The next park on our itinerary was Warner Bros. Movie World. We got a great deal with the VIP Pass, which for $99.99 gives you a year's access to Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild - not bad at all. You are definitely stung in the parks with food prices, which are astronomical, but we were fully expecting that. At least none of the Aussie parks charge for parking.
Movie World was similarly empty to Dreamworld, but more corporate and even a little unfriendly. The ride ops were VERY STRICT with loose items. I understand that it's park policy to secure loose items, especially on rides like Superman, which races in part over the midway, but we were a little taken aback with the aggression on display (ride ops shouting things like, "I don't want to find anything in your pockets except AIR!"). There were grumbling Aussies all around us.
Loose items aside, we had a good time and the ride selection at Movie World was high calibre. To the left of the entrance is the park's newest coaster, Green Lantern, an S&S El Loco. We've ridden the one at Indiana Beach, but at Movie World the trains seat four across and utilise lapbar restraints. It also looks like they have on-board sound, but that wasn't used during our visit. The ride was fun if a little forceless - it's more about the twisty layout. The public seemed to love it and it's certainly a unique addition for the park.
Superman Escape was amazing! Front car was our favourite, and you get some great airtime, including the crest of the top hat (at the back you seem to crawl over - it's a bit odd!). Queuing for the front was another story, as they allocate seats, but fortunately we got lucky twice and actually had two front row rides.
The newly named Arkham Asylum - Shock Therapy (the SLC with a bonus helix) had new trains, and they were quite comfortable. They're different to the Vekoma ones we rode on the SLC at Morey's Piers, and we thought they were even better, making for a re-rideable SLC (go figure!). The new themeing was OK, but the park could really do with a few signs to point out where on earth the entrance is. It took us quite a while to find it, as there were no clues on the map.
Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster was great fun, as others have reported, and had some nice surprises along the way. Other attractions we did were the Batwing Spaceshot, the Road Runner Rollercoaster, the Hollywood Stunt Driver show, and Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4D Experience, the '4D' involving seats that moved ever so slightly, air jets on your neck and the occasional spray of water in your face... The '3D' was great though.
Wild West Falls was down for maintenance, and we knew this going in, but without that particular attraction we felt the park was a little lacking in 'E ticket' attractions. Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D, an interactive dark ride opening in September, should help that situation, and is exactly what the park needs. Should be a great addition.
Another beautiful mid-winter day awaits us on the Gold Coast!
Today's park is Movie World, a short drive northwest from the coast.
Today we had some friends join us at the park.
After getting our VIP passes processed (which literally took less than a minute), it was time to head in!
DC characters away!
We went over to Green Lantern first. I guess 'Batman Adventure' will become 'Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D' at some point.
Here's the ride entrance. The queue was well themed but we couldn't take ANYTHING with us...
So our cameras ended up here for $2 - but I'm not complaining!
Green Lantern is one of those funky El Loco coasters.
Actually a really fun ride.
I liked how the four-across seating had the outside riders well off the track.
Some of the ride feels 'wrong' - in a good way. (Photo from outside the park.)
Beyond vertical drops are awesome!
I thought they said no loose items!
All in all, a fun ride, perhaps a little slower than Steel Hawg, but I don't think intensity is the point of an El Loco coaster. It's twisty fun and the public seemed to love it.
Next up, the star of the park - Superman!
The infamous Intamin cable...
...gets you to some great heights!
Fabulous airtime all over this ride.
It really packs quite a punch
Loved the part where you blast through the building.
Had to laugh at Superman 'pushing' the train along.
Are these people asleep?!
Another train descends from the top hat.
The airtime was definitely stronger in the front. Alas - allocated seating...
We were very fortunate to get two front row rides. Verdict - best coaster in Australia!
Time to check out the rest of the park. I'm sure these covered midways are a great idea in summer.
Happy Potter store. Move over Islands of Adventure!
I am a very good gay...I know exactly what MGM musical this is: The Harvey Girls, 1946, starring Judy Garland. Snap!
The covered square was a nice place to hang out.
We checked out the Hollywood Stunt Driver show.
It was actually pretty cool.
They had some cheesy/funny stunts.
Almost everyone in the park showed up to see this.
Didn't quite manage to snap a photo of the finale, but it was well done. Take a bow!
