There was little doubt where my first full day the UAE would be- Ferrari World. That was because of the Intamins. Formula Rossa and Flying Aces looked awesome. But more so, I was terrified two cable-bearing Intamins in the desert could break at any moment. Maximizing my chance to ride them was a priority.
I stayed at the Crowne Plaza and reaching the park was a cinch thanks to the Yas Express. It’s actually a free service for anyone on Yas Island, hotel guest or not. Going in, I had no idea Ferrari World was located in the Yas Mall (Yas Mall TR
). It was an unfair cheat code to make it my new favorite shopping mall.
After a little entry show with a Ferrari and a camel, I made a beeline for Formula Rossa. In fact, that’s where most guests went. Having the MC of the entry show plant the seed they could ride the world’s fastest roller coaster probably played a large role there.
Before getting to the ride, I want to say that I loved Formula Rossa’s procedure for loose articles. Just before being assigned a row, they have a counter where you place all your items in a numbered bin and receive a corresponding wristband. It was fast, free, and monitored at all times.
There was little doubt ride one would be up front. They have an assigned queue for the front and it typically was an extra 3-4 cycles in length. After donning a pair of mandatory goggles, which comfortably fit over my regular glasses I might add, I was rolling out of the station on the second train of the day.
The launch took my breath away, just not in the way I expected. While most launches wow me with the initial acceleration, Formula Rossa did things differently. The initial kick is strong, don’t get me wrong. But Formula Rossa goes into overdrive halfway through the launch. You feel all 149 mph for sure.
The subsequent hill is trimmed, but much like the post-launch hill on Maverick, you still have more than enough speed to produce some wonderful sustained floater air. Besides, you get trimmed about to the speed of Millennium Force. That’s still ludicrously fast.
The elements are drawn out, again much like Millennium Force. The key is that you lose minimal speed traversing them. While you won’t grey out, your cheeks will be flapping in the wind. Plus there’s airtime on every hill. It’s of the floater variety with the exception of one bunny hill with some nice ejector.
Formula Rossa basically takes Top Thrill Dragster’s launch and splices it onto Millennium Force. If you love speed, Formula Rossa is for you. It’s exhilarating in every seat, but like most launch coasters, Formula Rossa needs to be experienced in the front row. 9.5 out of 10
I also want to note the ride’s uptime. With Dragster, it always seems to break down on me. Meanwhile I only saw Formula Rossa briefly go down once over the course of two days. But they also weren’t cycling trains like Cedar Point. Formula Rossa only had one train with less than stellar dispatches.
Speaking of purchases, I originally wanted to buy a Formula Rossa t-shirt. But it cost a whopping $60! Clearly I was paying for the Ferrari brand. And as I discovered, this couldn’t be truer. Any souvenir with a Ferrari logo on it (no matter how small) cost way more than everything else.
Meanwhile Quick Pass was a very reasonable $40 and I found some coaster magnets for about $5-10 featuring the coaster’s logo, not the Ferrari logo. Just something to keep in mind if you’re into souvenirs.
Flying Aces really intrigued me. However, all I knew going in was that it had an insanely well-themed queue. It’s baffling that’s all I knew about an Intamin mega coaster that looked like Skyrush’s brother, but that queue was really awesome. It was like walking through an army barrack.
However, the only way you’ll see it now is if you visit for yourself. Unfortunately Flying Aces doesn’t allow any loose articles even in the queue line. Whereas Formula Rossa takes your loose articles just before the station, Flying Aces has free fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo adjacent to the entrance.
At first sight, the trains looked identical to Skyrush. They were so gloriously open. But upon riding, I did notice a subtle difference on the restraints. While Skyrush’s restraints have a rectangular strip that contacts your leg, the restraints here were more contoured on the underside.
I loved Flying Aces, but it wasn’t quite the coaster I expected. I went in expecting sustained ejector air like Skyrush. But outside of the first drop and one small speed hill, you don’t really get that. Some of the rapid directional changes induce pops like I305 and the larger hills felt like the camelbacks on a B&M.
Where Flying Aces excelled was the lateral department. You know that Stengel Dive on Skyrush that feels like it’s going to flip you over the train? Flying Aces does that at least 3-4 times, including on that huge non-inverting loop. Oh and it also has a zero-G roll with some awesome hangtime.
