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  1. 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?
  2. 8 points
    Just a quick update on Luna Park Melbourne- They will be getting 2 new permanent kids rides in the form of a spinning coaster and a kids Ferris Wheel. The make and model of the coaster has not been confirmed but it has been stated as being geared towards younger guests so i would assume that it could possibly be a SBS Visa model such as the Crazy Coaster at Adventure park in Geelong These rides will be installed over the coming months and i expect them to be in the ride lineup for the January school holidays. There is no mention that these new rides would be replacing anything currently in the park, although given the size of LPM and the fact that it has limited room, I would not be surprised if these rides DID replace existing attractions. The Zamperla powered coaster Silly Serpent that is currently in the park is of a fair age now and it would not be unreasonable to see this new kids coaster replace the Silly Serpent. The park has stated that the space on the old Metropolis site will be retained for seasonal and temporary attractions. They have replaced their trackless train with a new model that boasts increased carriages.over the previous version. A new coaster for the old Metropolis site is very much on the top of their wish list but it is not on the horizon for the next couple of years. The reason for this is the expense and upkeep of their heritage attractions such as Scenic Railway, Carousel and Ghost Train. To keep these attractions running and in good condition requires a large budget and this eats into new attraction investment. ( Plus Lyndsey Fox is being stingy..) The 105 year old PTC Carousel has just completed a very delicate and expensive 12 month refit and is now open again to the public. They will still continue to use the Metropolis site for seasonal and holiday attractions such as the Pirates revenge flume and Crazy Spinning Coaster that they have utilised over the past couple of years. This mirrors their sister park , Luna Park Sydney and their schedule of rotating seasonal/holiday attractions. They have in that space for October the Famous Spiegeltent live attraction which will be in the park for a 3 week stay. I am in Melbourne in January for a couple of weeks and will be visiting Luna park Melbourne, FunFields and Adventure Park with the family, the latter 2 for the first time. I will certainly upload some trip reports and pictures from these parks as they get little attention on these boards compared to their giant Gold Coast cousins. Cheers.
  3. 7 points
  4. 6 points
    @Skeeta Agreed, but I guess my response is Rome wasn't built in a day. I don't think a museum would be 'mission accomplished', but rather, a step in the right direction. A small welcome diversion in a park that is too coaster heavy. Ultimately I think this, a full blown studio tour, and special effects show would be enough behind the scenes attractions for a park the size of MW, with the rest of the rides being about 'riding the movies'. Also all the shows are appalling. We're a unity ticket on that topic.
  5. 6 points
    So many climbs these days and climbs in the suburbs are stupid. (Hey Jimmy I can see your mother dropping the kids off at school from up here) Nothing new. Sorry I just fell asleep while reading this. Not if MW over sell the FastPass again. Looks like SW continues to let us down with this attraction being pushed back. Stuff the spin, overall this update screams Village are currently not willing to spend any real money. Side note: When did James have a head transplant?
  6. 6 points
    Looking at the rendering, I have to be honest and say that I'm not really a big fan of it. To me it looks like a modern corporate office/ local council building, rather than an entrance to a theme park ride. I think this rendering is a perfect example how Dreamworld keep on shooting themselves in the foot through mis-guided/miscalculated decisions. However as always, I'll reserve my final judgement until I see the final product. I am curious also how they'll blend it in to the existing structures around it (including main street).
