Wet'n'Wild Water World is a water park, and as such not somewhere we would normally visit. However, towards the middle of last year it put itself on my radar (and that of many other enthusiasts) with the addition of an Intamin Half Pipe coaster. Five of these have been built to date, though of those one has never opened to the public, and two of the others (in the USA and Finland) were both out of order on the days I visited. As such, there was absolutely no way that I'd allow myself to miss this one, even if it did mean visiting a separate park.
Surfrider (#1120) has a unique feature not found on any of the other installations. It is fitted with a high pressure water jet, which sprays riders as the car moves back and forth on the track. This might be a good idea on a warm day, but all it really served to do today was induce hypothermia. Notwithstanding this, however, the half pipe motion is really a lot of fun, particularly when the cars spin around. The only major complaint I've got about the ride was the cycle time, which was simply too short to be thrilling; there were no more than four full height launches, meaning the car was already slowing down by the time riders got into the swing of things.
We had started out our day with every intention of spending a few hours in Wet'n'Wild Water World in order to get the most from our money. However, it was simply too cold for that; instead, we made a quick exit into the dry park next door.
Warner Bros Movie World
17th March 2008
We decided to start our visit to Warner Bros Movie World with Scooby Doo's Spooky Coaster (#1121), which is possibly the most elaborate wild mouse coaster ever built. The experience opens with what is probably best classified as dark ride, even if there are a number of small drops. Riders narrowly avoid decapitation from a pair of vicious looking blades as the car drops into one of these as the on ride photo system fires. The flash also serves to wipe out passengers' night vision completely, to the point that the next thing it is possible to see is the vertical lift mechanism.
At the top of the lift cars drop abruptly backwards, before entering a turntable mechanism. From there the ride turns into a bog standard wild mouse layout, albeit one which is both fully enclosed and substantially faster than the norm. Throughout this section riders enjoy both the famous scooby dooby doo song and some laser lighting effects. An animatronic Scooby is waiting to congratulate us all at what everyone assumes is the end of the ride, but there is one final trick ahead; one more drop takes the cars to the unload station. Much to our surprise both of us really enjoyed this; the theming turned what might otherwise have been a cookie cutter coaster into something truly special.
At the other end of the desirability scale was the rather unpleasant Lethal Weapon (#1122), which I believe may have been the first production model SLC following the two prototypes in the Netherlands and the USA. This version has the bonus helix at the end of the ride, which isn't necessarily an improvement. The rock hard over the shoulder restraints were totally unforgiving as always, making defensive riding a prerequisite. Once was without question enough.
The signature coaster at the park is also the newest. Superman Escape (#1123) is an Intamin launched coaster which towers over the front of the park. The experience begins with a section of dark ride, in which your subway car is caught in the middle of an earthquake. Then you hear Superman's voice telling you he's going to get you out of there fast, which indeed he does. As launched coasters go this is definitely one of the better ones, with a good pop of airtime over the top hat element.
We ticked off Road Runner Rollercoaster (#1124) quickly before looking for other things to do. We must have been the only people over the age of thirteen in the queue for the Looney Tunes River Ride, a quest to find out where the wascally wabbit had gone. Bugs Bunny sounds somewhat strange with an Australian accent but the locals didn't seem to mind much. As dark rides go this was not bad at all, and there was a nice surprise touch at the end which I'm not going to spoil.
The idea of sitting down for a while was what led us towards Shrek 4D Adventure, as we were sure we'd seen this particular showing before somewhere else. That may have been the case, but neither of us could remember it so it might as well have been new. The humour began even before the main show. We need everybody to put their seat belts on; we cannot start the ride until this has been done. They're on the left hand side of your seat; if you can't see it please reach down as they sometimes fall beneath. If you can't find it please raise your hand; and everyone should have their hand up at this point, as there are no seat belts. Quite.
The humour in Shrek is remarkably endearing for young and old alike. You have to pay attention or you will miss things, ranging from horses wearing sunglasses to the three blind mice walking across the screen with canes. One of them gets hit by a magical charm, and cries out I can see, I can see, before he gets hit by another and drops back with oh, never mind. A reasonable knowledge of nursery rhymes is a prerequisite for many of the jokes, but lets face it, most of us have heard the stories at some stage in our lives!
The only real disappointment was Batman Adventure The Ride 2, a rather violent simulator attraction that honestly didn't do much for me. The only real giggle was a sign present outside, advising patrons about a time when they could enjoy a motionless tour, i.e. one without movement. I'm open to suggestions for other possible meanings for the word motionless; I'll add anything good here!
The last ride we tried was the Wild West Falls flume, a design that was later copied at Parque Warner Madrid. This ride originally had some fairly spectacular theming on the lift hill before the final drop, including a simulated explosion. This was all destroyed in a fire in December 2004, and the replacement is nowhere near as elaborate. Be that as it may, it is still fairly impressive, and it does cover a very large area that cannot be seen from within the rest of the park.
17th March 2008
The two major coaster parks on the Gold Coast between them are among the nicest I've visited anywhere in the world. It is refreshing to find major parks that still have free parking available, rather than trying to gouge another chunk of money out of each guest. A small number of points need to be taken away due to neurotic operating policies, not to mention the one train operation on major coasters. Nevertheless one cannot fault the quality of the attractions and theming. Enthusiasts planning a trip could do a lot worse than this area.