From Tom and Jerry to Harley Quinn, a fun ride with comic book characters
New Delhi: Rockputer of the Flintstones reminded me of my Macbook but not for long. The Jetsons, Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner and Tom & Jerry jumped right out from the 1990s ‘toon’ star cast in the leisurely neverland of Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates.
My Stegaphone … er… smartphone whirred non-stop in the family hotspot of 25 square kilometres that also packs in 10 hotels, great dining, shopping, the Bubbles’ Barrel slide and a fabulous motorsport circuit – all a spitting distance from Dubai.
What stole my heart was the world’s first Warner Bros indoor theme park Warner Bros World at Abu Dhabi, where I hopped into memory lane of my pre-teen world of timeless toons and caped superheroes like Batman, who wouldn’t give a hug and Superman with ice in the eyes.
And Scooby Doo saw a ghost as a bunch of gawky reporters from India mobbed the Great Dane. Tweety and the pesky canary’ rival Sylvester were taking a day off from work and so we too took a break at WB Abu Dhabi theme hotel where we camped.
Our rollicking day began with a strictly followed Covid check at the entrance of the park that straddles 1.65 million square feet which on any given day is packed with boisterous kids and their even more excited parents, happy to stroll into their private childhood.
The smarter ones among them were seen clutching Flash Cards which, as the name suggests, offer super easy access to various spots.
“This is what I grew up watching!” The floodgates of memory opened as I too flashed a barcode given to all hotel guests and walked straight into ‘Bedrock’! Yes, ‘The Flintstones’.
I walked a little further, and then I saw a ride: “Fast and Furry-ous,’ based on the “Coyote and the Road Runner” roller coaster ride and it was beep beep time as the machine was as fast as the animated bird from my favourite cartoon that took wings in 1949.
We hopped onto self-driven carts into a labyrinth of riddles in “The Museum of Mysteries” and then dashed to meet Scooby Doo, Shaggy and Daphne for a bear hug to my toony pals who brought me so much joy when I was a child.
From there my thrill reel began to unravel!
I transported myself to sombre Gotham city where Batman stood rock still while “Stegaphones” clicked all around “I am not a hugger,” the caped crusader growled, rebuffing my calls for a cuddle.
The park is not really for the lazy. Forty steps later – I’d already done 15,000 steps when we were confronted by The Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and we were only too happy to get selfies without any undue chaos.
That gave us courage for a trip on the Batman: Knight Flight, one of the signature rides in the Gotham City zone.
The ride invites guests to simulated jobs at Wayne Tech headquarters.
A speed bump occurs as a crime spree puts Gotham City in danger. Riders are then hired by Batman as test pilots for the ultimate urban patrol vehicle in which the visitors must launch from the Bat cave and undergo breathtaking climbs, drops, spins and rolls.
To bring an end to the day, I went on the Tom & Jerry rollercoaster ride.
“Tom and Jerry Swiss Cheese Spin” is surely not for the faint-hearted. Just like Tom and Jerry’s relationship, the ride is fast-paced, goes in circles and has many ups and downs.
You’ll find yourself at Tom and Jerry’s height, in car-sized wedges of Swiss cheese, while everything else is huge.
You’d find yourself whirling your way through their oversize house dodging obstacles and ducking into mouseholes as Tom chases Jerry and Jerry chases the cheese.
That’s all, folks!