The two words I have for Adlabs iMagica, the theme park near Khopoli, are - ‘Distinctly Indian’; and I mean it in a good way.
Every ride/attraction at iMagica, I have seen before at one theme park or the other. But never before have I seen it with a beautiful Indian touch. Mr. India reminded me of The Simpson’s ride (Universal) but the fact that we were helping Mr. India fight evil Mogambo made it so much more appealing. If Soarin (Epcot) made me proud to be associated with California, ‘I for India’ based on the same lines, gave me a bird’s eye view of My India. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari it covered the beauty of my country, making me so proud I had goose bumps at the end of the show. The ‘Wrath of Gods’ reminded me of ‘Songs of the Sea’ (Sentosa) – the elements of nature working in harmony – this depicted in a mesmerizing show with water jets and pyrotechnics. Rajasaurus is Jurrasic Park (Universal) in Hindi. Then there were the usual roller coaster rides with Nitro being the scariest of all; it made me scream even when I watched it from a distance. For the real dare devils the Scream Machine is a must-do. There are many rides for the little ones too – like the favorite ‘Dumbo the elephant’ - they call him Tubby here. But I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘paisa vasool’ experience for them. Also some of the rides can make you pretty wet, so pack some extra clothes if you don’t want to stay wet for long.
It wasn’t just the rides; the entire park had so much to offer. The location of the park was breath taking, a vast open area with the Sahyadri’s in the back drop. The landscaping in the park was also lovely – a lake with artificial lotuses, bridges built over them, water jets for the soak-enthusiasts, Alladin’s city, a castle that resembled Cinderella’s castle, a dash of the Wild wild west, simple rustic huts in the Africana region –all spotlessly clean! And here’s where it passed the real test - plenty of restrooms and all pretty clean. Also found in every nook and corner, souvenir shops that sold everything from fridge magnets to soft toys.
There’s something else I cannot help but compare with theme parks around the world. I have stood for almost 2 hours for a ride in Universal. Here, it might be due to the fact that we went on a Friday or due to the fact that the foot fall is still low, there was no wait time at all. In fact for some rides we had to wait because the minimum requirement was not being met. J Now that’s a first time experience in India! I have heard weekends are slightly busier with wait times up to 15 minutes, but don’t bother to pay more for the Express Pass (front of line pass to escape the lines).
Nothing can give you more content than a cup of Masala Chai on a rain soaked evening in a theme park. You will realize the significance of this if you have had to manage elsewhere with dark coffee that’s turned cold after, in an attempt to make it potable, you’ve poured huge portions of creamers! The food court had a variety of choices, even a special Jain Thali. The American Diner had everything to satiate your International taste buds. And then there was the usual sandwich, salad place too. Note, as expected, you cannot carry any food items inside the park.
Keeping in mind that rain could be a frequent visitor, the park provides big umbrellas for free use in the park. Use it while you want it; keep it in one of the umbrella bins available near every attraction when you are done. Helpful park representatives are also available around every corner to provide all the information we need.
All in all it was a fun experience for the entire family. Glad something like this came up close to Mumbai and Pune. I hope that Adlabs keeps up with the standard that they have started off with. They are working on more attractions and I heard from one park member that a water park is also coming up next to it. Grab your tickets before the crowds gather and the ticket prices rise. Just remember to bring an open mind; I promise you’ll leave with aching legs and a full heart.