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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:53 pm
by Canobie Coaster
bert425 wrote: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 :

I finally found out what Scarecrow is. It's a Moser Daredevil.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:50 pm
by Canobie Coaster
Legoland Dubai

1.5 years ago, I was a Legoland virgin. I guess you could now call me a Legoland veteran, as the Dubai location was my fourth different one.

Legoland Dubai is part of the Dubai Parks complex that also includes Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, and Riverland (their take on CityWalk). Legoland is the lone park that opens in the morning, so it was a no-brainer to squeeze it in before hopping over to Motiongate.

Riverland, aka the Dubai Citywalk.

Note the crowds.

When the park opened officially at 10 am, I was one of only four guests in the park. The crowds did pick up (I mean they couldn’t have gotten worse really), but they didn’t improve by much. By comparison, Motiongate had a healthy crowd for a weekday just a few hours later.

One of the biggest differences with Legoland compared to Dubai’s other parks is that it’s entirely outdoors. The park does have shade tests on most midways, but I see this place being a nightmare in the summer.

Big Shop.jpg

Lego Factory.jpg
The shaded "Main Street" reminded me of a Japanese park.

You don't have to be a genius like Einstein to know shade is needed in the hot Dubai summer.

The lone exception is Miniland. At the other parks, Miniland usually feels like an oven with its lack of shade, so being able to appreciate the Lego architecture in a climate-controlled environment was quite the treat. The buildings were also incredible as always.

None was more impressive than the Burj Khalifa. Just like it was with the real thing, it was challenging trying to fit the entire tower in one shot. I’m trying to picture the builders constructing the Lego Burj from a cherry picker.

Dubai 2.jpg
As impressive as the real Dubai is, it may be even more impressive in Lego form.

Burj Khalifa (Vertical).jpg
I'm impressed I fit this in a single shot. It's massive.

Dubai Eye.jpg
The Dubai Eye looks so cute.

Mall of Emirates.jpg
Miniland even had an animated Ski Dubai.

Taj Mahal.jpg
You can either go to India or see this at Legoland Dubai.

If you’ve been to any other Legoland, the ride collection won’t surprise you in the least bit. Per usual, the star coaster was the Dragon. I was glad to see Dubai’s version had the larger model like the Japanese location. While the US ones are unquestionably junior coasters, this one has a bit of whip to it.

That being said, the highlight was the pre-lift. The pre-lift bit has enough detail to exist as a standalone dark ride. In fact, isn’t that the case at the Legoland Discovery Centers? I can’t go due to the pedo rule (no adults over 18 enter without a kid), but I vaguely remember seeing a dark ride advertised there.

One subtle change I liked was the inclusion of a tiny dip after the dark ride section. It wasn’t the drop itself I liked. Rather it was the removal of the hallway of nothingness. On the US versions, there’s a long, slow hallway between the pre-lift and outdoor bit. Here, you breezed right through it. 6 out of 10

Dragon Plaza.jpg
More flags, more fun.

Dragon Drop.jpg
I didn't feel the least bit embarrassed on this coaster.

While the Dragon is actually respectable for adults, there’s no denying I was a total credit whore riding Dragon’s Apprentice. On the bright side, the coaster was smooth, had a cute tower in the center, and I brought much amusement (and confusion) to the ride op. 2 out of 10

Dragon's Apprentice Helix.jpg
I felt plenty embarrassed on this one though.

One benefit of the park being so empty was the fact I could try the Boating School ride. In most children’s parks, kids flock to the attraction that lets them drive. Since there were barely any kids in the entire park, the boat ride was a rare walk-on.

Last year, I thought I was a worse driver than SpongeBob after repeatedly crashing into the wall on the Motor Boats at Knoebels. Turns out, that ride is just impossible. Boating School was so easy a kid could do it. It’s almost as if that was by design. 6 out of 10

Boating School POV.jpg
I didn't hit a single wall!

I was hoping the Technic Twister tea cups would be equally as easy to control, but I don’t even think the world’s strongest man (or woman) could get this dang thing to spin. I tried my hardest, but I couldn’t get a single rotation. At least it looked nice. 2 out of 10

Technic Twister Overview.jpg
Calling this a spinning ride is an insult to others out there.

Wave Racers is one of those weird water whip rides. I think Legoland is the single reason Zierer hasn’t obsoleted this attraction. :lol: I’m honestly surprised more parks don’t have them because they’re a ton of fun.

