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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

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Really enjoying the UAE pictures so far.

 

Ferrari World

They also had a flying theater (Viaggio in Italia) and racing simulator (Driving with the Champion). This may have been a stupid reason to do so, but I skipped them because of Ferrari Land PTSD. Note I said Land and not World.

 

Viaggio in Italio, if I'm remembering correctly, had only one pre-show. That being said, I probably had my worst flying theater experience on it. I was assigned the front (bottom) row on the far left side of the left set of seats, the result was a great view of the bottom-left corner of the screen and the fully-lit operator's booth lol. Suffice to say, you didn't miss much.

 

I'm excited to see your TR of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. I missed it on my recent trip to the UAE.

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Kemah Boardwalk I was trying to figure out how to cram Kemah Boardwalk into my December Texas trip figuring it would be on weekend only operations.  But much to my surprise, it was actually open

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so what's the point of it being an "indoor park" when many of the slides seem to go outside for a portion.   if it rains, do they close off those slides?

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Exciting chapters of this thread! The Intamins at Ferrari world seem like a ton of fun. I like the how you talk about the lateral G's - that really intrigues me because those parts of Skyrush were kinda my favorite. The combo of the strong forces + the open seating makes for such a unique feeling. A rare, legit scared feeling

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Really enjoying the UAE pictures so far.

 

Ferrari World

They also had a flying theater (Viaggio in Italia) and racing simulator (Driving with the Champion). This may have been a stupid reason to do so, but I skipped them because of Ferrari Land PTSD. Note I said Land and not World.

 

Viaggio in Italio, if I'm remembering correctly, had only one pre-show. That being said, I probably had my worst flying theater experience on it. I was assigned the front (bottom) row on the far left side of the left set of seats, the result was a great view of the bottom-left corner of the screen and the fully-lit operator's booth lol. Suffice to say, you didn't miss much.

 

I'm excited to see your TR of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. I missed it on my recent trip to the UAE.

 

Thanks! So it sounds like I didn't miss out, especially since Warner Bros. World had a nice flying theater. Maybe I'll give it a try next time though.

 

Exciting chapters of this thread! The Intamins at Ferrari world seem like a ton of fun. I like the how you talk about the lateral G's - that really intrigues me because those parts of Skyrush were kinda my favorite. The combo of the strong forces + the open seating makes for such a unique feeling. A rare, legit scared feeling

 

Thanks! The open seating really helps up the thrill factor on Skyrush and Flying Aces. Any quick maneuver really feels like you're going to die and I love that feeling.

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It's been almost one full month. Let's see how this little segment of the report...

 

But Wildlife World is so much more than just rides. Obviously there are animal exhibits, but I was surprised just how minimal the fencing was around the exhibits. This was like the Mt. Olympus of animal enclosures. Most fences were about waist high and some exhibits didn’t even have fences. The result is an amazing animal experience until someone someday inevitably ruins it for everyone else.

...has held up.

 

Woman attacked by jaguar while taking selfie in restricted area at Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona.

 

We live in truly special and blessed times.

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I believe the article said a somewhat similar incident occurred about a year ago, and that one obviously didn’t change the fencing, so there may be a decent chance the fencing won’t be raised.

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Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

 

Warner Bros. World is the UAE’s best park. I originally budgeted only a half day here and that was a big mistake. There was simply too much to see. The dark rides, theming, and attention to detail are on par with Disney or Universal. I rearranged my entire itinerary to get a second day and it was well worth it.

 

The park is located on Yas Island across the street from both Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World. The building’s exterior is massive but otherwise unassuming. It looks like your typical big box store with some WB characters slapped on the side.

 

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For the most part, the exterior looked like a slightly decorated Costco.

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But the main entrance starts to paint a much prettier picture.

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Hello Bugs Bunny.

 

I believe it’s deliberate, but you cannot see any of the park until you enter. That makes the grand reveal all the more special. It’s like when you pass under the railroad at Disneyland and first gaze your eyes down Main Street. Except instead of a castle, Warner Bros. World has a gorgeous, illuminated theater.

 

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It was at this point, I knew this park would be something special.

 

Starting counterclockwise, the first land is Bedrock. The Flintstones-themed land only has one ride, but the Flintstones Bedrock River Adventure is among the park’s best attractions. The ride is about 5 minutes long and there isn’t an inch of wasted space?

 

You know how a lot of dark rides have scenery on one-side and then dead space on the other? That doesn’t happen on the River Adventure. The ride is 360 degrees of sights. I had to ride multiple times just to catch all the figures and animatronics.

 

And the ride does have a drop. It’s pretty modest in height and won’t have you screaming Yabba-Dabba-Do or anything, but it does make for a nice finale. The resulting splash is equivalent to a heavy misting, which is perfectly appropriate for a climate-controlled indoor park. 10 out of 10

 

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Flintstones, meet the Flintstones.

