Motiongate is a theme park that was launched recently as part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts offering. The theme park is based around Hollywood movies and is divided into four zones: DreamWorks, Lionsgate, Columbia Pictures and Smurfs Village. Motiongate features 27 rides and attractions including five rollercoasters, including world’s first rollercoaster based on The Hunger Games, which wasn’t ready when we visited the theme park.
Once you enter the park through a huge movie reel gate, you walk along a street styled like 1920s New York. The street itself is lined with merchandise stores. It leads to The Hub, a palm-ringed plaza with a fountain that intersects all four zones.
The park has a wide range of zones that suits both kids and adults. The Green Hornet and Zombieland rides are quite good. The Ghostbusters Battle for New York interactive dark ride meanwhile, offers some impressive practical detail. However that ride also feels a bit like “been there, done that”.
Hotel Transylvania also boasts an impressive trackless ride system, but runs it through a collection of static scenes, with mannequins of the movie’s characters rather than fully realised, moving animatronics. A ride through a monster-filled castle never should feel boring, but my 6 year old and 3 year old were bored to death.
Smurf Village meanwhile will please young children – with its mushroom-capped houses and wandering blue-skinned characters. The zone is light on rides, however. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of a movie set, while there is also the Smurf Express – a rollercoaster – that was quite good. The Smurf Village also has a soft play area, an outdoor adventure area and a highly engaging animated show where kids can interact with Brainy Smurf.
We also loved the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs River Expedition ride. Dreamworks is mainly a place for the young ones. However, we enjoyed the Madagascar Hot Pursuit ride so much that we went on it four times! This one shoots off like a bullet to begin with and goes on a super exciting rollercoaster ride indoors that will leave you screaming so much you’ll want to hide the screens showing your mid-ride photograph.
Fans of the Step Up movies will be happy to know that the theme park has a 1000-seat Art Deco-style theatre, where live shows based on the movie are held. Having said that, however, when we went, many rides were not operational. The theme park though did have hordes of merchandise stores. However, at an entry ticket price of AED 250, you really don’t want to see just merchandise stores.
For now, it seems there are more merchandise stores and dining outlets open than anything. So, if you really want a wholesome experience of enjoying all the rides, including the rollercoaster based on The Hunger Games, we suggest you hold onto your money till everything’s operational at Motiongate Dubai.
Price: AED 250 (Adult), AED 215 (Kids)
Disclaimer: Review Central paid for its own tickets for this review.