There are two great things about Gondolania. One: the sheer volume of options to keep kids entertained. Two: there are rarely any queues. The indoor park, with its bright lights, scream-inducing rides and fairground atmosphere, provides hours of fun for everyone no matter what their age – and that includes parents too! Outside the park, you’ll also find a Venetian gondola boat ride that takes you along the canal from one end of Villagio to the other, and an Olympic-sized ice rink popular with local ice hockey teams. With fast food outlets and coffee shops, you can spend a whole day in Gondolania and still want to go back for more.
For the big kids
Where to start? There is a rollercoaster, a log flume, a Ferris Wheel, a 3D adventure ride, a ride that takes you all the way up to the ceiling and spins you round, a ‘Dark Ride’ which is a scary monorail ride, a freefall Drop Tower and a Top Dancer that swings riders from side to side and round in circles. A karting circuit and bowling alley will also keep teenagers amused for hours.
For the little ones
No age group has been overlooked. Even the youngest of children (six months and up) can enjoy Qatar’s largest indoor theme park. An enormous soft play area complete with ball pits, slides and climbing frames, is situated in the far right corner of the park. Toddlers will love it. Just make sure that you’re prepared to follow them wherever they go – and that might well mean fitting yourself through a few extremely tight spots. The trampolines are also great fun, plus they burn off loads of energy which makes for easy bedtimes! As well as a flying boat ride, carousel and miniature train, there are plenty of arcade style rides and games dotted around the park which are ideal for the under fives.
Unlike most theme parks, queueing is minimal at Gondolania. The rollercoaster flies high above the theme park giving you a great view of all the attractions – if you’re brave enough to keep your eyes open. You buy a Gondolania fun card and top it up with money. You can then use the card on all the rides within the park – easy! Just don’t forget to take it with you each time you visit. There is even a themed children’s hairdresser onsite to tidy up those straggly barnets.
Maintenance seems to be carried out on the bigger rides fairly frequently which is great in terms of safety but annoying if they are closed when you stop by.
‘My favourite ride was the log flume, I went on it five times. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to go karting but dad has promised that he will bring us back next week – I think that’s only because he wants to go back himself.’
Villaggio Mall (4451 9993; www.gondolania.com). Open Sat-Wed 9am-11pm, Thu 9am-midnight, Fri 2pm-midnight. Ice rink open Sat-Wed 9am-10pm; Thu 9am-10.30pm; Fri 2pm-10.30pm. Gondolania is currently offering 10 percent bonus value on its fun card (which is free) for every recharge of QR50 and above. Ice rink, go-karting and bowling are all priced individually.