Dreamworld, Gold Coast, Australia
My thoughts based on the press launch this evening...
Firstly, I'd just say that Dreamworld put on a great event for everyone who attended. There were a couple of quick introductions at the start and some explanation of the event for those listening on the radio. Noel Dempsey (DW CEO) said a few words and the event began. It was also revealed at this point that Giant Drop, Wipe Out, The Claw & Motocoaster would also be open this evening. I totally wasn't expecting that and would have understood completely had it just have been a ride on TOT2. Also the free wine, beer, churros, candy floss, soft drinks & pop corn went down a treat.
Dreamworld sometimes have these flashes of brilliance that almost feel Disney like. When we were walking down to the stage some of the entertainers were dressed as military heavies - as I walked down to the stage I had my hands in my pockets and one of the stopped me and said "Hands out of your pockets sir, we'll provide the entertainment - that's what you're here for" - made me and a few others laugh and the whole mood was lifted.
As the CEO finished his speech he said that he wouldn't be riding the new attraction and two of the army heavies came onstage and quickly escorted him to the attraction - it's these little things that so many parks are missing.
The Queue Area;
The queue area is probably the least changed part of the attraction. There's not much new in it - it's just a much more pleasant place to wait for a long period of time. There is a huge graphic on the wall of the queue area, like an optical illusion - meant to look as if you were looking down the tunnel. There are also some new flashing lights etc as you enter the skull. It looks great, spending lots of the budget in the queue probably wouldn't be a great idea.
The New Vehicle;
The seats in the vehicle are very comfy and the bucket headrest makes for a comfy ride. The 4-4-4-2 configuration works well with very few empty seats due to the even numbers in each row. My only criticism of the vehicle is that if you're in the rear rows - you won't see very much as Intamin hasn't incorporated their tiered seating into the vehicle. Also, this seems to be a hot topic at the moment so I will mention it quickly - the harnesses are very accommodating to larger riders. I'm quite a big guy and there was plenty of slack in the seat belt. The OTSRs don't cause any discomfort and don't hamper the floating sensation on the tower.
The tunnel feels much longer for some reason, I'm not sure why. The rear section of the tunnel - 'past' the station so to speak, where the emergency brakes are is used to great effect. There are flashing lights in that area pre-launch and a nuclear type animation simulating that energy is building up. As you fly through the tunnel backwards there are various LEDs etc really make the ride. As you leave the tunnel there is a smoke machine. Up the tower, stall and fly back down. As you enter the tunnel the ride photo is taken. As you go back through the tunnel (forwards) the LEDs are used incredibly effectively and appear as a vortex (like a Vekoma mad house/haunted swing at 100 mph...)
The launching was pretty consistent all night with the vehicle stalling around 10ft from the top brakes - so a much improved launch. The launch also feels much more fluid than it did before. On the old TOT it often felt as if there were two bursts of energy - but that has now gone and the launch is pretty much taken all in one movement.
Sometimes relaunches of existing rides can go horribly wrong but this has been done exactly right and the ride has benefited massively. Great job Dreamworld.
Good to hear. If they do this with Superman, I'll be kind of excited to ride. I wish they'd do a massive overhaul, have one side forwards, one backwards, and add tunnels.
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