My 14 year old daughter is a roller coaster enthusiast. She doesn’t just like roller coasters, she has an encyclopaedic knowledge of their height, speed, length & airtime. She knows how they’re constructed and who built them and studies the RCDB, a definitive guide to all rollercoasters in the world (put together no doubt by another enthusiast!)
Everyday life in Australia doesn't present many opportunities for her to indulge her passion, so instead, whenever we travel, we try to include some new rollercoasters for her to experience.
Last time we stopped over in the Middle East we experienced Formula Rossa - the fastest coaster in the world. This time we decided to visit the Theme Parks of Dubai.
Motiongate is the premier theme park for the coaster enthusiast in Dubai and it doesn’t just offer extreme thrills, but fun for all the family.
The park is split up into 5 zones: Columbia Pictures, Smurfs Village, DreamWorks, Lionsgate, Hollywood Theatre and Studio Central. The rides are themed in line with movies related to the zones. For example: Hunger Games Themed Capitol Bullet Train in the Lionsgate Zone.
Across the park there are 27 rides in total including 11 kids and family rides, 8 rollercoasters, 3 motion simulators and 1 water ride. There are also live stage shows and various meet and greets throughout each day.
We spent quite a bit of time inside the DreamWorks zone, this is a 45,000 sq metre indoor space (big enough to fit 5 Airbus A380s) and is pleasantly air conditioned. The Dragon Gliders, in How to Train Your Dragon Land was my favourite coaster of the day. A high speed suspended ride featuring plenty of supporting graphics to entertain during the slower parts of the ride which flies around the ceiling of the DreamWorks zone.
My daughter's favourite ride of the day was the Capitol Bullet Train. A more traditional roller coaster with two stomach-churning inversions and speeds of up to 50mph. Once was more than enough for me!
Outside of the DreamWorks zone, the remainder of the park is situated outdoors. The park is spread over a large area, so plenty of walking is required. We visited in January, the temperature started off at a very pleasant 21°C and climbed to 26°C but felt hotter walking around in the sun. I would imagine that the same experience in July/August where the top temperatures can reach 40°C could be challenging.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants situated around the park so refreshments are easily accessible.
On our visit, the park was very quiet, with the longest wait for a ride being an easy 10 minutes. We found that the park was especially quiet in the mornings, getting busier as the day went on.
Due to the short wait times for rides, we managed to sample all those that caught our fancy and opted to head across to check out Legoland and Bollywood.
Legoland Dubai is targeted at families with children aged 2-12 with six themed lands, more than 20 rides and some impressive global landmarks recreated with more than 20 million Lego bricks.
Bollywood was incredibly quiet and a number of attractions were closed. We had hoped to ride the Bollywood Sky Flyer which at 460ft is the tallest swing ride in the world. Unfortunately for us, the ride was closed due to high winds after we had taken our seats. I wasn’t sure whether I was disappointed or relieved!
On site at Dubai Parks and Resorts are the Lapita Hotel, Rove at the Park and the Legoland Hotel.
We stayed at the Lapita Hotel which was approximately a 10-min walk from Motiongate. Hotel room rates include theme park entry and it is possible to return to the hotel for breaks throughout the day.
In summary, I would recommend Motiongate to theme park lovers of all ages. Along with the other parks, there is plenty of entertainment to fill more than one day.
Traveltalk Tip: Wear comfortable shoes!
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