Dreamworld – the Gold Coast theme park with more for kids

Our family always loves visiting Dreamworld, and there is just so much going on at Dreamworld right now! Real tigers stalk the park – on leads! There’s a huge new Lego store on the way too, plus of course all those amazing thrill-rides to be conquered – here’s our 2016 kid-friendly ride and entertainment guide for Dreamworld…

Let's go to Dreamworld! Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Dreamworld is the Gold Coast theme park we go to for the best variety of fun rides for young kids. ABC Kids World is amazing for toddlers and very young children, and for older kids, Dreamworld ride height minimum limits are lower than some other Queensland theme parks. This suits my primary school-aged kids perfectly. That’s more rides for them to enjoy, which means great value for money for parents – plus the rides are just as fast and thrilling!

Stop! Before you go anywhere in Dreamworld, get one of these…

Ride Express will queue for you virtually!

Ride Express will queue for you virtually!

To kick-off our day at Dreamworld, we arrived right on 10am – opening time – and got a Ride Express electronic device. This clever electronic virtual queuing unit will save you a heap of time for an extra cost. There are three waiting-time options – bronze ($25), silver ($40) or gold ($65). Gold is the fastest option -90% less queuing time – and we found ourselves waiting no more than five minutes at most rides with our Gold Ride Express – fantastic.

School holidays tip: Of the 3 big Gold Coast theme parks, Dreamworld is the only one which still offers virtual queuing during the school holidays

Let’s go – Dreamworld family thrill ride guide

Gold Rush World

Gold Rush World - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Gold Rush World

River Rapids

Jump aboard the River Rapids ride at Dreamworld - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

For our first rides of the day, we headed straight off into Gold Rush land. Here you’ll find the terrifying Buzz Saw (“Keep walking children!”) and the “get wet” rides – which are a huge hit with everyone in the family – young kids, teens and adults.

A few goes down the rollicking River Rapids rides started the day off on a hilarious note as we rocked, rolled and spun our way down the rapids. I love the way that this ride gets everyone squealing and laughing together – family, friends and even the strangers sat opposite you!

Don’t forget to watch out for the folk on the banks with the water guns – their only aim is to soak you! You’re going to get a little – or maybe even a lot – wet on this ride!

Rocky Hollow Log Ride

All-aboard the Rocky Hollow Log Ride! Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

All-aboard the Rocky Hollow Log Ride!

Next-up was the Rocky Holly Log Ride – we were already wet, and decided we couldn’t get much wetter! As usual, the Log Ride didn’t disappoint. We had to tear ourselves away after three rides on this one.

You can see what the Log Ride is like for yourself, by clicking Play on the Youtube video below!

The Dreamworld Log Ride - Photo source: Dreamworld

The Log Flume Ride – yep, that’s real screaming – so scary we did it 3 times…

Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster

The Mick Doohan Moto Coaster parent and sidecar option - Photo source: Dreamworld

The parent bike and sidecar option

Next we headed off to our first Big 9 Thrill Ride – the Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster.

This zoomy ride will bring tears to your eyes due to it’s speed, but it’s such a lot of fun you can’t help laughing – that is, if you can possibly draw breath!

Even younger kids (who meet a minimum height) are allowed to ride this one – they can hop in one of the side car motorcycles with mum or dad if they are not yet big enough to hop aboard a motorcycle. The Mick Doohan Moto Coaster’s last two carriages are a parent bike and sidecar. At Dreamworld, few kids are left behind!

ABC Kids World

Wiggles World - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.auWe love ABC Kids World – it’s an absolute gem for parents of little kids and toddlers.

The Wiggles World Little Red Boat, Little Red Car and Dorothy’s Tea Cup rides, Hop and Hoot ride, the Bananas in Pajamas’s maze, Playschool Art Room and Giggle and Hoot pirate ship – there’s just so much to do!

ABC Kids World - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

ABC Kids World is full of fun adventures to explore!

It’s the most colourful, fun playground around which my kids still enjoy – if you have little kids, make a bee-line for ABC Kids World and let the ankle-biters run-riot!

ABC Kids World Bananas Maze - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Getting lost in the ABC Kids World Bananas Maze!

