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Photo TR: Meanwhile, in Queensland


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After something of a lull in activity lately, all three of the bigger Gold Coast parks are undertaking major works at the moment. It's not all rides, but I was up there over the weekend to share some photos of recent improvements and attractions-in-progress.

 

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Let's start with Dreamworld. They have a brand new globe that not only looks great, but is also definitely not copied from any other park.

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Cyclone has completed its transition to Hot Wheels Sidewinder, breathing some new life into what had become a relatively rough ride.

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Hot Wheels might not be the most obvious retheme for an aging Arrow looper, nonetheless it's nice to see this part of the park get some love.

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The queue is still a nonsensical four-level ramp. This new centrepiece is a vast improvement on the old turbine thing.

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The new trains are pretty bright and feature vests rather than OTSRs. It's still not the smoothest ride but the ear-bashing is gone forever. Hooray!

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Next door the park has built a museum-cum-event centre themed to Australian motorsport.

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Inside is a collection of racecars from the V8 Supercars series - basically our version of Nascar, but with more corners.

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Unsurprisingly there's a gift shop at the exit, selling various motorsport merchandise, and (of course) Hot Wheels toys!

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The old Kevil Hill laser tag/scare maze has been taken over by Dreamworld's latest acquisition, a pair of white tiger cubs.

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The tigers were brought over from Hirakawa Zoo. They're now out of quarantine and have joined the two other cubs born at the park last year.

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A temporary play area has been built for the tigers while their new enclosure is built.

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Tiger cubs in action, behind some annoyingly reflective perspex. These guys are super popular with park guests!

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To get the cubs used to weird theme park goers the handlers take them out for walks. In true theme park fashion, Dreamworld will happily let you buy a photo with them as well!

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The old Tiger Island couldn't handle crowds at all, so it's been demolished and will be replaced by a new stadium.

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A thrilling construction fence.

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Sneak peek - a wall and some dirt. Still about six months until this is ready to open.

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The park added an awesome ride last year - Tailspin, a Gerstlauer Sky Fly.

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This thing is great, riders move the wings to make their seat flip. With the right technique and a helpful gust of wind it's possible to get some serious spin action happening!

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The park have done a great job with the themeing as well. Hopefully these show up in more parks soon, definitely one of the best flat rides around!

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Dreamworld has also gone to some effort to improve its menu offerings lately - the pulled pork pizza option is delicious.

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Sadly even on the weekend this RCT-inspired hot dog stand is out of action.

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Eureka Mountain Mine Ride remains SBNO. Depending on who you talk to, this is either on the cusp of reopening or is being sold for scrap metal.

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Thunder River Rapids is down for maintenance, and revealing its secrets.

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These newish-looking rails have been installed before the lift hill. I have no idea what purpose they serve.

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The log flume is back in action after a brief unplanned closure. Some genius decided to try to do a handstand mid-ride, fell out and nearly drowned.

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Despite media reports that it had closed forever, the ride reopened a few days later. No modifications were made except for a few stern signs to discourage any other would-be acrobats from practising on the ride.

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Please nobody tell PETA, but the wallabies are still available for "interaction".

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After an extended period of looking like a bowling green, the river is now algae-free. It's be great to see the park use this area a little more in the future, it has plenty of potential.

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The park announced last week that it was getting Australia's first LEGO store, and from what I can tell it's replacing this tacky discount outlet - good riddance!

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Over the road to Movie World, where they really need to swap out those banners.

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For some reason there were construction fences around the ticket booths. I don't know what's going on that's so secret but I'll assume it's not a ride.

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Batman would like you to know that Superman is closed today.

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It's getting a new launch cable. Exciting stuff.

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After being closed for almost a year Green Lantern has reopened. It won't make any top ten lists but this is still a great ride.

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The Roxy Theater has cycled through some pretty terrible films since they lost the rights to Shrek, but the latest addition - Looney Tunes 4D - is pretty solid.

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This year's big addition is Doomsday, an Intamin Suspended Twin Hammer.

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Part of the old Wild West area has been torn up and will be remade as a new themed area based on DC comics villains.

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Peeking over the fence I spy a giant footer. And some dirt.

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I assume this is the control building or queue.

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More construction. The show stage has been vacant for a while. Beyond supporting that mural the park haven't announced any plans for it.

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One more look at the dirt. That facade at the back is new, I guess it's a courthouse or town hall maybe? Anyway the ride opens in October!

