Abu Dhabi’s original indoor theme park Ferrari World is about to get a whole lot more exciting for families
I’ll be honest, we’re one of those families that have long bemoaned that Ferrari World Abu Dhabi really isn’t aimed at kids. That’s cool. There are plenty of other water parks and theme parks in the UAE that are, but it still felt like we were missing out on something exciting!
Well, something has been brewing at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi for the last couple of years and open to the public from today is the new Family Zone at Ferrari World!
This post is part of our series Discover the UAE – come and see all our family attraction reviews and fun things to do around the UAE with kids.
Family Zone at Ferrari World – What to Expect
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for theme park entry then finding that your kids cannot actually do half the rides. This was an acute issue that Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has long suffered from. We have always put it at the top of our teen interests recommendations but advised those with school-aged kids against it.
On 1 March 2020, four new Family Zone attractions have opened, designed to be junior versions of Ferrari World’s most thrilling favourites, all with favourable height restrictions for kids.
The new rides you can experience at Ferrari World Family Zone are:
Formula Rossa Junior
A miniature roller coaster just for kids, but still built with enough twists and turns to make it thrilling for the junior crowd and available from a much lower height limit than many other roller coaster rides in the UAE offering equal thrill-factor. This one is probably the best interpretation of the adult ride flying past at 45km/hr, which kids can ride from 0.9m (1.1m unaccompanied).
A junior version of Turbo Track, best for spectacular views over the whole theme park and giving you the thrill of a small zero gravity fall, you’re raised 13.5m above the ground for a flying fun ride vertically. The full version which sends you flying horizontally before a vertical freefall you need to wait until 1.05m.
Modelled as a junior version of Flying Aces (though in our minds, nothing like it??) you glide through the air on your own flying machine, your control bar allows you to adjust your flight path and add your own extra little thrills. The adult version has the world’s tallest non-inverted rollercoaster loop and is available from 1.05m.
A miniature version of Junior GP, you are in a 2-seater car on a fixed track, at each of the bends your car speeds up for a small motion thrill. From 0.9m this is very much the most introductory level of the four new rides. The bigger version is available from 1.1m but can be more challenging for littles as they need to actually steer.
All of these new rides are an exciting addition to the existing Family Zone at Ferrari World. The previous attractions were mostly interactive games and essentially soft plays and shows. The new selection greatly increases the choice in “thrill” experiences for those under 1.3m to be actively involved.
Height Restrictions at Ferrari World
Here’s a run-through of exactly what rides and attractions you can expect to enjoy with kids (1.3m and below) at Ferrari World now that the new Family Zone is open (note many of these were already in the park – this list is not exhaustive you can find all of Ferrari World’s attractions here). There are also shows and interactive displays open to all ages and sizes.
|Ride/Attraction||Zone||Accompanied Height Restrictions||Unaccompanied|
|Juniour GP||F1 Zone||N/A||1.1m to 1.5m|
|Formula Rossa Junior||Family Zone||0.9m to 1.1m||1.1m|
|Speedway Race||Family Zone||0.9m to 1.2m||1.2m|
|Turbo Tower||Family Zone||1.05m to 1.2m||1.2m|
|Flying Wings||Family Zone||1.05m to 1.2m||1.2m|
|Viaggio in Italia||Family Zone||1.0m to 1.3m||1.3m|
|Driving with the Champion||Family Zone||1.07m to 1.2m||1.2m|
|Tyre Twist||Family Zone||1.02m to 1.2m||1.2m|
|Benno's Great Race||Family Zone||under 1.2m||1.2m|
|Speed of Magic||Italian Zone||1.1m to 1.2m||1.2m|
|Made in Maranello||Italian Zone||under 1.2m||1.2,m|
|Bell'Italia||Italian Zone||under 1.2m||1.2m|
So to be clear, it is still not somewhere I would recommend for your pre-school aged kids. There are plenty of other smaller attraction parks in the UAE that ARE good for this age group but frankly, until your kids are over at least 1.05m there are A LOT of rides they cannot do at any of the UAE’s big theme parks.
We give you a detailed run through the UAE’s top family theme parks here so you can decide which will be best for your kids’ ages and interests.
For those who are deciding between the Yas Island theme parks, this most definitely moves Ferrari World up to be closer on par with Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.
