If you’ve ever wanted to get in the middle of an epic Thor vs. Loki showdown — or evade a bunch of skyscrapers with Spider-Man — you’ll get your chance starting August 15.
That’s when IMG Worlds of Adventure, at 1.5 million square feet, the biggest indoor theme park in the world, opens its doors in Dubai.
Full-day tickets will be Dh300 (Dh250 for kids), on sale from IMGworlds.com starting April 25.
“We have built a facility that eliminates seasonality and concerns around tourism dipping down in the summer months. This attraction will be open 365 days a year,” said CEO Lennard Otto during a press conference on Saturday.
The park, located on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road near Global Village, will house over 20 rides and attractions. The first slew to be announced are split into four zones: Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley and IMG Boulevard.
In the Marvel zone, visitors will find Avengers: Battle of Ultron (an immersive 3D ride), Hulk: Epsilon Base 3D (a 360-degree cinematic experience), Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge (a 400m rollercoaster), Thor Thunderspin, where you get to become one with Thor’s hammer, and the child-friendly Flight of the Quinjets. (You’ll also catch a glimpse of Ironman’s Stark Tower, which is the size of a 10-story building.)
A 12-screen Novo cinemas multiplex will also open onsite and will be accessible to the public without a theme park ticket. Here, Otto said, they hope to have premieres of Marvel films with stars in attendance.
“It’s a natural fit when a Marvel movie premiere gets launched within Novo cinemas that it’s done within the park and possibly bring the celebrities out, because you have the immediate synergy between movies and brand,” said Otto. Actors trained to Disney and Marvel standards will also roam around the park and put on live shows on a day-to-day basis.
In Cartoon Network, visitors can check out Ben 10: 5D Hero Time (this includes the usual 3D, plus smell and touch), Ride of Ooo with Finn & Jake (an overhead scenic journey with the stars of Adventure Time), LazyTown Miniland (which houses five attractions) and Powerpuff Girls Air Race. A live stage will see six shows a day, as well.
In Lost Valley, a dinosaur-centred zone, the more courageous crowds can ride the Velociraptor, a 1.1km rollercoaster. It’s the only attraction that zooms outside of the park and back inside. Another ride, Forbidden Territory, will bring visitors face to face with 70 dinosaurs that were created by a Japanese company in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in London. They can also ride Predator, a vertical rollercoaster, or visit the Dino Carousel and Adventure Fortress, ideal for the faint of heart.
Finally, the IMG Boulevard will act as the entry and exit point of the park. It’s a more relaxed zone, created for parents taking a break, or for families grabbing a bite. There will be 28 dining options around the park, and the average price of a meal is Dh50. Some restaurants will mimic food places found in Marvel and Cartoon Network, such as Ben 10’s Mr Smoothy.
There will also be 25 shops around the park. The majority of the products will be bespoke and exclusive to IMG Worlds of Adventure.
As of today, the $1 billion park is 96 per cent complete, despite two years of delays due to the complexity of the project and the fact that it was the first of its kind to enter the country. In October, another mammoth theme park, motiongate Dubai — combining Studio Central, Sony Pictures Gate, the Smurfs and Dreamworks across 1.9 million square feet — will open in Jebel Ali. A 20th Century Fox theme park is also to open sometime before Expo 2020 by Al Ahli Holding Group.
Asked whether the competition was worrying, Otto likened Dubai to “Orlando 2.0”. In Florida, several theme parks co-exist in close proximity and even sell joint tickets, something that Otto said could happen in Dubai in the future.