A variety of lunch options

The large outdoor dining area is surrounded with great menu options - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The large outdoor dining area is surrounded with great menu options

The Sandwich Shop has healthy, yummy lunch options - Photo sourced: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Lunch from the Sandwich Shop

By this time we were all hungry and I managed to talk the kids into pausing for a moment to eat. It was lunch time, and we headed for the large covered central dining area.

Here you can choose from gourmet pizza, chips and burgers, or if you are completely junk-fooded out at this point in your holiday like we were, there is a healthy sandwich and salad bar called “The Sandwich Shop” – pesto salad for me and wraps for the kids – perfect!

Madagascar World

Madagascar theatre show

The Madagascar show is lots of fun - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The Madagascar show is lots of fun!

Onward to the nearby Madagascar theatre show. This popular show plays twice daily at Dreamworld, and is a real hit with families – it also gives mum and/or dad time for a breather!

Jungle Jam tree house

Jungle Jam tree house - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The Jungle Jam tree house

Then off to the Jungle Jam tree house which the kids always love. Kids will be kids, and this is a big house of fun they can go wild in!

Jungle Jam tree house - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The Jungle Jam tree house will keep the kids busy!

The Jungle Jam tree house is full of kids climbing, laughing, firing foam guns and generally having a good time – great for little monkeys of all ages.

Madagascar roller coaster

The Madagascar roller coaster is a lot of fun for all! - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The Madagascar roller coaster is a lot of fun for all!

When I finally managed to drag the kids out of the Jungle Jam tree house, we headed off to the Madagascar roller coaster. This ride is a must for families – smooth, short but still thrilling, this roller coaster will have you all smiling at the end. Lots of fun for everyone.

Ocean Parade World

Ocean Parade World - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Hot Wheels Side Winder

The Hot Wheels Sidewinder - Photo Source: Dreamworld

Our Hot Wheels Sidewinder snap!

Lulled into a false sense of roller coaster security after the Madagascar coaster, we then headed off to take a ride on the Hot Wheels Side Winder (formerly the Cyclone roller coaster).

We excitedly climbed aboard the brightly coloured Hot Wheels car-styled carriages. This huge coaster pumps out the latest tunes whilst it cork screws, loop-the-loops and seemingly jet-propels you down the rails on a thrill-ride which leaves your heart in your mouth – but don’t worry, you can still squeeze a scream out!

Terrific fun at a gazillion kilometres per hour – no wonder the Hot Wheels Side Winder is one of the Big 9 Thrill Rides!

The Hot Wheels Sidewinder spiral tower Photo source: Letsgomum.reviews

As you climb the Hot Wheels Sidewinder spiral tower you know you’re headed for something fun!

Dreamworld Tiger IslandTiger cubs on the loose!

Upon emerging from the Hot Wheels Side Winder, we came upon a wonderful surprise – a real-live tiger cub sitting up on the gift shop counter!

It's not a bull in a china shop - it's a tiger in a gift shop! Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

It’s not a bull in a china shop – it’s a tiger in a gift shop!

Dreamworld’s Tiger Island is currently being renovated and improved for the tigers, with the new-look Tiger Island re-opening this September. In the meantime there is a Tiger Kindy nursery playground where you can watch the adorably cute Dreamworld tiger cubs and their big brother Kai play with their toys.

What's better than coming across a real tiger cub? Coming across two of them! Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

What’s better than coming across a real tiger cub? Coming across two of them!

Plus in the afternoons around 2 to 3pm, the young tigers are taken for leash walks around the park for people to walk alongside, and even pat when they stop!

Dreamworld tiger cubs are on the prowl around the park! Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Dreamworld tiger cubs are on the prowl around the park!

Professional tiger handlers are with the cubs at all times and make sure they are safe and sound, yet are allowed to lead and explore. These gorgeous little-big-cats are just like oversized kittens – only with really, really big paws! They climb on walls, seats, roll around on their backs and generally have a good ol’ time!

Our Dreamworld photo of us petting the one year old Kai - Photo Source: Dreamworld

Time for our close-up! Our photo of us petting the one year old Kai

There are opportunities for a professional photographer to take your photo with these young tiger-ambassadors too – a percentage of the price of these photos (which cost $10 each) goes to the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation (DWF) to help save their tiger-cousins in the wild, of which only 3,200 remain. DWF is the largest zoological donor to tiger conservation in the world – now that’s amazing! Donate and learn more at the Dreamworld website here.

