downunder

Wet and Wild Sydney - Report Dec 2015

50 posts in this topic

Even though I'm a Sydney resident I went to Wet and Wild Sydney for the first time yesterday, went after work mainly because an out-of-town friend wanted to go. I rarely make incursions into western Sydney, except to play sport - I just don't live anywhere near there.

Didn't want to pay for a locker, so I went barefoot across the parking lot - which was torture, and obviously designed that way to force you to wear shoes, or thongs, and hence need a locker, at least decades of martial arts has made my feet tough. They could have had bitumen like a road, but they made it gravelly to maximise pain on bare feet.

Got to the gate with my twilight ticket, which they couldn't scan because the scanner wasn't working. So I had to wait 30 minutes in a queue, while some idiots changed their minds 50 times while getting their season pass processed - it took them that long to process 4 people.

Finally in the park, go up to the first slide as soon as we get to loading. Even though it's a perfectly sunny day, there must be lightning somewhere on the continent (it did come much later) so they closed everything. Wet and wild was leaving me dry and disheartened. After waiting a while in the bright sun, I went to guest services to complain about the debacle at the gate, they offered return tickets - I declined because I never want to go back to this little hellhole.

We waited and waited, and unexpectedly they opened the slides. We did all the slides in the tower closest to the highway, but when we got to 360 it broke down, so we tossed the back strap mats and grabbed some mats for the other slide down there. We did one slide in the southern corner past the food outlets, then went over to the other tower. Did the slide that gives you are butt raping with a cheese grater like surface, then went for another slide and just as we got to the top, closed due to lightning. We decided to leave - the best part of the day, driving out of there.

The slides weren't bad, but the place is a shambles still, even into it's third season. For starters, it's a sparse place, visually discouraging - virtually no shade. So much stuff was broken, poorly run - I'm glad I can say I've been there to say I've tried it, but I never want to go back again. I can only imagine how hellish this place is on a crowded day. All I can say is f*** you very much Dry and Distressful, you've created another voice to warn people away from this hellhole.

End rant.   

 

 

Edited by downunder

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Sounds like you made your mind up before even getting in the gate and the reviews was biased from that point on. 

 

You can't exactly bash the park for not wanting to have guests killed by lightning. 

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^The lightning part I was cool with, it was understandable, though the application of the closures was a tad inconsistent - and the timing was positively comical for us, just when e get to the top of the tower LOL.

I came with an open mind about the park, hoping for a good time, but I was unimpressed. Maybe it was just a bad day where a lot of things went wrong.

I'm hoping VRTP will build a companion amusement park, no idea f that would ever happen.

Edited by downunder

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Must have been a bad day as my visit was great. One of the first Sundays of the season and reasonable lines, didn't notice the lack of shade too much. Hired a locker so didn't notice the car park surface issue.

Only problem I encountered was being a single rider made one of the towers a bit difficult to go on due to two and three person tubes, all others were run as well as I would expect.

Mine was also a first time visit, went to the Gold Coast park a few days later and found I didn't enjoy it as much after visiting Sydney.

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I had a mate over from Perth who was keen to go after work, so it was the perfect opportunity to go as his company had provided him with a car and I could get a ride from Blacktown station. It definitely would be challenging on your own. Generally it wouldn't be practical for me to go, because I'd have to take a day off work to go there when the crowds are light, and after work isn't practical normally as it's impossible to get there from Blacktown station without a car, and driving there from home would take too long.

I don't go to a lot of water parks so I don't really have a benchmark (I'm usually pressed for time and amusement parks take priority), I've been to Gold Coast and a few American ones.

Having the three towers spread out made it seem sparse, I hope they add a lot more stuff.

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Have you seen some of the comments on their facebook page? There's A LOT of very bad ones. I mean sure, you're going to get complaints, but they seem to be getting A LOT.

Friends of mine went a few weeks ago and had similar comments regarding the dismal state of operations, lack of staff, slides closed, huge lines etc.

After reading so many bad reviews, I doubt I'll be heading out there this summer

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53 minutes ago, grrofunger said:

sounds like a very poorly managed park.

what the hell kind of decision is only opening 3:30pm to 8:00pm 

Sounds like a smart one to me. Working at Wonderland it was plain to see the 'dead zone' from around 1:30-3:30, where all the asian tour buses had left, as had the school excursion kids, and nothing picked up until after 3:30 when the afternoon passholder crowd dropped in for a couple of hours.

rather than open 10-5, when most people are at work, opening 3:30-8pm in the summertime in western sydney is the best way to maximise profits by being open at a time when people really want to come to a waterpark.

its a no brainer in my view.

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Ok so the stuff about 'They make the car park intentionally hot so you HAVE to buy a locker for your thongs' is one of the most mental theories I've ever heard about the place.  Also to call the place a hellhole when the only negative experience you had was a wait at the front entry due to, as you put it, guests changing their minds 50times, and closing the rides due to a lightning strike in the area is kind of mad.  

 

However, if they use the same lightning detection and follow the same guidelines in Sydney as they do on the Gold Coast, then I know how frustrating it is.  There are occasions when the edge of a storm that will completely miss the parks strays into the catchment area and close the parks down.  Unfortunately that's what the insurance industry has done to fun in this country, but that's kind of the way the world is now.

 

I've not been to Wet "n" Wild Sydney, so my input is of limited value, but I must say I've been fascinated by the way that park is run since it opened.  All the decisions they make are not customer friendly, from charging for parking (when there are piss all public transport options) to banning outside foods in an inconsistent manner (and then not having the capacity to serve all the people who now need to buy food), to not staffing all the rides consistently and not opening the whole of the lazy river to charging people to skip the lines. All their policies seem to have this subtle 'we hate you' quality about them.  Again, I haven't been, I could be totally wrong, but from reading the comments on their Facebook page the park certainly seems to give off that vibe.

