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Photo TR: Gold Coast Australia Parks


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Hi all

 

Here is my first attempt at a trip report, and it is from our recent family holiday to the Gold Coast in Australia were we did all the parks on the coast. For me, my wife and my eldest son, our last time here was back in 2003. Now with 2 extra children in tow, it was time to head back and especially to check out all the new stuff since we had last been.

 

Our first stop was Movie World, and I was excited to check out the new Green Lantern coaster. Superman was also new to me as well. We didn't arrive until midday (and considering all our parks only operate 10am - 5pm regardless), it was a bit of a late start. Given it was 3rd week of February, all the local schools had gone back a few weeks prior and the peak tourist season had passed, I was expecting the park to be quite dead, but there was still a fair few people around. I couldn't fathom going here in peak season, it must be absolutely nuts. We ended up re-visiting the park again on another day to grab some extra photos and re-ride the big coasters again.

 

We headed for Looney Tunes world to introduce my 6 year old daughter to her first "real" coaster, the Road Runner Express. She showed no fear whatsoever, and absolutely loved it. We grabbed the back seat and it was a pretty quick ride, a lot quicker than I remember it. Getting a bit bumpy though with age.

 

Over to Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster, again with 6 year old along for the ride, and being the world's biggest Scooby fan, and having watched the TPR POV video of this coaster a whole bunch of times, she was very excited. Queue line was basically a station wait only, so we waited maybe 5-10 minutes at most before riding. My 10 year old son was more scared of the special effects (thunder/lightning) in the queue line than she was! I love the Scooby Doo queue building, it's just so awesome. Soon enough we headed through the big doors and were on our way. All the animatronics were working, but the audio for Scooby was very quiet and you could barely hear it. Also, it seemed as though all the models needed a good dusting, especially poor Scooby. The backwards drop is still very cool, and the main area had the fog/smoke effects and lasers working so it just looks awesome in there. First ride was just as I remember it, couple of little grunt moments towards the end. Later in the day, the ride was bumpy and rough as guts! Couldn't get over the difference. On our return visit, the ride was much smoother, and the brakes after the hairpins seemed to wash off much less speed so we fairly hooned through the course, it was great!

 

Superman Escape was a new coaster to us, as well as being our first launch coaster. This was the most popular coaster in the park by the looks of it (strange considering Green Lantern's newness) and it had a 30 minute wait. Got on the ride, 2nd car i think it was. Going through the dark ride section, unfortunately there was no water effects down the stairs. Then come up to the launch section. Up the front of the coaster, you can barely hear superman speaking. On our 2nd ride though we were at the back and you can hear it loud & clear. The launch was OMG flat out cool! Now, I thought for a split second the ride broke down mid launch when the acceleration ended, but it hadn't. Over the top hat, major airtime. Nice g's in the corners and again more airtime over the next hill. Fantastic ride, albeit a little short, but I loved it. It may not be the fastest or the tallest, but it packs a nice punch. We didn't ride it again until our 2nd park visit, and 2nd time we got the first ride of the day in the back row. I was expecting big things from the back row, but it was so much different. A lot slower, it barely crawled over the hills and there was no airtime whatsoever. Our first ride was in mid-afternoon, so I thought to myself that maybe it needed to "warmup" a bit. Unfortunately due to time constraints we couldn't ride it again, and there was definately more people at the park this day so the line was getting closer to 45-60 minutes (which with an impatient 10 year old is just impossible).

 

Lethal Weapon was down for it's re-theme which I had a tinge of sadness about, as I wanted one last ride just for old time's sake.