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All the ride ops wear uniforms themed to their specific ride. That was a small touch I appreciated.

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Theming everywhere. It all looks good.

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The final drop won't be confused for Splash Mountain, but it was fun nonetheless.

 

Growing up, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote was my favorite cartoon. For that reason, I was ecstatic they got their own themed land in Dynamite Gulch. The whole area looks very reminiscent of Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain and that’s hardly a bad thing.

 

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I have no problem with the Jetsons or Marvin the Martian, but they seemed a bit out of place in Dynamite Gulch.

 

The centerpiece of Dynamite Gulch is Fast and Furry-ous. Let me start by saying that I love how the name pays homage to one of the most famous Road Runner cartoons (and not that unwatchable car franchise). From a ride standpoint, this Intamin inverted coaster gracefully winds over cacti and around stalagmites.

 

But before that, the coaster actually has a surprisingly good first drop in complete darkness. It’s probably no taller than 30-40 feet, but it had a surprising amount of yank for a family coaster. No we’re not talking Skull Mountain here, but it was notable nonetheless. I had no idea that was coming off-ride.

 

The ride vehicle is shockingly compact at just 5 rows. This isn’t good for capacity, but it allows the coaster to execute some very tight maneuvers. I strongly recommend waiting for the front so you can appreciate all the near-misses with rockwork. It’s short, but it’s smooth and super reridable. 7 out of 10

 

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I'm glad Road Runner finally got something more substantial than a kiddie coaster.

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The amount of leg-choppers is incredible. This is a beautiful coaster to watch.

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This lift goes up quite a bit higher than you'd expect.

 

Next door is Cartoon Junction. Like Dynamite Gluch, it’s another land with a strong Looney Tunes presence. But instead of towering rockwork, Cartoon Junction feels like a quaint town with shopfronts, town houses, and mansions.

 

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Instead of riding horses, you ride all sorts of WB characters. It looked fantastic.

 

Like a moth to a flame, coaster enthusiasts will undoubtedly be drawn to Tom and Jerry: Swiss Cheese Spin. The entire coaster is completely hidden from view, so off-ride shots simply are not possible for this coaster. In fact, unless you’re familiar with the ride, you’d have no idea it were a coaster from the midway.

 

Let’s talk about the ride system for a second. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s a spinner. More specifically, it’s a Zamperla spinner. That probably caused a few audible groans, but it’s unlike any of their other spinners. Basically it looks like they chained four of their spinning mice cars together. And the wild mouse layout is replaced by a twisted layout that seems more suitable for a Mack spinner.

 

That sounds horrifying from a Zamperla, but it’s actually smooth. The entirety of the coaster takes place in a blacklit box reminiscent of LaffTrakk. Except unlike LaffTrakk this one spins a decent amount*. The layout is lacking thrilling drops, but the spinning mixed with the sights yield a frenetically paced ride. 7 out of 10

 

* If you hate spinning rides, you better pray Tom and Jerry is only running one train. Once the coaster hits the brake run, it spins uncontrollably and doesn’t stop until it returns to the station. With one train, that means there’s maybe 5-10 seconds of spinning. But if the coaster is running two trains and stacks,

you’re in for a world of suffering. On one of my rides, we were spinning for a minute straight.

 

But if you like spinners like me, you’ll be begging for the ops to stack. I never thought I’d see the day.

 

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I wonder how many people get in line without realizing this is a coaster.

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It appears Tom and Jerry have been up to no good.

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It really does look like Zamperla chained 4 of their standard wild mice cars together.

 

In my opinion, the park’s best ride is Scooby Doo: Museum of Mysteries. Going in, I knew it was a dark ride. But I figured it’d be a shooter like the Scooby Doo dark rides in the US. Needless to say I was stunned to find a trackless dark ride in the mold of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. That’s a comparison I do not make lightly.

 

As I’d discover, the UAE loves trackless dark rides. Many of these rides are trackless just for the sake of it. But Scooby Doo uses the feature as a story-telling component. Like Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, the vehicles travel in packs of three. At three or so points, the cars split up much like the gang in an episode of Scooby Doo. Each path has some unique sights, so multiple rides are in order to see them all.

 

And then later in the ride, Scooby Doo brings one of the cartoon’s most iconic scenes to life, the hallway chase scene. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, consult our omniscient friend Google. Now this is why trackless ride systems exist.

 

Scooby Doo is one of the best dark rides I’ve ever ridden. I’d go as far to say that it’s even better than the ride I compared it to, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. This ride is flawless if you ask me. 10 out of 10

 

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This is the star of the park if you ask me.

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Another ride. Another great queue.

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The ride does an amazing job taking riders through a typical episode of Scooby Doo.

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And the trackless ride vehicles were utilized to perfection.

