LEGOLAND DUBAI, perfect theme park for kids aged 4 to 12
I only told the boys that we were going to Legoland the day before departure. Well, otherwise, would we have rested in Atlantis? Would we have enjoyed Aquaventure and the aquarium, the slides and everything else? They would have wanted to leave on the spot, a normal thing for 7 and 8-year-old boys who dream and breathe Lego.
Imagine their dissapoinment when I told them we were about to leave (for the first part of the 2017 stay in Dubai at Atlantis the Palm Jumeirah, I will soon write our review about that). And then we launched the bomb:
“Do not be sad, sweethearts! We are not going home yet, the holiday continues.”
“Where are we going?” They asked me with saddness in their voice.
“Legoland,” Florin responded with the most natural tone in the world, waiting for the reaction.
“Really, mommy?” Ionut opened up suspiciously those big blue eyes to me.
“Is that true?” Andrew’s face lit up.
“Seriously, we’re going to Legoland Dubai, and we’ll still have a water park …” but my voice gets lost among the cheers, yelling, kissing, hugging and other expressions of gratitude.
From Atlantis the Palm we take a taxi and leave Dubai on Sheik Zayed Road to Abu Dhabi. We leave behind the skyscrappers, homes and shops, but after about ten minutes through the desert, we start to panic, because the taxi driver did not know exactly where to take us, and we only saw dunes and the countryside.
Where the hell is this man taking us?
Dubai Parks & Resorts area is relatively new, the theme parks only opened for public at the end of last year, the hotel in which we were to stay, Lapita Hotel Resort opened only in January 2017. We spot in the distance something that begins to resemble a roller coaster, colored towers and slides, a sign that we are on the right track.
We arrive at Lapita, a resort with Polynesian influences, about which we have written here, we check in fast, we get tickets to parks, we unpack and we talk a walk so we can get used to the area. We decide to enter Legoland only for the day.
The park is about a 10-minute walk away, because the Emirates have built Riverland, an artificial river with promenade, shops and restaurants, from which all four parks are to be discovered: Legoland, Legoland Water Park, Bollywood and Motiongate.
First one in line is LEGOLAND, and immediately on its left is the water park. The boys are no longer patient, they jump around and talk loudly. At the gate, security checks our bags, scan the tickets and fingerprints, including our children’s.
At the entrance we are in FACTORY area, where the largest store in the park (The BIG Shop) is located, along with a smaller one – Minifigure Market (where you could build a set of 3 minifigures with optional parts, 49 AED / piece) , Another Pick-A-Brick shop at the Factory Tour, The Corner Shop and The Photo Shop as well as a café.
Next area is MINILAND, a miniature buildings area built out of lego pieces, a huge air-conditioned building with exits to all four other areas.
We are glad to find constructions from lego pieces including: Top 10 World Highest Buildings, Dubai Skyline, Dubai Airport, Egypt, Petra City, Desert City, India, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai Creek, Dubai Waterfront, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab.
We leave the coolness of Miniland and hit the torrid air in the LEGO CITY area: end of May, 40 degrees Celsius. As we have seen also in our previous visits in Florida or Malaysia, the CITY area includes:
- City Airport (for children over 3 years, children between 95 and 120 cm must be accompanied by an adult), an airplane carousel that rises up and down.
- The Rescue Academy (for children over 3 years, children between 95 and 130 cm must be accompanied by an adult), the fire-fighters’ academy, a fire truck that moves according to the speed of reaction of the parents and the children who press some levers to take the truck as close to the building where the fire is and extinguish it.
- Boating School (for children over 1 year up to 120 cm high children must be accompanied by an adult), a boat trip conducted by children or adults on a predetermined route.
- Driving School (for kids aged 5-13 or between 110 – 150 cm) and Junior Driving School (for kids aged 3-5, between 95 – 110 cm);
- City stage (a small theatre inside a building, where they held shows)
Familia Hai Hui top pick: Driving School (the boys drove the small cars over and over, the parents had a break).
Moving along into KINGDOMS, we encounter:
- Dragon’s Apprentice – a smaller roller coaster, for children over 4 years of age, with a height of at least 105 cm, up to 120 cm, must be accompanied by an adult.
- Merlin’s Flying Machines, a charming carousel for children over 4 years and 105 cm tall, between 105 and 130 cm, must be accompanied by adults.
- King’s Market, Knight’s Table, ice cream station (Sir Scoops-A-Lot), games.
Familia Hai Hui top pick is The Dragon – a roller coaster for adults and children older than 6 years and taller than 120 cm (120 to 130 cm children must be accompanied by an adult). We loved it so much that we rode it few times a day.
IMAGINATION area is suitable for small kids, even 2 years old, and not only:
- Duplo Valley (outside playground),
- Duplo Express (a small train for children over 1 year, between 80 and 130 cm, children must be accompanied by an adult),
- Stepping Stones or Lego Friends Clubhouse.
- Lego Technic Twister – spinning giant tea cups (for children over 4 years and 105 cm, up to 120 cm accompanied by adults).
- Kid Power Towers – towers with double chairs round about and the ropes you pull with your kid to get to the top. At least 4 years and 95 cm for access, children between 95 and 130 cm must be accompanied by an adult. We rode it once, because, unlike the Malaysian park, here they did not provide gloves and we harmed our hands by pulling the strings.
Familia Hai Hui top pick was, of course, Lego Master Builder Academy, where we spent most of our time. Here, in an air-conditioned building, the children built cars from scratch and competed on the arranged tracks.
My car is faster than yours!
Last area from the park is called ADVENTURE:
- Pharaoh’s Revenge and Adventure Base Camp – playgrounds for children above 4 years old
- Beetle Bounce – an attraction with 7 chairs, an adult seat in the middle, for children over 4 years and 105 cm, who rises up and down, boys had so much fun.
- Lost Kingdom Adventure – a jeep ride where we earn points by shooting some targets in a Mummy inspired setup.
Familia Hai Hui top pick: Submarine Adventure (a submarine ride among corals, lego fish and real fish, sharks and rays, where we also discovered the Atlantis sunken city, sirens and marine life built of lego pieces).
We end the list with a great surprise attraction for you, but not before a recommendation for Dubai Parks & Resorts management: try to provide some healthier food to restaurants, more salads, traditional Arabian food. I would have given anything for some humus, carrots or a Fatoush salad and some grilled chicken.
After 4 days in the area we were fed up with junk food and there were no other options, being Ramadam. We usually came back at the hotel late at night (beside the water park, the summer program for other parks was from 4.00pm to 12) , so we had to eat dinner within the parks.
The surprisingly super attraction is the Discovery Center, loccated at the exist of Submarine Ride, with colorful fish and shrimps (Cleaner Schrimps and Fire Schrimps) that climb on your hand. Here below a short video to understand what I’m talking about.
Legoland Dubai resembles the other parks we visited in other countries, but TECHNIC and CHIMA areas were missing. But the park is just starting out and there are construction sites around, I suppose they will not stop building and expanding.
As for shopping, we got away only with an average set of Lego for each and a set of minifigures built by them (Ionuţ chose a Minecraft set and Andrei one Star Wars set that he had long been looking for and not found in Romania).
Read about Legoland Water Park here and about the Motiongate (amusement park for the whole family) here.
Or, if you need a recommendation for accommodation in the area, we suggest Lapita Hotel Resort, which was simply amazing.