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Theme Parks in Saudi Arabia!


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So, as I can assume, you guys might not have ever been to Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Judging from my current location (displayed on the left), it might be kind of hard to believe, but yes, I am currently in Saudi Arabia and I have been for over 8 years.

 

To be honest, Jeddah is way more on the liberal side than any other place in the Kingdom, as far as I'm concerned.

 

I will acknowledge that there are people who are more unfortunate than me and to whom the severe sanctions of the place affect them more than myself,

 

But personally, I'm not living it bad here.

 

As far as THEME PARKS are concerned, which is the focus of this, they are not that bad. No, really. So here I am, telling you guys all I can about it.

 

 

 

If I were to count all the tiny parks in malls and restaurants with a few kiddie rides and such, then it would amount to having over 20 parks in one city alone. 20, and I've barely been to HALF of them!

 

However, out of those 20, only three are close enough to count as theme parks:

 

Alshallal Theme Park: The most popular park in the city,

Atallah Happy Land Park: Oldest park in the kingdom, as it's turning 30 this year,

and Jungle Land: The biggest one in the kingdom, many believe.

 

Note: You have to pay a small admission fee to get in any of these, and all the rides are upcharge from about a buck, all the way up to 8 bucks at the very most. Alternatively, you can purchase a wristband whose price varies from 14 dollars to 20 depending on the park.

 

Alshallal

 

This, in my opinion is the best one. It's got some excellent theming, it's pretty big with a large indoor section with massive food court and huge ice skating rink and a planetarium, and it's got the best ride in Jeddah, A 200ft Funtime Slingshot. Do you wanna know what's the epic thing about it? One ticket for the slingshot is ONLY 15 Riyals. that's the equivalent to FOUR DOLLARS. Where else are you gonna get a slingshot ride for 4 bucks? And before you ask, yes, it is a Funtime one.

 

As for the rest, it has a pretty solid major ride lineup- A Vekoma Boomerang, (Front and back seats are painless, sit in the midle if you want hell) A Zamperla Power Surge, an indoor log flume dark ride, a pirate ship and an awesome Larson tower. It's got a lot more smaller rides scattered around the park.

 

It's also got an epic Chinese Restaurant where you sit in Gazebos in the middle of trees. It's quite expensive, but worth it, since you don't need to pay admission if you end up dining in there.

 

VIDEO TIME:

 

Slingshot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0BBXLZAwVw (the name for the slingshot ride translates to :the most dangerous game in the world)

 

Boomerang:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR-RoKiSe_U

 

Super Shot:

 

Power Surge:

 

 

Atallah Happy Land Park

This one's the birthday boy! It first opened in '86, and was the first park in the country.

 

It's got, in my opinion, the best ride lineup out of all parks here.

 

It's got the Surfrider, which is the tallest Intamin spinning Half Pipe in the world, A Soriani and Moser Terminator, an SBF Visa Space Gun (ranger), Dance Party (frisbee), and Skyloop (tango), an insane Tagada, a Matterhorn ride, a Crazy Dance ride, A Pirate Ship and a log flume (soon to be removed because it's a pain in the butt with maintenance).

 

However, this place is OVERPRICED. Admission is fine- only 25 Riyals, (Approx. $7) But the wristband you have to pay 20 bucks toride everything, which, compared to the others, is a lot more. If you're a kid, you can pay the $14 version, but it's still a lot.

 

The park manager (who is German by the way, he managed Belantis and is responsible for Huracan), is a friend of mine, and so is pretty much every single member of staff, so I feel a lot more part of a family here. Plus, it's almost always empty. It used to be a lot more popular, but not anymore.

 

VIDEOS:

 

Surfrider:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8wY_B6018M

 

Terminator:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxA6q5U-U40

 

Various:

 

 

Jungle Land

 

This place is HUGE. It's got plenty of rides, a zoo and a quad biking track, as far as I can remember.

 

Only disadvantage is that it's in the middle of the desert.

 

What that means is that there's a crap ton of sand, and it's far away from where I live, since I live close to the shore.

 

However, it has a pretty decent ride lineup: Another Soriani/Moser top spin, another Power Surge, a Pinfari RC48 (ouch), and a zamperla Flash Tower.

 

I couldn't find any vids for it, so if I can, I might do a trip report if I can go again, but I wouldn't count on it.

 

Well, that's pretty much it. Of course the mall parks are kind of childish, except, maybe, three, but other than that, that's all I've got.

 

... Thoughts?