While the water features were disabled, the lats on the outward swings were up there with a Himalaya. And considering you’re standing in a restraint free cage, it makes for a semi-wild experience. 8 out of 10

Wave Racers Overview.jpg
Needless to say, only one side was in use today.

I think all Legolands have the Lost Kingdom Adventure shooter. This one was very short (I think it was just a 1.5 minute oval), but the ride was dense on targets. They all reacted in some manner to being hit and the laser sights gave me the accuracy of Hawkeye. 7 out of 10

Lost Kingdom Adventure.jpg
I'm guessing I got the high score of the day. Just a hunch.

One of the newer rides at Legoland parks is Submarine Adventure. I’m still shocked at the sheer number of real living and breathing fish inside this attraction. This one was considerably shorter than the others, but it did offer an aquarium at the exit that I don’t remember on the others. 7 out of 10

Submarine Adventure Exterior.jpg
I'm glad these rides are popping up at more and more Legolands.

Submarine Adventure On-Ride.jpg
I still can't believe this ride has as many fish as it does.

Last but not least, I apprehensively decided to try the apple fries. If you’ve read my reports, you know I hate sweets. I ordered them plain (no cinnamon, no frosting), but they were still way too sweet for me. It’s a unique concept though!

Apple Fries.jpg
Even without frosting and cinnamon, these were too much for me. Cool idea though!

For kids, Legoland could absolutely be an all-day park. But as a grown adult, I saw everything I needed to in an hour. Being in the same complex with Motiongate is a true blessing since it allows you to add Legoland for just $25-30. That sure beats forking over $100 to the US locations!

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:56 pm
by prospekt88
All of these parks look great, but it seems like they're always empty. Does it seem like there's any concern over how successful these parks might be long term?

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:06 am
by Canobie Coaster
Judging by the rumors that IMG is for sale and the reports that the Dubai parks aren't hitting their original attendance goals, I'd definitely think there's some concern. Several projects have either been delayed or cancelled and the crowds probably play a role.

From what I saw, the Abu Dhabi parks seem to be doing a bit better. While they weren't packed to the gills, skip the line passes were actually helpful there. They made no difference at the Dubai parks.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:51 pm
by BlahBlahson
I feel like this is the year for anyone who wants to travel to this area and hasn't. The Dubai parks all have no guests, it doesn't make sense to me that they could each survive like this long-term.

As always, phenomenal report! I wish this locale wasn't 30 hours of round-trip travel to visit. Warner Brothers and Ferrari World make it awfully tempting...

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:57 pm
by larrygator
BlahBlahson wrote:I feel like this is the year for anyone who wants to travel to this area and hasn't. The Dubai parks all have no guests, it doesn't make sense to me that they could each survive like this long-term.

The UAE has more money than you can imagine. All enterprises are tightly linked to the government. The entrepreneurs and government will not pull the plug that quickly on these new investments. If we are still having this discussion in 5-10 years from now then I would worry about the life of the parks. The UAE prides itself in their low unemployment figures, also. They close these places and they just need to create more businesses.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:13 pm
by Canobie Coaster
If anything, I feel like they'll slow down on building new parks (ex. Six Flags Dubai) and try to promote what they have.

BlahBlahson wrote:I feel like this is the year for anyone who wants to travel to this area and hasn't. The Dubai parks all have no guests, it doesn't make sense to me that they could each survive like this long-term.

As always, phenomenal report! I wish this locale wasn't 30 hours of round-trip travel to visit. Warner Brothers and Ferrari World make it awfully tempting...

Thanks! Warner Bros and Ferrari World were indeed great and I wish they were closer.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:42 am
by Canobie Coaster

Motiongate sounds like some type of Patriots scandal. Until that inevitably happens at the rate they bend the rules, Motiongate will be synonymous for me with a great, Universal-esque park in Dubai. The parallels to Universal are astounding. And for the most part, that's a good thing. The most obvious is that you have a movie themed park that even shares some of the same IPs.

The one drawback is the major coasters share a similarly strict loose articles policy. While there are no metal detectors, your precious iPhone must be placed in a free fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo before entering the queue. It was a bummer since these coasters had some impressive looking queues.

Entrance (Day).jpg
Now that's a nice entrance.

