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Greg Yong Article from GCB


Brad2912
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Looks promising. A repaint & lighting fixture of GD would be a grand “beacon” for DW. 
 

Any guesses on what may fill the “world class family ride” spot? 
 

- Coaster? 
- Flat? 
- Motion based dark ride? 
 

I’m hoping for a MBDR, but my next question would be where this attraction would be going. 

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i don’t know how likely it is but something like Wonder Mountains Guardian would be really cool to see, place it in the RHLR plot of land and theme it around saving the Australia Wildlife or something like that  which would have a connecting plot to the Corroboree area.

If not in the RHLR area i could see it being in the old Big Red Car area (with a different theme and maybe ride type) and leave the RHLR area free for the parks next big coaster 

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3 hours ago, Rivals said:

i don’t know how likely it is but something like Wonder Mountains Guardian would be really cool to see, place it in the RHLR plot of land and theme it around saving the Australia Wildlife or something like that  which would have a connecting plot to the Corroboree area.

If not in the RHLR area i could see it being in the old Big Red Car area (with a different theme and maybe ride type) and leave the RHLR area free for the parks next big coaster 

A shoot the chutes (such as this) is probably my first guess and is really the only water ride in that category which Dreamworld could build. A perfect way to one-up Movie World's plans would be to put something like this in, or building a decent spinning coaster.

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8 hours ago, Rivals said:

a lot of the ‘shoot the chutes’ water rides are currently being removed and i’m pretty sure they aren’t made anymore. I wouldn’t mind a Mack Water Coaster but they’d have to make sure it’s different enough (and better) then storm.

Nah they are still being built, still listed by Whitewater West and Intamin on their sites. Generally water rides (flumes etc) are being removed everywhere because they are a huge effort and cost so much to maintain as they age (such as WWF) and so many of them just don't have the ridership to make it worth operating as water parks usually exist as a separate gate. Though the dynamics here are slightly different, Rapids and Vikings always had a decent line back in the day and WWF usually gets a good line.

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Honestly, one of the best things for dreamworld to happen after the tragedy is to get Greg from village. Not just him, but quite a few of his team that worked with him too. He is someone with a real history of managing people and he understands that theme parks arent all about rides. Its the experiences people remember decades later. Be good to see what ideas he can develop without having others hovering over him.

Tapping into the nostalgia is a smart move when the public is routinely saying the parks arent what they used to be. Bringing back some of the personality that made each park unique could work very well. Its something i think ardent and village are both guilty of, destroying their heritage for the sake of new toys.

They have all been streamrolled and turned into a big lifeless retail outlet designed to squeeze the last dollar out of you at absolute minimum running cost.

Pretty much the only reason to stay at a park for a full day now is because of the queue times. 

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7 hours ago, Levithian said:

Tapping into the nostalgia is a smart move when the public is routinely saying the parks arent what they used to be

This is about the most backwards thing I have ever heard anyone say. 'Remember how good the place used to be' is a terrible strategy. I didn't like SW doing it this year, so it's not a village v ardent thing which people still can't get out of their heads, but DW's nostalgia campaign is a big 'miss' to me.

 

DW trying to be nostalgic at a time when they're trying to launch the future is just a fatally flawed concept. If I ask 100 people what's the first thing you think about when you think about DW's history, I reckon roughly 100 people will say either something about the rapids ride, or how good it used to be and how shit it is now. Why in the hell would you want to put that thought in people's mind?  

 

They also brought back elements that while nostalgic, have no thematic link to the park. Barbershop quartet is great example of that. When they originally used to get around the park, main street was turn of the century themed, with horse drawn carriages and very few things to break that immersion. Now main street is a hodgepodge with SV, Claw and the foot court all breaking the turn of the century vibe. Putting a quartet into that is nostalgic, but thematically it makes no sense.

 

Same thing is true of Bushrangers. There is no old world themeing at DW any more, Bushrangers have nothing to do with DW. It doesn't make sense having bushrangers. It would be like if SW had someone who was playing a character from Lassiter's Lost Mine. You'd see it and just go 'Errr what in the hell is that about?'