 

Cartoon Junction is home to another incredible dark ride in Ani-Mayhem. The ride is a hybrid of your screen-based shooters like Toy Story Mania and your physical shooters like Buzz Lightyear. And it thrives at both. In fact, many screens blend both styles of targets together simultaneously.

 

I can’t tell you how awesome it is alternating between physical targets (that react I might add) and screen based targets. The ride was quite long too. There were at least 7-8 different showrooms and my trigger finger was exhausted at the end of each ride.

 

It’s hard for me to decide if I prefer Toy Story Mania or Men in Black. Ani-Mayhem ended that debate. It created a happy marriage of aspects from both rides. 10 out of 10

 

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Toy Story meets Buzz Lightyear.

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The UAE seriously has a thing for trackless dark rides. And that's fine by me.

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The nearby Acme Warehouse is home to a bevy of kiddie rides.

 

It’s like night and day going from Cartoon Junction to Gotham City. Warner Bros. World nailed the dark and gritty atmosphere of Gotham City. This looked so much better than the Gotham Cities at Six Flags. The only (unintentional) advantage those ones have are in the graffiti department.

 

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It really is night and day going from Cartoon Junction to Gotham City.

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The villains are taking over the town.

 

The anchor of the area is Batman Knight Flight, a robot arm dark ride similar to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride’s strength is undoubtedly the ride system. It’s an absolute joy getting some legit thrills during such an immersive and highly-themed dark ride.

 

The first half has riders directly involved in the plot performing reconnaissance for the Caped Crusader. Riders take a backseat role during the second half, but there’s a delightful fight scene between Batman and the Joker. Oh and there’s a really weird drunk driving joke mixed in considering the country.

 

So is it better than Harry Potter? I think it comes down to which IP you prefer. Harry Potter may have slightly better timing transitioning between scenes (Batman sometimes had 1-2 seconds of a blank screen before the video started), but I still enjoyed Batman more. 9.5 out of 10

 

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Fans of Forbidden Journey will love this ride.

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Fans of Batman will love the level of detail in the queue. This is just the tip of the iceberg; it gets better when you enter the Batcave.

 

The Joker Funhouse is without a doubt the best themed fun house I’ve ever experienced. This fun house had a legit preshow. What other fun house can you say that about? Plus that pre-show had a genuinely terrifying jump scare. By default, I’d almost say that made this fun house the park’s scariest ride.

 

The ride had a myriad of gags. The evilest of all was the initial mirror maze. One, it was quite long. It was longer than most standalone mirror mazes. Two, the darkened lighting concealed the usual visual tells. Three, the ride had some signs that are intentionally misleading for first-timers.

 

The rest of the fun house had some of my favorites, most notably a vortex tunnel and a sliding staircase. There was also a big slide at the end, but unfortunately it was pretty slow. Ultimately this is one of the best fun houses out there because of its length and theme. 9 out of 10

 

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I guess Joker is a cannibal now.

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You'd be hard pressed to find a better themed fun house.

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I had high expectations for these slides, but the slides at my local playground are faster.*

 

*which I haven't ridden in many years.

 

Warner Bros. World doesn’t have many flats. Quite simply, it doesn’t need them. But one noteworthy one is the Riddler Revolution. If you’re a total credit whore, it’s noteworthy since it’s a Disk’O coaster. If you’re simply a fan of flat rides, this one has a ton of near-misses and some awesome lighting effects.

 

Riddler Revolution is inside a warehouse filled with fog and strobe lights. This result is one heck of a disorienting ride teeming with foot-choppers. The show elements elevated an already fun flat to the next level. It’s a similar effect to all the northeast’s enclosed scramblers. 8 out of 10

 

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Riddle me this, riddle me that.

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More flat rides should be enclosed.

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The lighting, fog, and near-misses made this ride.

 

The lone ride down for rehab during my visit was the Scarecrow Scare Raid. Initially I thought it was just a Zamperla Air Race, so it didn’t appear to be a major loss. However, upon closer inspection it appears to be something else entirely. It looks like an air race was attached to one of those balloon towers.

 

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Does anyone know what type of ride this is?

 

The final area is Metropolis, which is fittingly anchored by a Justice League dark ride. I thought the Justice Leauge facades at the Six Flags parks looked nice. They still do. But the facade at Warner Bros World said “hold my beer.” This one is much grander in scale and truly the icon of the area.

 

Justice League rides like Spiderman and takes riders through an epic battle with Warworld. Like Batman Knight Flight, the first half has riders directly involved in the action. However, the second half has riders playing spectator to a big fight. For me, this wasn’t an issue since I’m a big comic book nerd and the animation was crisp, but others may feel differently. 9 out of 10

 

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The Six Flags Justice League buildings are cute. This one is something else.

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It has the ride system of Antarctica, but Justice League actually does something with it.

 

The park is also home to the most unique flying theater I’ve ever seen in Green Lantern Galactic Odyssey. Every other flying theater has been a plotless showcase of beautiful sights, which isn’t an issue considering how effective the ride system is. Meanwhile Green Lantern tried to tell a story.

