Here we are already in August and Dreamworld are in “heads down, bums up” mode in what looks to be the biggest and most welcome park refresh in nearly a decade.
Everywhere you look, there’s a new lick of paint here, new food options there, all the while the park is busy gearing up for the launch of their new thrill ride, Tailspin. And in amongst all of this, the Wipeout, after 20 long, grueling years has finally gotten some well deserved TLC. And we’re not talking just the usual yearly checkup, either.
The Wipeout will go down in history as Dreamworld’s saving grace. When the park’s creator and founder John Longhurst sold the park off and the market crashed back in the early 90’s, it was the Wipeout’s launch that saved the park from facing a similar fate to that of Luna Park Sydney in the late 90’s or worse, what ended up happening to Wonderland Sydney in 2004, which, for those casual readers, is now an industrial park. It was the ride’s innovative articulating arm (which allows the ride to do those crazy odd-angled spins), immersive theming and homage to what every red-blooded Aussie wishes they could actually do (ride a wave with minimal skill) that turned the park around and started it on the trajectory of success Dreamworld now enjoys. And with all this in mind, while other parks who have had this kind of ride have eventually scrapped them in favour for smaller, more manageable rides, Dreamworld has clutched on to this behemoth, kicking and screaming (or so the ride would sound sometimes) through to today. That’s not to say it wasn’t without sacrifices, either. Under different management teams saw the ride’s iconic lake and hovering shark removed, along with changes to the ride program that eventually neutered the ride and becoming a far cry from what people remembered the ride to be. Now, however, with new management in tow and an ambission to set a whole new, much more grandeur vision for the park, the Wipeout has gotten the refresh and love it’s been sorely in need of. To say the ride’s had a meagre fixup would be an understatement, everything from gearboxes to motors have been tossed, replaced and renewed, and with it, features like water cannons have been added into the fray, meaning if the park’s ride operator’s think you need to cool off, a simple press of a button delivers jets higher then the ride’s iconic fibreglass wave straight up into the air, and with some careful (or not careful) timing, will leave you drenched.
This to me all says Dreamworld is starting to listen in again and take pride in what they do. Not in a long time have I felt this kind of passion for delivering a unique experience for guests and ultimately, an unforgettable day. It’s a complete 180 from the Dreamworld I knew just a few short years ago. It’s exciting to see a park so unique and loved by many take pride in what they do best.