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  1. 29 points
  2. 19 points
    I'd love to see executive-level management sweat the small details again like their predecessors did. Back in the day, both Longhurst & Menzies would roam their respective parks looking for the little inconveniences that inevitably added up if left unresolved - in Longhurst's case he'd sit in the IMAX Theatre and watched throughput when the film finished, he'd jump on the train and listen in on the narration whilst checking how clean the trains were and would be so fastidious about how well kept the gardens were that people would come to Dreamworld just to see the flower-beds. In Menzies' case, it's somewhat well known that he would go to the parks with his wife on Christmas just so he could see the parks without anyone hassling him. Basically it's all about fine-tuning every possible moment of the customer experience. Until you've sat in every seat at Green Bean, you won't know how many table-sets are in the glaring hot sun or which tables are too close to the speakers. Until you've lined up as a guest for Tower of Terror, you won't realise how hot, sweaty and smelly the queue line stairs are. Until you've walked up to the Aquaman Exhibit as a punter, you won't realise how the entrance is very un-inviting etc. etc. etc. etc. It's such a simple thing to do and yet no one does it often enough.
  3. 18 points
    Here’s the thing. This is a self contained attraction of which they’ve built plenty. You litterally bolt it to the floor of a provided building. So this will entirely be Dreamworlds usual incompetence causing the delays. It’s not like they had to build a prototype attraction. They had to build a building! And ensure the proper fire, egress, emergency planning, etc. The fact they couldn’t get that right shows you how deep the incompetence runs. NO ONE in that whole place has ANY business running a theme park.
  4. 18 points
    I've logged in after 7 years just to fountain vote his post.
  5. 18 points
    This is probably the testimony I've been most interested in reading about, and all I can say is wow. Now we see the real cause of the issue, not $25 an hour ride ops not pressing a button, what he have here is a fundamental failure of a person overseeing the park's rides. The head of engineering doesn't know how the rides work but is in the position to make judgment calls about them? If he doesn't know how the rides work then why on Earth would anyone have told him that there's a problem? Not like he can do anything with that info. He'd been at the park for 4 years, the fact he didn't know how to run the rides is either a lie to cover up the fact he knew it was fucked, or he is terrible at his job. What amazes me the most is he's still there. He's still not a qualified engineer. He still hasn't taken any steps to mitigate the fact he's not a qualified engineer. He seems like he thinks not knowing how to operate the rides is OK. Elsewhere in his testimony he says he wasn't sure who had the job of making sure the rides are safe. I'll give you a clue, Head of Engineering; its you. It's your department, you set the agenda. Your agenda didn't see you making the effort to get to know the rides you were managing. Had you have taken the smallest bit of interest you would have known the ride's control system was a mess. I have zero confidence in the safety of any rides he's in charge of, and to be honest I wouldn't trust him to change a tire on my car. He doesn't need to go because of PR, he needs to go because he's a danger to the community in his current role. I know on this forum we can get hung up on trivial stuff like 'the wall is ugly now the tree has been cut down' or 'drinks should be in meal deals' so important points can get lost. But here's the thing, this person was allowed to continue to be in a position of authority while having no idea about his area of responsibility and feeling no need the change that. Other staff have had problems with the computer systems and encountered 'push back' from Ardent about safety issues, but they were all people who legitimately tried to make it better before something happened. Right here is someone who straight up was the problem, and continues to be the problem. A bubble of pure incompetence at the top of the engineering food chain. I don't care who you are, you cannot fail that badly at a job and be given a second go at it.
  6. 17 points
    Merlin would not be a bad outcome. They know what they are doing, have a strong reputation and bucket loads of cash to splash. The downside from what I know of my old company from colleagues either still working there or those that have recently left is that Merlin is not the company it once was. It is a huge global business that has seen rapid growth and that usually means a dilution of quality.... somewhere, and Oz is a long way from Poole, Dorset. Dreamworld is a fantastic name for a theme park but sadly the dream has turned into a really horrible nightmare, not only because of the incident itself but the handling of it and the subsequent inquest and it would take a miracle to rescue the brand, regardless of a change in ownership (slightly helpful possibly). A name change would not make a lot of difference and people would see straight through it. To make this work someone needs to make Dreamworld appealing again in such a way that helps move everyone on from the tragedy and that would take a world first and brilliantly executed $50m+ attraction launch as phase 1. That would be a gamble for an already bruised Ardent. I was not around during the period but it seems it took Luna Park Sydney decades to recover from the Ghost Train fire tragedy but it did...finally. The question is does anyone have the metal to take it on and see it through for the long term? I do hope so. Australia needs to buck its game up in the Theme Park sector for the greater benefit of the tourism community and economy. I find it frustrating that a country with such a great climate and reasonably strong tourism prospects (See Asia in particular who LOVE theme parks) does not have really great anchor tourism products other than the Opera House and amazing beaches/landscapes (and PLEASE, no one claim Flinders Street Railway station or anything in Melbourne has really strong tourism appeal to compete on a global scale? Maybe for sports tourists/nuts) The landscape in Australia is ripe right now for someone to be bold and build a fabulous theme park that would assist the resurrection of the entire industry. All ships benefit from a rising tide. Is that tide coming from the direction of the South China sea I wonder?
