Well, we’ve all been seeing the giant full page ads for the Kingdom of Dreams in leading newspapers. Last week my friend convinced me to visit the place, and after returning home I began writing this Kingdom of Dreams review. Well, here is what I thought about it:
We went to the Kingdom of Dreams on a Tuesday afternoon, when ticket prices were less than what they are on weekends or in the evenings. Tickets to Culture Gully (sort of like a smaller Dilli Haat) were priced at Rs.500 (Rs.100 entry charges and Rs.400 spending amount). We were given a small charge card which could be swiped at food and shopping stalls. Small kids can enter for free.
All in all, I’d say the place is overly hyped, and is basically running on a strong marketing strategy, as of now. With the kind of pricing they have, I don’t think the Kingdom of Dreams will have many return customers. I ended up feeling a bit cheated as I left, and my friends also considered it a once in a lifetime experience.
Review of Kingdom of Dreams
Size: This was the biggest disappointment. After seeing the ads, we were expecting to go through a huge air-conditioned complex, dotted with cultural stalls, and at least five buildings. Instead, the Culture Gully was smaller than a single Pragati Maidan state pavilion, and had very few stalls. Rather than a ‘Kingdom’, it should be called a small ‘Food Court’.
Décor: The décor was good, a few points better than the décor of the state pavilions at the Trade Fair held in Pragati Maidan each year. It made for good photographs. Anyone seeing photos of the grand decor, like I did on Facebook, would certainly be fooled into going there.
Food: I’d say the food was OK. It was tasty, but the portions were small, and did not offer value for money. I ordered a Keema Pao from the Maharashtra stall, a Mutton Biryani from the Hyderabad stall, and a Matka Kulfi from the Delhi stall. The matka kulfi left me with a ripped off feeling. There was a photo of a big double stick kulfi on the signboard, while I was served only a tablespoon of kulfi in a tiny matka, this too at a cost of Rs.105.
Shopping: There were beautifully decorated shops selling the same Janpath, Delhi Haat and FabMart stuff at hugely inflated prices. I bought a small bird toy showpiece costing Rs.120. Well, things are similarly priced at other Gurgaon malls, so why would Kingdom of Dreams be any different?
Entertainment: There were bhangra dancers, a kathakali dancer, north east tribal dancers and rajasthani dancers that performed at regular intervals. There was also a magician, a clown, a rajasthani puppet show and acrobat artists. They all performed well, and were a treat to see. However, some of them needed better quality costumes, especially the tumbling acrobats and the bhangra dancers, which the management should consider investing in. For example, the torn cushion used by the acrobats spoiled the posh look of the Kingdom of Dreams, and should be changed.
Pricing: This is the main reason why I think customers will not return. The entry charges at Kingdom of Dreams are high, and customers are forced to spend the entire Rs.400 (or Rs.600 on weekends) on the same day. We cannot use the remaining balance on another visit, like in a mall’s food court; hence no point in returning to spend the remaining money, if any.
Another thing, value added tax is added to the cost of the listed prices for food. This makes the money deducted from the card much more than expected, spoiling one’s calculations, and making one feel cheated. For example, matka kulfi was Rs.105 (Rs.90 listed + Rs.15 tax). Prices of all items were double its value, and even water was expensive. At least some items should have been reasonably priced, or discounted, to keep customer interest.
My final take: Kingdom of Dreams is a once in a lifetime visit, to maybe show off photos to your friends on Facebook. Being a marketing gimmick, there is not much to see or do once you enter. It is sort of a mix between a single Pragati Maidan state pavilion and a mini-Dilli Haat, with things costing double their value. You’ll get better snacks and drinks from Rs.10 onwards at a small restaurant in the nearby IFFCO Chowk Metro Station.
What do you think of my Kingdom of Dreams Review? Have you been to this place? What is your review of the place?