World’s Fastest Roller Coaster
It’s not every day you get the chance to ride the world’s fastest roller coaster.
Measuring an astounding 20 acres Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is the largest indoor theme park of them all. Home of the world’s fastest roller coaster, visiting Ferrari World had been on my travel bucket list for a while.
While booking a flight from Bangkok to Manchester via Etihad Airways recently, there was an opportunity to stop off at Abu Dhabi.
Based in the United Arab Emirates capital city, the air-conditioned Ferrari World brings the desert heat back down to a comfortable level. The theme parks designers had their heads screwed on as during my summer visit the mid-day temperature of was regularly topping a scorching 41 degrees!
However, Ferrari World is not just all about the world’s fastest roller coaster. It also has on display a good portion of Ferrari’s vehicle heritage – including various presentations and tributes.
Fancy a taste of Italy? To add to the experience there are a range Italian eateries available.for those who didn’t have the chance to eat breakfast.
The first thing I noticed when arriving at Ferrari World was the huge red-domed roof. The bright red building is designed along the same lines as a Ferrari GT body. It certainly makes a unique appearance in the surrounding terrain.
Admission to Ferrari World
Guests pay a single entry fee of 250 AED (£43.50/$68.08 USD) to enter for the day. Discounted prices apply for children (under 1.5m / 59 inches).
For faster access, there is also a premium admission option available that allow guests front-of-the-line access. However, during my visit, the park wasn’t busy. Many of the rides had no lines and the standard ticket did the job.
The United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country so some restrictions do apply to the clothing that women can wear. However, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are quite liberal compared to other parts of the UAE, so the dress code for women is more relaxed.
Note: If you’re planning on heading to the airport after like me, for an extra fee you can also store backpacks or luggage at Ferrari World guest service centre.
The service centre is located next to the admission ticket desk at costs an additional 45 AED.
Formula Rossa Ride
The Formula Rossa ride, also known as the world’s fastest roller coaster, is the main attraction at Ferrari World.
Nowhere else in the world can you ride a roller coaster at speeds of up to 240 km/h.
Arriving at 1 pm on a Wednesday afternoon, time was on my side after I had purchased my entrance ticket. With hardly any crowds around for my visit, I was able to jump on and ride the world’s fastest roller coaster many times without queuing.
A few of which were even seated in the best position – the front row.
Designed like a Formula 1 Ferrari, Formula Rossa starts its journey from inside the indoor theme park. It then accelerates from the dome with a mind-boggling 0-100 km acceleration of 2 seconds!
The coaster climbed to 52m and pulled a steady 1.7 Gs once outside the park.
Although the ride is over relatively quickly, I can vouch that myself and every other passenger released a teenage like giggle after disembarking from the Formula Rossa.
Even after multiple rides the experience never dulled and brought a smile to my face every single ride.
The World’s Fastest Roller Coaster was everything I thought it would be and much more.
A unique part of the Formula Rossa is all riders were issued goggles to wear. With debris, sand, and insects hitting your face at speed, the goggles are a welcome safety addition.
For those interested in the Engineering aspects of the ride, Formula Rossa ride was manufactured by Intamin AG of Switzerland and uses a hydraulic launch system. There is a National Geographic documentary about the ride that is worth a watch.
Although the world’s fastest roller coaster is the main draw card, the other two attractions I like were:
Fiorano GT Challenge: A second launched roller coaster that features two tracks and racing teams. The cars resemble Ferrari F340 Spider and battle it out to the end.
Karting Academy: The 290-metre long track is similar to traditional go karting, except they have the rally car style drift style system fitted making driving similar to that of driving in the wet. Nearly everyone crashes in the first full speed corner while they figure it out!
Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Ferrari World Theme Park is situated on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It is approximately 10 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, 30 minutes from the centre of Abu Dhabi city, and 50 minutes from Dubai.
Nearby to Ferrari World is the Yas Marina Circuit racetrack, host of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Also, there is a super-sized shopping centre within walking distance.
Ferrari World and the world’s fastest roller coaster was built for all roller coaster junkies and petrol heads – just like me!
Having said that, as a theme park there isn’t much in regards of rides once you’ve ridden the Formula Rossa and Fiorano GT Challenge. Ferrari World is more along the lines of an interactive museum with a couple of rides to keep the big kids happy (with one that just so happen to be the world’s fastest roller coaster).
Some visitors have complained on TripAdvisor that it’s overpriced for only a couple of big rides.
It’s understandable that many people, in particular for those not keen on rides or Ferrari, might begrudge paying 250 AED for something that could be completed in an hour.
However, for me riding the world’s fastest roller coaster several times justified the entrance fee. I would go back, even if it were just to ride the Formula Rossa again. I read there are also plans to build more rides in the future.
Other Things to Do in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – As a testament to the vision of its founder, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque sits at the entrance to Abu Dhabi City Island, distinctly visible from the three bridges connecting the island to the mainland, the Maqta, Mussafah and the Sheikh Zayed Bridge.
Emirates Palace – Only 40 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Emirates Palace, is located on the Corniche, in the heart of the city of Abu Dhabi. The hotel remains the preferred destination for business and leisure travellers.
Yas Marina Circuit – Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and multi-purpose entertainment venue. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is home to the annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and much more.
The Corniche – Take a break from the busy city by walking along and taking in the beautiful beach plus the sights of Abu Dhabi.
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