We had a look at some merchandising, which was plentiful in the park.
I thought this was pretty cool - 35mm frames from every James Bond film.
See that TINY cup? That's a Ben & Jerry's ice cream for $5.95. Ouch!
We went to the Dirty Harry-themed bar for some food instead. I liked the sound of the 'Make My Day' nachos!
I actually enjoy all the Dirty Harry movies.
The food (and beer) was very nice.
Moving on... Some of the park had quite well-themed buildings, but with nothing inside. Old/disused attractions?
Time for another credit.
Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster - the best 'mouse in the box' you're ever likely to ride.
The queue was well-themed, as was the ride.
Long dark ride section, vertical lift in the dark, backwards section...
A great ride! Well done Movie World!
They had some Scooby characters out and about.
Along with some others.
Wandering to the back corner of the park.
Sadly, we knew Wild West Falls was down for the count.
We had a little peek - looks like a great ride.
Over to the kids area.
Some nicely themed attractions here.
The Road Runner Rollercoaster is a well-themed Vekoma Roller Skater.
This is definitely not as embarrassing to ride as some kid's coasters - it's quite tall!
More attractions await...
We saw the '4D' Ice Age show, which was packed out. It had great 3D and was a bit of a laugh, but I think I'm tiring of this kind of animation. It's gets a bit 'samey' after a while.
We rode the S&S Space Shot, which I prefer over the S&S Turbo Drops (but never over an Intamin drop tower!).
Always a fun ride.
Public service announcement: Tights are not a substitute for pants!
We finally found the entrance to Arkham Asylum - Shock Therapy!
It had new trains, with straps instead of OTSRs, and this made for a much more comfortable ride.
No headbanging now, and not too bad in the shuffling department either. A re-rideable SLC - who would've thought?!
This is the part where it goes into the BONUS HELIX!
The exit to the ride was a bit confusing - I'm guessing this all used to be part of another attraction?
Some of the new themeing. But I think 'Lethal Weapon' is an awesome name for a coaster!
We were almost done by this point, and caught the parade.
Not my thing at all, but not bad...
We had a fun day at Movie World. It's a well-run, world-class park, and definitely worth a visit.
We weren't expecting too much from Australia's Sea World, perhaps because they are a little light on traditional theme park attractions, but ended up spending quite a full day there. I got really great 'vibes' from the park. It was friendly and they seemed to have a strong focus on conservation (e.g. they actually rescue sick and injured marine life).
We found Sea World's mixture of shows and zoological exhibits a nice contrast. We saw three shows: Jet Stunt Extreme, Fish Detectives Sea Lion Show, and the Imagine Dolphin Show. All were well done and unique to us, having never been to a Sea World park before. We also enjoyed the excellent Penguin Encounter, Ray Reef, where you can touch rays in a shallow pool, and Shark Bay, apparently the world's largest man-made lagoon system for sharks, which was also very beautiful.
Ridewise we enjoyed Jet Rescue, an Intamin friction wheel-launched coaster similar in some ways to Mick Doohan's Motocoaster at Dreamworld, but with two launches and much more comfortable restraints. I loved the quick directional changes and low to the ground layout, barely missing rocks at certain points.
The other coaster at the park (Sea Viper) is an Arrow loop/screw, the same as New Zealand's own version at Rainbow's End, but with new trains made by Kumbak, which were roomier and undoubtedly more comfortable than the old Arrow trains. The second corkscrew passes just under the Sea World Monorail, giving you a nice headchopper effect.
We also rode the monorail, skyway and Viking's Revenge log flume, which wound around parts of the old Bermuda Triangle ride. We had a look around Dinosaur Island, an interactive dinosaur exhibit new for 2012 (but free unlike Cedar Fair's dinosaur incarnations!). Gave SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D a miss, but nice to see the park has a Nickelodeon tie-in that might appeal to a younger audience (they also had Dora the Explorer and a great kid's area, Beach Break Bay, a replacement for Sesame Street Beach).
It looks like Sea World may be getting a new Mack water coaster, and I think that would be a great fit for the park as well as a big help in rounding out their ride collection. I really do wish them well in future!
Sea World was a very short drive north from where we were staying on the Gold Coast.
