Glendale Mattel Adventure Park set to open this year | Phoenix New Times

Mattel Adventure Park set to open this year despite VAI Resort delays

The nine-acre theme park featuring rides and attractions inspired by Hot Wheels and Barbie is sticking to its original opening date.
An artist's conception of the Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale.
An artist's conception of the Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale. Mattel
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Good news for anyone awaiting the arrival of Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale: The much-anticipated theme park near 95th Avenue and Cardinals Way is still set to debut later this year despite delays to the adjacent VAI Resort.

The $260 million indoor and outdoor park — which includes rides and attractions inspired by popular toys like Barbie, Hot Wheels and Masters of the Universe — will open in late 2024, according to a spokesperson.

In other words, you’ll be zooming on Hot Wheels-themed roller coasters and chilling at attraction Barbie’s Beach House by year’s end.

VAI Resort, the 60-acre hotel and entertainment complex where Mattel Adventure Park is located, will reportedly take a little longer to arrive, however.

Earlier this month, the resort announced it was pushing back its opening date to 2025 due to unspecified delays. It’s not the first time the $1 billion project has been postponed.
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A promotional image for VAI Resort in Glendale.
VAI Resort LLC

‘Delays in our timeline’

VAI Resort aims to become Arizona’s largest hotel and entertainment destination. In addition to hosting Mattel Adventure Park, the project will feature 1,100 hotel rooms, five acres of artificial beaches with temperature-controlled water, a two-story nightclub, an 11,000-seat concert amphitheater, a Euopean-style party island and a tethered hot air balloon ride offering panoramic views of the surrounding.

Since breaking ground in 2021, the project has experienced several delays. Originally known as Crystal Lagoons, it was purchased by VAI Resort LLC the following year and was initially scheduled to open in spring 2023. Its debut was later postponed to 2024.

A statement released to the media earlier this month regarding the resort’s latest delay read, in part: “As VAI continues to evolve into the premiere luxury entertainment destination in the Phoenix area, we have inevitably experienced some delays in our timeline. We are committed to creating the best experience possible for our future guests, and building something that has never been seen in the hospitality space takes time.”

According to VAI Resort’s statement, a phased opening is scheduled for 2025. No additional details were provided.
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A promotional image for the Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale.

Hot Wheels, He-Man and Barbie

Meanwhile, it’s full speed ahead for Mattel Adventure Park. Drive past its location along the Loop 101 Freeway in Glendale, and the looping tracks for a pair of themed roller coasters — Hot Wheels Bone Shaker: The Ultimate Ride and Hot Wheels Twin Mill Racer — are visible.

Inside, the nine-acre theme park will feature multiple rides and attractions adapted from Mattel’s most iconic toys and games. A 4,500-square-foot recreation of Castle Grayskull from Masters of the Universe will host He-Man vs. Skeletor laser tag. “Thomas & Friends” characters will star in attractions like Bertie's Bus Stop, Flynn's Firefighting Academy and Harold's Helicopter Tour.

Given the utter popular of 2023 blockbuster film, Barbie will also star in three different attractions inside Mattel Adventure Park. A “Barbie Dream Closet Experience” will utilize hologram technology to bring the legendary character to life and the “Barbie Beach House” will offer multiple photo ops and a rooftop lounge.

What rides and attractions will be at the Mattel Adventure Park?

Here’s the complete list of rides and attractions planned at Matel Adventure Park:

Hot Wheels:
  • Hot Wheels Bone Shaker: The Ultimate Ride roller coaster
  • Hot Wheels Twin Mill Racer roller coaster
  • Hot Wheels Unleased 4D Ride
  • Hot Wheels Party Pit Stop
  • Hot Wheels Go-Karting: Raceway
  • Hot Wheels Go-Karting: Skyway
  • Hot Wheels Speed Challenge

  • Barbie Dream Closet Experience
  • Barbie Flying Theatre
  • The Barbie Rooftop
click to enlarge
An artist's conception of the Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale.
Thomas & Friends:
  • Thomas & Friends: World of Sodor
  • Thomas Adventure Train: Treasure Hunt
  • Thomas & Friends: Party Station
  • Bertie's Bus Stop
  • Bulstrode's Stormy Voyage
  • Flynn's Firefighting Academy
  • Harold's Helicopter Tour
  • Sodor Balloon Ride
  • Dockside Play Park
  • Dockside Café

Other themed attractions:
  • He-Man vs. Skeletor Laser Tag
  • UNO! Wild Climb
  • Mattel Games Mini Golf
  • Kerplunk Drop Tower
  • Adventure Pizza Kitchen
  • Mattel Games Way
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