This Spring break, we decided to check out the newly opened Dubai Parks and Resorts. As I was browsing their website, exploring the parks virtually and checking the ticket prices, I came across a hotel within the resort and decided to book a two night stay there (I’ll tell you in a bit why it made more sense to do that rather than a day visit.. keep reading).
We kept it as a surprise for the little ones but I couldn’t contain my own excitement and had to share it with my daughter (she is becoming by new best friend / shopping partner). And after the holiday, my kids declared it as “THE BEST HOLIDAY EVER!”
Dubai Parks and Resorts is about 40 minutes away from the Dubai International Aiport. It’s HUGE and currently comprises of one hotel (Lapita), a themed dining and retail area (River Land), 3 theme parks (Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland) and a water park (Legoland Water Park).
The ticket prices are different for each park and so are the opening and closing timings (depending on the season). There are options of getting an annual pass or a multi-park ticket too. You can check the details on their website.
So, let’s talk about what we explored in the 3 days/2 nights stay at Dubai Parks and Resorts. But before I tell you anything further..I must tell you,
It’s a MUST visit place and the first of its kind in the region!
and you’ll soon know why I say this.
LAPITA HOTEL DUBAI
There are a couple of reasons why we decided to stay at the resort. The obvious one was that Dubai Parks and Resorts is MASSIVE! There is NO way you can do all the parks in a day! And driving 40 minutes every day to do one park a day, didn’t make any sense for us.
The second reason was that with the hotel stay, you get FREE passes to ALL the parks (YES! you read that right!). A hotel room accommodated a maximum of 4 people, inclusive of breakfast and FREE park tickets for the 4 guests. Since we stayed two nights, we got FREE access to all the parks for 3 Days! (and this was a way better deal for us).
The hotel also has a lovely ‘Kids Club’ where you can leave your kids, if you want to go for some thrill rides in the park or to the spa to the get a foot massage after miles and miles of walking (btw I broke my own records on my Fitbit tracker! lol)
We booked our stay through the hotel’s Website.
Riverland is a beautiful dining, retail and entertainment destination and is FREE for all to visit, making it a must do in Dubai. The area is divided into various themed districts.
I fell in love with the French Village. I felt, I was transported to an old small French Village and would bump into Belle singing “Little town, it’s a quiet village…”. Other than the weather, you would not feel that you are in a desert land!
There was another district called India Gate, where we ended up trying out a very filmi cafe, which served desi street food with a Bollywood twist! Absolutely loved the decor, the Bollywood Movie Quiz table mats and the “Balam Pichkari” aka Pani Puri 🙂
Along with the lovely walk by the river, there were a variety of dining options like French bistros, Mc Donalds, Shake Shack, Indian/Pakistani Restaurants and even a Cheese Cake factory opening soon!
For more details about Riverland Dubai, check out their Website
Motiongate Dubai is a Hollywood-inspired theme park showcasing themed areas and attractions based on DreamWorks Animation, Sony’s Columbia Pictures, Lionsgate, and The Smurfs.
We spent almost 5 hours at the park and were only able to do two (Dream Works and the Smurf Village) out of the five zones below (and this is without any queues- it wasn’t busy at all at this time)
- Studio Central
- Dream Works Zone (includes rides from Shrek, Kungfu Panda, Madagascar & How to train your Dragon (not open yet!) )
- The Smurfs Village
- Columbia Pictures Zone (includes rides from Ghostbusters, Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls, The Green Hornet and Zombieland)
- Lionsgate Zone (not open yet!)
Let’s go over the zones, one by one…
Although we just walked past it and the kids didn’t let us explore this zone at all, the whole ambience transported us into old New York City.
You can go behind the scenes and discover the illusion of filmmaking, theatrical opening shows and the characteristic executive offices of a working movie studio. (Definitely on my to do list!)
THE DREAM WORKS ZONE
We spent most of our time here as it was all indoors (and it was very hot outside!) and also because we had 4 kids under 8 years with us (priorities when you become a parent! :)). Though some rides were still not functional as the DreamWorks Zone is in technical rehearsals, we still ended up spending about 4 hours here!As you enter this blue box, there is a massive and gorgeous “Fountain of Dreams” that welcomes you! There are 3 entrances from this point, each of which takes you into the world of that movie!
We stepped into Shrek’s swamp and that took us right into the movie. The kids enjoyed a few rides and got to meet Shrek and Fiona. (Not many rides are functional yet though)Then we went right into the mad circus of Madagascar with some ‘Melman Go Around’ and ‘Crazy Penguin Air’ rides. The kids also got to shake a leg with King Julien himself, along with Gloria and Alex! After all, who doesn’t like to move to “I like to Move it Move it!”.And last but not the least, the kids had a blast learning Kung Fu from none other than Dragon Warrior himself, under the guidance of Master Shifu. They also had a taste of Mr Ping’s noodles and dumplings, that Po cannot keep his hands off! (Again, not many rides were functional or were still under testing).Dreamworks zone was an absolute dream come true for the kids (and for me too- I won’t lie!)
THE SMURFS VILLAGE
The Smurfs Village was so adorable with cute cafes, play areas, fun rides and the cutest stroller parking sign! The kids met Brainy Smurf and Smurfette as well. Since the village was outdoor, and it was quite hot, we didn’t spend as much time as we would have liked to.
By the time we reached here, the kids were really tired and we never got the chance to go inside and explore this. This zone is supposed to have some action-packed attractions, including a family water ride, coasters and interactive shows where ghosts roam, zombies rule and meatballs fall from the sky (on my to do list for sure!)
For more details on Motiongate Dubai, check out their Website