5 Gold Coast theme parks for the unapologetically unbrave

Just about brave enough to hit the carousel at Warner Bros Movie World

Let’s face it. A Gold Coast theme park holiday is a rite-of-passage for Aussie families. Seriously, not a school holiday goes past without one of our kids’ friends returning with terrific tales of its abundance of slides and rollercoasters. But I have to confess that while I adore the Gold Coast, I haven’t really sipped its thrill ride cool aid.

In fact, I’d rather slurp on a glass of bleach. This is not due to a fear of being flung about at eleventy billion kilometres an hour. I have small children and trying to get them dressed, fed and out the door of a morning is more dizzying and death defying than anything a rollercoaster can throw at me. No, it’s more due to an irrational fear of being enclosed. And the very sight of those big metal bars that keep you from falling out – which are kind of a must when you’re being hung upside down at great heights and at high speeds – make me run screaming like the hounds of hell are snapping at my feet! Every freaking time!

Some research suggests that thrill-rides are great for your mental health and can help you overcome fears in other areas of your life. Personally, I’m not quite seeing how paying money to do something that makes me terrified is beneficial to my mental health. And as for overcoming other phobias, well… someone once told me that walking on hot coals would help me overcome a fear of flying. So I did it. But several hundred flights later I’ve yet to find a single airplane with hot coals in it, so it’s made bugger all difference to that particular phobia. Nor, I predict, would being strapped into a free-falling, loop-the-looping tin can and being flung all over the place while praying the dude whimpering in the seat in front of me doesn’t lose his breakfast. In fact, should an airplane ride ever happen to replicate a thrill ride you could be fairly certain I would never step foot in one again!

But regardless of my undeniable wussiness, I still enjoy a theme park. Yes, really! So here I am sharing my guide to Gold Coast theme parks for the perpetually petrified!

1. At Dreamworld braver souls than I can have their stomachs turned inside out on the BIG 9 – a bunch of extreme thrill rides which boast pant-soiling monikers like the BuzzSaw and The Claw. You’ll find me Giggle and Hooting my way through ABC Kids World and getting my kicks at Kung Fu Panda’s Land of Awesomeness with my four-year old. Plus there are really real tigers to ooh and ahh over as well as the awesome Dreamworld Corroboree, an interactive walk-through experience celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, wildlife and stories.

2. Sea World is equally brilliant. Here, my thrill-seeking companions can get their kicks from the park’s adrenalin rides and rollercoasters, but there’s so much else on offer that even the most shamefully coaster phobic can get their jollies. Me, I get mine via face-to-face animal encounters with dolphins, penguins and… swimming with sharks, something I’d much rather take my chances with than the ominously named “Storm Coaster”.

3. Yeah, I know its not technically a theme park, but there are still thrills to be found at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a place that has been popular with families since I was a kid, you know back when the critters all sported names ending in osaur. These days not only can the kiddies can cuddle a koala, have birds sit on their heads or frolic in a field full of kangaroos, they can also strap in and take to the trees on the Green Challenge high ropes adventure course. While I sit back with a nice cuppa and a good book.

4. Another fave with my mob is Warner Bros Movie World, a theme park that is jam-packed with all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood The best thing about this park is that I can hang with Batman and Scooby Do and get my kicks on the merry go round in the Kids’ Fun Zone while the non-feather sprouting members of my family get theirs on the puke-inducing rides.

5. Right next door to Movie World is Wet‘n’Wild where I like to hang out in Buccaneer Bay with the under-10s, splash in the gigantic wave pool and float gently along the lazy river! But it’s also the one place where you don’t get strapped in on the thrill rides so I too can freely twist and turn my way down and around rides like the squeal inducing Mach 5 without my fear of being enclosed pooping the proverbial party! Weeeee….

Something else that thrills me about the Gold Coast is the abundance of awesome family-friendly accommodation.

Family-friendly Mercure Gold Coast Resort

Our latest sojourn to Gold Coast saw us stay at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, perfectly positioned just minutes from the pant-wetting thrills of Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park, Sea World and the more wuss-friendly Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Our spacious Resort Room opened up onto a large balcony that invited in fresh air and gorgeous views of the gloriously green resort. While a family-sized spa tub in the bathroom proved to be an absolute winner after a hard day of sliding and riding. As did the pampering day spa, just quietly!

Poolside at Mercure Gold COast Resort - perfectly located by the 5 best Gold Coast Theme parks

Great for families, there’s also wads of space to run about, an onsite restaurant and bar plus two fabulous swimming pools and floodlit tennis courts for those kids not already exhausted by the day’s theme parkery!

