As tickets are pricey, it’s best to work out which Gold Coast Theme Parks are right for you. The GC has the biggest collection of thrill rides in the Southern Hemisphere so let’s have a look at them.
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Gold Coast Theme Parks
Our twin daughters could not get enough of The Wiggles when they were younger. Dreamworld was the obvious choice for their first visit to a theme park as it had lots of Wiggle themed rides.
Dreamworld is the top choice for families with over 40 rides and attractions for kids of all ages. Themed lands have rides, food outlets, shows, and animal exhibits.
Meet and Greets with various characters take place throughout the day.
There are 7 rides for the littlies including our girls’ favourites The Big Red Car & Dronkey Flyers.
Some of the family rides don’t have height restrictions so young children can go on them too. We took them when they were two and a half and found that there were plenty of rides they could go on.
If your children are struggling to walk around the park, the Dreamworld Express Train is a fun way to get around.
For thrill-seekers, have a go on the tallest free-falling ride in Australia, The Giant Drop. There another 6 adrenaline-pumping rides if that isn’t enough for you. A new rollercoaster will be opening soon which features 1.2km of inversions, twists, and drops. I felt sick just watching the video!
On Tiger Island, you watch tigers close up from the viewing tunnels.
Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation has raised over $3.5 million dollars to help save species such as tigers, koalas, bilbies, and tree kangaroos. They are the largest zoological contributor to tiger conservation in the world.
Dreamworld Corroboree celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, culture, wildlife, and stories. You can see presentations including how to make fire and sheep shearing. Dreamworld is one of the largest wildlife parks in South East Queensland.
Download a copy of the park map.
This would be my pick for families out of the Gold Coast Theme Parks.
Whitewater World is part of Dreamworld and is included in their combo ticket. Like Dreamworld, it caters to families with young children as well as older ones.
Wiggle Bay is a separate area aimed at the under 5’s with mini water slides, water play, sprays, and water cannons.
Older kids and adults can have fun on more extreme water slides with some fitting up to 4 people in a tube. Height restrictions can be found on the Whitewater World site.
Heated water means you can visit year-round.
Movie World is owned and operated by Village Roadshow and based on themes by Warner Bros. It is Australia’s only movie-themed park.
There are rides, shows, attractions, food outlets, and a daily parade. Characters also roam around the theme park which provides great photo opportunities.
The Green Lantern was, unfortunately, under maintenance when we visited. However, Arkham Asylum & Superman were big hits with our daughters (going on them multiple times). These are both listed as Max Thrill rides but our little thrill-seekers were only 9 when they were there.
I enjoyed the Moderate rides like Scooby-Doo & Wild West Falls Adventure Ride.
They do have a few rides for young children but Dreamworld caters to them better, in my opinion.
Make sure you save time for the stunt show as it’s a fun and interesting show to see.
This would be my pick for older children and adults out of the Gold Coast theme parks.
Wet n Wild
Wet n Wild is owned by Village Roadshow who also owns Movie World. It is Australia’s largest water park and has 8 thrill slides and rides, 3 family slides, and 4 kids slides/activities.
It was extremely busy when we were there in January but that was in summer and school holidays. Fast Pass, during peak seasons, allows you to skip the queue on the Black Hole, Tornado, Kamikaze, and Aqualoop rides.
This water park is aimed more at adults and older children, although there are rides for young kids. I would combine this with Movie World.
This would be my pick for older children and adults.
Sea World is not only a theme park but also an aquarium and marine mammal park. Therefore, it may not be suitable for those who do not approve of animals in captivity.
There are plenty of articles for and against Sea World on the internet so I will leave it up to you to make your own conscious decision on the matter.
This Sea World is part of the Warner Bros, Village Roadshow group, and not related to SeaWorld in the US. A lot of people are under the misconception that they are linked.
It is an all-round theme park that seems to change each year with attractions and rides closing to make way for new ones. The roller coaster Storm (a favourite of ours) is still there as is the Jet Rescue ride. There are also some mild and moderate rides for younger members of the family.
As mentioned, there are animal exhibits including penguins, polar bears, rays, seals, sharks, dolphins, and seabirds.
Nine shows/presentations are available for you to see. A lot of them have changed since we went but still include seal and dolphin presentations.
We haven’t been to this but will include it to give you a full overview. It is another one that is part of the Village Roadshow Theme Parks and can be combined with the others if you are in the Gold Coast for two weeks.
This farm-like park includes farm animal favourites like cows, horses, pigs, sheep, farm dogs, chickens and ducks plus Australia’s beautiful koalas and kangaroos.
You can also see a sheep shearing demonstration, a stockman show and a stock horse farm presentation.
I’m sure this would appeal to young families.
This is a dinner and show experience also run by the Village Roadshow Theme Parks. The price includes a three course meal with drinks (beer, wine and soft drinks) for the duration of the show (which runs for 1 hr 50 mins).
If you are looking to go to the Gold Coast Theme Parks for more than one day, it makes sense to buy a multi pass that allows unlimited access to more than one park.
For young families, I would choose Dreamworld and Whitewater World and for older families and adults, I would go with Movie World, Wet n Wild and any of the other group add ons.
However, I’m sure you’ll have a preference and no matter what you choose, I’m sure it will be a fun filled family holiday.
The Theme Parks are one of the Top Things To Do in Gold Coast.
For more things to do in Queensland, check out this Queensland Travel Guide.
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