Right after our visit to SeaWorld Ancol inside the Ancol Dreamland complex on the last day of our Jakarta trip in December 2015, Rupert, Zuri and I got an Uber to take us to Dunia Fantasi or Dufan (which is also within the said complex. Kaya natawa na lang si Manong Uber. Haha. Sorry po, Manong Uber.) :p
Anyway, although both theme parks are located inside Ancol Dreamland, they are not exactly walking distance from each other. Getting an Uber was actually a wise move especially since we were pressed for time with our flight back to Manila just a few hours away.
It was around 11:00 in the morning when Manong Uber dropped us off in front of the ticketing booths of Dufan. The crowd was almost discouraging that Sunday morning. If I was in Manila, I wouldn’t bother waiting so long in line for a theme park. But I was in another country. Who knows when I’ll find myself in Jakarta (and Dufan) again. So I persisted.
After an hour of waiting and sweating (gosh it was hot!), it was finally my turn to buy tickets. I told the staff at the ticketing counter that I needed tickets for two adults and one child. She asked me if Zuri was less than a meter tall and I said yes (I really thought she was).
The staff asked me to pay for two regular tickets at IDR 270,000 each (around PHP 973 each). She said Zuri could enter Dufan for free. Yippee! A little piece of good news after an hour of standing and bathing in my own sweat.
With our Dufan regular tickets came free tickets to the Fantastique Show. Too bad we didn’t have time to see the show.
Moving on, first thing we did after getting our tickets was… siyempre family pic! 🙂
With our proof of travel acquired and secured (a.k.a. taking family photo showing the Dufan sign), we proceeded to the entrance gates and presented our tickets. All three of us (including Zuri) got a stamp on our hands.
Since it was already lunch time, we roamed around looking for a place to eat. It took us a while to decide on where to have lunch. We entered an Indonesian restaurant because I wanted some Indonesian food. I wanted to experience as much of Indonesia as I could. But I was with two picky eaters who were not sold on my preference.
After taking a while hopping from one restaurant to another, we realized we were wasting our limited time NOT deciding where to eat. Eventually, we chose Yoshinoya, which was not crowded at the time, and is one we’re familiar with since there are a number of Yoshinoya stores in Manila.
It was already 1:00 pm when we were finally done with lunch and ready to explore the rest of Dufan. We used this map to navigate.
I found out that most of the family rides at Dufan require a minimum height of 100 cm (1 meter). Oh! So that was why I was asked at the ticketing booth if Zuri was less than a meter tall (and why children less than 100 cm in height get in free). Luckily, nobody bothered to check Zuri’s height or ticket (or lack thereof) at the rides. Just to make sure the rides were safe for Zuri’s size, I checked her height using the measuring charts around Dufan. I found out then that she was actually exactly 1 meter tall. Ha!
The first ride we tried was the one closest to Yoshinoya. It was an elephant ride called Gajah Bledug, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Hong Kong Disneyland. We lined up for this ride for about 20 minutes. Each ride lasts about 3 minutes.
After Gajah Bledug, we went to the carousel. Dufan’s version of a carousel is called Turangga Rangga and looks similar to Hong Kong Disneyland’s Cinderella Carousel. Line here was long but fast. I think we waited in line for about 10 minutes. Each ride lasts about 5 minutes.
After the carousel ride, we walked to what was to become one of Zuri’s favorite parts of Dufan: Ranggo Ranggo or the Tilt House. Zuri loved it so much, she still remembers it till this day and tells me she would love to go back. The Tilt House is an untimed attraction. Visitors can just simply enter the house and navigate it at their own pace.
After the Tilt House, we checked out Rumah Jahil or the Mirror Maze. It was okay but obviously old already.
Then, we also saw Poci-Poci, a tea cup ride similar to Mad Hatter Tea Cup Ride at Hong Kong Disneyland. To our surprise, there was no queue! Yey, no waiting time! Each Poci-Poci ride lasts about 2.5 minutes.
From Poci-Poci, we could already see a structure that no doubt looks like Hong Kong Disneyland’s it’s a small world. This is Dufan’s Istana Boneka. We tried Istana Boneka, too.
Indeed, Istana Boneka is almost a carbon copy of Hong Kong Disneyland’s it’s a small world. Same concept. Same execution. Each ride lasts about 15 minutes.
So far, everything we did in Dufan was something we already experienced at Hong Kong Disneyland save for Zuri’s favorite Tilt House. But our Dufan visit wasn’t over yet. We actually saved the best for last.
