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What's gone wrong with SkyVoyager?


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DREAMWORLD staff have taken their first rides on the long-awaited Sky Voyager as the world-class gondola sits ready to launch for paying guests — although when that will happen is up in the air.

The ride is yet to be granted registration from the State Government, whose tough new laws on amusement park rides came into effect this week.

While Sky Voyager is fully operational, the park is still working on the internal training, testing and procedures required to commission it.

CEO John Osborne said the park was working with the regulator to have Sky Voyager registered, but would ensure the process was not rushed.

“I suppose in the eyes of our guests and people watching from the outside, it has been delayed,” he said.

“I think the expectation that it could open around Christmas was a bit ambitious.

“Clearly we’re making sure, as we always would, that every i is dotted and every t is crossed, so we’re going to the absolute nth degree to make sure that all of the training, commissioning and work required to open the ride is a new benchmark for the industry.”

A spokesman for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said it received a design registration application for a new ride from Dreamworld on November 7 last year.

The department said it was awaiting additional safety information, including a compliance check of components used in the ride, before it would issue the registration.

Mr Osborne has himself, as part of the commissioning process, ridden Sky Voyager so many times he’s lost count – and is certain it will be a turning point for Dreamworld.

“When you’re sitting on it, you feel as though you’re flying. It’s meant to be skydivers diving out of a plane and you go from landscape to landscape and lots of little thrills happen while you’re doing that,” he said.

“It stops with a really spectacular finale which I’ll have to let everybody see when they get there.

“When I’ve been on it, I literally forget about what’s going on in the rest of my day and for me that’s actually unusual from a personality point of view and with what I’m doing these days.”

Six months ago, John Osborne took on arguably the toughest turnaround in Australia, taking the reins of the battered Gold Coast icon, which has struggled to regain trust and visitors since the fatal failure of the Thunder River Rapids ride in 2016.

Coroner James McDougall is expected to hand down recommendations after his inquest into the deaths of Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi, and Cindy Low in coming months.

“We’ve undertaken to implement all the findings, in conjunction with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the theme park industry, and I just think that will be a really important next step for everybody,” Mr Osborne said of the inquest.

Ardent Leisure logged a $21.8 million loss for the first six months of the financial year as costs from the tragedy continued.

However, the company said it expected to return to positive cash flow in the next 12 months.

Mr Osborne said a focus and investment in safety and guest experience was bringing back the visitors and also benefiting the park’s 1000 local staff.

An injection of funds from parent group Ardent Leisure, which secured a $225 million refinance deal, will allow the park to make two major announcements before the end of the year.

“We’re scouring the world for the best manufacturers of thrill rides,” Mr Osborne said.

“What I can say is that the next big announcement will be of a world-class thrill ride.

“We’re looking at all of the options at the moment to land the best one.”

Beyond the next thrill rides, Mr Osborne is looking decades ahead.

The former casino boss is not ruling out a flutter in the gaming sector for the Coomera site.

“I think anything in the entertainment and leisure area is on the agenda but at the moment I think we’re way off being ready to do anything like that,” he said.

“ Five to 10 years from now, I see this site being the potential to be an absolutely world-class leisure precinct that includes a theme park with a lot of new and innovative rides, attractions and waterslides, a bigger and better animal display, hotel or accommodation that’s shorter-term in nature – either on our site or adjacent to our site.

“If you look at the development of theme parks around the world, they’ve moved into that space where they’ve become all-encompassing leisure precincts with all of that stuff in it as opposed to just theme park rides or a waterpark or a zoo.

“I think the time is right in Australia for someone to have a crack at that and if it’s going to be anybody, it should be us.”

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Scouring the globe for the best manufacturers shouldn’t be needed. There’s only a few of them if what you want is world class. He speaks like buying a coaster is like buying a bed for your hotel rooms, put the order in and they arrive in a week. If they haven’t even ordered something yet we’ll be waiting years 

Edited by Brad2912
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Here’s the thing. This is a self contained attraction of which they’ve built plenty.  You litterally bolt it to the floor of a provided building.  So this will entirely be Dreamworlds usual

Fixed it.

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There's your problem... @Slick ;)

Also yes, this article is pretty much word for word taken from a different article from weeks/months ago

In fact, I just did some digging and found the article that most of this was taken from here. If you can't access it because it's behind a paywall, here's a text version posted by @Brad2912 on May 3rd after the article went live, in this exact thread.

So yeah...

8 hours ago, pushbutton said:

It's just lazy journalism, but I doubt anyone here is surprised by that! 


 

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Whilst nothing to do with Sky Voyager, this is a  loosely related question.