  7. 6 points
    Earlier this year I visited Germany. https://www.parkz.com.au/parks/DE/Soltau/Heide_Park (Full set of 350+ photos there) Heide Park is located 60km south of Hamburg. To reach it, I caught a train to Buchholz, and then changed to an hourly local train to Wolterdingen, a small village station where it's a 2km walk to the park entrance (No shuttle available) Heide Park is one of those parks that was established in the theme park boom in the 1980s (Much like Dreamworld) so it has a similar vibe with the style of buildings, gardens, neat planning. A lot of the older attractions have great stonework and traditional German craftmanship. Tussauds (Now Merlin) took over the park in 2001, and they do a good job on theming too, but the vibe is somewhat different on these attractions, and a lot of the old buildings have been re-purposed to fit new themes. So, the first thing I did was Indy Blitz. Damned if I'll queue for a kiddy coaster. Next I did the most recent major attraction, Ghostbusters 5D. Like Justice league, it has 3D screens with targets to shoot, though no physical targets. The cars are also 8 seater renditions of the ECTO-1 that can spin. From what I could garner, the park has a mascot who is an adventurer. And the adventurer has a warehouse full of his treasures, which have been taken over by ghosts. The queue had cool ghosts trapped in portraits. It was average overall, the screens were sort of just chucked on the wall, with props stuck on as well that felt a bit amateurish. Like there was a scene that had a bunch of shipwreck treasures and the theming on the wall around the screen was just ship steering wheels, bits of rope, a random treasure chest. And there were obvious things like when you left the station and turned the corner you could see the car ahead at the first screen, whereas if they had rotated the car as it left the station they could have faced you away and not revealed that it was just a big room with screens. But it was still, at one point in the ride you are teleported to NYC for a final battle, and the car actually has as ghost trap on the front that opens up and sucks the ghost in. The gift shop had its own Ectoplasm soft drink, pale green with a sort of apple flavour. Next up was Desert Race, an Intamin accelerator that could could think of like a Superman that has been squashed down a bit and had the top hat removed. The first hill has a bit of airtime, the other two are just more like twisting hills with not much air (like the two after the helix on Rivals) The launch is great of course, and the theming helped, although it looked a bit awkward, trying to pull of a desert setting in a place where it snows. What were they thinking with the logo though? For a thrill coaster with an off road rally theme, it's a bit vanilla isn't it? For the kids was a driving school with a similar theme. Nearby, and on the way was Grottenblitz a powered mine train coaster, which had a few turns outside, before going into a cave (Hence the grotten) with a diorama in it. Good family fun. More time in caves, with Drachengrotte, which was part of a really nice looking "How to Train Your Dragon" land (In German it's called "Training Your Dragon Made Easy") It was quite a short boat ride, with an oval layout, half of which was in cave. I confess to having no idea as to what was happening since I havent seen the films, nor understood the German. The outside theming was good, including an actual jet of fire. The inside part was a few static sculpts and a projector screen, and it had some of the same issues as Ghostbusters with some stuff kind of just slapped in, like the very visible lights with leads on the wall, but overall still looked alright. It was probably a weird itinerary, but I figured everyone would rush the coasters first, and I was interested in seeing some of these secondary attractions, without necessarily wanting to queue. After that was Krake, a mini B&M dive coaster, At 40m in height, it's only as tall as Superman escape, but feels taller for some reason. The ride delivers a quick burst of thrills, much like what you get from a drop tower. It's a very short coaster, but I don't think it matters really in this case, it's just a few rapid fire moments, and hits the brake run with a bit of speed, and feels greater than the sum of its parts. A lot of money obviously went into the theming, from the fortress station building, the well themed boarding platform, and of course the ship destroyed by the kraken. This would be a great ride at Sea World. And then onto my most anticipated ride at the park, Flug Der Damoenen. I hadn't fully appreciated how steep of a hill this was built on, and it makes for one of the most dyamic wing rider coasters, with big drops and plenty of speed. The shorter train makes this a bit less lumbering than the likes of X Flight for example. The theming is nice too, fitting in with the existing architecture of the area. Along the way are near misses that suit the satantic theme, such as wooden stakes, metal spike fencing, and a wooden bridge you narrowly pass under. The ride lacks the signature slow inline twist typically seen on wing riders, but the Demonic knot actually provides a similar moment of slightly unusual feeling slow rotation towards the end of the ride. I really liked this one, and did plenty of rides. Wing coasters have become one of my favourite types of B&M. If you want an intense looper, that is best left to other manufacturers....Let B&M focus on rides that give a sensation of flight. Further up the hill was Scream, a gyro drop that was a conversion of an old observation tower (Seriously, what's with all the duplicate rides at this park?...2 monorails, 2 slow boat rides, previously 2 flumes) Oh, as for the ride, well I love drop towers so this was good fun and I liked how they had the kids drop tower right next to it. A nearby building