Our guide said, ‘Ferrari World has the world’s fastest roller coaster. Some say it goes faster than the speed of light.’ And there it was. The chrome red shell of Ferrari World glistening in the Abu Dhabi holiday sunshine. Our guide, he said, ‘Don’t do it.’
He talked with a smirk, but his words were drowned by the roar of Formula Rossa shaking in it’s track behind us. Don’t do it. And that was the last thing I heard before we hit the record breakers. So what is it about the theme park that makes it so unique?
It might be the world’s only Ferrari branded theme park, but it’s so much more than that. Ferrari World is the largest space-frame structure ever built, and it’s home to the world’s fastest roller coaster Formula Rossa plus the world’s tallest non-inverting loop with Flying Aces. Let’s not forget that Ferrari World is the receiver of multiple awards too, including Best International Leisure Development by International Property Award and Bloomberg, 2010; Best Theme Park in the UAE, Hospitality India, 2013; Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2015, World Travel Awards; Gold Winner designation for Best Permanent Exhibition, and Event Design Award by Event Design Magazine, 2011. Deep breath. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or not, if you’re on a holiday to Abu Dhabi it’s worth visiting for the bucket list alone.
Once through the entrance, the staff gave us wrist bands with three tearable fast-track passes. Our first stop was Formula Rossa. The best cure to any ailment, it seems, was travelling a billion miles an hour into the sun. And riding the world’s fastest roller coaster meant emptying your pockets. The queue filled up boxes of change, glasses, phones, banknotes and lighters. After that, staff handed everyone a pair of goggles, which was a first for any roller coaster I’ve been on. Even the boarding process was fast; we were seated, strapped in, and the traffic lights turned from red to amber to… And Formula Rossa lived up to it’s name. Myself, somewhat immunised to rollercoasters, believed the ride’s reputation to be hyperbolic. But this thought was left behind with my voice because the sudden acceleration into the twisting, looping nether took my breath away. Literally. And though it’s over within a couple of minutes, the adrenaline pumped through my veins for several hours afterwards. As foretold by the staff, most participants experience a dizziness or a headache immediately following the ride but this cleared within five minutes. The memories however, will last forever.
Once I checked Formula Rossa off the list, I was almost surprised to remember this wasn’t the only essential activity of Ferrari World. Asides the structure of the theme park itself being a huge attraction, it has Grand Prix winning Ferraris on display alongside numerous Ferrari-themed cafes, arcade games, and staff. Plus there was a host of other rides to enjoy that were arguably more fun than the world’s fastest. One highlight involved the go-carting. At first, the attraction seemed heavy-handed with its safety demonstrations and instruction videos, but once the countdown began, a fifteen minute world of fun followed. Given, we all left a little more bruised and battered than when we entered, but it was worth it.
Strolling through the complex saw many ‘Coming Soon,’ notices. There’s only more excitement in store for Ferrari World, with a number of new rides in the works including the Shuttle vortex ride to blend alongside the numerous other thrill rides, roller coasters and children’s rides. Throw in the many shows which include RED and Viva Ferrari, and there’s days more of adrenaline fuelled entertainment to enjoy.
If you’re after the world of fast cars, engine vibrations and the roar of the Grand Prix, the best way to experience this is with the Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Tickets. Ticket holders garner free access not only to the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, but Yas Waterworld, the world’s best waterpark, plus free entry to the evening concerts featuring The Chemical Brothers and Rhianna.
Discover our range of tickets here.