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During April and May, Movie World are running their Carnivale event on Saturday nights. This is loosely based on Universal's Mardi Gras thing.

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The event is quite popular with the locals.

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For a regional theme park they do a great job. Each night only runs for a few hours but there's a good variety of entertainment to keep the crowds amused.

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The food wasn't bad either. I picked the jambalya - don't know how authentic this is but it definitely tasted great!

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Bugs Bunny working the crowd.

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Best part of the evening - night rides! It might just be an SLC, but since the new trains were added Arkham Asylum is a much less painful, and a lot more enjoyable.

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It was a pretty wet day at Sea World, but still surprisingly busy.

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I hope this little addition is as temporary as the tattoos they sell. Yuck!

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Sea World has never been the easiest park to get around, and they're currently in the middle of a major revamp which involves rerouting the main walkway through the park. For example, there used to be a bridge here.

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The only way to get from one end of the park to the other at the moment is via the Creatures of the Deep walkthrough. This is relatively new, and a better fit for the park than the dinosaur exhibit they ran with previously.

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Unfortunately it is also terrifying if you're a small child. Turns out the kiddies do not like big sharks, even if they are made of fibreglass.

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Some of the creatures aren't as, uh, real, as others.

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The kids area has received a refresh in the form of a Nickelodeon retheme. So Spongebob, Dora and Ninja Turtles feature prominently.

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A few new rides have been added, all from the same manufacturer. It's like a Zamperla showroom.

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New family coaster. I don't know if adults are allowed to ride, and decided not to find out.

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The spot where Sea Viper, aka Corkscrew, used to be is now a lawn. Future megalite location? One can only hope...

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I assume that Village have a warehouse full of that green hedge tarp somewhere. The park are replacing their fairly terrible food court and games area with a new covered food/retail space that will double as an event venue. Given that the old area had all the charm of a bus station, this is well overdue.

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No footers, plenty of dirt. There is a lot for them to rip up here, including the old train line that used to run around the park.

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More demolition. The monorail is staying but won't reopen until after the works are complete.

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Storm coaster was only improved by the rain.

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Jet Rescue doesn't run in the wet, so no seals would be liberated today.

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The "water park", consisting of a kiddie pool and single slide, is gone forever. Nothing has been demolished yet, but there's plenty of room for the park to work with here.

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Mandatory tropical reef photo. These fish are oblivious to the poor tourists getting soaked outside.

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The polar bear cubs have moved to Canada, so this big fella had the place to himself today.

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Creatures of the Deep also has an indoor section with some smaller creatures.

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Let's end with the Ocean Sunfish. Thanks for reading!

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Thanks for those photos, really nice read. Regarding you thinking that the Gerstlauer Sky Fly should pop up at more parks, there's actually lots now, they're like allover. There's also the Sky Roller model and two of those opening this year, really quite popular and it looks like lots of parks want them!

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Good to see a lot of activity going on in the Australian parks. That DC villains area at Movie World has peaked my interest. Look forward to seeing photos of it when it opens later this year.

 

Doomsday is a Suspended Twin Hammer? Thought it was going to be that huge tower ride. Too bad that didn't work out unless they plan on theming it to something else.

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^The park showed off some concept art a couple of years ago for a Doomsday tower ride that would have been placed inside Superman's helix. This didn't pan out (I assume due to clearance issues with the coaster), so they've kept the name but changed the ride.

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Great TR, you've shown pretty much all the highlights of the past few months.

 

Just to let you know, Tail Spin opened in 2014, not last year.

 

The tiger cubs are growing so fast! Good thing Tiger Island is getting a refurb because they'll be in there with the big boys in no time.

 

Doomsday is also starting to go vertical, with the centre pole having been put in place within the past 24 hours. Photos look like the restraints are going to be vest harnesses, they're looking very similar to those on falcon's fury.

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Thanks for the look at what's happening on the Gold Coast. I really enjoyed visiting these parks back in 2011. I had no idea that Sea World had removed Sea Viper.

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^ Yeah I believe after years of being next to the ocean it finally rusted out as the story goes. It went down for ages where they tried to fix it, it reopened for a short time before going down again and rumour is management told them do what you have to, spend the dollars to get it back, it's an icon of the park. In the end however it just couldn't be fixed and when that decision was made it disappeared pretty quickly. They've also filled in a large section of the lake, so here's hoping for a really cool replacement.

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