How to handle Legoland & Dubai Parks and Resorts in the heat

Is it possible to visit Dubai’s popular outdoor theme park complex Dubai Parks and Resorts over the hot summer months?

Legoland waterpark - Dubai Parks and Resorts in the summer

Open over the past two summers now, it’s fair to say that Dubai Parks and Resorts has suffered for the fact that it’s largely built as an outdoor theme park.  Not to mention it is built on the outskirts of Dubai, which puts many short-term travellers to Dubai off merely for the drive.

But is it worth trekking out to Dubai Parks and Resorts if you’re visiting in the hotter half of the year?

Let’s get straight to the point.  Summer in the UAE is HOT*.  It involves temperatures which can top 45c and humidity over 80% (feels more like 50c+/120F!).  All up, it’s not the most pleasant time to be in the country, or more specifically to be doing anything outside with kids.

But…… whether work and family commitments keep residents tied, or you are using Dubai as a stopover on your summer vacation – don’t completely rule out EVERYTHING that is outdoors.

*Note “Summer” really runs from May to October. The hottest/stickiest time of year is August/September.

What is at Dubai Parks & Resorts?

Sitting to the western side of Dubai city (on the main freeway towards Abu Dhabi), the Dubai Parks and Resorts site comprises

  • Riverland – the dining & entertainment space that connects all the theme parks
  • Legoland Dubai
  • Legoland Water Park
  • Motiongate Dubai
  • Bollywood Parks Dubai
  • Lapita Resort

All of Dubai’s theme parks remain open 365 days a year despite the desert weather.  Legoland Water Park is entirely outside and the other theme parks have a mixture of indoor and outdoor areas. They are well shaded but nonetheless, daytime temperatures in Dubai are extreme and being outside when it’s over 45c is just darn right unpleasant.

outdoor areas at Legoland Dubai
There is shade around Legoland, but most rides are outside (picture taken in winter!)

But there are many pros to visiting the theme parks at this time of year, we’ll go through these in more detail below but most importantly:

  • You will pretty much get the parks to yourself. That means as many rides as you want with almost no lines – no need for QFast tickets etc
  • Prices are discounted – the only way they’ll get people to keep coming through the door

And the obvious cons

  • Walking in the heat even with complimentary shuttle services there’s still a lot of ground you will need to cover on foot.
  • It lacks a lot of atmosphere and joy when there are no crowds there to enjoy it with.

Note that you should still expect the parks to be very busy during the Eid break period 31 May to 8 June 2019 as all schools will be off and many families out celebrating. 

**Update on transportation & complimentary services**

Dubai Parks & Resorts have confirmed for us that during the hottest months through to 31 October 2019 the following will be offered:

  • Free parking for all in the VIP Car Park
  • Complimentary Buggies and Dotto trains will operate from the car park and between the parks during the following times:
    • MOTIONGATE™ Dubai:  2:00pm – 7:00pm
    • BOLLYWOOD PARKS™ Dubai: 2:00pm – 7:00pm
    • LEGOLAND®: 9:30am – 7:00pm
FURTHER READING
Ultimate Yas Island Theme Parks Guide

Those guests who valet their car are treated to free bottled water.


Want to compare all of Dubai’s theme parks? Check out this bumper guide that breaks it all down by activities, character and age/height


Legoland Dubai in the summer

Miniland at Legoland Dubai

What to Expect at Legoland Dubai

A family fun theme park ideal for you 2 to 12 crowd – no need to be a Lego nut there are plenty of fun games, rides and shows to enjoy.

You can read a comprehensive review of Legoland Dubai on my personal blog here.

The park is based around an indoor Miniland housed inside a huge dome.  You will find a replica Dubai cityscape as well as famous buildings from around the Middle East region and Asia. The park is then split into 4 ‘lands’ – City, Kingdoms, Imagination & Adventure.

Rides range from sedate to thrilling and there are several character meet & greets as well as a live stage show and Lego Studios 4D theatre. Throughout the park, there are plenty of opportunities to build, eateries and retail shops.  The majority of rides are shaded, but outside.

Tips for handling the heat at Legoland Dubai

You need to be strategic making your way around the park to maximise your inside times.

