Since last summer we’ve become spoilt for choice when it comes to family theme parks in the UAE. As mums, we know that along with the thrills and spills of a theme park, you can also count on queuing and inevitably some disappointment when one of your children realise that they are too short to go on certain rides!
We can’t remove the queues, but we can give you the low down on height matters to see how the “Big 4” in the UAE stack up, so it’s time to snap out that tape measure and see where your theme park money will get you the best bang for your buck!
Open since 2010 and holding several claims to fame (it was the world’s largest indoor theme park until IMG Worlds of Adventure opened) it’s also home to the world’s fastest roller coaster and highest roller coaster loop.
This is high-adrenaline stuff, undoubtedly more targeted at Ferrari lovers (and slightly older children) but over the years, several more rides have opened so more age groups can join in the fun. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, is it worth it? Absolutely yes! It’s a really fun day out.
Ferrari World Rides & Height Restrictions |
- Khalil’s Car Wash: Interactive play area from toddlers upwards
- Benno’s Great Race: Family ride, minimum 0.9m
- Bella Italia: Under 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult
- Speed of Magic: 1.0m to 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult
- Made in Maranello: Under 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult
- Junior Training area: Minimum 1m to enter; climbing area minimum 1.2m. Closed toe shoes required
- Junior GT: Minimum 1.0m to maximum 1.4m
- Junior Grand prix: Minimum 1.1m to maximum 1.5m
- Driving with the champion (simulator): Under 1.07m accompanied by an adult
- Tyre Twist: Minimum 1.05m. Under 1.20m must be accompanied by an adult
- Viaggio in Italia: 1.0m – 1.3m accompanied by an adult. 1.3m – 1.95m independent
- Scuderia Challenge: Minimum 1.3m to maximum 1.5m
- Fiorano GT Challenge: Minimum 1.3m to maximum 1.95m
- Flying Aces (world’s highest rollercoaster loop): Minimum 1.3m to maximum 1.96m
- Karting Academy: Minimum 1.5m to maximum 2.1m (closed toe shoe required)
- Formula Rossa (world’s fastest rollercoaster): Minimum 1.4m to maximum 1.95m. On top of all that, there’s a new driving experience called Turbo Track – opening 27th March 2017!
Shows (no height or age restrictions)
- Tyre Change Show
- Fast Lane
- RED show
- Cinema Maranello
Ferrari World Pricing
General admission: AED 275 (Silver AED 360; Gold AED 525)
Children under 1.3m: AED 230 (Silver AED 305; Gold AED 445)
Children under 3 years go free
(Silver adds a 20AED merchandise voucher + 3 fast passes; Gold adds a 30AED merchandise voucher, unlimited fast passes and priority seating).
Two-day park passes combined with Yas Water World also available.
2-4-1 available with Entertainer – Click here to buy with our discount
**Special Offers: ADCB Card holders can receive 15% off entry prices. From 1 March 2017 – 16 April 2017 teachers can get discounted entry at AED 95 for themselves and up to 3 friends**
11am – 8pm Daily. Parking is free
British Mums Verdict
If most of your party is under 1.3m, this might not be your best choice. For children above this looking for thrills and spills, this is perfect – with plenty of independent experiences and high-adrenaline action to keep them happy.
It can get busy on weekends where the fast-pass options might be worth it, but other times of the week and during school holidays you should be ok on a general admission ticket. Being attached to Yas Mall gives a huge range of additional dining prices for before and after your experience. Enjoy!
IMG Worlds of Adventure
Open since August 2016, this new indoor entertainment zone has become a popular choice for families and adult visitors alike. Partnering with Marvel and Cartoon Network, these characters can draw a crowd and they deliver on their promise of action, but there are many height restrictions in place that may not suit all of the younger crowd.
