Sea World

29th December 2009

It's always fun to visit theme parks with those who know them well, as in so doing you can be sure not to miss anything important. My guides for today were two local enthusiasts from Parkz, who had even managed to arrange me free park admission.

Jet Rescue (#1479) is currently the newest coaster in Australia, having opened to the public just over a year ago. The ride is far more thrilling and intense than a casual glance might suggest, thanks to two separate launch sections which keep the speed up over what is a particularly twisted course. The frequency and speed of the various direction changes more than make up for the relatively small height differential.

Sea World

Next to it is a brand new attraction for this year, or at least that's what marketing would like you to believe. Sea Viper (#1480) may have been at the park for twenty-seven years, but this year it has been augmented with the addition of new trains from KumbaK. Though they are supposed to be more open than the originals they are nevertheless afflicted with an uncomfortable restraint design which greatly limits rerideability. Having said that, the brand new attraction does at least take people out of the queue for the infinitely better Jet Rescue!

From there we went to the truly mysterious Bermuda Triangle dark ride, which didn't do much for me. Apparently the ride used to feature some impressive fire effects that ceased to operate a few years ago, and without them the experience can best be described as dull. There was at least some humour however; a whole section of the ride was illuminated by work lights which someone had forgotten to turn off. I was equally non-plussed by the utterly average Viking's Revenge flume.

Though my primary interest in any park is the thrill rides it would be utter heresy to visit a Sea World park without at least one animal show. The one selected today was Imagine, an interactive Dolphin display that was particularly eye-catching. It was a treat to enjoy something like this without having it laced with irrelevant military chest beating, not mentioning any similar parks...

 

Dreamworld

29th December 2009

My first priority for my second trip to Dreamworld was always going to be a lap on my missing coaster, namely Rugrats Runaway Reptar (#1481), a standard family inverted design from Vekoma. It never ceases to amaze me just how shaky such a small coaster can actually be, though this one was at least limited to only one ouch moment.

With that out of the way, we headed directly for the best ride in the park. It seems unlikely that any park will install a taller Giant Drop than that at Dreamworld, whose tower stretches one hundred and twenty metres into the sky. Even with that ridiculous height the sensation of free fall lasts just five seconds, but they're five exceptionally thrilling seconds that we just had to repeat over and over again. I wasn't counting, but we almost certainly made it into double figures over the course of the afternoon.

Giant Drop

We also repeated the other three coasters, the only one worth the time being the Tower of Terror. Today the single car was making it pretty close to the top of the tower, the launch feeling much more powerful than its twin in southern California. Sitting in one of the side cars on Mick Doohan's Motocoaster eliminated the comfort issues caused by the regular bikes, though the lack of speed on the ride meant that the experience was still pretty dull. Last and by every means least, the Cyclone simply hurt.