 

I like Greg fine, and I think he has had some decent enough ideas. Getting ST was a great move at the time they did it, I think with what happened to the world since then it's probably not worked out how you would think, but you can't blame that on them. There are things I disagree with in a passionate way, and sometimes see them doing things and have to actively remind myself that some of the stupid crap they're doing is the theme park equivelant of amputating gangrenous limbs to keep the rest alive.

 

As far as a family ride goes, yeah plus one to a shoot the chutes ride in Ocean Parade, ideally with the drop looking straight down the guts of the land as a big weenie. Nothing fancy, no elevator lifts, no attempt at a story, just a well presented tropical shoot the chutes with a proper big splash. A year or two after that a small but thrilling coaster to replace RHLR, throw in some sort of Bluey attraction and whatever other improvements you want to make along the way and you have a half decent park again.

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I'm going to disagree (shock horror) but I have a simple point to counter here.

Pretty much all I hear from folks who knew 'old dreamworld' is 'it's not as ______ as it used to be'. And its true. We know that. Like you said - gangrenous limbs and all that. Folks are getting nostalgic for old dreamworld because current dreamworld has its share of problems. We also know that they can't wave a magic wand and replace everything tomorrow.

Rebuilding the brand, and the lineup, takes time. Adding some simple entertainment elements that people see and go

"oh my gosh, remember when we visited and those barbershop guys sang to mum \ sister \ whatever? oh those were the days"

Like any player of RCT will tell you - if you can't afford to fix the problems right away - hire some entertainers to distract the guests.

I agree that thematically these entertainment options and nostalgic things don't fit anymore with the current dreamworld, but it is a 'dream' world, and since anything can happen in a dream its not that far out of the question, right? I don't see some of these things continuing on, but for now, for their 40th birthday celebrations and as a gap filler this year until the next thing arrives to start plugging the holes, i'm ok with that offering to distract the guests for the time being...

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I honestly sit somewhere between the two of you. 

I think tapping into history is fine. All the major parks are doing it and it's just the in thing at the moment. Retro is chic and I don't blame people for welcoming a little nostalgia into their lives considering that things in recent years have been fairly universally dreadful. And frankly, what park on the GC isn't a shadow of it's former self? 

But again, the implication is that they're just tapping into it, not making it their entire identity, or at least I hope so because as it's not the direction that the park needs moving forward. 

9 hours ago, joz said:

DW trying to be nostalgic at a time when they're trying to launch the future is just a fatally flawed concept. If I ask 100 people what's the first thing you think about when you think about DW's history, I reckon roughly 100 people will say either something about the rapids ride, or how good it used to be and how shit it is now.

I honestly think this is true for you, and please don't see this as me saying you're wrong, but I think this also has to do with the people you're surrounded by. In NSW the discussion of the Dreamworld incident was fairly minimal and most people see it as a tragic stain on the park's history considering that very few people care to delve into the specifics of the incident beyond headlines. This even came up in conversation on the weekend with some friends and family where they were only concerned whether the TRRR had been demolished. Once I told them that it was demolished they all seemed relieved and appeared to have no issue with visiting the park.

9 hours ago, joz said:

Same thing is true of Bushrangers. There is no old world themeing at DW any more, Bushrangers have nothing to do with DW. It doesn't make sense having bushrangers. It would be like if SW had someone who was playing a character from Lassiter's Lost Mine. You'd see it and just go 'Errr what in the hell is that about?'

The actor's they have hired for the bushrangers are good fun. Sure, they barely fit in, but that didn't stop them from bolstering the atmosphere. Thematic consistency is barely relevant on the Gold Coast so I don't really see this as a problem. If it doesn't detract from the experience then I have no issue with it. 

1 hour ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

Like any player of RCT will tell you - if you can't afford to fix the problems right away - hire some entertainers to distract the guests.

Thank goodness they have the Hotdog Stand to match their RCT philosophies. 

