PHOTO TR: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

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PHOTO TR: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Postby Rastuso » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:17 pm

Just a quick report tonight. I'm going back again tomorrow, and photos to come.

I got to my hotel early enough I went in to the park. The lady thought I was crazy paying 60, one hour before park close, but Formula Rossaa was running, and I wasn't missing out again. I got more crazy looks as I ran back to FR. I go down the stairs to find a fairly short ride, but one train ops with sloooow dispatches.

I am fidgety as hell until finally getting my glasses cover, a photo by the ride op, and we exit the station and stop at launch, which is immediately outside the station.

I must be honest, the FIRST ride, the launch seemed about the same as Dragster and KK. You slow down abruptly at the first hill crest. The main track is a huge figure 8, followed by two bunnies. All very fast and smooth, and essentially no air.

My second ride included an OMFG that's a fast launch! Definitely more than KK. My 4th and final ride was just insane. Mouth blown open by the air, airtime at the top of the first hill. The difference between my first and fourth rides was quite large. I really thought, after 1 ride, that they weren't really hitting 150, but it definitely does.

More tomorrow, I didn't ride anything else, and shirts are insanely expensive.

-RO
Last edited by Rastuso on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:48 am.

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Photo TR: Ferrari World, day 1

Postby Rastuso » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:30 am

TR: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, July 6-7, 2011

I was in Dubai the day that was SUPPOSED to be the grand opening, but a sheik died, and it was cancelled. I was mega-bummed, but then went to Wild Wadi and had a blast.

Well, I made it back to Dubai, sadly on a trip to Saudi Arabia for work, and wasn’t going to miss Ferrari World again! I arrive in Dubai a bit early, fly through customs, get my bag, and get into my free chauffeur ride to the Shangri-La hotel in Abu Dhabi. Emirates gives a free ride anywhere in the UAE to business class customers, so I chose a hotel near FR. I wish I had stayed at the Yas Hotel instead, since it was basically next door and would have saved me $30 or so in cab fare, but the Shangri-La had much better reviews, and was a phenomenal hotel. Plus the asian babe at concierge was hot, and was extremely nice, and really made my stay excellent.

So, I get to the hotel about 8:30, and realize I could hit the park that night. I have them call to see if Formula Rossa is running, but they couldn’t get anyone to answer. Fuck it, I drop off my bags, don’t bother with checking in, and I’m going. I get in a taxi, which is the longest 15 minute taxi ride of my life, as I’m nervous as hell that the ride will not be operating again. We pull up to the park, and I rush up the escalator, and to the ticket booths. The girl there is quite surprised that I’m wanting to pay 225 AED (62.50) when the park is closing in one hour. She checks on FR’s status, and says it has a short line. OK, give me the damn ticket. I’ve paid $8 to ride Flitzers for cryin’ out loud. This IS the fastest roller-coaster in the world we’re talking about.

I breeze through the gate and start jogging back to the left, getting lots of weird looks on the way. The park was reasonably busy, but this is essentially their Friday night. I get to FR, got down two flights of stairs, and am waved into the queue. I round the corner to see people getting into a train. YAY!!! The line was quite short, but thanks to brutally slow loading, one train operations, and the fact that the train only holds 16 people, it still takes 20 minutes for me to hop in. The trains are shaped like Ferrari F-1s of course, and they are NOT idiot friendly. You must climb into them, over fenders, and sit down. Thankfully, it is seatbelt and lap bar only and no stapling.

I am given a weird clear glasses cover to wear, and I have a ride op take my photo, since someone else did. Of course, she wouldn’t let me ride with it then, and tried to get everything else from my pockets, but I didn’t let that happen. I don’t get separated from my passport. They make front seat riders, and anyone wearing glasses, wear goggles. They also made most women in abayyas wear red lab coats to prevent their robes from getting stuck in the wheels. Of course the glasses fogged up some, since it was about 239% humidity outside. They do a decent job in keeping the station a bit cooler with air curtains. As soon as we get outside, the glasses cleared up, and we stopped in the launch, which was right outside. The rear of the train is barely out of the station. We creep back a bit, and I know we are locked and loaded. The lights turn green, and we haul ass down the track, and I scream with glee.

As I hinted at before, my first launch was not THAT impressive. It seemed very similar to Dragster and Kingda Ka. The ride delivered no airtime anywhere, but it is definitely fast, even after the long line of brakes on the way up the first hill. After the first hill, which is a long swooping turn, you go into a large figure 8 with very slow transitions at the crossing, so no speed twists like other Intamins. On the return leg, you hit two smooth bunny hops, and a third one with the brakes. The final brakes are pretty abrubt for magnets, and you very slowly creep to the unload station. There is water spraying the train in the station, at launch, and at the brakes.