in the area had a balcony you could go up into, and a slide back down for the kids. Really like when parks just have random nice features to explore and opportunistic play for children. Next was Bobbahn a very lengthy, albeit bum vibrating Tobbogan coaster, with the signature sense of constantly accelerating and feeling out of control. This one was at the top of a hill, and has the first lift hill off the top, so you get quite high up, allowing for plenty of turns. A couple of shallow uphill sections keep it going even longer. There's even several turns that are underground, so I cant even begin to imagine how much this ride cost in the day, given Bobsleds are a pretty expensive coaster type to build. The ending of the ride is a bit anti climatic. You hit the brakes at the bottom, then make three right hand turns, passing through the maintenance bay, and then finally rise up a lift hill back to station level. In some ways the likes of Avalanche at Blackpool work better because its just downhill all the way. Continuing around the park is Limit, their SLC. I did my duty and gave it a ride before moving on. Big Loop was the remaining coaster, with a couple of loops, a couple of corkscrews, and a helix. Super simple stuff. Continuing around the park I had a look at the Mayan flat ride area, but literally the majority have been pulled out and blocked off with bamboo, which is not a great look, especially considering that their flagship coaster Colossos right next to it is out of action too. It made the back end of the park just feel un-loved so I quickly moved on. A bit of a bummer to miss Colossos since I loved El Toro too. Moving back towards the middle of the park is the Panoramaturm observation tower, where I got my fill of aeral photos of the park. And then after that was Mountain Rafting, a river rapids ride with ridiculously high capacity and all the old school wave generators still going (Many parks in the US have theirs off) And again very visually attractive. Because it was early afternoon, when the sun is less disruptive to photos I did a lap each on the Monorail. And the mini Panoramabahn. @pushbutton German parks often have at least a couple of Monorails, and also trains etc to, so these are the places to go. It was on this I spotted that I had completely been avoiding a Peppa Pig kids land that only opened a few weeks earlier. Not for me of course though. Procrastination continued with a burger at Piraten Burger. ....and a stroll around the rest of the Pirate themed land, which had a splash battle that I skipped and one of those onion boat rides. This loop of path led past the Oldtimer ride. Eh why not? Turned out to be worth it because the gardens were beautiful. Continuing on was the Wildwasserbahn. Again, why not? wasn't too wet, and the station theming was nice, but otherwise fairly run of the mill. At that point I had done everything I wanted to, so spent the rest of the time till closing re-riding Flug and Krake, finishing up on Desert Race, where the ops gave us a bonus lap because we were the last train of the day. Overall, its an extensive park with a good variety of attractions, though seeing so many removed ones gives a feeling of disappointment. The park sits at a level that is behind the likes of Europa Park and Phantasialand, but better than a run of the mill amusement park, and should be even better with Colossos returning in 2019. https://www.parkz.com.au/parks/DE/Soltau/Heide_Park
  8. 5 points
    PCL recently interviewed VRTP’s CEO and COO, where they revealed a number of upcoming attractions, exhibits and more to the parks. Check out the full interview within this episode: HIGHLIGHTS: MW: DC Rivals lift hill walk coming when the ride reopens SDSC will greatly improve on the original version of the ride, with the technologies already confirmed The movie magic is coming back, with a new attraction coming later this year exhibiting movie pieces. And this magic will continue to come back Three all new characters within the park coming, not seen anywhere else in the world FN’s is apparently going to be the best ever SW: Sea Jellies opening September 7 All new major attraction coming in the next couple of years Focus on showing the back of house stuff to guests, such as the turtles, with new exhibits Overall: 4 significant new things coming by December which haven’t been announced yet A new app which includes wait times, maps, food and anything guests needs coming soon Voice of People survey is something they are really focusing on
  9. 5 points
    Believe it or not, Ardent Leisure may be finally doing something good at Dreamworld! We know a Whitewater World expansion is on the cards which will include, at a minimum, a lazy river with a wave machine - something only seen in Australia at Jamberoo Action Park with their Rapid River. A dark ride is hinted at, possibly to be located next to the future i-Ride. Now... Someone on Facebook commented on Dreamworld's i-Ride artist impression, which was posted to Dreamworld's Facebook page on Sunday: Dreamworld responded: For those who don't know: "the proper jamboree" refers to Country Jamboree, a computerised animatronic show. The show was simply a 15 minute concert of Australian music hosted and performed by Australian fauna. Formerly called Koala Country (Music) Show, it was held in Gum Tree Gully Hall, located in the Gum Tree Gully area. This building now houses Wiggles World's Big Red Car Ride. Opening in 1982 (though originally planned to be an opening day attraction in 1981), it was at some point renamed, possibly after 1983 when a new area called Koala Country (now Dreamworld Corroboree) was opened in the north-eastern corner of Dreamworld. Given the show had a couple of versions until it closed around 2001, it can't be certain which version the Facebook commentator (or potentially DW) was referring to (but for the Facebook