Before anything else, I want to share a photo of the mosque near our hostel. It is right behind our building and I sat on one of the park benches quite a few times while I wait for Celine do some shopping at the convenience store.
We totally got lost and accidentally took a longer route going to the Metro that morning. I blame Google Maps walk routes not working when you’re using offline maps LOL. We were running at the IBN Battuta Station and asking around for the bus going to Dubai Parks and Resorts. This was another buzzer beater moment, because we managed to get in just a few seconds before it left. Dubai Parks and Resorts is merely 20 minutes away from the bus station so it was fine even if we were standing up. The bus was packed despite it being a Tuesday. That’s not surprising though because it is the cheapest way to go to Dubai Parks and Resorts.
Metro to IBN Battuta Station: AED5
Bus fare to DPR: AED3
(Same going back)
DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS
Opening hours: 10:00am to 11:00pm everyday (but each theme park inside also have their respective opening hours)
Entrance fee: depends, more info here
So, Dubai Parks and Resorts consists of 4 paid theme parks (Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, Legoland and Legoland Water Park), 1 free attraction (Riverland) and a Polynesian-themed resort (Lapita Hotel). When you buy a ticket, I think you have the option to buy tickets for each theme park or like what we did, we bought a Klook voucher for two theme parks of our choosing. We didn’t have to decide prior, we were bent on Motiongate as our first theme park but we didn’t decide on our second one up until we left Motiongate.
We arrived at Dubai Parks and Resorts at around 10:30am, so we were quite early and there were barely any people around. The bus took us to one of the entrances that was actually closer to Bollywood and Legoland. But we haven’t eaten and we wanted to get breakfast first. A Filipina lady on the bus mentioned that they have McDonald’s onsite so that was our first destination.
We had to go to the other gate to get here so we already saw how pretty this place and their McDonald’s is no exception. Both interior and exterior are so Instagrammable! Their food selection is better than ours, too, so we took so long at that self-service kiosk – it was so hard to decide what to eat! I wasn’t particularly hungry but I definitely wanted coffee. They have burger flavors that we don’t have in the Philippines. They have salads and banana – WTH, right? HAHA! They have different iced tea flavors, it’s just a totally different menu than what I’m used to and that was really exciting. LOL. I was pretty much very happy with my tall glass of iced coffee from McCafe.
RIVERLAND / FRENCH VILLAGE
After breakfast, we started our walk around Riverland. This is free because it’s what’s outside all the paid theme parks. So you can literally go here on an AED3 bus, take beautiful photos and pretend you’re in Europe or something. Riverland is divided in four areas apparently: French Village, Boardwalk, India Gate, and the Peninsula. But honestly, I don’t know where each one starts and end, so I think I tagged all of my Instagram photos here as French Village.
Opening hours: Sat to Wed – 11:00am to 8:00pm, Thurs – 11:00am to 11:45pm, Fri – 11:00am to 9:00pm
Once we’ve gone around Riverland, we entered our first theme park – Motiongate! Ok, this is my new favorite theme park! The longest wait time for rides is 20 minutes! Although, that might actually be bad for business because it means, there are not many people going here. My friend who lives in Dubai told me that Dubai Parks and Resorts is not getting any clients due to its location. I don’t think it’s that bad though. There’s a direct bus going there so it’s accessible to even those who don’t have cars. And come on, the idea is great, 4 theme parks in one location?! I hope this place gets more clients in the future because it’s awesome!
We totally went crazy over the meet and greets! We took note of the schedule and who we want to see and all through out the day, we have been running around just to catch them. For example, when it was time for Po, we had to run from the Very Smurfette Cafe where we were having lunch. We also almost missed Shrek and Puss in Boots but luckily, they have big heads and I was able to see them from afar. We also almost missed Mavi and Drac because although we were waiting for them at the scheduled time, we were at the wrong spot. We also had to run to see the Smurfs after getting of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ride so we were still a bit wet. LOL. It’s a good thing that most of the handlers were also Filipinos and I think we’re the only ones who were excited anyway. The kids who were on a field trip were just super chill and they didn’t really care.
From Hotel T to the Smurfs Village to the Valley of Peace to Shrek’s Swamp 😊
I was such a huge Hunger Games fan so I found this really cool! I read all the books 8 years ago and it’s one of my favorite book series ever! It’s too bad that there was no Hunger Games meet and greet that day. The brochure said it’s usually Effie and Prim. I really would’ve loved a photo with Effie “She has her mockingjay pin, I have my hair” Trinket! 😌
We only took vanilla rides, no rollercoasters. Every time we pass by a ride, our first questions, “Will this make us dizzy or not?” We were already dizzy when we tried the 4D simulation rollercoasters at Bollywood Parks, what more if get into the real ones. We are too old for that shit. (Says the person who was too giddy about the meet and greets LOL) I wanted to try the Dragon Gliders at the How to Train Your Dragon area but I was wearing sandals and I was scared they’d fall off. Also, the Underworld area was closed / under construction so we weren’t able to explore that. But anyway, I think this has become my habit anyway since Universal Studios Japan. Your time at the theme park gets consumed by queueing that you don’t really get the chance to go around the park and enjoy it. So I would rather see everything around, rather than waste my time in the queue.
Oh by the way, I tried falafel burger for the first time (for lunch) and I loved it! It’s their vegetarian option for guests. I was curious and I really enjoyed it. It was a huge burger, too, so I was eating that all day. I think even until the following morning for breakfast.
Opening hours: 1:00pm to 12:00mn
Chai: AED3 (we definitely drank a lot of chai during this trip)
Surprise! We chose this as our second theme park! We were definitely leaning towards Legoland during the planning process but we decided to skip because we have one closer (the Johor Bahru one). We don’t have Bollywood Parks anywhere else! Another reason was, Bollywood Parks stays open until very late because it also opens in the afternoon. We exited Motiongate at around 4:00pm and Legoland is only open until 6pm. So I think if you would like to do the Legoland – Motiongate combination, maybe go to Legoland first, and then to Motiongate.
I have enjoyed Bollywood movies at some point in my life so I was definitely excited! I have seen a lot of Bollywood movies, but mostly starring my favorite actors (Hrithik Roshan, Ranbeer Kapoor, Katrina Kaif) so I realized that there are bigger ones that I have not seen or even heard about! Truly enjoyed walking around and watching the shows 😊 If we prioritized the meet and greets at Motiongate, we prioritized the shows at Bollywood! You have to take note of the schedule to get a good seat.
Some cringey videos at Bollywood Parks LOL
I think we left Dubai Parks and Resorts at around 8:00pm because I checked Google Maps’ schedule and that was the best schedule for us to leave. It leaves every 1h 30m (more or less) but then we’d have to wait longer and I kind of wanted to rest as soon as I can since we’ve been walking since around 9am. I mentioned that there is a minimum amount that you need to keep in your NOL card, right? So, we weren’t really sure if we have enough left because I didn’t really get to check when I tapped in for the bus that morning. So after a back and forth with some workers, a kind lady staff helped us top up our NOL card. Apparently, there is a small room at the parking lot where we got off, they can load your NOL card. The lady got us into a golf cart to take us there from the other side and then take us back to the other exit so we can take the bus home. She was such a sweetheart and we can’t take her enough for helping us out.