The Parkz Update: Dreamworld December 2012
Big Red Boat, Kung Fu Panda, Big Brother and much more in our biggest Parkz Update ever.
The exit building and last stop shop adjoining the main entrance at Dreamworld has recently been repainted green, matching in quite well.
And the weather is hot, so hot the geysers on Thunder River Rapids are on.
So hot we sat in the aircon for 12 minutes to see Robin Hood 4D
As for the film itself? The most gratuitious use of "things coming at you" and "bullet time" type effects in any park 3D film we've seen. But worth a look.
Time to leave the shade of main street and check out a new attraction
Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness
Dreamworld has recently opened the 3rd and final area of the Dreamworks Experience...The Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness.
"Welcome to the Valley" (The Valley of Peace)
This is the vista you are presented with as you first enter the area from the AVPX/Reef Diver end.
Some bits, such as this water feature are still being completed ahead of the areas "official" opening on boxing day.
Sign on gate: "Warriors Only".
The "Kung Fu Academy" was still being finished off at the time of our visit.
The play area features a few training devices, such as some boppy figurines kids can presumably kick and punch.
The dalek looking things on the left spun around a little bit to the left and right.
Parallel bars with a wavy padded balance beam in the middle.
There's a couple of Chinese drums set up by the entrance to the Academy.
Enjoy the area while it's quiet guys...Soon it'll be punctuated by the musical renderings of whatever 5 year that happens to spot the drums.
It's a cool looking area, but you totally get the vibe the park will close it or modify/remove stuff due to kids hurting themselves/each other.
This would literally be the perfect smoking area.
The land has several entrances. This sign marks the entry from Tiger Island.
Here's the orignal "Po's Garden" area that opened with the rest of the Dreamworks Experience 9 months ago.
The area has the vibe of a bustling chinese village, with lots of little shops and houses.
Cardbout cutout rabbits and pigs occupy the windows.
Some of the details follow a similar method to Arkham Asylum at Movie World, with printed images set into the 3D theming (Such as the windows)
Much like the other parts of the Dreamworks experience are character graphics with slogans.
SkaDoosh is a retheme/replacement of the Bumper Beach attraction.
The old bumper cars haven't just been reused. A new system that has done away with the ceiling mesh has been installed. The floor is divided into electrically insulated metal strips, similar to the Dodgems at Movie World, allowing the cars to operate.
Each car looks like Po's dragon disguise.
A nice mural along the back wall too.
There's plenty more detail out in the main area.
Mr Ping's Courtyard is a recreation of the Noodle Shop from the film.
No noodles for sale though, but there is a statue of Mr Ping, and an outdoor TV showing the film.
We're not sure where the beer came from.
Overall, the Land of Awesomeness, like the rest of the Dreamworks Experience areas, is one of the best themed in Australia.
Pandamonium is the flagship attraction of the Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomness. Guests ride in one of 6 Rickshaws that swing 360 degrees sideways, whilst revolving around a central hub.
The entrance. Guests can choose the "Hard Style" or "Soft Style" queue depending on desired intensity.
"Hard Style" riders are swung through full 360 loopings, at high speed.
"Soft Style" riders are only swung around 180 degrees side to side, slowly, and without going upside down.
The vast majority of riders were choosing the "Hard Style" queue, with the "Soft Style" queue (seen on the left) virtually deserted. This meant the ride was basically run hard style on most cycles, with soft cycle being run when enough guests turned up to warrant it.
The central hub features a rather impressive golden dragon.
There are 6 rickshaws holding 4 guests each. An OTSR holds you in quite comfortably, and only touches the top of your legs depending on your size. The front seats are best, you can put your legs out for a "floorless" effect.
A front on view of the exposed vehicles. This shot was taken a the beginning of one of the infrequent "Soft Style" cycles. We think it might be that some guests might be put off by seeing the ride at full steam, and walk away not realising a more gentle cycle is availabe.
The ride really fires up at full speed, looking almost violent in its rotation.