  7. 16 points
    I’d recommend that you can’t be a contributing member until you no longer have to be in bed by 8 on school nights...
  8. 16 points
    Dreamworld don't need to hit a home-run right now. They need to just hit singles and doubles. Get to first base, then to second base, until all the bases are loaded and you can start getting back to home base and get some runs on the board. Everyone here wants them to invest heavily in a major attraction - and they definitely need to do that eventually, but they need to make some smaller, significant plays to get back in the game. The trick is to buy off-the-shelf rides that fit into the family/thrill category. This means mild to wild thrills. An ABC Tourbillon to replace Wipeout, an RMC Raptor or Gravity Group Woody to replace HWSW, leading up to a falcons-fury style revamp of GD to replace TOT2/GD. (I know the tourbillon is a 'meh' ride, but the visual experience will have everyone talking about it - which is the point!) Slowly, build an aviation-themed area of the park to replace Gold Rush that highlights some of the major Queensland contributions to Aviation (Charles Kingsford Smith, Qantas, etc.), and then invest in a major new ride - the new Vekoma Flying Coaster - as the centre piece, work in the new GD rebuild, and Sky Voyager into the area, and suddenly you've got a park that is kicking some major goals, with a range of unique attractions that other GC parks don't have. They need to dream big, but act sensibly. Ardent can absolutely turn this around if they just commit to a proper vision for the park and really sweat the details. As a priority, hire a Creative Director to oversee that creative vision and do what that person advises. If they can just hold back from turning the former GoldRush site into a Caravan Park, I remain hopeful (but not optimistic).
  9. 16 points
    But what is window dressing, and what is real make-a-difference infrastructure? You talk about the redevelopment of the ice cream shop a few years ago. A few weeks back I talked about looking at buildings that were falling apart and I wondered how much was held together by paint. The building I was specifically referring to was THE ICE CREAM SHOP. As the saying goes, you can't polish a turd, but you can add glitter - and it would seem that that is precisely the kind of redevelopment they did with the ice cream shop if a few short years later the building looks as it does (go and view it from the train station and you'll see what i mean). They removed thunder river - It killed people. They removed Eureka Mountain - it sat rotting for more than a decade They removed the rest of gold rush - without TRRR and EMMR, what exactly was left? - Oh wait - the disused Skylink chairlift station that also sat rotting for a decade. You suggest they might have plans to remove rides - but history suggests that they need to shutter the ride and let it sit for 8 or more years before they do. How many years did the gravitron ride sit in the boneyard? So they renovated a store to capitalise on a new hot craze (lego). They rebuilt their old food outlet into something modern - which was only about 15 years overdue. They redeveloped tiger island, yes - but they botched it with the giant green prison. Coroborree was only done because of generous government grants for indigenous cultural projects. This wasn't done with their own money or because they felt strongly about the subject matter. The expansion of White Water World? A lazy river that WNW has had for more than a decade is hardly an inspiring investment - and its still just one attraction. The plans for that park had staged developments including numerous attractions, none of which we've seen - instead we've seen the kneejerk reaction to Aqualoop that is the Wedgie, Triple Vortex, and finally the lazy river... 3 new attractions in TWELVE YEARS. Shall we talk about the cock up that was Trolls Village that was supposed to open last Christmas, and didn't open until more than 8 months later? Plonked smack down in the middle of an ocean themed area? Shall we talk about those big screens or the revolving globe? Dreamworld have had screens all over the park for years, showing music videos and crappy advertisements for related products. I'm not getting excited over a few outdoor LED screens when their marquee attractions can't even stay open, or carry a full load of passengers. And the globe. Yeah - what a photo opportunity. Its pretty, but its just window dressing. It is a take it or leave it thing that wasn't really necessary. Things they could have spent their money on instead: Upgrading the control system on their flagship 21 year old coaster to newer technology (and actually running it at its capability Properly rebuilding Wipeout so that it can run as designed Running rides at capacity - both sides of Giant Drop, for example Maintaining a working steam railway, instead of wasting money on a glorified yard tractor that tears up the rails and constantly breaks down Maintaining the park's people soaking paddlewheeler attraction The article points it out better than I ever could - but there are just so many things WRONG right now, its hard to be positive in the face of such blatant mismanagement. You choose to focus on the positive, and let the negative slide, and thats your choice - but don't decry others who speak the truth - you can't live in a dreamworld and pretend that the issues don't exist, just because it doesn't fit your mould of 'fun'. If you're going to ignore the negative, then you shouldn't be complaining about bored train conductors. You can't have it both ways.