  • The Ninjago stage show and 4D theatre bring a welcome heat break so pick up your timetable straight away and work out when shows are on.
  • Most of the City section and Kingdoms are outside, you may want to tackle these before the worst of the heat kicks in.
  • Visit on the weekend evenings when they are open late, arriving from 4pm to 8pm will still give you a pretty decent time to see everything without the peak sun and relatively little queues.
  • Rides and features that are indoors and the most refreshing break:
    • Submarine Adventure (Adventure)
    • Lost Kingdom Adventure (Adventure)
    • Lego Mindstorms (Imagination)
    • Build & Test (Imagination – next to mothers’ room)
    • Lego Factory  (in the entrance plaza) come and see how Lego bricks are made
    • Miniland

I’d strongly recommend if visiting in the summer, you combine a ticket with Legoland Water Park to make the day bearable. The two are immediately adjacent and you can combine the shaded and indoor parts of Legoland with the refreshing chill of the Water Park afterwards.

FURTHER READING
What should I do with the Eid holidays in Dubai?

Legoland Dubai Summer Opening Hours

From the start of Ramadan until further announced (likely October) the following hours will apply:

  • Sat – Wed 10am to 5pm
  • Thu – Fri 10am to 8pm

You can purchase your discounted Legoland Dubai tickets here


Legoland Water Park

What to Expect at Legoland Water Park

Sounds like the perfect relief from the heat right?  In some ways. But even with a refreshing bucket of water dumped on your head, still expect a pretty hot and sweaty experience with scorching surfaces.

It is aimed at your younger children so your tweens+ might not find it as exciting as some of Dubai’s other water parks, but there’s still plenty of family-friendly rides and more thrilling adventures, along with the more sedate Build-a-Raft lazy river and Duplo Splash Safari. All up there are 20+ rides and attractions to enjoy so you can make a good day of it – but I wouldn’t recommend all day in the sun peak summer.

You can see a full review of Legoland Water Park here

Tips for handling the heat at Legoland Water Park

  • Always wear some sort of flipflop/croc/slipper when walking around the park, and keep these in the shoe rack or a shaded spot whilst you are in the water.
  • Even better, where proper pool shoes that can be worn in and out of the water.
show storage rack at Legoland Water Park
keep shoes with you at all times and don’t let them heat up to melting point in the sun!
  • Sitting with proper shade is quite limited. On very hot days consider hiring a cabana (done inside the park with guest services, first come first served).

Legoland Dubai Summer Opening Hours

From the start of Ramadan until further announced (likely October) the following hours will apply:

  • Sat – Wed 10am to 5pm
  • Thu – Fri 10am to 6pm


NB A quick note on UAE dress code. We have a detailed article here on what to wear but water parks are an odd beast;  the rules are not quite as relaxed as a resort. Ladies can wear one or two piece bathers whilst some ladies will be in full burkini’s (see the policy here),.  I would err on the side of modesty for both men and women and wear something that sensibly protects you from the sun with minimal flesh on display.  


Seeking more water parks?  See the Ultimate Guide to UAE Water Parks & Splash Parks


Motiongate Dubai in the Summer

What to expect at Motiongate Dubai

Motiongate is a combination of rides and attractions based around Hollywood powerhouses DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate.  Their ride height restrictions seem to be a little more generous than Legoland and there’s just a bit more variety in rides and entertainment for everyone in the family to enjoy.

FURTHER READING
Ultimate List of Cool Kids Activities - Dubai Indoor Summer Guide

The giant Dreamworks factory is the major attraction which includes rides based around Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon (our favourite), Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.  You will also find rides such as Ghost Busters and Hotel Transylvania are entirely indoors, as well as several soft play style rooms for the little ones and theatre shows.

There is surprisingly a lot of Motiongate that IS indoors – it’s the long hike to get there from the car park that’s the issue!  Cooling vapour fans do little to help on the stickiest of days.

