Cartoons, comic books and caped crusaders are all gathered together at Yas Island’s latest attraction – Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
With attractions such as Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World, Yas Marina Circuit and a championship golf course, it’s little wonder Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island has been dubbed the UAE’s capital of fun. And last year they managed to add another multi-billion-dirham attraction to its portfolio: the enormous Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi theme park.
Based around all of the studio’s iconic superheroes and cartoon characters – Batman to Bugs Bunny, Superman to Scooby-Doo – the six distinct zones in the 153,000-square-metre playground offer one of the best family days out in the whole region, with the usual array of rides, games, interactive activities, live entertainment, and food and beverage outlets. In fact, with 29 rides in total, you might need a couple of days just to get around it all.
Creating zones around different films or cartoons isn’t new, of course, as any visitor to Dubai’s Motiongate will attest, but there is an additional layer of story-telling here that creates even more engagement. Also, there is an incredible attention to detail, whether it’s how the sets are built and decorated or the authenticity of the characters walking around and posing for photos, it all contributes to a fully immersive slice of escapism.
This zone is the fictional, New York City-based domain of Batman, the crime-fighting millionaire Bruce Wayne. The anchor attraction in this area is Batman: Knight Flight (120cm minimum height), a suspended roller-coaster that takes you on a test flight of Batman’s latest urban patrol vehicle, which launches you from the Bat Cave over the brooding cityscape below as you hunt for the bad guys. The Scarecrow: Scare Raid (130cm) is a huge octopus of a ride, in which you sit in a pod on the end of an arm and get flung about like in a series of dizzying spins, rolls and flips, while The Riddler Revolution (120cm) is a rocking-and-rolling ride that will wreak havoc with your inner-ear just as much – if not more. Visitors of all ages (and heights) can visit the Joker Fun House, which is a great walk-through experience with lots of games to play and puzzles to solve.
For Batman’s Gotham, read Superman’s Metropolis. The family friendly rides here include the 5D Justice League: Warworld Attacks (110cm), in which you dart through the city in your seven-seater pod guided by a Cyborg. The Green Lantern: Galactic Odyssey (110cm), meanwhile, flings you around the cosmos in a 4D flying theatre experience, with plenty of stomach-knotting swoops along the way. Superheroes in waiting can test their skills in Teen Titans multi-level play area, which has lots of zip coasters, net climbs, rope bridges, and wall climbs to eliminate any remaining bursts of energy.
This is the area that pretty much the entire family can enjoy without having to stand in front of a measuring ruler on tiptoes to qualify. But you do still need to be 110cm to jump aboard the Tom and Jerry Swiss Cheese Spin, the zone’s main roller-coaster, which is based on the mousetrap-style attractions where surprise is as much the appeal as the velocity. Elsewhere, the Daffy Jet-Propelled Pogo Stick (100cm) will shoot you and your stomachs into the air in a succession of bounces, while younger guests can get the coaster thrills on Ricochet Racin’ With Taz (90cm), a children’s car ride that doesn’t quite get up to Tasmanian Devil speeds. Scooby-Doo’s Museum of Mysteries is a car ride crossed with a ghost train, although the jump scares are nice and mild.
Dedicated to the likes of Wyle E Coyote and Yosemite Sam, the highlight of this Wild West zone is Fast and Furry-Ous (110cm), another suspended roller-coaster. This gag-laden ride sees you tied to an ACME rocket as you go in hot pursuit of that pesky Road Runner – and, well, we don’t have to tell you whether you succeed or not, do we? The Jetsons Cosmic Orbiter (90cm) may feel a touch out of place here, but NASA’s Houston base isn’t too far from the US desert and, besides, it’s a great attraction for those not quite tall enough for the aforementioned ride.
You have to resist the urge to shout “Wilmaaaa!” – or maybe you don’t – as you enter the world of The Flintstones. The big ride here is The Flintstones Bedrock River Adventure (105cm), a good ol’ fashioned log flume ride through a dinosaur park that is designed to get you just a tiny bit wet – but not so much that you mind. You can always dry off over lunch as this is where the heartier eateries lie.
Warner Bros. Plaza
This will be where your journey begins and ends, and where you’ll be tugged in the direction of the ice cream stall, souvenir shop or in the direction of Scooby Doo for one last selfie. Embrace it, we say.