Just Youtube commenters being Youtube commenters I suppose. I'm sure a majority of them had never even been to the park. It's just refreshing hearing positive takes on the park since it does deserve it.
"Lazer Snake Horse On Fire looks too intense for me"
Back in 2002, Dubai was probably an afterthought to coaster enthusiasts. You had no Ferrari Land, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Motiongate, etc. The Burj Khalifa wasn’t even a thing yet. But you did have Adventureland.
Located in one of the UAE’s many gigantic malls, Adventureland is located adjacent to the Sahara Centre’s food court. The mall is actually located on the border of Dubai and Sharjah. For those using taxis and staying in Dubai, make sure you board a Dubai taxi unless you like paying twice as much for things.
Adventureland is small, but it’s lively. Whereas many indoor parks have that one coaster that gives an aerial tour (Nickelodeon Streak, Autosled, etc), all of Adventureland’s coasters wind throughout the park. It’s quite the sight looking up and seeing red, yellow, and green coaster track in every direction.
My first stop was Rocket Cycles, the Zamperla motorbike coaster. The park was decently busy, but the station was dead. It was an ominous sight. I expected to be turned away, but it was actually open. I took two rides on the coaster and I think that’s the only time it ran in the 1.5 hours I spent at Adventureland. It was very odd considering it’s the park’s star attraction.
The coaster shimmies quite a bit and outside of the first drop, which has some funky laterals considering you’re on a motorbike coaster, it’s not overly thrilling. But it’s the visuals that make this ride. I got a pseudo-Tron vibe since you fly over a bright and colorful arcade. Plus you get two laps. 6 out of 10
I'm not kidding. No one else rode Rocket Cycles.
The park’s two original coasters (both powered) actually share the same station. Kukulcan is what the park deems as the “fast train”. I’d hardly call it fast. In fact it was pretty tame until the second to last helix. Because of how ridiculously compact it is, you get some surprisingly strong laterals.
But like Rocket Cycles, it’s all about the visuals. Not only do you pass over the entirety of the park, but you also pass some random theming. How random? The two characters I recall are a giant monkey and a dude parachuting. You also get two laps. That was a theme on all the park’s coasters. 6 out of 10
At one point this was called Quantum Leap.
You wind all throughout Adventureland.
Kukulcan had a really nice helix towards the end.
Right below Kukulcan was Forest Train, aka the “slow train”. Now this one lived up to its name. For 90% of the ride, the top speed couldn’t have been more than 10-15 mph. However, there is a long, gradual s-curve at the end where the coaster builds up speed and supplies modest laterals.
One distinguishing feature about Forest Train is that it temporarily leaves the park’s borders. While all the other coasters are contained inside Adventureland, Forest Train has a fly by the food court. 5 out of 10
At one point this was called Adventure Train.
Forest Train travels throughout Adventureland.
And a bit into the mall as well.
Going into Adventureland, I thought they only had three coasters. I also heard they had an awesome go-kart track. And if you looked at their park map, there should have been a go-kart track smack dab in the middle of the park. But it was nowhere to be found.
The map was a bit outdated.
Instead there was a ropes course complete with a zipline coaster much like Warner Bros. World. Falcon Flight was considerably shorter than the one at Warner Bros and stayed elevated for the duration of the course, but it had one major advantage. I was allowed to get a running start.
At Warner Bros. World, the operators gently push you out of the station. On this one, they said I could run and jump “if I was brave enough.” Challenge accepted. I was a 7 letter varsity athlete* in high school so I did a 5 meter dash and a long jump. The result was wild.
I got some Eagles Fortress level swinging on the first turn. I swung well beyond 90 degrees, which was very unnerving in a zipline. Eventually my harness started spinning around like a tea cup. The ride couldn’t have been more than 15-20 seconds in length, but it was the highlight of the park. 7 out of 10
* Chess and math were counted as varsity sports at my high school.
That is one happy monkey.
For such a small park, it was impressive that Adventureland included up to 4 coasters (or 1 if you don’t count powered or zipline coasters). I also really liked the atmosphere in the park. The park has a light jungle theme to it from the figures and trees scattered throughout the park.
It's also interesting how the entire park was rethemed at some point. If you look at the old photos in the park index, the entire park looked radically different.
Unfortunately they do not offer an unlimited wristband, but most enthusiasts probably only need an hour here. Outside of the coasters, the park just has a few flats, the aforementioned ropes course, and several modern arcade games.
I think the park got a pretty good deal from Zamperla.
That's an odd name for a carousel.
I didn’t spend too much time in the Sahara Centre, but they did have one noteworthy store. As a foreigner, you think I’d be more interested in something more unique and local. But my inner child was ecstatic to see a Toys R Us! It wasn’t a particularly big location, but I’m glad to see Geoffrey still alive somewhere.
Well it was open until the mall closed for the night.
Adventureland wasn’t my only attempted credit stop of the night. But it was my only successful one. Scattered throughout Dubai are several small, indoor FEC’s called Sparky’s. It goes without saying these weren’t my primary goal in Dubai. But the location in northern Dubai had an intriguing spinning coaster.
