Here's my review of motiongate. It's quite wordy so feel free to skip to the photos at the end.
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a sneak preview of Motiongate in Dubai. We arrived at the main car park and were shown to a parking space by lots of parking staff.
We then boarded a bus to be taken to the entrance of Riverland. The bus took us past the almost ready Lapita hotel which looks amazing and the Six Flags theme park area.
Once dropped at the entrance of Riverland we had quite a long walk to the gates of Motiongate. It was a pleasant walk through Riverland and it was nice to see how well themed it is.
There were Christmas decorations and a massive tree.
It was also nice to see that on the other side of the water the new Irish village had finally opened its doors.
The entrance to Motiongate is huge. There was movie music playing and the atmosphere was very exciting.
Upon entering the park you are in the studio central zone. The initial view of The New York Street Backlot area is amazing.
The attention to detail and themeing blows any other park in this region away! It really does feel like walking into a world class theme park. You totally don't feel like you are in Dubai!
At the end of The street is the hub with a fountain and access to all the different lands.
Working clockwise the LionsGate zone is first. This area is still under construction and will feature the Hunger Games coaster amongst other rides.
Next is the Hollywood Theatre where Step Up All In Dubai, a hip hop dance show is currently playing.
Next up is the Dreamworks zone. This is all indoors in a massive building. It is split up into several zones including Kung Fu panda, Shrek, Madagascar and How to Train your Dragon. When we visited it was not ready however when open it will almost double the size of the existing park.
It is also climate controlled so will be amazing in the warmer months.
Working clockwise the next zone is The Smurfs. The Smurfs village has been brilliantly brought to life. As you stroll through the zone it's again hard to remember you are still in Dubai.
The Smurfs zone contains great indoor and outdoor play areas, a rollercoaster, an interactive smurf show and a major dark ride.
The show in the Smurfs Village play house was interesting. It uses animated smurfs on a screen that interact with the audience. Technically it's very clever indeed however it does feel a bit flat. This is mostly due to the degree of audience participation that is required. If, as when we were there, the audience is really interested in participating it does seem like a needlessly drawn out show. They could have done the interaction with kids in five minutes and everyone would have been just as impressed. As it was with the show being 20 minutes longs several people left during the show.
The Smurfs Studios Tour is a very good dark ride. It combines some great animatronics with a good story line and provides. Surprisingly long ride experience. Of all the rides I experienced on the preview day it was by far my favourite.
The rollercoaster was open during our visit.
The next and final zone is the Sony Picture zone. This is by far the biggest zone at the moment.
As you enter this zone you can see a very impressive and huge looking castle in the distance. This is part of the Hotel Transylvania dark ride. Again this was not open in our visit but if the facade is anything to go by it will be stunning. The forced perspective on the castle is simply stunning.
Also in this area is the green hornet coaster. Due to high winds on the day of our visit it was only open sporadically. However it looks amazing and the screams coming from it seemed to speak volumes about its popularity as did the ques later in the day.
The Ghostbusters dark ride is also in this zone. This is a ride based on the Ghostbusters films (not the new one). The outside is very impressive as is the queue line. You will pass a very good ghost containment area along with lots of original photos from the production of the movies.
The ride itself is a shooting style dark ride and mixes props with screens that have ghosts to shoot. This is a great ride and the screens work well however it does feel slightly missing something. I can't quite put my finger on it but i think it could have done with a few more animatronics to complement the screens. The ride system reminds me of Bennos great race at Ferrari World. Overall the full experience is amazing. The fact that the queue line is so well themed really draws you into the story.
Underworld 4D is also in this zone. Again the themeing and imersiveness of the queue is nothing short of stunning. The actual 4D cinema is really good too. The 3D works really well and there are some genuine scares.
Zombiland blastoff is a combination shot and drop tower which was also having issues due to the very high winds the day we visited. Again the themeing of the ride and area is amazing!
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a Rapids ride that looks amazing. Again this wasn't open during the preview day but it looks like a great ride.
So. My overall thoughts about Motiongate. I was expecting this to be an amazing park. I had heard some good things and seen some photos. However nothing prepared me for the real thing. The attention to detail and overall themeing is nothing short of stunning. You really don't feel like you are in Dubai. The food quality and price seems a lot better than Legoland Dubai. We are at the Hotel Beastro and despite them having issues with the ordering system the staff coped very well and were always friendly and polite.
Something that really stands out with this park is the entertainment. There are characters all around the park and entertainment around every corner. It's safe to say that Motiongate will be a massive success. They really have set the bar high.