Where stories come alive and how, experiences Chef Varun Inamdar in their world of flavours amidst marvelous theme rides, attractions and flying cars with motion simulation technology. A crazy trip accentuated with good food, great company and amazing hospitality. Read to find out more.
Most people make it a contest to plan and see who gets through all of the attractions at any amusement park the fastest. So did all of us, at Adlabs Imagica. And we were happy to dare most of the roller coasters with mind bending inversions and loops, rides with bumpy motion simulations, bearing ‘The Wrath of Gods’ and Indian film industry’s most loved anti hero- Mogambo. All of this and much more with a delicious line up of an array of cuisines and themed restaurants to choose from will drive you crazy. Moreover so, for me to have visited Disneyland in Paris and Hongkong in past six months and then to have explored Adlabs Imagica was a gourmet treat. It is, yes, comparatively smaller in scale, rides per se, but food definitely gets a one up. With the opening of this enigmatic park with 26 attractions and theme rides, topped with themed restaurants and food kiosks, is a boon for us, Indians. To add to it, it is located very strategically between Mumbai and Pune.
Very rarely have I been amazed by the food at amusement parks. I usually avoid eating junk, fried or spicy meals so as to enjoy the rides with ease. But this place was clearly something else. It wakes up the foodie in you. The menu is very simple, planned and well distributed to avoid too much crowd, at a go, in any of the restaurants. Tapping the Indian sensibilities well, they have planned a separate vegetarian and Jain restaurant (Roberto’s food coaster) amongst meat monsters like The Red Bonnet and Zeze Bar and Grill. Not just that, but one finds convenient food booths offering quick bites like pop corns, nachos, floss , box meals. We also spotted a fancy ‘tender coconut’ vendor sporting a polished bright yellow cart, for serving the humble drink on the go, too.
‘Rajasaurus River adventure’ which takes you into a travel ride set in the prehistoric times of dinosaurs. This fun trip starts with an adventure into the jungles with ‘so called’ angry dinos swinging at you. They ain’t that angry as projected but enjoy the ride for thing else but the 66 feet drop straight into the pool of water. ‘I for India’ is a motion simulator that takes you into the soaring skyline of India and shows you an helicopter-view of India’s most spectacular, timeless beauty of landscape, snow caps, water bodies, monuments and lush beauty projected on a 90 feet wide screen all in a matter of 20 minutes. We, however, wondered about the missing ‘Eastern part of India’. Whatever said and done, it is ‘India as never before’ paired with local music. ‘Mr.India-The Ride’ is a motion simulator ride, with childhood memories buckled up in a fancyful flying car. This is India’s first attempt at introducing the technology beautifully recreating the charm of the invisibility bracelet. ‘Gold Rush Express’ takes one into the cowboy world of Jesse James and Butch Cassidy through a mini train which gushes through mines, takes the adventure several notches higher to 66 feet before landing safely at the exit gate. ‘Scream Machine’ is the tallest ride of its kind in the country, today. The rotating pendulum not just oscillates, but also swings with long suspension mid-air.After stuffing ourselves with a good spread around breakfast we marched onto enjoying some of the indoor rides just to set the mood and slowly submit ourselves into the ‘Imagical’ world. I overheard a colleague rave about some gourmet sandwiches and premium brewed coffee that he lounged upon, whilst at the lower deck of a robust Spanish ship converted into a café cum lounge bar called Arrmad
Imagical Restaurants‘Nitro’ which is considered ‘The father of all rides in India’ takes you through a complete adrenaline rush at a crazy speed and drops you from a breath taking 132 feet at a steep angle. To make things crazier, once you buckle yourselves, you see the floor giving way, leaving you with a floorless effect.
‘Arrmada’ is a robust looking heritage Spanish ship docked on the banks of a lagoon and is open to patrons as a café and bar serving grills, gourmet sandwiches, salads and desserts with a thoughtful creation of classic cocktails and a bar list.
‘The Imagica Capital’ is a buffet restaurant serving Pan Indian food for the one’s looking for a gustatory experience and not willing to experiment much. It is timeless and will never go out of fashion for its choice of ‘Real Indian food for the Real Indians’.
‘Roberto’s food coaster’ serves a complete vegetarian fare for the one’s who prefer it so. Mexican, Italian and Pan Asian vegetarian food served in all its avatars. ‘Red Bonnet- American Diner’ is as true to its feel and appeal as the name itself. The menu superbly complimenting the concept and the décor absolutely befitting.
The robust potato wedges, fried chicken legs, classic burgers, French fries, carbonated beverages, chocolate shakes, smoothies, pies and the whole gamut- you will find it all. ‘Zeze Bar and Grill’ is a Zulu tribal restaurant serving grills and African spice-rubbed meats with panache. An alfresco restaurant where one can easily break into a tribal jig, while others at the table enjoy their supreme signature peri peri lemonade and some mellow sangria.
Absolutely worth visiting with family and friends. You will definitely take Imagica home in the form of flavours from their signature restaurants and thrills from the rides.
Photographs by: Varun Inamdar