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Dreamworld TR January 2022


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I know there's a few threads around touching various topics here, but I didn't feel like posting snippets to half a dozen different threads so here's a trip report.

Took my wife and 5 year old to Dreamworld on the weekend to catch the fireworks, Cosentino and get a ride on Taipan.  

We arrived after lunch, as due to the park's late operating schedule, we didn't feel rushed to get there early. It was overcast and drizzling from time to time, which kept a lot of the crowds away, but fined up in time to catch the fireworks at the end of the night.

We started out heading for MDMC - Master Five is bold enough now to try riding sidecar, so we gave it a go. We noticed the ride operator was spieling quite often that the MDMC harnesses are 'quite restrictive' - something i've never noticed before - and after half an hour in queue, I couldn't get the harness down far enough - something i've never had issue with before - despite previously having had issues with Claw and GIant Drop - MDMC has never been an issue for me. The operator's offered no more than an apology - and while I didn't expect anything else - We've previously experienced operators at Village not only recommending alternate rides, but also calling ahead to the ride allowing us to use fast track entrances and not have to wait again - so while as I said - I didn't expect anything, because of our prior experiences with Village this felt like a bit of a negative.

We then headed up to catch the Cosentino show. It was the first time i've seen him perform anywhere, and after experiencing Millennium Magic several hundred times, and being a big fan of magic and illusions both on TV and on stage, I must admit my expectations were high (although tempered by the fact that it was a temporary, not resident show). Honestly, I shouldn't have bothered. The cattle pens they've put together to hold people waiting for the show are entirely out of place. I found myself wishing for the fluoro green tape of movie world compared to these. Once inside, seating was crammed together. There was no effort made to even appear to be socially distancing the crowd, or to wear masks, although someone at the door was confirming people had 'checked in' to the venue using the QLD covid safe app. The venue was packed out. 

Folks were standing in the aisles, and instead of perhaps a PA announcer or pre-recorded announcement about keeping aisles clear, staying seated etc like any other theme park show in the world, a supervisor with a walkie talkie walked along the back row literally BELLOWING at everyone still standing that they needed to sit down immediately. (Sidenote - for show venues, Ushers\Hosts should have earpieces so the loud walkie talkie noises don't distract from the show.)

As for the show itself - honestly, there was no pacing. Cosentino doesn't really have the stage presence to keep my attention and after the first act I was ready to leave. I did stay, thinking perhaps it was a one-off but nothing changed my opinion the rest of the show. Very disjointed, the transitions just didn't flow. There were times he just stood silent on stage, and based on the fact he cracked a joke immediately afterwards, the impression I got is he was stopping to think of something to say. The stage had two giant screens, which I thought might be used for close-up video shots of the illusion for the benefit of the crowds seated towards the rear (especially since the seating was not elevated, and my 5 year old had to basically stand on his chair to see anything) but alas, the screens were mostly used to put static colourful imagery on display similar to the stage lighting, save for the final act where it was used to play a video to introduce the illusion and attempt to make people think it was a really super dangerous stunt.

For me - if you have to resort to a pre-recorded intro piece to present your headline illusion instead of doing it on stage and in person, give up. Safe to say I was not a fan of the Cosentino show.

This wasn't helped by the fact that post-show, he and his entourage headed out into the park going on the rides. Now sure, VIPs get the treatment, and its one of the perks of being a 'celebrity' and every park the world over does it - but this guy had about 12 people doing the rounds with him, and they were being front-lined on every attraction - including attractions he wasn't even riding on. I absolutely acknowledge the park's right to do this for a VIP and it likely is just a case of sour grapes and having a sook, but thats my feelings on it and i'm just expressing them - it isn't really much different to Ride Express in a way, so... *shrug*... maybe we just lucked out following the same route his entourage did. 

It rained a fair bit between about 3-5. We got a few kids rides in and wandered the park, stopped at the tigers and everything was fairly pleasant. I saw a staff member - pretty clearly and executive \ supervisor walking the park stop and pick up a fair bit of trash around tiger island, and it occurred to me that it was a fairly rare thing to see, in my experience, so Kudos to them for leading from the front.

Taipan went down for a short while - not sure if it was just the rain or whether they were having other problems, and they did have a maintenance guy on station with a ladder, but i don't know. I finally got to ride it later on, getting somewhere around the middle of the train. The harness system was interesting - needing the RFID tag to confirm the seatbelt insert was new to me, but despite the seat being practically the same as Rivals, it was a far more comfortable harness fit. Operations were efficient, but not with any particular urgency - I did notice and enjoy the fact that the load gates seemed to be opened earlier while folks were still unloading, and for me this small efficiency sped things up for the cycle time which I appreciated. 