  10. 16 points
    I wouldn't call that the graveyard... Isn't this the graveyard? Or is this the graveyard? Or is it here? This? Wait.... I found the Sea World Graveyard!!!
  11. 16 points
    Here's a crazy thought - if the ride doesn't work with either a full load or an empty load, it definitely shouldn't be open. If you were going to hop on a ride at the Ekka and the carnie out front said "just give 'er a bit aye, if we load too many people on it doesn't work properly" you'd be calling Queensland WHS, so why is this any different? Here we have Gary Weiss stating before the inquiry that both him and the Ardent board are "committed to ensuring Dreamworld becomes recognised as Australia's global benchmark for theme park safety" but he's got a ride that literally half works and three signature roller-coasters that have been closed for months with no reason why and no end to their closures in sight. Enthusiasts need to take their rose-tinted glasses off - this is a bloody mess.
  12. 15 points
    Had to take a leak and get a coffee, so I stopped in at Dreamworld to see how things are. "Theming" (don't worry, keep reading and you'll see why this average first impression and degradation of an iconic building bugs me.) This new precinct, dubbed WhiteFacadeLand is coming together nicely. Guests will be stoked. This is a good execution of continuity for the new WhiteFacadeLand as it starts outside the park and continues inside now. Jokes aside, i'm sure all these panels will eventually get wraps on them but to have your first impression when you enter the park be this is pretty piss-poor. If regional theme park operators like Six Flags don't miss details this glaring this then so can Dreamworld, a park that was once known for its attention to detail. Also, the whole Buzzsaw area is now closed. More WhiteFacadeLand construction. Stuff is definitely happening for "unknown i-ride #1." After taking a leak, I noticed this. Can you guess what picture doesn't belong? If you guessed #6 you guessed correct! Speaking of Peter Brock's Garage - they've wasted no time gutting the place and putting up bollards near the sliding doors to keep guests out. Does that stop them from advertising it in park though? Hell naww! That photo was taken outside of their brand new "Designated Smoking Area" a.k.a. Big Brother Cafe a.k.a. Hollywood Cottage (no shit, that building there is 100% Hollywood Cottage and played a pivotal part in Dreamworld existing in the first place. They would actually be nuts to demolish that building given it is such an integral part of Dreamworld lore.) Currently the whole space is very inviting and "themed." Half removed walkways more theming. Super flammable foam disintegrating more rustic theming. Posts from abandoned pathways more colonial theming. After walking down and seeing Log Ride unexpectedly closed, I jumped on the train to see what was left of Blue Lagoon. While I was waiting I got to take in this scenic theme park vista. (Below is what it used to look like.) It used to be awfully pretty. But leaves are too hard to sweep up so it is what it is. Nothing to see here. Definitely nothing to see here, like unkempt and hazardous tree matter. Nothing to see here either apparently, even though it's the only thing you can see. Definitely no dangerous fences to be seen. On my final walk around, I stopped to admire the maroon theming that's been in place for nearly two years now. Theming. I'm definitely in Australia's Disneyland right now. You thought seeing this from ground level was bad? Check this out - if my theme park went through a globally seen incident people then i'd probably avoid giving influencers a great vantage point of where we're trying to pretend like nothing happened hey. On a positive note, after The Claw's random extended downtime (it's okay, we'll gloss over Buzzsaw's extended downtime, the West side of Giant Drop's random down-time earlier in the year, the east-side's current un-announced down time and just a total myriad of unplanned maintenance because the park is super duper safe) the ride has re-opened and it's looking really good. This was a tiny silver lining from what was otherwise a super depressing visit - the signs look great (both the one pictured above and the entrance side have been really well taken care of) and the new surfacing and paintjob is very well done and should be the standard for the whole park. I don't care for upcharges attractions that are forced into areas like this. You couldn't have just chucked all of this into Kevil Hill and connected it via the current passholder centre? You know, i'm just saying that if you did that, then the Trolls IP would be connected to all the other Dreamworks IP. And you know, if you did that, then the whole area would be air-conned and then when it closes (because you said it was temporary except first it was 12 months and now it's 18 months so who knows) then there'd be no impact visually for guests? Because you know, no parent wants to have a toddler crying because they see Troll stuff but they can't actually DO any troll stuff. And you know, then you wouldn't be chucking more conflicting themes inside an ocean themed area. Because, you know, you're a theme park and people expect that kind of hindsight. Because you know, maybe you should've learnt that when you tried to jam car stuff into an ocean themed area? Because you know, it's an ocean themed area. Dreamworld was successful because of John's attention to detail and nothing else. Today's Dreamworld is not even remotely detail focussed and I think it shows. Those who reckon there's no money to keep it to some unrealistic "Disney" standard couldn't be further from the truth - poorly-placed attractions and mis-matched themes are the result of bad management, not a lack of funds. Same goes for rides that continue to be down with little to no communication on why or when they'll re-open. Same goes for letting iconic facades get knocked over, spray painted and then lets design aesthetics be ruined by a dozen and one poorly integrated conduits, crap paint jobs and air-con boxes. You folks tell me - looking at the pictures below that were all taken in the 80's and 90's, has the park really improved?