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39 minutes ago, Gazza said:

Whitewater World 😍

Which is open 3 days a week and doesn't even get advertised in its own right.

received_4884528404996586.thumb.jpeg.70134e57ed87cd603975207e863c3bae.jpeg

 

I do accept that I am in a bit of a theme park bubble, but in my experience, talking to people outside the bubble is where the sentiment seems to be the most harsh. Personal testimony is the least compelling type of evidence to me, so I'm happy to write off the people I've interacted with as not indicative. Also when I do talk to people don't reveal my interest in theme parks, so when it does come up, they are more honest than they might be knowing parks is an interest. The trade off for that though is the conversation doesn't come up often so the sample size is much smaller for me, so that might be a part of it too.

 

Pursuing that thought though, the next thing you ask 'well what about attendance over summer?'. DW threw a lot at this summer season, and it really didn't come off. I also say that in the context of knowing all the parks had a crappy summer, I know a big covid outbreak happened which prevented them hitting any particular heights. But with a new ride and how much effort they put in, DW more than any other surprised me with how poor attendance was. Either the marketing message was off, they have a poor reputation on account of how they have shrunk, or the past still lingers. Maybe it's none of those things, maybe it's a combination  of all of those things. What I do know though is I wouldn't invite comparision to the past when the park was much better then, and the park's past also predominantly features *that*.

 

Also all the other parks are doing it is not an argument for why you should. If anything it's an argument for why you should not. I mean it's the 3rd nostalgia based theme park campaign in 6 months.

 

The other parks aaren't also trying to reinvent themselves at this exact moment and aren't launching one of the biggest roller coasters the Gold Coast has ever seen (one of them should be, but that's a whole other story). Again, that's not that I hate the whole campaign and everything they're doing, none of this is stuff I would have bothered to bring up on its own, except for in response to someone saying how gosh darn smart it was.

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I'm not calling you out @joz, I just think that it's possible that more then one person can be right in this conversation. 

Regarding summer attendance, what are you basing that off? Again, not calling you out, just curious. I don't know how any park did apart from what you mentioned about how attendance across the board was generally low but has Ardent or Dreamworld released any indicators that said that their season was a failure?

I agree that just because everybody is doing it doesn't mean you have to, that's what got the industry into this mess in the first place with it's race to the bottom, but it is compelling for them if the market demands such a thing. Retro seems to sell at the moment so I think it's worthwhile to try then to not try at all. 

Dreamworld continues to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they do nothing then they get called out, and if they try they get called out. There is no yellow brick road for them to follow guided by a fairy, they just need to throw things at a wall and see what sticks. As it's been reiterated many times by others, they can't look over their shoulder to see what the rest of the world is doing because we are a different market with different expectations, and unfortunately there is no 'Recovering from the TRRR Disaster: For Dummies' handbook. 

Honestly, I feel they're in a similar spot to the Disney fandom at the moment. There is a subgroup of fans that sit on the sideline lurking for problems and salivate when the company does anything that isn't immediately spectacular. These individuals usually appear to be long-term fans of the parks that in some way or another feel 'left behind' from the experience, and I think this exists within the Aussie community as well. 

Do I know what's best for the park? Nope. Genuinely, I don't think anybody does, and I don't envy those who have to wade through muddy waters to hopefully emerge at the other side of the rapids (pun intended).

I think we can all agree that there are decisions that we have hated and we can fight about them until the cows come home, but the fact that the park even exists today is commendable in my eyes. Ardent could have gone 'haha. oops' and shut up shop, selling off the park/land to make a quick buck and yeeted out of the theme park business, but instead they continue to troop forward despite everything working against them. One can argue that they're brave, and another can argue that they're stupid. Ultimately, they're probably both right, but you can't argue that they haven't been resilient. 

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I've been at pains to say that I give them a pass on things disagree with right now because I understand the broader context. You just don't get to do all the things and have them be amazing. There's always compromises to be made, and right now they have to make more than normal because; of course they do.

 

I can also confirm that some of my thoughts on what they should do would have been almost totally wrong. Hindsight, it turns out, is quite a good thing to have on your side when making and evaluating decisions, and I'm blessed to have had that on my side when talking about what DW have been doing.

