Big problem with Dreamworld’s grand reopening
The usual raucous of thrill-ride squeals was reduced to just a buzz for Dreamworld's long-awaited reopening with signature rides closed and the park littered with 'attraction unavailable signs'.
Kids were dancing with excitement on the front lawn and punters were lined up in the hundreds at 10am, but once through the gates some thrill seekers - myself included - were left scratching their heads.
Scream-inducing rides The Giant Drop and Buzz Saw had closed for maintenance - set to reopen on September 23 - while the Sidewinder rollercoaster has closed until October 30 as part of a longer remodel of the park.
Just The Claw remained open for serious thrillseekers. "There was also Mick Doohan's Motocoaster and Tail Spin but they aren't fast enough," a teenage boy leaving the park at lunchtime said.
He said "it was a bit of a bummer" and I had to agree. It wasn't the Dreamworld I remembered.
The entire 'Corroboree' section of the park had also been closed as part of the park's covid-safe plan, meaning no animal viewings or popular Australian Sheep Shearing Show for visitors.
Also closed due to COVID-19 was the Dreamworld Express, Mad Jungle Jam playground, and ABC Kids World, and, adding insult to injury, it was announced The Big Red Car and FloRider have both been permanently retired.
It was not all bad news: There were hardly any queues for the rides that were open, even with time allowed for staff to sanitise between each ride. Families with young children looked to be having a fantastic time and one little girl was celebrating her birthday with her first visit to Dreamworld.
The Tiger Island presentations at midday were a huge crowd-pleaser, as was the King Julian's Theatre children's show. And the Sky Voyager simulation across natural wonder of the United States was world-class entertainment. The quality of that ride gave me great hope for what Dreamworld will deliver in coming months and years, once the park's top rides reopen.
Across the road at WhiteWater World, all of the rides and pools were open and punters of all ages were having a brilliant time facing absolutely no lines.
My memories of WhiteWater World involve a lot of time waiting in packed queues on metal staircases to get just one turn, so it came as quite a surprise to me that at 1pm on a sunny 24C day there were just a couple of dozen visitors at the water park.
Those there were visibly enjoying the VIP-feel, with one mum shocked her two kids were the only ones on the popular Pipeline Plunge water-playground.
"I'm sure it'll get busy during the school holidays," she said.
Originally published as Big problem with Dreamworld's grand reopening