The Gold Coast’s signature christmas event, White Christmas, is back for another year at Warner Bros. Movie World. While it’s no Fright Nights (one of Movie World’s other annual after hours events) in terms of sheer literal size or grandeur, it most definitely doesn’t need to be either to be a great event to take the whole family to, especially if you have it included in the pass Village currently sells. It’s a visually gorgeous event that has more than a fair share of ingenious ideas thrown into the mix (like the Ginger-bread making, for example) combined with a very decadent spectacle (think the signature parade at the end of each night or the angel that flies across the entirety of Main Street, both of which are world class) all of which comes together in a way that’s greater than the sum of the parts.
The atmosphere is much like everything else Movie World puts out these days, it’s clear great care and pride is the driving force behind White Christmas, and despite a few trying moments throughout what was a technical rehearsal the whole show in its entirety was typically impressive. The fog is thick and plentiful, the lighting is crisp and vibrant and the look of the park is intimately Christmassy while being massive and impressive at the same time. The christmas tree that sits atop the fountain at the front of the park is insanely huge. Bigger then the tree that sits in-front of Brisbane’s City Hall and much larger then anything I can remember. From there, the Main Street of Movie World is decorated with what is described as “a million lights”, all of which are switched on in a cool display at the start of the night. Then you’ve got the snow. It might not be real (somehow I just don’t see it blending in with Queensland’s ridiculous heat and humidity) but when you check your selfies at the end of the night you’ll almost forget it was shot in sunny Gold Coast.
Unlike Fright Nights, White Christmas has a distinct family vibe – the big thrill rides are still open of course, but unlike Fright Nights the focus is more about bringing people together instead of tearing them apart, kicking and screaming. Do your daughters love fairies? There’s a fairy garden for that. Is your son a pro at photo-bombing? There’s an “awkward family photos” setup for him to do his thing. There’s even a dubsmash style lip sync battle on the main stage every night for the older teen crowd, or perhaps, the younger at heart, depending on how adventurous you are.
If you’ve got the cash to splurge, for a few bucks more you can craft your own gingerbread man, be it a ninjabread masterpiece or cinnamon frankenstein. For another few bucks more your kids can dress up as elves and be a part of the parade. Sadly, it wasn’t available for me to try out – somehow I think the cuteness would be lost by having someone in their mid twenties do it but believe when I say it’s a magical opportunity for your kids to be a part of. You can even have a christmas buffet all within the park’s boundaries, and of course, there’s plenty of opportunities to get a snap with Santa Claus too.
In a nutshell
All in all it’s a really fun, well put together night, and it compliments Carnivale & Fright Nights in terms of continuing a theme of after hour events that rival what’s seen overseas, something that just a few years ago seemed impossible for our quaint little patch of theme parks. It’s just a gorgeous event, and if it doesn’t wow even the most technologically over-stimulated offspring, then nothing will.
Spend some time in Main Street and and take a moment to absorb what’s happening around you. You’ll get to see snow, angels and all the lovely scents that woft through underneath the huge roof. If you haven’t done so already, get a VIP pass – at $12 a month, it’s an absolute steal and gives you access to White Christmas plus all three parks all year round. I’m a big fan of the monthly subscriber idea at this point, and for families with kids, 40-50 bucks a month is a lot easier to stomach then $3-400 in one big hit every year, and you only need to look at Netflix or Apple Music to see that it’s the future for our theme parks.