Could we have a new family-favourite theme park in the UAE?
We’ve been waiting and watching for several years now as the giant golden shed on Yas Island has grown and grown to reveal itself as not just any new family entertainment centre, it’s one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks to date.
We are super excited to introduce you all to our new neighbour Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.
Situated on Yas Island which is only 10 minutes from Abu Dhabi airport and adjacent to family fun park Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is going to get the family excited – yes all of you!!
The UAE is getting quite the reputation as a theme park capital – and it’s no secret they are looking to compete with the world’s best such as Orlando and California – but will it live up to international theme park standards? How does WB World compare to Dubai’s theme park offering?
In this post, you will find a super-comprehensive guide on visiting WB World Abu Dhabi theme park. We’ve included everything you need to know about the rides and attractions, how to prepare for your day out at WB World and the best ticketing options for families.
This post is part of our series Discover the UAE – if you are new to our site come and take a look at all of our attraction and hotel reviews in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and beyond!
What to expect at Warner Bros World with Kids
Although the park looks like a giant golden box factory from the outside, the atmosphere completely changes once you are inside and transported from the real world into the world of the Warner Bros characters and DC Comics. Beyond the main ticketing hall, your journey starts at Warner Bros Plaza which is your main shopping and eatery area before heading off to one of the “immersive lands” – it sounds corny but kinda true!
From here, you can split to the left for Metropolis and Gotham City or start your adventure to the right in Bedrock, before following the path through to Dynamite Gulch and Cartoon Junction – the two parts of the park meet halfway, or you can criss-cross between each land from the main plaza.
They promise a surprise around every corner so you will notice the absence of straight lines, encouraging you to delve further. True to their word, it really did feel like surprises very waiting to greet you around every corner. Different lighting and sound effects only added to the experience.
The Park features a total of 29-state-of-the-art rides, interactive family-friendly attractions and live entertainment shows. There is a huge line up of shows and popular character meets; everything is included in your entry ticket price (more on that below).
At the time of writing, Batman Knight Flight was undergoing final technical rehearsals and should be opening soon. Make no mistake, there’s so much more to this park than just the rides; the aim is to give you a truly immersive experience.
From the opening moments of the park, the whole day is action packed and while sure, you can find yourself stuck with a bit of queuing on a busy day, you are not trapped in perpetual lines.
The Globetrotters experience at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
I was fortunate to get a sneak peek of the park with the media back in April, but seeing the Globetrotters faces as we entered the park for the first time was a pure delight. Our “testers” were Miss Z, 8, Master L, 6, and Master J, 4 (and apparently only 1.04cm!!!).
Note that although doors to the park open at 10am, you can only get as far as the Warner Bros Plaza until 11am when rides and attractions open. Other than food and retail outlets, there is little to do until 10.45am when the Warner Bros Cinema Spectacular commences – definitely worth capturing though a little hand-holding was needed, parts were a little loud and scary for our littles.
If it’s your first or only visit to the park as an overseas visitor, do set aside an entire day. They close at 9pm but our littles made it until well past 5pm and we had to skip a few things in the end. If you’re a resident, consider the annual passes to get the most out of it and take your time enjoying everything – more to come below.
I think most kids (and big kids) will be blown away most by Gotham City where the villain’s reign supreme. Here the noise is electrifying and the rides – well I felt nauseous just looking at them!
Do be warned though your very little ones may be a bit scared by Gotham City, you may want to break them in more gently at Bedrock or Cartoon Junction.
Top Tip: If you do plan on doing several rides, run to the popular ones as soon as the park opens at 11am, then take your time to enjoy the shows and activities later in the afternoon. We went on a Friday and the most popular rides such as the Riddler Revolution were experiencing 90-minute queues by mid-afternoon. Alternatively get a Flash Pass – see more below in ticketing.
Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi Height Restrictions
What I thought would be a huge challenge for us was the height restrictions. We were told pre-opening that all but 2 rides would have a 1.1m minimum – this was INCORRECT! There are several rides that have a 0.9m or lower limit (accompanied by an adult) so your toddlers and pre-schoolers WILL be able to join in many of the rides.
Best rides and attractions at WB World for the Little Ones under 1.1m:
- Ani-Mayhem 90cm (Cartoon Junction – shooting game can fit up to 6 together, must be accompanied under 1.2m)
- Ricochet Racin’ with Taz 90cm (Cartoon Junction – kids driving game – 1.2m accompanied)
- Tweety Wild Wockets 90cm (Cartoon Junction ACME factory – aerial carousel ride – 1.05m accompanied)
- Jet-propelled Pogo Stick 1.0m (Cartoon Junction ACME factory – jump tower – 1.2m accompanied)
- Cartoon Junction Carousel 80cm (Cartoon Junction – classic merry-go-round, must be accompanied under 1.1m)
- Scooby Doo! The Museum of Mysteries 90cm (Cartoon Junction – haunted house ride fits up to 6 per car)
- ACME Factory – no restriction – some rides within this section have a 1.1m limit (Cartoon Junction)
- The Joker Funhouse – no restriction (Gotham City – ends with a slide but our Master 4 found it scary)
- The Jetsons Cosmic Orbiter 90cm (Dynamite Gulch – aerial spinning cars kids can control, 2 per car, under 1.2m accompanied)
- Marvin the Martian Crater Crashers 1.05m – max 2m (Dynamite Gulch – dodgem cars – under 1.25m needs a parent driver)
- Bedrock River Adventure 1.05m (Bedrock – river raft story ride; warning you do get a little wet at the end – 2 per row and must be accompanied under 1.2m)
There are numerous shows on throughout the day too, as well as the character meet and greets which have no height restrictions. Pick up the daily program when you arrive or use the WB World App to best plan out your day.
