This month we visited Queensland for a snappy 5 day break. We had told the kids that we wouldn’t be doing the theme parks this time as we had only visited some of the theme parks a couple of years ago. The theme parks are very expensive for a family of 5 but there are a few options to get around that and to find some good Gold Coast theme park deals. As we had recently visited SeaWorld, MovieWorld and Wet’N’Wild, the kids were keen to visit Dreamworld.
Best Gold Coast theme park deals
Basically for the same price as a 3 Park VIP Pass that allows entry into SeaWorld, MovieWorld and Wet’N’Wild, you can visit Dreamworld and WhiteWater World inclusive. Both packages cost approximately the same amount.
The 3 park pass includes entry into SeaWorld, Wet’N’Wild and MovieWorld over the period of 7 days:
Cost per person $99 (set price, no discount for kids)
One days entry for Dreamworld and WhiteWater World (allows entry for 1 day only, doing both in one day will be a big ask)
One day entry
One day entry
One day entry
Wyndham Resorts is currently offering heavily reduced prices to the theme parks if you are crazy enough to sit through one of their 90 minute sales pitches! We did it and got our tickets for DreamWorld at a discount of $260! I was happy to sacrifice 90 mins of my life to save that, otherwise we wouldn’t have visited any theme parks this visit. We paid $40 for two adults entry tickets to DreamWorld and they also gave us a 20% discount on the kids tickets. If you are only visiting one park this is a good way to save a bit of money! You can choose from all of the theme parks and a few other activities including snorkelling Tangalooma Wreaks at Moreton Island.
What’s my opinion?
If you’re going up there for the first time, you can’t go past the 3 Park Pass for value for money! Wet’N’Wild is by far better than WhiteWater World. Having just been to WhiteWater World, I felt it was a bit tired and as it was low season half the slides were closed. One other disappointing thing was that in bare feet Caelan didn’t meet the 120cm height requirement to ride most of the slides so he missed out. The ironic thing was that with his shoes on next door at Dreamworld he was able to go on every ride but two, he even went on the Giant Drop for goodness sake! We spent two full days at Wet’N’Wild and only one afternoon at WhiteWater World.
Previously, Dreamworld has always had the most extreme rides so has always been the favourite for the teenagers and adult kids (like my husband and my brother in law!). The Buzz Saw is new and on par with some of the roller coasters that we had in Ocean Park in Hong Kong. Wiggles World has changed to ABC Land and incorporates Wiggles World and has Giggle and Hoot, Banana’s in Pajamas and Play School. Little kids would love it, we’re past that now but still walked through for a look!
Alannah was able to ride all the rides as she is taller than 130 cams now, Keira and Caelan (with shoes on) just scraped in over the 120 cm line. This enabled them to go on most of the roller coasters excluding the Buzz Saw and Tail Spin. I made all 3 of them go on the Giant Drop, they were all really brave saying they were going to go on it and when the time came they tried to chicken out. I was happy when they all agreed to go on with dad and although Keira freaked out and really didn’t like it, they learnt something about their personal limits! Keira’s limits aren’t that high and they all opted out of getting on the Tower of Terror! I was proud that they had a go at the new Pandamonium ride which swings around and goes completely upside down.
If it’s the first time you are visiting the Gold Coast I think that the 3 Park Pass is by far better value for money. I also think MovieWorld is the best park with a variety of rides to keep everybody happy. Craig (my man child) loved Green Lantern, Superman, Arkham Asylum, Batwing Space Shot and the kids were excited to go on the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster (although Caelan was too small for that one 2 years ago!). I was able to take Caelan to Stunt Show while Craig and the girls were on the Scooby Coaster. He was nearly 5 at that stage and thought that was wonderful.
SeaWorld is also getting a bit tired now. There are a few good roller coasters there for the adult-children and require kids to be taller than 120cms. SeaWorld is a bonus park as DreamWorld and WhiteWater World are comparable to MovieWorld and Wet’N’Wild (the latter being the better of the two). The SeaWorld Waterpark has closed down as of Christmas 2015 and is owned be the SeaWorld Resort. It is believed that it is closed for renovations so will hopefully come back better than ever.
We purchased the aqua dolphin experience for the girls when we were there, they loved it and still talk about it but it was very expensive. We made it part of their Christmas gift that year as it was $150. I looked at the walk the tigers experience at DreamWorld but it was closed for renovations and they currently have the tiger cubs. The tiger cubs walk is $450 for up to 4 people and they have to be over 10 years old. I would have loved to do that but I think the price is unreasonable.
But what did the kids think?
So I’ve given you all the practical information and my opinion but what really matters is the kids opinion, right? I sat the kids down and asked them what they thought.
Hands down MovieWorld! I actually expected them to say Wet’N’Wild as they are real water babies but no, MovieWorld was the winner. They’re all the same to me, I stand outside the ride and hold all the bags!
The kids will love any of them, so if you can only do one park any of them will be thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re looking for value for money then head straight for the 3 Park Pass and knock yourself out! The kids will be exhausted and will sleep like babies every night!
While on the Gold Coast we chose to stay at the Mantra Sun City Hotel & Resort, we really loved staying here especially as we had a room on the 32nd floor looking straight down the Gold Coast strip. I loved getting up in the morning and watching the sunrise before the kids got up and the ambiance was gone!
If you are looking to cut down your accommodation costs we found the amazing Gold Coast Holiday Park not far from MovieWorld and Wet’N’Wild. We camped there on another visit and we had a lovely stay. I don’t know many holiday parks that serve your drinks by the pool!
Sal & Co.