Despite the headline, ‘fast’ is an understatement when it comes to describing the experience that this theme park has to offer.
While most Pakistani tourists visiting UAE do not go further than Dubai, due to all its assorted attractions, Ferrari World located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi may well be one of the most thrilling and enchanting tourist points in the UAE. Officially opened to the public in November 2010, it claims to be the largest indoor theme park in the world. Any Ferrari fanatic, sport lover, racing enthusiast or even someone who may be on the lookout for intense thrill and an immersive adventure is missing out on a lot if s/he is not heading to Ferrari World.
The theme park boasts a couple of dozen rides, simulations, theatres, shows, cinemas, races and games that are informative and exciting at the same time. Despite the thrill and adventure the rides are safe for children, though all the attractions have different and specific set of rules and pre-requisites like height restrictions where short height might be a disadvantage or way too big a waist line may cause issues with the seat space or belts. Every visitor is provided with a park map with a brief description of what to expect from every ride. The park is a complete package that provides experience and culture, along with a lot of information about the making and history of Ferrari cars.
One of the most famous rides is Formula Rossa which accelerates up to 240km/hr in less than five seconds giving the riders a true, heart throbbing Formula 1 experience. It is claimed to be the World’s fastest roller coaster that completes its trek of around 2.2km in less than a minute. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart as they might feel dizzy and may even throw up if they are not up for it.
Adrenaline rush, breathtaking rides, fear and fun … that’s what Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World has in store for you
Another star attraction is the ‘Fiorano GT Challenge’ where two roller coasters compete with each other to the finish line. It reaches a maximum speed of 95km/hr on twisting, parallel tracks. Each coaster is a replica of a Ferrari F430 Spider.
A must have is the ‘Viaggio in Italia’ where the rider journeys through the beautiful Italian landscape. Your seat rises into the dome projection and you feel as if you are flying over Italian mountains and villages, cities and forests immersed in the culture, mountains breeze and aromas, sprinkling rain and snow.
‘Karting Academy’ lets you test your racing skills on a 290m-track against other visitors making it a fun-filled activity. One needs to reserve the slot for Karting Academy beforehand as is the case with ‘Fast Lane: The Interactive Game Show’ and ‘Scuderia Challenge’. In ‘Speed of Magic’, a sophisticated 4-D simulator, the rider enters a fantasy dreamscape while driving in search of and alongside a mischievous character, Nello, making the experience as real and extreme as imaginable.
Want to take a break from the rides? Visit the ‘Galleria Ferrari’ where Ferraris of different types and from different time periods are all showcased, communicating the to-date continued love story of Enzo Ferrari. You can even meet visionaries, drivers, engineers and artists themselves and listen to their insight on the Ferrari story.
There are some exclusive activities available for the children too, such as ‘Khalil’s Car Wash’, an interactive play area where kids can enjoy cars ranging from remote control cars to pedal cars, and special toddler’s area. There are dedicated cinemas playing renowned animated movies and Ferrari relevant short documentaries.
Want to know what goes into the making of a Ferrari? Go to the ‘Made in Maranello’ where the visitor while seated takes a virtual tour to see what happens while the craftsman at Ferrari puts together the world’s most prestigious car. The tour includes every step of making from scratch to the end product — early design, assembly, testing, painting and all.
One may witness picturesque walls showcasing trophies and renowned Ferrari Formula 1 drivers over the years. Souvenir shops and photography areas with a Ferrari touch and racing track backgrounds along with dine-in areas are readily accessible.
The basic ticket of AED250 is really worth it; if you find the price of the three-hour entertainment a bit steep you would end up realising that it is money well spent. It would be better if one reaches there early because the crowd grows as the day progresses. To avoid disappointment and waste of time, it is advised that you study the map and register for all the rides that need registration at the very beginning. You can go through and arrange all the other breathtaking rides around them.
The park is open throughout the week from 11am to 8pm in the evening. Tickets can be booked online as well. For those on budget, there is also an option of upgrading your ticket and availing different discounted deals while also getting an entry into the adjacent YAS Waterworld.
The only disappointing aspect is that at most of the rides it is almost impossible to take a photograph, let alone a selfie. This is because due to the speed the riders are likely to be shouting, shrieking, praying or even cursing on top of their voices with clenched fists or grasping to whatever support one is recommended to hold on to while on the specific ride. Along with many authorised people roaming around, in-built cameras are taking pictures at specific points of the rides which are available for sale at different designated points in the park. After almost each ride, the workers there help you out of the ride, return your things and help you get back to reality with a smile. Sometimes, you might even feel that they are smiling at your helpless span on the ride, but well that’s not the case.
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, June 21st, 2015
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