Amongst its other rides and attractions, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is most famous as the theme park with the world's fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa, which accelerates riders 0-149mph in 4 seconds.
|Opened||4 November 2010|
The majority of Ferrari World is housed under a giant glass dome, which holds the record for the largest space frame structure ever built. That, however, is just one of the records the park holds. It also hosts Formula Rossa, the world's fastest rollercoaster, and Flying Aces which features both the world's tallest loop and the world's steepest cable lift.
As you may expect from the name, the park is a celebration of all things Ferrari. Every attraction is either car related or Italian themed. While initially it may sound as though Ferrari World would only appeal to fans of fast cars, in truth it has a lot to offer to everyone.
Formula Rossa is a beast of a ride, launching from a standing start to 149mph in just 4 seconds. The acceleration is extremely forceful, although the speed diminishes somewhat as the coaster's train is immediately trimmed, and then loses more energy over its top hat element. That isn't to say it doesn't remain fast - it takes a series of sweeping turns and helices at speed before returning to the station, more often than not to the applause of the riders on board. Since the rollercoaster is essentially launched straight out of the Ferrari World building and into a desert, all riders are required to wear protective glasses to prevent sand, insects and other nasties injuring their eyes. Guests with spectacles are catered for with the option to wear a pair of goggles over the top of their specs instead of the protective glasses.
While Formula Rossa may be the most famous ride at the park, Ferrari World also plays host to four other rollercoasters (two of which - Mission Ferrari and Turbo Track - were still under construction during my visit but are due to open in 2017).
Fiorano GT Challenge is a twin-track steel racing coaster from Maurer Rides. It's awesome fun, and the cars accelerate nicely through the multiple LSM launches. The track lengths are identical, and the ride is well designed to make sure both trains are well matched, meaning it feels like a genuine race rather than it being a pre-determined outcome.
Flying Aces was the park's new rollercoaster for 2016, and is an Intamin Wing Coaster designed to provide riders with the thrill of an aerobatic aeroplane ride. It is perhaps testament to the enormous scale of everything in the UAE that Flying Aces looks like a fairly normal large-ish rollercoaster. In fact, it is over 200 feet high and travels at speeds up to 75mph. It has the world's tallest loop and the world's steepest cable lift hill, which the aeroplane themed trains climb at a 51 degree angle. For me, it was my favourite rollercoaster in the park, and in fact in the UAE. Intamin have done a fantastic job with the ride - it is smooth, fast, and the pacing through the elements is spot on.
Alongside the rollercoasters, Ferrari World offers a variety of other rides and attractions. Benno's Great Race is a superb interactive dark ride, where riders have to participate in a variety of games and challenges as they journey around the well themed scenes. The Red show is a live action stage show featuring various acrobats and other performers, although given the huge space the theatre takes up, the scale is a little underwhelming.
Several of the rides are based around motion simulators, but each experience is unique and executed very nicely. Speed of Magic is a 4D fantasy racing adventure, while Driving With the Champion puts riders into an F1 car speeding along the Fiorano track and through the roads of Maranello. For those that prefer life at a slower pace, Viaggio in Italia is a flying theatre showcasing beautiful Italian scenery, from the Tuscan hills to the canals of Venice.
Ferrari World offers enough for a whole day of adventures, with a great variety of rides and other attractions to thrill and entertain both car-fanatics and a more general audience alike. However, similar to a real Ferrari, the experience doesn't come cheap. Admission is currently AED 275 (around $75/£57), and food and souvenirs inside are very expensive too. If you fancy purchasing an on-ride photo of you on the front seat of Formula Rossa, you'll need to stump up AED 99 ($27/£21)! Is the park worth the price? Well, how much would you pay for a Ferrari?
The world's fastest rollercoaster, accelerating to a top speed of 149mph
Superb Intamin Wing coaster, giving riders the experience of an aerobatic flight
SFX coaster from Dynamic Attractions
Race against time to change the tyre on an F1 car and see if you could make it as a member of the Ferrari pit crew
Fly over the Italian countryside and through the cities of Venice and Rome
Experience driving at high speed with an F1 champion in this motion simulator
Guests must help Benno the Mouse race against his friends in this interactive dark ride
Live action show combining acrobats, dancers, BMX stunt riders and more