As a big fan of the Hunger Games novels and films, there was little doubt where I'd go first. I was intrigued how they'd approach the area considering the subject matter. Something about a grim dystopian society glorifying child murder doesn't quite seem to align with the message of most theme parks. :lol:

They made a wise decision to focus on the luxurious Capitol and have subtle tones to the resistance. It's impossible to miss the Peacekeepers as you enter the land. They stand guard in front of a memorial to the districts and if you try to take a selfie with them, they will commandeer your phone and put you in a neck hold.

Hunger Games Photo 2.jpg
No really, they do grab you! This isn't sue-happy America we're talking about.

The area's anchor is Capitol Bullet Train, the Mack launcher. It's truly a shame I couldn't bring my phone with me because the queue and station were filled with decorations. The soundtrack borrowed the booming instrumentals from the film and was another strength. The launch was not.

Dramatic music comes to a crescendo and you hear, “Preparing for high speed transit in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.”

Capitol Bullet Train has one of those forwards-backwards-forwards launches that are all the rage. In this situation the first launch isn’t supposed to melt you face, but I at least expect it to resemble a launch. Calling this a launch is an embarrassment to other launch coasters out there. You roll forwards at no more than 15-20 mph. It’s all the more comical since this is when they take your photo.

I wish I could say the second or third launches were better. While they do get the coaster up to a respectable speed, they were forceless. The lone redeeming quality of the launch was that reverse spike. If you’re sitting towards the back, you get some awesome weightlessness.

The rest of the coaster is a winner. It’s short, but it offers a little bit of everything. The vertical loop is loaded with Full Throttle-esque hangtime. That’s followed by some snappy turns, a powerful ejector hill, a floaty zero-G roll, and a pop of floater entering the brake run. If this thing had a real launch, it would be perfect. 8 out of 10

Capitol Bullet Train Spike (Day).jpg
The area was small, but it honored the source material well.

Capitol Bullet Train Loop.jpg
I wish my local trains had a loop de loop.

Up next was Panem Aerial Tour. Based on the name, I was expecting a flying theater in the ilk of Soarin’. Instead I was greeted by a motion simulator surrounded by an omni-screen. The concept can be effective (see The Simpsons Ride), but here the execution was flawed.

The biggest drawback is the vehicle. For some reason, it has a roof. If you aren’t in the front, the poles supporting the roof and the roof itself will obstruct your view. As a Red Sox fan, I’m used to that when I go to Fenway Park. But Fenway is a century old historic landmark. This ride isn’t even 2 years old.

The film did have some impressive landscapes and the visuals were great, but the action was tricky to follow I couldn’t see everything. With a different vehicle, this could be one of the better simulators out there. 4 out of 10

Panem Aerial Tour Entrance.jpg
The Capitol was symbolically built on the backs of its people...and then threw them in an arena for sport.

Panem Aerial Tour Queue 2.jpg
Hunger Games fans will undoubtedly love the queue.

The indoor Dreamworks section is the park’s crowning achievement. For one the area is huge. Technically it’s one single area, but it feels like its own separate park. The area is broken into sub-areas themed to Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and Shrek, each with its own distinct appearance.

DreamWorks Exterior 1.jpg

DreamWorks Fountain.jpg
I'd be hard pressed to name a more beautiful fountain.

My first stop was Madagascar. Themed to a circus, the area is a complete sensory overload consisting of multicolored lights, reflective mirrors, and loud music. And the focal point of the area is the Gerstlauer infinity coaster, Madagascar Mad Pursuit.

Clearly they were not skimping on the lights.

While Capitol Bullet Train’s launch was pitiful, the one on Madagascar was surprisingly excellent. Madagascar looked all cute and cuddly, but the inadvertently demonic eyes of the characters during the pre-launch sequence told me otherwise. The acceleration was abrupt and very powerful.

This was followed by two aggressive turns in complete darkness. It felt like the coaster was trying to flip me over like Skyrush’s wing seats. Thank god this coaster had lap bars, but these turns were accompanied by a violent shuffle. The rest of the ride is smoother, but it still does have a persistent shuffle.

The rest of the first half is great. There’s a funky top hat with a delicious amount of sustained air and another camelback with good floater. But the second half was a letdown. The MCBR sapped a good chunk of the ride’s speed so there was no thrill. There were just some cutouts a la Rock n’ Roller Coaster.

