If you can't make it to Dubai to visit the new Dubai Parks and Resorts development, you can get a taste of what this new three-gate theme park resort might be like with our videos from the resort's grand opening last weekend.
We'll start with what was our favorite of the three parks — the world's first Bollywood-themed park, Bollywood Parks Dubai.
Here's the full video of Lagaan Thrill of Victory, a "Minion Mayhem"-style motion base theater ride, based on the movie Lagaan, in which Indians at the turn of the 20th century learn cricket to meet a challenge from their British colonial masters and win a bet that will free them from paying taxes for a year. The ride simulates a roller coaster and another steampunk carnival attractions, where you ride from the perspective of a cricket ball.
Sholay: The Hunt for Gabber Singh is a 3D interactive ride based on the period action film Sholay, a bandit film that evokes American's westerns.
Krrish: Hero's Flight is the Middle East's first flying theater attraction, based on the Krrish science fiction franchise, starring the eponymous superhero.
Now let's head across the Riverland shopping district to the western-themed movie park at the resort, Motiongate Dubai. About two-thirds of the rides at the park are still yet to open, including the Hunger Games rides in the Lionsgate land and the entire indoor Dreamworks Animation land.
The highlight of what's open in the park is the Step Up Dubai All In show, a live hip-hop musical that I was not able to record. Of the three dark rides in the park, I preferred the Smurfs Studio Tour, a "Fantasyland"-style dark ride that unfortunately suffered from a couple of lighting lapses, including the final scene with villain Gargamel. When I rode, a couple of maintenance supervisors were in the car behind me, noting all the lights that needed to be fixed, so the lighting issues should be temporary.
Ghostbusters Battle for New York is an interactive dark ride. I found the guns a bit on the heavy side, but when I held the gun in my left hand and fired the trigger with my right (dominant) hand on the next ride, my score tripled.
Hotel Transylvania is trackless dark ride that's drawing the most ire from fans across the Internet. Take a look for yourself:
I didn't take video of my lunch at the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs-themed Baby Brent's Luncheonette.
But I felt I had to order something here with meatballs, so I opted for the spaghetti with meatballs lunch (AED49, or about US$13 - all locations in the theme parks will accept payment in dollars and euros as well as dirham). I have to admit that I missed the pork blend in these all-beef meatballs (you won't find pork anywhere in the Middle East), and I found all the beef I ate in Dubai tasted a little bit gamey compared with the beef I'm used to in the United States. So I ended up skipping the meatballs and ate just the spaghetti, which was fine as it was, but not worth $13 when served alone in a plastic bowl like this.
The resort's third park, Legoland Dubai, offers a familiar line-up for anyone who's visited one of the six other Legoland theme parks around the world. But Dubai does offer a unique indoor Miniland.
Finally, let's take a look at the resort's recorded live stream of its lavish opening ceremony, featuring a live performance of the resort's theme song by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award-winner and Disney Legend Alan Menken, a drone show, light-up pendants on the audience that coordinated with the show, and a fusillade of pyro across the skies of the resort. This is the full ceremony, including pre- and post-show walking tours of the parks with Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Marktoum. The ceremony starts around 46:00.
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