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Dreamworld, Gold Coast

I don’t know of many families who go on a holiday to the Gold Coast and get in and out without visiting a theme park.  Almost as famous as the brilliant weather and the beautiful beaches are the theme parks of the Gold Coast.

Entrance

Entrance

There are adults who don’t like theme parks and who avoid them at all costs but I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love a day of rides, thrills and merchandise.

Cute buildings

Cute buildings

On a recent mini-break, we were staying at the Intercontinental Hotel which is about a 10-minute drive from Dreamworld.  Dreamworld sits on 85-hectares of land and opened for business in 1981.  In its history it has had many different owners who have all invested in the park and further expanded its operations.

Dreamworks is here!

Dreamworks is here!


The park is open seven days a week and entry for adults costs around $89.00 and that includes entry to Dreamworld, Whitewater World and the SkyPoint Observation Deck.

Train station

Train station

We went to Dreamworld on a Saturday in the middle of winter.  The Whitewater World water park wasn’t open and I’m assuming that’s because it was winter however, there is more than enough to do at Dreamworld in a one-day visit without also trying to fit in a water world experience.

You can also see wildlife

You can also see wildlife

The good thing about going to Dreamworld in winter and outside of school holidays is that the park isn’t at all crowded.  It was very pleasant wandering around without hoards of people and we didn’t have to spend a long time queuing for rides.  I think the longest we queued was about 20-minutes but I’ve heard that when the park is at capacity, you can sometimes queue for over an hour.

Tiger Island

Tiger Island

Dreamworld has a lot of attractions and there is definitely something for everyone.  In 1995 Tiger Island opened which is a safe haven for Bengal tigers to live, breed, swim and play without fear of poaching.  Currently there is a baby cub tiger who will soon be old enough to be viewed by the public and no doubt, this baby tiger will be a big attraction for Dreamworld.

These stars from Madagasgar shoot water at you as you walk past

These stars from Madagasgar shoot water at you as you walk past

Part of the park is dedicated to small children.  Renamed in 2005 as Wiggles World, it has a lot of cute and colourful attractions for children not yet tall enough and brave enough to tackle the park’s more thrilling attractions.

Wiggles World

Wiggles World

Dreamworld has over 40 rides and is famous for its Big9.  Now Alfie and a couple of his cousins were determined to experience every one of the Big9 during our day at Dreamworld.  Taking one for the team, I said I would supervise the boys who wanted to tick the Big9 off their list.

The Claw - one of the Big 9

The Claw – one of the Big 9

And it’s quite a list.

Wipeout - one of the Big9

Wipeout – one of the Big9

The BuzzSaw was probably the most terrifying of the rides I experienced.  You sit in an open carriage and are held by a single waist harness with little to cling onto to.  The ride starts with a 46mtr vertical ascent and then you’re dangled upside-down, 15 storeys in the air before the car free-falls, plummeting down a final vertical drop at speeds of up to 105km/hour.  Nice!

This is a ride where you get wet

This is a ride where you get wet

The other one I reluctantly went on was the Tower of Terror II.  You get on the ride in a very dark tunnel and you think the ride might move forwards but you’re thrown backwards through a tunnel hitting speeds of 160km/hour.  You soar 100mtrs into the air and dangle at the highest point for a few seconds then at incredible speed, head back towards the tunnel.  It’s noisy and the speed caused my eyes to water – I felt like I needed pilot’s goggles.

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda

Another of the Big9 is the Motocoaster, a ride that’s a tribute to Mick Doohan and 500cc motorbike racing.  Adults ride on bikes that replicate a 500cc motorbike and there are sidecars for children.  This is a very popular ride and even in winter, this is where we did have to queue.

Didn't go on this one

Didn’t go on this one

And as for the Big9, we didn’t manage to tick every ride off our list.  We managed eight but the ride that eluded us was The Giant Drop where you ascend to a height of 39 storeys before being dropped.  I’m not good with heights so asked the boys if we could give that one a swerve and instead go on their favourite ride several times.  They were okay with that and went on the Cyclone three times instead.

Love the tigers

Love the tigers

And now for a bit of trivia.  The Cyclone rollercoaster was originally at Sydney’s Luna Park.  However, the residents in the apartments that look out over Luna Park complained to the authorities about the noise from all the screaming.  The ride was removed and purchased by Dreamworld.

Tigers

Beautiful Tigers

Dreamworld is a very clean park that’s well staffed and there are a lot of attractions.  Even though we didn’t waste much time in queues, we found there were more than enough attractions for us to pack into one day.  I think if the water park had been open, we probably would not have tried to fit both into the same day.

A flying ride

A flying ride

Having arrived just as the park was opening, the boys and I were there until almost closing time.  They were having such a fantastic time it was hard for me to extract them but I did manage to bribe them with, ‘If we leave now I’ll let you choose anything you like from the lolly shop’.