Zuri had been looking forward to a trip to Malaysia to see Hello Kitty Town (and Legoland) but that trip hasn’t happened yet. So it was a very good thing that there is an area in Dufan dedicated to Hello Kitty which we called “Hello Kitty house”. This got Zuri so excited. She was very happy to meet and hug Melody! Needless to say, the “Hello Kitty house” is Zuri’s other favorite part of Dufan. 🙂
After roaming around and enjoying the rides in Dufan for 2 hours, we felt we needed to sit down and rest. Good thing that just outside the “Hello Kitty house” was a small food court with a number of food stalls. We bought some fries and drinks from Potato Corner.
After finishing our snacks, we asked Zuri what she wanted to do. She chose to go back to the Tilt House. We entered that house a total of three times. Talagang favorite niya.
After Zuri had had her fill of the Tilt House, we looked around for some souvenirs. I collect ref magnets from places we go to. I’m glad I bought really nice magnets from Dufan. 🙂
It was 4:00 pm when we decided to look for the McDonald’s store inside Dufan to buy some take away food for dinner.
We wanted to go back to our hotel early so we would still have time to rest before our flight. By 4:30 pm, we were already out of Dufan on our way back to d’prima hotel WTC Mangga Dua aboard a Bluebird taxi.
Our Dufan visit lasted 4.5 hours excluding an hour spent waiting in line at the ticketing booth. In those 4.5 hours, we were able to try 6 out of the 13 rides and attractions suited for Zuri’s height (1 meter = 100 cm) and visit 3 food establishments inside Dufan.
Overall, I was pretty happy about our visit to Dufan. Zuri was so thrilled to meet Melody and to step foot in “Hello Kitty’s house”. The Tilted House made an impression on her. All three of us enjoyed Dufan’s simple, classic family rides. Having said that, our Dufan trip would have been more value for money if we had more time and if we visited on a weekday when queues are shorter. 🙂
Dufan Family Rides
Dufan/Dunia Fantasi Regular Ticket Price (unlimited rides):
Weekday: IDR 195,000 (PHP 700)
Weekend: IDR 275,000 (PHP 986)
*Dufan currently has a promo for Girl’s Month valid August 1-31, 2016:
Weekday Regular Ticket price (unlimited rides): IDR 100,000 (PHP 359)
Weekend Regular Ticket price (unlimited rides): IDR 140,000 (PHP 502)
Promo valid only for girls.
Dufan/Dunia Fantasi Operating Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 10:00 – 8:00 pm
Dunia Fantasi is located inside Ancol Dreamland, North Jakarta. To reach DuFan, Ancol Dreamland entrance fee is required: IDR 25,000/head (PHP90/head) plus IDR 20,000/car or taxi (PHP 72/car or taxi).
Some Travel Tips:
1. If possible, go on a weekday.
Weekends are really busy. We went to Dufan on a Sunday and queues to some attractions were too long.
2. Arrive before the 10:00 am opening time.
Since we visited SeaWorld Ancol in the morning of the same day of our visit to Dufan, it was already 11:00 am when we arrived at the Dufan ticketing booths. By then, the crowd was already thick. It took me one hour of waiting in line till I was able to buy tickets.
3. Don’t forget to get a copy of the Dufan map upon entering.
The map helped us find our way around Dufan. The rides that allow children 100 cm in height are marked with the Dufan Kids sign on the map. 🙂
4. Use your time wisely.
We took a long time deciding where to eat. Meanwhile, the queues to the rides were building up.
5. Wear comfortable and breathable clothes and comfortable shoes.
It was hot when we visited Dufan. Even though the sun wasn’t really shining too bright, it still felt hot. A fan and a small foldable umbrella would be a good idea.
6. Drink lots of water.
Since it is quite hot in Dufan despite the trees and shade, hydrating is of utmost importance. Also, it can get quite tiring walking around the park.
7. Bring a lightweight stroller.
A lightweight stroller will keep the little kids from getting tired too easily.
8. Choose Bluebird taxi.
There is a taxi stand just outside Dufan (by the exit). Bluebird is a trusted taxi company in Indonesia. Or get an Uber.
9. Use the complimentary show tickets.
If you have time, use the complimentary show tickets that might come with Dufan regular tickets. Too bad we didn’t have time for this. Or, check if there are any promos. For Girl’s Month, from August 1-31, 2016, girls can buy regular weekday tickets at IDR 100,000 each (PHP359) and regular weekend tickets at IDR 140,000 each (PHP 502).
10. Have fun!
Dufan does not gain any points for originality. Many of the rides and attractions here are just similar to those seen in other theme parks. But so what? Still great for some quality family bonding time. 🙂
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Watch out for my next post: Cafe Batavia 🙂
Thanks for reading! 🙂