It’s Day 2 of the Adventures in Abu Dhabi chronicles and this time we’re headed to FERRARI WORLD!
Located in Yas Island, it’s the one place you shouldn’t miss when in Abu Dhabi. One thing I noticed in the UAE, they liked being the “-EST” of anything they could think of. World’s FastEST roller coaster. World’s LargEST indoor park. World’s TallEST building. You get my drift? So prepare for the grandiosity of area as you enter Ferrari World. We arrived at around 1PM and it was the last day of Ramadan so we were lucky that the place wasn’t too crowded — there weren’t even lines for the Formula Rossa (the world’s fastest roller coaster).
Getting taxis to go there won’t be a problem since it’s an obvious and popular tourist destination. Find the ticketing booth and choose among the General Admission – 24o AED or the Premium Admission – 390 AED. Both will give you unlimited access to all the rides but the only difference between the two is the “fast track” feature of the Premium ticket. The ‘fast track’ feature is useful when the place is very crowded and it diminishes your waiting time significantly. Although since there weren’t too many people around, it didn’t make sense for us to get the Premium ticket.
The guys were all pumped, especially the true blue Ferrari fans we had along with us. It was like a dream come true as we rode up the escalator to the main area. Lots of photo-worthy areas so make sure you don’t forget your camera at home. Rides also have their built-in cameras so if you want to take home a picture of how you looked like in any of their fierce rides, make sure you claim them at the respective photo booths. For this article however, I’m afraid I can’t share much scenic shots since most of what we took were group photos with the gang I went with (Shout out to Luke, Mary, Jay, Clarisse, Melo, Larry and especially Ate Cherry!). So I’ll be relying mostly on web-based photos. Pardon me for that.
We spent almost six hours in the entire place and here’s a rundown of the rides we experienced:
Fiorano GT Challenge
I thought it’d be a kiddie ride but it’s actually got some fear factor in it. While it is not as fast as Formula Rossa, it has sharper drops and curves. It’s two roller coasters launched at the same time in different lanes and the speed and acceleration can vary within the course. I found it so much fun that we did this one twice!
Speed of Magic
This was a 4D experience that starts with a short story about this fly, Nello who took the Ferrari keys of this kid’s dad and we had to chase Nello through a series of scenarios like space, rainforests and underwater. The ride makes you go into a dark lit area and you are seated with 3D glasses on. I’m not quite fond of 3D rides since it plays on my perceptions and I happen to like my perceptions real. Nice graphics but I ended up feeling a bit woozy after the ride.
Get the feel of being on a real F1 race track with this ultra-modern simulator where eight people can race while being seated on actual Ferrari F1 seats and steering wheel. Again, I’m not a fan of simulated realities so I got dizzy again after this one. The guys seem to enjoy it though. You will be scheduled for a time slot for this ride so be sure to come back for it. Add an extra 100 AED and you can ride the mega machine behind it that has an actual F1 car used for the simulation.
This one is not actually a ride, but a museum for classic and famous Ferrari cars. It is the largest one outside of Maranello, Italy (the home of Ferrari). This part is great for photo ops although you are not allowed to touch the cars.
Viaggo in Italia
Of all the rides that day, this was the one we had to line up for. It seems to be the newest feature of the theme park since it was built in 2010. It’s another 4D-like ride that simulates you flying over the different places in Italy as if you were in a hot air balloon. I liked this one because it was just a breezy ride and the views were actually realistic. Just try not to look down if you’re freaked out by heights.
This is definitely one for the books! The world’s fastest roller coaster will propel you at 240 km/hr (faster than a plane on a runway!) and while there is a seatbelt and a little-looking hold-bar by your waist, be warned that there are no over head protections except perhaps for the goggles you’d have to wear (the same kind that skydivers use). So unlike the usual roller coaster you’d see that’d have these large over-shoulder safeguards — nope, you will not see them in the Formula Rossa. It’s part of the thrill. What excited me the most was those two to three seconds before the launch wherein everything was silent around us yet the yelps and screams of the riders are ringing out behind. Haha! Wooohooo! If you do manage to finish this ride without throwing up, consider yourself a survivor!
Before leaving, we went to the Souvenir shop of course. It’s no surprise that the items there are mighty expensive so if you can settle for a simple fridge magnet as a souvenir then you’re okay. Otherwise, be prepared to make it rain. We didn’t get around to eating at their in-house restaurants in fear that some of us might throw up in one of the rides but I saw the vicinity while we were there and as you could expect, they were decorated in true Italian flair. I can’t say how the food was though.
Ferrari World is best enjoyed with a group of either your friends or family. Try not to go there solo, it’ll be depressing. Peak holidays will surely have you queuing longer than usual so make sure you schedule your trip in a way that you’ll enjoy the experience and not dread waiting in line (unless you buy the Premium Admission tickets of course).
Thanks again to these guys for such a grand time that we’ll surely share for a lifetime! (More on our “barkada trip” on my last entry on my Abu Dhabi Adventures!)