There are not that many indoor theme parks, but Ferrari World, at a whopping 925,000 sq. ft. (over 20 acres), is the world's largest. With Abu Dhabi's average temperatures reaching above 105 degrees F (41 degrees C) in the summer, the climate-controlled park is a welcome refuge for visitors.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the park is its enormous red-domed roof. Ferrari World says that the bright red structure is supposed to resemble a Ferrari GT body, but it might also be mistaken for a renegade mothership from a big-budget science fiction movie. (Then again, it's unlikely any "War of the Worlds" spacecraft that landed in the desert would sport a huge Ferrari logo, as does the park's dome.)
A hybrid Epcot-type Pavilion/Six Flags-type amusement park/corporate hospitality center, Ferrari World showcases the legendary automaker through sophisticated dark rides and other cutting-edge theme park technology. It also reinforces Ferrari's racing legacy with coasters (really, really fast coaters) and other thrill rides. And it acts as an emissary of Italy by offering attractions and exhibits featuring the country's landmarks and culture along with Italian eateries.
The World's Fastest Roller Coaster
The park features Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster. It is designed to travel at speeds up to 240 km/h (149 mph). By comparison, Kingda Ka, the world's second-fastest coaster, reaches a top speed of 128 mph.
Formula Rossa was manufactured by Intamin AG of Switzerland. It uses a hydraulic launch system (similar to the launch system used for Kingda Ka) and accelerates from 0 to 240 km in just under 5 seconds. The coaster climbs 52m (171 feet), and riders experience 1.7 Gs.
Formula Rossa starts inside the indoor theme park, accelerates through the dome, travels outside the park, and returns to the loading station inside the building. The train's cars have been made to look like flashy red Formula One Ferraris. Because of the speed and desert sand, riders are issued goggles to protect their eyes.
Formula Rossa is the headliner, but the park offers other major roller coasters.
- Flying Aces climbs 207 feet (63m) and hits 75 mph (120km/h). A wing coaster, the passengers on the outer edges of the four-across rows sit astride the track with nothing to the sides or beneath them.
- Turbo Track is a launched coaster that rises 210 feet (64m) and reaches 63 mph (101km/h). The ride is mostly indoors but a spike briefly sends passengers through the roof of the park and to the outside.
- Fiorano GT Challenge is a twin racing coaster that includes four magnetic launches. The cars are made to look like Ferrari F430 Spiders.
- Mission Ferrari is supposed to open in 2019, but it may be delayed. Plans for the multi-launching, special effects coaster include 3D projected imagery, a drop track, and a tilt track.
The park includes over 20 attractions, such as Karting Academy, which features souped-up go-karts that offer a toned-down race track experience, and Scuderia Challenge, which are acing car simulators. Speed of Magic is an immersive 4-D film presentation, and Made in Maranello is a motion simulator ride into Ferrari's factory.
Viaggio in Italia is a Soarin'-type flying theater that offers a simulated hang gliding adventure over Italy. There is also Driving with the Champion, am interactive 3-D show, and Galleria Ferrari, a Ferrari museum with interactive exhibits.
Location and Admission Policy
The indoor theme park is located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates. It is approximately 10 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, 30 minutes from the center of Abu Dhabi, and 50 minutes from Dubai.
In addition to Ferrari World, Yas Island offers the Warner Bros. World theme park as well as the water park, Yas Waterworld. The complex also includes Yas Marina Circuit racetrack, which presents the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as hotels, shopping, and other amenities.
Guests pay a single admission fee to enter the park and experience the attractions. Combo tickets are available that bundle two or three parks (Ferrari World, Warner Bros. World, and Yas Waterworld) over one, two, or three days. The park also offers a Quick Pass to skip to the front of the lines.