As a spectator attraction its great, each of the arms does its own thing, so it looks quite chaotic.
Close up of the detail on the motor covers.
The view from near the Tower of Terror entrance.
If you're one for the sorts of spinning rides seen at the agricultural shows and carnivals around the country this is right up your alley. If you get sick easily then this will be tough to take (Though the cycle time is fairly short if you're neither here nor there)
Buzzsaw now has both sets of doors open on its queue open now, so wind can blow through and its not such a hothouse.
Temporary barriers stop guests "exploring" the back of house area.
The positioning of the back gates means the end of the "themed" section of queue is dead-ended by the gates when they are opened. The entry end of the themed queue section is roped off, but you can still peer down.
Months on and the Queue TV screens are still broken. What's the point of paying to install and integrate them with the theming if you have no intention of acutally making them work?
The plus side of the new queue arrangement is being able to watch the ride in action.
From the Buzzsaw queue you also get to see the back end of Thunder River and the old chairlift.
I guess you'd call this a used tyre?
Big Red Boat
Big Red Boat is the newest kids ride in Wiggles World.
There are two semicircular seating "tubs", each holding 6 children.
So thats how many kids flat rides at Dreamworld now?
Captain Sturt Paddlewheeler Closure
One of the sadder bit of news in recent times for the fans of nostalgic Dreamworld attractions is that the Captain Sturt Paddle Wheeler will no longer ply the waters of the Murrasissippi River.
And without a boat to stir up the water each day it's now quite green.
The vessel now is moored permanently at the dock near the sheep shearing show. It wasn't open to poke around on our visit though.
The park is running a big 8 challenge to coincide with the opening bringing the count of thrill rides at the park to 8 (Cue the responses from people who think Motocoaster shouldn't be counted and it should only be 7)
The challenge runs till early January and involves things like getting a photo with a Dreamworks character and spotting something from the top of Giant Drop.
Dreamworld now has self serve pass processing (Though rather well hidden down the side of the processing center near Motocoaster). Just scan your E-ticket, align your head with the silhouette on screen, hit capture, and your pass comes out the printer on the window sill.
The tiger statue on Main Street outside the Emporium was getting a bit of TLC.
Normally game arcades are one thing we tend to avoid at theme parks, but this 16 bit Simpsons arcade game in Gamesite was a bit of a gem we thought.
Lets head back into the Dreamworks experience.
And now Parkz has a photo of the farting Shrek. All we came for actually.
Big Brother returned to TV in 2012 after a hiatus, and that means Dreamworld are trading off it too.
There's a fairly long walk from Goldrush to the Big Brother house, and this cafe is your last chance for food/drinks. Closed on our visit though.
The house is open a few hours per day.
The walk to the Big Brother house has some interesting views you don't normally get to see....
On the way we pass some relics of a lost civilisation.
Now this is a bit of a trip down memory lane. Who can remember the name of this attraction off the top of their head? Admittedly it had been so long we had to look it up.
The old Blue lagoon area is set up to be used as an entrance to the park on really busy days when the overflow car park is in use.
It's all set up with price lists etc.
Things get interesting the further you get out of the main park, and seeminglyguests could almost wander anywhere, including down the back of the amphitheatre (Where evictions were held)
We're definitley not in Kansas anymore.
Eventually you pass the seldom used overflow car park. Makes you realise how much land Dreamworld has. Plenty of space for a new coaster or 3 out this way.
The house tour takes you on a zigzagging route through the camera runs and rooms of the house.
Not sure if we're in the Big Brother House or the Tower of Terror queue.
Lounge. The rooms had a wierd vibe. Only built for TV of course, so not as well finished up close as a real house.
Along the ceilings of the camera runs are tracks for the cameras to run along.
Those who wish to pay can have their photo taken in "off limits" areas of the house, such as the seating area in the pool.
Coming back into the lounge. Personal cameras were not allowed in the diary room.
Whew, that was over 100 photos, and with that we'll conclude this edition of the Parkz update. Keep riding!