 

This has pros and cons. On the plus side, the plot results in some wilder movements, which is pretty freaky in such an exposed ride vehicle. On the down side, the ride lacked the visual wows typically found on this type of ride. Ultimately it was a cool twist on a ride that’s becoming more common. 8 out of 10

 

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Riding a flying theater with a plot was odd. I sort of liked it.

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And it goes without saying this was way better than that abomination of a Green Lantern movie.

 

Whereas Batman Knight Flight and Justice League transition to fight scenes for their grand finales, Superman 360 is an epic battle from start to finish. The only other 3D theater I’ve ridden was SeaWorld’s Turtle Trek and I felt like an awful human being after that ride.

 

The ride starts with a quick pre-show and cleverly transitions to the main show. The 360 degree screen is massive and truly makes you part of the action. But then the ride just ends. The story was captivating and moving towards a logical resolution, but then it just fast-forwarded and ended. 8 out of 10

 

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This was better than Man of Steel and way better than Superman Returns.

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It starts as a studio tour before Brainiac decides to invade Metropolis.

 

I just hope others don’t have their ride spoiled by morons trying to film. Despite several warnings not to, some dude whipped out a selfie stick and filmed the thing with his flash active. As a result, the attraction’s audio was interrupted at several points to repeat this warning until he eventually stopped.

 

Last but not least, I also tried the Teen Titans Training Academy. I figured it’d just be a ropes course. And I was right that it had a ropes course, but it also had one other treat for coaster enthusiasts- a zip coaster.

 

This is a perfect contender for the infamous “Is it a coaster” debate. Whereas your traditional ziplines travel in a straight path, this one is a complete circuit with drops, turns, and even a lift hill. It rode very much like a suspended coaster if you ask me. I think the only similar one in America is the one at Rowdy Bear Mountain in Gatlinburg.

 

I was nervous the coaster would be harsh for us guys, but it was perfectly comfortable. The coaster had a modest top speed, but the swinging around the turns was really neat in such a minimalistic harness. But the best part was the final drop where you build up a considerable head of speed. 6 out of 10

 

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I'm used to ropes courses having ziplines, but this one looked different.

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It looked, rode, and felt like a coaster.

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This drop was genuinely terrifying in such an exposed vehicle.

 

I do have one last note on capacity. While the park wasn’t super busy on the days I visited, some of the rides have dreadful throughputs. It seems like the park spared no expense on theming and show scenes, but it came at the cost of ride capacity.

 

Many dark rides at Warner Bros. World had sizable delays between ride vehicles. They also only ran one train on the coasters despite the queues hovering around a half hour. Fortunately they do offer a reasonably priced Flash Pass at $40, so I cannot recommend it enough.

 

I’m still in awe just how well-themed Warner Bros. World was. I love all the IPs featured at this park, so it was a dream come true to see them fully-fleshed out in a theme park with this much detail.

 

If you want thrills, Warner Bros. World is not for you. However, if you’re a fan of immersive theming and world-class dark rides, Warner Bros. World is a must. This is a park where a Spiderman-like dark ride just barely makes its top 5 dark rides. That’s just how deep this park’s dark ride collection is.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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I also forgot to mention the park is loaded with merchandise for all the themed lands.

 

For example, I've never been able to find anything Road Runner themed at Six Flags but that wasn't an issue at WB World. There wasn't much merchandise explicitly themed to attractions, but that is probably what people are more likely to buy.

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found some (dark) footage online of Scarecrow running.

 

looks like it doesn't do complete 360s (or maybe just those riding didn't want to go upside-down?). . but it does look like it gets a complete 90 swing out while the ride operates:

 

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]

 

 

here's better footage from Voice of Dubai channel at the park's grand opening, and yeah, it does show it acting like Air Race, with some cars rotating :

 

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do they sell the Flintstone's inspired vests the cast members wear?

 

cause I TOTALLY want one

 

 

I wouldn't be shocked if they had a Flintstones vest, but I wasn't explicitly looking for one. Their Flintstones gift shop was huge.

 

It all looks and sounds incredible! I can imagine how that hallway/door scene goes in Scooby and translating that into a part of a trackless darkride is genius.

 

Yeah it was a really ingenious way to bring such an iconic scene from the cartoon to life.

 

found some (dark) footage online of Scarecrow running.

 

looks like it doesn't do complete 360s (or maybe just those riding didn't want to go upside-down?). . but it does look like it gets a complete 90 swing out while the ride operates:

 

here's better footage from Voice of Dubai channel at the park's grand opening, and yeah, it does show it acting like Air Race, with some cars rotating :

 

 

Thanks! The music in that second video was brutal, but it almost looks like some form of the Gerstlauer Sky Roller with those side fins.