  13. 15 points
    I read the statement from Dreamworld again; 'What were you doing in 1993?' I wonder if anyone remembers what DW was doing in 1993? I'll give you a run down; in the years leading up to 1993 DW was sold to a new owner. The new owner siphoned money away from Dreamworld to fund other things (mostly a lavish lifestyle and fast cars for the owner). By the early 90s the place was on the verge of going under due to lack of investment and mismanagement. In a bid to save the park, a new ambitious ride was installed; Wipeout. That ride captured the public's imagination in a big way, and almost single handedly saved DW from closing. Twenty five years later with Wipeout closing, DW staring down both barrels and DW themselves asking 'what were you doing in 93', wouldn't it be nice if someone at Ardent reflected with 'DW were saving a failing park by adding a bold new ride. Maybe we should do that again'
  14. 15 points
    Me when Sky Voyager was announced: Me when Sky Voyager opens:
  15. 15 points
    New legislation proposal. Skeets law – If it takes longer to read a post than to drink a beer, then the post is too long.
  16. 15 points
    Mr Naumann can’t cant recall any times where a risk assessment is completed on a ride during its annual maintenance. Mr Naumann was asked if there were any maintenance issues from October 2015 to October 2016. Mr Naumann stated that there are always maintenance issues that occur or any ride. After an annual inspection a ride must be run a certain number of times and then signed off, this includes completing the daily maintenance checklist before the ride can return to service. During February 2016, an additional sensor was added at the start of the conveyor that would shut down the ride if a raft was sitting there for too long. Mr Naumanns role during this was to ensure contractors didn’t overlap when undertaking those works. Mr Naumann was asked if there was a person in charge of the maintenance and upgrades of the ride as there was no original manufacturer to refer to. Mr Naumann confirmed there was no one who undertook this role and stated that there should be someone in that position We have just adjourned for lunch. I unfortuantly won’t be here for the second half today. I’m having some family problems that I’ve got to take care of. Rest assured that I will be back again tomorrow and live posting again. Sorry for calling it early today but I hope my coverage so far was informative
  17. 14 points
  18. 14 points
    The last fully fledged theme park of our Victorian trip is Funfields. Funfields is located at Whittlesea, which is a 57 minute drive from the Melbourne CBD itself. Very easy to get to by car, but as with Adventure World, getting there by public transport is problematic. The park bills itself as having 3 record holders in slides. I know this has been discussed on the forums before so I will only mention them briefly for each ride. We arrived on one of the hottest days of the year with a top temperature of 42 degrees. Not sure what we were in for crowds wise, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the soaring temperatures actually served to keep people away from the park. Like Adventure Park, Funfields is a park that divides itself between a water slide section, and a dry ride section. It has in recent years , been the destination for a couple of former rides from 2 of the Gold Coast theme parks. ( more on that later) Like Adventure Park, Funfields utilises a height meter to sort ticket prices. A single ticket for the highest height bracket (135cm+) was $48. There is no family option so the grand total for a family of 4 for us was $192. (once again..ouch) Given the heat, I had decided to bring in a small esky filled with water. This is allowed , however, upon entry, we were told that there are only certain places in the park where eskies are allowed and this was in the BBQ and picnic area. Eskies are not allowed anywhere near the water section of the park nor near the new area for the Volcano Beach. This was not an issue as there was plenty of seating and shaded areas in the section we were directed to. Finding a spot, we then set about getting a locker for our valuables. This was the same price as Adventure Park ($12 all day) but did not feature the eminently practical wrist band solution as found at Adventure Park. Oh well back to remembering locker numbers and pin numbers!! As well as the heat, there was a very strong hot wind that was blowing. At the entrance, the helpful gate assistant advised us that due to the winds, some attractions could close. With that excellent advice in mind , we decided to hit the dry rides first. The first one we tackled was the Burnout, In a previous life, this ride had spent a number of years at Dreamworld as the Stingray. It was very well presented here and in excellent condition- it had received a very good refurb in its move here to Funfields. The kids tackled the Samba Balloons next, a very nice looking unit from Zamperla. This and the Burnout formed a small family ride precinct that also included a small Ferris wheel, a carousel, a kids go kart track and a tea cups ride. Very well presented and very appealing to the younger family members. We then decided to tackle Blackbeard's Fury, a HUSS swinging ship. This unit was an original ride from Seaworld on the Gold Coast. Once again, FunFields have done a wonderful job of refurbing this ride and it looked and rode excellent. The difference between this and the Meisho unit at LPM was night and day. Blackbeard's Fury swung an impressive degree and it was an entirely smooth ride experience. Funfields have even attempted some theming elements in front of the ride. Not sure what Seaworld were thinking in getting rid of this ride- in its current excellent condition it could still easily operate at Seaworld today. A rather short sighted decision , in my opinion! As a curious side note, Funfields also offers this ride as a VR experience for the princely sum of $6. Apparently the VR content is themed to a Dragon ride somehow. We rode Blackbeard's Fury 4 times throughout the day and not once did we see any VR units being utilised. I found the concept of VR on a swing ship ride quite odd. We then headed to Voodoo , the parks 360 degree swing pendulum