A QUICK GET­AWAY FOR SOME FAM­ILY FUN

If you’re look­ing to make the most of your Di­wali week­end, but don’t have the lux­ury of time, head to Ad­labs Imag­ica, a two-hour drive from Mum­bai, and you and your fam­ily is in for a real treat!

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - BY CHAR­LENE FLANA­GAN

Make most of your Di­wali week­end

When was the last time you let your­self go to an amuse­ment part? The an­swer is pos­si­bly at a school pic­nic, many moons ago. Now that you’re par­ents, we don’t think there’s any harm in re­liv­ing your child­hood days, let­ting loose and hav­ing that much-needed fun. And the best part, you now have an excuse to en­joy those roller coaster rides you weren’t al­lowed to sit on when you were younger. But jokes apart, there’s noth­ing bet­ter than a fam­ily ad­ven­ture to en­sure you spend qual­ity time with your kids, make mem­o­ries, and have a won­der­ful time do­ing so! Now, while Ad­labs Imag­ica isn’t ex­actly the new­est theme park around, it’s pos­si­bly the largest park to ex­ist in the coun­try, spread over 300 acres. Hav­ing opened in 2013, and mod­eled on Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, this theme park boasts of 24 themed rides (in­clud­ing the coun­try’s largest roller coaster and 4D stim­u­la­tion rides), and five themed restau­rants. But if that’s tick­led the adren­a­line junkie in you, the park also boasts of a wa­ter park and snow park, and a lux­ury ho­tel for those much-needed breaks in be­tween. Quite lit­er­ally, Ad­labs Imag­ica can to­day be termed as your one-stop en­ter­tain­ment desti­na­tion, of­fer­ing a gamut of in­ter­est­ing and unique en­ter­tain­ment ex­pe­ri­ences un­der one roof through its in­ter­na­tional stan­dard Theme Park, a Mykonos­themed Wa­ter Park and the largest Snow Park that In­dia has ever seen.

Get­ting There!

Ad­labs Imag­ica is lo­cated at Khopoli, half­way be­tween Mum­bai and Pune, just off the Mum­baiPune Ex­press­way. Here’s how you can reach your desti­na­tion:

BY CAR FROM MUM­BAI: On the Mum­bai-Pune ex­press high­way, af­ter Kha­la­pur toll naka, take the

first left at the Khopoli exit. Take the over­head bridge to­wards Pali Road. Once you cross the bridge, take the left turn to­wards Pali Road. Travel for about three kilo­me­tres and on right, you will see Imag­ica.

BY CAR FROM PUNE: On the Mum­bai-Pune ex­press high­way, just be­fore Kha­la­pur toll naka take a U-turn. A few meters ahead take the Khopoli exit on your left. Take the over­head bridge to­wards Pali Road. Once you cross the bridge, take the left turn to­wards Pali Road. Travel for about three kilo­me­tres and on right, you will see Imag­ica.

BY TRAIN FROM MUM­BAI: The clos­est train sta­tion to Imag­ica is Khopoli. The CST-Khopoli fast train runs along the cen­tral rail­way line, once per day from Mum­bai. Imag­ica, which is just 20 min­utes away from the sta­tion, also of­fers shut­tle ser­vices from Khopoli sta­tion, once in the morn­ing and evening on a daily ba­sis, for which no prior book­ing is re­quired. Guests ar­riv­ing at other times can avail auto rick­shaws from the sta­tion, at their dis­cre­tion.

BY FLIGHT: The clos­est air­ports to Khopoli are Mum­bai and Pune air­ports, from where one can book car pack­ages from the Imag­ica web­site or hire a lo­cal ra­dio cab.

Stay­ca­tion!

Since Ad­labs Imag­ica has a great deal of en­ter­tain­ment to of­fer, to make the most of this amuse­ment part, we’d rec­om­mend stay­ing at the lux­ury five-star prop­erty— Novo­tel Imag­ica. Nes­tled in the Sahyadri Hills, this up­scale, theme park ho­tel is ad­ja­cent to the amuse­ment park. The ho­tel of­fers its guests their pick from 287 con­tem­po­rary rooms with moun­tain or pool views, fea­tur­ing Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, as well as glassen­closed en suite bath­rooms. Up­graded rooms add bal­conies and mini­bars. Room ser­vice is avail­able 24/7, and break­fast is pro­vided for a fee, and as a spe­cial treat for kids, break­fast is served with a host of char­ac­ters, parad­ing and danc­ing to the Imag­ica theme song med­ley. Din­ing op­tions in­clude an airy, mod­ern restau­rant of­fer­ing In­dian and in­ter­na­tional cuisines, and a lobby bistro. There’s also a hip cock­tail bar, as well as an out­door pool and a gym, In ad­di­tion, there’s mas­sage, bikes for rent, and park­ing. With at­trac­tive one-night or two-night stay pack­ages, the ho­tel acts as a base camp where guests can re­lax and thor­oughly en­joy the desti­na­tion. You can even avail of the ho­tel’s swim­ming pool, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­ity cen­tre, spe­cialty restau­rants, or well-equipped gym, to en­sure you get in a reg­u­lar work­out, apart from all the walk­ing you’re bound to do around the park.

Take a Ride!

