Escaping the desert heat of the UAE is best done at one of Dubai’s famous water parks, but the question on everyone’s mind is which one? Both seem so attractive and with only a few hundred metres between them which is best? See who came out on top in a slippery battle which pitted Aquaventure against Wild Wadi.
Aquaventure opened in 2008 along with the famous hotel it shares grounds with, Atlantis The Palm. Spread over 42 acres of pool areas, palm tree shaded grass and a 700m long beach, at Aquaventure Waterpark there is more than enough space to settle in and make a day of it. Due to the large grounds it is easy to find a quiet spot.
Wild Wadi, which opened in 1999 as Dubai’s first water park, is spread over only 12 acres and it is much smaller than Aquaventure, so at times it also feels much busier. Unfortunately, there is no direct access to the beach from the park, however the park has its own man-made beach and the views of the iconic Burj Al Arab are breathtaking!
Food & Beverage
Aquaventure has 16 food and beverage outlets and kiosks with something to suit every taste. Most meals start from around 50AED. Portions are generous so you can share a meal and still feed full. When you purchase your entrance ticket you can add a meal voucher for 45AED which is great value for money.
Wild Wadi has 2 main restaurants and a number of kiosks spread around the park. Just like Aquaventure, the portions are very generous.
Both parks do not allow you to bring in food from outside, however, it is possible to pack some fruit and a bottle of water with no issues.
Now for the crucial part! Most of the rides at Aquaventure Waterpark take place from “The Tower of Neptune” and “The Tower of Poseidon” with various river rides in between. The Tower of Neptune holds the fabled “The Leap of Faith” ride. A near vertical slide drops you from a height of 9 stories through a clear Perspex tube surrounded by sharks and rays. In all honesty, you are going too fast to appreciate the marine life, but it’s a lot of fun nonetheless.
In the Tower of Poseidon, Poseidon’s Revenge involves climbing into a capsule and once the floor gives way you hurtle at speeds of 60km’s per hour to the finish. Aquaconda and Zoomerango are two huge raft slides that we bet you will thoroughly enjoy. Each raft holds up to six riders. The Rapids is a 1.6km river ride with lots of white water sections, and The Torrent is another river ride that creates waves of up to one metre to push you along the river. Aquaventure even allow you to take a GoPro on all the rides.
For little kids, Aquaventure has the Splashers Play Area which is filled with mini slides, climbing frames and various water games to keep the young ones entertained for hours. Many of the river rides at Aquaventure are also suitable for them.
At 33 metres in height, Wild Wadi’s Jumeirah Sceirah is Dubai’s highest ride. You step into a launch chamber and after a countdown the floor gives way rocketing you near vertically to the bottom. There is a high chance you will find this ride to be more of an adrenaline rush than The Leap of Faith at Aquaventure.
Burj Surj at Wild Wadi has two large sections of downhill water slides for inflatable rafts. Another great attraction at Wild Wadi is what they call the Master Blasters. Best described as a water roller coaster that uses jets to push you and your tube uphill, and on to the next downhill. These are so much fun that you will find yourself going back for more.
For the little ones Wild Wadi has Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon with over 100 water activities specially designed for kids.
Another attraction unique to Wild Wadi Water Park is the “Wipeout Flowrider”. It is one of a few globally and gives you a stand up or lie down surfing experience. Throw the lazy river and a gentle wave pool into the mix and Wild Wadi manages to pack plenty of fun and excitement into their 12 acres. Wild Wadi also allow you to take a GoPro on all rides. However, the Jumeirah Sceirah does not permit GoPro cameras.
Being on the Palm and just getting to Aquaventure Waterpark is a unique experience. The well-kept grounds and beach that Aquaventure offers are breath-taking, as well as a little more relaxing than Wild Wadi. The variety of rides were brilliant and the queues are not often very long.
If it’s pure adrenaline you are after, Wild Wadi just nudges ahead here with their rides. Being quite a bit smaller though meant you felt the crowds more here as you’re packed into queues for rides.
Service at both parks was excellent and staff were all very friendly.
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