3 August 2017
The Gold Coast is the epicenter of theme parks in Oz, including Warner Brothers Movie World, Sea World, Wet-n-Wild, Paradise Country, and Dreamworld. Dreamworld is Australia’s largest theme park and the one the kids chose. Dreamworld advertises itself as Australia’s largest collection of thrill rides. The park has a water park, WhiteWater World; Tiger Island; small zoo; and various themes from Dreamworks animated movie series, such as Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon.
From the States, we only knew it as the place where four died in October 2016 on a raft ride, Thunder River Rapids. That ride has been decommissioned and is being replaced. There is a fence around the construction but much of the ride is still visible. Reportedly attendance has been down since.
We went on a Winter Thursday when most kids are in school. The skies where overcast but overall the weather was pleasant. The park was largely empty. If not for a few tourist, it would have been. A couple rides and several of the eateries where closed. We were unsure if it was due to time of year or Dreamworld is still suffering residual effects of last year’s accident.
At first it was disappointing, not as much energy as you would expect from a theme park. It ended up being a great day. We enjoyed the short lines, when there were lines. The kids got to ride two, three, maybe even four times as often as we might normally expect by eliminating all the time waiting in lines. True to the Aussie way of life, the park did close at 5:00 PM. This allowed us to skip buying expensive park food and head straight to the Sizzler for an all-you-can-eat gluttony.
On our way out we stopped at the Lego Store which is always a big hit with my son. We were surprised to learn it is the only full-fledged Lego Store in all of Australia and only opened earlier this year, January 2017.
Australian Wildlife Experience
Fun in the Park
(Hint: Look for Cole, he is more pictures than you might think.)