You’re in for a thrilling ad­ven­ture of a life­time; the theme-park has some­thing for all ages! Bump into the in-house char­ac­ters like Tubbby the Ele­phant, Roberto the Star Chef, The Lost As­tro­naut, Mogambo, The Ginger­bread Man and the Zoobal­loo band while hop­ping from one ride to an­other. If you’re lucky, you can also be a part of the Grand Imag­ica Pa­rade that has B-Boy­ers, hip hop­pers, ma­gi­cians, stilt

walk­ers, clowns, jug­glers and uni­cy­clists danc­ing through the lanes of Imag­ica. And while these per­for­mances are surely a treat, the rides at Imag­ica are a whole new ex­pe­ri­ence in­deed! Take for ex­am­ple, Nitro. This is per­haps In­dia’s big­gest and wildest roller coaster, 132-feet high with over 2800 feet of track length. You’ll ex­pe­ri­ence an adren­a­line rush dur­ing the 150 sec­onds it takes to com­plete the track! Scream Ma­chine is a ro­tat­ing pen­du­lum, that first gath­ers some mo­men­tum by spin­ning and then starts to swing, till there’s a lot of scream­ing. Next, you could try the Dare 2 Drop, a ride that in all essence de­fies grav­ity, and makes for a whole lot of scream­ing laugh­ter, or per­haps the Gold Rush, an ex­cit­ing coaster will take you through the world of old Amer­i­can West. Then there’s an in­door ride that will make you travel back in time—the Ra­jasaurus River Ad­ven­ture. This is an in­door ride which takes vis­i­tors pack to the pre­his­toric age via boat, which ends with an splashy in­clined fall down to a wa­ter pool from a height of 20 me­tres. Now, if you’re a lit­tle afraid of heights, per­haps their in­door shows can keep you oc­cu­pied. Trust us, you will be glad you

hopped on the chance. Whether it’s fac­ing your fears at the mildly scary ride of Sal­im­garh, ven­tur­ing into the cave of the forty thieves from Ali Baba and Chalis Chor, fight­ing life forces in the Tem­ple of Gods, trav­el­ling un­der­wa­ter while lay­ing on the ground dur­ing Prince of the Dark Wa­ter or en­joy­ing a bird’s eye view of the di­ver­sity of In­dia in I for In­dia, the theme rides are sure to thrill you be­yond a doubt! If you’re look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle less dar­ing, the park pro­vides enough ex­cite­ment, and it’s suit­able even for your kids. From rides like Mambo Chai Chama: Crazy Tea Cups, Splash Ahoy, Bump It Boats, Loch Ness Ex­plor­ers, Happy Wheelss and Humpty’s Fall, you’re def­i­nitely go­ing to need a whole lot more time on your hands at Imag­ica.

Make a Splash!

If it’s a par­tic­u­larly hot day, and in our ex­pe­ri­ence, it will be, you might want to cool off in Imag­ica’s Mykonos-themed wa­ter park that’s ad­ja­cent to the theme park. Of course, you must def­i­nitely go pre­pared and pack a bathing suit. It’s the only way

to truly en­joy the ad­ven­tures they have to of­fer. With 14 thrilling rides and seven ex­cit­ing restau­rants, the wa­ter park is very pop­u­lar as a favourite day party hang­out desti­na­tion with a live DJ party ev­ery week­end. And while the mu­sic can def­i­nitely en­hance the fun fac­tor, if you’re re­ally look­ing for a rush, all you re­ally have to do is go with the flow. The rides that we par­tic­u­larly en­joyed were the Loopy Woopy that sent us plum­met­ing through a 39-foot ver­ti­cal free-fall drop into a 360-de­gree loop­ing slide. Then we def­i­nitely had a blast on the Zip Zap Zoom, high-speed mat racer en­closed loop­ing Aqua Tubes. If that’s not all, the Screamer has us shout­ing our lungs out on its se­ries of twists, turns and os­cil­la­tions, while Boomeranggo, Swirl Whirl and Twisty Turvy helped us defy grav­ity and made us feel a whole lot lighter! How­ever, while those were rides that were best at­tempted solo, Raf­taas­tic and Soak­erz do make for a fun fam­ily ride, and a whole lots of gig­gles, while The Pi­rate Bay Slides are Body and In­ner-Tube Slides with gen­tle speeds and slopes into shal­lower pools. Mini Slides, wa­ter toys and play­ful char­ac­ters all add up to a wet world of won­der for the lit­tle ones. There’s re­ally no bet­ter way to spend a hot Oc­to­ber af­ter­noon.

Ice, Ice, Baby!

If you’re tired of splash­ing around, but still want to play it cool, In­dia’s largest snow park, spread over 30,000 sq feet will def­i­nitely chill and thrill you, all at once. With real snow fall and a 50-foot dome, Imag­ica Snow Park has a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties for guests, and lasts a good 45 min­utes. If you’ve al­ways won­derend what ‘Win­ter Won­der­land’ would look like, Imag­ica Snow World has got you cov­ered. Guests can play bas­ket­ball, slide down the to­bog­gans and rafts, climb the rocky, snowy moun­tains, start a snow­ball fight. And if you’re tired from all the fun, you can sim­ply re­lax and sip on pip­ing hot cof­fee at -5° C. Guests can also spend their time hik­ing in the snow, try snow raft­ing as well as dance on the snow dance floor. The park also prom­ises a great photo op, al­low­ing you to pose amidst the snow cas­tle or their one-of-a-kind ice sculp­tures. And while the chance to play in the snow is ex­cit­ing, not every­one comes pre­pared to tread through nice. For­tu­nately, the park pro­vides jack­ets, gloves and boots to its guests on en­try. More im­por­tantly, with kids around, they’re bound to wat to taste the snow. This is why, Imag­ica Snow World is en­vi­ron­ment friendly with 100 per cent ed­i­ble snow made from pu­ri­fied wa­ter, and has no chem­i­cals or preser­va­tives. Af­ter this much-needed week­end get­away, there’s no doubt that shar­ing in young laugh­ter, and spend­ing qual­ity time with your loved ones, will cre­ate last­ing mem­o­ries. Ad­labs Imag­ica prom­ises pure, unadul­ter­ated fam­ily fun and they de­liver on this prom­ise. You won’t go home dis­ap­pointed!

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