It really depends on your kid’s interests which is “best” – the Globetrotters are big superhero fans which definitely gives WB World Abu Dhabi the edge just now, but as they grow I’m sure the enticement of more adrenaline-pumping thrills and spills will edge them to Ferrari World.
Thrill factor of the new family zone rides at Ferrari World
The verdict from our littlest guy who’s only just reached over 1.1m and starting to do more thrilling rides was a huge beaming smile. It was perfect for him and he could tackle it with quite a degree of independence, albeit still needing to be accompanied on all rides.
Our 7 and 10-year-olds also loved the independence as they did not need adults for any of the new rides. Our Miss 10 said she was very happy with the roller coaster and definitely did NOT want to try the real Flying Aces or Turbo Track even though she is now tall enough.
Master 7 on the other hand, quietly always seeking the next thrill-seeking adventure was ready for the next challenge after a couple of goes on each, desperately eyeing up the Turbo Track experience (available from 1.3m!).
As someone who suffers from severe motion sickness, I can tell you Flying Wings was more than enough for me! Speedway Racer is about the only pace I can handle – and I know it’s tame. That said, I was very grateful that I did not have to do any further rides!!
Our Interview with Ferrari World
The Globetrotters were lucky to spend some time with Ferrari World General Manager Bianca Sammut on opening day to find out more about the new section of the newly opened section of the theme park!
You can listen to their full interview here along with the new Family Zone rides in action.
Here are some of their interview highlights
OG: Why did you want to build a family zone?
“We already had a lot of family attractions but we wanted more rides that kids could enjoy by themselves, they’re smaller versions of the big ones. As you get bigger you can try more rides”
OG: What was the hardest thing to build?
“The challenge was that the family zone was already inside the park so they had to build it without disrupting the attractions in the rest of the park”
OG: Is this the only Ferrari World in the world?
“It’s the only Ferrari World, but there is Ferrari Land in Spain, Abu Dhabi was the original Ferrari theme park”
OG: What are the most popular rides at Ferrari World?
“The World’s Fastest Coaster Formula Rossa is the number No. 1 ride at the park, Bell’Italia drive through Italy is also very popular with families.”
OG: How old is Ferrari World?
“Ferrari World will turn 10 on 4 November”
(Stay tuned for more on Ferrari World’s 10th Anniversary celebrations!)
How to get to Ferrari World, Yas Island
For those staying or living in Abu Dhabi, it is easy to taxi/Uber to the venue on Yas Island, connected to the giant Yas Mall. If you are parking, take “Fashion Parking” and head to the top level, you can walk straight across to the Ferrari World entrance, next to the iconic new CLYMB building.
If you are booking day trip tickets from Dubai, don’t forget there are many locations across the city where you can pick up the free shuttle bus service from. We talk more about how the Yas Theme Parks shuttle service works here.
You can also check out their private and shared transfer options which may be more convenient if you have a group:
- Ferrari World is open daily 11am to 8pm.
There are plentiful dining options both within the theme park and immediately adjacent in Yas Mall.
Globetrotters Recommend Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
We always used to caution families with school-aged children or younger from choosing Ferrari World in their Abu Dhabi itineraries as we felt there were not enough attractions for your under 10’s crowd to make it worth the entry fee.
The introduction of the new family zone at Ferrari World is a real gamer-changer. You still need to assess heights and interests before investing in theme park family days out but this certainly makes Ferrari World a way more interesting family day out for those with primary aged children. If rides and thrills are your key interest then Ferrari World should be your top choice.
More UAE attraction reviews:
- Everything you need to know about the largest indoor theme park in the world, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
- Immediately adjacent to Ferrari World, explore Indoor Skydiving & Rock Climbing at CLYMB
- Enjoy extreme experiences for kids at Circuit X Al Hudayriyat Island
- The very best of Abu Dhabi Indoor Activities for kids
- What to expect at Legoland Dubai & Legoland Waterpark Dubai
Don’t forget you can also head over to our dedicated Family Travel in the Middle East website and continue the conversation over on our Facebook Chat group if you would like to know more about planning a family trip in and around the region.
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Have you been to Ferrari World recently? Do the new rides appeal to you to now visit with your kids? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
© Our Globetrotters. Some images were supplied by Ferrari World.