We were very fortunate to visit Dubai Parks and Resorts in January 2017, thanks to my husbands work. The company has an end of year party for the employees to socialize and relax together outside a work setting. Our first year here it was at Bounce, Dubai (which I missed attending) and this last one was at Dubai Parks and Resorts with a multipass to visit Legoland, MotionGate, and Bollywood which are all connected through Riverland. We also went back to Legoland, Dubai in May after I won free tickets from a McdonaldsArabia Instagram contest.
Before Noon on a weekday it is still relatively quiet in the parks. There are a few parking options and we took the standard one which costs less (Yes, there is a parking fee, lame) and it is also the farthest you can get from the park. There are buses that shuttle back and forth so hop on and do not try to walk! It is pretty far from parking to the entrance and you’ll be walking all day anyways so save your energy for the fun stuff. On the ride to the entrance you pass by a complex of Hotels which looked nice and made me want to stay there overnight sometime if we decide to go back for a weekend Staycation and get two days of fun instead of one. The buses were decent, clean, and quick enough. In the entrance is ticketing, food stuff and shops, all a part of Riverland.
Riverland is free to go in, and can be a lovely place to visit on the weekend or an evening for a meal, shopping, and to watch some performances and street entertainment. This area is basically the center of the park and you go through here to enter into the theme parks.
Legoland There are Lego shops just inside it’s entrance and some museum type activities. There is a huge room you enter with iconic ‘buildings and locations from UAE made from Legos! This was pretty darn cool. Around the room at different structures you can press a button that activates moving parts. The Burj Kalifa is complete with The Dubai Fountain that actually does a water, lights, and music show. Like I said, very cool. There are some other buildings and structures from around the world.
In other spots in Legoland, there are play areas, a lego room, and plenty of kids activities. Everywhere you look most things are made of legos and there are giant lego sculptures sitting around like an Octopus eating people, dinosaurs, etc.
I find that the rides and games for kids are more for a 4yr+ kid and below 12yrs because of height requirements and also the “fun” level. We did not stick around Legoland as much as we would have hoped the first time because of our kids not reaching the height requirement. We did not visit Legoland waterpark. Note: The lowest height for most rides is 110cm (3.6ft).
Our second visit to Legoland was much more enjoyable. In May it was already hot and humid, 106°f/41.1°c. My husband and I took turns watching the kids while the other would go on a ride that was for older kids and adults. We took our time walking to each ride so our oldest could get a turn, and our younger two had to settle for running around the soft play area.
The food is not amazing in Legoland. Stick with the The Fried Chicken Co. and snack items, I was not a fan at all of their beef burgers in Knight’s Table. Or, eat in Riverland before and after your visit to the Park(s). Tip: If refillable cups are available purchase when you visit, go ahead and get one or two so you can get the unlimited refills and share among your family all day. It should save you a few dirhams.
Tips: If you have a pram/stroller, make sure it has a sun shade on it. Bring and wear sunblock. Bring baby wipes, hats, sunglasses.
Motiongate We loved Motiongate, and if your kids are taller, I’m sure they will have a blast. Motiongate was a little bit more geared towards adults, and there are some decent rides. It is by no means equal to Busch Gardens (which I LOVE), but it was a very enjoyable place to be and experience. They even had a children’s section that was called Smurf Village, and this was where we had the most fun because of the age group of our children. They had a play area where bigger kids and small kids that are great climbers could climb all over what I think of as a giant tree house. Overall we loved Motiongate and would visit just this park again on it’s own and not do the multipass. They are even expanding this park so there will be even more there by the end of 2017. One of the expansions is a Six Flags.
We did not visit Bollywood unfortunately, it is difficult to visit everything in one day. DPR (Dubai Parks and Resorts) is still new, it is not yet open for 1 year. So at this early point there are few crowds and still some shuttered shops. It is a good time to take advantage of the year pass and visit on a weekday when it can be slower and lines are almost nonexistent. Residents get some added benefits too! I hope some of you readers get the chance to try one, two, or all of these parks from Dubai Parks and Resorts.
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