While Legoland and Bollywood Parks have a clear demographic to target, motiongate is harder to pigeonhole. Is it for kids, white-knuckle riders or movie buffs? Truth is, there’s enough packed in to please all. Leaning on the powers of Dreamworks, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate certainly gives it a sound footing, and in terms of relatable wow factor, it packs a hefty punch.
Enough films to fill an Oscars ceremony have been used as the basis of rides and experiences, among them The Hunger Games, Ghostbusters, The Green Hornet, The Smurfs, Zombieland, Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.
On our visit to the site of the park on Sheikh Zayed Road, opposite the Palm Jebel Ali, the most striking thing we notice is how they’ve crammed so much in without making it feel like a chore to tick everything off. We weave our way between the remarkably compact zones, all built around a central dial-like landscaped area complete with water feature.
For icons, look no further than motiongate's grand main entrance. It screams “something magical lies beyond”, and standing beneath the giant gold movie reel, flanked by oversized and wonderfully novel cameras, cinema billboards and other familiar memorabilia, our heart-rate increases to roller coaster speed.
Once in, it’s down Studio Central, a themed boulevard of food and retail spots set to be illuminated by street performances and character interactions. Two key rides poke their tracks up above the rooftops (The Green Hornet, and Capitol Bullet Train), heightening excitement – and we can just imagine the screeches filtering through the concourse.
Back outside, the theming is easy on the eye; bold, bright colours are at every turn, not least in Smurfs Village or on the roof of Baby Brent’s Luncheonette, where enormous foodstuffs have landed a nod to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Up ahead, Dreamworks looms like a giant, cavernous fun house. Large enough for five A380s, with the Fountain Of Dreams dominating its entrance, rides will be mostly kept out of sight, only occasionally jutting out into the main rooms. That’s not to say it will be dull, far from it. Expect interaction and the feeling of being fully immersed in Shrek’s Swamp or the Kung Fu Academy to be ramped up. Welcome to Tinseltown 2.0. Annual pass Dhs865 or Dhs1,095 with waterpark access.
Blast Off Zombieland-themed, 58m free-fall tower, it’s the highest ride in the whole of Dubai Parks And Resorts. It mirrors the scene in which Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin fend off the walking dead.
Hunger Games A world first (and second) with two themed rides based on the iconic movie franchise. White-knuckle fans will be drawn the “high-speed bullet train”, which runs both forwards and backwards.
Smurfs Studio Tours A fully immersive sensory assault for the family, this whimsical journey through the movie asks you to get involved in the pursuit of Gargamel while riding through tunnels.
Ghostbusters: Battle For New York Taking place inside a replica structure of the iconic firehouse from the movie – complete with Slimer’s Diner – this interactive experience features shooting games and more.