A few years ago, one of my cousins from Delhi visited us with her kids. I took her to all the usual touristy sites in Mumbai, Juhu beach, Gateway, Siddhivinayak, etc. I also wanted to take her to Alibaug given the attraction a beach holiday holds for non-coastal residents, however she was not too keen on it. She wanted to take her kids to Adlabs Imagica instead. Well, to cut the story short, she went to Imagica with her kids, while I chose to stay behind, my then toddler wouldn’t have enjoyed it, and so neither would I. But, I was still surprised that she chose a theme park over a heavenly 2-day stay at Alibaug. She replied, “When your child grows up, you will realize.”
4 years later, last Saturday, my daughter, now 6 years, and I visited Imagica to experience the wonder first hand. We started around 9 from Mumbai and reached Imagica at Khopoli around 11:15. We took the tickets for all the parks; i.e Theme Park, Aqua Magica (water park) and Snow Park. I chose to take Express passes (which for Rs. 1000 more gives you the license to surpass long queues at all the rides). And God, wasn’t that a wise decision, given the unusual crowds that day, as Imagica has been celebrating Children’s Day all the month round in November.
We decided to enjoy the water park first. To my surprise, they offer locker facility at a charge of Rs. 150. It is compulsory to wear nylon clothes; swimsuits, dry wear, etc. would do. Aanya had a whale of a time at the water park, and didn’t want to come out of water, especially the waves pool.
There was vigilant and friendly Imagica staff (3-4 personnel per ride) stationed at all rides. As my daughter couldn’t do all the rides there, we finished early and headed to the theme park. There is a free shuttle service between the theme park and Aqua Magica.
Once at the theme park, we lunched at Armada, a boat-shaped restaurant that serves a limited but nice menu. Our tummies loaded with food, we decided to avoid the rides and try the indoor motion simulator rides instead. I for India takes you through the stunning sights of India, but Aanya was not too keen on it (also it’s not recommended for people suffering from vertigo), so we went for Anil Kapoor starrer Mr. India, which through an animated motion simulation form movie takes you through the various rides and attractions of Imagica.
Though we enjoyed the haunted by lanes and dungeons of Salimgarh, I personally feel it could be made more eerie and terrifying. Alibaba and Chalis Chor was like a real-life video game, and thoroughly satisfying. We missed Wrath of the Gods, which is said to be a sensory delight, as none of us wanted to get drenched again after our 2-hour adventure at the water park.
Next, Aanya and I sat on various rides like Tubby Takes Off and Splash Ahoy! I liked the fact that I could sit on these rides with Aanya, as she was more comfortable with me around. I would have liked to try a few of the more adventurous rides like the Loch Ness, Gold Rush, Scream Machine, Dare Drop, but we were short of time. May be the next time!
There were many school kids on picnic from some of the popular schools of Mumbai and Pune having fun at the pop jets, licking ice creams and candies.
We watched the end of the day parade, which is a visual treat while sucking on an ice cream. The last item on our itinerary was to visit the Snow Park. The Snow Park has 1-hour slots. We decided to go for the last one, that was at 6 pm. It took me a little time to make Aanya and I ready in gloves, jackets and gum boots, and so we entered the 50-foot-tall snow dome just in time for the snowfall. It was impressive and the highlight of the day. We indulged in a snow fight, crawled inside the igloo and touched the ice sculptures.
Before calling it a day, we decided to check out the evening lights. Imagica in the evening lights looks magical, straight out of a fairy tale.
We left from Imagica around 7:30 and reached home at 9:30, exhausted but totally exhilarated by our memorable experience at the theme park. And, I finally understood the meaning of the remark my cousin had made 4 years ago. As children grow up, they become ready for a different kind of adventure. And Imagica, thankfully, gives it all!
A few tips to note before you head to Imagica:
- Buy Imagica coupons online. There are various deals available regularly. Find one which best suits your needs.
- No outside eatables are allowed inside the park. However, you have a choice of 6 restaurants serving a variety of cuisine. The food is absolutely not an issue.
- You can buy Meal Packs (food coupons) online which are redeemable at any of the 6 restaurants. However, you can use them at carts to buy ice creams, sweet corn, soft drinks, etc.
- They have locker facility everywhere. Instead of lugging heavy backpacks that would hinder your fun, just make use of it.
- Imagica is more fun if you have a bigger group. However, if not, try to visit on a weekend when there are more people. Don’t be shocked, believe me, no one wants to go on an empty ride.
- Avoid visiting in Diwali or Christmas holidays, but if you must, to beat the long queues, I would recommend buying an Express pass for Rs. 1000 pax. It’s totally worth it!
- In case you forget to carry a swimsuit, cap, goggles, fret not; Imagica has various merchandise shops from where you can buy everything and more.
- Carry flip flops and a sarong for roaming in the water park. It can get uncomfortably hot even in the winter months.
- Carry a pair of socks for the Snow Park. The rest of the snow gear jacket, gloves and gum boots are provided to you at no additional cost.
- No one can stay beyond 20-25 mins inside the Snow Park. Time your entry around the snowfall, so that you don’t miss the experience.
- If you have adventurous teenagers with you, I suggest enjoying the theme park on one day and the water park on the next, to get the maximum out of your adventure. Imagica boasts of Novotel where you can board up for the night, or there are more options at Lonavala.
Hope, after reading this post, you are raring to check out Imagica, that is at par with many international theme parks! And do let me know about your experience.