Rides and attractions at WB World available for children 1.1m to 1.3m
- Tom & Jerry Swiss Cheese Spin 1.1m (Cartoon Junction – mini rollercoaster – 2 per row and under 1.3m needs to be accompanied)
- Green Lantern Galactic Odyssey 1.1m (Metropolis 4D Theatre – under 1.3m accompanied – warning can be a little scary)
- Justice League: Warworld Attacks 1.1m (Metropolis 5D ride – under 1.3 needs accompanied – Master L’s favourite!)
- Teen Titans 1.1m – Max 2m (Metropolis – a play area with ropes course, zip line (1.3m) and wall climbing – closed toe shoes required)
- Fast & Furry-ous 1.1m – Max 1.96m (Dynamite Gulch – rollercoaster, moderately thrilling 2 per row and under 1.2m accompanied – my favourite!)
- The Riddler Revolution 1.2m (Gotham City – spinning roller coast, pretty thrilling, a bit dark and scary and can get a tiny bit wet)
WB World rides you must be over 1.3m
- Superman 360 Battle for Metropolis (Metropolis – 3D feature)
- Scarecrow Scare Raid (Gotham City – lift and fly experience)
Cartoon Junction particularly is deceptive in size! It looks like a series of houses, but in fact, each has a hidden ride or attraction behind it. We should have explored more of this section early in the day before queues grew but took a while to realise just how many rides here and what was hidden behind! It’s also a bit chaotic with strollers and character greets going on here, you’ve been warned!!
Now to answer all those questions you might have about Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi! (If we are missing anything pop them in the comments below and we’ll try our best to answer)
What should I know and prepare before I go to WB World?
- Download the WB World app in advance. This will come in handy during your visit for ride height restrictions and wait times. We found it a little glitchy and reception inside not always the best but it’s nonetheless a useful tool, in addition to the park map on arrival.
- There is one attraction where kids can only enter with closed toe shoes – Teen Titans. This was the only point our older two were crestfallen to be rejected and there’s no sign on the door or notice otherwise advising this safety restriction. If your kids love rope courses and the like, this is a must!
- Bring a pen and autograph book. Not all the characters could sign – costumes allowing! but many of the superheroes and villains could, this a great addition to the kids experience.
- Measure your kids! They will be checked on each ride so manage any potential disappointments and plan your track around this given height guidelines above.
- Aim to get there around 10.30am, this should be enough time to get through ticketing and be there for the opening Cinema Spectacular Show in the Plaza before gates open. If the queue for your picture with Bugs Bunny is too long, don’t worry, you can find him later. You can see the Cinema Spectacular later in the day too if you arrive too late.
- Visiting on a weekday will drastically reduce crowds and your queueing time. For those unfamiliar with the UAE, weekends are Friday and Saturday (You can learn more about UAE facts and customs before visiting the country HERE).
Can you eat at WB World?
As with all theme parks, no outside food can be brought in other than milk and infant meals (bags are inspected pre-entry). There are 20 themed dining experiences, from grab-and-go eateries to full-service sit-down restaurants and cafes, each with their own special kids’ meal option.
We were assured there would be some healthy choices among these, but if they were there, we struggled to find them. Over-priced and of the usual quality you expect at the theme park, just something you have to suck up on an outgoing like this, I guess.
Can you visit Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi in the Summer?
Yes! The absolute beauty of it being an entirely indoor theme park you will be able to enjoy Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi year-round. In the warmer parts of the year (though not the peak of summer when temperatures reach 45-50c) a great combination would be to start your day at Yas Waterworld then as the sun hits its peak and you need a change of pace head into Warner Bros World. The park entrances are immediately adjacent.
You could happily wear jeans and long sleeves year-round and be comfortable, though we weren’t aware of the air-conditioning being overpowering like you find in some shopping malls! Interestingly though, the multi-deck car park is quite far from the entrance.
We only later discovered that there is a covered walkway if you head to the back of the car park which alleviates some of the direct heat but still – it’s surprising they have built it this way when there is plenty of surrounding space it would seem to connect a covered car park.
Should we get dressed up to visit WB World?
No obligation, but absolutely why not? It’s a great change for the kids to wear their superhero costumes and favourite tees – and parents don’t be shy to join in the fun (I left by batgirl cape at home!) If you think the kids will nag to buy the gear once you’re there (NB 50AED to buy a cape!), do yourself a favour and dress them in their superhero costume in advance. The characters will love it seeing your kids dressed up too.