 

Yes, it's nice to remember your personal impressions and even look at such a super report! Good flight and let the number of takeoffs will always be equal to the number of landings.

 

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the report.

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Yas Waterworld

 

Without a doubt, I’m more of a theme park person than a water park person. Even if it’s attached to a theme park, I rarely want to deal with the hassle of changing into a bathing suit. I do make an exception if the park has a water coaster.

 

Yas Waterworld had my water coaster. They also had a regular roller coaster. And the park was beautifully themed. If there were more water parks like this in the US, maybe I’d be more of a water park guy.

 

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The UAE is known for gas, skyscrapers, and awesome water parks.

 

I wasn’t sure what the protocol would be visiting a water park with the UAE’s conservative dress code. I went with a water shirt to be safe, but plenty of guys were bare-chested. I also saw others clad in bikinis and speedos, so it seems like you’re free to wear normal swimwear once you pass through the gate.

 

The locker system was quick and painless. It wasn’t cheap to rent a locker ($25-30), but I did get a really nice souvenir beach towel so I thought it was well worth it. The lockers were controlled by a RFID wristband, which could also store cash if you so pleased.

 

All three of the water parks I visited in the UAE were beautiful. The other two relied on lush landscaping while Yas Waterworld relied on a manmade mountain adorned with a giant pearl. It’s definitely a striking icon for the park and it can be seen from everywhere in the park.

 

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And there's even some pirate theming too.

 

My first stop was undoubtedly Bandit Bomber, the Vekoma “water” coaster. I hesitate to call it a water coaster since the water features were disabled. I’m guessing it was because the temperature was in the 70s, but it was a bummer not being able to launch water bombs at unsuspecting guests.

 

The coaster itself was still very enjoyable without the water features. It was longer than expected (2 lifts), included 2-3 abrupt dips, and wove around and through the mountain. It did have a bit of a rattle to it, but this wasn’t an issue with the minimalistic restraints. 7 out of 10

 

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Bandit Bomber is the best way to see the park if you ask me.

 

I was hoping to ride their water coaster, Falcon’s Falaj, several times. This is a jumbo cloverleaf water coaster in the mold of Splashin’ Safari’s Mammoth. However, I almost didn’t even get to ride it. The culprit? The weight requirement.

 

The website lists the weight requirement as 160-450 kg (350-992 lbs). There weren’t many people in the park, but I eventually found a group of two to tag along with. We came in at 240 kg, but we were told the weight requirement was 250 kg.

 

I returned later with a group of five. We came in at 420 kg, but we were told we were too heavy. At this point, I was skeptical they even wanted to operate the slide. I gave it one last attempt with a group of three and we were greenlit at 330 kg. I have no clue what the weight requirement actually is, but be prepared to rip your hair out.

 

It’s worth the frustration though since this is one of the best water coasters I’ve ridden. It’s short, but there are three steep drops with sustained airtime, a frightening prospect on a water slide. Then there were 2-3 uphill bits with smaller pops of air. It’s a shame I couldn’t have ridden it more. 9.5 out of 10

 

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The mountain is a beautiful mess of water slides.

 

The rest of the park’s offerings were very good, albeit none were real standouts. Below is a quick recap:

 

Liwa Loop- This was a smooth aqualoop. The initial plunge wasn’t as steep as some, but these drop pod slides are always thrilling. 8 out of 10

 

Jebel Drop- This was a freefall slide and a darn good one too. I came off the slide at the start and it was remarkably smooth for a slide of this type. 8 out of 10

 

Hamlools Humps- I prefer the slides that go straight down in one fell swoop. The first two dips didn’t do much, but I did come off the slide a bit on the last drop. 7 out of 10

 

Sebeg- I felt lonely getting a solo ride on this mat racer, but it was one of the better ones I’ve ridden. The final plunge was gigantic for this genre. 8 out of 10

 

Slithers Slides- This complex had your standard tube slides plus a funnel and bowl slide. The most notable thing was the awesome lighting package on the way down. It was particularly effective in the funnel, which became very disorienting. 8 out of 10

 

One of the most annoying things about water parks is walking on hot pavement. Yas Waterworld has a solution for this, but it comes at a price. The walkways were cool as ice, but they were just as slick too. I often had to hold onto railings to avoid wiping out going from slide to slide.

 

Yas Waterworld is undoubtedly one of the best water parks I’ve visited. It’s crazy to think there’s a better water park just a half hour away, but I’ll get to that one in a latter report. I can see some enthusiasts popping in solely for the coaster, but this water park should be experienced in full.

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IMG Worlds of Adventure

 

Marvel superheroes, dinosaurs, and cartoons. This eclectic mix of themes sounds sort of like Islands of Adventure minus Harry Potter, doesn’t it? Except I’m talking about IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. It’s advertised as the world’s largest indoor theme park and it seems as such.

