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Gold Reef City, Johannesburg, South Africa


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I recently visited Gold Reef City theme park in Johannesburg South Africa. The park is located in the southern parts of Johannesburg close to some old mine dumps that can be seen from some of the higher rides. The theme of the park celebrates the gold rush of the early 1900's.

 

The park does not have many major rides, but it is a lot by any South African standards. South Africa does not really have a theme park culture so Gold Reef City is the biggest and longest running theme park. Cape Town also has a theme park called Ratanga Junction, but it is open seasonally during school holidays and it is rumored to close soon. I am not sure why.

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Anaconda first loop

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Anaconda

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Anaconda layout

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Golden Loop is a bit difficult to photograph from the ground as it is surrounded by trees and restricted areas

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Jozi Express

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Another Jozi Express

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Jozi Express from another angle

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Tower of Terror, built into an old mine shaft and diving through a mine house, going underground and coming up on the other side of the Giant Wheel

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Tower of Terror, taken from the Big Wheel next door to it

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Tower of Terror

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Raging River Rapids runs its course under the tracks of Anaconda

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Raging River Rapids

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Raging River Rapids

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Raging River Rapids

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Runaway Train. Sorry, could not get a better picture, but it is a standard mine train in case you're wondering... :)

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Log ride

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Log ride. Last drop of three. The other drops are in areas you cannot reach.

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Log ride

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Tornado

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Mermaid

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Wave Swing

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UFO

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Miner's Revenge

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Miner's Revenge. This one tends to make you more dizzy than wet.

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Dream Boat

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New to the park. Jump City with trampolines

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Farmyard for the young ones

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Farmyard is educational as well

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Learn about the animals

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In case you did not know...

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Kiddies ride area

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More kiddies rides

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Kiddies area with the Tower of Terror, Giant Wheel and the mine tour shaft in the background

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This is an actual mine shaft. They do underground mine tours that take you into an actual gold mine. You get to wear all the head gear and battery belt and lights that the miners used to wear and go down in an actual mine cage.

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Would you like to get married here? You can! The park has its own chapel.

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You can even stay in the onsite hotel inside the park!

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These are some of the hotel rooms. The rooms walk out right into the park. Some of these buildings house the conference rooms as well.

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Train station for the Fun train

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Fun train taking you around the whole park.

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Part of the old steam train museum

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An old steam train

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Panning for some gold. Fun for the whole family.

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Fitting in with the theme of the park you can take some vintage photos. They dress you up in Victorian clothes or going on safari and other themes and then take this old looking photo. An inexpensive souvenir.

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One of the old houses you can view. You can go inside and see how the mining folk lived at the turn of the century.

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Old museum area with some of the old houses

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Fancy a chocolate fountain? Get your melted chocolate here. Served in a cone or dip some nougat, fruits or marshmallows in the chocolate. Finger licking good!

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Giant Wheel with the Tower of Terror to the side

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An aerial view of Anaconda to the left in green and Golden Loop to the right in yellow

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An aerial view of the mine shaft with the Johannesburg skyline in the back. To the right is one of the remaining mine dumps.

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Jozi Express taken from the Giant Wheel

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4D theatre

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4D theatre with some restaurants to the side

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4D theatre

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I had no idea that this park even existed, so thank you for sharing this report!

 

The Tower of Terror looks a bit intimidating while the rest of the park theming & rides look like it would be a very nice family park.

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Thank you for the TR, there isn't much about Gold Reef City out there and it's nice to see how it looks like now.

 

Is Anaconda really one of the most intense inverts out there as people said?

I've always assumed so, based on Giovanola's reputation, in combination with the Batman-esque layout. And word of mouf.

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Nice Photo TR. I hadn't seen anything on Gold Reef City for a while, and it's good to see how the park is doing now. The green on Anaconda is a big improvement from the orange it used to be. Hope to make it to this park someday.

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Thanks for the TR! I got to visit this park in 2007 but we only spent a very short amount of time, and with it being their winter, Golden Loop was closed and I believe ToT was SBNO at the time. I loved Anaconda and the scenery of that coaster is one of the best I've ever seen. I'd love to go back!

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Anaconda looks like one of the most intense coasters ever built!

 

Anaconda is great. The most intense part is where it goes into the double helix at the entrance sign. My feet usually tingles when we go around. Someone once mentioned something like 4 G's, but I am struggling to get proper stats from park management. Either they don't know or don't care. Like I said, South Africa unfortunately have no coaster culture.

 

However, if you want extreme then Tower of Terror would be quite extreme. It is reported to reach 6 G's at the bottom and it sure feels like it. I have however not confirmed it, but some websites out there make mention of it as well.

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Wonderful TR! Those are some great photos, what a beautiful park.

 

I know of this place but only that Anaconda looked really awesome. A friend of mine went to South Africa on some trip and stopped by here. I remember him saying Anaconda was a great ride.

Wow, you appear to be right. I am finding 6.3 Gs for Tower of Terror. If true, which wouldn't surprise me, ho-ly crap!

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That was a really interesting trip report, thanks for sharing! Not only does it look like the park has some very decent theming, but I also like that they kept some of the historical parts, like keeping parts of the mining town. Oh, and Tower of Terror is still one of the most unique and interesting rollercoasters ever built!

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Count me in the camp that wants to ride Anaconda more than just about anything. Thanks so much for the detailed report! I would love to hear more of your opinions on the rides! Thanks

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There isn't much info or pictures on this park, so thanks for sharing your experience. Tower of Tower and Anaconda are both unique and the park as a whole looks pretty nice. I'd love to visit Gold Reef City if I am ever in South Africa, especially to ride Tower of Terror and Anaconda.

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This was great! Thanks so much for sharing.

 

On the occasions that I see pictures from this park, I always remind myself to add it to my bucket list. It is just such a nice looking place.

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We never hear much about Gold Reef City, but it looks like a beautiful park. I like how Anaconda wraps about the rock work.

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I remember back in the ole early days of the internet (and TPR) Tower of Terror was one of the most interesting rides in the world (to me). It opened for a few years, then was SBNO, it had a lift hill at one time, then converted to an elevator lift, and basically the only information anyone had about the ride was all of maybe 3 pictures that were in some random coaster books, not websites like hard copy books back when those were a thing. Not to mention those pictures were of a TWISTING VERTICAL DROP off of a mining rig into a subterranean tunnel. It was a pretty intriguing attraction.

 

Fast forward a decade and a half and there's a POV of everything at your finger tips and the mystique is no more. I miss the good ole days, and get off my lawn.

 

 

(awesome report by the way, really cool looking park that not a lot of people get a chance to visit.)

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The parks really grown, I lived in joburg in the 80s and remember GRC opening with a few rides and bars, certainly looks different now.

There did used to be a travelling theme park called Pleasureland? that had a couple of schwartzkopf coasters including a Looping Star and a lot of flat rides that came to Joburg for the Rand Show and also came just as a travelling park on its own

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I wish the park would add a few more rides. There hasn't been an expansion for the last few years. Looking over the park from the Giant Wheel it seems that the park is now surrounded by other buildings so it seems that a land expansion may not be possible if they want to add a rollercoaster for instance. The addition of something like a drop tower would be really great or even one of these compact coasters with a small footprint. In Johannesburg the weather is fair so they will not have problems with height restrictions. In Cape Town however they have very strong winds so on a very windy day the higher rides are not working.

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I want White Lightnin' back (Golden Loop for those who don't know what I'm talking about). It was removed before I had a chance to ride it at Carowinds.

 

Seriously though, the park looks great and the ride is being taken care of quite well since it's still in operation. Maybe I'll get a chance to go one day.

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