 

Now, it was time for the Green Lantern. And can I just say how damn cool this thing looks from the carpark? Just great. We rode this again, mid-afternoon and it was only a 3 or 4 car wait, with 4 car operation and no stacking. Very very efficient. My boys were really looking forward to this one. Anyhoo, in the car, buckle seat belt, bring the lap bar down. And we are released to go up the lift hill, fair bit of speed too. My 10 year old suddenly goes quiet. We reach the top, and I was on the outermost right side seat. It's such a weird feeling having no track directly under you. Still carrying a fair rate of knots, we hit the little bump before the drop, and the brakes slow you just enough to get a glimpse of where you are going and to build the anticipation, and then you drop down the "steepest drop in the southern hemisphere", or "2nd steepest drop in the world". Bang, around the first u-turn into the brakes, just slows you enough for the off-camber u-turn, next u-turn, then you flip upside down before the half loop. Whilst queuing i counted a good 2-3 seconds of hangtime before dropping down the half loop. Up again to the next set of brakes, then around to the twisty bit before the last turn into the station. The final brakes to end the run have been thankfully toned down a bit, and the car no longer just stops dead from a speed. The whole ride is smooth, but unfortunately on both rides the first day, there was no audio. When we went back to the park, our ride featured audio and I could hear it quite well. It only skipped a couple times in the faster sections of the ride. The soundtrack was actually really good, building anticipation up the lift hill, and then switching to a fast rock track at the first drop.

 

I loved this ride. There are some douchebags on an Australian theme park site who have complained bitterly about the trim brakes, but I think they are just about right. The coaster doesn't need to go 100mph to be fun. IMO, it gives you time to appreciate each element a bit more, rather than the whole thing just blurring into one mooshy blob. Oh, and I just have to mention my 10 year old, on his first ride ended up bawling his eyes out the whole ride after the first drop, he was scared out of his wits. Later that day he suggested to have another ride, after asking him about 20 times if he was sure, we went back on it. Going up the lift hill, his little hands were gripped so tightly on the restraint handles, i couldn't even peel them off. I thought "oh no. he's gonna freak again", but through the first drop he didn't scream. Then whilst going into the first brake run, his 14 y.o. brother leaned over and said "you're doing it!", and that was it. All I heard for the remainder of the ride was "I'm doing it! I'm doing it! Yeeeaaaaahhhhhhh!!!" over and over again. It was great! He even put his hands up!

 

How cool is that feeling of hanging upside down with a lapbar only restraint with your hands dangling in the air? Wicked.

 

Anyway, I have prattled on a bit too much (sorry for the novel), but I will now post some pics before moving onto the other parks.

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Nice TR, would've been better with pics

 

Ive noticed with scooby doo it gets faster and therefore rougher later in the day. On my last ride (which was the last ride of the day before the park shut) it was flying through the hairpins, it was insane!

Green Lantern is a cool coaster, though Im surprised you called the capacity good. In my experience, the loading times on that ride are appalling and the queue gets very long very easily. But I agree, the trims really add to the suspense of the drop, much like diving machine holding breaks. The lap bars are an excellent addition, glad they didn't go with the normal El Loco restraints as Ive heard they're quite painful.

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Ya, pics are coming, I posted the above from work (tsk tsk naughty me), and when I started uploading photos, it took like 3 minutes for one, and I thought ah stuff it, I'll do it from home. Plus, I had to resize them anyway! Gimme 15 minutes and they should be up.

 

On another note, something I did forget to mention. That first day, yes, both times we rode Green Lantern the wait was minimal. The second day the wait was a LOT longer. Three cars only (not 4 as before), and they would freakin' stack all the cars each run. Load 2 cars, 3rd car comes in too station and stops behind first 2. Send first car off, then second shortly after. 3rd car stays put, waits for both cars to finish run, then and only then does 3rd car progress into station along with the car behind it (what was first car) to unload and load new riders. the second car (now the third has to sit and wait for the 2 cars in front to be despatched and finished before they can unload. It seemed weird to me at the time, but I'd imagine there are separate procedures on these things depending on how many cars run at at time. With 4 it was much quicker. Load the first 2 cars, despatch them, then bring the 2 waiting behind into the station and unload/load them whilst the first 2 are on course.

 

It was a shame cos I really wanted to ride it again, but alas the line was long. And it's also weird how they hold the line back and leave a great big gaping hole in the line. Maybe they are just being nice and keeping people under the shade cover.

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Did it break down while you were there? I went a few weeks after it opened and it literally broke down every 5 minutes. They'd do 2 cars full of people, then it'd break down and they'd run 4 test cars, repeat, repeat. I know it was a new ride but its downtime was horrendous. Also the queue line audio is unbearable on a hot day, I REALLY don't want to hear the Green Lantern oath every 10 seconds (not an exaggeration).

