA Spiderman-style ride and they did a very good job with it. At this point, I was questioning who I was becoming. I've never been a dark ride guy, but I had now found several dark rides in UAE that I love!

We went on to do essentially every ride that was available to us. Most of which were enjoyable, but not notable enough to mention in writing. A lot of it felt very random, which is a bit of a shame. It's fairly nice park, but it has a high theming standard to live up to and it just felt so random. For instance, above is a random snapshot where you can see a very geometric yellow and blue structure, Halloween decorations as you head towards the Haunted Hotel area, a green/red/white/yellow floor, and random games like "Lobster Pot."

In the end, the park was fun but felt like a high budget FEC. I enjoyed my time, but it was such a strange place. On one hand, you have world-class rides like Hulk and Avengers. On the other hand, you have mall trains driving around. Fun, but kind of bizarre.

With the night still young, we decided to City Centre Mirdif, a mall with not one, but two FECs, both of which are named Magic Planet.

Despite being a random mall well outside of the center of Dubai, this mall was also ridiculously nice. The Emirates are clearly very good at developing and maintaining extremely nice malls.

We made our way to the closest Magic Planet from our parking spot which happened to be home to a Gosetto spinning coaster known as Cosmic Spin. It doesn't look like much, but wow! This coaster was absurdly fun. This was absolutely a surprise hit for me. This felt like a tilt-a-whirl mounted on a roller coaster, even more so than Twistrix which I made similar comments about. I forget how many laps we were sent around, but every lap was vastly different and I was getting thrown around those turns and hill at times. It saddens me that this is the only one of this layout/nature because it was simple and immense fun.

From there, we made our way to the opposite end of the mall to the other Magic Planet for Mine Train Coaster; an SBF double loop model. I'm not going to lie, this is where shame started to set in, but the operators didn't bat an eye. They let us on and off with zero outward judgment of our goonery.

Closing out the night, we headed further up the road to Sahara Centre, another mall with an FEC known as Adventureland. This place was incredibly impressive purely because of how they've managed to cram so much into such a small space. Despite feeling like the size of just one of the Magic Planets that we had visited earlier in the evening, they had three coasters* jammed in there in addition to a myriad of games and rides (including a Zamperla Air Race).

*Two of them are powered coasters

It's fine.

While the semi-intertwined powered coasters are sort of neat, the real curiosity here was Rocket Cycles, the lift hill-based Zamperla motocoaster which was built twelve years after the powered coasters. How, the wedged this thing in is a mystery to me. The track is jumping distance away at times.

The ride felt like a RCT creation in a lot of ways. It has a lift hill that is split in two by a turn and it consists of several turns that are roughly 90, 180, or 360 degrees. Despite this, it was ridiculously fun. Despite a bad jolt at the bottom of the first "drop"/helix, the train feels like it rips through the layout. It was shockingly intense, relatively speaking, and completely caught us off guard. Sure, the layout was very short, but I loved every foot of it.

As a result of having a minimum number of credits we had to buy in order to ride everything, I lost track of how many times we rode Rocket Cycles, but it was a lot. 8 maybe? We did the powered coasters as well, which were fine for what they were, but Rocket Cycles was yet another shock ride of the trip.


Hyper Poster
Day 6 - Spontaneous Return to Abu Dhabi

We tore through the major parks at an incredibly quick rate, which meant that we were finding ourselves with a lot of extra time to fill. We decided that Day 7 would be the day we would get slutty and visit collect all of the FECs that we hadn't already visited, and we had return tickets for Motiongate on Day 8 before flying out that night. This left Day 6 to be filled. Given that we enjoyed Ferrari and WBW so much, we decided to make use of the third and final day of our 3 park/3 day tickets and go back.

Since I've already covered these parks, this will be a little more brief than the previous updates and mostly filled with random observations.

As I drove into the Yas Mall parking garage, I had to stop for a second to snap this view. I just can't explain the incredibly huge the track is on the first hill of Formula Rossa.

Zamperla did a really fantastic job with Formula Rossa Jr. It's a fairly solid layout for a small family coaster and the trains were molded very well. I also enjoyed some of the small details of this area, such as how some of the coaster's footers were encased to look like tires.

All of the coaster cars/trains at Ferrari World are really well themed and modeled to look after some sort of Ferrari vehicle/plane, but then there is Turbo Track. The car design is still very unique, but it is very geometric which couldn't be less Ferrari-like.

I was kind of enamored with the car ride. With all of its scenery, it looks like a giant version of a slot car track that somebody spent years building in their basement. Despite the fact that cars appeared to be incredibly slow, we gave it a go.

Strangely, there was no accelerator. The cars run on a bus bar with programmed acceleration. The steering was just like what you'd expect on a car ride though. Probably the closest I'll get to driving a Ferrari.

She's a beaut, Clark.

The train is in one of my favorite moments of the layout in the photo above. The train goes up into a high banked turn/hill before quick rolling out on the descent. You get absolutely tossed during this element, particularly towards the back of the train. After taking a lap or two on all of the coasters, we made our way back over to Warner Bros. World.

This park is just magnificent. Among the rides we most wanted to reride was Batman: Knight Flight. I really enjoyed it during our visit earlier in the week, but noticed that one or two of the effects weren't working, so I was very pleasantly surprised to see them fixed during this visit! It really is a world-class dark ride. I'm by no means a dark ride thoosie, but this is easily in my top 5 favorites.

Interestingly, not only had Batman's special effects been fixed, but the park had also put up their Halloween decorations in the three days that had passed since our first visit.

One of the few rides that we didn't do during our first visit was the Bedrock River Adventure flume ride. After examining the soak level, I decided to go for it. The ride isn't very big, but the theming was really well done like the rest of the park. I received a healthy spritzing, which was less than ideal in an indoor park, but it was still better than being outside in the immense humidity. I didn't entirely regret doing the ride.

I really appreciated the fact that they even themed the Halloween decorations to Bedrock. The rock jack-o-lanterns were almost blended in to the point of being subtle.

We grabbed a bronto shake or something at the Bronto Burger (again, they just nailed the theming) before heading back to Ferrari and marathoning Flying Aces until the park closed. Man, how I will miss that ride... how I'll miss these two parks.

Stay tuned. Day 7 was easily the wildest, weirdest day of the trip.
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