Disclosure: The Eats Worlds were guests of Mercure Gold Coast Resort.

23 Comments on 5 Gold Coast theme parks for the unapologetically unbrave

  1. Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    September 1, 2015 at 2:39 pm (6 years ago)

    We haven’t yet taken our tribe to the GC but we have plans too. As my eldest daughter is roller-phobic (while her brother and sister would do every thrill ride available if they could!) I love that there are areas in each theme park where she can enjoy herself as well. Love the look of your accommodation too – very nice!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm (6 years ago)

      IT was lovely accommodation and yes, there’ll be plenty for your eldest to enjoy!

      Reply
  2. Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions
    September 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh man, I LOVE rollercoasters and thrill rides! I think that is why Dave and I didn’t enjoy Disneyworld as much as we loved California Adventureland and Knotts Berry Farm in the states. The faster and higher the better for me! Funnily enough your post makes me want to go on a rollercoaster so bad now, lol! I can’t wait for the girls to get a little bigger and take them to the GC and on all the thrill rides!
    #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm (6 years ago)

      LOL! I love watching them so I guess we can wave you on from the ground, Kylie 😉

      Reply
  3. hugzillablog
    September 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm (6 years ago)

    OK seriously, I love you even more now. I am a total nana WUSS when it comes to rides at theme parks. I hate the feeling of being spun, and jolted and thrown around. I find it physically unpleasant in a number of ways and it generally makes me feel nauseous too. I love wandering around them and watching everyone else participate but I am definitely not one for thrillseeking!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm (6 years ago)

      We should definitely theme park together. I’m sure most of them have bars 😉

      Reply
  4. Kirralee @ Escape With Kids
    September 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm (6 years ago)

    Love this! We’re all about the thrill rides, and Stormcoaster was a family favourite last trip, but there’s more to the theme parks than scary rides. The parade at Movieworld was a highlight for us. As was meeting all the characters.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Oh Kirralee I wish I was as brave as you. The parade was great. x

      Reply
  5. MrsDplus3
    September 1, 2015 at 5:26 pm (6 years ago)

    Did you write this for me??? My kids are begging to go to all those attractions on the Gold Coast but I just haven’t been able to stomach it yet. I’m the biggest wimp of all time. After reading this, I think I might be able to brave it :))

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm (6 years ago)

      You’ll have fun. Just make sure you have someone who’ll go thrill riding with them so you can kick back and enjoy the more leisurely attractions. x

      Reply
  6. Kate
    September 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm (6 years ago)

    Great story!

    Reply
  7. Lyndall from Seize the Day Project
    September 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm (6 years ago)

    Love your run-down on the GC theme parks Aleney. I live on the southern GC and try to avoid going to them more than once a year. I have an intense dislike of rollercoasters, but I have to say that some of the other rides at MovieWorld and SeaWorld are pretty cool. WetnWild visits are reserved for non-school holiday periods or the lines drive you mad!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm (6 years ago)

      There are some cool non rollercoaster rides to be found Lyndall! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    September 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm (6 years ago)

    I can do really mild rides but those crazy ones are way too much for me! I already operate at a crazy speed, I think my heart would burst out of my chest if I went on those super speed or upside down rides.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:18 pm (6 years ago)

      I hear you Lorraine. x

      Reply
  9. Natalie
    September 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm (6 years ago)

    Miss 11 made me go on 5 of the 9 thrill rides at Dreamworld. The Claw was the most terrifying for me- it felt like we were going to smash into the ground below us whenever it went down. I had to shut my eyes. Shutting the eyes is a very good pant-soiling prevention technique!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 8, 2015 at 8:18 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks for the tip. Always after pant-soiling prevention techniques 😉

      Reply
  10. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    September 9, 2015 at 7:32 pm (6 years ago)

    As locals we tend to get the cheap annual passes which is great because we can just head there for a couple of hours at a time which is brilliant! When I can ditch the kids with someone else I’ll jump on a thrill seeker 🙂

    Reply
  11. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    September 10, 2015 at 10:18 pm (6 years ago)

    I have to admit we do live in THE most fantastic place, but then again, it’s only fabulous if we MAKE time to take our lovelies there…. thanks for the kick up the bum!!xx

    Reply
  12. Christine
    September 30, 2015 at 10:32 am (6 years ago)

    Cheese and I are daredevils! I love rides and theme parks – my hubbie is a wuss though 😉

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      September 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm (6 years ago)

      Hehe. My littlest one is the daredevil in our fam. Raff and I share the wussery a little x

      Reply

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ABOUT US

Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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