commentator, they were likely referring to the original 1982 version). "the paddle steamer" refers to Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler, a former ride located on the Murrisippi River, an artificial river inside Dreamworld. The ride's main entrance was located in the Rivertown area. The ride's main entrance has since been replaced by ABC Kids World's Bananas In Pjyamas Fun Maze & Play School Wheel. It operated for about 31 years from opening day in 1981 until 2012. The ride was a 30-45 minute trip, held at set times during the day, on a 250-person capacity paddlewheeler along the Murrisippi River (in a clockwise direction), which surrounds Castaway Island (the main artificial island). The river and paddlewheeler were themed as a hybrid Mississippi/Murray River paddlewheeler/river. After leaving Rivertown, the Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler went past Settler's Cottage then 2 smaller islands east of Castaway Island. The 1st small island had a wooden wharf (which I'm unsure if it was ever (designed to be) used). This wharf led to a Fort and a bridge that connected to the 2nd small island. A bridge from the 2nd small island to Castaway Island then led to a Lookout Tower. Originally, the eastern half of the river was themed to the Wild West of the USA. However, this only lasted less than a year. Opposite to the 2 smaller islands, to the east, originally was an Indian Camp. After 1982, this was replaced by Australian structures themed to the 1850's era. More of these structures were added over time. They were all removed in the early 2000's for new entrances to the Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler which were added opposite the 2 smaller islands for access to/from the expanded Koala Country area, which was renamed as the Australian Wildlife Experience (now Dreamworld Corroboree). After those 2 smaller islands, the Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler travelled past a Waterfall, which was turned off and demolished in recent years. The water from a pool above the Waterfall also travelled down an aqueduct to Harper's Oat Mill. This element was removed in 1994 to be replaced by the current-day Billabong Buffet Restaurant and a new railway station for the Dreamworld Express. The ride then finished back at Rivertown. "the bush ranger show" refers to The Dreamworld Bushrangers Show, a stunt show element of the Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler ride. The Settler's Cottage and the Australian structures of the 1850's era opposite the 2 smaller islands were the sets of the stunt show themed around bushrangers (called the Dreamworld Bushrangers). There were, at least, 2 versions of the show. The show was removed in the early 2000's due to the expansion of the Koala Country area, which was renamed as the Australian Wildlife Experience (now Dreamworld Corroboree). So which one is Dreamworld thinking of re-introducing? The Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler is very possible given the Murrisippi River is still there. The entrance could be near the Woolshed where the last entrance of the ride was built. Using this location will provide more reason for visitors to head towards Dreamworld Corroboree. All they need is a new paddlewheeler that can run along the track hidden in the Murrisippi River (assuming the track hasn't been removed or doesn't need replacing). Also, they need to add something that you can only see from or during the ride. The Dreamworld Bushrangers Show could be re-introduced as a stand-alone show - maybe incorporating the former Big Brother Studios? A well-produced show with amazing special effects, even if it only operated after-hours as a night show, could become a 'must-see' attraction on the Gold Coast that increases much-needed revenue. The vacant land north of Dreamworld surrounding the former Big Brother Studios could easily be utilised as theming for little to no cost. A brilliant show could easily end up rivalling MW's Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 as the main stunt show of the Gold Coast. However, a simple twice-a-day daytime show held in a small new venue inside Dreamworld could work if the effort on theming & special effects makes it just worthy of seeing. Country Jamboree could be re-introduced in a small building (maybe in the former Big Brother Cafe or somewhere in Dreamworld Corroboree?). Technological changes have allowed animatronics to become interactive and utilise artificial intelligence but whether musical animatronic shows (even to include the technological upgrades) will increase attendance nowadays is up for debate. This attraction may have limited target markets nowadays such as the international tourist market. It could be updated to include more modern iconic Australian music such as AC/DC. Or will the future dark ride incorporate one of those past attractions? Another Facebook commentator wrote (referring to the i-Ride artist impression): Dreamworld gave a very cryptic and vague response in return: Dreamworld gave a similar response when someone else asked on Facebook "What else is in the pipeline". Well it seems we got so far: i-Ride (late December 2018) Whitewater World expansion including, at a minimum, a lazy river with a wave machine Dark ride and/or Country Jamboree or Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler and/or The Dreamworld Bushrangers Show Main Street update Dreamworld also confirmed on Facebook that they will be posting "sneak previews" of the i-Ride "Closer to the launch": I feel pretty confident that despite us feeling Ardent has no firm plans for Dreamworld, they actually do have plans and they will reveal them over the next year. This financial year may be interesting in regards to Dreamworld's future. However, whether these future plans are up to a theme park standard, is another question altogether.
