Yup, you heard right – the old IMAX Theatre (currently Dreamworld Cinema) next to the main entrance is undergoing a gigantic change that’ll mark the country’s first legit Soarin’ style Flying Theatre, known as an i-Ride. Essentially, much like the iconic Disney ride, you’ll be seated in gondolas which rise into a gigantic theatre dome where you’ll be moving & flying over some of Australia’s most gorgeous scenic vistas. The ride will also be backed up by what Dreamworld are dubbing as a “4D” experience – that’s basically PR talk for wind, mist and yup, even scents (here’s hoping there’s no fly-overs of any rural farms, i’m personally not a big fan of the scent of dung if you catch my drift.)
If you’re wondering about the size, while it won’t be to the size or magnitude of Disney’s Soarin’, the ride will still be large – since they’re building it in what used to be an IMAX Theatre (which has a large deep screen and thus, plenty of height) there’s plenty of space to build something of quality. That being said, with only 40 seats, it’ll be one of the smallest i-Rides Brogent has made. And factoring in the rough average times of other theatres in terms of pre-show and the ride itself, capacity will only be around 300 an hour, meaning big wait times come open day (which is still penned as an open “2018.”)
For those still not familiar with the concept, here’s a quick clip from the ride manufacturer (Brogent Technologies) who’ll be making this for Dreamworld:
There’s plenty of questions that still remain – one major of noteworthiness – has Dreamworld’s owners, Ardent Leisure, managed to commandeer Brisbane City Council’s 20 million dollar investment into bringing the exact same thing and its plans of building it in Southbank to Dreamworld instead? At that price, this attraction would technically be Dreamworld’s biggest ever single investment, so for those with their eye on the Ardent Leisure stock price (and its new board) would be surely interested to know who’s footing the bill and how.
Either way, you should be excited for this – it’s the kind of rejuvenating, major capital expenditure Dreamworld needs. Let’s just hope Gold Coast Tourism remember that theme parks still exist and are worth giving a damn about, because post Commonwealth Games next year, our two major players (Village & Ardent) are going to rely on them now more than ever to bring in much needed new tourism growth.
Beyond this announcement, Dreamworld’s also announced they’re building a dark-ride where the Mine Ride once stood, which is directly behind where the i-Ride will go. As for the immediate road ahead, they’re extending their trading hours to 9am-6pm over the summer holidays, and both the Log Ride & Wipeout are due to open in the new year (although given how many setbacks both have had, don’t bank your trip on either opening just yet.)
Oh, one more thing – Dreamworld, you’re welcome. Literally one year ago to the day, I suggested this idea in an article here on OurWorlds, which is why i’m guessing you did a PR announcement at 8am two days after Christmas to get the timing just perfectly – clearly a sweet homage to the aforementioned article (it’s a nice touch and we’re humbled). We’ll go ahead and presume you’ll shout us a beer next time we’re in, yeah?