The Parkz Update: Dreamworld sits in a state of limbo following its toughest year ever
Dreamworld's ongoing state of disarray continues as the park pushes forward with a number of ongoing projects and initiatives while attendance continues to noticeably struggle.
Image: Parkz. The Mine Ride comes down at Dreamworld after more than a decade closed.
Dreamworld presses ahead with a number of projects, perhaps most noticeably the potential resurrection of the Eureka Mountain Mine Ride as demolition crews strip back the foam mountain that has covered the ride for more than three decades.
The Mine Ride's mountain comes down after more than a decade of inaction.
The removal of the decaying mountain reveals an equally ugly ride structure that was never built with looks in mind.
Efforts are being made to preserve the ride's track so that they can progress with longstanding plans to try and resurrect this old ride.
The foam is caked onto everything and it all needs to come off before they can start inspecting and testing the the structure to determine how feasible it is to open the ride.
The ongoing demolition work towers over the high fences that hide Thunder River Rapids from view.
It is an ugly ride. Poles and beams of all different styles and materials have been indiscriminately welded and bolted together, looking like it was made up as they went along.
It's puzzling that a theme park with any sense of reason would press ahead with resurrecting such an outdated ride.
Any sensible theme park would recognise that 30 years is a typical lifespan for a steel roller coaster, and invest in something new in its place.
Much of the structure for this roller coaster is wooden.
Whatever Dreamworld's plans are for this ride, if it does reopen there's little they can do that will hide this ugly structure in a tasteful way, short of a replacement mountain that would be well outside of any minuscule budget this project has.
Inside is an array of beams that are exactly what you'd expect from a company that had no experience building roller coasters when it opened in the late 1980s. HyFab, the ride's manufacturer only ever built this one roller coaster.
It's a convoluted mess of steel, wood and foam.
There's going to be many truckloads like this to remove all the debris.
From the ride's old entrance there's a big brick wall, a streel frame and just a few remaining pieces of the melted Tupperware mountain.
Under all this carnage is a roller coaster's lift hill.
Even if the ride's structure is sound, even if the ride passes modern safety and evacuation requirements, even if they find a way to make it not look hideous, there's still the fact that it was a thoroughly ordinary roller coaster.
The ride's original station building remains.
With Buzzsaw closed, there's really nothing to see in this sad corner of the park.
At this point it's not even worth commenting on the perennially swamp-like river.
A large section of Corroboree has been closed off, likely related to an expansion of the area that is based around a new koala breeding program that Dreamworld received a government grant for.
Fencing runs all along the area that previously housed larger kangaroos and emus.
Dingos remain at the far end of Dreamworld Corroboree.
It'd be great if Dreamworld took a bulldozer to this long-abandoned attraction while they're knocking things down. It's been twelve years since this attraction closed, and unlike the Mine Ride's mountain which was considered "atmosphere" for the surrounding area well after it closed, this is pretty obviously a defunct chairlift to any passing guest.
The Vintage Cars have reopened.
The cars themselves have been given a lot of TLC and look great. The ugly canopies have been removed as well, returning the cars to a more vintage state.
"Adventure" has been added to the name, ticking a box as part of Dreamworld's apparent commitment to offering unique experiences.
Any semblance of adventure however stops with the name. It's still a barren, nothing of a ride; a shadow of its former self when it was positioned where Motocoaster now sits.
Oh wait, adventure! There's some koalas unceremoniously placed in the middle of the area! Surrounded by a chainlink fence with sheet metal paneling that exists to stop koalas climbing out... and does its best to block your view as you drive past. It's a rather cheap and ultimately tonedeaf attempt at injecting some atmosphere into an attraction utterly devoid of it.
You get a charming view of the some barbed wire fence and Dreamworld's extensive plantation of eucalyptus trees used to feed their koala population. Though you wouldn't know this interesting tidbit as you follow the ride along its dull course.
And we move on from Corroboree towards the imposing fencing that has surrounded the Log Ride since the park reopened late last year.
Demolition work underway to remove the tunnel-of-gum on Rocky Hollow Log Ride as Dreamworld plods away at resurrecting this 36 year old attraction.
It's a big wall of "nothing to see here!"
There's "stuff" happening, though it doesn't seem like there's any urgency to getting the park's sole water attraction up and running again for the summer.
This section of the roof can be removed with a crane to allow the addition and removal of large components.
The mechanical components used to stop boats in the station area sit disassembled in the ride's empty reservoir.
Save for a small handful of workers quietly doing their thing, there's really not much happening here.
It's no stretch to say that Tiger Island is the park's most pleasant area.
The attention to detail is a remarkable contrast to the rest of Dreamworld.
Of course, having areas like the old "Lair" section sitting there empty doesn't help a park that's devoid of atmosphere.
The tree trunks do a pretty poor job of sprucing up this ugly, low-budget addition to Tiger Island.
You can go face-to-face with a tiger, which is very cool.
Make no mistake: the up-close encounters with Sumatran tigers in the new section are amazing.
It's just a shame that the enclosure couldn't look more like a miserable, old-fashioned zoo cage if they tried.
Meanwhile rotate 180 degrees and it's arguably the most pleasantly themed attraction on the Gold Coast.
Ocean Parade isn't so much a "parade" as it is broken rides and construction hoardings as far as the eye can see. Palm trees are beachy though...
The Claw operates with a small handful of riders.
Grid Burgers has had this much-needed area added so guests no longer need to trek with their meals into Brock's Garage or over to the collection of tables and chairs in the centre of the area.
Happiness isn't even the park's slogan anymore, let alone a vaguely accurate representation of this dilapidated theme park.
Wipeout is yet another ride that has certainly reached its used-by date, yet Dreamworld clings to. Repairs are certainly cheaper than a modern replacement thrill ride.
Dreamworld's roster of street performances continue daily despite the park's lack of crowds, which is admirable. Part of their "fake it till we make it" strategy that really doesn't seem to be working.
A familiar site in Ocean Parade: construction hoardings. At least these are for something new.
Whatever it is, we can be certain it'll be poorly executed, out of place and a totally misguided addition that does nothing to address Dreamworld's colossal shortcomings.
Every single attraction in the park is tired, broken or a combination of the two, yet the park focuses again and again on this sort of menial, low-spend addition.
These new structures are placed directly in front of the seldom-used laser tag and the disused station building from Thunderbolt. This screams long-term vision.
Something pleasant: Dreamworld's ice cream parlour... without deafening doo-wop music through a dreadful PA system. The concept is great: some light entertainment to draw folks into the parlour, though after several years the playlist remains static (great for passholders!) and the sound system abysmal.
The Parkway... inoffensive like a modern roadhouse. Why a theme park went ahead with this soulless corridor as the park's main exit is anyone's guess. It's more pleasing to walk through than the old, dingy foodcourt that was overdue for a replacement, though it's hardly befitting a theme park.
If you're still with us, thanks for reading what has been a pretty hard update. Trust us when we say we want Dreamworld to bounce back; if there's any silver lining to everything that has happened in the last year, it's that a new, rejuvenated Dreamworld will have to be born if the park is ever going to thrive again.
It's not wishful thinking so much as the cold hard reality of the situation. If there's going to be a Dreamworld for years to come, so much needs to be fixed.
This recovery can't truly begin until the ongoing investigation, potential court cases and the ensuing negative media coverage are behind us. Sadly, in the meantime we're left with the empty shell of a once-great Australian theme park.
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