 

I also tend to not have too much issue with what the park does, and I tend to spend more time taking issue with people who say how amazing mediocre stuff is rather than just going off on my own and talking about the park. For example, I wouldn't feel the need to comment on their busstop in Brisbane if people weren't carrying on about how great it was. ST shows little imagination, but I'm totally fine until there's pages dedicated to how amazing the area is. And again here, I didn't have anything to say about the nostalgia campaign until the comment was made about how smart it was.

 

As for 'aren't they great for not selling', from the analysis I read that has more to do with not getting the price they wanted than it does about their resilience and dedication to the park.

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39 minutes ago, joz said:

I didn't have anything to say about the nostalgia campaign until the comment was made about how smart it was.

Acknowledging of course that you don't think it is a smart move, I think it is, if only for the fact that its a clever distraction.

On 23/02/2022 at 7:31 AM, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

as a gap filler this year until the next thing arrives to start plugging the holes, i'm ok with that offering to distract the guests for the time being...

Long term, tapping into nostalgia and doing all the old shit is plain dumb. But distracting folks while you try to literally lay the train tracks in front of them, for now, is smart... in my opinion.

(And just to add to that, I don't think some barbershop singers and a steam train display are going to make people think of rapids. so long as they don't put a raft in the middle of the main street fountain, I think they'll be ok for now.)

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46 minutes ago, joz said:

I tend to spend more time taking issue with people who say how amazing mediocre stuff is rather than just going off on my own and talking about the park. For example, I wouldn't feel the need to comment on their busstop in Brisbane if people weren't carrying on about how great it was. ST shows little imagination, but I'm totally fine until there's pages dedicated to how amazing the area is. And again here, I didn't have anything to say about the nostalgia campaign until the comment was made about how smart it was.

I appreciate the honesty, but that genuinely sounds exhausting. People are going to have personal opinions and there is no right or wrong when things are subjective. If people enjoy something then that's fine, and if they don't that is also fine. 

It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently in regards to the Gold Coast theme parks metanarrative that takes place on here, especially after I posted my trip report the other week. That narrative seems to be that Movie World is good, Sea World is okay and Dreamworld is bad. I felt like I did something wrong for enjoying the parks I did and disliking the ones that I didn't. I was even told by somebody that the only reason I liked Dreamworld was because of the company I surrounded myself with which was abhorrently invalidating.

The reality of that conversation was that everybody was right in their own since, including myself, and that's great! Opinions are good and should be shared! The more diverse this community, the better. But when people try to undermine opinions within a niche where it is impossible to objectively quantify the 'best', then there is just going to be hurt feelings, and nobody everybody has the thick skin to put up with it. 

Lossy-page1-6940px-Lord Rosse's Great Reflecting Telescope, at Parsonstown, Ireland RMG F8661 (cropped).jpg

Above is the Leviathan of Parsonstown, one of the largest telescopes ever created during its time. Before this was created, the astronomy community could identify three objects in their telescopes which were basically stars, planets and 'smudges'. Now they had no idea what these smudges were, but there were theories, and the community fought constantly over this. One side argued that the 'smudges' were vast collections of stars which tightly compacted together, and the others argued that they were collections of space dust that floated freely as remnants of the universe's creation. 

The infighting was incredible, and they fought all through the telescope's construction until they were able to peer through it and see who was right... but they discovered that they were both right. The smudges were both collections of stars (galaxies) and free floating space dust (nebulas).

It was a lesson to the community that often within a discussion there is more then one right answer, and just because you believe yourself to be right doesn't immediately invalidate every other person offering differing ideas or opinions. Movie World can be great, but it can also be bad. Equally Dreamworld can be bad, but it can also be great. All are right, and nobody is wrong.

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I mean you like what you like and that's up to you. The issue you probably ran into is people knew what your opinion was going to be before they opened the thread, so it's hard not to take it to task. That doesn't mean that everything was automatically invalid BTW, but there were multiple things in what you said where it read like you made your mind up on what your opinion was going to be before you'd set foot in the park. In to response to what I've said above, you'll say you didn't and I'll believe you, but just between us talking respectfully as grown ups, I think acting, totally above it and 'isn't it a shame that people are so fragmented' is a touch disingenuous.

