Dreamworld is one of my favourite theme parks in Australia, namely for the sheer park size and the number of rides they have at the park. The 85 hectare park located beside the Pacific Motorway in Coomera is largely accessible using direct public buses from Surfer’s Paradise. The park was founded by businessman John Longhurst in 1981 and has 28 rides in total, comprising of 5 Roller coasters and 2 Water rides.
The park brands itself as the premiere and biggest theme park in the region, and is segmented into seven main themed sections, namely the Ocean Parade, DreamWorks Experience, Wiggles World, Gold Rush Country, Rocky Hollow and zoo-themed animal areas such as Tiger Island and the Dreamworld Corroboree.
Opened in 1981, Dreamworld is the biggest theme park in the Australian Gold Coast. It was said that John Longhurst hired previous Disneyland and Walt Disney World engineers who worked on the US theme park to design the park. You can see traces of Disney land style theming with an assortment of “conventional” themed sectors in the park, namely a staple Main street sector with stores, a Wild-west section called the Gold Rush Country and an animal zoo area.
There are 9 biggest rides in the park, comprising of a combination of roller coasters and flat rides which make sup what Dreamworld calls the Big 9 thrill rides. If you feel like it, you can buy an assortment of achievement medals or T-shirts on your completion of riding the “Big 9”.
Greeting you right at the front of the park is the main street, comprising mostly of shops and the park’s central fountain as well as entrance to the Park’s looping transport train (the Dreamworld Express) built by C&S.
The Dreamworks experience is the newest addition to the park, comprising of an assortment of flat rides and a game arcade. Notable rides here will include the “Escape from Madagascar” a suspended family roller coaster “Pandamonium” a Zamperla Air Race as well as bumper cars. Next to the Dreamworld section is the classic Ocean Parade.
Traditional staples here includes the classic Vekoma Waikiki Wave Super Flip (Wipeout) and Intamin Gyro Swing called and themed to “The Claw”, the gyro swing is probably one of the few exciting rides here towering over most of the rides in this sector.
There is also Gingy’s Glider Kite flyer and Shockwave (Zamperla Disk’O Coaster). The Kite flyer is a ride for all ages, where you can control the ride intensity based on how you rock your plane by controlling and oscillating the pitch of your wings.
Roller coasters are always the highlight of any theme park, the Cyclone roller coaster here was installed in 2001 to replace the ageing dual-looping Thunderbolt coaster erected in March 1982 as the park’s first roller coaster. This new yellow Arrow Dynamics Steel coaster peaks at 85km/hr with two inversions running through the Whitewater park. Go for a ride on the coaster!
Front seat video of the Cyclone roller coaster
The steel sit down coaster currently set and accessible via the Motorsport Experience sector in the south east part of the park. The coaster is built running through the park’s water park, at times even running outside of the Dreamworld park, with most of it’s track encroaching into the water park compound, circling and crossing several of the water park tube slides.
This “newer” roller coaster is starting to show its age too, and the ride area leading up and down the ride is rather derelict in comparison now. Good thing it goes with the ride theming! Dreamworld has now also has expanded their waterpark previously located at the North (bottom left) of the park where the big brother studio is to a new independently dedicated water park located south of the park called Whitewater park.
The water park itself is about a quarter of the total park size but is much smaller than their other competing waterpark in the region (Wet and wild), but has some pretty cool theming to go with the rather fun atmosphere.
The animals of Dreamworld
Dreamworld is notably one of the few themeparks with an extensive wildlife section. Corroboree is a collection of wildlife attractions at the Australian wildlife.
It is home to a variety of Australian animals notably dingos, kangaroos and the trademark Koalas alike, where you can get up-close to the animals. The place teaches of the native Australian aboriginal culture as well as the wildlife in the region.
In addition to Dreamworld Corroboree, the Koala Country and here opened In 1987 and offers visitors an Indigenous tourist experience comprising of the Dreamworld Woolshed (an Australian Sheep Shearing Show) and also features presentations based on the Aboriginal culture, including demonstrations of traditional music, making fire, and cultural weapons.
Other cool coasters in Dreamworld will include a new Intamin Moto coaster (Mick Doohan’s Moto coaster) and the Intamin Tower of Terror II Shuttle Roller coaster which is shared with the Giant Drop tower ride. I particularly like how Dreamworld kept the greenery around the rides, which unlike most theme park with big open concrete areas.
The forest greenery in the park does make the park a lot more conducive to be in, not to mention more cooling and shady to be in and adding to the theming too. One such ride benefiting from the greenery will be the Rocky Hollow Log Ride in the Gold Rush area- a Log flume designed by Dreamworld themselves through reverse engineering of other log flume rides of its time.
Many of the rides are starting to show their age, especially in the Wild West area. The western Gold rush area is pretty much sitting derelict as a dead town, with most of the rides built in the 1980 going out of commission now and left in state of neglect. Maybe the gold rush is now over?
This section was definitely one of the quieter areas of the park now with most people only passing through the area. The Skylink chairlift which opened in 1989 previously connects this area to Corroboree over the park’s main lake now sits defunct with only its support structures of the ride remaining.
Now a lone pathway leads you direct to Corroboree. Even the Eureka Mountain Mine Ride (built in 1980s) was not operating, and Intamin Thunder River Rapids Ride is now all drained out and bare. What’s only left keeping the trills in this area is the Buzz Saw Steel roller coaster, a looping Maurer Söhne shuttle coaster as part of a recent acquisition.
Dreamworld always has a place in my heart as one of the first few theme parks of Australia. It is just a pity to see the place in such a sad state now. The park is definitely a lot much quieter than Movie world, possibly for the reason that most of the rides are in-due for replacement. I am really looking forward to a refresh of the rides, only then will we see guests coming back for more.
Check out more Dreamworld photos here.