Thunderbolt (Dreamworld)

Dreamworld

Dreamworld is a large theme park situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It is currently Australia's largest theme park. It is well known for being the location of the Big Brother Australia house. In addition to Big Brother, Friday Night Games was also filmed at Dreamworld.

Dreamworld also features several restaurants and shopping outlets; a kids area Nick Central, Wiggles World for toddlers and infants; as well as many themed areas such as Tiger Island, The Australian Wildlife Experience and Gold Rush Country. In December 2006, a new waterpark, WhiteWater World, operated by the same company as Dreamworld, opened next door to the park.

History

In 1974, John Longhurst put his dream of building a theme park into practice and purchased 85 hectares of land beside the Pacific Motorway in Coomera. The theme park was officially opened on November 15, 1981 by the Premier of Queensland of the time, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Four months later, Dreamworld's first roller coaster, the Thunderbolt, was opened and remained the major attraction of the park for the next 15 years.

Many more thrill rides have been built since, with the world's (at the time) fastest roller coaster, Tower of Terror, opening in January 1997 followed a year later with the world's tallest freefall drop, the Giant Drop sharing the same 40-storey tower.

Since 2001. an alliance with Big Brother Australia, which is filmed at Dreamworld, has allowed the park to gain considerable media attention. Visitors to the park can visit the house from July to December of each year.

The Cyclone roller coaster, originally based in Luna Park Sydney where it was known as "The Big Dipper", was relocated to Dreamworld due to noise complaints from nearby Sydney residents.

An alliance with Nickelodeon saw Nick Central open on December 26, 2002. This themed area is based on a similar concept which Paramount Parks in the USA have used successfully at many of their parks.

In August 2004, The Thunderbolt was demolished and sold for scrap metal, with the park retaining a section of track and at least one train in the park's back-of-house areas.

The Claw, a powerful pendulum that swings 9 stories high, opened September 2004 and is still proving to be popular with visitors.

On September 10, 2005, Dreamworld's newest themed area, "Wiggles World", opened based on The Wiggles and targeting infants and toddlers.

The Blue Lagoon water park area was closed in 2006 due to the construction of adjacent water park, WhiteWater World.

Mick Doohan's Motocoaster opened in late September 2007. Manufactured by Swiss company Intamin AG, it is Australia's first and only motorcycle rollercoaster and is also the only of its kind to feature life-size replicas of 500cc motorbikes.

Rides

Thrill Rides

  • Mick Doohan's Motocoaster - A motocoaster which consists of a launch whereby riders sit on full-scale replica 500cc racing bikes arranged in eight rows of two with two sidecars attached to the right side of the last two motorbikes (The sidecars were initially designed to be in the middle of the trains). Two trains each with 16 riders are in operation. Part of the Big 6 marketing campaign.
  • Giant Drop - The Giant Drop is currently the world's tallest and fastest freefall ride with a drop height of 120 metres (393 ft) and a maximum speed of 135 kilometres per hour (84 mph). It features a wait of 40 seconds at the top of the tower before the drop. The ride was designed and built by Intamin AG, and opened a year after the Tower of Terror (also designed by Intamin). Part of the Big 6 marketing campaign.
  • Tower of Terror - A reverse freefall ride, based on the technology and design of Superman: The Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain. When the ride first opened, it was the tallest and fastest ride in the world. It was the world's first roller coaster to break the 100mph speed barrier. It is now the world's fourth fastest rollercoaster (equally fast as Superman: The Escape). The ride's support structure, which it shares with the Giant Drop, is a major landmark on the Gold Coast. The Tower of Terror cost Dreamworld AU$16 million to build. Part of the Big 6 marketing campaign.
  • The Claw - A Gyro Swing; the only ride of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. At its maximum swing height of nine stories, it offers views of Surfers Paradise, 20 kilometres away. Part of the Big 6 marketing campaign.
  • Wipeout - A Vekoma Waikiki Wave Super Flip, costing AU$6 million opened in 1993 with the opening of the Ocean Parade precinct. It is capable of handling 40 riders at a time with ride cycles lasting 5 minutes. A minimum of 20 riders must be met before the ride can be operated. Part of the Big 6 marketing campaign.
  • Cyclone - The tallest high gravity roller-coaster in Australia. Originally named the Big Dipper and located at Luna Park Sydney, it was relocated to Dreamworld after controversies concerning the noise, which forced Luna Park to close for several years. A minimum of 6 riders must be met before the ride can be operated. The ride itself lasts for approximately 45 seconds. Part of the Big 6 marketing campaign.


