Wild Wadi always takes me back to the early days of the city of Dubai's 'mega-development'. The first time I visited it was when Jumeirah Beach Hotel & Burj Al Arab were the only standing structures in this part of the city. There was no Madinat Jumeirah, Mina As' Salam, and all the modern and fancy buildings along JBR. I remember thinking why on earth would someone build such an awesome waterpark and the world's first 7 star hotel in the middle of the desert?!?! 🤷🏽♀️ This was over 15 years ago. It's been a while since I came to Wild Wadi, so I've forgotten how it is as a waterpark but I must stay, I've sorely missed it and I'm really glad to be back! I'll state the positives, then the negatives that I noticed on this latest visit.
Wild Wadi Waterpark is lovely; with vibrant colors and attractive theme park decorations/memorabilia everywhere that keeps up with the theme of the park as a whole. The wipe out burger and grilled hotdog combo meals we ordered tasted really good, were fresh-hot and promptly cooked. As always, the thrill rides at Wild Wadi provide lots of wholesome fun for everyone. The lazy river, (Juha's Journey) is always a great way to relax and unwind. And so is the magnificent Wave Pool. The Master Blasters- a series of high powered water jets on many of the thrill rides, propel you on a roller-coaster type journey with so many interesting and unexpected twists and turns all around the park. They are nothing but pure, unadulterated fun! Wipeout and Ripetide Flowrides looked appealing, but after unsuccessfully trying Wipeout, we decided to give Riptide a pass! 😄 We also enjoyed the 2 downhill slides, (Burj Surj & Tantrum Alley), with the latter being a little on the intense side.
I must acknowledge some members of staff situated along the thrill rides who were friendly, always had a smile to share, and/or a kind greeting for us. They are: SARAH, CARL, MAUREEN, BASSEM, GRACE N. and BEK. JENNIFER, (in the Souk Al Wadi was also sweet). VISHNU, (a photographer) does a fantastic job of getting people to strike great poses for his shots. He always injects a wicked sense of humor into the whole fun ordeal. Thanks to all of them for richly adding to our fun day at Wild Wadi. However, there are 3 guys that seriously stood out, and these were PROSPER from Ghana, TELBANI from Egypt and last, but certainly not least- HYDER from Kenya! PROSPER was so jovial and chatty to us any time we passed him by in the lazy river. TELBANI tried so tirelessly and patiently to get me and my son to successfully surf the harsh, powerful waves of the Riptide Flowriders. And HYDER was something kinda special! 👌🏽 From the moment I ran into him, he was bubbly, jolly, funny, professional, helpful, and really, really kind! He's an amazing man; a truly efficient employee with a larger than life personality and the Jumeirah Group should count themselves as very lucky to have such a special guy working effortlessly to make sure customers have an unforgettable experience at their waterpark. I want to give a big shout-out to him. Thanks so much HYDER for being such a cool dude 👏🏽 and like I said- I look forward to seeing you again at least sometime during this year!
Wild Wadi is starting to show some wear. I guess this should be expected, given that the park has been operational for over a decade. Some of the toilet cubicles have green mold in the corners and a lot of shower tiles have come off. I was disappointed that the Flood River was closed, without providing any explanation to guests. I also had an issue at Tantrum Alley, (one of the downhill slide rides). When we came to ride it, we were informed that we couldn't do so because we were a party of 3. We either had to be a duo to use a double tube, or there had to be 4 of us, to use a four-tubed float. After climbing 71 steps to get to this ride, this is the last thing you want to hear! We had to wait for a really long time, and eventually had to beg a girl to join us in order to cruise down Tantrum Alley. Had I known about this rule, we wouldn't have climbed all the way up again. We had already been up there for Burj Surj. I just wish there had been a sign at the bottom of the staircase informing us about this. They should also put a sign telling you to leave your shoes downstairs. If you climb up with shoes, you can't leave them on during these 2 rides, so once you reach the bottom, you have to climb back up again to get your shoes! This is a little pathetic.
I also thought the food prices were horribly exorbitant. I know this is an entertainment facility, and prices are usually higher than normal, but 2 burger meals and 1 hotdog meal set me back almost a hundred bucks! I mean come on! That much money for a burger and hotdog combo meal with just fries and soda?!?! And the worst part is that they provide you with 3 sachets of ketchup. When I asked for extra ketchup, (which I tend to eat a lot of), they charged 1 dirham for 3 more of those mini ketchup packets. Seriously??? 😟 Talk about 'daylight robbery'! Just like I thought some exemplary members of staff at Wild Wadi deserved an honourable mention for the fabulous job they are doing, there are those that fell really short; and they were all in the women's locker room.
Upon arrival, WINNIE rudely interrogated me about my son's age, telling me that his presence might be inappropriate, and he might have to use the men's changing room instead. She said that Muslim women complain when boys as big as him are permitted to enter the women's locker area. Well, being a Muslim woman myself makes me very aware of this and more knowledgeable than WINNIE will ever be about the rules regarding 'sexually mature' males encroaching upon women's private spaces. My 8 year old son is far from being 'eligible' to occupy that lane! I'm all for following, complying and abiding by any set of rules and regulations, but the issue about WINNIE is that: 'it's not what you say.......but how you say it!'. She could have stated it a little more politely, and I would have reacted in a gentler way, but I had no choice but to tell her that she's in no position to tell me that my kid is not any sort of liability to the Muslim women that were no where to be found in the locker room anyways! You see we were there around opening time, (10a.mish), and the park was quite empty due to the current global coronavirus panic and it being early. Another lady named JEAN was also quite impolite; again, regarding my son being in the locker room. A stone-faced cleaning lady named JOY seemed like she wanted to smash her mop and bucket into our faces! Very unpleasant and brash in her demeanor. The experience in the locker room was unfortunate, so I think WINNIE, JEAN and JOY should be counseled on how to treat/approach customers better. They need to be seriously schooled on their manners and taught to throw a little respect people's way!
So in ending, I would say that I had a terrific time at Wild Wadi! It brought back soooooo many fun memories from way back when. I really missed this place, and will endeavour not to be a stranger', even though my favorite theme park in Dubai will always be the gargantuan one on that artificial island!🤫 Anyway, Wild Wadi will always hold a special place in my heart because I have so many precious memories of it with my eldest children as toddlers waddling away in the wave pool and Juha's Dhow, some of who are in University now! The only reason I didn't rate Wild Wadi as excellent in my first review of it is because I simply couldn't overlook the overly inflated food prices, my 'ketchup woes', the need for refurbishment in the toilets/showers and the inexcusable treatment I received at the hands of the 'locker room chicks' WINNIE, JEAN & JOY. I hope that the constructive criticism I provided about the problems I saw/experienced at Wild Wadi will be taken into careful consideration to restore, (at least in my eyes) the glory and splendor that this incredible waterpark so rightly deserves and has earned over the remarkable years it's been open. I highly recommend this classic waterpark for a fabulous day of fun, fun and more fun!!! 🏄🏾♀️ 🏊🏽♂️ 🏄🏾♂️ 🤽🏽♀️More