Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Why I like Dreamland better than Atlantis

(Dreamland Aqua Park is in the emirate of Omm al-Qawain. Atlantis is in Dubai. Both are water parks. We went to Atlantis back in May and Dreamland today.)

1. There's not a whole lot going on in the boondocks of Omm al-Qawain. There was no traffic on the way to Dreamland since we were headed away from civilization. And there was no traffic on the way back because we didn't have to pass through the vicinity of Dubai. Win/win.

2. Dreamland was practically deserted. There were no lines for any of the kids' slides, and only minor lines for a couple of the bigger slides. There were plenty of tubes to go around, and there weren't kids splashing in your face every two feet as you tried to keep track of your kid among the hordes of little ones. Figure out the opposite of all of the above and you'll have the situation at Atlantis.

3. The admission price is much lower at Dreamland - maybe half as much as Atlantis? And lockers are free.

4. There are way more kids' attractions at Dreamland. We were able to move from area to area with the girls and so everything remained fresh. At Atlantis, there's really only the one play structure and while it is awesome, there's nowhere else for little kids to go.

5. It is easier to sneak outside food and drink into Dreamland. If, uh, someone wanted to do such a thing. Compare this to Atlantis, where we didn't know about the no food/drink rule and they made us haul our bag of snacks all the way back on the shuttle bus to the parking lot to our car.

6. Oh yeah, at Atlantis, you have to park some distance away from the festivities and then take a shuttle in.

All that said, Dreamland definitely had its weaknesses. It's quite the facility, but you can tell it's past its prime. The lazy river didn't work very well and one of the amazing kids' areas had pigeons roosting in a decorative volcano structure, which was disturbing. BUT. Dreamland had a random mini zoo, so. Sure, sure, Atlantis has a huge aquarium with sharks and other fish swimming among simulated ruins of the lost city, but Dreamland had hut cages containing deer, monkeys, peacocks, parrots, AND ponies. Right there in the middle of the water park.

I also have to say that if we were not friends with people who had actually been to Dreamland, I would have doubted its existence way out there in the middle of the desert. You literally drive through the middle of nowhere among camels and donkeys for 40 minutes and then boom: WATER PARK. I stood in one spot in the parking lot of Dreamland and took this picture looking one way:

and then the other:

Anyway, we had an awesome day at Dreamland and I'd definitely go there again. When visitors come, we can take them to Atlantis for the sheer "I'm on a palm-shaped island and this place is fancy, WHEE!" factor, but for our own enjoyment, Dreamland it is.

4 comments:

Scotty P said...

It might not be such a bad thing that the lazy river doesn't work well at Dreamland, since a certain acquaintance of yours nearly drowned in the lazy river at Atlantis when he was there.

Jeremy Palmer said...

Yeah and how deep was the lazy river at Atlantis?

Liz Johnson said...

I think Dreamland sounds way cooler... lines/crowds ruin water parks for me.

Side note - is everybody required to have a white car there? What the heck?

Bridget said...

I know, right? There's a theory that white cars remain marginally cooler on the interior when parked outside during hot summer months, so you see a LOT of white cars out there. I say the difference is negligible. 115 degrees vs. 120 degrees = nuance.

Scott, we still laugh about that from time to time, imagining what the cause of death statement would say. Especially the part about it being two feet of water.

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