Madagascar’s tracking wasn’t an issue for individual rides, but consecutive rerides gave me a headache. It’s an unfortunate Achilles heel because the coaster’s first half is fantastic. 7 out of 10

Madagascar Mad Pursuit.jpg
That brief flyby is the only "outdoor" part of the coaster. The rest is in the dark.

How to Train Your Dragon was a considerably darker area, but the focal point was Dragon Gliders. The colossal entry gate is quite imposing and it was exciting seeing trains passing overhead every few minutes. The throughput should have been higher, but loading and unloading was a cluster.

The ride has a conveyor belt system like Rockit or Arthur. However, you load and unload on the same side. The result is an absolute mosh pit. People ignore their seat assignments and no one knows where they should sit. Inevitably this causes the conveyor belt to stop so they can sort out the chaos.

The ride was reminiscent of Arthur. The first half felt like a dark ride with the screens and animatronics. The second half felt more like a coaster. It wasn’t overly fast, but the visuals and unexpected twirling provided some thrills. This is the type of ride system I see Disney using someday. 7 out of 10

Dragon Gliders Entrance.jpg
I'm getting a Jurassic Park vibe here.

Dragon Gliders Finale.jpg
The level of detail in the Dreamworks area is incredible.

The Shrek area has a similarly dark tone. I mean it’s a swamp, so what would you expect? The area’s main ride is Shrek’s Merry Fairy Tale Journey, a dark ride that makes one of the most interesting stylistic decisions I’ve seen.

The plot is simple; Shrek tells his kids how he met his wife. The unique part is that Shrek tells it via puppet show. As a result, all the animatronics are designed as puppets. One on hand, it’s a neat twist. On the other hand, it does look sort of cheap. 7 out of 10

Shrek is love. Shrek is life.

The final Dreamworks area is Kung Fu Panda, which is set during a gorgeous sunset. The most noteworthy ride in the area is Kung Fu Panda Unstoppable Awesomeness, a decent motion simulator that doubles as a water ride*.

The animation was gorgeous and the ride captured the tone of the films well (both comedy and action). The motion was also well-synched to the film. Some of the movements were pretty jerky though, which was problematic due to the hard seatbacks. 7 out of 10

* If you want to stay dry, avoid the end seats. Myself and others on the end seat came off quite wet. Those on the inside were perfectly dry.

Kung Fu Panda.jpg

Kung Fu Panda Unstoppable Awesomeness.jpg
Calling a ride Unstoppable Awesomeness is like calling your own shot in baseball.

I also couldn’t leave the Kung Fu Panda area without trying Mr. Ping’s noodles. If you’ve seen the film, you know how prevalent these noodles are. I thought the noodles were good, but the star of the shop was the shrimp dumplings. They were so good I returned later in the day for a second order.

Mr. Ping's Noodle Fling.jpg
You can either ride Mr. Ping's noodles.

Or eat Mr. Ping's noodles. (or you can just eat those dumplings, do that instead)

The park’s largest outdoor area is the section themed to Columbia Pictures. And it’s lone coaster was Green Hornet: High Speed Chase. I think the most memorable thing about the coaster was the queue. On the bright side, they have a replica of the famous car. On the downside, they play clips from the abomination of a Seth Rogan movie on repeat.

The coaster itself was ok. The layout is reminiscent of the other two Gerstlauer bobsleds I’ve ridden, but it was missing the excitement. There was no airtime on the bunny hills or Gs on the helices. It was glass smooth and I would still take it over your average wild mouse. 5 out of 10

Green Hornet Overview (Night).jpg

Green Hornet Drop.jpg
Few wild mice have banked drops like this.

Green Hornet Bunny Hill.jpg
The airtime hill failed to deliver. Much like the Seth Rogan movie.

One of my most anticipated rides in the entire park was Ghostbusters. The original film is one of my favorite all-time movies and the IP lends itself perfectly to a shooter. I was even more excited to see the same ride vehicles as Ani-Mayhem. It would take a herculean effort to screw this up.

But try they did. All of my shots strayed wide right. At first I thought the guns weren’t calibrated correctly, but midway through the ride I made a shocking discovery. The lasers were deliberately on the right edge of the gun instead of being centered. I have no clue why you’d do that.

