A family trip to Wonderland Dubai
Did you even know there was a place called Wonderland in Dubai? It’s a theme park incorporating a low-tech water park called Splashland. I knew it existed because I went there in 1998. Even in those days it looked old and tired, although I realise now that it was only two years old at the time.
I thought Wonderland had closed years ago, not least because I’ve never managed to get onto the website but, amazingly, it does still exist and, squashed between the Grand Hyatt and Creek Park, it’s in a slice of prime real-estate land to boot.
Still, the experience in 1998 as a tipsy non-parent out for night-time adrenalin hits was very different to that of the mother of two small children on the family rides mid-afternoon.
Wonderland still looks tired and old; some of the rides aren’t working; and it has the neglected feel of a ghost town but, on the upside, the rides that were working were good. Compared to Global Village, it’s dirt cheap; there were no queues; and – since it was so empty – many of the operators let my children stay on rides as long as they wanted.
It was a bit like being Michael Jackson in our own personal Neverland.
- There’s acres of parking outside.
- Dhs 115 will get you access including entry to all rides bar one or two.
- Dhs 15 will get you entry on a pay-per-ride basis. If you’re simply accompanying children and don’t want to ride yourself, this is a great ticket.
- Children under 3 (I think it was 3) get an all-rides pass for Dhs 40.
- There’s a nice section of rides for children between 1 metre and 1.2 metres high, but they’re indoors. Possibly an advantage in the summer, but a bit depressing in the winter.
- There’s also a nice selection of family rides for children over 1.2m.
- Although the park opens at 10am, the “adult” theme park rides don’t open till 4pm. They look gooooood.
- Food and drinks are available. They’re very reasonably priced. Cup of tea: Dhs 3.
- They don’t sell gin and tonic (seriously, mothers need to know this).