Enjoy the Ride: The Dream "Theme" Park
By Dr. Maged El-Bialy
More and more kids are coming to Egypt with their parents. Certainly they are always interested in the Pyramids, but their focus on antiquities may not be as high as many adult visitors. They have a tendency to enjoy boat rides, and particularly ridding camels, swimming in the nice pools found in almost all hotels, and now there is even more for them to do in Egypt. While no Disney Lands yet, Egypt has a number of theme parks.
First, let me elaborate on the subject. Dream Park, is an amusement or theme park located near Sixth of October City. Bill Kelly manages Dream Park. He brings his American theme park experience onto Egyptian soil. As General Manager of the Dream Park for the past two years, Mr. Kelly brings into the business his industry high-standards as well as effective quality control efforts. As a former graduate of the Walt Disney School of Management, he has successfully managed and many well-known theme parks throughout America. Mr. Kelly was first associated with Dream Park as a management consultant. After about a month it became clear that his experience and knowledge would be vital to the future of Dream Park, so he was offered a full time position as General Manager of the complex.
In the last two years, Dream Park has undergone many wonderful changes under his direction and management. Some of these changes include worldwide industry standards in ride safety, as well as staff certification requirements to operate the rides. As General Manager, Mr. Kelly has to pay attention to the smallest details of the park including the park landscaping and staff uniforms. He also provides his experienced opinion into future themes at the park. For example, there were plans proposed to him that a walk-through Pharaonic temple recreation be built in the park. He felt that although the idea was good, a re-creation of a temple complex wouldn't draw much attention considering that Egypt is home to all the real ancient temples. Why visit a fake scaled down version when you can see the real thing elsewhere in Egypt. He suggests perhaps that a new adventure ride based on the new movie The Mummy Returns would be of more interest to park visitors.
Bill Kelly clearly is a man who enjoys working in a challenging environment. He states that he wouldn't be happy if there wasn't challenges in his work and position.Believing that a theme park is a long-term financial project, not a quick return of one's investment, he know that it requires patience, effective planning, quality control, strategy and interaction with the visitors. It also requires teamwork with various industries in the surrounding 6th October area, and solid vision. Mr. Bill Kelly bring all of these aspects to Dream Park.
One of my main concerns about the rides in Dream Park was their safety. Mr. Bill said that all the rides are T.U.V certified. There are daily, weekly, monthly and annual checks on the safety of the rides. In addition, the technicians and operators of these rides also have to be well trained and certified.
From the Guest relations office I met Mr. Ayman Taher, who provided a tour around the park. Mr. Ayman and I rode the miniature train, which circulates around the park. It is a scaled down version of an old western train, and while not that comfortable of a ride, provided an overview of the park. Mr. Ayman pointed out to the sections of the amusement park. I noticed that there are a lot of green areas in the park. Dream Park, which is three years old, is in very good condition.
Now lets get into action! The first area you will encounter in Dream Park is the Movie Adventure Land. There is nothing that represents movies except decorations, but the rides are enough to make you feel the experience of an action movie. The Spill Water ride is enough to get you wet in a hot summer day, but excessively wet. I saw a couple who got drenched with water. If you are just a spectator, then stay away from the fence around the ride because you will also get wet. You can always dry yourself in the Enterprise. It is a ride with great centrifugal force. It starts in a horizontal position spin and goes into a vertical position spin, so imagine the ride. If you are still wet, you could then ride the Top Spin and you will be Tumble Dried.
The Dark Ride in Dream Park is not the place to be if you are looking for something like the tunnel of love. Instead, you will be spun, twisted and flipped in the dark. It is a roller coaster, where all direction is lost, which does tricks and spins, and in the dark.
If you enjoy racing and did not have the chance to become a formula one professional racer, I suggest you try the Go Carts. You can race your friends or who ever is on the track. The racetrack is very short but quiet exciting.
In Movie Adventure Land there will be a 3D simulator that will be open in a short time. It will simulate Dino Island, so watch out for the dinosaurs.
In Techno Zone there are three rides, a suspended coaster, a shooting rocket and a crazy pineapple! I suggested you start with the suspended roller coaster and for maximum thrill sit in the front seat. If you had enough of twisting and turning then ride the Shooting Rocket. You shoot up in a couple of seconds. The fun part is when you are up there you can see the pyramids in a distance but too bad, you will not see them for long because you will be dropped once you reach the top.
In the Ancient Area, you will find really classic rides like the traditional bumper cars and rapid riverboats. There is a shooting gallery and you might be lucky enough to win a teddy bear. I wasnt lucky at all! And in the childrens area there is a nursery and a lot of rides for the kids, from the carousal to a miniature shooting tower.
Young Kid's Rides
I admire Dream Park for its organization; cleanliness and the variety of restaurants found everywhere in the park. You can buy burgers or steak, Chinese or traditional Egyptian plates.
If you are wandering how much you might spend in a day in Dream Park including food and refreshments, then 25-30 US$ per person are sufficient enough. The entrance fee is 10 US$. To reach Dream Park, you can go by taxi on the 26th of July highway if you are in downtown or in Mohandessin. If you are in the pyramids area then you can directly reach Dream Park through the Cairo-Fayoum road. The taxi fare is around 6-8 US$. It is advisable that you go in a group. You can avoid weekends (Thursday and Friday) and public holidays, as the park will be very crowded.
Dream Park is not exactly Disney Land but it is a nice theme park. You will find enough action for one day there, especially if you need a change from monuments and antiques. After all, Egypt is not only about the pharaohs. There are other things to do besides site seeing.
Adjacent to dream park is Dream Mall, which is managed by Mr. Anthony Walker. I met Mr. Wael El Behery, Deputy manager, who is as friendly as Mr. Anthony. Mr. Wael said that the mall would be open by the end of this year. There will be a hypermarket, as well as a vast array of stores, so parents can easily drop the kids off at the amusement park and get in a little shopping.
Last Updated: April 27th, 2011