THE INSIDER’S WAY TO GET MORE INTO A THEME PARK DAY
Kids and theme parks are like seagulls and chips. The entire flock uncannily knows the location and they will keep flapping about until they can access it. So surrender to the pester power and get strategic about the holiday season theme park swoop.
Combined, Dreamworld and its sister waterpark, WhiteWater World form the biggest themeparks in Australia with more than 45 rides and attractions spread over 37 hectares. From thrills for the three year old at Wiggles World to catching up with crazy characters at Nickelodeon Central, from getting drenched on some of the hottest waterslides on the planet to getting dry on the legendary Big 6 Thrill Rides, here is a list of tips to make the most of your day.
TIP 1: PRE-PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS
Every summer, hundreds of thousands of travellers pack their bags for the Gold Coast glitter strip and its postcard perfect shores. And every morning around 9.30am an army of adventurers tumble out of their cars and into theme park grounds, doubling and sometimes tripling the shoulder season patronage. By 10.00am the queue at the front gate can be 20 deep.
Pre-purchase your tickets through any agent, motoring association or online at www.dreamworld.com.au for no extra charge and get express entry. That 20 minute head start can help you fit in one or two rides before the crowd thickens.
TIP 2: BE MILITANT
At least 80 percent of the visitors through the gate head left or right. By simply bucking the trend and going further afield first up, you may be able to tick off a scream machine before the crowd catches up.
Alternately, study the park map online and plan your day like a military invasion. For thrill seekers, hit the belly of the park first and tick off the Giant Drop, the Mick Doohan Motocoaster and The Tower of Terror before taking on the knee knocking rides closer to the main gates. Families with Wiggly ones should head straight to the second most popular ride in park and toot toot chugga chugga their way through the Big Red Car first up.
When planning to see a show, make sure you get there 15 minutes in early to score the best seats with the biggest views.
TIP 3: EARLY RIDER
The early bird gets the worm. So why not fast track your thrills with Dreamworld’s Early Entry Ticket and get an advanced rush on some of the tallest and fastest thrill rides in the world. For just $10 more, you get up to 60 minutes head start on the crowds. That’s enough time to tackle a few white-knuckle machines before the morning swell. The strictly limited Early Entry tickets start at 9.00am*. Check availability of the early entry and purchase your tickets at the gate or online on www.dreamworld.com.au
TIP 4: QUEUE VIRTUALLY
Avoid the jam almost entirely and rent our Q4U device. Q4U is a virtual queuing system that reserves your spot in the Dreamworld line while you take the time to do other activities like catch a Tiger Show, or cuddle a koala or dip next door into in WhiteWater World. Once you complete your first reserved ride, you simply book the next one.
Sure it might cost you an additional $30 for a family of four, but with eight bookable rides, ranging from The Tower of Terror to the Rapid River Thunder Ride and a strictly limited number of devices, you should be able to cover the most coveted thrills in one day. Devices are limited so pre-book your Q4U online at www.dreamworld.com.au
TIP 5: STRETCH THE FUN WITH A WORLD PASS
Jules Verne recommended 80 days to travel the world. We say, take two!
Try as you might, circumnavigating Dreamworld and WhiteWater World’s 45 rides and attractions in one day is next to impossible. Forget the stress, the smartest way to enjoy more rides and attractions is with a 2 Day World Pass, allowing you to hop between Dreamworld and WhiteWater World as many times as you like each day. Clock up some fun at Dreamworld during the cooler hours, and then hit the water slides at WhiteWater World right next door. You have up to 14 days to redeem your second day of visit.
TIP 6: GO PUBLIC
Anyone who has sat in a stalled car after a rock concert will have some idea of what it’s like when 10,000 vehicles evacuate a theme park. The best way to avoid a jam is to take public transport. Surfside buses are conveniently parked closest to the exit gate and allow the fastest getaway to the beach or to Coomera train station.
If you need to drive, the northbound Dreamworld off ramp (Exit 54 at the Coomera interchange) can get congested between 09:30 and 10:15am. Beat the build up by taking Exit 57 at Oxenford, cross the flyover and drive along the service road. Your beacon is the Tower of Terror before you.
TIP 7: PACK A PICNIC
If you are not into theme park food, then consider WhiteWater World as your picnic playground. Designed to resemble a day at the beach, families and friends can bring in an esky, stake out a table under the UV shade cloths and enjoy their own food within footsteps of some of the greatest water slides on the planet. Dreamworld does not allow outside food, but those with a World Pass guests can eat in the water park before skipping next door for some high energy action.
TIP 8: A PERFECT SWELL
Summer cyclones and closed beaches are the fastest way to dampen a coast holiday. Never fear, WhiteWater World’s massive Cave of Waves generates the perfect swell of 1.4 metres and creates the best surf east of the motorway.
For the boogie boarder, book a session with FlowRider at Dreamworld. .Born from the roots of surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and bodyboarding, FlowRider pushes a thin sheet of rushing water over a stationary form so riders can drop in on their own unbroken wave, slide down, carve a turn, cut back and ride up the padded surface. The flexible, trampoline-like base can handle any wipeout adding thrills and skills for the whole family.
TIP 10: AVOID THE SUN – PLAY IN THE SHADE, OR AT NIGHT
Queensland is celebrated for its vast sunshine. So make sure you slip on a hat and coat the kids in sunblock before heading out. If you plan your day well, there’s always a few undercover activities; head to AWE where towering trees provide a cooling canopy, duck into the icy cold IMAX theatre and watch a movie about our magical animals, take a hit in The Wild Thornberrys, or toot along on our soothing steam train. Adventurers on a World Pass can scoot next door to WhiteWater World and scope out any one of the 900 lounge chairs, most under 90% UV shade protection.
For the super sensitive souls, check out the frequent night-time events. Dreamworld’s After Dark Park, Screamworld and Night WhiteWater World start at 6.30pm a few times each holiday season. You get 3.5 hours of fun with absolutely no sun.
TIP 11: GET AWAY FROM IT ALL WITHOUT LEAVING
Take a walk on the wild side and criss cross from heart thumping coasters to heart rendering moments with Australia’s furry friends at Australian Wildlife Experience. With 800 native animals and birds, towering trees and many footsteps from the scream machines, this is one of the best places to simply chill. Alternately trade the white-knuckle journey for a white tiger experience, grab a coffee and perch yourself in Bengal Café, high above Tiger Island where you can watch the antics of our magnificent tigers just metres away. This is when you can leave it to the kids to go animal!