 

Not only is IMG massive, but it’s gorgeous too. The dark, sprawling roof isn’t the most inviting, but it allows the park to be illuminated. There’s something magical being at a theme park after sunset and at IMG, you have that feel all day long.

 

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Pictures don't do it justice; this building is colossal.

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An interesting mix of IPs.

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You could say they rolled out the red carpet for me.

 

I started with the Mack mega, Velociraptor. More specifically, I started with a queue that rivals the Bat and American Eagle in sheer length. I don’t know what kind of crowds IMG forecasted, but I’d poop my pants if it were ever full. I think there were 4-5 sizable rooms with an endless sea of switchbacks.

 

Instead it was a complete walk-on all day (as was every other ride). I loved Blue Fire when I rode it two years ago, so it was no surprise I also liked Velociraptor. The outdoor section was barren, but the coaster did have a cool pre-launch with a screen big enough to make Universal jealous.

 

I love Mack launchers, but I do not like Mack launches. Slinky Dog Dash has A+ presentation, but in terms of raw power, that launch is nothing special. And it isn’t even the worst Mack launch I’ve experienced (just wait for Capitol Bullet Train). The exceptions are Blue Fire and Velociraptor. Mack got it right with their first design. This launch has some kick to it.

 

Velociraptor is inherently rerideable. It’s smooth and a jack-of-all-trades. You have a launch, a funky top hat that rides more like a wave turn, some hangtime-filled inversions, a few spots of air, and a violent (in the best way possible) barrel roll to end the ride. 9 out of 10

 

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Unfortunately there's no viewing deck for Velociraptor. That was one feature I loved at Ferrari World.

 

Next door was Predator, the Gerstlauer EuroFighter. The dinosaur figures and plants around the ride were a nice touch, but I only rode once since my home park has an identical clone. And to be honest, that’s about as often as I ride Untamed per visit as well.

 

The coaster has a marvelous first drop loaded with ejector air and a fantastic stall. But the coaster has some neck-chopping transitions, particularly on the cutback and helix. It’s a solid coaster given its compactness, but I much prefer the ones with lap bars. 6 out of 10

 

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I can't decide if I prefer the bears of Untamed or the dinos of Predator. Both are great!

 

Forbidden Territory was intriguing. It was a toned-down version of Dinosaur. The vehicles seemed capable of the same range of motion as Disney’s EMVs, but the whole ride seemed to take place in slow motion. I’d estimate the vehicles and motions were performed at 1/3 Dinosaur’s speed.

 

I also want to call it a budget Dinosaur, but that’s not really fair. The animatronics on this one are no match for the ones on Dinosaur. However, Forbidden Territory doesn’t have any empty sections that have you asking whether or not Dinosaur’s budget was slashed during development. 7 out of 10

 

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Aka Dinosaur on a budget.

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The vehicles are slower versions of Disney's EMVs.

 

One of my guilty pleasure attractions are slides of death. Few can top the near-vertical slides of the City Museum or the drunk slayer at Oktoberfest, but Adventure Fortress beat those slides in terms of size. It was a gigantic play structure with a slide seemingly as tall as Predator.

 

Accessing this slide was a tight-squeeze, but I made it. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one struggling. I was followed by an employee. I start my work day with a cup of coffee, but the workers manning the slide have to ascend a 70 foot tower The slide itself was fun, but not as fast as I hoped. 6 out of 10

 

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That slide sure beats the ones I used to ride at Chuck E. Cheese.

 

Marvel Universe felt very reminiscent of the similar land at Islands of Adventure. Everything from the shops to the signage to the character cutouts had me thinking I was in Orlando. Except instead of a massive B&M, the icon of this area was Stark Tower.

 

Avengers Battle of Ultron was sort of like Spiderman minus the motion simulator. Basically it was a 3D dark ride. If you’re a fan of superhero battles, this ride is for you. The animation may not be as crisp as a Disney or Universal ride, but it sure beats that of your garden variety regional park. 8 out of 10

 

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Avengers Assemble (just not at Tony's Skydeck).

 

Stark Tower also houses Tony’s Skydeck. If you read the TPR report from a few years ago, this upscale restaurant looked amazing. It had steak, fish, and all sorts of goodies you often don’t find at a theme park.

 

Unfortunately it was closed. Further, the employee working Battle for Ultron said it has been closed for a while. Considering it’s still listed on the website, maybe it was closed since I visited during a lighter period? Instead I tried shawarma for the first time as a consolation prize.

 

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The first time I heard of shawarma was during that Avengers cut scene. The more you know.

 

Mack spinners are one of the most underrated coaster types if you ask me. I’m a fan of spinners to begin with, but the Mack spinners tend to have more speed an ferocity to them. For that reason, I was really looking forward to Spiderman.

