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[PHOTO TR] Arabian Adventures - Credits in Dubai & Sharjah


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Make sure to check out these reports as well and please keep in mind that posting your thoughts on these reports is highly appreciated...

- Yas Waterworld

 

Sparky's, Adventureland, SEGA Republic and Antic's Land

 

I thought it would be nice to share my, well... our, Arabian Adventures on TPR. First things first: English is not my native language. I am not able to provide you with writings on the level of f.e. JK Rowling, neither can I provide you with high quality photos that are usable in the Lonely Planet Guide, as water, movement and darkness aren't any photographer best friend. Unfortunately I didn't bring a whole Harem composed out of hot European woman to the UAE, to make them show (in bikini) how hot it was over there. Well, now that is made clear... what do I've got in store for you? A load of questionable credits, the fastest coaster on this planet, and a lot of wetness. Yes, the UAE it is! If I had to choose an overall theme for my reports, besides the probably not so good use of the English language, it would be luxury. Why? Well, you cannot visit that part of the world without it. Crab yourself a Coke, sit back and enjoy the photos and many, many words I've dedicated to our trip.

 

Monday, November 2nd. My alarm wakes me up and I jump right out of bed. Today is the day! Our flight to the United Arab Emirates takes off today with us in it. Yeah! I know, there could be a better timing to visit the UAE with the current expansions still being constructed (Motion Gate, new rides Ferrari World and IMG).

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For all you airplane lovers: we flew with Qatar Airways. It is one of those better airlines out there, thankfully.

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The Dreamliner has all kinds of nerdy gadgets thingies going on. First there is the light... it comes in pink and purple as well.

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The entertainment system really rocks and the windows can be dimmed. Couldn't stop playing around with it :D

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After a smooth flight that included a stop in Doha we made it to DXB (Dubai) Airport. There is one downside to the Qatar Dreamliner and that is the really lack of legroom.

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By now it is 4 AM and after picking up our rental car I drive my first miles in the UAE. After a short drive we arrive at the luxury Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai. I do love to life it big time on holidays so I know what damage this will do to my creditcard account.

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After our early check and a much needed powernap we refresh ourselves and get moving for our first non-coaster-credit: The Gold Souk.

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Altough we have a rental car we decided to walk our jetlag of, as it is only a ten minute walk towards this major tourist trap. It leads us into and thru the not so touristic part of the city. For the Souk itself? Just skip it. ''Special price for special friend'' and ''Need a watch, real Rolex'' are the must heard sentences. No, I do not need a watch our a new best friend, thank you. By 11:00 we were moving back to the hotel to meet our special tour guide of today. The one, and only, DubaiDave. Teaming up with him has several reasons, besides the good company: he knows his way around and would guide me thru Dubai traffic. My tripmate (De - that is his name) takes the back seat as DubaiDave takes the front seat besides me. Why do I need guidance, you might ask? Well, most locals think your indicator is a thing you must never, ever use. Also, speed limits are just there to break and if you dare to stick to them you will have an angry locals flasghing your lights behind you. The weirdest thing is that even the local Police Chief said that you must not stop for any pedestrian crossing because that is dangerous.

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After a short, and surprisingly not that hard, drive we arrived at our first coaster-credit: Sparky's.

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Our first credit is called Rollercoaster. Well, that name is not as exciting as some Disney names, but it covers pretty much what the ride does ;)

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View from above: steel and ice.

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I arranged us a lifthillwalk by e-mail. I know, geeky behaviour, as it isn't the MF sizes lifthill... still, a lifthillwalk is just nice.

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For all you first drop lovers out there! Size doesn't always matter as this funky spinning coaster proved. It easily passes my exam.

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Next was up was the mini freefall, or hopper-bouncy thing as you might as well call it. It really is funny and it throws you up and down and as bonus does provide you with some airtime. However, we managed to brake it. Sorry :D Things like these do get taken care of in a simple way. Maintenance guy takes a look, it won't come down... guy walks away, comes back with this big ladder and off you go.

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This Sparky's looks really great and has some flatrides to offer too. I get sick in anything that spins or turns in a way the Top Dancer does, so that one I had to skip.

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Reminds me of the German Fairs. Funny little rides, but also not good for my stomach.

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Yippie! Bumpercars. Who is expecting a dull and boring ride - driving the same direction - is in for a big surprise. There is no one else in the bumper cars, so we get our own ERT. The operator pushes the button and within seconds I am heading for a frontal collission with DubaiDave. The impact is hard and rearranges my organs, while the bumper cars takes off and is -for a second- flying midair. Awesome!

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Sparky's is family oriented, but that doesn't mean adults can't have fun. XXL Pac-Man: check.