Edited by LeoBruz199
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Hey man! I think this is great! Thanks so much for giving us all some insight on a relatively unvisited and misunderstood part of the world. I knew about the Surfrider coaster at Altallah, but the rest is super interesting too! How did your family end up in Saudi Arabia? Have you had any opportunities to travel outside of Jeddah? I think Madain Saleh up north looks incredible.

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Hey man! I think this is great! Thanks so much for giving us all some insight on a relatively unvisited and misunderstood part of the world. I knew about the Surfrider coaster at Altallah, but the rest is super interesting too! How did your family end up in Saudi Arabia? Have you had any opportunities to travel outside of Jeddah? I think Madain Saleh up north looks incredible.

 

Yup.

I've been to many places around Jeddah: Taif, Riyadh, Yanbu... I go diving a lot, too, so that's nice. Riyadh though is a lot more conservative. If you're a girl and you don't have both the Abaya and the Hijab (headscarf, which is not mandatory in Jeddah), some stranger down the road will call you out for it. It was kinda creepy.

 

Also, my dad's been working here since around 2000, so he's been here a heck a lot more than me. He's an engineer.

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Do women go to the parks much? Only on special days? Are there separate queues and ride cycles for them? I'm curious about the logistics of running a park in a country like this.

Yes, yes they do. Quite a lot, too. The thing is that parks are "families only" on most days, which means that if you're a teenager, you need to be with your parents if you want to get in. However, since I'm a guy, I still can't get in if, say, I went with my father since there has to be a female in the group. It's very complicated. They do have ladies only days once a week, but no men only days, because when they last tried it, they completely wrecked a lot of things, so now I can't go without my parents. (Which is why I don't go to parks that much, even though I have one less than 5 minutes away from my house.)

 

As far as the queue lines go, there are separate queues for guys and girls, but they don't implement them here, because it's Jeddah and not Riyadh, and things are relatively lax here. The only ride type that has separate ride cycles is the Tagadas, since, you know, guys could "accidentally" trample on a girl... you know, a lot of guys here (thank God none of my friends really apply to this) are really immature around girls. Maybe it's the fact that the two sexes can't mingle in public and they barely are able to see a lot of girls (also, the vast majority of schools is separate, except for a few private ones including mine).

 

One thing for sure, laws are complicated here.

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Do they still have to wear burkas on rides?

It's not mandatory, but if you're referring to abayas (the cloaks without the face covers), then yes. All girls have to wear them even on rides.

 

The thing about Burqas (face covers) is that the really conservative women wear them. Some even wear gloves to cover their hands. A lot of girls have to wear Hijabs (headscarf), because religion, and by law, every girl has to wear an Abaya ( in public. One or two really conservative religious policemen (yes, that's a thing. They're called Mutawwas btw) might ask you to cover your head, but I guess a hat counts, too, since my mom just puts one on and then they leave. My mom refuses to wear Hijabs since they're a religious symbol (We're both Catholics and she takes religion kind of seriously)

 

I know I went way too far, there, but hope that answered your question.

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Do they still have to wear burkas on rides?

It's not mandatory, but if you're referring to abayas (the cloaks without the face covers), then yes. All girls have to wear them even on rides.

 

The thing about Burqas (face covers) is that the really conservative women wear them. Some even wear gloves to cover their hands. A lot of girls have to wear Hijabs (headscarf), because religion, and by law, every girl has to wear an Abaya ( in public. One or two really conservative religious policemen (yes, that's a thing. They're called Mutawwas btw) might ask you to cover your head, but I guess a hat counts, too, since my mom just puts one on and then they leave. My mom refuses to wear Hijabs since they're a religious symbol (We're both Catholics and she takes religion kind of seriously)

 

I know I went way too far, there, but hope that answered your question.

 

Just don't stick your neck out for anything and be wary of any coaster with a headchopper.

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Do they still have to wear burkas on rides?

It's not mandatory, but if you're referring to abayas (the cloaks without the face covers), then yes. All girls have to wear them even on rides.

 

The thing about Burqas (face covers) is that the really conservative women wear them. Some even wear gloves to cover their hands. A lot of girls have to wear Hijabs (headscarf), because religion, and by law, every girl has to wear an Abaya ( in public. One or two really conservative religious policemen (yes, that's a thing. They're called Mutawwas btw) might ask you to cover your head, but I guess a hat counts, too, since my mom just puts one on and then they leave. My mom refuses to wear Hijabs since they're a religious symbol (We're both Catholics and she takes religion kind of seriously)

 

I know I went way too far, there, but hope that answered your question.

 

Just don't stick your neck out for anything and be wary of any coaster with a headchopper.

 

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