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Okey dokey, here are teh piccies (more to come tommorrow, but I'm tired!):

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The Entrance. Or the Exit. Depends on which way you walk through it really. How versatile.

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Main Street with the "roof". I like shady bits.

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The Entrance to Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster. And it's air conditioned for extra spookiness.

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The Wild West Area. In fact the whole Wild West area is built for one ride.

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Wild West Falls. I wonder if Magic Mountain could build this in a carpark?

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Sneak peek! What is coming to replace the Batman Adventure ride they permanently shut down bloody 4 weeks before we got there!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheeky buggers.

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On the subject of peeks, Lethal Weapon being rethemed into............ Theme Park Review: The Ride???

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Road Runner Express. Mmmmmm, road runner.......... yum.

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The moment that makes sitting in an airport for 2.5 hours waiting for your delayed flight with 3 bored kids, 200 other annoyed passengers and 26kg of carry-on luggage (no, no the machine weighed it at 7kg, honest) all worthwhile. Either that or I have just gone completely insane.

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Superman! In case you missed the logo.

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Looking at Superman, I am reminded out Skyrush from some reason! Perhaps it inspired ...

 

Huh? Care to explain your reasoning? I don't see anything similar between the two.... outside of both being Intamin's, but that isn't even THAT obvious to the GP since the track styles are entirely different.

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^ok i think you took me to literal. I just think of my own design inspirations. Sometimes I take things that work well and integrate them into newer and improve upon the design. I'm simply just making an observation. Taking in account sequencing... Looking at the large hill/drop, crossing airtime hills both preceeded and followed by low to ground high banked turns. Thats all! Just saying Sky rush shares similar sequencing. No need to go as deep as track design, GP persepective, and such...

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A few more pikchurs:

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The Batman Tumbler. Except you can't drink from this one.

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So here we have Batman and some baddies.... WTF!!?? Is that guy seriously grabbing his mum's boob??? Yikes!

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This was the photo the whole trip was for! Scooby Doo!

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Official thumbs up for Rubber boobs man!

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I've just worked out who this guy reminds me of...... Paul Jr from American Chopper!!!!

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I'm sorry Mr Lantern, but that suit makes you look fat. Flash looks ripped, you look fat. Oh, and check out the pose from little one. Classic Diva.

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For a small fee, you too can be buried here.

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Come on, Road Runner Express is this way!

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Ah! Here we go......

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Green is the new sexy.

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IMO, this drop is trimmed perfectly. This is where you poo your pants.

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The outward banked curve angle is so much more enhanced in the four wide seating!

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Down the spiral of death and into the brightest ride photo flash EVAR!

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Next up we go to Sea World.

 

Unfortunately, Sea Viper was down for maintenance so we were unable to ride it with the Kumbak trains. I have ridden this a couple times previously in it's old Corkscrew guise, but wanted to check out if the new trains were any good. But no luck.

 

That being said, Jet Rescue was there to save the day, and all I can say is, WOW! What a great little ride! Relatively comfortable seats & restraints, twisty curvy layout, and the dual launches are fun! Had a blast riding this, but sadly for some reason I didn't take any photo's of it. So in the interest of efficiency, I shall steal TPR's photos from the Australia trip report. See them here!

 

Here's a couple of piccies anyway:

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Fire Penguin Torpedo 1!

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Hey George!! Come check out the broad with the big rack in the 2nd row!

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Hey Dora! Looks she needs to lose a few pounds, or stop drying her clothes in the dryer.

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Swiper you B*st*rd! Give back that key!

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Oh look, just like Magic Mountain, there is a Monorail track here!

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Oh look, unlike Magic Mountain, there is an actual working Monorail on it!

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Did you know Sea Lions can give CPR?

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Flying dolphins!

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Sharktums & Kidtums?

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Why wont anybody gimme a kiss?

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Without much fanfare or press coverage, Sea World had actually managed to install on the sly the next big attraction: Grass Hill: The Ride!

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Hey! Is that Rob Alvey from Theme Park Review?

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Spongebob saves the day!

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