I of course get immediately back in line, luckily a much shorter line that gets me on the next train. The second launch seemed MUCH faster, and definitely more than Dragster and KK. The wind caught my mouth, blowing it open uncontrollably. I guess a lot of ACErs would like this feature. I took two more rides, and the fourth was without a doubt the best. The launch was great, I was thrown out of my seat on the first hill, and even got some floater airtime on the bunnies. The back car was a little rougher than the middle two. I was quite shocked at how much difference there seemed to be in launch speeds, but the amount of air you got during the brakes, and on the bunnies varied quite a bit, even in the same seats.

Ultimately, this ride is a one trick pony, the track after the launch is taken at a very fast pace, I would guess 80 or so, and you are very close to the sand, but the transitions and bunnies are very uneventful, and pretty tame except for the speed. However, when the launch really hits top speed, it delivers quite a thrill. There are VERY few ways a human being can be accelerated to 150 mph, in an open air vehicle, without a helmet on. In fact, I don’t know if there is any other way to do it. And I honestly don’t see this speed being topped anywhere. You really are pushing the limits. When you get facial distortion from the wind, and must wear goggles in the front seat, you are about at the max. I just can’t see a US park topping this ride any time soon, and definitely not by more than a few mph.

I perused the gift shop on the way out, and saw a pressed “penny” machine. They cost 10 AED, or about $2.75. That turned out to be the bargain the century, since most everything else in the gift store was INSANELY expensive. Want a Ferrari World coffee cup? That’ll be $22. How about a t-shirt for the kids? Sure, only 189 AED, or $52.50. Want a nice polo shirt? A real bargain at only 295 AED ($82). And that includes tax, so it’s even better!

I couldn’t believe the prices, and not surprisingly, few were buying. This park is struggling. They get a pretty small crowd, and really need to boost attendance. However, these souvenir prices, along with pretty expensive food and drink aren’t helping. Sure, there is a market for ultra-rich Ferrari owners to come to the park and buy $500 in shirts for the family. But there aren’t enough of them to keep the park afloat. Ferrari World REALLY needs to realize this. They are trying to sell a boutique brand to theme park goers. I don’t think a Gucci theme park would go over well, either, if a pressed penny holder cost $50 because it said on Gucci on it.

I got a taxi ride home with a pretty scary looking guy who is probably in Al Queda, had an overprice burger, took a hot bath, and passed out. Luckily the park doesn’t open until noon, so I could sleep in before a return to experience everything else that FW has to offer.

-RO
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I wanted to kill my driver when he stopped here to apparetnly piss, as minutes were ticking by.
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Me and my nifty eyewear.
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One of the toughest credits ever, for me.
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Ferrari World at night is pretty dark inside the cavernous building.
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What a nice coffee cup, and it can be yours for only $22!
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Don't forget to stock up on V12 merch. The ride will probably never operate again. And NO, it is not on clearance.
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Huge mosque across the water from my hotel.
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The hotel had a very good arab vibe.
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Huge shower with two heads. I'm sure the concierge chick would have fit in there fine.

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Re: PHOTO TR: Ferrari world

Postby Lamoure » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:14 am

Great TR so far!! I laughed out loud while reading :b !!
I got a taxi ride home with a pretty scary looking guy who is probably in Al Queda,..

THAT was damn funny!

I heard about financial troubles with FerrariWorld! Maybe they are more true than expected ;)
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Re: Photo TR: Ferrari World, day 1

Postby BeemerBoy » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:36 am

First off, great to hear you got to finally ride FR!

Rastuso wrote:Ultimately, this ride is a one trick pony, the track after the launch is taken at a very fast pace, I would guess 80 or so, and you are very close to the sand, but the transitions and bunnies are very uneventful, and pretty tame except for the speed. However, when the launch really hits top speed, it delivers quite a thrill. There are VERY few ways a human being can be accelerated to 150 mph, in an open air vehicle, without a helmet on. In fact, I don’t know if there is any other way to do it. And I honestly don’t see this speed being topped anywhere. You really are pushing the limits. When you get facial distortion from the wind, and must wear goggles in the front seat, you are about at the max. I just can’t see a US park topping this ride any time soon, and definitely not by more than a few mph.