After 9 or so rides, I can unequivocally say that Flying Aces is a backseat coaster. My front seat ride was fun, but I thought I was going to die at several points in the back row. And again it’s not because of the airtime. It’s because of how crazy some of those transitions are on the wing seats. 9.5 out of 10
There’s also a third Intamin in Turbo Track. It’s much simpler than the other two, but still quite fun. Like Flying Aces, it too has a cool queue line but you need to put everything in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo before you enter it. The ride has a sliding station a la Mr. Freeze, but it was only running one train the day I visited.
One of the most fascinating things about Copperhead Strike is the launched airtime hill. Little did I realize that Turbo Track did the same thing. The acceleration doesn’t really pick up until the apex of the hump, so it doesn’t offer any air up front. But in the back, you get a nice freefall sensation on the way down.
Another neat thing about Turbo Track is that you can ride either forwards or backwards. Of the two, I preferred going backwards for the neat view of the park’s colossal dome. In many ways, Turbo Track felt like a smaller version of SFMM’s Superman. 7 out of 10
The last coaster (well technically 2 coasters for all you credit whores out there) is the racing Fiorano GT Challenge. And for this one, I think Maurer took inspiration from Disneyland’s infamous Rocket Rods.
Exhibit A- None of the turns are banked. Even immediately after a launch. This results in some very strong laterals.
Exhibit B- Shortly after accelerating, you slow down only to accelerate yet again. I think this ride had a total of 4-5 launches.
Despite these two oddities, it is an enjoyable coaster. And I’m sorry, but the park claims this coaster hits 59 mph. That’s absolute poppycock. Maybe they’re doing the Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster tactic and adding both launches together. 30 mph feels closer to the ride’s top speed. 7 out of 10
There was also the new for 2015 new for 2016 new for 2017 new for 2018
new for 2019 Mission Ferrari. Who ever would have thought that mall in NJ may open before this?
Ferrari World also has a large collection of dark rides and of course they’re all themed to cars. There’s no better example of that then Made in Maranello. It’s an educational tour how to make a Ferrari. If you’re a car fan, you’ll need a box of Kleenex for this one. 7 out of 10
The most screwed up one was Speed of Magic. A kid loses a video game to this creepy character that’s best described as a helium voiced Maz from Star Wars. To cheer him up, the kid’s dad gives him the keys to a Ferrari. Maz then escapes the TV screen, steals the keys, and lures the kid into a magical portal challenging him to a duel.
I swear I am not on acid.
The creators of this ride may have though.
The ride uses the same ride system as Spiderman. While the movement was well executed, the 3D didn’t add anything. It was just there. The physical sets were in the same boat. That being said, the ride is both literally and figuratively a joyride. 8 out of 10
Benno’s Great Race had the potential to be the park’s best dark ride. It’s a unique take on a shooting dark ride. The ride had trackless vehicles and beautiful physical sets, but the key are the screens. Riders are given magical wrenches that let you complete a series of tasks.
It’s a neat concept, but I wish the ride did one of two things. I wish it either told riders how the mechanics of each mini game worked prior to playing or gave riders more time at each game. By the time I figured out how to play some of the games, they were almost done. As a result, this one had a forced reridability aspect to it. 8.5 out of 10
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.
When I went to PortAventura’s Ferrari Land, they had two similar simulators. While enjoyable, each one had 4-5 different pre-shows and staging areas so it took almost 45 minutes to experience either attraction. The fact another Ferrari themed park had two similar rides also housed back-to-back gave me pause.
Like I said, it could have been a stupid reason. If anyone else has been there and can confirm if it shares Ferrari Land’s queue line from hell, I’d be interested in knowing. But I have no regrets getting extra rides on the Intamins.
It also wouldn’t be a Ferrari Park without some car rides. Most of them were upcharges- go karts, driving simulators, VR driving simulators, driving an actual Ferrari at 30 mph through the streets of Abu Dhabi. The one car ride I tried was the Scuderia Challenge. I think I rolled my vehicle over at least 2-3 times. It was just too tempting to floor it through the tight turns.
Food was on the pricier side, but I did get a delicious wood-fired pizza. Outside of Via Napoli, this is probably the best theme park pizza I’ve had. Yes you read that right and no I did not forget about Knoebels.
Ferrari World was a great park. It doesn’t have much in terms of flat rides (actually I think the park’s lone flat ride was down for rehab when I visited), but it does boast a unique coaster collection and several dark rides. Formula Ross and Flying Aces were two big reasons for my trip to Dubai and they did not disappoint.
Plus it has a distinct theme and carries it through the park. Most parks have themed lands. Ferrari World maintains the whole Italian car theme from the moment you enter the gate. That’s one of the most commendable aspects of the park if you ask me.