I had a long layover in Dubai this week and used it for trip to the brand new Motiongate Dubai theme park. Featuring an entire DreamWorks land, plus a Ghostbusters ride, and Hunger Games land on the way, I definitely wanted to check it out.
There were only 380 guests in the entire park according to guest services (it felt like less). I didn’t wait for a single ride. Seriously, I didn’t have to wait even one time.
Each of the lands in this park is a different movie studio. The first I was visited was Columbia Pictures. It includes rides based on The Green Hornet, Ghostbusters, Hotel Transylvania, and Underworld.
First up was The Green Hornet ride. It was a fun medium roller coaster. It most closely compares to Goofy’s Sky School at Disneyland. It was a nice ride but nothing to write home about.
A cross between Men in Black Alien Attack at Universal and Toy Story Midway Mania, Ghostbusters is a first-person shooter. I sort of think if you’ve done one of those rides, you’ve done them all. So, I actually had more fun in the queue, which was really well-themed.
Once again, I was the only one in my car, but at least I got the high score!
Loosely based on the move Zombieland, there was blood splatter throughout the queue. Although the queue wasn’t grotesque, I think it’s really only a ride for teenagers. The ride itself is the same as Dr. Doom at Universal Orlando, shooting straight up on the air.
This was a beautifully themed slow ride, criss-crossing across the hotel lobby. It was one of my favorite rides in the park, even though it’s really geared toward kids.
Holy crap! This attraction was terrifying. Imagine Mickey’s Philharmagic using the 4D elements to simulate blood splatter. Yeah, it was disturbing.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: River Expedition
It was a pretty standard ride like those you’d find in most theme parks. Elements of the movie where present throughout the ride, but I wouldn’t call it immersive.
A small land with a few attractions including the Woodland Play Park pictured above. This play structure plus a small roller coaster form the majority of this land geared toward pre-school and early elementary aged kids.
This land has four immersive smaller lands within it. Each land was themed like you were walking into a scene from the movie and included 2-3 attractions. I felt like I walked into the Isle of Berk from How to Train Your Dragon. It was that same immersive experience for Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, and Madagascar as well.
How to Train Your Dragon
The marquee attraction, Dragon Gliders, actually flies around the village from overhead. It’s a fun way to see this land.
Shrek’s Merry Fairy Tale Journey is a nice slow moving dark ride. It’s a little bit like The Little Mermaid; tells the story as you go in a more contemporary way than you get with older attractions like Winnie the Pooh.
Kung Fu Panda
The primary attraction, called Unstoppable Awesomeness, is a 3D motion simulator. It had a nice pre-show before entering the auditorium. The attraction itself is pretty similar to The Simpson’s Ride at Universal Orlando. It’s combines 3D and seat movement to take you on a fun (and somewhat dizzying) ride.
Madagascar Mad Pursuit is a cartoon themed version of Rockin’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios. It goes zero to really fast in a matter of seconds. Instead of Los Angeles street signs, you get animals from Madagascar films. It’s the most thrilling ride in all of Motiongate Dubai.
Coming Soon: The Hunger Games
They’ll be opening a Lionsgate Films land in about a month. The month will be a Hunger Games theme with two attractions devoted to the movies. They were testing the rides while I was there. From a distance, the roller coaster they’re planning looking pretty fun.
From the airport, Motiongate was about a $40 taxi ride. It took about 40 minutes with light traffic. Dubai has a great train system that is pretty cheap, but it didn’t appear to go all the way to the park. My time was limited so I decided to just take a taxi to get there more quickly.
The ticket for one park was $67 for an adult (with current exchange rates). If you’ve got a quick layover, this is probably the way to go. However, they also have a LEGOLAND Dubai and a Bollywood themed park right there as well. You can also purchase a two-park ticket if you have more time. It only costs $77 for an adult.