ride. This is an excellent attraction for any number of small parks- it gave great forces and yet had quite a small footprint. It also was a very smooth ride experience , although the seating was a little uncomfortable. We got 2 rides on this in quick succession which proved a shrewd move as about an hour later this was closed due to the high winds. It never reopened for the day. This ride is an exceptional addition to Funfields attraction lineup. The next order of the day was to ride the parks Alpine Toboggan run. This example featured the traditional cable lift hill to the top ( unlike Jamberoo's chairlift). It was not as long as Jamberoo's toboggan run ( they also have 2) but it was a good example of this type of ride. In my opinion, the track felt in better condition that Jamberoo's 2 runs and the toboggans themselves were also in far better material condition. This was a walk on and we got in 5 runs in very quick succession. Excellent fun. After the toboggans , we then headed to the Go karts. The layout had recently been shortened to accommodate the new Volcano Beach Wave Pool but I didnt feel that this affected the track overly at all. The karts themselves were all 2 person cars. You need to be 145 cm plus to drive alone and 100- 144cm can be passengers. There were 10 karts in operation this day and it was my sons first experience in driving them. They certainly were not overly fast but they did provide a decent speed once you stretched them out. Operations were a little slow on this and they would have been brutal if the park was majorly busy. Given that the heat was increasing, we decided to hit the water portion of the park. Funfields has the standard water play structures found in most water parks now. This example included something a little different insofar as that it does not have a swinging bucket overhead. Instead, it has a "shack" structure that periodically releases the water deluge. There is no warning as to when this will occur so it was a little random as to when the water was released. Also, unlike a lot of other play structures, this one was situated in a shallow pool, which was perfect for parents to sit in either under or near the water mushrooms found therein. This was a welcome advantage on such a hot day unlike other water structures that are placed on foam or sponge underlay. The kids then tried the bumper boast- an old school attraction to be sure. They are getting harder to find in Australia and they sure are ordinary when it comes to capacity but the kids loved them. 10 boats only does mean very slow operations though. We then moved on to the Typhoon- billed by the park as the as the World's longest Proslide cannonball. Have to say this was my favourite slide of the park and was so much fun!! It certainly had a good length of slide before hitting the bowl and it gained a good deal of momentum as you burst onto the lip of the curve. Great fun and very re-rideable. What is great about the operations on this slide is that Funfields offer single tube and dual tube rider options. This gives a lot of flexibility for any group of riders. The slides directly next to the Typhoon are the original body slides and obviously have a bit of age about them. They are nearly identical to ones found in Jamberoo and even share a similar name in Splash Down. However, at Funfields, they make you ride these with mats and this makes for a very disappointing slide experience. The mats seemed to slow down your momentum to the point where we all thought we would stop on the course at some point.These slides should remain as body slides to get the most out of them. Jamberoo's are far superior , in my thinking, The next 2 slides are enclosed tube slides called Blackout and Wipeout. They are pretty standard slides but fun nonetheless. As its name suggests, Blackout is completely dark through its course entirety. Like Typhoon, these slides operated with singe tube and double tube options. The next slide is the Kraken racer, the 2nd purportedly record holder. Its billed as the World's Longest Proslide Kraken Racer and when I saw it i was very underwhelmed. I have been on many different racers in water parks around the world and to me, this is really stretching a point. There are longer racers in Australia, by far ( albeit by other manufacturers- hell the racers at Adventure Park in the SAME state were far longer.) Its fairly representative of its type of slide but the less said about its alleged "World Record" the better. The third Record holder, the Gravity Wave, is a far more impressive slide. Billed as the World's Biggest, Longest and Tallest Proslide Wave and Victoria's tallest waterslide this is a slide to be proud of. This gave an impressive amount of ride time and the dive into the wave is great fun. Interestingly , you can only ride this in either 4 person or 2 person configuration- not 3. I asked about this and this is Proslides specification and not the park's , according to the ride attendant. Funny how you can ride Tornado's with 3 riders but not this slide. And as can be seen, Funfields are also touting a new slide to join Gravity Wave in the near future. The infrastructure is all there, they just need to erect the slide. I am betting that they have already purchased the next slide and we will see it installed early next year. This is a very cool thing which Funfields have done very well in implementing. Near the queue lines to all the major slides, they have installed these structures made of PVC piping for riders to store their thongs and hats. This was crucial and very beneficial , given that it was such a hot day and the heat emanating from the cement necessitated wearing footwear of some kind. This allowed all riders to neatly stack them in the pipes provided and to gather them to move on once the ride had finished. This played in very well with my love of all things practical. All water parks in Australia should see this and take note!! (Jamberoo hint hint) Volcano Beach is the new inclusion for this year and opened in December. As a Wave Pool its a little on the smaller side, ( its only reaches 1.8 metres at its deepest depth) but the surrounding area is nicely themed. The vegetation surrounding the area will look much better in 12 months and will give the area a much more