Dubai isn’t short on aquatic arenas but in relative terms, LEGOLAND Water Park is the new kid on the block, joining established waterparks Wild Wadi and Aquaventure. With a fifth birthday to celebrate, we make an early morning visit to see how the Lego-themed addition stacks up.
LEGOLAND Water Park opened in October of last year, following in the footsteps of its older (and drier) sibling at the Dubai Parks and Resorts development. With summer upon us and discount rates until the end of August, it could be just the place to treat kids to some stress-free aqua action and win some big brownie points.
From the moment we drive into the VIP Car park (it costs an extra Dhs100, but you get to park right by the entrance), we relax in a way that never quite happens in other, bigger waterparks in the region. Maybe this is because it is the only UAE water park designed specifically for kids aged from two to 12 – and their families.
Not that this place is small. With more than 20 waterslides to enjoy you will need to check a map to make sure you tick all the Legoboxes. We start at the Build-A-Raft River where the new five-year-old enjoys attaching some giant Lego pieces onto his raft before we take a lazy trip on the current. Each ride has a handy shoe rack right by its entry point so you can happily wear your flip-flops and avoid hot feet as you wander around the park.
After our rafting stint we head to the Joker Soaker playground, a massive, family-sized playground with tumbling buckets of water, water shooters, slides for all styles of adventurer, as well as pools to plunge in and bridges to race across. This is a great one for all ages and is aqua fun at its most crazy. Some slides are for kids only here and some can be enjoyed by the bigger thrillseeker.
Next up is Red Rush, a winding track where we jump on a family sized raft and slosh our way down. Both kids want to try this one over and over and five times later it still hasn’t got old. Sibling rivalry kicks into gear as they catch a glimpse of the Lego Slide Racer, so we grab some mats and race against each other to see who is the fastest racer in LEGOLAND.
Soon though, rumbling tummies announce it’s time for a lunch of burgers, fries and juice at Dhs35 per child. The park boasts two food outlets, The Brick Bistro for pizza and The Wave Bistro for all the usual bites. It is a shame there is no inside seating available, but station yourself near an air-conditioning unit for the occasional cooling blast.
Back to the attractions and we find a wave pool, which produces oscillations that are the perfect size for jumping over and diving through. There are plenty of life jackets available for a bit of extra buoyancy and deck chairs to relax on and watch from the sidelines.
Next up, we take a little time for some ship building at the cleverly designed mini marina where tykes, and their competitive parents, get busy coming up with clever maritime designs. Master builders can get creative and set their Lego creations afloat on mini rivers. Another ride highlight is the Tidal Tube where we body slide through 240 feet of enclosed tube as we howl (in a good way) before going straight back to the top to try it all over again.
Meanwhile, toddlers can enjoy a special section just for them, The Duplo, where they can slide down four pint-sized slides and meet some larger-than-life Lego Duplo characters.
It might be the wettest birthday yet but our kids, wrapped in souvenir LEGOLAND towels, are already planning a next visit.
From Dhs145 (online summer offer valid until August 31). Open daily 10am-7pm. LEGOLAND Water Park, Dubai Parks and Resorts, www.legoland.com (04 820 3123).