Top tips for visiting Motiongate Dubai in the summer

  • Despite being aimed primarily at a younger crowd, its a shame it only opens in the afternoon. A lot of annual pass holders like ourselves like to tackle the theme parks early in the day before heading to the water park but this option has been removed.
  • The alternative is to hit Motiongate after Lego Water Park. your beach bags can be checked at the lockers, then enjoy a more pleasant walk after the sun has gone down.
  • Watch out for big, big merchandise discounts!

Motiongate Dubai Summer Opening Hours

From the start of Ramadan until further announced (likely October) the following hours will apply:

  • Sat – Wed 3pm to 10pm
  • Thu – Fri 3pm to 11pm
  • Buy Your discounte

You can buy discounted tickets to Motiongate Dubai here

Kung Fu Panda show at Motiongate
Indoor kids entertainment with a Kung Fu Panda live show in Motiongate

Only in Dubai on a stopover?  See here what can be done during a layover 


Bollywood Parks Dubai

What to Expect at Bollywood

A taste of Mumbai in Dubai! Bollywood is all about live entertainment and interactive experiences, more so than the rides. There are film tributes and dance shows along with dining experiences and “the Parade” down Bollywood Boulevard.

Top Tips for visiting in summer

  • The later start time of 3pm is good, but it’s still incredibly quiet until the evening. Best enjoyed for its atmosphere you ideally need to wait until after dark to really enjoy the Bollywood experience.

Detailed Bollywood guide for families coming soon

Bollywood Parks Summer Opening Hours

From the start of Ramadan until further announced (likely October) the following hours will apply:

  • Sat – Fri 3pm to 11pm

Lapita Resort

At this point, there is only one accommodation offering on site for visitors to Dubai Parks and Resorts, Lapita Resort.

It is a fabulous resort hotel on par with those you’d find at Jumeirah – albeit quiet isolated – most visitors are only coming here to enjoy the theme parks. The resort has several onsite dining options, a lazy river and a great pool.  There’s also the Luna and Nova Kids and Teen Clubs, so parents might be able to enjoy a break at the Ola Spa.

Lapita Resort at Dubai Parks and Resorts

Polynesian themed Lapita also offers summer specials that come in conjunction with parks passes.

FURTHER READING
Your Ultimate Abu Dhabi Indoors Guide

Check current prices here on Booking.Com  | Compare prices with HotelsCombined | Read TripAdvisor reviews


So should you visit Dubai Parks & Resorts in the Summer

If you love your theme parks crowd-free, no ride queues and don’t mind sweating it out a little, yes the Dubai Parks and Resorts Theme Parks CAN be tackled in the summer.  This can make an excellent value proposition and the opportunity to experiment and try new rides and experiences without the queues is great.

But let’s be honest, if visiting Dubai in summer and your little ones just don’t want to miss the Legoland experience, would I still say do it?   Yes!  It’s manageable.  You won’t get to fully experience everything though so consider this before purchasing a full-priced ticket anywhere from June to September.

If I had one big request, I really wish they would provide free water fountains around the parks.  There are vending machines for both water and soft drink throughout the parks, but we find needing to pay for these and going through countless water bottles a huge waste and unfair given how essential water is when out in the heat – theme parks in most other countries we have visited provide at the very least free tap water.

If you had to choose only 1 park in the summer, I would make it Motiongate. On the whole, more of it is indoors than Legoland, but our favour combo is a few hours at the Water Park followed by an evening at Motiongate.

The best deal we know is to purchase your 2 park – 1 day ticket via Klook

SAVE A FURTHER 10AED if you use code FAMILY10

UAE Residents or those that know an annual pass holder may find better deals here (must have EID to avail these offers)


Save this for Later

Dubai parks and Resorts Motiongate Kung Fu Panda

Have you visited Dubai Parks & Resorts in the summer?  Any more tips to share with other parents? Leave them in the comments below! 

Check out our guide to everything you will find in Dubai INDOORS

This post was written by Keri Hedrick, an avid family traveller and writer based in the UAE, you can follow along with her family adventures on Instagram.  You can learn more about our contributing authors here.

This post is not sponsored.  We have previously visited as members of the media but we ae also paid up annual pass holders of Dubai Parks & Resorts who visit regularly. This page contains affiliate links which may earn us a small commission should you make a purchase.  You can read our terms of use here.