organic look. This is the first wave pool in Victoria and it is also heated so that its use can be extended into the cooler months. It certainly did not need the heating element on the day we visited!!! Stage 2 will also see a new cafe and eatery be added to this area. All in all, a nice addition to the park. Funfields , for mine wins the battle of the water parks in Victoria. It feels far more complete and well rounded. It certainly is Jamberoo's Victorian cousin and those 2 parks share quite a lot in DNA and similarity. Given that this is also the closer of the 2 parks to Melbourne, it is the easiest to get to by car. If you are staying or planning a family trip to Melbourne, then a visit to this burgeoning park should be on your list of things to do. My next installment of our Melbourne trip will see non theme park related attractions added in together to give an overview of some of the other points of interest that you can experience whilst in the fair Victorian capital. These will include: Werribee Open Plain Zoo Sovereign Hill Melbourne Zoo The Melbourne Aquarium Amaze and Things, Phillip Island The Penguin Parade, Phillip Island ArtVo 3D Art Gallery and Southern Star Observation Wheel MCG Tour and National Sports Museum. Because I am a glutton for punishment and like us all, a bit of a theme park nut, I will be visiting Wet 'N'Wild Sydney this weekend and also our annual Jamberoo trip is the weekend after. I will post a trip report for each of them as well in the coming days. Thanks for letting me share our experiences and I hope you have enjoyed the trip reports as they come.
  19. 14 points
    I had the opportunity to go down to Melbourne in the past couple of weeks for work and I thought I would combine work with leisure and bring the family with me for a extended break. We had a jam packed time and fit in quite a lot in our stay. I decided to tick off a couple of the Victorian parks that I have never visited and I will present them here as a trip report with my musings on each for all here to enjoy. The parks and places that we visited included: Luna Park Melbourne Action Park , Geelong Funfields, Whittlesea We also visited attractions such as: Werribee Open Plain Zoo Sovereign Hill Melbourne Zoo The Melbourne Aquarium Amaze and Things, Phillip Island The Penguin Parade, Phillip Island ArtVo 3D Art Gallery and Southern Star Observation Wheel I will restrict my trip reports to the aforementioned 3 parks, but I might do an overview of the other places as there are some excellent experiences to be had. So onward to Luna Park Melbourne! Melbourne's Mr Moon is decidedly creepier than its Sydney counterpart. We did the park on a Saturday as the park is open until 11pm at this time ( like LPS,we wanted to experience LPM in the night. It was quite warm when we arrived at around 2pm and the crowds were quite large. It was around $149 for a family ticket of 4 however, thanks to a helpful work colleague, we had an entertainment voucher which gave us 25% off and this brought the total down just on $100. Good start so far!! It is worth noting that that the park now charges $5 for just entering the park, regardless of riding or not. They justify this by saying that it is helping to maintain their heritage attractions of the Scenic Railway, Carousel and Ghost train. If you buy a ride ticket or pass this is included in that price , of course. I don't doubt that these attractions are seriously labour and financially resource draining so to me, it seems like a reasonable request , for mine. The first ride we tried was the Spider. This is a Eyerly Aircraft Company example and these are becoming rarer and rarer these days. This type of ride debuted in 1967 and this unit is a typical example of its ilk. The operations on this ride were very slow as the ride was attended to by only one ride op. It was also hampered by the cycle before our ride where a rider was sick and it had to be cleaned up. Overall the ride experience was smooth and was quite an enjoyable experience. My son and I spun considerably in our car. The ride has been maintained well and it looked in good condition. Not sure if this is the same unit as once resided at Wonderland in its early days. I am sure one of you esteemed knowledgeable forum members can tell me! Interestingly , the Eyerly Aircraft Company went out of business in 1985 and the rights to their rides went to Oregon rides Inc. They are one of the more interesting ride manufacturers out there IMHO. We next rode the Twin Dragon, a Meisho Swinging ship. As far as I am aware, this is the only type of this ride in Australia by this manufacturer , and they are extremely rare elsewhere. The ride experience was ok, however they certainly do not match a HUSS unit in any way. More on that later though. We then rode the park's Enterprise, a unit which has obviously seen much use. It is a genuine HUSS unit(@HussRainbow87 will be happy about that! ) but its a unit that is in need of some love and attention. Still, the ride was smooth and as always, gives great forces. My son and daughter had never ridden this type of ride and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This is LPM's new cafe and function centre. It looks excellent and is 3 levels- the first level a retail cafe and eatery , the 2nd level a function area and there is also a third rooftop level for functions as well.The food looked good and we decided to wait until later in the evening to have dinner to try out its wares. Alas this was not meant to be, as LPM made the inexplicable decision to shut this ( and almost all other food outlets) except for The Diner car at 7pm. This is in direct contrast to LPS where all food outlets are open until close. The park could have made some serious dollars if their food options had remained open. Subsequently , we left the park to nearby Acland street for a quick meal to return to ride. An amazingly short sighted decision on managments part IMHO. The kids wanted then to ride the Powersurge and this is a fairly recent arrival at LPM. It was well presented and was quite popular with good sized lines throughout the day!! My daughter had to be talked into going on this with my son, but when she did, she loved it!! They ended up riding this 4 times throughout the day! We then lined