Recently, we had the opportunity to visit the new Motiongate theme park at Dubai Parks and Resorts. As Rethink had worked on an iteration of the park back in the day, we were eager to check it out and see it in person!
Overall, we came away very impressed with the finish and theming of many parts of the park. In particular, the DreamWorks building is extremely well done, with a lovely entrance plaza and enchanting fountain just inside.
The How to Train Your Dragon section was a particularly impressive standout. The theming in the Dragon area is top-notch, with convincing wood textures, large-scale sculptural pieces and impressive signage throughout. Dragon Gliders was our favorite ride in the park, combining animatronics, media, setwork and fun, swooping finale into a proper E-ticket attraction. The ride uses Mack’s system that they originally designed for Arthur & the Minimoys, and it is an exceptional piece of hardware. It is capable of delivering a dark ride experience combined with speed and coaster thrills, and Dragon Gliders is the incontrovertible proof.
A close second in the ride experience department was Mad Pursuit in the Madagascar section. The queue was enjoyable and inventive, taking guests through circus tents and train cars. Not sure what to expect out of the indoor coaster, we were pleasantly surprised by its speed and power! After being rocketed through a launch tunnel, we flew in and around a variety of setwork – essentially Rock n’ Roller Coaster, but with a Madagascar twist. I do wish it had a louder soundtrack, but outside of that quibble, it was a totally solid ride, and one that we’d recommend highly.
The Hunger Games area was in technical rehearsal, so we were able to experience the new Panem Aerial Tour as part of our visit. It was fun to see both Elizabeth Banks and Mahershala Ali reprise their film roles for the pre-show and ride, which gave it a nice boost of star power. The ride system itself is not quite up to the epic scale of the show presented, but the media is appropriately action-packed and well-produced. We unfortunately, did not have time to ride the Capitol Bullet Train, but it looked like a lot fun.
Our team had a great time visiting Motiongate, and hope to have more time to experience the rest of the offerings at Dubai Parks and Resorts next time we swing through.
- Stefan Lawrence, Creative Director at Rethink