My final coaster filled day in Dubai was much smaller than the previous few. Instead of heading to a full sized theme park, I’d be traveling to a couple of FECs in Dubai’s many malls. (Side note: seriously, how does Duabi manage to support so many malls?? Seems like you pass a big mall every couple of miles and they all have the same stores. Shouldn’t there be an upper limit on how many malls can financially coexist at a given time)
After checking out of my hotel at Dubai Parks and Resorts and leaving my things at my next night’s hotel, I first headed across the Dubai border into neighboring Emirate Sharjah. For those unaware, emirates are like states in the U.S, hence United Arab Emirates, and the region’s parks are distributed between the emirates Abu Dhabi (Yas Island parks), Dubai (IMG, Legoland and Motiongate) and Sharjah (Adventureland).
After arriving at the Sahara Centre Mall, I made my way to Adventureland which was located on the second floor of the mall right next to a food court. The facade of the park is pretty interesting with coaster track coming out of a huge jaguar’s mouth. After making my way inside to check out the prices for the rides I wanted, I ran across a guy wearing a Lightning Rod shirt. I got to chatting with his group and I found out they were Germans doing the same coaster tour across the UAE as I was (if you’re interested, check out their YT channel here! It’s in German but I still like that it gives some great images of some European parks that we don’t see as much as American enthusiasts) so I decided to tag along with them!
First up was Kukulcan. Unfortunately this ride is a powered coaster and as such I don’t count it as a credit but it was a fun little ride! It took us on a tour around the FEC and even went outside into the mall. Fun but nothing terribly exciting to write home about. The most interesting thing about the ride was actually the station setup! Kukulcan and Forest Train board from the same station, with Kulkan’s station being stacked on top of Forest Train’s.
And I have even less to say about this ride. The ride op was surprised that a group of 20 something to middle aged men wanted to ride a small powered coaster but he let us on anyways! It was another ride that gave you a tour of the FEC just a little bit slower in this case. Still a fun ride!
Okay now we’re talking about a real coaster! I’ve ridden Pony Express and mostly enjoyed it minus the shortness of the ride. Well Rocket Cycles is a little different in the sense that it lacks a launch and instead has a twisted lift hill to fit with the mall’s ceiling height. After that it is released into a series of twists and helices.And the best part is that you get two cycles through the circuit instead of just one. I was surprised by this ride. It was surprisingly forceful throughout the course and the fact that you get so close to other rides in the mall makes it that much more exciting!
Finally I went to ride maybe the most controversial “coaster” at the park. It isn’t listed on RCDB but the park features a single person zipline where you jump off of the platform and let gravity take you to the bottom of the course. It’s listed on coaster-count.com but not on RCDB which I tend to use as a definitive source so I don’t count this as a credit. But I actually really enjoyed the ride itself. You hold onto two ropes in front of you which I think you’re supposed to steer with? Regardless, I ended up flying through the course swinging like crazy and nearly hitting the sides of the building (or at least that’s what it felt like). And just like Rocket Cycles, you get to do the whole thing twice!
After finishing up the credits and “credits”, I decided to part ways with my new friends and head off to my next destination, City Centre Mirdif, another massive Dubai mall to get another FEC credit, this time much more pathetic than the last one!
Quick note about getting around in Dubai: whereas during my time in Abu Dhabi and Dubai I was able to make exclusive use of Uber, Uber isn’t allowed to operate in Sharjah, meaning that a driver can drop you off in Sharjah but they can’t pick you up there. Luckily there were plenty of cabs available so I took a taxi back into Dubai to the City Centre Mirdif. Worth noting if you’re planning on getting the credits in Sharjah!
Magic Planet @ City Centre Mirdif
After wandering around in the mall a bit trying to orient myself and find where I was going (which was a common theme throughout the day) I found Magic Planet and bought a card with enough money on it to get a ride on the coaster.
The coaster itself was a small spinning model, not an SBF Visa but one by another small Italian manufacturer. There’s not much to say about this one other than that there wasn’t much spinning and that the ride op gave us 6 or 7 laps which was completely unnecessary! But hey, a credit is a credit!
Next it was off to my final destination of the day and thankfully one that was a lot more respectable.
VR Park Dubai
This park is located in the Dubai Mall and prides itself on featuring a plethora of VR related attractions and games. The one that’s most interesting to enthusiasts is Dubai Drone, a Gerstlauer spinning coaster. The coaster is located on the top level of the two level facility and features a section out in the open in addition to a section behind walls.
Thankfully this ride didn’t have much of a line since the boarding procedure took forever to clean the VR goggles from the previous riders, load and adjust the VR headsets. I unfortunately decided on using the VR goggles. I was treated to a video that showed us riding in a drone and spinning our way through downtown Dubai until we finally landed. I wish I could comment more on the coaster section but I found the addition of VR to make the ride really disorienting and dizzying and I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
After riding, I went ahead and tried a VR game I’ve wanted to try forever, Beat Saber. I found it really fun! Maybe not fun enough to buy a VR setup but definitely fun enough that I’d like to play it more!
And after finishing my time in VR Park Dubai, I finished up my roller coaster activities for the day! Overall it was a really good day getting a handful of credits and a good end to the coasters I rode in the UAE! If you’re an enthusiast you need to make your way out here sooner rather than later with some of the trouble that other parks on the trip seem to be facing. Overall the country is very welcoming and accessible to Western tourists so definitely try to make your way out here!