up for the Hellerious Clowns walkthrough attraction. This is a experience that has stayed since Halloween, and although not as well presented as LPS's Mystery Manor, it was quite an enjoyable scare attraction. The scare actors werent quite as good as their Sydney counterparts and it required you to wear 3 D glasses but it was certainly longer than Mystery Manor. This attraction was only open during the day and shut at 5pm. The kids rode the Coney Shot Drop and the Pharaoh's Curse in quick succession. Both pretty standard park rides and fairly forgettable. The restraints on the Pharaoh's Curse were quite restrictive on the legs, making for an uncomfortable ride. The Ghost train is well presented but with very slow operations. Its a ride that of course has quite a history, as it is one of the few remaining Pretzel dark rides left anywhere in the world, having opened in 1935. Its old school fun inside and can get quite dark in sections but i think it desperately needs a refurb inside, with some of the scares looking quite tired. Also, the ride would benefit enormously from having live scare actors roaming the track but unfortunately , this is not allowed anymore. However, there is plenty of technology that could be utilised to enhance this ride and the overall experience. Of course the Great Scenic Railway was what we really wanted to see and ride and it was great to see it finally in action. This ride had 30 minute waits for the entirety of the day and was extremely popular with all ages. The only had one train in operation at any one time and the ride was down for about 40 minutes due to weather conditions. It was quite windy at this time and the train ( Red Train) valleyed after the first initial drop. It was quite amusing seeing 4 LPM employees scale the ride and walk to where the loaded train sat waiting. They then pushed the train to complete the circuit. To fix this issue, the park changed trains, (red to blue) and they completed several circuits with the maintenance crew oiling several sections of the track as they went. The ride then continued without any further stoppages. I am told this does happen quite regularly when the wind is blowing at the right angle. Fun times!! The blue train awaiting riders and also displaying the awesome mural on the back wall. The Scenic Railway station is a beautiful work of art in itself and is a pleasure to see and view. We then decided to ride the park's smaller family coasters, the Silly Serpent a Zamperla powered coaster, and the Speedy Beetle, an SBF Visa spinning coaster. This was the first time that I had ridden one of these types of rides and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. They are an excellent family addition to any small park and they pack a good punch in a very small footprint. This unit is the smallest option that SBF Visa offer but they do come in varying sizes. More on that later. Given that it does not get dark in Melbourne during summer until about 9:15pm, we opted to ride the Skyrider ferris wheel right on dusk. The view was magnificent looking out on Port Phillip Bay , riding as we watched the sun disappear from view, dipping below the horizon at last. It was a bit chilly due to the wind but an awesome experience and I would say a must do!! This Ferris Wheel has been in the park since the 70's and its quite a feeling to ride an open seating styled ride like this rather than the more common cabin style. This ride , like all Ferris Wheels , had to be carefully balanced in its riders. The other historical ride at the park is the magnificent 1913 vintage PTC carousel. This has just been restored after some serious downtime and money to get it back into operating status. Little known fact is that this is the only PTC carousel ever imported outside North America and is one of only 35 remaining. It was originally installed at Sydney's White City amusement park before fire destroyed this park ( perhaps a topic for another day?). LPM management bought it and transported it to Melbourne where it resides as the centrepiece of the park. Disappointingly, the 1909 vintage Pipe Organ was not running on the day. Of course this place takes on a new level when night drops and the lights are turned on. The park becomes a incandescent wonderland and the atmosphere is absolutely wonderful at this time. This it shares with its sister park in Sydney. There is nothing like going on rides on a balmy summer Saturday night. Brilliant! Interestingly , the Scenic Railway's trains are adorned with Blue LED's for night time action. The effect was brilliant and they looked amazing as the ride traversed its circuit into the night. The face does look much more inviting at night...... Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this trip report of a park not often reported on Parkz. LPM is a great place to visit for an afternoon, if only for the historical value of the Scenic Railway, the Carousel and the Ghost Train. Is is as good as LPS? Hmmm, thats a difficult one to answer. Both parks have their pro's and cons. LPM is quite a bit smaller than LPS but the Scenic Railway and its St Kilda setting is timeless. LPS does have the magnificent Harbour and bridge backdrop though to counter this. I guess we will have to wait and see what improvements are now brought to fruition for LPS. LPM does need some serious reinvestment to give it a lift- there are many things in the works and they are planned but of course financial backing is the key. We are incredibly lucky to have both LPS and LPM in Australia for us both to enjoy and they are significant in the amusement landscape and history of Australia.They cannot compete with the Gold Coast parks(nor are they meant to) but they deserve their place in our park lineup. My advice is get out there and enjoy them both
  20. 14 points
    For the record - If people want to waste their time writing bogus reviews then that's fine, kudos to you for the creativity. But when their responses start becoming abusive and offensive that's where we draw the line. We've removed a whole lot of posts here. Rest assured no one has missed out on anything other than a bit of fan fiction. 🙄 Every indication I have is that the ride has only been experienced by Brogent employees as the formal handover has not yet taken place.