Located at the Al Ghurair Centre, it was a pain to find Sparky’s. There was barely any signage for it. That should have been a sign, no pun intended. Eventually I found Sparky’s. The door was wide open, but something was wrong. The facility was in total darkness.
Further there was a little 8 X 11 sign saying “Closed” taped to the ride closest to the main entrance. I have no clue if this particular Sparky’s is permanently closed, temporarily closed, or just closed early. But the whole situation seemed odd.
I feel like there'd be a gate if I was in America.
One of the most famous water slides in the world is the Leap of Faith slide at the Atlantis Resort. Chances are you’ve seen this slide on some YouTube video, Travel Channel show, or the Amazing Race. This slide has been on my bucket list for quite some time. And I was able to tick that item off in Dubai.
I believe the Bahamas location is the more famous of the two considering it’s the original. While I haven’t been to that location, I was blown away by Dubai’s Aquaventure. After a decade plus reign, Blizzard Beach has finally been dethroned. This is the best water park I have ever visited.
Fortunately you did not have to be a hotel guest to visit the water park.
For one, the park is gorgeous. I think the only water park that can compete is actually right down the road in Wild Wadi. If you aren’t looking at the iconic Tower of Neptune, chances are you are looking at flowers or palm trees. Everything about this park is picturesque.
Without hesitation, my first stop was Leap of Faith. There are definitely taller and steeper body slides out there, but very few have the presentation of Leap of Faith. The pyramid looks amazing and you drop into a shark tank. You travel a bit too fast to actually notice the sharks on-ride, but it still sounds cool.
The slide itself was quite the thrill. The initial descent had that terrifying moment when you feel yourself life off the slide. That’s the sensation I crave on speed slides. The slide was perfectly smooth, but I was surprised to be dumped into a pool. Usually these speed slides have a runoff trough. 9 out of 10
Few water slides are as picturesque as Leap of Faith.
I was able to appreciate the sharks on Shark Attack though. This tube slide begins as your everyday tube slide. This one is in total darkness and has two solid drops, so it’s good on its own. But it’s the finale that deserves the most attention.
Water slides that pass through aquariums are quite the visual off-ride, but it often doesn’t translate to the on-ride experience. See Leap of Faith or Aquatica’s Dolphin Plunge. But it worked on Shark Attack. Why? They slow you down. The splashdown occurs just before you enter the shark tank, so it feels more like a lazy river at this point. It was much appreciated because the visuals were stunning. 8 out of 10
I'm glad you don't travel very fast through the aquarium since the visuals were incredible.
The rest of the Tower of Neptune is filled with water coasters. But these are no ordinary master blasters. No, these ones allow single tubes. I underestimated just how awesome that would be. Without fail, my tube would start spinning when blasted by the water jets.
The three water coasters on the Tower of Neptune were Stinger, Falls, and Plunge. The three slides were comparable. All three started with very steep plunges and were really short. While they’re among the weaker water coasters I’ve ridden, they still beat 90% of water slides out there. 7 out of 10
I think the park had four different master blaster slides.
The water coaster that did not disappoint was Storm. However, I almost missed it due to its location. While all the other water coasters load on the Tower of Neptune, you board Storm at ground level. This in itself isn’t an issue. However, the queue is just asinine.
Even though the slide takes place on and around the Tower of Neptune, the queue starts on the complete opposite end of the park. You then need to walk back towards the tower through shin-deep water. I wasn’t expecting to get such a leg workout, but it was worth it for Storm.
I was ever so grateful for the conveyor belt lift since it let my feet rest. But once I crested the lift, the slide went berserk. Most water coasters are formulaic- drop, uphill, turn, drop, uphill, turn, etc. Storm has four straight drops immediately followed by uphill segments. It was a chaotic sequence where I was getting quick pops of air, spinning uncontrollably, and being blasted by torrents of water.
The ride seemingly ended on the Tower of Neptune in a lazy river. That seemed odd. But Storm is a two part slide! After a quick intermission, you float into the second slide. The second half is your average tube slide, but this was just gravy after that epic first half. 9 out of 10
Getting airtime on a water slide is freaky enough. Getting that airtime while spinning like a top is extra freaky. Storm did exactly that.
All of the master blasters dump you off in lazy rivers. That in itself is neat. But Aquaventure has multiple different lazy rivers. You have your garden variety one or you can choose the two wilder ones in the River Rapids or Torrent.
If you could ride a single tube through a river rapids ride at a theme park, that’s exactly what you get with River Rapids. Torrent was a bit more interesting. Every 10-15 seconds, a massive wave would roll down the river and give you a turbo boost. It was like catching a wave while boogie boarding.
I'd ride lazy rivers more often if they were all like this.
Across the park was the Tower of Poseidon. The best of the bunch was Poseidon’s Revenge. Having one awesome speed slide wasn’t enough, so Aquaventure built an AquaLoop.