 

To be honest, I think it just barely cracks the UAE’s top 5 coasters. Technically it’s a clone of Sierra Sidewinder, but it sure doesn’t feel as such when you add in the lights, fog, and cutouts. Those elements make an already disorienting coaster even more disorienting. 8 out of 10

 

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I used my Spider Sense to time this photo...or maybe it was just the audio cues.

 

Thor Thunder Spin was a royal pain to ride. I think it’s easier to get opening night tickets for the Avengers. It was a similar situation to my visit to Yas Waterworld, but the park was so empty that Thor couldn’t meet its 10 passenger minimum requirement.

 

Six of us hung around for 15 minutes as the ride operator enthusiastically badgered guests to ride. Eventually she courted a family of four. Success! But not so fast. She whipped out the measuring stick. We nervously bit our nails, but the youngest was just barely tall enough.

 

The ride itself was the best top spin I’ve ridden outside of Phantasialand’s. The theming really added to the experience. The underrated star in particular was the mind-warping curved wall. It completely messed with my equilibrium. Then the program itself had more flips than you’ll find in the US, especially since these rides are going the way of the dinosaur. 8 out of 10

 

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Outside of my one ride, I never saw this run all day.

 

Like Islands of Adventure, IMG has a Hulk. Except this one is a one-of-a-kind 3D simulator. I’d describe it as your 360 degree theater on steroids. The secret sauce is the ride vehicle. I figured it’d rock like most simulators, but this one spun like a top. The spinning pulled some serious Gs too!

 

This motion combined with the frenetic action was overwhelming. The 360 degree screen is cool, but being restrained in a seat causes you to miss any action that takes place behind you. Thankfully you can see about 4/5 of the film uninhibited, but the periodic blind spots were a slight bummer. 8 out of 10

 

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It's not quite a B&M, but this Hulk was way wilder than I expected.

 

I was more of a Disney and Warner Bros. kid growing up. So while the IPs of the Cartoon Network land didn’t appeal to me, I do have to admit the land was quite vibrant with the bright colors and booming music. Plus having a suspended monorail constantly in motion helped.

 

So I guess I’ll start with that monorail, Adventure Time: a name so long that it beats Gotham City Gauntlet Escape from Arkham Asylum. I’ve ridden a few monorails, but I’ve never ridden one that tries to tell a story. And that’s exactly what Adventure Time does.

 

In between the aerial tour of the land, there are a few indoor scenes. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch Adventure Time, but I was lost. I felt like I was in the middle of an acid trip. But it was a happy trip at least. Oh and that song is still stuck in my head. 7 out of 10

 

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The Cartoon Network area was quite lively.

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So this is what it's like to do acid.

 

I was ecstatic to see the Amazing Ride of Gumball using the same ride system as Ani-Mayhem. While good, it had some drawbacks. For one, the IP. There may be some IPs I’m not enamored with (see Winnie the Pooh), but I just found Gumball unbearable. Maybe I’m just getting old.

 

The other issue I found was the brevity at each screen. The screen-based shooting was a ton of fun, especially since you could lose points if you hit the wrong thing, but I just wish it went on longer. Still it’s a heck of a lot better than most shooters thanks to that ride system. 8 out of 10

 

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Gumball isn't amazing, but the ride is quite good.

 

Last but not least, there was the Haunted Hotel. Free of any IP, the Haunted Hotel looked incredible. The park is definitely proud of their haunt. There’s no better example of that than the fact that this haunt fully fleshes out the story beforehand through a preshow.

 

The experience is restricted to guests under the age of 15, so I was intrigued just how scary it’d be. My takeaway is that the UAE doesn’t really have haunts. There were 5-6 rooms and each room only had one actor. But that actor ran around chasing us. For me, the thrill is the initial jump scare. But the locals were pooping their pants and cowering in the corner at this.

 

While the scares weren’t quite what I expected, the set design was top notch. Ultimately I’d say this is a hair above your seasonal haunt, but not quite as good as the full-time haunts like the ones at Liseberg or Morey’s. 7 out of 10

 

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The Haunted Hotel had top notch presentation.

 

I ended my night with an hour marathon of Velociraptor. It was easily the best attraction in the park. For most of those rides, I was the lone rider. I also ended my night with an ungodly amount of steps. The park permitted one reride, but required guests to walk around afterwards.

 

I did notice the train had a noticeable shimmy to it. It wasn’t rough or uncomfortable, but it was quite loud. It sounded like someone jangling a box of screws. I noticed the same thing on the Capitol Bullet Train the following day, so maybe it was the desert heat?

 

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Being blasted into the bright sun was quite shocking for my eyes.

 

IMG Worlds of Adventure was a very well-rounded park. I can’t think of any area where the park struggled. It had some nice attractions, good theming, and a friendly staff. As a whole, the UAE had excellent service but I think IMG was the best in this area.

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Global Village

 

What if Epcot’s World Showcase was a standalone theme park? If you mix that concept with a carnival, you get Dubai’s Global Village.