  21. 14 points
    Was in the park and snapped these on the way out. Still think the original facades looked a million times better, but it's not the worst thing in the world. Will say i'm now excited to jump on this thing in a week or two - bonus points to Dreamworld / Cutting Edge if they pull a Soarin' at the end of the ride's film and the fly-over ends back in at Dreamworld. Switchbacks are all in. Sails look nice. Not sure about all the white. Bit boring. With the huge barriers down it's much easier to see now. It's a tight fit. (THATS WHAT SHE SAID) The connection between old and new is... interesting. 😕 Note the switchbacks on the left - i'm guessing for Ride Express? A closer look at the main entrance. Three stories? Signs. There was another sign near Billabong which shows something different as well. It definitely wasn't always going to look this way outside. Big ol' white bum with a lot of exhausts. A wider look at what's going on. And some panos for the pano folk.
  22. 14 points
    Please if the post contains 20 photos... don’t quote them
  23. 14 points
    The 3rd part is now live. Be sure to let me know your thoughts. Selling the Dream - John Longhurst's Dreamworld Stories.
  24. 14 points
    This is quickly becoming the epitome of Ardent's ongoing hubris. Literally the only reason why Ardent chose to retrofit their existing theatre with a flying theatre, just like the Canadians with their IMAX Theatre overseas, is to primarily minimise cost, to also minimise local disturbances to neighbouring attractions and amenities and to speed up delivery time. But that cost-saving specifically comes with some huge drawbacks, too - namely the ability to build a full-scale flying theatre. And like Canada's flying theatre retrofit, ours will be a clever but scaled series of hacks to getting the motion bases inside a smaller than usual space that come with a lot of consequences (reduced capacity, smaller screen etc.) So then here's the thing - if Dreamworld's only going to preserve a forty year old warehouse shell made out of cinderblocks and literally nothing else (not the facades which have far more intrinsic value to the park) you've got to ask - why even bother retrofitting there in the first place? It's not like they're trying to minimise the impact on the guest experience during the retrofit - they've closed another multi-million roller-coaster with not even as much as a word on when it might re-open. And let's not even get started on how a giant un-covered demolition site in the heart of the park would impact every single guest's first, second, third and last impression of the park. At this point they could've built a larger flying theatre for cheaper had they literally put it anywhere else inside the park and they could've had it in the same time-frame since Ardent have continued to push back the open date multiple times over. This whole thing makes me feel as frustrated as reading news about Trump - everyone's watching the world burn but no one's doing anything about it.
  25. 14 points
    How long are they going to blame their failures on TRR, instead of the fact that they are a poorly planned and poorly run park with boring and unreliable rides? There are better parks with better rides, better water slides, better animals, and better experiences. Dreamworld's unwavering commitment to relics TOT, Wipeout, RHLR and HWSW seem more like a desperate attempt to cling to the nostalgia of when the park was in its prime and wasn't a confused mess of cheap, mediocre 'thrill' rides dumped into any available piece of land. People don't hold that nostalgia. Dreamworld is not Disney and anyone under the age of 30 is too young to remember any of those rides being new and exciting at an age when they would have been able to ride them. Young people - the people that you want coming to your park - don't care about how 'classic' RHLR is, they only know that WWF is better. They don't care about how 'iconic' Wipeout is, they care if it is open and can actually make it through a complete cycle instead of just rocking them side to side for a few minutes. They don't care that TOT2 launches you backward, if you can get a faster and better launch on SE. And the sure as hell don't care about a rickety and painful old steel coaster made by a company that went bankrupt in 2001 - when they can ride a brand new Hypercoaster, and a rickety old Inverted coaster at a different park for the same price. The TRR incident is not the reason people aren't returning to Dreamworld. In my opinion, when they closed for several months, people (like me) realised that we didn't really miss it when it was closed, and when it reopened there really wasn't anything interesting or exciting worth going back for. There still isn't. And that's the problem.
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