This article is one of a series documenting visits to various parks in Australia. All articles feature in our ‘On Park’ section. All these parks were visited during a period of extended residence in Australia.
Visit: December 30th 2010
Where: Sea World Drive, Main Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland 4217, Australia
Before visiting Sea World we did a little research and it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a ‘ride park’. Although the park does boast a few great rides, the park’s focus is fixed firmly on the various marine exhibits and shows. Contrary to a seemingly popular belief, the park is not part of the US family of Sea World parks.
The park is run by the Village Roadshow company, who also run Wet ‘n’ Wild and Movie World (a short bus ride away). A $99AUD (£64.88*) VIP pass is available allowing unlimited access to all three parks for an extended period.
The park’s location is stunning, situated on The Spit near Main Beach, the park is surrounded by the sea. Not far away is Surfers Paradise with its awesome skyline littered with apartments and high rises.
Sea World has two roller coasters, notably Jet Rescue, an Intamin motorbike coaster with jet ski cars and Sea Viper (formerly known as the Corkscrew). Children have their own fantastic area called Sesame Street Beach – an IP that is yet to be exploited in the UK.
Jet Rescue is incredibly intense and features rapid direction changes, a tunnel and water effects. The two launches on the ride are hydraulically powered but do not feature a catch car (like Rita or Velocity). Several high speed ‘kicker’ wheels are utilised in this installation. The ride experience is extremely short – but it is certainly the best example of a motorbike coaster (without using motorbikes!).
Sea Viper is slightly less exciting. The park opened their Arrow looping roller coaster in 1982 as Corkscrew. In 2009, the ride was repainted and received a new train built by Kumbak coasters. At this point the ride was renamed Sea Viper. If you’re at the park on a busy day you may wish to avoid this ride, the single train doesn’t keep the queue moving.
During my first visit to the park I rode the Bermuda Triangle dark ride – a bizarre voyage into the unknown, complete with aliens and various other animatronics. On my return, the ride is closed and has disappeared off the map.
The park is also home to the Viking’s Revenge Flume Ride, dating from 1978. This was the first amusement ride in Australia and still serves the park well.
For the little ones the park has the aforementioned Sesame Street Beach featuring a great collection of smaller rides set in an extremely pleasant lakeside environment.
We were impressed with the food at Wet ‘n’ Wild and Sea World was no different. Good food, good value and served quickly by a friendly member of staff.
New since our last visit was Castaway Bay. This is a new area of the park featuring a massive kid’s playground called Sky Fortress, a high ropes attraction (for an additional fee) and Battle Sails, a Mack Rides interactive boat ride similar to Battle Galleons at Alton Towers.
While I am more inclined to talk about the rides in this article – the park is home to a vast array of marine animals including dolphins, sharks, sea lions and penguins.
If you’re only at the park for a few hours – I would encourage you do two things. Firstly, ride Jet Rescue. Secondly, you have to see the Believe dolphin show. See the pictures below!
If travelling by public transport, the bus is the easiest option. Our connecting bus was running every 10 minutes making our trip to the park from our hotel super convenient. The buses are provided as part of the Translink network. A word of warning – these buses get packed on busy days, particularly at the end of the day as everyone tries to get back to their hotels.
If you’re a roller coaster fan – allow a few hours. If you’re a theme park fan, allow a day – you’ll love it.