Dreamworld – the Gold Coast theme park with more for kids
Our family always loves visiting Dreamworld, and there is just so much going on at Dreamworld right now! Real tigers stalk the park – on leads! There’s a huge new Lego store on the way too, plus of course all those amazing thrill-rides to be conquered – here’s our 2016 kid-friendly ride and entertainment guide for Dreamworld…
Dreamworld is the Gold Coast theme park we go to for the best variety of fun rides for young kids. ABC Kids World is amazing for toddlers and very young children, and for older kids, Dreamworld ride height minimum limits are lower than some other Queensland theme parks. This suits my primary school-aged kids perfectly. That’s more rides for them to enjoy, which means great value for money for parents – plus the rides are just as fast and thrilling!
Stop! Before you go anywhere in Dreamworld, get one of these…
To kick-off our day at Dreamworld, we arrived right on 10am – opening time – and got a Ride Express electronic device. This clever electronic virtual queuing unit will save you a heap of time for an extra cost. There are three waiting-time options – bronze ($25), silver ($40) or gold ($65). Gold is the fastest option -90% less queuing time – and we found ourselves waiting no more than five minutes at most rides with our Gold Ride Express – fantastic.
School holidays tip: Of the 3 big Gold Coast theme parks, Dreamworld is the only one which still offers virtual queuing during the school holidays
Let’s go – Dreamworld family thrill ride guide
Gold Rush World
For our first rides of the day, we headed straight off into Gold Rush land. Here you’ll find the terrifying Buzz Saw (“Keep walking children!”) and the “get wet” rides – which are a huge hit with everyone in the family – young kids, teens and adults.
A few goes down the rollicking River Rapids rides started the day off on a hilarious note as we rocked, rolled and spun our way down the rapids. I love the way that this ride gets everyone squealing and laughing together – family, friends and even the strangers sat opposite you!
Don’t forget to watch out for the folk on the banks with the water guns – their only aim is to soak you! You’re going to get a little – or maybe even a lot – wet on this ride!
Rocky Hollow Log Ride
Next-up was the Rocky Holly Log Ride – we were already wet, and decided we couldn’t get much wetter! As usual, the Log Ride didn’t disappoint. We had to tear ourselves away after three rides on this one.
You can see what the Log Ride is like for yourself, by clicking Play on the Youtube video below!
Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster
Next we headed off to our first Big 9 Thrill Ride – the Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster.
This zoomy ride will bring tears to your eyes due to it’s speed, but it’s such a lot of fun you can’t help laughing – that is, if you can possibly draw breath!
Even younger kids (who meet a minimum height) are allowed to ride this one – they can hop in one of the side car motorcycles with mum or dad if they are not yet big enough to hop aboard a motorcycle. The Mick Doohan Moto Coaster’s last two carriages are a parent bike and sidecar. At Dreamworld, few kids are left behind!
ABC Kids World
We love ABC Kids World – it’s an absolute gem for parents of little kids and toddlers.
The Wiggles World Little Red Boat, Little Red Car and Dorothy’s Tea Cup rides, Hop and Hoot ride, the Bananas in Pajamas’s maze, Playschool Art Room and Giggle and Hoot pirate ship – there’s just so much to do!
It’s the most colourful, fun playground around which my kids still enjoy – if you have little kids, make a bee-line for ABC Kids World and let the ankle-biters run-riot!
A variety of lunch options
By this time we were all hungry and I managed to talk the kids into pausing for a moment to eat. It was lunch time, and we headed for the large covered central dining area.
Here you can choose from gourmet pizza, chips and burgers, or if you are completely junk-fooded out at this point in your holiday like we were, there is a healthy sandwich and salad bar called “The Sandwich Shop” – pesto salad for me and wraps for the kids – perfect!
Madagascar theatre show
Onward to the nearby Madagascar theatre show. This popular show plays twice daily at Dreamworld, and is a real hit with families – it also gives mum and/or dad time for a breather!
Jungle Jam tree house
Then off to the Jungle Jam tree house which the kids always love. Kids will be kids, and this is a big house of fun they can go wild in!
The Jungle Jam tree house is full of kids climbing, laughing, firing foam guns and generally having a good time – great for little monkeys of all ages.
Madagascar roller coaster
When I finally managed to drag the kids out of the Jungle Jam tree house, we headed off to the Madagascar roller coaster. This ride is a must for families – smooth, short but still thrilling, this roller coaster will have you all smiling at the end. Lots of fun for everyone.