 

Full disclosure, I'm not a member of the DW fanclub on here, nor a member of the village fanclub. I think both have good things and both have bad things. I don't think the good and bad is distributed evenly so I'll call out as I see fit. I think there are people (on both 'sides', more so on one than the other) who justify liking something by bagging something else. I probably come across harsher on DW that my real life opinion because I think the pro DW camp have been talking absolute rubbish for a little while. That's my bias and I could objectively defend it, but honestly who cares?

 

How people respond to all that is up to them. My gut tells me that people will try and use it as some sort of 'gotcha' moment or say 'Yeah you're right joz but parkz, drove me to it'. It'll be very interesting to me if people acknowledge even for a moment their own bias and how that guides them on here.

 

Anyway, shoot the chutes!

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Honestly, I think that's fair. I know that I've got the reputation on here as a Dreamworld shill, so I need to expect that my posts will probably rile up some feathers before certain people even enter. I'm not above the discourse, but I'm constantly trying to improve and take on others opinions.

I'm happy to acknowledge my biases and what guides me. As somebody who works in marketing, I absolutely despise being told how to feel. Present me with a product and tell me the features, sure! I don't have a problem with that at all. But if you tell me what to think about something then I'll immediately become extremely skeptical of it. 

This is why I have problems with VRTPs marketing practices. From DC Rivals inception they called it 'the greatest coaster ever built.', Leviathan is touted as 'the world's greatest family rollercoaster', Movie World's homepage has 'Australia's #1 Theme Park' and Sea World has 'Australia's #1 Marine Park.' Couple that with their constant need to call everything world class, they consistently overpromise and underdeliver. This is fine and is widely known as 'puffery', but it drives me up the wall because it implies that I'm an idiot who can't think for their themself. That is my own bias. 

So you are right, I'm happy to admit that I did go in with biases on my mind thanks to their marketing, but when I'm constantly being told that something is the greatest and it turns out to just be okay then I get upset. I have similar problems to Disney at the moment where they're running around tooting their own horn that barely honks whilst saying its the best thing since sliced bread. 

I think that's why I enjoy Dreamworld. The park isn't telling me how to think and therefore I'm free to make up my own mind. 

Equally, it's why I get so frustrated when people tell me how to think on here. The classic 'I know that this thing is good because I have information you don't' equally is as frustrating to me because it's telling me to form an opinion without the necessary information to do so. 

Similarly to yourself, I don't love any of our parks, but I do like visiting them with friends. I used to love Sea World and it's where I got engaged, but that ship has sailed. I can argue and fight until the cows come home to try and improve the state of Australia's parks but I know nothing I say will or do will change anything. The best I can try to do is tell things I see them and relay with as little bias as I can. 

There's probably also the suspicion that I get kickbacks or some sort of privileges from Dreamworld because of how I talk about them, but rest assured that I get nothing from any parks. I've been ghosted by a majority of them from the largest to smallest. I pay the same ticket as everybody else and I get no special privileges. 

Anyway, Scenic World is the only place that has ever wanted to work with us so they're officially Australia's #1 Theme Park. Long live Orphan Rocker.

 

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I mean I made the point that people justfy what they like by bagging out other stuff, and I thank you for backing me up on that by going off on Village's marketing. I hate Village's marketing too, I've been banging that drum for years, but DW (Australia's favourite theme park according to their home page) doesn't do it any better or even differently. They refer to their lands as precints too, they don't have events they have 'activations'(cringe), the article that spurred this whole thing mentioned their new attraction will be 'World Class', and don't get me started on WWW losing its identity all together. I'm not the one saying I dislike DW because of their marketing either, but to act like it's a point of difference on why DW is better is a bit odd. I think in the last 2 years their marketing has taken on a decidedly Village turn and I don't think it's a turn for the better. I mean this whole conversation started because I said they shouldn't do nostalgia, and the response was 'but Village are doing it in their marketing'.

 

Also there is some common ground between us; Scenic World IS properly amazing. I haven't done any kind of collaboration with them, but I seriously rate that place, and everyone should go there. I think it's genuinely one of the best tourist attractions in the country, and a serious contender for THE best.

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