I've never done a blue fire clone. The first launch was calm, the reverse launch was quite something to make you sit up and take notice and the final launch topped it off nicely. The ride experience was enjoyable, but didn't feel 'balls to the wall stupidly intense' like on Rivals. the first half was just "fun" with the second half increasing the intensity with the last roll before the brake run hitting the peak thrills right at the end. I honestly would have loved to have seen about another 50% more circuit after that final roll, but for what it is, it was a really nice, fun ride, that doesn't require you to take a few moments at the end to concentrate on trying to breathe again and i'd give it a solid 7/10 every day.

I did another two cycles that afternoon - both spinning, first with a friend and second by myself.  With a friend, the spinning seat is an upgrade (as you'd expect) and elevates a fun moderate thrill into a fun high thrill. Definitely have a weight difference between riders to experience this the best though as I watched another group of riders who were all fairly evenly matched not get much spin at all as they were too close to evenly weighted. I'd give spinning with a friend a solid 9/10

Going solo however, that is the real experience. Solo spin hands down is for me the most insane thrill on the coast. Compared to my first spinner, the mid-course platform was chalk and cheese - a couple of slow rotations as the train passed over it versus Zipper-Ride-level intense spins and the amount of spin you get through some elements was just crazy. I'd put solo-spin in my top 5, but I don't think it tops the likes of Tatsu or X2, and my favourite all time is still gonna be Space Mountain - but i'll give it a 9+/10.

We didn't do much else because of the weather. Tried the fried chicken pieces at kenny's (had wanted the schnitzel, but stupidly the menu confused us and we ended up with pieces) and they weren't bad. Not KFC flavour, but definitely less greasy. Red Rooster does fried chicken now and i'd rate it above their efforts, so somewhere between RR and KFC isn't a bad place to be. We didn't finish the serving, which was generous, but I would have liked something fresh - like the coleslaw that comes with the schnitty - to be on the plate with the pieces just to help cut the grease a bit. Service was fast and blessedly clear of the flies that always plagued the pizzas. Beer was cold and wet and that's a good start.

We hung around for the fireworks. Taking the opportunity just before 7 I joined the Taipan line while we waited. The crew started spieling at about 7:10 that the ride must be shut down by 7:30 for fireworks safety, which is understandable if you're in the fallout zone, but considering the exit ramp for the ride is the closest to the exclusion zone and people were standing there to watch the show, I feel like they could have done this better to permit rides to continue to operate like other parks i've seen do. (Giant Drop during the fireworks would have been lit.) Putting that aside, If it wasn't possible to operate during the show, I feel like there could have been a better system to manage the queue (or the queue should have been clearly signposted as closing at 7pm, and a staff member posted at the entrance to enforce this) - Had they done so, they would have cleared their queues with time to spare and not had to disappoint a load of folks who had entered the queue more than 30 minutes before 'closing time'. Most parks i've been to keep rides running until the queues are cleared. Even if they couldn't run during the fireworks, it would have been good guest relations to guarantee everyone in the queue a ride, and run it a few times post-fireworks to clear it out. For a lot of people there, including someone I saw who had a Tailwhip wristband sold to them who was unable to use it (and based on the shop being closed post-fireworks, i'm not sure if they were able to get it refunded), it was a poor ending to a wet but otherwise enjoyable afternoon. It possibly might have contributed in some small way to reducing the congestion at the carpark as the entire park emptied out in one go.

I thought the fireworks were a nice touch. Little dude got to see his first big fireworks display in the flesh and loved it. The old-school dreamworld Jingle was an awesome touch and the accompanying music  plussed the show instead of just 'boom, bang, ooh ahh'. I'd love to see the park do this more often, but with better thought put into how they manage rides and queues, exclusion zones and the like. 

 

We didn't do a lot - as I said at the start, mainly it was for fireworks, cosentino and taipan, and I feel overall like we had a good day. Room for improvement, certainly, but it was a much nicer experience than on my last visit more than a year ago. We bought the experienceOZ passes when they were on special a while back, and while we're glad we bought them, and enjoyed our day, we probably - even in retrospect - wouldn't have paid full price for passes at this stage, but can definitely see the park's trajectory has reversed and things are looking up. I'm keen to see what they make of this in the next 12-18 months, and really hope they don't rest on their laurels.