  10. 5 points
    Dealing with the bolded statement first - what absolute dribble. Life exists outside of social media posts mate, and 99% of stuff that IS on instagram is rubbish so there goes that theory. As for “if you want to see props - go to LA”. The average joe, let alone an average family, can’t afford to just “pop over to the US for the weekend”. I think a memorabilia museum would prove very popular, and is a terrific inclusion, especially if it’s included props utilised on the studios for shoots. (You do know there are working sound stages next to movie world, right?) Sea Jellies is world leading In that it’s not just an exhibition, it’s an actual research facility that is staffed by Griffith Uni
  11. 5 points
    Alright I went to DW today, here’s some pics I managed to grab. I also noticed that the jelly belly store has had all of its vinyl wrapping removed and was closed so I’m not sure what’s going on there but I’ll let you know when I find out.
  12. 5 points
    There's definitely some stuff in the works to bring it to a bigger audience, but it's early stages. I might have to get John back down to the park and see what they're up to - maybe that'll inspire him?
  13. 4 points
    A very minor oversight, considering the many other exciting attractions they have to promote. Oh. Hang on.
  14. 4 points
  15. 4 points
    I've advocated for a memorabilia museum for a while now, it's something cheap that many people would have some interest in (and even if you're not interested you'd still probably have a look) and gives the park a bit of credibility. It's strange to me that the park is 'Movie World' with the studios right next door but there are no references to the studios in the park. An attraction that literally everyone can do is also badly needed at MW so massive thumbs up from me. A studio tour in the long term would be cool now that the studios actually have an interesting history but for now pleased with that move. As for SW, what can you say that hasn't already been said? I guess one potentially new observation is Ray Reef, Paw Patrol and the new undercover Plaza for events are all attractions that you would add to SW if you were focused on the resort first and the park second. Ray Reef is the sort of thing that belongs at a resort really, Paw Patrol (license aside) is not something a decent theme park would highlight as if it's a motivator, and the Plaza, despite being a huge improvement is an events space. Don't get me wrong either, the resort is fantastic right now and the leadership there has done a great job, but SW really needs someone who cares about the park as a theme park, not as the resort's really elaborate Kids Club. Also do they still own WnW GC? Can someone check that and let them know if they do because it seems to be looking pretty forgotten about.
  16. 4 points
    The adventure river sounds like what Ardent originally had planned for WWW phase 2 all those years ago, but never went ahead with. It was an adventure lazy river. Makes sense as the park always needed a lazy river. The original phase 2 plans included a new slide tower too in the gravel area, so hopefully they go ahead with that aspect. I’m really concerned about the modern facade for the I-ride. It just feels like once again Ardent might be forgetting DW is a THEME park.
  17. 4 points
    Gonna buck the trend and say I think it will look impressive to see that facade as soon as you walk in the park. Kids/teens and tourists give little many shits about a historical facade with cues to Disney when it looked uninspiring with age and the rest of the park look about as close to Disney as a backyard collectors junkyard. Think this has WOW factor.
  18. 4 points
    Considering the rest of WWW is pretty much unthemed, I wouldn't be expecting much more than some nice landscaping. My bet is for a lazy river, similar to the WnW one. The i-ride facade looks pretty uninspired but I must say it was a surprise to learn that DW's Accounting Department are also now in charge of Attraction design!
  19. 4 points
    Just drove past the the final piece was being secured back in place on DCR
  20. 4 points
    Okay, I've talked to a couple of my contacts who work at DW and they have told me the details around this segment. Sunday Night/Channel 7 reached out to the park outlining what their plans were, including bringing Kim through the park. The park was more than happy to allow Kim and the Sunday Night team to visit the park because Kim was involved. If it was just Channel 7 trying to bash the park again, they most likely wouldn't have been allowed. They were brought into the park 1-2 hours before opening and continued filming once the park was open. Kim left after the walkaround with her was done and the Sunday Night crew stayed to film the last of whatever the needed. The entire time they were chaperoned around the park by management. Any further questions?
  21. 4 points
    I'm really confused why Dreamworld would let a film crew and journo into the park to create content that's ultimately generating negative publicity for the park.
  22. 4 points
    Taken from Ardent's FY results presentation. "Planning for Water Park expansion and new Dark Ride progressing". At least the idea isn't dead yet but I don't believe DW has put much of their time into this.
  23. 4 points
    It's probably one of the highest force areas of track, so this might be to see what has changed after 12 months, and work out a longer term maintenance schedule from there. This was only the second Mack Hyper, and Flash has a different first element in comparison. Probably wrong, but that's what I think might be happening.
  24. 4 points
  25. 4 points
    I had thought the only change that would be visible externally would be a new sign. I'm very disappointed to see this demolition of the entire facade, and even more so now I know about the Disney connection.
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