These are my thoughts exactly.

I perused the gift shop on the way out, and saw a pressed “penny” machine. They cost 10 AED, or about $2.75. That turned out to be the bargain the century, since most everything else in the gift store was INSANELY expensive. Want a Ferrari World coffee cup? That’ll be $22. How about a t-shirt for the kids? Sure, only 189 AED, or $52.50. Want a nice polo shirt? A real bargain at only 295 AED ($82). And that includes tax, so it’s even better!

I couldn’t believe the prices, and not surprisingly, few were buying. This park is struggling. They get a pretty small crowd, and really need to boost attendance. However, these souvenir prices, along with pretty expensive food and drink aren’t helping. Sure, there is a market for ultra-rich Ferrari owners to come to the park and buy $500 in shirts for the family. But there aren’t enough of them to keep the park afloat. Ferrari World REALLY needs to realize this. They are trying to sell a boutique brand to theme park goers. I don’t think a Gucci theme park would go over well, either, if a pressed penny holder cost $50 because it said on Gucci on it.

The prices for those Ferrari-branded items are pretty much on par with what you'd pay for them at their online store, or at any dealership here in the states. Even so, I still agree with your point.
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Re: PHOTO TR: Ferrari world

Postby jedimaster1227 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:39 pm

Don't forget to stock up on V12 merch. The ride will probably never operate again.


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Re: PHOTO TR: Ferrari world

Postby Rastuso » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:51 pm

Not sure. It was reportedly really lame but the park really needs another thrill ride. They should spice it up if needed. Its in a big area in the middle of the park.

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Re: Photo TR: Ferrari World, day 1

Postby VegasCoaster » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:39 pm

Rastuso wrote:I couldn’t believe the prices, and not surprisingly, few were buying.


That's not a Ferrari World problem, that sounds pretty standard for what they charge for anything with their logo on it. It definitely doesn't help that its in a theme park but I think in the Ferrari shop at the Wynn in Vegas you can buy a $200 umbrella. Sad to hear the park isn't exactly thriving but I can't say I didn't expect that to a point.

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Re: PHOTO TR: Ferrari world

Postby 805Andrew » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:49 pm

Ferrari World is kind of like the "test market" for future Dubai theme parks. If Ferrari World does well, theme parks construction around Dubailand will start back up and speed up. If Ferrari fails and ultimately closes (I sure hope not), the Dubailand development will probably stay empty forever. On your next day to Ferrari World, did else did you ride?

If ever visited Dubai I would definitely make a day trip to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi because of Formula Rossi. I would wait at least several years before visiting UAE though to let them work out the bugs/expand/improve Ferrari World (and hope it doesn't go the way of Hard Rock Park) and besides there is so many other places I would rather visit first (Japan, Italy, UK, Australia, etc).

On the note of Ferrari merchandise, I bought a Ferrari racing polo shirt at the Ferrari Store kiosk in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in 2004. This shirt was about $22 USD, and that is probably the cheapest Ferrari Store in the world as the exchange rate there was 1 Argentine Dollar = $0.35 USD. One country where the US dollar is still worth something =)
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Re: PHOTO TR: Ferrari world

Postby Rastuso » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:09 am

Ferrari World, July 7th, 2011

After a decent night’s sleep, since I wasn’t worried about whether or not I would get the Formula Rossa credit, I went down for my free breakfast. Holy crap, the buffet was enormous. It had strange looking middle eastern stuff, weird fruits on a stick, a few cereals, hummus, strange seafoods, an omelet station (thank God), and lots of other stuff. The bread station had some of the excellent Arabic bread with some cheese and herbs. I took one to try, and loved it. I went back for many more. I’d never seen such a large selection for breakfast.

I then went and checked out, leaving my luggage with the bellhops. I took all my free water bottles with me, and got a taxi to Ferrari World. The driver took a different route, which got us to some consruction. The fare ended up being about 25% higher than the day before, but that was still only $3. Taxis are super cheap in the UAE. Plus, my driver wasn’t scary like the night before.

One thing I saw on the way was a guy that was wiping sand off of traffic lights! He was wiping them all off. I mean they were spotless at that intersection. The others had a fine layer of sand dust on them. Talk about a never ending job. And this is for an area that has very little going on in it, except Ferrari World. I couldn’t believe they actually pay someone to do this.

I get to the park, buy a ticket and join about 30 other people waiting for the opening. I was the only one that headed to Formula Rossa. I had to wait a few minutes while they finished testing, and a handful of people joined me, including one guy and his family. He asked if FR compared to X2 in America. That sort of surprised me. Apparently he had been to LA, and X2 was the main coaster he remembered, and compared to FR, not Superman!