This one wasn’t as tall as the one at the West Edmonton Mall, but the drop was just as thrilling. As with Leap of Faith, I felt myself come off the slide momentarily. That was followed by a speedy inclined loop. If only the one at Six Flags New England was like this and not that Splashtacular garbage. 9 out of 10
I believe Tower of Poseidon houses the newer slides.
The other body slide was considerably less thrilling. Slitherine was odd. Most water slides are either fast or slow throughout. Sliterhine would go decently fast, but then I got stuck at 2-3 different points on the slide. For those who are claustrophobic, this would have probably been your nightmare. 4 out of 10
The tower also included two tube slides. The better of the two was Zoomerango. It was a jumbo halfpipe slide. As with most slides of this type, the big drop offered some nice airtime and the halfpipe gave a momentary feeling of weightlessness. 8 out of 10
Aquaconda was the more unique of the two. It wasn’t thrilling, but it was a visual spectacle. The slide dumps you off in this giant U-shaped bowl. Picture one of those bowls at a skate park. We didn’t slide too far up the wall, but I felt like Wayne Szalinski’s kids in there. 6 out of 10
Aquaventure excels in every area- slides, atmosphere, landscaping, customer service. The only thing that could be improved is Storm’s queue set-up. Aquaventure has raised the bar for water parks. If you’re a water park fan, Aquaventure needs to be a top priority on a visit to Dubai.
Most people consider a sunny 90 degree day to be perfect water park weather. Just look at the crowds. For me, my ideal water park weather is windy, cool, and rainy. There may be some teeth-chattering, but I much prefer that over a sizable queue.
Since it was Dubai, there was no rain. But it was in the upper 60s and very windy. And since that’s especially cold for Dubai, I basically had water park ERT at Wild Wadi. It was the smallest of the UAE water parks that I visited, but it was absolutely gorgeous.
The Dubai parks really know how to make an impressive entrance.
Jumeirah Sceirah is probably the park’s most famous water slide. I believe it was on the Amazing Race at one point and it’s the tallest water slide in the Eastern Hemisphere. It’s over 100 feet tall! And on such a windy day, it was extra terrifying feeling the entire structure swaying.
Jumeirah Sceirah was fast, but it didn’t use its height to its fullest potential. The initial drop pod descent was a rush as always, but the subsequent course was mostly flat with only 1-2 other gradual drops. It reminded me of Pirate's Plunge back at Cape Cod's Water Wizz, just with more hype. 7 out of 10
The straight sections would make Ride of Steel jealous.
But the stars of Wild Wadi are the master blaster slides, White Water Wadi and Flood River Flyer. I mentioned this in my Aquaventure TR, but riding a master blaster slide in a single rider tube is chaotic. The uphill segments often have your tube spinning like a tea cup.
One of the biggest gripes with water slides is length. Most are well under 30 seconds. This is not an issue with Wild Wadi’s master blasters. The entire experience is almost 10 minutes in length! I didn’t count, but I’d estimate that each slide has 6-8 segments. Between each segment, you land in a splash pool. From there, you can either continue down the main path or break off into a tube slide back to ground level.
These master blasters don’t focus on airtime like their US counterparts, but they’re still quite thrilling. It’s chaotic with all the spinning and rapid transitions. You truly feel like you’ve gone on a wild, white water rafting adventure. Of the two, I found White Water Wadi to be a bit more intense, but they are pretty comparable. 9 out of 10
I felt like I went on a cross-country journey with how long these master blasters were.
One downside to visiting on a quiet day is that it’s a royal pain to find enough riders to do slides using cloverleaf tubes. Wild Wadi had two such slides, Burj Surj and Tantrum Alley. After a bit of waiting, I found some groups with whom I could tag along.
I’ve ridden some of the single tube slides with the mini funnels, but Tantrum Alley was my first time experiencing one in such a huge raft. The compact funnels were quite disorienting and the first even had a strong moment of air like its larger brethren. 8 out of 10
Burj Surj was a bowl slide that fails at being a bowl slide. With such a heavy tube, the bowl was the worst part. It felt like we hit the brakes immediately after entering the bowl. On the bright side, the rest of the slide had some great swinging up the trough. 6 out of 10
You know you're a coaster enthusiast when that hotel makes you think of Gold Striker's first drop.
Water parks in the UAE are an embarrassment of riches. Wild Wadi was the worst of the three water parks that I visited in the UAE, but still a top five water park in the world. The amazing landscaping and unique mix of attractions make it stand out.
Canobie Coaster wrote:Most people consider a sunny 90 degree day to be perfect water park weather. Just look at the crowds. For me, my ideal water park weather is windy, cool, and rainy. There may be some teeth-chattering, but I much prefer that over a sizable queue.
We have a word for those kind of people down in Florida. Masochist.
Nice report as per usual! That Master Blaster looks stupid good.
Lots of great stuff in these last couple reports! Love to see new parks and it is awesome how frequently you get around to see them. I would love to visit some more water parks. Honestly, I have been to Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Waldameer's, Delgrosso's, SFA, and a couple indoor ones.
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