Saturday, May 21, 2022

Summer vacation to Imagica Theme park and Imagicaa water world


Summer vacation to Imagicaa 2022

After 2 summer vacations spent in COVID lockdown, it was time to reclaim the ‘high point of childhood ‘, and we did it in style by spending 2 days in Imagica theme park, and 2 nights at the adjacent Novotel Imagica.

Why Imagica?

I have had a huge fascination for the gorgeous theme parks of the world, be it Disney land, or Lego land, or Singapore’s Sentosa Island with Universal studios. And ever since Shreysht was born, I wanted to take him to these theme parks, and fulfil my own curiosity.

 And, Imagica is the best option for a theme park in India, also, since my parents live in Pune, it was a short 2 hour ride to the park (Imagica is in Khopoli, outskirts of Mumbai, and an inter city drive from Pune) It has both a Theme park and a water park. And even though we chose summer to go, they have lots of greenery and shade places especially the water park, there are indoor rides, even some of the queues are in air conditioned rooms, and it was very comfortable even in the Height of May.

We went to Singapore when Shreysht was 3.5 years old, and he enjoyed as much as a 3 three and half can, but now that he is six and half, he had a much more exciting time, and we did too.

Why stay at Novotel Imagica ?

-        If you are traveling from around the country (other than Pune, Mumbai ) I would highly recommend you stay at Imagica Novotel. The theme park and the water park, each take a day each to complete, and so doing one of them on two consecutive days, with an overnight stay at a 4 star hotel absolutely adjacent to the park is the best way to maximise your time and experience of the theme parks.

-        Even if you stay in pune/Mumbai, but are traveling with kids to the park, and do not have your own vehicle to drive to the theme park, I would say , stay overnight at the hotel. The theme park, and the water park are both very extensive , tiring , funfilled days, which extract every ounce of your enthusiasm, and none of us had the mental bandwidth, not to mention physical capacity to drive back in city traffic to any home. With the Novotel, we could go back to our room, regresh and rejuvenate, and then head down to an extensive dinner buffet.

-        The stay at the imagica, comes with attractive options for the theme park entries, as well as a breakfast buffet. They also have free stay for children under 10, and special rates for senior citizens.

-        A cheaper option would be other hotels near by, or an air bnb style option near the Theme park, but to really indulge in the immersive experience , we chose the Novotel. And not just one night, but we chose 2 nights, so that we were rested after both days of the theme park.

-        ONE MAJOR TIP – check in is at 2 pm, and check out at 11 am. For some reason, we thought we have to check in before going to the park! You do not need to do that, you can bring your bags in early, head to the park at 10:30 am and check- in later. Or you can checkout and then head to the other park.

A note on the food at Novotel Imagica, it was excellent. The 4 buffet meals we had here, 2 breakfasts (included in charges) and 2 dinner buffets were all very thoughtfully planned, not repetitive and extremely well prepared as a food blogger, I was in food heaven, and yet have no food pictures because i used to not carry my phone for meals. a chance for me to be more mindful with the food, and be with my family.

More about the Imagica park

-        There is the Imagica theme park with 35 attractions, the water park with 14 rides , and a snow world that has a different entry and charges. The theme park has special rates on Tuesdays, and the water park has special rates on Wednesdays , so if you plan to visit both then a Tuesday +Wednesday would be the most value for money.

-        There is a height cut off on most rides , one of 3 feet 1 inch , and 4 feet 4 inch. If you have a child and two parents, then there is a special entry where the second parent does not have to stand in the line a second time.

-        On extremely busy days you can upgrade your tickets to beat the lines. But we made the mistake of taking these upgrades on a day it was not busy. You can upgrade at any time during your visit to theme park, these upgrade shops are outside every popular ride, and you can decide if you want to upgrade if the lines are especially long any time of the day. Even if you have the upgrade pass, you get to do the rides only once using the pass, that means the second time you do the ride, you still have to stand in the long queue. The upgrade does not mean unlimited access.

-        The indoor rides shut down by 5 pm, so it is best to start the morning with these rides, namely all the indoor shows (motion box theatre, cinema 360, I for India, Mr India , detective bow wow show ) , and also the indoor rides (our favourites were Ali baba and Rajasaurus ) . The outdoor rides are open till 6:30. Ask the attendants, when the ride will close. Also, start with the furthest rides from the entrance first, before the crowds come.

-        Four scary rides for thrill seakers – the Nitro , the scream machine, the dare to drop, and deep space, all need a height requirement of 4.4 feet. But, if you have a high on thrill child, then Gold rush and Rajasaurus have height cut off of 3 feet 1 inch and provide ample screams aswell.

-        You get the pictures for Rs 300 it is online pictures. Which makes it convenient to get the entire set.

-        Water park – as mentioned earlier, we mis-timed our entry, and went to the park after checkin, at 2:30 pm, and were told the park would close at 5 pm. Thankfully for us, the park was crowded that day, on crowded days, they keep the park open till 6:30. They have lockers to keep bags, no towels are provided, so carry your own, dry fit wear or swim suits are a must, carry a waterproof ziplock for your phone if you want to take it into the park, there are shoe racks to keep your slippers outside the rides so please don’t try and walk bare foot around the park.

-        Food and water was surprisingly allowed inside the park! This is a blessing if you have young children, water is easily fillable in the many drinking water kiosks, even the snacks available in the park are at MRP and not at a hiked price! The restaurants and eateries are all very affordable. We liked the pizza place near the wave pool and rain dance area in the Imagica water park for eating.

-         A super cool tip to win you some freebies – so at the entry you are given a raffle ticket. Most people do not fill this raffle ticket, because they don’t have apen, or they are in a hurry to get to the games, but fill this lucky draw ticket and drop it in the souvenir store at the beginning. Every evening they choose 3 winners from the theme park and 3 from the water park. There is a high chance you will win. We did ! we got third prize on the day we went to water park.

-        Can you do both water park and theme park in the same day… not recommended. Choose 2 days. Infact as we were allowed 2 days, we asked specifically if we could go from one to the other. But there is a 5 minute bus travel (inhouse buses) from one to the other, you cannot wear wet clothes from the water park to the theme park, and it truly does take a day to do justice to any of them.

-        The night parade , happens in the theme park after 7 pm. Even if you went to the water park, you get free access into the theme park for the parade, it has all the characters from the park, like Mr India and even snow white and seven dwarfs, also some very talented acrobats. It is definitely worth a watch.try and get a place near the pirate ship to get the best views.

Final words

It is a real feat to make such a theme park in India, and keep it running well. Yes the park opens late (10:30 ) and closes by 5 pm (indoor rides and water park )- 6:30 pm  (outside rides ). But that is for the safety checks, they do diligent safety checks of the rides, multiple times. They need to check there aren’t anyone in the park after hours, they need to check the rowdy crowds, the staff is courteous, helpful and we need to extend that respect to them aswell. The park is really value for money, for all that it offers, including lifetime memories.

 want to watch more of our shenanigans in Imagica? 

Here are few links to my instagram reels from Imagica