Let’s Go Mum reviews… Dreamworld in half a day
Dreamworld’s motto is simple – “Happiness” They certainly got that right!
We were very excited to be invited to review Dreamworld on our recent trip to the Gold Coast. We’d already heard that Dreamworld was Australia’s most popular theme park, and so were expecting big things – we weren’t to be disappointed!
The drive to Dreamworld from our Broadbeach hotel (you can read our Jupiters Hotel review here) was very easy, only taking around twenty minutes. Large Dreamworld signs told us which highway exit to take, and although we arrived twenty minutes before the park opened, we weren’t the only ones with the idea of arriving early! The enormous Dreamworld car park was already filling up, and lines of people were forming in front of the entrance gates.
Luckily we were given our World Passes by Dreamworld and allowed to go straight in, skipping the lines, and entering as some of the first park-goers. The girls thought this was very cool!
If we had had enough time, the World Passes would have also got us in to the neighbouring WhiteWater World – but alas – time would not allow on this visit, so perhaps next time…
Dreamworld is divided up into themed “worlds”, which are all fantastic fun to explore. Each World is full of fun discoveries – and all are quite different from the last! The kids spent the day ricocheting from one World to the next like a crazed ball in a big pinball machine – it was all just too exciting to stay in one area for long!
We decided to head for the roller coaster rides first, figuring this is where the long lines would be later. We headed into the DreamWorks Experience area to start with the “Escape from Madagascar” coaster, which was great fun. This is what I call the perfect younger kids roller coaster – daring, but not toooo much so!
Both of my kids think – think! – that they are fearless roller-coaster thrill-seekers after our recent Hong Kong theme parks trip, and Dreamworld with it’s 120cm minimum height restriction was low enough for my six year old (the shortest of us three) to be able to ride on almost all of the big Dreamworld rides – if I let her!
There’s no disputing that Dreamworld has some simply amazing, world-class rides – the Tower of Terror II (or TOT to those in the know) can terrify the brave simply by it’s rattle and roar, and although we eagerly entered the TOT shop with it’s super spooky gothic feel (the themed shops at Dreamworld are phenomenal!), we found ourselves backing out ever so coolly out again after viewing the short film of the TOT ride screening in the shop. This was quite enough to send all of us scampering off to the famous Cyclone roller coaster, which was everything we had hoped for – big, fast, and with a loop-the-loop – weeeeee!
After the Cyclone, we respectfully crept by the swinging “The Claw” ride, which – judging by the screaming – is just as thrilling as it sounds! Brooke, my 8 year old asked if we could go on it, but I pretended not to hear and forged ahead, thankfully finding the Madagascar Mad Jungle Jam playground structure that sucked them both in long enough for me to recharge with a coffee and check the map of this enormous theme park to work out where to head to next.
We wandered over to Tiger Island next, which was brilliant for seeing Tigers close-up. Probably the best view we’ve had of tigers ever – it felt like you could reach out and touch the handsome full-grown fellow that was parading around that day. The tiger didn’t seem bothered at all by the commotion he was causing with his viewers, although with his tail flipping about, I was glad there was a culvert between him and us!
Next stop was Goldrush country, which ended up being one of our favourites, with the screamingly-good-fun Thunder River Rapid Ride – who doesn’t love being bounced around a raging river and laughing so much you end up with a mouth full of water?
We had enough time to watch what the BuzzSaw ride did whilst we were waiting in line – aww, sorry kids, you’re too short for that one (phew!).
We found the Rocky River Log ride, which was one of those lovely la-la-la-la-la gentle rides until it suddenly hurls you down a water cliff to your imminent doom – at least you think it does, until you open your eyes and realise you’re still alive and have left finger-nail-marks in your half-in-shock / half-laughing children.
Here we passed by “The Giant Drop” ride – this is a ride that basically slowly raises you up – and then drops you from a great height, saving your bacon in the last second or so. Much to my dismay, both kids met the height restrictions, and being a bit scared of heights (ok, so replace the word ‘bit’ with ‘alot’) I had to really reach to find an excuse not to go on it.
One disgruntled 6 and 8 year old later, we continued on down to Dreamworld Corroboree. This is a little gem of a native animal area World – if I had visiting tourists, this is where I would take them. With more native animals than you can poke a stick at, The girls LOVED the chance to feed and pat Kangaroos, and I got to see a “salty” (salt-water) crocodile close-up – shudder! They were so big and scary, they almost didn’t look real!
I finally dragged the kids away from the clearly over-stuffed kangaroos and we strolled along a path that emerged in Wiggles World.
Wiggles World is surely toddler heaven, with a big pirate ship, Wiggles-themed rides for small children, and a dining area where parents can collapse – er – take a break – and even draw a calming breath thanks to all that toddler-wrangling!
There’s plenty of room to move – and get a pram around! The Wiggles hits were playing in the background and we sang along as we breezed through – at Dreamworld there’s themed music playing everywhere which makes for a great atmosphere.
Our time at Dreamworld was unfortunately drawing to a close, but there was no way we were getting out of there without visiting the Fairy Shop.
This has to be one of the best fairy shops in the known universe – and being a parent of two girly-girls, we’ve seen a few! Gorgeous dresses and fairy accessories, room decorations and – oh, just everything pink, sparkly and little-girly – a must-visit, and another highlight of our day.
There is just so much to do at Dreamworld, it would take much longer than half a day to cover it all – rides, shows, petting zoos, etc. – and that’s not even considering WhiteWater World that adjoins the park and looks so tempting! Go and check it out for yourself, it’s well-worth it.
Let’s Go info…
There are some great value passes to Dreamworld at the moment – one-year World passes are just $99.95 per adult and $79.95 for children and pensioners for unlimited entry to Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint Observation Deck – that’s a lot of fun for just one pass! For a full listing of tickets and discount online prices, see the Dreamworld website here.
All prices are accurate for July 2014.
Have you visited Dreamworld? Tell us which was your favourite World in the comments below!