Theme Park Series – Movie World
It’s hard to write a review of a place like Movie World. I first went there on a school excursion in 2000. So 11 years on, I’ve been on all the rides at one point or another, and seen the changes that have happened in the park. One of the biggest changes recently is that they have the first Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop in Queensland. (Yes, Australia is only just getting Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.) It was a little too busy when we were there, but I passed on that feedback to their twitter account (@BenAndJerryOz) and they said they were keeping an eye on it.
There are lots of kids rides at Movie World, but I actually liked the Looney Tunes River Ride. It’s a little indoor boat ride, chasing Bugs Bunny though Australia. Unfortunately, when we got there I found out that it’s “closed until further notice”. Which I’ve noticed in Australian theme parks often means that they’re replacing a ride. We’ll wait and see on that one…
The biggest two attractions (by biggest, I mean largest) at Movie World are the two giant roller coasters. I’ll admit it’s been quite a few years since I’ve been on the Lethal Weapon ride:
But the main reason I haven’t gone on it in many years is that the queue is always huge, and the ride is so fast & over so quickly you don’t really get any time to enjoy it. If you’re not a brave roller coaster rider, there is a viewing area that takes you right into the middle of the roller coaster area.
The other big ride is the Superman Escape. This is a bit of a freaky ride, because you don’t know when it will launch. But there’s more to it than that. Without giving away details (because that’s what going to the park & on the ride is for!), the scary factor is increased by the fact that there are distracting theme objects around and a lack of clear direction. It is a FAST ride. I was seeing stars when I walked off it for the first time.
My personal favorite ride, however, is the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster. It does sound like a kids ride, and while there is a lower height requirement, no inversions or “normal” extreme factors, it has a fairly high intensity rating in parts. But also a great enjoyment rating. What I love about this ride are the huge range of “ride events” in it that you experience that are not normally in any rollercoaster. I want to tell you them but I loved discovering them for myself, so once again, you just have to go on the ride! (Or if you really want to know & really don’t live near/won’t be visiting the park, email me suitcasescribbles AT gmail DOT com & I can answer your questions.)
The Scooby Doo coaster has incredibly bad theme-song-turned-pop-music in the second part, but it’s so cheesy there is no choice but to enjoy it. A few years ago, we went on this ride towards the end of the day, and it was a little darker than normal. That little bit of extra darkness made it a lot scarier! I have no idea if the additional darkness was intentional, something they do regularly or whatever, but having your ability to see the ride track just a little less is scary.
But be aware: the Scooby Doo ride is popular – and it has an indoor queue line, so its popularity increases if there is any rain. And the queue line has an endless replay of a behind the scenes film from the movie shot at the theme park in 2002. Even if you go on this ride once, you’ll know it off by heart. (I’ve gone on this ride so many times I’m surprised I don’t end up reciting the interviews in my sleep.)
They also have what is, in my opinion, the best log ride out of any theme park. Once again, this does have a ride event that you don’t normally find on a log ride, but I won’t tell you what it is here. It is faster, taller and therefore more fun than the log rides at Dreamworld or Sea World.You will get wet – I’ve been on this ride a lot of times, in all seats and with all combination of other riders with me – there is no avoiding it! I did noticed that they recently installed a ‘get dry’ booth, but I think it costs a fair bit. Seems like a bit of a silly option when: a) most of the time it’s hot enough here you don’t care if you’re wet and b) the bathrooms all have hot air blowers which you can always stick yourself in front of.
Movie World also has the Hollywood Stunt Driver Show and a Star Parade (complete with singing, dancing, Scooby Doo, Batman and most Warner Brothers characters). The Stunt Driver show is a relatively new addition to the park; it used to be themed as the Police Academy Stunt Show, complete with escaping “villains”.I haven’t been to see the Hollywood Stunt Driver Show as I was very attached to the Police Academy show that it used to be.
There’s also a Shrek 4D adventure film. 4D is basically a 3D film with a few chair-based elements thrown in. Even if you’re not a Shrek fan (like me), it’s still a good attraction to go on, if only to give you a small break in your day.
Of course, there are many merchandise stores around the park, which sell goods from a variety of Warner Brothers films. There is also a Harry Potter specific store, themed to look a little like a store might in Diagon Alley.
If you only have the chance to go to one theme park in the Gold Coast area, Movie World would have to rate as one of the most worthwhile. It covers rides for young kids, hardcore roller coaster fans and everything in between. The only feature it lacks is some kind of water themed attraction, but that’s why the same company owns Australia’s biggest water park, right next door!