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2 minutes ago, joz said:

Ok so the stuff about 'They make the car park intentionally hot so you HAVE to buy a locker for your thongs' is one of the most mental theories I've ever heard about the place.  Also to call the place a hellhole when the only negative experience you had was a wait at the front entry due to, as you put it, guests changing their minds 50times, and closing the rides due to a lightning strike in the area is kind of mad. 

Dude, I didn't say the car park was intentionally hot, that actually would be mental. My negative impression was based on far more than the front gate experience. Like I said before the lightning stoppages were understood, and I wouldn't consider any grounds for complaint, but after all the stuff I could complain about or dislike, mother nature had an extra kick in the nuts lined up.

As evidenced by the chorus of complaints from other customers, there's a lot wrong with this place.

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Ah you're right, you said about how it wasn't smooth, hence the need for shoes and a locker.  My mistake, but I believe my point remains.

 

But that aside, I'm genuinely curious what other experiences you had?  Like I said, I've not been, but I've read the feedback, and it's pretty uniformly scathing.  The only thing the park seems to have going for it is a good ride selection.

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17 minutes ago, downunder said:

I wouldn't say it's too far, though it's not a fun drive, it depends on why you have to drive. Driving that far for W n W is generally not worth it, but if they had something like Movie World out there, different story. I mean I had to drive further for training every Sunday morning last summer.

But again, WnW gets massive crowds, so people clearly do think its worth an hours drive from Brisbane for a water park experience.

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^^On a positive note, we drove out of there without paying for parking.

A bit like Six Flags at their worst the employees, for the most part, seemed smug and uninterested. The girl in guest services was genuine though. Scanners at the front broken, slides breaking down, slow loading times, lack of shade. The three slide complexes being so far apart means a barefoot concrete marathon, which would be murder when it's really hot - I was unclear about whether you could hold onto thongs when you go on a slide (i.e. wear thongs when walking between the slide complexes). The general vibe of the place is dull.

The slides were fun, though I don't have much of a comparison point. Probably the best ones I've been on are the water coaster at Kentucky Kingdom, the Proslide Tornadoes are great (love the drop), Six Flags Great America had some great slides.

^I'm probably not a good reference point for an average park goer, I'm quite jaded now - I've been to at least 140 parks around the world (134 with coasters). So it takes a lot more to convince me to go to a park (in W n W's case it was just because a friend wanted to go) - I mean I've been to Dreamworld once in the last 12 years.

I think I should do a report about October 2015, I went to many good parks that month. I even had a good day at Magic Mountain.

 

Edited by downunder

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Sound like your average day at a water park for me.

Having been to both WnWGC and WnWS a few times each, GC is far better for a nice day out, park operations are much smoother, probably because they've been doing it for years. Sydney is probably better in terms of the slides, but not by much, and apart from the slides/wave pool, there's not much else to do, especially in the form of relaxing, which is seemingly encouraged at WnWGC.

The atmosphere is lacking, they're in desperate need of more buildings and foliage. It's like a parking lot theme park but without the compensation of fun roller coasters. The third time I visited was one of the few times I've wanted to go home midway through the day at a theme park. That and when I rode Superman Escape a few too many times years ago and felt sick as a dog.

Also, not having a ride like Surf Rider is a real let down, easily the highlight of WnWGC for me, considering I don't see the big deal when it comes to water slides

I really want the park to do well to show that a fully-fledged amusement park would be viable in Sydney. As it stands, I'll probably visit once again this summer

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Thanks for this review. I think the points you've made are entirely legitimate and reasonable. The park's operations truly have been a disaster from day one. It should have been such a success story, and I, like many others on here, wanted it to be. But the management decisions all the way along have been abysmal to say the least.

I totally agree about the park being sparse - it feels like the Maloney's Corner of waterparks. They sent me a survey asking why I hadn't renewed my annual pass, and the complete lack of atmosphere/landscaping/theming was one of the reasons I put down. Then there are all the other operational issues, some you referred to, such as ridiculous operating hours and practically zero public transport. And yes, on a busy day, it is horrendous. You spend all day standing on the stairs and end up with very little left to talk to your friends about.

Edited by GoGoBoy

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Why does everyone keep talking about ridiculous operating hours?

 

I haven't seen anything yet to support that argument except for 'it's not open when I want it to be'.

Their operating schedules make sense. everything inside the park doesn't - but the schedule does.

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^I thought the hours were logically aligned to the twilight discount on the day I went. There wasn't a lot of people there when I went and I doubt there would have been numbers to justify opening all day.

What puzzles me is surely head office at VRTP would be giving this place some scrutiny and accountability. They seem separated from the rest of the group, like they are not really integrated into the themeparks.com.au website. Is the underlying corporate structure for W n W Sydney different to the other parks (like a joint venture)?

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1 hour ago, downunder said:

^I thought the hours were logically aligned to the twilight discount on the day I went. There wasn't a lot of people there when I went and I doubt there would have been numbers to justify opening all day.

What puzzles me is surely head office at VRTP would be giving this place some scrutiny and accountability. They seem separated from the rest of the group, like they are not really integrated into the themeparks.com.au website. Is the underlying corporate structure for W n W Sydney different to the other parks (like a joint venture)?

 

No, it's 100% Village Roadshow - no joint venture or separate structure. So no excuses! Re the operating hours - I think it's ridiculous to have a major water park such as this one only operating between 3.30pm and whatever it is on certain afternoons, especially as one of the biggest problems is the excessive queuing on the full days it is open (ie. weekends and school holidays). I have friends who are shift workers who never want to go back as they can't visit the park on a day during the week when there might otherwise be a chance to get on a slide without queuing up for an hour.

Edited by GoGoBoy

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