Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Big Holiday...... Day 12

Our third BIG day – Dreamworld.

Organised accommodation for Brian & Marion tomorrow night at the motel down the road and then hit the M1 for an easy run to Dreamworld.

First stop, of course, was the smaller kid’s playground. Much better than Movie World – a lot more to select from. Aeroplane ride, small roller-coaster, merry-go-round, dodgem cars, blues skidoo spin and a play area with air canons. Whiled away a good hour here and then on for a bite to eat.

Food selection was a bit better than Sea World and Movie World, but there is one generalisation I would certainly make about these places. The choice and quality of food do not match the prices charged.

Had a look around from the vantage point of the Dreamworld railway which winds its way through most of the park. This then led us to Wiggles World. More smaller children’s play things and the Wiggles Red Car ride, which Rob, Lorelle, Ben & Chloe all enjoyed. Looked to be a more suitable eating place here as well, but too late. This area is next to Rivertown and when we went to look at the lake, were amazed to see lots of eels swimming around, and a couple of turtles as well.

From here we walked around to the Australian Wildlife Experience where there were snakes, lizards, koalas and kangaroos. On the exit from this area, two large salt water crocs were sunning themselves, one of them under apparent attack from a tiny water dragon lizard. Probably too small for the croc to consider as a food offering. We continued on to Rocky Hollow, where there is a log ride.

Surprisingly, Lorelle and Ben decided to give the log ride a go. While queuing it was obvious that we were going to get wet when the log plummeted down the final slope. Still, I was determined to film the experience, so sat up back and hoped for the best. The lead up to the “plunge” and other parts of the ride were a bit bumpy, noisy and dark and Ben got very concerned and wanted to stop. Of course, that wasn’t possible so Lorelle just comforted him as best she could until it was over. The final plunge did prove to be a “dampener” on all of us as the bow wave shot over the log. I think I managed to keep the video camera reasonably dry. Once this was over, a bit of the enjoyment and thrill of the water splashing all over us cheered Ben up a bit and he was managing a laugh by the time we got off – probably more relief than anything else, though.

We made our way back to the original play area to finish the day. Ben had another crack at the dodgems, this time by himself. He really drives these things very skilfully. Lorelle and Chloe must have had about twenty rides of the merry-go-round while Ben and I were in the ‘shoot-em-up’ play area. Ben nearly started World War III by trying to shoot everyone who came within range of his air canon. I was relegated to running around, keeping up his supply of ammunition.

Before leaving, I wanted to go on the Cyclone roller-coaster Just made it onto the last ride of the day. This is a great ride, not as many G forces as the Superman one at Movie World, but a lot more twisty and containing two loops where the car is upside down briefly. For sheer exhilaration, I would have to rate Superman as superior.

Then it was back along the M1 to Tugun and a nice, peaceful evening. I did pick Collingwood to beat Freo at least, so have started the round off well.

Some observations about the three parks we visited. Probably reasonable value given that pretty well all activities are included in the admission. Dreamworld has quite a few small coin-in-the-slot attractions and both Dreamworld and Movie World have arcade-style game areas which are also pay for play. I consider these all to be absolute rip-offs as the admission price is high enough that it could reasonably be expected to cover EVERYTHING. All parks are very commercialised but this should not be surprising as I guess retail sales would be an important part of their income stream. Food is over priced and poor in both quality and variety. All those zealots who like to get stuck into the fast-food industry should take a look at these places – of course, that would be outside their real agendas

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