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Richard

Movie Mania: battle of the movie parks

17 posts in this topic

This article is something I wrote about six months ago. Like so many of the articles I've written for Roller-Coaster.com.au, it never got published for one reason or another. It puts our Warner Bros. Movie World up against three other movie parks around the world: Universal Studios Hollywood & Orlando and Disney-MGM Studios. Read the article here: http://www.roller-coaster.com.au/article.php?aid=15 See the accompanying photo gallery: http://www.roller-coaster.com.au/gallery.php?gid=120 Enjoy. :)

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I've never been to any overseas parks(except for Euro Disney)but I can imagine that I'd feel the same way.MW is a good park but doesn't live up to US standards.

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Quite an interesting article that one. Hard to argue (even if I want to) with most of those points. Interesting that the main area where Movieworld seems to lag behind is not so much in the lack of quality, but keeping stuff in the park updated. Marvin the Martian is a great example of this. The only thing really bad about it is that it’s been there since 1997 and is now dwarfed by better (newer) stuff. The obvious next point though is that the stiff competition is really a driving force for the Universals and Disney parks to change stuff. I mean, Universal is in competition against Disney, and Disney is in a fight for total control of the market. They have to update to stay relevant. Movieworld on the other hand is competing with Dreamworld, and only Dreamworld. Not only that, but it has a couple of buddies that are there to help just in case Dreamworld does something really good. There is next to no real competition on the Gold Coast. At least not the sort that would inspire you to spend a great deal of money changing an attraction that is old, but still popular. Plus when the results are as successful as the Batman Adventure: The ride 2, then you could understand the park not feeling particularly keen on re-doing things. As the old saying goes, you can’t fix what isn’t broke. I agree about the crowd management thing. Even though there's still the problem of the area in front of Daily planet, at least the newer areas of the park (Principally the Wild West section and Looney Tunes Village) seem more able to handle bigger crowds. The Wild West section (is it a themed land or not?) is a pretty sizeable portion of open land, and hopefully even more land will be opened up with next year’s attraction (ideally the land between Batman and Lethal Weapon). Hopefully as well next year’s attraction will take over from Lethal Weapon as chief big thrill ride. Best of luck in getting something better the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror though.

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Richard,you should do an article to see which is our best park.I know you think Seaworld is the best, but I'm sure you could do a good article anyway.

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I dont think we do have a 'best' park. I think the one great thing about the Gold Coast parks is they are all different and all fill a particular segment of the market. Each of them have something different to offer. Whilst it may be possible to do a comparison of them I don't think is is posssible to get a quantatative answer as to which is the 'best' park of the 4. As another side matter. Richard in the article (which I thought was a great read when I read it yesterday) you mentioned none of the parks really measure up in the entertainment category on something of a broadway scale... I'm just interested to hear what your thoughts would have been had you included Aladdin at DCA in that article? From someone who works in the industry I can certainly say that show is professional class and would easily kick half the pro theatre shows we get down here. On top of that the theatre would easily top the biggest we have in Sydney...

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Movieworld is a very good park if you ask me, and they are doing a great job with deciding on what new rides to put in and when. And the new addition of Batwing will make it more spectacular! :D . A little bit of topic here, but I think Universal Studios Hollywood is not as good as Movieworld. Long story short, my friend went to America over the school holidays and on the first day of school gave me 2 park maps, Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. Being the little theme park freak I am, I cherished these items and thanked him all day. ^_^ . When i was looking at Universal Studios map, I noticed that they've only got one roller coaster: Revenge of the Mummy, The Ride. I know it's not Islands of Adventure but it's still a major theme park in California and more people seem to go there than the one in Florida. Here is the list of RIDES that are labelled on the map: 1. Special Effects Stages 2. Backdraft 3. Revenge of the Mummy 4. Jurrasic Park the ride 5. Terminator: 3D 6. Studio Tour 7. Shrek 4-D 8. Van Helsing - Fortress Dracula 9. Nick - Blast Zone Most of those are not really RIDES but special effects shows. Movieworld's got more Rides than special effects shows. List: 1. Superman Escape. 2. Batman adventure ride. 3. Shrek 4-D. 4. Scooby-Doo. 5. Lethal Weapon. 6. Road Runner. 7. Looney Tunes River ride. 8. Wild West falls 9. Looney tunes Village. (Universal's kids area is a Waterpark - WTF!! :huh: They don't even have a proper kids area. ) I don't know about you guys but I'll save the money and just do the Florida one. They have got all the attractions in the Hollywood Universal Studios and more. What are all you guys thoughts? CoasterBoy6

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Almost time I did a revised version of the article. The three attractions since it was written have very close to redefined the entire park. I would almost definitely agree that Universal Studios Hollywood isn't as good as our Movie World. It's a park that is quite literally within the Universal Studios frontlot and many of the attractions such as Backdraft or Mummy's Revenge are found in converted soundstages. This coupled with the incredibly hilly terrain it is found on has very much limited what they can do and how much they can expand. Universal Orlando however is very nearly the quintessential movie park.

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Personally I'd say never, to be realistic. I'm not being negative at all, but Australia has neither the population, nor the exchange rate to support a park the size or quality of Universal Studios Orlando or Disney-MGM Studios. These parks can afford to invest huge amounts into creative development and R&D that allows them to have such vastly unique and breathtaking rides. Movie World is a great park and does some cool things with off-the-shelf rides, but unless our attendance multiplies itself by about five, we're never going to have the edge of companies like Disney and Universal who are able to pour tens of millions into just developing concepts for rides - years before any signs of construction. They're easily one of the best in terms of ride quality in its attendance bracket, but when you consider that Disney-MGM and Universal Orlando get 9 and 6 million guests a year respectively, compared with Movie World's 1.3-1.5 million, you can see how there's always going to be a big difference between the parks.

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Movie World has done an absolutely outstanding job with the amount of money and resources they have at their disposal. I do think though that Universal Studios Hollywood is slightly (yes, only slightly) ahead of Movie World in terms of the park's organisation and overall guest experience. I still don't know why Movie World are using hand written signs to indicate wait times or why they don't have a more centralised park sound-system (that announces when major shows are starting etc.). It sounds small but they all add to the overall guest experience. Some of Movie World's policies are also a little ridiculous: no publishing of photos taken in the park and nothing in Superman riders' pockets. The exhaustive attraction v. attraction comparison does reveal that Movie World does have many attractions that are superior to those of Universal. We do have to remember though that it was Universal who designed the entire Shrek attraction. I also think that the Revenge of the Mummy attraction is quite a bit better than Scooby-Doo (for obvious budget reasons, but if we're comparing the parks directly then this is very relevant). The effects on Revenge of the Mummy are second only to Disney. The Revenge of the Mummy ride is also very complete, you’d have a hard time trying to find any part of the attraction that is left unthemed or that looks tacky. I do agree 100% though with Richard about the physical terrain of the park. The huge escalator gets boring after, say, the first time you've been on it. I think everyone will agree that Movie World are moving in the right direction and are slowly increasing their share of the ever growing tourism market (which Dreamworld once owned alone). Movie World is able to offer something for everyone, which is certainly a great asset to any theme park. They have also separated themselves from Dreamworld in terms of quality and guest experience and will hopefully continue to grow and expand well, well, well into the future. Best Australian park, ever! Ever!

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