We got great vibes from the park right away. These are seabirds in rehab.
We wandered through the new Dinosaur Island area...
These were pretty good animatronics!
No $5 charge for this experience either...
What's your excuse Cedar Fair? ;-)
We had a look around the newly themed Beach Break Bay (which is a bit of a mouthful to say!).
The park had a few confusing corners... This was the way to the two coasters.
Over the bridge. Looks like the railway here is long defunct.
Similarly to Movie World, there were no cubbies here either, but these were only $1.
Jet Rescue station. Like every other coaster station in Australia you weren't able to queue for your row...but at least the queue was short.
Jet Rescue was great fun! Here's the train coming out of the tunnel with the second launch.
A bit hard to photograph...
Lots of low to the ground turns and near misses. Awesome ride!
Onwards to the park's other credit.
Interesting new trains...
The first drops on these little Arrow coasters do have a bit of kick in the back of the train.
But it's a pretty straightfoward ride: Vertical loop...
A nice headchopper under the monorail...
And hey presto - new credit conquered!
Not sure what the old ship was used for, but it's a nice ornament.
Next up, we rode the Viking's Revenge log flume.
It's a short ride that weaves around the old Bermuda Triangle attraction.
Like Dreamworld's flume, Viking's Revenge had to me the perfect amount of wetness (nice splash but no wet shoes!).
We had a little peek at the disused Bermuda Triangle station. This was by all accounts an awesome attraction. I'll be intrigued to see what replaces it.
Ray Reef allows you to get up close and personal with rays swimming around in shallow waters.
Not today SpongeBob...
We wanted to get to the front of the park for the Jet Stunt Extreme show.
Some nice views from the skyway.
Sea Viper from afar.
I think this was the dolphin nursery/feeding area.
We'll see these guys a little later.
At about this point the ride stops for loading/unloading.
Sea World is located very centrally on the Gold Coast.
Looks like the jet ski guys are getting ready...
The lake seating area started filling up.
And they were off!
It was a pretty cool show.
Lots of duelling and humour between the guys.
It was EXTREME!
Never noticed those workers in the background before now!
This was fun to photograph.
Not quite sure what's happening here...
This guy was British; the others were Americans and Aussies.
I'm not much of a show person, but this was definitely fun to watch.
After the show we had a look at the Penguin Encounter.
They had a nice enclosure.
Looks like the Antarctic to me.
The penguins were quite amusing to watch, and you could get very close to them.
We found the park's famous prayer rooms, which catered more to the Islamic crowd.
We rode the monorail, which proved to be a bit useless for photos thanks to some annoying Nickelodeon advertising!
At the north of the park we found Castaway Bay and this nice-looking splash battle.
Not too many riders today!
The Sky Fortress climbing structure.
Some pricey food in Castaway Bay. (Bear in mind the Aussie dollar is about the same as the USD right now.)
Some cute little penguins in rehab.
We had a look around Shark Bay.
Glass-bottomed boat rides were a very steep $10...
I didn't see the point when you can just go underground to the viewing area!
The lagoon was filled with sealife.
Back outside you could get up close and personal with some of the more friendly sealife.
Sea World is the only park in Australia with polar bears.
There was only one bear out today and he was sound asleep.
The park had a big focus on keeping the bears entertained and interactive with one another.
Time for the Fish Detectives show!
This was cheesy fun.
The sea lions were actually very clever.
The show is based around the fish store Alota Baloney, where the evil antagnoist is making big profits by catching too many fish.
It's amazing what a sea lion will do for a treat.
Hunting for clues...
In all, a fun show!
Finally, we checked out Imagine, the park's excellent dolphin show, set in a large sandy bottom lagoon.
Don't think these tricks come for free...
After a little pause for interaction with some lucky guests...
...it was back to the show!
We were impressed with what these fish could do!
So we really only have positive things to say about Australia's Sea World.
It was a great day out! Thanks for reading. (Our final update will be a super quick look at Wet'n'Wild.)
It sucks you missed out on Wild West Falls, it's a great ride. Well themed, very long, and full of surprises. I have to say you seem to have caught the staff at Movieworld on a bad day. I mean, they're always quite harsh, but what you experienced is out of the ordinary based on my visits to Movieworld.
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