Dubai, United Arab Emirates
“Different climate, same rides”
Legoland Dubai is part of Dubai Parks & Resorts, a huge entertainment resort in the desert between downtown Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Legoland theme parks have never really blown my mind in the past. The Californian park provided one of the worst amusement park days in history and the original Legoland Billund was cool, but it’s mainly focused on families with young children. As a result, Legoland Dubai was low on my to do list. However, I managed to find a cheap combination ticket with Motiongate, the largest theme park of Dubai Parks & Resorts. That’s why I decide to spend a few hours here, before heading to Motiongate.
Let’s start with the bad news: I won’t be able to get a coaster bingo at Legoland Dubai. At arrival, I notice that Dragon’s Apprentice is closed for maintenance. That’s unfortunate, but there’s another roller coaster nearby and that second one seems more interesting anyway.
A Dragon roller coaster seems to be mandatory at every Legoland park. In this case, we’re talking about a modern Zierer coaster. And just like most of its namesakes, it features a dark ride section through a medieval castle. It’s clear that Legoland Dubai is a fairly new park, because that dark ride part looks fresh and shiny. The dark ride ends with a surprising descent, after which the experience continues outside. The actual coaster part is pretty fast and it’s got powerful curves, so this is a great family roller coaster if you ask me. However, when staff members invite me to make a second round, I say no. I’d actually rather visit an attraction that takes place in an air-conditioned environment. So Legoland, where should I go?
Glenn, you should go to our Egyptian themed zone and you’ll find an interactive dark ride there. Hey, thanks. First of all… The Egyptian theme is frequently used by amusement parks, but I’ve never experienced it as convincing as here. When you’re walking in a scorching 40°C, it indeed feels as if you’ve arrived in the middle of an Egyptian desert. Good marks for the credibility, but the dark ride itself is less impressive. Lost Kingdom Adventure has a boring layout and the scenes are just too simple.
The park’s second dark ride is a whole lot more unique. I’m talking about Submarine Adventure, a ride that’s themed to Atlantis. I take a seat in a Lego submarine and I then admire a colourful underwater world. For the record: that underwater world isn’t fake. Lego figures were added here and there, but the sharks and rays are definitely real. It’s unusual to see such a Sea Life-like experience while being inside a submarine. That’s why I consider Submarine Adventure as a very cool ride, even though it’s very short.
Legoland mainly consists of simple family attractions. The park has a 4D movie, a jet ski ride, some inevitable family carousels and a fire fighter ride in which you have to compete with other teams. I wouldn’t want to ride it with these temperatures, but that’s not the only problem. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find another team today, since Legoland is completely deserted. That doesn’t come completely unexpected with these temperatures, but it’s still bizarre to be in an empty theme park. The only place where I’m finding a few other visitors is…
Miniland is the centrepiece of every Legoland theme park. This zone always consists of huge structures and monuments, entirely built out of Lego bricks. Miniland usually focuses on famous landmarks from the park’s region. On the American West Coast, the skylines of San Francisco and Las Vegas were rebuilt and the emphasis is on Scandinavian sights in Billund. Here at Legoland Dubai, the Middle East is especially well represented. Striking elements are a 17-metre tall replica of the Burj Khalifa, the skyline of Sheikh Zayed Road (Dubai’s busiest highway) and an impressive Lego version of Burj Al Arab. I’m also encountering some stunning replicas of the Taj Mahal and the stone-carved city of Petra.
With a total of approximately 20 million (!) Lego bricks, Miniland is the unparalleled highlight of Legoland Dubai. Besides, Miniland is located in the centre of the park and it connects the various areas with each other. It may be nice to know that this version of Miniland is completely indoors and air-conditioned. So it’s not just the most impressive part of the park; it’s also the ultimate location to cool down.
WORTH A VISIT?
My visit to Legoland Dubai may be one of the shortest in history, but I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. I’m not a part of Legoland’s targeted audience and therefore, most attractions fail to impress me. Still, I do believe that families with young children can have a great time here. The park has a lot of fine family rides, the atmosphere is pleasant and Lego remains one of the world’s strongest brands anyway. The only thing which could be improved, is the balance between indoor and outdoor park areas. Most of the theme parks in this region are largely covered, so a visit during the Summer months is actually no problem. Legoland, however, is a fairly standard outdoor park. That makes a visit in September a little less obvious. It’s literally a challenge to walk through the outdoor areas of the park. Great compliments to the staff, by the way. They do their jobs in a very professional way, despite the heat.
Photo Gallery 2019
Unfortunately, I didn’t use the right camera settings during most of my time at Legoland Billund. Therefore, a majority of these photos turned out to be grainy.
What’s your favourite Legoland theme park? Have you been able to visit the park in Dubai yet? What’s the nicest Lego structure in Miniland? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.