The Wipeout

The Wipeout - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The Wipeout – prepare to be thrilled!

When we could finally tear ourselves away from the tigers, we headed over to the Wipeout – I like to think of this rides as – well, terrifying to be honest, but if you ask my ten year old, Brooke, she’ll tell you it’s ‘awesome fun’, and not scary at all if you close your eyes! The Wipeout twists, flips and hangs you upside down for good measure – this is yet another Dreamworld Big 9 Thrill Ride, and it’s most-definitely built to thrill!

The Tailspin

The Tailspin - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

The Tailspin – a beautiful ride!

This year we decided to be brave and go on the Tailspin. This high-flying ride looks quite intimidating, but it was actually the most beautiful ride to experience. You really feel like you are flying on the Tailspin! Although it does reach some pretty lofty heights, it’s really just a peaceful glide-ride – a thrilling feeling to whoosh through what surely must be the clouds! But if you’re after even more of a thrill, don’t worry – you can use the wing control handles on your “plane” to set you spinning around and around and around…..don’t miss this one!

The Shockwave

The Shockwave - Photo source: Letsgomumreviews.com.au

Huge, smooth and oh-so fun…The Shockwave!

Finally, our last ride of the day was The Shockwave. This ride is another favourite of ours. A massive wheel which rotates and zooms along a short and wavy track – it looks scarily powerful, but is just pure FUN! We had to go on this one a few times, right up until closing. Once you’ve had one ride on the Shockwave, you just can’t stop!

A dedicated Lego store is coming soon to Dreamworld!

Dreamworld Lego Store - Picture source: Dreamworld

New Dreamworld Lego Store coming soon!

Everything is awesome!

As if the amazing Fairytale Treasures, Hot Wheels, ABC Kids World and Madagascar shops weren’t enough to excite the kids into a frenzy, Dreamworld is about to add to their shopping fun with a LEGO® Certified Store!

Opening in November 2016, there will be giant LEGO statues, a LEGO wall, LEGO building areas and everything LEGO! We just can’t wait for the new Dreamworld Lego store to open, just in time for the summer school holidays – awesome!

There’s so much more to Dreamworld than we could ever fit into one day, but we certainly got a large number of rides and fun in!

I hope you enjoyed our round-up of Dreamworld fun for families. Now don’t just sit there – go and visit Dreamworld for yourself – you’ll all have a fantastic family day out!

Let’s Go Info…

Opening hours
Dreamworld is open 7 days a week: 10am – 5pm (excepting Christmas Day)

How to get there
You can get to Dreamworld by car (self-drive easily from your Gold Coast hotel – 20 mins).
Many companies run tour coaches to the Theme Parks – enquire at your hotel reception to book and for pricing.

There are some great value passes to Dreamworld available – you can buy an annual pass from $109.99 which also gives you entry to the attached White Water World and the (well-worth a visit) SkyPoint Observation Deck too.
For a full listing of tickets and discount online prices, visit the Dreamworld website here.

All prices are accurate for July 2016
We reviewed this theme park as guests of Dreamworld

Dreamworld - the Gold Coast theme park with more for kids, Australia

Has your family visited Dreamworld? Did your kids love the rides – and did they have a favourite? Tell us in the comments below!

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4 Responses so far.

  1. Lauren says:

    Reading about these rides has got me so excited! I am a thrill seeker at heart but haven’t been on a roller coaster in years! I’m looking for my 4yo and 1yo to get a little bigger before we make the trek up to the Gold Coast

    • LetsGoMum says:

      Even the tiny little babes get something out of it – you just need someone to hold the babes while you go on the thrill rides yourself – LOL!

  2. I cannot wait for my crew to be a little older to take especially since I have never been!! Great tip about the virtual que device!

    • LetsGoMum says:

      ABC Kids is a great excuse to get even babies there sooner – you can hold them on the Little Red Car ride, it’s so slow – LOL! Hope you get there and have fun soon!

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!