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If that isn't your cup of tea and you like it rough, you can always shoot some bad-ass living deads and some other freaky creatures. The cool touch is that the winner is choosen based on your kills and you measured heartbeat. I totally ruled Dé and won because of my much lower heartbeat. Let the apocalypse come... I am ready for it.

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Speaking of creatures... Sparky's had a darkride called ''Darkride'' (DubaiDave: it is all yours) and this one... Darkride XD. This ride has child-friendly films, however we choose the one that comes close to being dropped in a scene of The Walking Dead. It is a shooter combined with a 4D cinema and your only goal is killing 'things'. The screen is clear, the seats have some good motion action going on and the sound blows you away. Make sure to ride this whenever being there.

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ERT! To sum up Sparky's: fun rides, good coaster and some sweet Arcadegames!

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Next up is Adventureland, a twenty minute ride from Sparky's. We are moving into the Emirat of Sharjah. Out of respect for all locals we decided to stick with long pants for most days in the UAE. Sparky's was so much fun that we are behind schedule.

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After using our many HP's within the speed limit we arrive at the mall that houses the really neat themed Adventureland. This place is really big and over the recent years has added some fun new rides.

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Because we visited on a weekday and just after lunch we had almost the entire place to ourselves. Saved us waiting so we could try to get back on schedule on this busy day. This ride looks great because they managed to get some theming on this standard ride.

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Guess what, not for me ;) I did watch it running and it surely packs a punch. Think I would have been sick the rest of the day if I would have ridden it.

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Sometimes it surprises you how much you can get into one single building. This climbing wall 20 ft tall.

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Second part

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Recently they added this karttrack in the middle of the FEC. It runs on electricity and for that may not be the fastest, but sure is fun. After climbing the cross-over you statt decending within the first corner. If hitting the brakes at the right moment you kart will actually start drifting.

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Depending in your personal opinion there are three credits to be found here at Adventureland: Rocket Cycles, Kukulcan en Forest Train. Rocket Cycles is the Zamperla Moto-coaster and there is no debate there on the question if it is a credit. When hearing Zamperla you automaticly hold on for dear life the moment you take your seat.

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After climbing the lifthill, wich provides you a good overview, we pick up speed and ... wait for it ... no, no non stop screaming here. Besides a single bump the ride is smooth and fun. Great work, Zamperla.

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Going around the track.

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Below you can see the go-karts.

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When passing by this ride again we saw it running, so I couldn't resist playing around with my shutter on my camera.

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Next are two powered coasters by Mack: Forest Train and Kukulcan. These rides share their station (one on the upper level the other one on the lowe level) and have a lot in common. Basiccaly they are meant for the family to enjoy. They do stretch out al the way to the main entrance. During the ride we get some weird faces as customers having their lunch in the mall can spot two aduls enjoying these powered coasters.

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Zoooom.

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Little things show you Adventureland does it best to pay attention to details... they took care of the support. Adventureland is really huges and with their Zamperla ride and karts really worth a visit. Oh, and before I forget to mention it: yes, there are Arcade games as well you can go nuts on.

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After our visit we decided to re-load by getting ourselves this huge bucket of KFC. Really, UAE is fastfood-heaven :D

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Red escalator credit!

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Our original planning told us to get down to a credit on a parking lot near the Dubai Creek, however DubaiDave checked it out for us the day before and sadly reported it closed. It was close to dinnertime and we had some time to spare, so we could freewheel. DubaiDave mentioned Antic's Land that was only a twenty minute ride away. I did visit before but had the bad luck, as so many people, that their rollercoaster wasn't running. Well, we liked the idea of scoring this credit and so we decided to go for it.

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After getting our rideticket, and getting people their heads turned when walking straight thru the family zone, we boarded for one of the worse rides ever. How can something so small hurt so much!? Seriously, just get the credit and get out of there!

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We barely slept and our legs started to get heavy. We drove back to to hotel and thanked DubaiDave for a great and fun day. He wished us good luck, as he had to work the rest of the week, and told me to contact him anytime we needed some help. Thankfully I managed to drive as safely as possible now. DubaiDave: thanks for this great day!

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Earlier today we choose to upgrade to get our early check in. Part of this deal offered by the lovely desk lady, was that we would have some alcoholic beverages waiting for us when coming back around dinnertime. Besides that we could use the VIP lounge including the free happy hour and the luxury breakfast the next morning. After all this credithunting it was time to get ourselves another quick nap before moving on by public transport so I could have a drink.

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After our powernap we took a quick dive at the pool...

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and made sure to make good use of the happy hour, however not to good as being arrested for being drunk out on the streets is not that hard in the UAE.

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Yes, metro-credit!

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We got of at the stop for the Dubai Mall. Little did we know and it came as a surprise that you still have to walk at least ten minutes using the skybridge to get to the mall. Once arrived the sheer size of this mall is just overwhelming.

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Big fountain credit: check. Statues diving into the fountain credit: check.

