As a kid my family visited the Gold Coast theme parks a couple of times. We’ve never been a big ride family, so they were never high on our to do lists. When I was over in the US though a friend of mine took me to Disneyland and I suddenly realised that I really enjoyed rides. From there my love of roller coasters blossomed. I headed to two Six Flags parks before leaving the US, have been to Disneyland Paris and returned to Disneyland with my good pals last year. Since living in Brisbane though I’ve been significantly closer to the Gold Coast theme parks again, and when my family came up to visit last year they wanted to go see Movie World again, so we hopped on a 3 Park VIP pass deal and headed down to the Gold Coast.
With family in tow we headed to Movie World, which is one of my favourite parks on the Gold Coast. especially out of those available in the three park pass. It’s as close as you’re going to get to Disneyland, they even copy the Main Street window sign tributes to previous employees. But once you’ve been to Disneyland, nothing will live up to it.
On the day we visited, aside from my Dad joining me on the 4D film experience, my family didn’t ride any rides. It was just me. They had a fun time exploring the park, shopping and watching the shows. But I was the thrill seeker.
The more you use the VIP pass the better value it is. So I returned to Movie World again with my friend Ash and some members of her family, and we went crazy on rides that day. I finally got to ride Arkham Escape, which I hadn’t been able to do on the time I visited before as the line was far too long.
I went a third time with Hollie, a stop start affair where every time we’d promise to go to the park it would POUR with rain. Finally we found a day where the sun was shining and we took the chance!
It was a great day, and because we went on a Monday, out of school holidays, the park was pretty quiet, and we didn’t have to wait too long to get on rides. The Wild Wild West didn’t even have a line and we were the only people in our boat.
Every time I go to Movie World I find some element of the park I enjoy even more, or hadn’t seen before. Like the old fashioned gangster car below covered in bullet holes. There also always seems to be some kind of different entertainment as well, whether it’s a Batman fight in the streets or a Great Gatsby themed dance party.
With our Disneyland traveller friend Jarrod due up in Brisbane at the end of the month we decided that we’d once again head down to the Gold Coast to make use of our 3 Park Passes, and Movie World is high on the list.
Here are 5 of the best things about Movie World that keep taking me back to Hollywood on the Gold Coast.
1. Superman Escape Coaster
The wait time may always seem a little long, but the story for this high octane thrill ride is great. You’re on the Metropolis Rapid Transport System when an earthquake hits, destroying the subway tunnels.
No worries though, Superman is here to save you. Pushing you out of the subway and into the sky in 2 seconds.
You pick up speed ridiculously quick on this one, and it’s such an intense thrill. It feels good anywhere on the ride, but front row seats are something truly spectacular.
I always get off the ride feeling disoriented and find myself stumbling through the gift shop.
If it wasn’t for the poorly managed line I’d be straight back on this ride the minute I got off it.
I love Batman.
So perhaps my second point is biased. But I don’t think so.
There’s so much Batman at Movie World. From the fantastic Batwing Space Shot (a launch and drop ride that I thought I was going to hate, but have ended up loving) to the awesomely re-themed Arkham Asylum coaster (get a photo with the Joker statue from the video game.)
Batman’s from all different eras pop up regularly in the park, from the Nolan Batman Begins batman in his Tumbler, to more old school style Batman like the one pictured here on the right. You can also get pictures with one of the older Batmobiles and a Batboat!
SO MUCH BATMAN!!!
3. Wild West Falls
By far the best themed area of Movie World is Wild West Falls, the old Country and Western section of the park is beautifully detailed with old school, timber buildings, great photo opportunities like an open coffin and statues of Yosemite Sam, a cemetery with some hilarious pun tomb stones, and some lurking vultures waiting for you to die to take a bite!
There’s also the fantastic Wild Wild West ride, which has a great immersive story, wonderful detailing throughout, and a great payoff at the end.
But Wild West Falls feels just like the Ghost Town in the middle of the ride. It’s the best area of the park but it’s unfortunately under utilised. There’s so much focus on the Super Hero rides at the front of the park, and the kids rides in the opposite corner, that Wild West Falls seems to have gone unnoticed by many (thankfully that often means short lines for the ride!) There’s a restaurant that never seems to be open, and a gift shop, but surely more could be happening in this area. They used to do shows in one of the big studio sheds, and the area was even used to film a game show ‘CASH BONANZA’ for awhile (click that the show is a hoot). All I’m saying is if they can turn the studio tour into Superman Escape, there’s got to be something amazing they can add in…perhaps a Mad Max Fury Road tie in roller coaster?
4. Rick’s Cafe- All You Can Eat Buffet
Theme Park Food- it’s expensive. Too expensive really for what you get. Movie World is no exception. You can buy a hot dog for something like $8, or spend around $20 and you might have a mediocre burger, chips and a drink.
That’s why I eat at Rick’s Cafe. Adapted from the film Casablanca, this section of the park holds an all you can eat ‘Pizza’ buffet. Yep they advertise it as pizza, but there’s so much more. In fact it’s like stepping in to the Pizza Hut of my youth (or the ones that are still around, and very popular in the UK.) For $30 you get access to as much pizza, pasta, chips, salad and dessert as you could want. They even have garlic bread in the shape of the Batman logo!
They have a wide range of pizza favourites from classics like pepperoni and Hawaiian to more exotic things like peri peri chicken, and other flavours that seem to be specials of the day. Save your hunger up through the day, because it’s going to be better value to spend $30 at Ricks than it is to keep buying snacks throughout the day in the park.
5. Justice League 3D
I feel like this is one of the most underrated attractions at Movie World. Situated within the Hall Of Heroes next to Batwing Space Shot is no longer the motion simulator Batman ride, instead there’s a fantastically fun little ride where you help save the universe!
I’ve never seen a line for this ride, which is one perk, and it offers a great little ‘post thrill’ fun. There’s no hills, or sharp turns, or drops on this ride. It’s fun for the whole family. You receive a pair of 3D glasses and hop in a cart armed with LASERS! Yep you control a laser, and you’re fighting evil Alien Star Fish that are attacking Earth. Shoot them and your score starts tallying up. Can you save the world and beat the person you’re sitting next to?
All your favourite DC Super Heroes are scattered throughout the ride and it’s a fun mix of animatronics and 3D movie. Seriously, just go on it! It’s fun!
So that’s my 5 favourite parts of Movie World. There’s plenty to see and do for a day trip for all ages though, and while it may try to emulate Disneyland as hard as it possibly can, it does fall short, but considering Movie World is a 2 hour train ride from me, rather than a 13 hour plane trip, I can handle that.
I’m also looking forward to further using my 3 park pass at Sea World and Wet N Wild when Jarrod is in town.
What are you favourite parts of Movie World? Let me know in the comments below.
And if this has inspired you to visit Movie World, get your tickets here.