Cousins

Cousins

The next day I did wake up feeling like I’d been punched in the back or that I was recovering from a massive workout and I think that’s because of being jerked around at high speeds on the Big9.  Battle scars!

This little guy is completely wild

This little guy is completely wild

Like all theme parks, Dreamworld is touristy however it’s a lot of fun and a great place to create some wonderful family memories.

Time to go home

Time to go home

Verdict:  Go on – Tick the Big9 off your list.

Dreamworld:  Dreamworld Pkwy, Coomera QLD

Comments

  1. Wow, what fun! I miss having a young family and travelling together xx

  2. My kids love them…me? Nope, not. in. the. slightest. Every ride screams for a chiropractor.

  3. Eek. There would be much screaming from me here. I hate and fear heights:( I just couldn’t do it. Good on u Charlie.

  4. We took the twins over when they were I think 14, and went in the winter out of school holidays, it was bliss, no queuing at all. I missed out on all the rides, due to my bung ankle/wrists and any bruising could cause the CRPS to spread – such a shame lol. Never been back there again though when we go over on holiday, once was enough and there was so much more to see around the Gold Coast 🙂

  5. I am defo one of those parents that avoid these places like the plague. I can’t handle crowds. I’d rather to go somewhere like Old Sydney Town. I hate the commercialisation too. Sadly kids are sucked in by it.
    Funny you should mention Luna Park My dad built a pergola out of wood from the first big dipper when the park closed after the big fire and they sold it off cheap..

  6. I’m afraid I’m one of those odd ones who has visited the Gold Coast many times but never been to a theme park. 🙂 I will have to check them out during the off season one year. 🙂

  7. Charlie, I’m loving your Queensland posts. On a separate trip to when I stayed at the same hotel as you, I visited the area with my sister to celebrate her 18th birthday. We went to Dreamworld and had a really fun day. I’m glad to see you did too even if your back came out worse for wear!

  8. Aww I remember going to Dreamworld as a kid. The first time I went on a loop the loop rollercoaster!

  9. Tonette Joyce says:

    It looks wonderful.There is nothing like good, clean fun. My grandson loved the Wiggles when he was little,I have some of their DVDs that I have yet to part with; I like their Christmas shows, which I run during the holiday season.
    (I am incredibly fond of the Koala Brothers, but we didn’t get to see many seasons here.)

  10. Oh, yeah, even with my kids being older, we’d still have to make a stop! Looks like a fun time for everyone (well except for your poor back!).

  11. Living on the Gold Coast, we used to have Annual Passes to the Theme Parks when the kids were smaller. It was great to be able to visit for just a couple of hours and the kids never got sick of it!

  12. I have been to the Gold Coast many times Charlie and have not had occasion to visit Dreamworld to date! Thanks for allowing me to experience it through your eyes today!

  13. Oh, to be young again and brave you – Charlie:-)

  14. Ooo, I would love a day out here. What fun.
    Have a happy Monday Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  15. Looks like you guys had lots of fun. My favourite theme park is Disneyland. I think we went here once but I don’t remember it very well!

  16. Sounds like a fun trip with lots of great entertainment, but I probably would have spend most of my time watching the tigers.

  17. I have never been to one of these parks and am not sure I ever will as I am far more likely to enjoy it than E or Sylvia and I get motion sickness so the idea of these rides is not pleasant for me but I am glad to hear about the experience and see some photos – sorry to hear you felt worse for wear the next day

  18. I can see why any kid would love this place. Not me. I’m not a ride person.

  19. Charlie, this looks and sounds like a glorious day! I’ve never been, but there really is so much to do on the Gold Coast! xxc

  20. I haven’t been to Dreamworld since I was a kid! The photos of those old-fashioned buildings took me right back.

  21. I guess now that I am older I like theme parks a little less…they have somehow lost their “magic” but I still enjoy them! I am sure my daughter is going to be crazy about them soon enough 🙂 Looks like a lot of fun!

  22. Your comment about not being able to visit the Gold Coast without encountering theme parks is very close to what I say about Southern California. With Disneyland as center, there are many others that all combine to bring tourists from around the world. I don’t know that I’m much for thrill rides and sometimes the noise and all can be a bit much, but I absolutely love watching families enjoy themselves. I am really glad you took advantage of the opportunity to visit Dreamworld. It looks like a really fun place and I can see why it’s so popular!

  23. Sounds like so much fun!! My 8yr old would love it all. Jan x

  24. Your DreamWorld sounds like our Six Flags! Glad to see you all had fun!

  25. Dreamworld sounds like it was a blast – especially since it wasn’t so crowded!

  26. Hi Charlie, Dreamworld sounds like America’s Disneyland, except every day no matter what day of the week there is always at least an hours wait.

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