We ended up riding the front seat together on the first train of the day. The launch was quite good, and the front seat definitely adds to the thrill. I went around for another ride, he ended up with me again in the front row. This launch, my 6th overall, was just crazy. He even commented how the second launch was much better than the first. The airtime throughout the ride was much more pronounced on the second ride. I took a third, and my final ride, near the middle. The launch seemed very strong again.

I walked up and went out to the deck overlooking the track. A Ferrari World employee was out there, noting the temperature, and watching the coaster quite a bit. I started asking him some questions, and got some good info. The park is very concerned about how the ride will operate over the next few months, when the heat gets extreme. When it is over 40, they get worried. He made a comment how the ride manufacturer didn’t take the heat into consideration as much as they should have. He said there were two downtimes last year, the one that preventrf R&E from riding, which he claimed was from the cable stretching and not being the right length, apparently stretching after the first weeks of operation. He also said they had a heat wave above 40, and had some issues. It sounded like they did some heat management changes after that, and that is what he was watching closely. As we talked, the temperature went from 38 C to 46 C (115 F)!! It was fargin hot.

The guy I rode with was there too, and he asked about the seemingly different launch speeds. The FR guy said they more weight on the train, the faster the launch. This seems counterintuitive to me, but who knows. He agreed the launches can change, but was acting like it was more a 2-3 mph shift, not the obvious changes that I felt. I’m honestly surprised the launches fluctuate, since KK and Dragster don’t seem to, but I would guess the launches I experienced were over a 15-20 mph range.

One other thing about the FR station, they played a lot of great metal guitar instrumentals. I think heard Satriani and Vai among other stuff.

I finally headed into the rest of the park. There really isn’t much there. It’s a huge building, most of the inner area is a kids car ride, and the Italian countryside car ride. I went to the back of the park, where the simulators are. I got a ticket good immediately for the free simulators, which really weren’t much more than what you see at Disneyquest, or Gameworks. They did have two upper level ones that were in fullsize cars, with big 180 arc screens in front of then on big motion bases. These were upcharges of about $20, and I passed.

Next I rode the countryside car ride, which was pretty lame. It was mostly hobby shop quality trees on hilly landscape, with only a few large models. I can’t imagine this is what they planned to do originally, it just screamed of budget cuts.

More to come...
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Breakfast fruit
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Cool infinity pool
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Circular building.
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Worst job ever.
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Main Entrance
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Waiting for opening.
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Yeah, I dont think so...
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The front car looks like a racecar, and doesn't fling its wheels off.
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NERD SHOT! Not the expansion piping right before the launch track
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The launch tracks dissappears in the hazy hirizon.
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View of the whole ride from the observation deck.
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A train on the track.
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Me with the cavernous building behind me.
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POV of the Italian countryside.

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Re: PHOTO TR: Ferrari world

Postby Rastuso » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:08 am

I then got to the Made in Maranello ride, which is an Epcot type ride that shows how Ferraris are made. It had a few neat visual effects, but was pretty lame. I was surprised it was in English, as was everything there. There really wasn’t much Arabic anywhere.

I then walked by the large building that housed V12. I really wish it was still running. The park really needs another thrill ride, no matter how lame it is. But, it sounds like V12 is down for the count. They should try and spruce it up and salvage it.

I then got to Speed of Magic, touted as a Spider-man like ride. You start with a preshow of a kid playing a video game when a guy named Trickster pops out and takes the keys. You then follow him through 5 or 6 scenes, a jungle, a desert, an ice area, and you chase him through. The ride isn’t nearly as advanced as Spidey. Each scene is on a 180 arc screen, and you vehicle slows moves past it. I don’t think there was any changing reference points in the 3-D, you simply moved past the screen. Between each movie, you went through a slightly themed area with some physical props. At the end, you get the Ferrari keys, and go to the unload. It’s a cute ride, but is advertised as a family ride, not a thrill ride, and that’s correct.
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The wind tunnel scene from Made in Maranello
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Oh noes, we're going to be burn by molten metal.
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Most definitely NOT like Spider-man.
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The Trickster is eyeing some Ferrari keys in the preshow video.
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One of the curved screens. The 3-D was pretty minimal, and did not seem to be the advanced moving convergence 3-D like Spidey.
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The practical jungle scene after the 3-D jungle chase.

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