Thrill seekers don’t need to travel too far from home to get an adrenaline rush and our Flightie Sian Cribbens found it all at Australia’s Gold Coast theme parks. Sian spent a week soaking up the sun and experiencing what it was like to be a kid again at Dreamworld and Movie World, two of the Gold Coast’s most popular theme parks in Queensland.
This year, we returned to the Gold Coast to take advantage of the shopping and night life. But the main reason was to visit the amazing theme parks. Yes we are big kids! I picked out the theme parks that I remembered having the most fun at which included Dreamworld and Movie World. I wasn’t disappointed – it was adrenaline on tap!
Dreamworld is my ultimate theme park. With 13 themed worlds – from thrill rides to live shows as well as animal attractions, there's something for everyone at Dreamworld!
Being ‘big kids’, the ultimate goal is to ride as many thrill rides as humanly possible. So upon entering the theme park, the 37 story Giant Drop was first on our list! The Giant Drop is an 8 second free fall where your stomach gets left at the top and there’s no time to scream. The best days to go are weekdays as the queues for rides are short, which means there’s no time to back out!
The Tower of Terror II was next. On this ride you travel from 0km per hour up to speeds of 161km per hour – backwards! Exhilarating - I think it would even put the ultimate thrill seeker to the test.
Abundant with adventure and adrenaline, Dreamworld also offers The Cyclone, The Claw (where I felt like my life was going to end), The Motocoaster, and my personal favourite that made me react with a ‘get me off this thing NOW!’ – The Wipeout.
If you’re going with younger children, Dreamworld also caters for the little ones very well. They have Wiggles World, kid rides and family rides, such as the Thunder River Rapid Ride and Rocky Hollow Log Ride, look out though, as I’m sure the aim of this ride is to get you completely drenched. Dreamworld also has an amazing Wildlife Experience, where you can take a break from the breathtaking rides, allowing your blood pressure to return to its normal level and experience Australian wildlife at its best, including an opportunity to take a photo with a Koala, feed Kangaroo’s and witness seeing rare White Lions in action!
Dreamworld is jam-packed with so much to do, it was easy for us to spend the entire day there (10am-6pm). I give Dreamworld a 10 out of 10 for thrill-seeking rides to get the adrenalin pumping!
Movie World on the other hand has an amazing Hollywood style atmosphere, where you literally feel as though you’re walking onto a movie set. There are performances from ‘Hollywood Stars’ all day, including Batman, Austin Powers and Marilyn Munroe.
The must-see Movieworld show is the brilliant Stunt Driver. Set out as a typical ‘cop chase’ movie scene, cars and motorbikes perform incredible stunt driving right in front of your eyes. You are so close you can smell the burning rubber. At the end of the show, the audience involvement is cleverly edited in and we were able to watch a play back on the big screen.
Movieworld has an amazing 4D experience that makes you feel as though you are in the movie, on screen! It’s a 3D film with the added extras of… Actually I won’t spoil the surprise, but you may walk out of the cinema a little wet! Pure brilliance if you ask me.
As Movieworld is more about experiencing the ‘Hollywood’ atmosphere, I didn’t really expect there to be any thrill-seeking rides. But I was wrong and here are my favourites.
Coming in 3rd place was the Wild West Falls Adventure, an amazing Wild Wet set throughout the ride with a HUGE drop at the end!
2nd place was the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster. Yes, the children’s ride. Don’t let that fool you though. Set in a haunted house, it was dark, scary and fast. On this ride you travel up 10 stories in a small cart with no seat-belt just a bar over your lap. I couldn’t do it again, but definitely worth going on!
Superman Escape ride gets 1st place hands down! Travel from 0-100 km/per hour in 2 seconds. It’s the best roller-coaster I’ve been on to-date and I had to ride it 5 times before we left.
Tip: Beat the queues - weekdays (outside school holidays) are best as the queues for rides are shorter. Dreamworld also offers a Q4U virtual queuing system allowing guests to make ride reservations, one at a time from anywhere in the park which reserves them a spot in the queue virtually.
The Gold Coast is definitely the place to go. Whether you want to experience wildlife, thrill-seeking rides, an amazing atmosphere, or even getting closer to the people you are travelling with, because everyone needs a hand to squeeze on a scary ride! If you’re with your children, in a group of friends or just you and your partner, the Gold Coast is an amazing place to visit with so many things to do! I can’t wait to go back.