IMG Rides and Height Restrictions
- Hulk Epsilon Base 3D: Minimum 1.0m to maximum 1.95m
- Avengers Battle of Ultron: Minimum accompanied height 1.05m; Unaccompanied 1.3m; Maximum 2.08m
- Avengers Flight of the Quinjets: Minimum accompanied height 1.05m; Unaccompanied 1.3m
- Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge: Minimum accompanied height 1.05m; Unaccompanied 1.2m
- Thor Thunder Spin: Minimum 1.4m to maximum 1.95m
- Adventure Fortress (play area): Minimum accompanied height 0.95m; Unaccompanied 1.25m
- Dino Carousel: Minimum 1.05cm
- Forbidden Territory: Minimum accompanied height 1.05m; Unaccompanied 1.3m; Maximum 2.08m
- Predator: Minimum 1.25m
- The Velociraptor: Minimum 1.3m
- Lazy Town: Varying restrictions inside ranging from minimum 0.9m to some maximum 1.6m
- The Amazing Ride of Gumball: Minimum if unaccompanied 1.2m
- Ben 10 5D Hero Time: Minimum unaccompanied 1.3m
- Adventure Time The Ride of 000 with Finn & Jake: Minimum unaccompanied 1.3m
- The Powder Puff Girls: Minimum if accompanied by an adult 1.25m; Unaccompanied 1.35m
- Haunted House: Restricted to guests over 15 years old
Park admission for UAE resident: AED 195
Junior admission for UAE resident (under 1.2m in height): AED 175
Park admission for non-UAE resident: AED 245
Junior admission for non-UAE resident (under 1.2m in height): AED 225
Children (under 1.05m in height): Free
Senior Citizens (over age of 60): AED 150
Guests with Disabilities:
Above 1.2m in height: AED 150
Under 1.2m in height: AED 100
Annual Pass AED 1295
Add fastpass to above prices of AED 195 per person
Daily 11am to 9pm (10pm Thursday – Saturday); Free parking on site. Situated on the E311 near to Global Village & Arabian Ranches
British Mums Verdict
Ticket pricing does have some flex on height (which is helpful given the choices are pretty restricted to only play areas under 1.05m). If you’re in a group with a lot of mixed heights, you could have a few problems on your hands if there aren’t enough adults to go round. Best age group is for 8 years plus right through to adults.
Is it worth it? Yes! Our mum’s report this as best of the bunch for entertainment and value for money (especially with the UAE resident’s discount in place). On an ordinary day you shouldn’t need the fast-pass option, but do watch out for public holidays and special events where queuing has been reported as quite painful!
The new Dubai Parks & Resorts theme park opened in October 2016, and it would be fair to say things got off to a slow start. Rides are now mostly in full swing and with a combined indoor and outdoor theme park, there are various rides – mostly them being of basic motion rather than the thrilling end of the scale! Interactive activities are the real focus here and they’re aimed at a more junior audience.
Legoland Rides and Height Restrictions
No height restrictions on:
- Ninjago puppet show
- Lego 4D Movie
- Character appearances
- Lego Play Experiences: Build & Test, Lego Friends Clubhouse, Lego Master Builders Academy, Secret Chamber of Amset-Ra, Build a City Miniland
- Duplo Valley (Though the Duplo Valley Express train has an 0.8m minimum)
- Lego Factory
Rides you must be over 95cm
- Junior driving school
- City Airport
- Rescue Academy
- Lost Kingdom Adventure
Rides you must be over 105cm
- Lego Technic Twister
- Dragon’s Apprentice
- Merlin’s Challenge
- Merlin’s Flying Machines
Rides you must be over 110cm
- Kid Power Towers
- Rescue Academy
Rides you must be over 120cm
- Wave Racers
- The Dragon
Day pass AED 295. Combined with Legoland Dubai Water Park One Day ticket, it’s AED 395
The Legoland Dubai Annual Pass is AED 765 or AED 995 for a combined ticket
** Special Offers! Tickets are reduced to AED 210 during March 2017 for Residents. Up to 5 tickets can be purchased with valid Emirate’s ID card. T&C’s here and Annual passes for Legoland Dubai will include Legoland Water Park FREE when purchased before 31 March 2017. T&C’s here. **
10am- 6pm Daily. Parking for Dubai Parks & Resorts is charged at a pretty steep AED 50 per day, with valet options (waived for annual pass holders). On the E11 Jebel Ali, just before the Abu Dhabi border.
