A prehistoric bird flies past, the roar of a predator shatters the calm and a large elephant stares back at you from behind a dense foliage. The new Hoopla zone at Smaaash opens tomorrow. Dhiman Chattopadhyay dances with penguins and plays with camels while watching children emerge out of hidden tunnels
We are genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised by what we experience. The animals are so lifelike that they look as if they are about to spring. Their roars are very realistic almost making us jump out of our skin.
The ‘Jungle Walk’ inside the 70,000 square feet Smaaash entertainment zone will open to the public tomorrow, and we take a sneak peek at what surprises this little walk in the forest holds.
The animals at Smaaash ‘move’, ‘roar’ and ‘breathe’
We won’t let out too much, lest we spoil the fun. But will children aged between 2 and 10 be able to enjoy life at Smaaash, post these new additions? This was one complaint against this huge entertainment park till now — that it was too adult-centric.
We test the new place out with an unsuspecting six-year-old. The grizzly is huge, the elephant catches him off guard and the dinosaur almost sprays ‘poisoned water’ at him. Our ‘test expert’ loves it, even though he is a little scared of some of the animals.
Why scared? The animals ‘move’, ‘breathe’ and ‘roar’ suddenly, catching all of us off guard. We get up on a giant horse and tap a wild dog on the head (don’t try doing that if you ever meet a real one though). The animals, we learn are all ‘imports’ from UK and China.
Of course the jungle is not the only thing we are here to check. The Hoopla Zone should be a hit with kids too. Our expert tries over a dozen games (basketball, temple run, simulated car racing, a giant ‘connect 4’ and others), and flatly refuses to go home after two hours.
We are usually not liberal with praise unless we are genuinely impressed with what we see. And in this case, we would bet our money that kids would love the jungle walk. This middle aged surely did.
Smaaash: Kamala Mills, Lower Parel
The new jungle walk and hoopla zones open from Monday, February 10