There were no physical targets, but the screen targets utilized the source material well. The first half throws hundreds of smaller ghosts at you. The second half borrows the main villains from the films. It was distinctly satisfying lighting up Gozer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 8 out of 10

Ghostbusters Queue 1.jpg

Ghostbusters Station.jpg
Only references the original film. I like it.

If you told me my favorite dark ride at Motiongate would be Hotel Transylvania, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have bet the house on the Hunger Games or Ghostbusters dark rides. I am completely indifferent towards the Hotel Transylvania IP, but the ride uses a trackless ride system to perfection.

The initial scene of a mummy wiping his butt with rags didn’t inspire confidence. But the main showroom was a exceptional. Picture a long hallway with 8 or so open rooms. Each room has a unique show scene. While you don’t quite get to see everything on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt or Scooby Doo, you do get to visit each room on Hotel Transylvania.

The finale reverts back to your typical dark ride, but that isn’t an issue at all. The bulk of the ride is carried by the aforementioned sequence and the set design was strong throughout. It made me almost want to see all the films. Almost. 9 out of 10

Hotel Transylvania Castle.jpg
Would you believe this castle was taller than Disneyland's?

Hotel Transylvania Station.jpg
The UAE has an unhealthy fetish with trackless dark rides, but this one used the tech well.

Usually I prefer about any other drop tower to an S&S, but it would have been wildly inaccurate to go with anything else for a Zombieland themed drop tower. While the film uses the double shot at Wild Adventures, this is a full-fledged, almost 200 foot combo tower.

It’s also one of the stronger S&S towers. The launch offered decent airtime, but the drop surprised me. New England has two of the stronger S&S towers in Dragon’s Descent and Down Time, but this drop was more powerful than either. I’ll still take an Intamin or a Larson tower, but this was as good as an S&S tower can be (unless you put it on a mountain with a view of Niagara Falls). 8 out of 10

Zombieland Entrance.jpg
This is a *bit* taller than the Double Shot at Wild Adventures.

Zombieland Pre-Show.jpg
And it even had a creepy pre-show too.

Underworld 4D was a gory zombie film. I have no clue what the plot was due to constant jump cuts and incomprehensible audio, but it did have one of the most irking special effects I’ve ever seen. Every time a character loses blood, you’re squirted with water. And there’s a lot of blood! 3 out of 10

This 4D film is not Dan-friendly.

The final themed area was Smurf Village. It’s a cute area that was clearly designed with families in mind. Not surprisingly, it’s home to the park’s family coaster, Smurf Village Express.

The coaster is a step-up from your average roller skater. The first drop actually had some balls. We’re not talking grown man balls; we’re talking start of puberty balls. It had some whip to it. The rest of the ride is considerably tamer, but it does pass by all sorts of Smurf houses. 5 out of 10

Smurfs Village (Night).jpg
I'm blue da ba dee da ba daa

Smurf Village Express Drop.jpg
It's a roller skater on Smurf steroids.

The better ride (unless you’re a true credit whore) is the Smurfs Studio Tour. It’s yet another trackless dark ride. While this is one of the ones that didn’t need to be trackless, it was still an enjoyable ride. The plot is basic (the Smurfs want to make a movie), but sets were incredibly detailed. 8 out of 10

Smurfs Studio Tour Station.jpg
I'm going to accuse the Smurfs of bluewashing their films.

I finished the night with a marathon of Capitol Bullet Train. Mack launchers are one of the most reridable coaster types out there. Yes the coaster did make a loud rattle, but riders can barely feel the rattle if that makes sense.

Capitol Bullet Train Spike (Night).jpg
I think I finished the night with almost a dozen rides in the span of an hour.

Motiongate was probably my favorite park in Dubai. I’ll still take the two major parks in Abu Dhabi over it, but I really liked what Motiongate offered. It had some quality theming combined with a few good coasters and a strong collection of dark rides.

Entry Plaza 2.jpg

Entrance (Night).jpg
Roll credits.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:38 pm
by VinTheAttendant
Excellent report!

I completely agree on your assessment of Motiongate. Given the number of negative comments on many Motiongate related Youtube videos, I was pleasantly surprised at just how much fun the place was, especially the Dreamworks sections. I'm glad you included some night pictures since the park and Riverland are really gorgeous after sunset (same with Global Village).

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:16 pm
by Canobie Coaster

People aren't fans of Motiongate? I could see if they visited before the park was completed considering they opened it in phases.