With the opening of Dinosaur Island, Parkz hit Sea World to check out the Gold Coast theme park and their latest offerings.
The combination of annual passes expiring, school holidays and the opening of Dinosaur Island sees queues in every direction.
Queuing to get into a theme park is always a good sign... here annual passholders endure a 20 minute queue to enter.
Advertisements for next year's annual passes feature prominently at the ticket booths.
The first thing guests see as they walk towards the indoor portion of the exhibit is a merchandise outlet featuring more prominent signage than the attraction itself.
Nothing says prehistoric jungle quite like two tree stumps.
It wouldn't be a dinosaur attraction without liberally borrowing the look and feel from the Jurassic Park franchise.
The indoor section is akin to the sort of dinosaur exhibit seen in thousands of museums around the world. An interesting attraction targeted at younger kids, though its designers won't win any special effects awards anytime soon.
Empirical evidence that broken toes caused the extinction of dinosaurs.
Or maybe it was rusting bones?
Dinosaur Island's signage gives a truly Planet of the Apes style hypothesis -- AND THEY USE A DIFFERENT FONT.
Under the controlled lighting of Dinosaur Island, some of the models are quite spooky.
Clever use of gravel has turned the existing room into a prehistoric jungle. Or a suburban driveway?
The outdoor portion -- the namesake (pseudo) island -- is the more visually appealing section of Dinosaur Island.
The two areas of Dinosaur Island are somewhat disconnected and essentially feel like two standalone attractions.
The animatronic t-rex that greets guests works really well in conjunction with the bold signage. Thanks again Spielberg!
Signage that'll only get better with age.
The models do look especially plastic when you're up close.
For Dinosaur Island the path through the area was upgraded. It's a shame they went for a generic bitumen surface.
The lighthouse is no longer accessible unfortunately. This little-known building once offered great views of the park.
The beach is currently being meticulously raked to remove leaves and footprints throughout the day.
Dinosaurs roamed the earth a long time ago. Scientists believe it was so long ago that Sea Viper was actually operational.
It's a shame that the Bermuda Triangle volcano couldn't have been incorporated somehow into the new Dinosaur Island.
Speaking of shames, Bermuda Triangle continues to rot.
You'd think that a ride that originally had a rundown theme that it would sit there gracefully once closed.
Nope. And it's not that theme parks shouldn't be allowed to close rides when they reach the end of their days, it's this kind of mess shouldn't be in plain view of guests.
Even giving the area a bit of a sweep every week or so would be a huge improvement.
It's even getting hard to tell what's original theming, and what's just junk that's accumulated around the area since.
Alternatively, if you're going to let the area rust and rot and accumulate bird crap, why not put up fencing that blocks it from the view of guests? Again, it's not that Sea World shouldn't close rides when they have to, it's that when they do they should have a strategy for maintaining the ambience of the area. Plant gardens or build a plywood wall... anything's better than this.
Our favourite part? It's not that there's sludge at the bottom of the empty pool...
It's that this mess is being pumped out onto the footpath!
Currently? No, it's not.
Other maintenance going on at Sea World is the replacement of the original boardwalk entrance to the theatre. Hopefully this'll mean that the show entrance will be around the back of the park again.
With the addition of the arcade amusements to the Plaza Terrace, the significantly reduced number of tables and chairs is very obvious.
Guests can't even bypass the crowds of Plaza Terrace thanks to arbitrarily locked gates.
Speaking of arbitrary... how's this for a bottleneck!
Jet Stunt Extreme sees some of Australia's best jet ski riders show off some neat tricks.
It wouldn't be an extreme stunt show without a SpongeBob SquarePants backdrop.
Jet Stunt Extreme is held together with a loose our-team-verse-your-team narrative that doesn't work quite as well as past ski shows at Sea World.
And for a change of pace, we took a look at some of the many world-class marine exhibits at Sea World.
Sea World has two basic kinds of penguins. First up is the "Cooooool! Penguins!!" kind that call Penguin Encounter home...
And second up is the "oh... penguins" kind that call Penguin Point home.
And of course Sea World has the perennially popular Polar Bear Shores.
They say sharks can smell blood from miles away. This guy's probably getting missed signals.
The reef lagoon seems to have become dominated by the black-and-white Bicolor chromis.
Shark Bay seems to be more dominated by rays and fish than larger sharks these days .
Does Ray Reef really qualify as "all new" three years on?
Undeniably Sea World's flagship show is Dolphin Cove's Imagine.
The Nickelodeon theme certainly brightens up the ubiquitous Monorail.
The Enveavour sits tucked away in the back corner of the ski lake.
Sea Viper remains closed indefinitely.
Jet Rescue is currently the only thrill ride at Sea World. Or one of two if you count the mild Viking's Revenge Log Ride.
And when Jet Rescue breaks down, that leaves Viking's Revenue.
That's it for another edition of The Parkz Update. Stay tuned as we head to some of the Gold Coast's other offerings in coming weeks!