British Mums Verdict
Although they say it’s suited to 2 to 12 years old, we’d narrow this down further to say that the 3 to 8-year-old age group will most likely get the best benefit and value. There’s undoubtedly scope beyond this and the littlest tots will probably get more enjoyment here than any of the other three we’re covering, but with most rides starting from 95cms, that still rules out a lot of the under 3 crowd. Sadly, older children will most likely find the rides not thrilling enough.
This is the UAE’s take on Hollywood with characters from the likes of Ghost Busters through to Dreamworks favourites Kung Fu Panda and the gang from Shrek. Not all stages of this park are completed but there’s already a pretty good line up of shows and attractions to suit a wide varying age group.
Rides and Height Restrictions
- Under World: No restrictions
- Backlot Beat (show): No restrictions
- Ghost Busters Block Party: No restrictions
- Flint’s Imagination Lab (play area): Any height with supervision
- Hotel Transylvania: Minimum 0.9m
- Ghost Busters Battle for New York: Minimum 0.92m
- The Green Hornet (High Speed Chase): Minimum 1.05m
- Cloudy with a chance of meatballs river expedition: Minimum 1.05m
- Zombieland BlastOff: Minimum 1.32m
- Smurfberry Factory: Play area any height with adult supervision
- Woodland Play Park: Play are any height accompanied by an adult
- Smurfs Village Play House. Several small rides any height accompanied by an adult
- Smurfs Studios Tours: Minimum 0.92m
- Smurf Village Express: Minimum 1.0m
- Kung Fu Panda Academy: No restrictions
- King Julien’s Side Show Stomp: No restrictions
- Operation Penguin Shake: No restrictions
- Fountain of Dreams: Family rides
- Mr Pings Noodle Fling: Minimum 0.9m
- Melman-Go-Round: Variety of kids rides for 0.95m or taller
- Penguin Air: Minimum 1.05m
- Kung Fu Panda Unstoppable Awesomeness: Minimum 1.05m
- Swamp Celebration: Minimum 1.05m
- Madagascar Mad Pursuit: Minimum 1.25m
And soon to be open in 2017
- The Swinging Viking: Family rides minimum 1.2m
- Camp Viking: Family rides with adult supervision
- Dragon Gliders: Roller coaster minimum 1.0m
- Shrek’s Merry Fairy Tale Journey: Family rides minimum 0.92m
Lionsgate – Phase 2 opening – proposed rides and restrictions
- Panem Aerial Tour: Minimum 1.0m
- Capitol Bullet Train: Minimum 1.3m
A Day Pass is AED 250
Child (3-11 years) / Senior (60 years+) AED 215
An Annual Pass is AED 865. Other combined ticket options with Dubai Parks & resorts available
** Special Offers: During March they are also running the UAE Residents discount offer with tickets reduced to AED 210 and free parking with valid Emirates ID. Tickets must be purchased on line. Full T&C’s here**
Daily from 11am to 8pm. Parking at Dubai Parks & Resorts AED 50 (but see special offer) – on the E11 Jebel Ali before the Abu Dhabi border
British Mums Verdict
If you have a really mixed age group, this might be your best choice with a wide variety of options that have no age restrictions for the very young children, but equally some moderately thrilling rides for the slightly older ones. At present, some mums are reporting that there aren’t quite enough rides open yet to make this a value for money proposition, but we await the opening of further stages of this theme park.
Has your family been to any of these latest theme park attractions? Do you have a firm favourite yet that you would recommend and who would it suit?