Family Rides

  • Thunder River Rapids - A river rapid ride which feaures floating rafts holding up to six people floating down a foamy, turbulent river reaching speeds of up to 45 kilometres per hour. One rider usually ends up quite wet due to waves splashing over the side of the raft. The ride opened in 1986 in conjunction with the opening of Gold Rush Country.
  • Rocky Hollow Log Ride- A log flume which feautres minor dips, turns and tunnels as well as a major drop at the end which ends with a splashdown at a speed of 50 kilometres per hour. Suitable for guests 1 year of age and over (guests under 4 years of age must be accompanied by an adult).
  • Reef Diver - A SDC Enterprise which is painted bright yellow to stand out along with its Ocean Parade theming. Reaches speeds of up to 60km/h, and is suitable for guests 1 year of age and over (guests under 4 years of age must be accompanied by an adult).
  • Stingray A rotating ride featuring controlled lifting and tilting movements with a capacity for 36 riders.
  • Vortex - A park-model Gravitron, the Vortex operated under that name until 2002, when it was renamed to fit the Ocean parade themeing. Suitable for guests 1 year of age and over (guests under 4 years of age must be accompanied by an adult).
  • AVIS Vintage Cars - A fixed track car ride with scaled-down Ford Model T cars fixed onto a concrete track with a single guiderail. The ride has been relocated to the very end of the park near the Australian Wildlife Experience due to the placement of the new Motocoaster ride.
  • Dreamworld Railway - Another one of Dreamworld's original attractions which features a steam locomotive with several passenger trailers running on a loop around the park stopping at four stations; Main Street, Billabong, Australian Wildlife Experience and Rocky Hollow.
  • Captain Sturt Riverboat - A paddle wheel boat which travels around a small river loop connecting Wiggles World with the Australian Wildlife Experience. It was previously used as a stage setting for a bushranger show, which has been discontinued. A daily private cruise for guests belonging with JTB[?] exists, where koala handlers and a koala are brought on board for photo opportunities. Suitable for all ages.


Kids' Rides

  • Runaway Reptar Roller Coaster - The feature attraction of Nickelodeon Central which is themed from the fictional Rugrats monster Reptar. A 344 metre inverted sit-down roller coaster takes 20 riders up to a height of 15 metres through helixes, a camel hump and banked curves. It can travel up to 40 kilometres per hour.
  • Angry Beavers Spooty Spin - Rotating enclosed spinning ride themed to the Angry Beavers.
  • Rocket Power Bumper Beach- A Rocket Power themed Dodgem cars attraction. 'One way only' loop track.
  • Blue's Skidoo - A rotating fixed arm plane ride themed to Blues Clues.
  • Dora the Explorer Sea Planes - A rotating fixed arm plane ride themed to Dora the Explorer.
  • Swinger Zinger - A Chair-O-Planes ride.
  • Nick-o-Round - A general Nickelodeon themed Merry-go-round.
  • Wild Thornberry's Rainforest Rampage - A two level kids semi-indoor playground where kids are able to shoot soft foam balls from cannons along with many other activities.
  • Slime Bowl - A amphitheatre which features shows ranging from visitors getting "Slimed" to performances by SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • SpongeBob Flypants - New attraction to Nick Central, openend in time the June/July school holidays. Rotating ride where riders are arranged in a lying down position.
  • Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cup Ride - The newest attraction to Wiggles World, the ride opened on September 15 2006 on the first anniversary of the opening of Wiggles World. This ride is based on the Teacups ride with Dorothy theming. Suitable for all ages, with children over 90cm tall permitted to ride without an adult.
  • Big Red Car Ride - Riders sit in "Big Red Cars" which follow a track which takes riders through a tour of the Wiggles House.


Attractions

  • Screamworld - An event in which Dreamworld remains open after dark, while all thrill rides remain open.
  • Wiggles World - A section of the park devoted to children's play and themed to the popular Australian children's entertainers, The Wiggles.
  • Nick Central- An alliance with Nickelodeon saw Nick Central open on December 26, 2002.
  • Flowrider - Born from the roots of surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and bodyboarding, Flowrider is an artificial wave created on flexible, trampoline-like base. This is Australia's first and only Flowrider installation.
  • IMAX Theatre- An IMAX cinema currently displaying documentaries/movies on space and the Australian outback.
  • Helicopter joy flights - Park visitors may take helicopter flights taking in views of Dreamworld and the Gold Coast. The helipad is located in Gold Rush Country. Joy flights incur an additional expense.


Wildlife

Tiger Island

Tiger Island is one of only two exclusive tiger habitat exhibits in the world. It features Dreamworld tiger handlers putting on tiger shows daily with both Bengal and Sumatran tigers. The area has Indonesian style theming. Dreamworld is one of the leading contributors to tiger conservation with donations totaling nearly one million dollars to projects in India, Russia, and Sumatra.