Otherwise, jeans and tees are perfect, avoid too much dangling scarfs, jewellery etc as there are several rides you’ll need to take these items off. And as mentioned above, wise for the kids over 1.1m to wear closed-toe shoes and socks to avoid any disappointment.
How to get there – directions to Warner Bros World
- From Abu Dhabi airport – take a taxi a mere 10 minutes across to Yas Island (Yes, you could squeeze it in if you had say a 5 hour + layover!)
- If you are staying at one of the Yas Plaza hotels, the Yas Express bus stop is only a couple of hundred metres from the front entrance
- From downtown Abu Dhabi – allow 30-45 minutes in a taxi depending on the time of day and traffic
- From downtown Dubai – allow a bit over 1 hour from Dubai Mall
- Self-driving? As mentioned above, there is a large multi-deck car park on site but be prepared to walk, it is well signposted from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai direction.
- Can you get to WB World and Yas Island from Dubai Parks and Resorts? Yes. At this stage, we are not aware of a direct transfer process but you can catch a taxi that would take about 40-50 minutes.
Tickets for Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
Tickets can be purchased online in advance with a 6-month validity or purchased on the day. Queues looked reasonable but of course, this can vary by time and day, I’d always book in advance with kids to save queueing hassle.
- General Admission Day Pass 295AED ($80USD)
- Junior (3 years+ but under 1.1m) Day Pass 230AED ($63USD)
- Under 3’s free
Coming from Dubai? You can arrange tickets that include 2-way hotel transfers HERE.
The Flash Pass
This is the WB World express ticket. If rides are your thing and you are visiting on a weekend (Friday & Saturday) then the Flash Pass is strongly worth considering. It will add 150AED ($40USD) for each person but if you’d like to maximise your trip definitely worth it.
Current specials and annual passes
Sadly, the Founders special price is over! Will it come back later in the year? Who knows, but here are current advertised specials:
- A Family & Friends pass can be purchased that allows a group of 4 to enter for the price of 3 – 885 AED ($241USD). This ticket needs to be purchased online in advance. You can add extras to your group for the discounted price of 221AED ($60USD). See the WBWorld.com site for more info.
- For residents – Annual Passes can be purchased for just Warner Bros World (995AED) or you can purchase a 3 park pass which also covers the other two major attractions on Yas Island, Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World (also indoors attached to Yas Mall, a few minutes drive away and available on transit bus) – 1595AED
**See also combined Yas Island 2 Day 2 Park Pass Specials here** [Prices accurate at September 2018].
Globetrotters Recommend Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
It didn’t take long to be convinced WB World is a family winner. For us to see true value for money though, we really need our youngest to be over 1.1m, he still had to do a fair bit of patient waiting. The facilities are all there; favourite characters for young and old and a huge amount of attention to detail has gone into the rides and the overall experience.
It comes down to will they deliver on the customer service and ticket pricing and packages, particularly for residents who would become repeat visitors. There were still a few areas that need a little improvement:
- Signage – or lack thereof, particularly wait time signs. The WB World app was inaccurate on several occasions and without going up and asking the staff who then had to radio through, there was no way of telling queue length from outside most rides that disappear behind the buildings.
- Entry – Signage or customer service representatives are needed from the car park through to tickets and entry – still a lot of guesswork needed.
- Customer service at the food outlets, particularly in the Plaza before opening needs improvement; 25 minutes to queue and wait for a coffee is unacceptable. And it would be good to know where those healthy meal options were hidden.
- Ride loading time – given how many staff they seem to have on hand, many rides seemed inadequately staffed leading to long load times and unnecessary delays or empty seats going by. They are certainly not running with the smooth efficiency of a Disney park just yet! Single rider queue anyone?
- Rider Swaps – there needs to be a better rider swap system in place for those with infants. Some rides we were allowed to leave our shorter Master J on the platform. At others, he simply wasn’t allowed in and we were told the second parent could enter later through the Flash Pass queue. But then staff would change and we had to plead our case over again…. get a system and keep it consistent!
- The photo system needs improving. We came home with literally 50 odd paper tokens from photos taken at the character meet and greets. The kids had had enough by the time we left so we didn’t have time to sift through them at the customer kiosk and there’s no option to order later. They either need different tokens for each character or move this to an app or plastic card system – anything more manageable!
The positives and while we’ll be coming back to Warner Bros World AD
What makes Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi really stand out from its local competitors is it feels more experiential, not just focused on the rides but being transformed into another world, particularly in Gotham City and Metropolis. The characters have all been loved for many generations (so you could even take the grandparents along!) – but a true touch of nostalgia and getting in touch with your inner child could be experienced, as well as introducing your kids to these characters. The opportunities to have character meets and the time and patience they had with the kids when they must have already struck that pose 300 times a day is incredible, hats off to them!
Be prepared for a big day out and do a little pre-planning to make the most of it. Most definitely on par with its international competitors and a must for families to add to their UAE experience.
Have you had the chance to visit Warner Bros World yet? Let us know your favourite rides and top tips in the comments.
Disclosures: We attended WB World both pre and post opening as a member of the press. This post contains affiliate links to third party purchasing sites which may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed are our own. Our full disclosure policy can be found here.
© Our Globetrotters