 

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In regards to Cosentino, I didn’t see it myself but I heard similar comments from a few other people too. They’ve got two wiggles shows this Wednesday and in the past they’ve been outside and chaotic. This time they are in the exhibition centre and imagine they will be even more chaotic if the Cosentino shows are anything to go by 

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Shame to hear the consentino show was poor. I obviously haven’t seen this iteration but I was pretty happy with his first holiday appearances a couple of years back. Still think the weirdness and energy of the Fun House show presented by Strut & Fret was by far their best offering since the exhibition centre has been used. 

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3 hours ago, themagician said:

This time they are in the exhibition centre

I mean, if you've got a venue like that, i can't fault you for using it - but it screams irresponsible at a time when 'indoor' exposure is such a much higher risk than outdoor.

You need the controlled environment for magic - open air stages would be far better for wiggles, IMO.

9 minutes ago, Brad2912 said:

Shame to hear the consentino show was poor. I obviously haven’t seen this iteration but I was pretty happy with his first holiday appearances a couple of years back. Still think the weirdness and energy of the Fun House show presented by Strut & Fret was by far their best offering since the exhibition centre has been used. 

Talking to a few folks since seeing the show and i think a lot of it comes down to his stage presence. I think a magic\illusion show would be a great fit for Dreamworld but it needs a more permanent home with someone a bit better at improv. Temporary stages and non-bespoke venues and facilities make it hard to do great things. It can be done but you're limited in what you can achieve outside of a residency. 

I saw someone on Dreamworld's socials tag Tony Laffan and he seemed keen \ open to the idea, So clearly he's still in the game and that would be another 'full circle' tribute to Dreamworld's history too - but I think some sort of immersive stage show would be good and a magic show has repeatability and is easily updated by switching out single illusions whilst keeping the overall show tight.

Hopefully the park sees the positivity and goodwill of Cosentino's show as a good direction to head on a permanent basis.

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Dont most rides with finnicky restraints have a greeter?

One thing I noticed is that the back restraint doesn't turn 90 degrees out of the way anymore, it stays horizontal.

 

Also, did anyone else know Intamin have finally sold another Motorbike coaster....To Fuji Q 😏

Image

https://youtu.be/asQJfn_XStM

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1 hour ago, Gazza said:

Dont most rides with finnicky restraints have a greeter?

One thing I noticed is that the back restraint doesn't turn 90 degrees out of the way anymore, it stays horizontal.

 

Also, did anyone else know Intamin have finally sold another Motorbike coaster....To Fuji Q 😏

Image

https://youtu.be/asQJfn_XStM

To be fair this looks like the ride MDMC SHOULD have been!! This looks like Jetski coaster on steroids!! I reckon this will be a hit and a great coaster- just looking at the video it shits all over MDMC. This ride looks like it has serious potential for fun!

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15 hours ago, themagician said:

@DaptoFunlandGuy thoughts on all the nostalgia brought back for making memories event while you were at the park?

Didn't really pay much attention. Noticed little puff next to SV, saw the Baldwin on our way to MDMC. I was too preoccupied with how nice the level crossing looked without the stupid pool fencing and TOT tunnel over top to be honest. 

I think it's nice they've tried to bring back some of the memories of olde to tug on those ageing heartstrings of folks who remember the park like it once was - but it screams 'done as cheaply as possible' right down to the corflute sign for Kenny's Chick'n Wings (which was, I might point out, absent any 'wings' on the menu - you could order schnitzels, salad, chips and slaw, kids meal and fried chicken pieces, and while you could get a (single) wing in those meals, you couldn't just order a 'serve' of wings. 

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Im up visiting from Melbourne and haven’t been to dreamworld in probably 5 years. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was today we walked on to steel taipan many times, I don’t think we waited more than 15 mins for any ride. Is attendance still down because of what happened with the rapids or did I just happen to go on a quiet day? It was a bit sad to see honestly. From what I’ve been reading movie world has had ridiculous wait times and alot of the main rides down for unexpected maintenance so thought dreamworld would have been busy as well. 

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I mean you can't shrink the park and think people won't notice. I've been saying it for a long time, 1 coaster isn't going to do it. They need a sugar hit of new shit. It'll be interesting to see if Ardent have the stomach for it after this year.