Australian Wildlife

The Australian Wildlife Experience is registered zoo with 800 native and barnyard animals located within the Dreamworld grounds. AWE features four main animal exhibit areas:

  • Koala Country - An exhibit focusing on Dreamworld's collection of 58 Koalas, including the first blue-eyed koala known to be born in captivity. The "Cuddle a Koala" feature allows guests to have a photo professionally taken holding one of the park's koalas. This section also features kangaroos which guests can feed and pet.
  • Outback Adventure - An exhibit for Australian animals native to outback habitat. This includes the newly opened Bilby exhibit.
  • Daintree Rainforest - An exhibit of animals which live in tropical climates.
  • Kakadu Wetlands - An exhibit of reptiles which feaures a crocodile pool and a crocodile feeding show.
  • Oakey Creek Farm Show - An interactive show set against an outback station and providing visitors with a taste of life on an Australian farm.

Wiggles Farmyard Friends

A section of the park aimed at kids. This section features farmyard animas which guests can feed and pet.

Previous attractions

  • Big Brother House Tours - The Australian version of the Big Brother reality show was filmed at Dreamworld. Between seasons (August to January), self-guided tours were allowed of the contestants' house, camera runs, and eviction stage. During seasons, guests could view the eviction stage (access to the stage itself is limited), the 'control room' (video editing room) and plasma screens displaying live feed from the house. Discretion was advised when bringing younger ones as video content was not censored.
  • Blue Lagoon - Was Dreamworld's water park area with a large pool and various slides. It closed in the middle of 2006 due to the construction and opening of WhiteWater World, a large new water park built adjacent to Dreamworld.
    • Aqualoop Flume - This was a body slide, once part of the Blue Lagoon.
    • Krakatoa's Revenge - This was a tube slide, once part of the Blue Lagoon.
    • Toboggan - This was a toboggan, once part of the Blue Lagoon.
  • Creature Cruise - A gentle boat ride which flowed past hand crafted models of animals. Was opened in 1997 but closed in 2000.
  • Eureka Mountain Mine Ride - A wild mouse rollecoaster designed by HyFab. The Ride has not been operational since 2006 and has been decommissioned.
  • Go Karts - A go-kart track which operated from 1982 to 1992. Reason for the removal of this ride is still unknown, possibly due to lack of popularity or comfort.
  • Koala Theatre - This housed musicals such as Outback Celebration and Country Jamboree beforer it was demolished to make way for Wiggle's World. The Big Red Car now stands where the Theatre once was.
  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider - Enter the Tomb - A walk-thru temporary attraction based on the second movie "The Cradle of Life". It featured fog filled narrow passageways, lighting effects and live actors. It opened on December 26, 2003 and closed four months later on April 18, 2004.Has since Reopened at Luna Park Melbourne
  • Nightmares - A temporary scary experience walkthrough attraction featuring two different sections. The Freezer and Angoscia. It operated from December 26, 2006 through to July 2007.
  • Skylink Chairlift - A chairlift which linked Gold Rush Country with The Australian Wildlife Experience. It commenced operation on November 30, 1989 and closed on March 15, 2005.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants Water Play - A themed water play area for children, was converted into SpongeBob Flypants attraction, a swinging ride opening over the Winter holidays
  • Thunderbolt - Was Dreamworld's original roller coaster which opened in 1982 and was closed on August 8, 2003. It cost 4 million AUD to build and was capable of reaching speeds of up to 87 km/h. It was the first roller coaster in Australia to feature vertical loops. The land where Thunderbolt stood is partly occupied by the FlowRider, the internal entry to WhiteWater World and an overflow carpark. Future expansion of the WhiteWater World water park will utilise much of Thunderbolt's former footprint.

Mascots

Kenny and Belinda

Kenny Koala and Belinda Brown are the Mascots for Dreamworld. As of more recently, they are rarely seen in the park, but are frequently seen on advertisements. They make an appearance every day for the JTB private cruise scheduled at the Captain Sturt Riverboat. A few years ago, Belinda and Kenny owned a small tent which contained small fairground style rides. The tent closed in 2004 to make room for more park space.

Goldie the Clown

Goldie the clown is active mascot at Dreamworld. He owns a pint sized rainbow coloured mini minor called 'Happy Days'. He's best friends with Wizz. Goldie also likes to dress up as a Fireman, Bride and other things. Also watch out because Goldie likes to squirt people.

Wizz

Wizz is an old Wizard and is always welcome to help Goldie in causing mischief. The Wizz is a familiar sight atop 'Hot Stuff' - the breathing Dragster motorcycle. He is also best pals with Goldie.

Nick and Wiggles Characters

Regular characters include Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick Starfish, Chuckie, Angelica, Tommy, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, and Wags the Dog. These characters make frequent rounds of the park aboard an attractions car and stop for photo opportunities with guests.

External links

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