 

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World Showcase + Funfair = Global Village

 

Global Village is a rare seasonal park in Dubai, as it’s open just under half the year. The park is less than a mile away from IMG, so it was a no-brainer to visit after the parks close. While most major parks in Dubai close by 8, Global Village is open until 12 or 1 am.

 

The first thing that surprised me was the sheer size of Global Village. The list of countries is extensive. With just two hours, it was impossible to visit them all. Even with a full day, I think it would be impossible to visit them all. There are 75 in total represented with almost 30 pavilions.

 

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So many countries, so little time.

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This place is huge!

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I miss Japan.

 

And that doesn’t even include the carnival area. Just in case the rides closed early (they didn’t), I decided to start there. While it’s no Oktoberfest, the ride collection far exceeded what you’d find at your typical US carnival.

 

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Don't worry, I didn't forget about the rides.

 

Unfortunately there’s no all-day wristband. I forget the exact price, but I believe the major rides cost about $7-10 each. For that reason, I prioritized the two coasters and two big flats.

 

Carnivals will never be mistaken for Disney theming (unless we’re talking Chester and Hester’s Dinorama), but the rides at Global Village at least got creative with their names. Most rides were named after a different country. It was a small touch, but it helped give the carnival some character.

 

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I have to admit, that was a clever name.

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Just in case you didn't know kangaroos were from Australia.

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I have no clue WTF New York Jump was.

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Ok so they got lazy with this (No) one, but most rides at least tried with their names.

 

Speaking of character, I want to note the staff. When you think of carnies, what do you think of? I think of ex-cons and Toothless Tom. That’s not what you find at Global Village. They didn’t feel sketchy at all. They were the friendly and outgoing employees you’d find at a Holiday World.

 

The big coaster was a Vekoma family boomerang named London Loop. All the fair’s rides appeared to be temporary with the exception of this coaster. The coaster was smooth and had some thrills on the backwards part, but outside of that nothing from a ride perspective stood out. 5 out of 10

 

The operators stood out though. They struck up a 5-10 minute conversation with me while waiting for additional riders. They were excited to see a visitor from the US and were dying to know what my thoughts were about Texas.

 

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I can't decide whether I prefer the adult or family boomerangs better.

 

The smaller coaster is yet another one of those SBF spinners, Mumbai Xpress. These have to be one of the most common coaster models of all-time at this point. This was a rarer 3 loop model, but I could hardly tell a difference from the 2 loop ones. 2 out of 10

 

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I'm not quite sure how this ride relates to India.

 

The star ride was Global Burj, a colossal drop tower. A 280 foot tall drop tower is terrifying on its own, but it’s especially terrifying when it’s a portable one at a funfair. The drop was quite good; the start delivered a nice freefall sensation and it lasted a long time.

 

But the strength was the build-up. For one, the views of Global Village were outstanding. Seeing a birds eye view of all the illuminated pavilions was magical. This was accompanied by music and taunting by the operators. We must have been kept atop the tower for at least a minute. 9 out of 10

 

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Portable drop towers are among the freakiest rides if you ask me.

 

I also tried Fly France, the Gerstlauer sky roller. I own these rides. Usually I can get at least 50 flips. However, I could only get 12 flips on this one. Was it a short cycle? No, it was actually quite long. Rather I don’t think this one was well lubricated.

 

I could feel significant friction trying to move the wings. Then once I got my first flip, I almost stalled out. Anyone who has ridden these sky rollers know you can go into autopilot and rotate at a ludicrous rate after that first flip. The flips I did get were still thrilling and I felt accomplished. 7 out of 10

 

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I went with Fly France but Jamaican Drum looked intriguing.

 

In terms of the pavilions, my favorite was the Americas pavilion simply because of how comical it was. I was intrigued what their perception of US culture would be and I died laughing. The main midway is themed to the wild west. Maybe that’s why the London Loop crew was so fascinated by Texas.

 

It got even better at the shops. Most pavilions sold trinkets themed to their country or cultural items. Meanwhile the Americas pavilion had shops such as Build-a-Bear Workshop, 7-Eleven, and a few air-brushed t-shirt places. I think it goes without saying I didn’t buy anything.

 

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Looking good so far.

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Ok I may have stepped back in time a bit, but at least it looks nice.

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So this is what they think of America.

 

The other highlight of Global Village was the food. The pavilions sold food native to their respective country and the midway had all your usual fair favorites. I was hoping to find some gyoza at Japan, but I came up empty. Instead I went with a skirt burger and a pizza cone.

 

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A skirt burger is sort of hard to explain, but it's delicious.

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The cheese to sauce ratio wasn't quite right, but it was decent.

 

Global Village is a very unique place. I wouldn’t quite classify it as a theme park. Rather it’s more of an upscale carnival. But it has such a unique atmosphere that it really needs to be experienced.

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