 

One thing I would say though is WnW is down this year, mostly due to weather, but I'd say this is true at WWW too. To what extent is the fairly empty car park at DW down to WWW doing shit and DW doing OK? Like ok they don't have 10,000, but they might have gone from say 3,500 days to 4,500 days? I think 'its quiet' is missing some context. How are they going compared to Xmas '16, '17, '18 & '19?

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Yeah, last January was pre-delta outbreak and most folks were able to move about a bit more as things started to open up. (QLD did have a minor outbreak in mid January but it didn't last long)

Fast forward to now with everything open to vaxxed folk, but Omicron proving far more transmissible, it seems a lot of people aren't willing to risk it. The fact they've postponed school returning until the younger kids can be jabbed up says a lot.

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On 11/01/2022 at 7:13 AM, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

Didn't really pay much attention. Noticed little puff next to SV, saw the Baldwin on our way to MDMC. I was too preoccupied with how nice the level crossing looked without the stupid pool fencing and TOT tunnel over top to be honest. 

I think it's nice they've tried to bring back some of the memories of olde to tug on those ageing heartstrings of folks who remember the park like it once was - but it screams 'done as cheaply as possible' right down to the corflute sign for Kenny's Chick'n Wings (which was, I might point out, absent any 'wings' on the menu - you could order schnitzels, salad, chips and slaw, kids meal and fried chicken pieces, and while you could get a (single) wing in those meals, you couldn't just order a 'serve' of wings. 

Hi, new here but the question about nostalgia caught me. I'm a Brisbane local, so have grown up around DW since the mid-80's. I love DW but for goodness sake I wonder what muppets are running this place.

I saw the TV ads this season promoting nostalgia, and thought "what nostalgia?".  Almost every ride and attraction from the 80s and 90s no longer exists, let alone most original attractions.  I was gobbed smacked that the Model T's are still there (and still a hit with every little kid).

And let me get right to my latest grudge: the Sky Voyager.  Awesome ride, bloody terrible building.  Main Street (if that's what it's called?) looks great and well maintained with it old-timey colourful architecture that sets you in different time and world upon entry.  Thank goodness they haven't destroyed that.  Well...except now that the old IMAX is now a 21st century modern building standing out like some alternate universe has mashed itself into the space.  Like, what the hell were they thinking??  Surely it wouldn't taken much thought and imagination to see how it breaks the theming of that space in a major way?  I sat enjoying lunch at Kenny's with a beautiful view of Main St, and the festive music playing in the background, taking in the atmosphere....while also wondering if I'm in a Dr Who episode with that bulding being there. 

It just stumps me that much that they chose that building design.  I mean, they didn't even need to create a theme - they just had to stick to the one already there.  It also left me wondering whether it's a sign that Main St will also either be changed into some other design (losing even more nostalgia), or whether they're that hopeless at theming a theme park, that it'll end up as another mash-up of nothingness.

I'll pay credit to the DreamWorks section and Tiger Island as both being well themed.

But my point here is nostalgia, and the lack of it.  I desperately wish there was much more of it.  I feel like from the 90s, with Gold Rush Country (RIP Log ride and Mine ride), they had a really good canvas to just keep enhancing.  Like Disneyland.

Am I wrong?

 

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34 minutes ago, joz said:

Was DW busy in 2019 or was WWW busy? I wonder if from the highway it looks quieter than previous years because of lighter attendance at WWW. 

both parks were equally busy hence why it went into the overflow carpark, pretty sure that’s the year i remember BuzzSaw even having a long line

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2 hours ago, Welshy said:

And let me get right to my latest grudge: the Sky Voyager.  Awesome ride, bloody terrible building.  

Look i'm sure most of us will agree with you about the facade not fitting the location or any of the surrounding theming - however, although a recent addition, I think its fair to say that the folks who made that decision are no longer in charge of making those decisions.

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11 hours ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

The fact they've postponed school returning until the younger kids can be jabbed up says a lot.

It’s more to allow time for schools and the edu dept to adequately find a way to fill the 3,000 odd teachers, assistants and admin staff roles that have been lost due to vax mandates. My son’s school has over 30% of the teaching faculty not returning, that’s not even including those in the admin functions, and it’s similar at surrounding schools. It’s also due to the fact those first 2 weeks of school were to be the predicted “peak” in Qld, which is already happening in nsw and vic. 
 

 

@Park Addict 93 what are you concerned about being improbable? 

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