Given that Dreamworld are having issues getting the certification rights to opening Sky Voyager and the new tighter safety laws in the wake of the TRR tragedy, I wonder if this issue is also affecting the opening of Aussie World's new 360 degree swinging pendulum ride, the SX360? 

This was supposed to open before Easter but the website still advertises it as coming soon. There have been social media reports of some people having got to ride it in some sort of soft opening , but since then, the park and news of the ride has gone very quiet. Has anyone else heard anything to the contrary or have updated news?

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It was strange the article said all DW needed to do was submit paperwork, but hasn’t. 

So what is so wrong with it that it can’t be certified? 

The fact that the CEO has openly stated that staff and himself have ridden it often, says it’s not a physical safety issue with the ride itself. 

So it has to be the building - be it emergency exit access, structure or the like. 

What I don’t understand is why they just don’t fix it? Is it too costly or major ? 

They know their reputation is taking a hit because of the delayed opening and they no every day it is delayed is another day lost in their recovery. 

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I have no inside knowledge of this, but they missed both the christmas and easter prime opening dates.

I don't see it as a wise move to open it in what is usually our 'off' season - they'd be better to soft open august and launch official operation in September, if all is ready.

No sense in letting off fireworks while the sun is out.

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16 minutes ago, Brad2912 said:

So it has to be the building - be it emergency exit access, structure or the like. 

I'm not so sure about this. Bulding faults would be easily rectified by local contractors.

 I'm just spitballing here but on the other hand if you bought a ride from a Taiwan company  that is unfamiliar with Australian standards and is ill-equipped to provide the right and complete documentation for every single part necessary then you could see how this would drag on at a time when the government has decided to start paying attention. 

And if they were decided to delay it until september for strategic reasons then I would think they would still rush to get it certified and would tell the public that it's all good to go and come up with a better excuse that doesn't make you look completely incompetent.

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4 hours ago, Jobe said:

Whilst nothing to do with Sky Voyager, this is a  loosely related question.

Given that Dreamworld are having issues getting the certification rights to opening Sky Voyager and the new tighter safety laws in the wake of the TRR tragedy, I wonder if this issue is also affecting the opening of Aussie World's new 360 degree swinging pendulum ride, the SX360? 

This was supposed to open before Easter but the website still advertises it as coming soon. There have been social media reports of some people having got to ride it in some sort of soft opening , but since then, the park and news of the ride has gone very quiet. Has anyone else heard anything to the contrary or have updated news?

Sx360 was finished construction before Christmas 2018 and just like sky voyager hasn’t opened, haven’t seen or heard any testing for the ride. I have called and emailed aussie world for months and they have no answers so I guess the new laws are having huge effect on getting new rides open to the public 

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2 hours ago, Rabbit2014 said:

Sx360 was finished construction before Christmas 2018 and just like sky voyager hasn’t opened, haven’t seen or heard any testing for the ride. I have called and emailed aussie world for months and they have no answers so I guess the new laws are having huge effect on getting new rides open to the public 

 

1 hour ago, MickeyD said:

If SW get their new ones open on schedule we will know that is just not the case..

Yeah its definitely strange. It could just be a coincidence that both rides have been stalled from opening when both are practically ready to launch but I think they may be somehow linked.  

It will be interesting indeed MickeyD to see how SeaWorld's new rides progress. The timelines for the new rides do not leave a lot of room for delay of any sort so it will be one to watch very closely.

I guess its going to be a bit of a race to see which attraction opens first- SX360 or Sky Voyager? My bet is on the former.......

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14 hours ago, MickeyD said:

If SW get their new ones open on schedule we will know that is just not the case..

I don't know - the DW and AW projects started prior to whatever new regulations or scrutiny came in, and probably caught them off guard. SW on the other hand has the benefit of DW and AW's experience, and has 6 months to figure out what other compliance obligations they have, and implement them during construction, rather than after completion.

I don't think an on-time delivery from SW should indicate the truth or otherwise of this speculation.

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Well I expect sky voyager will likely now open Boxing Day 2019 which should be around same time for SeaWorld first new ride to open. Gives dreamworld 7 months to get everything in order under new rules and regulations.

In the mean time hopefully dreamworld will use this time to announce there new ride/s for 2020/21, if they are going to build any new attractions.

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I think an entire year's delay is too much. A delay of a year is something that can happen for a prototype coaster, not an established ride system with several installations around the world. We're not on Mars. Gravity works the same in Brisbane as everywhere else. With the usual tweaking the ride system should operate the same as everywhere else, so there's no excuse for a year. Regulatory delays shouldn't need a year either.

If they don't open it by the September school holidays, they can kiss their asses goodbye.

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