A roller coaster that powers up to 240kmph in less than five seconds and a simulated tour of Ferrari factory are the rides at the heart of the first Ferrari Theme Park, which opens to UAE residents and tourists three months from now.
Park authorities unveiled the new rides yesterday, marking the beginning of a 100-day countdown to the opening on October 28, barely weeks ahead of this year's Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix race.
“The opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will revolutionize the way visitors and people in the region spend their leisure time,” said Mohammad Al Mubarak, Chairman of the park’s operating company, Farah Leisure Parks Management.
“It is a great testament of Abu Dhabi’s capacity, and the region’s potential.”
The park sits next to the futuristic Yas Marina circuit that hosts the Grand Prix and is being billed the sprawling complex will be the world's largest indoor theme park.
It will be housed under a massive triangular red roof on the Dh150-billion Yas Island development. "It is an indoor thing with an outdoor feeling," Claus Frimand, the general manager of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, told reporters. "You forget that you are inside a building because the roof is between 35 and 50 metres (115 and 165 feet) above you and there are no support structures, except the funnel in the middle and one row of columns," he added.
Some 20 rides and attractions are likely to be operational at the 2000-sqm park on launch day, as well as a range of concept restaurants and cafes offering authentic Italian dining experiences, in addition to unique shopping locations. Among these are the F1-themed Formula Rossa which is set to be the world's fastest-ever roller coaster, reaching a top speed of 240 km per hour. "It gives you the feel of driving in a F1 car very close to the ground," said park manager Andy Keeling.
A second roller coaster, which stretches beyond the building's perimeter, features two tracks with Ferrari-shaped trains. "The unique feature is that it has two tracks, two trains side by side and depending on the weight of the passengers, one will cross the finish line first," said Frimand.
Right in the centre of the building, out of a big funnel which is the only area with daylight, visitors can experience the space-shot G-force Tower. "That is the highest we could build on the island," said Frimand. "We can shoot people up through the roof where they can look over the whole island.It gives you the G-force that the drivers are experiencing during the race."
Other attractions at the park include the fantasy world of ‘Nello’ at Speed of Magic, as the mischievous racing driver leads guests on a fantastic 4-D adventure through deep green jungles to icy caves and ravines. With the Made in Maranello attraction, visitors can tour a replica of the marque’s Maranello factory to gain an insight into how the famous cars are made.
And for those who don’t particularly care for cars, Viaggio in Italia provides a breath-taking bird’s eye view of Italy as visitors follow a Ferrari California through the scenic countryside and past famous Italian landmarks.
The park is set to be one of the signature features of Yas Island, a 2,500 hectare island dedicated to leisure, entertainment and lifestyle.
Some of the other rides are:
- Speed of Magic: A fantasy 4-D journey that follows the adventures of a young boy as he travels through a kaleidoscopic dreamscape of natural and phenomenal environments.
- V12: A flume ride to the heart of a 12-cylinder engine.
- G-Force: A tower ride that will shoot thrill-seekers through the red roof and 62 metres in the air before plummeting back to Earth, experiencing the actual G-force of a Ferrari, in a seat directly inspired by the Ferrari Enzo.
- Scuderia Challenge: Cutting-edge racing simulators similar to those used by drivers of the Scuderia Ferrari in training.
- Fiorano GT Challenge: A dueling rollercoaster with Ferrari F430 Spiders twisting and turning through tight corners on a sprint to the finish line.
- Bell’Italia: A miniature recreation of Italy’s most famous locations, from the picturesque Portofino and the Amalfi Coast to Monza racetrack, the Colosseum in Roma, Venezia and Maranello, the heartland and home of Ferrari.
- Paddock: A re-creation of the Ferrari motor home including garages, transporters and hospitality suites with interactive shows offering fans a taste of the true action behind the scenes on Grand Prix race day.
- The Pit Wall: An interactive theatre that allows guests to test their judgment in realistic racing scenarios.
- Galleria Ferrari: The world’s largest Ferrari gallery outside Maranello, showcasing the most exclusive range of classic and contemporary Ferrari’s from all over the world.
- Junior GT: A driving school for children with expert instruction where they will drive reduced-scale F430 GT Spiders on an equipped driving course.
- Junior Grand Prix: After the Junior GT driving experience, budding F1 drivers can enjoy the race track in scaled down Ferrari F1 racers.
- The Racing Legends: A ride through Ferrari’s greatest racing moments starting from the first races all the way to today’s F1 victories.
- Driving with Champions: An interactive 3-D show which follows the adventures of a young engineer who is taken on the ride of a lifetime with a racing champion on his first day working at the Ferrari factory.
- Cinema Maranello: Ferrari World’s own theatre showing ‘Coppa di Sicilia’, a short film that tells one of the many inspiring stories from the life of the legendary Enzo Ferrari.
- Junior Training Camp: An interactive play area for children where they can engage with a waterless car wash, become custom ‘constructors’, climb up the grandstand, pilot remote cars, paddle their own miniature Ferrari and play with an F1 car made of soft, guest-friendly foam.
- Carousel: A range of never-before-seen Ferrari prototypes based on winning designs from contests.
(With agency inputs)