Ocean Parade World
Hot Wheels Side Winder
Lulled into a false sense of roller coaster security after the Madagascar coaster, we then headed off to take a ride on the Hot Wheels Side Winder (formerly the Cyclone roller coaster).
We excitedly climbed aboard the brightly coloured Hot Wheels car-styled carriages. This huge coaster pumps out the latest tunes whilst it cork screws, loop-the-loops and seemingly jet-propels you down the rails on a thrill-ride which leaves your heart in your mouth – but don’t worry, you can still squeeze a scream out!
Terrific fun at a gazillion kilometres per hour – no wonder the Hot Wheels Side Winder is one of the Big 9 Thrill Rides!
Upon emerging from the Hot Wheels Side Winder, we came upon a wonderful surprise – a real-live tiger cub sitting up on the gift shop counter!
Dreamworld’s Tiger Island is currently being renovated and improved for the tigers, with the new-look Tiger Island re-opening this September. In the meantime there is a Tiger Kindy nursery playground where you can watch the adorably cute Dreamworld tiger cubs and their big brother Kai play with their toys.
Plus in the afternoons around 2 to 3pm, the young tigers are taken for leash walks around the park for people to walk alongside, and even pat when they stop!
Professional tiger handlers are with the cubs at all times and make sure they are safe and sound, yet are allowed to lead and explore. These gorgeous little-big-cats are just like oversized kittens – only with really, really big paws! They climb on walls, seats, roll around on their backs and generally have a good ol’ time!
There are opportunities for a professional photographer to take your photo with these young tiger-ambassadors too – a percentage of the price of these photos (which cost $10 each) goes to the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation (DWF) to help save their tiger-cousins in the wild, of which only 3,200 remain. DWF is the largest zoological donor to tiger conservation in the world – now that’s amazing! Donate and learn more at the Dreamworld website here.
When we could finally tear ourselves away from the tigers, we headed over to the Wipeout – I like to think of this rides as – well, terrifying to be honest, but if you ask my ten year old, Brooke, she’ll tell you it’s ‘awesome fun’, and not scary at all if you close your eyes! The Wipeout twists, flips and hangs you upside down for good measure – this is yet another Dreamworld Big 9 Thrill Ride, and it’s most-definitely built to thrill!
This year we decided to be brave and go on the Tailspin. This high-flying ride looks quite intimidating, but it was actually the most beautiful ride to experience. You really feel like you are flying on the Tailspin! Although it does reach some pretty lofty heights, it’s really just a peaceful glide-ride – a thrilling feeling to whoosh through what surely must be the clouds! But if you’re after even more of a thrill, don’t worry – you can use the wing control handles on your “plane” to set you spinning around and around and around…..don’t miss this one!
Finally, our last ride of the day was The Shockwave. This ride is another favourite of ours. A massive wheel which rotates and zooms along a short and wavy track – it looks scarily powerful, but is just pure FUN! We had to go on this one a few times, right up until closing. Once you’ve had one ride on the Shockwave, you just can’t stop!
A dedicated Lego store is coming soon to Dreamworld!
Everything is awesome!
As if the amazing Fairytale Treasures, Hot Wheels, ABC Kids World and Madagascar shops weren’t enough to excite the kids into a frenzy, Dreamworld is about to add to their shopping fun with a LEGO® Certified Store!
Opening in November 2016, there will be giant LEGO statues, a LEGO wall, LEGO building areas and everything LEGO! We just can’t wait for the new Dreamworld Lego store to open, just in time for the summer school holidays – awesome!
There’s so much more to Dreamworld than we could ever fit into one day, but we certainly got a large number of rides and fun in!
I hope you enjoyed our round-up of Dreamworld fun for families. Now don’t just sit there – go and visit Dreamworld for yourself – you’ll all have a fantastic family day out!
Let’s Go Info…
Dreamworld is open 7 days a week: 10am – 5pm (excepting Christmas Day)
How to get there
You can get to Dreamworld by car (self-drive easily from your Gold Coast hotel – 20 mins).
Many companies run tour coaches to the Theme Parks – enquire at your hotel reception to book and for pricing.
There are some great value passes to Dreamworld available – you can buy an annual pass from $109.99 which also gives you entry to the attached White Water World and the (well-worth a visit) SkyPoint Observation Deck too.
For a full listing of tickets and discount online prices, visit the Dreamworld website here.
All prices are accurate for July 2016
We reviewed this theme park as guests of Dreamworld
Has your family visited Dreamworld? Did your kids love the rides – and did they have a favourite? Tell us in the comments below!