September has always been the month when I have to conquer my fear of rollercoasters and scary slides! I do love the pump of adrenaline in my blood sometimes, but before that happens, I have to deal with sweaty hands, fast-paced heartbeat and crazy tension! And I hate that feeling! September is the only month when I don't have the heart to say 'No'. I have to bring out the adventurous side of me as my husband, who never asks for material things, always wants to have a thrilling birthday getaway! How can I decline a birthday wish? This year, he wanted to be at Yas Waterworld, the newest waterpark in the UAE. So, his wish was my command!
Yas Waterworld is a theme park based on an Arabic folklore "The Legend of the Lost Pearl". The thrilling waterpark slides and amenities depict the adventures of Dana on her journey to find the lost Mother Pearl. It is the home of the first and only 360-degree looping waterslide in the UAE, the world's first Hydromagnetic-powered waterslide, the largest sheet wave surfing ride in the world and the longest suspended rollercoaster in the UAE. No wonder why my husband was raving about Yas Waterworld since it opened last January 2013.
Ed and I arrived at Yas Waterworld minutes before its opening time, but there was already a long queue at the ticket booth. We waited in line, and after about 15 minutes or so, we have paid the fees and secured our waterproof wristbands for easy payment inside the waterpark.
Yas Waterworld's lobby or the Qaryat Al Jewana Souk resembles an Arabic marketplace. It is where the changing rooms, lockers, souvenir shops are located. We felt like we were in an old Arab town and not in a waterpark!
Yas Waterworld offers fun and excitement for everyone! The waterpark rides are classified into four categories: Adrenaline Rush rides have the highest thrill level, made especially for the fearless! For those who want to scare themselves a little, there are Exciting Adventure rides. For medium thrill level, there are Moving and Grooving rides where you can have fun without screaming at the top of your lungs! Lastly, the Young Fun rides are for the little ones and for the kids at heart.
|The lost Mother Pearl looming above Amwaj Beach, a pool with artificially generated waves.|
|There are also moments of tranquility at the Amwaj. |
We had this underwater shot while we were waiting for the incredible waves!
|Ed and I at the Bandit Bomber, the world's first suspended water rollercoaster with water bombs and laser guns. Ed's happy face and my I-hate-this-ride scream were perfectly captured in this photo! :)|
|Ed and I at the scary-looking Slither Alley.|
|The Slither Alley: six types of slides with different thrill levels. The big purple one made me feel like I journeyed inside a snake's body! It was bumpy, dark and creepy.|
|I had my imaginary pompoms on and cheered for my husband as he slid on these extreme slides: Sebag (the head-first slide), Jebel Drop (the steep green slide) and Hamlool's Humps (the blue long slide with humps)|
|My daredevil also slid on the Liwa Loop, the first and only looping waterslide in the UAE.|
|Behind us is the Dawwama, the first and largest hydromagnetic-powered waterslide.|
|A haven of thrill up above and a relaxation spot down below. |
The Al Raha River or the lazy river is for those who just want to unwind under the warm sunshine.
|Ed and I grabbed a double tube and drifted away at Al Raha River twice! |
We also went to Yadi Yas, a river channel with big waves and strong current.
|We were astonished with Yas Waterworld's surfing rides. |
The Bubbles' Barrel is the largest sheet wave surfing ride in the world!
|Even my extreme-rider husband shied away from the massive wave at Bubbles' Barrel. |
So, we ended up laughing our hearts out at the fake wave nearby.
|We saw pearl divers searching for the ocean's precious gems at Hairat Yas. This is where guests can ask the divers to get an oyster and turn the pearl inside into a customized jewelry for a fee.|
At noon, Ed and I had lunch at Dana's Diner. I was very happy to see the counters free from queues, far from the reviews that I have read! :) The food outlet has an outdoor seating with a good view of the surf rides and an indoor seating option at Souk Al Jewana. There are various combo meals to choose from; burger, hotdog, pizza and all the typical theme park food!
|Dana's Diner without a long queue at noon|
|Dana's Diner's outdoor seating at the Dolphin Zone|
|indoor seating option inside Souk al Jewana|
|Combo Meals from 45 to 60 AED|
After lunch, we walked around the waterpark, explored its caverns and looked for more adventures. My husband made his way to the steepest slide once again and I went with him with the sole purpose of having an aerial view of Yas Waterworld. I took a couple of snaps at the waterpark's best vantage point while Ed was on queue for the Jebel Drop slide.
|sun-kissed at Yas Waterworld|
|aerial view of the Amwaj Beach from Jebel Drop's platform|
|the private Al Wa'ha cabanas from up above|
Since we don't have a waterproof camera and we couldn't risk our DSLR's life in a waterpark, we bought Yas Waterworld's photo package. For 250 AED, we got a CD of 50 photos and two large prints on a Yas Waterworld frame as souvenirs!
|one of the photos taken by Yas Waterworld's official photographer|
I have read a lot of negative feedbacks about Yas Waterworld, mostly about the long waiting time. A day in a waterpark should be fun and furious-free. So, here's a proven and tested tip that I want to share: Start your adventure early! Arrive at 10am, make your way to the Bandit Zone, Jebel Dana and Falcon Zone immediately. The popular and must-try slides in these zones have lesser or absolutely no queues at all in the morning. Grab a meal at 12nn, just like we did, to easily secure a table at the indoor/air-conditioned area of Dana's diner. Visit the Amwaj Beach, Lazy River and Yadi Yas in the afternoon. These are the areas where you don't need to queue anytime!
Thumbs up for Yas Waterworld; an amazing theme park with world-class amenities and unique waterslides!
General Admission: 225 AED
Junior Admission: 185 AED
*Please do check Yas Waterworld's official website for current fees and promotions.
*To get there by public transport, ride bus 190 across Abu Dhabi's main terminal. For guests from Yas Plaza Hotels and Saadiyat Island, Yas Express provides complimentary pick up and drop off on designated route schedule.