Welcome to Mumbai!The land of beaches,starry eyed surprises,
bhel-puri..no this review isn't about the city of Mumbai,but about an amusement park that has become one of the most popular leisure destinations for people from every walk of life..kids,youngsters,love-birds,one and all,welcome to Esselworld!!
Located at the Gorai village on the outskirts of Mumbai,
Esselworld is spread across 60 something acres of plush green fields(that's the beauty of setting up an amusement park away from the hustle-bustle of the city).
How to reach there
Just because Esselworld is far away from the main city area,
doesn't mean that reaching there is a troublesome experience.On the contrary,journey is almost as interesting as the destination.Well almost.
Esselworld can be reached by 1.road i.e.driving upto Bhayandar-a far flung suburb,then following the road signs on a semi-ghat road,till you're there
2.ferryi.e.travel upto Malad or Borivli by train and catch a ferry from Marve Beach(takes 30 mins) or Gorai Creek(takes 15 mins) respectively.The ferry charges are a measly Rs.10 per person.
3.Direct BusThis option is mostly for tourists,who can approach Tour Operators in the city.
Entry Ticket Prices
The entry fee of Esselworld is inclusive of all rides,unlimited that too.The tickets are priced at Rs.200/- for children and Rs.250/-for adults.
Group bookings done for schools and colleges reduce the ticket prices to a large extent.This makes Esselworld a favourite picnic destination for almost all schools in Mumbai and beyond.
There are also combinational tickets available for Esselworld and Water Kingdom(that's the water park next to Esselworld),in case visitors want to indulge in double fun.
This is no doubt the most important aspect of the park,you ain't got no successful amusement park if there are no fun,whacky and thrill rides.Precisely where Esselworld scores.
This park has a ride for every member of your family,from the weak-hearted to the thrill seeker,no one will be left out.
-For kids,there's a whole bunch of rides like Junior Carousel,Boat ride,Big Apple etc.
-There are some family rides like Tilt-a-Whirl,Aqua Dive,Zipper Dipper(a mild version of a roller coaster)
-For the hardcore thrill seekers,there are rides to get the adrenalin rushing,hair-raising,heart thumping loud!There's Zyclone(a full fledged roller coaster with the usual twists and turns,no 360 degree rotation though),Rainbow(those who love heights and the feeling of weightlessness),Enterprise.However the ride that steals the thunder is named exactly that-Thunder Claimed as the scariest ride in Esselworld,this one's a must for the
I-get-a-high-from-thrills,brave-hearted souls who will stop at nothing.Seems exaggerated?Well,this ride actually takes the riders to mid-air and suspends them upside down in mid-air for 6 seconds(I counted that)Seems like eternity,while you shout your head off.But its good fun,being suspended high up there with friends feeling like its end of the world!You can actually feel the blood rushing to your brain,a very heady feeling.
-In addition to these there are games parlours,fun house,fun net,mirror maze,haunted house etc to keep visitors busy at all times.
There is a Kamat's,for South Indian delicacies and fast food.A recent addition is Domino's Pizza.There are cheaper options at the various Kiosks serving all kinds of food from North Indian to Chaat to Continental.A word of caution however is that before going to the rides involving height or roller coasters,its best to eat a light meal or snacks because there are chances of vomiting and nausea.
There are phone booths,rest rooms,shopping outlets(for souvenirs),first aid centres for emergencies.All these are well spread throughout the park and can be easily located with the help of the map of the park(map is available at the entrance).Well organised.
The park is also visited by couples in need of privacy(there's plenty,or so Esselworld claims).The whole atmosphere is beautiful in the monsoon,with greenery all around.Pretty romantic too.
Each ride has a board of safety precautions and warnings.A good way of avoiding fatal mishaps.
Nothing's perfect.This holds true for the park too.Due to the concession of ticket prices for schools and colleges,the park overflows with students in summers and the months of November to February(that's picnic season in schools).In summers,otherwise too there is a steady influx of people,mostly families since kids have vacations in school.At such times,waiting in LONG queues for each ride becomes a real nuisance,it kinda steals the fun away from the rides.Also in such cases,it becomes almost impossible to experience each ride even once.
Even though the prices are not all that nominal,there's somehow a whole lot of roadside 'taporis'(Mumbaiites will know this word)These are the type of youngsters(and sometimes,men too) that are a nuisance to the families and visitors,with their constant loud talk,eve teasing,fights and misbehaviour in general.
Over the past 13 years(Esselworld was started in 1990)there has been a slow increase in ticket prices and inspite of the concessions,it becomes quite unaffordable for lower-middle class families to visit Esselworld.Maybe it would do good to reduce the ticket prices just a wee-bit.
About the rides,the existing ones are no doubt very good,but if people are to be drawn back to the park again and again,there has to be some variety in rides to do away with boredom with the same old ones.
Just a thought.Is anyone listening?
On the whole,this Disneyland equivalent in Mumbai(or is it fair to say that?) fares much better than some of the other amusement parks(only one actually)in Mumbai.No matter what,Esselworld is always going to remain a favourite destination with Mumbaikars(and out of towners too) and a little improvement in rides and fares will surely help this park to gain sky-high popularity.Not a very bad bargain,so in case you have some cash to spend and a day to spare and if you're looking for some thrills combined with fun....what are you waiting for,head straight to Fun Island Esselworld!