The Parkz Update: Dreamworld's Winterfest and a farewell to Buzzsaw.
We check in on this year's incarnation of Winterfest at Dreamworld, while also looking at some of the latest improvements as Steel Taipan nears completion and further attraction removal projects continue around the park.
Image: Parkz. Steel Taipan in, Buzzsaw out and Winterfest fun.
Recent visits to Dreamworld reveal a slowly changing theme park. We've seen track on Steel Taipan finally completed and elements of theming start to appear around it. We've also seen the complete removal of Rocky Hollow Log Ride, and more track removed from Tower of Terror II which has once again opened up the middle area of the park.
Dreamworld has also pressed ahead with their annual Winterfest event, amid lockdown-related closures and COVID-19 uncertainty which has seen the tourist market virually disappear in recent weeks.
For the recent winter school holidays Dreamworld ran their Winterfest special event. It featured plenty of fake snow, performances, European food and a few temporary attractions.
Some of the activities on offer.
Giant letters remind you where you are. It's a bit of a facscimile of Sea World's Carnivale-on-sticks sign, and like Sea World's, this one suffers from letter misalignment that you can't unsee. If only there were a big, blank wall or something these letters could be attached to rather than temporary scaffolding in the middle of an otherwise picturesque fountain.
As soon as you step into the park the first thing you spot is the ice slide.
Occasionally the front stage erupts into a performance of "Let it Snow".
"Snow" made out of wadding adorns the buildings.
A few hanging lights under the main street roof.
There are a few fun photo opportunities.
Remember when Dreamworld had a real chairlift?
The star temporary attraction is the indoor ice skating rink.
We feel as though the VIP Ski Lodge was something planned that never quite got implemented.
Dough Bros. pizza has been converted into Kenny's Schnitzels.
At $17, the schnitzel meals are probably one of the best value items Dreamworld have done.
The area around the old Trolls Village / Kevil Hill has been turned into a pop up food zone.
Giant pretzels, an item sorely missing from theme parks here in general.
There's also a temporary retail outlet, Winterwares in the zone.
Cuckoo clocks, german hats, christmas decorations, wooden puppets and....a revolving sleigh hanging from the ceiling. It's a nice concept for a themed outlet that's perhaps undone a bit by the slapdash execution.
Despite the visual Kenny waffles were a miss. They tasted more like a Brioche bun.
It's looking like this rather claustrophobic area that was once Trolls Village is set to stay for whatever seasonal events Dreamworld run in the future.
Dreamworld recently announced the pending of closure of Buzzsaw. It will close forever on the 31st of August, 2021, just shy of 10 years of operation.
The ride was reasonably well themed, but the general consensus was that it was an uncomfortable ride and somewhat short ride, saved only by the initial gimmick of the inverted vertical lift.
The queue line previously had more theming, but this was removed to create a more airy queueing environment. The picture says it all. An impending closure, yet few guests lining up for one last ride.
The Rocky Hollow Log ride is largely erased from the park now.
What on earth is the dryer still doing here though?
The demolition of Tower of Terror is ongoing, with the launch track and tunnel finally gone 18 months after the ride closed.
The station building is still there, and it may well disappear soon too.
The most welcome part of the demolition process is the removal of the big white corrugated iron tunnel that went under the launch track on the path into ABC Kids world. It's been a long process, but it's good to see the park making progress in sorting itself out.
Trackwork is complete on Steel Taipan and that reverse spiral element is looking cool!
Attention now turns to the installation and commissioning of the ride systems.
Theming works are underway, with a rock arch just before the first corkscrew.
Concrete will be sprayed and rendered over the cagework. The track is wrapped in plastic to protect it from any overspray.
The close proximity to the park entrance, combined with undoubtedly being the best ride in the park will see this ride stay busy all day.
As Steel Taipan snakes its way towards opening day, we can expect more landscaping and themed elements appearing around it, with testing expected to commence any day now.