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Disney expands into the UAE.

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Well, the real reason for coming here isn't shopping. We here to ride this awesome FEC called SEGA Republic.

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First up is this frogger/hopper/freefall ride. SEGA Republic has two fun filled floors and those floors have very high ceilings. So it was possible to construct this ride and make it big for a small type of ride. The ride itself is just crazy becauses it bounces you up and down like crazy. Really, really fun.

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And the third part. :)

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After the crazy hopper-thing we took the stairs to check out the upper floor. This ride is a real eyecatcher.. however it was almost 11 PM by now and SEGA Republic had more to offer. I much I would loved to test this type of ride out for the first time, there just was not time anymore.

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Sometimes the best rides are the most simple ones. Slides. Yes slides. I did not rode them because I was afraid to get stuck with my height, but I can imagine how fun these slides must be. The part on the photo is only half of the lenght. Besides that, the LED lightning is sweet. Maybe the highest and longest non-waterslides in the UAE?

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If you are in the mood for getting your stomach thrown around. In general, all rides had at least some theming and most of them more than some. More importantly all SEGA Republic rides looked clean and well taken care off.

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Also, not for me. As you can see by now, there is a decent mix between familyrides and thrillrides.

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This surival course looks like a lof of fun.

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Mmmmm. Delicious sweetness.

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One of the many Arcadegames. They also had some really cool simulators. You could sit down in a full sized car with a huge screen in front of it and race. The one on the photo is just standard stuff as I forgot to take a photo of the big full sizes (with roof) ones. You could also ride a 2 person bobsled simulator.

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Yes, the main reason for our visit. This FEC houses a full-sized spinningcoaster. It is partly in the dark and really does spin. Not a bit, but a lot. I really liked it as it was more intense than I would have thought.

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Here you can see the larger portion of the ride.

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And again! Thanks to no lines at all we rode it twice.

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Overall, besides the obvious Arcadegames there was so much more to discover. We didn't have that much time, however what we did really pleased us like Spingear. They do have some more 4D/simulator rides, however that is not the thing that I missed out on most. I think that is the laserride. A bit like let's say Tom Cruise in MI you have to manage to get to the button on the other side of a room filled with laserbeams. Well, next time better.

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Large fish tank credit: check.

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Before we returned to the hotel we took a short walk towards the lake at the bottom of the Burj Khalifa, the highest building in the world. We didn't feel like paying a lot of money to get in. The building is really impressive and the design looks great.

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After watching World of Color, the Bellagio Fountains and Aquanura the fountains here just didn't cut if for me. Why? For starters the surroundings and most importantly the size. It is big, too big maybe. It is hard to get a total view and somehow that fact makes this show less intense. And compared to f.e. World of Color it lacks any emotion.

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As I explained we did not visit the Khalifa, however in my research I found out that there is a cheaper way to enjoy a good view. Remembers the news about the fire in Dubai in NYE? Well, that was in The Address near the Dubai Mall. This photo is taken from their well known rooftop bar.

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Getting to that bar is hard. First you have to walk into the hotel lobby (compared to that lobby our hotel felt cheap) and find the only elevator that goes down to the parking garage. There you need to walk a bit, enter the building again and take the elevator all the way up. When doing that I found the valet parking area... with some toys for boys.

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Maserati, anyone?

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I'll take the right.

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Face it dude: your Mustang would be cool only if it wasn't standig besides something like Rolls or Jag ;).

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Not my color.

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Ferrari :D

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After our long, long journey with little sleep we crashed back into our hotelroom around 1 AM and decided to stick to luxury... so we ordered this overpriced pizza. Goodnight!

Edited by ItsMe
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To finish of, some onrides and impressions on video. To be clear on this: I did ask permission at least six months before my visit. I strongly support TPR policy: do not think about it without asking it nicely before your visit. Being nice really can get you somewhere.

 

If any of these video's is on Coastertube as well, you can always check them out there as well (I guess in higher quality) Otherwise, you can check the ones that I've shot.

 

Rollercoaster @ Sparky's

 

Impression Sparky's

 

Impression Adventureland

 

Thunder Mountain at Antic's Land

 

Impression SEGA Republic

 

Thank you all of reading my report. Any major mistakes language-wise? Feel free to tell me so I can fix it.

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Really hoping a few jobs I am working on actually get the green light to head out there. I will definitely book a few extra days to see the sights. Great trip report. I look forward to seeing more of your adventures.

 

Good thing is that you can get a lot done in one single day because of the late at night operating hours. See if you head out there and do not have the oppertunity to get some days off, try to get some stuff done in the evenings.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Heres a video of the Dark Ride in Sparkys.

They very kindly put the work lights on for me.

 

 

I know you taped one, so I am really glad that you posted it here... First time I actually see your video. Lol. Thanks for sharing.

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