Family Fun at Gold Coast Theme Parks
Original post July 26, 2015
Updated: October, 2022
Back when I was a mum of two instead of four, we visited the Gold Coast theme parks twice during 2015, the first time during the Easter school holidays. The second time was in June.
My sister in law recommended the VIP pass (Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild) because these parks were more suitable for smaller children. My kids at the time were 8 and 7 and they would be able to get on more rides at these parks.
We were lucky, the VIP Passes were on special for $69 each from Groupon (I recommend keeping an eye on this site and Living Social if you know you are going!). The passes were valid until 31st June. It was a fabulous price because VIP passes are normally $109, and single entry to one park is $79. You can check current prices on the Gold Coast Theme Parks Website.
Here’s what we learned:
Movie World was the busiest of these three parks. What kid doesn’t want to meet Batman and see the Batmobile? If you are really excited about this park, I recommend visiting outside of peak times. It’s not so exciting in the midst of school holidays. By 10.30am, waiting times were around an hour for most rides. Go early if you have to go in the holidays! If you can afford it, the fast passes might help you get around all the rides, they were too expensive for us…
If you visit during school holidays, and if you have purchased your VIP ticket online, I highly recommend getting to the first park you visit really early. Once you have your pass in hand, the queues won’t be painful, you’ll practically walk straight in.
The rides here are pretty good, the kids favourite was the Dynamite Roller Coaster. We also did the Scooby Doo ride (this one is in complete darkness, you go quite fast and backwards sometimes, my son was scared). I made my son go on the log flume (what a meany). He hated it. But when we went back the second time, he was ok. My top tip for taking kids on rides if they are scared, just tell them to scream heaps. It worked for us!
If you can visit Movie World out of school holidays, you’ll find the place a lot quieter. It’s possible a ride might be down for maintenance. But it’s more likely you’ll be able to get photo’s with the characters. During our school holiday visit there was practically no chance of getting good photos with any characters, there were always too many people hanging around at once!
I know there are some people that don’t like aquariums and stuff. Yep, I agree, it is pretty sad the animals are all contained. It’s neat to go and learn a bit about the amazing animals. I’ve always loved watching the shows with the dolphins, since I was a kid. As I've grown older, I learned more, and that set me off in search of places like Tangalooma Island and Tin Can Bay where you can hand feed wild dolphins and learn about them in their natural environments.
Sea World is easier to do outside of school holidays. No queues at all. We went on rides back to back without waiting five minutes. It is definitely a sweet day out with no crowds. You could get right up close to the penguins enclosure, it was much better than the giant squish we experienced at Easter. During the holidays, it still wasn’t over packed. But there were longer waits for the log flume, which is nowhere near as scary as the one at Movie World.
Wet n Wild
Water parks are always my favourite place. However we visited in April. It was already starting to cool down in the GC. We braved it out, but I was definitely too cold. So this time I was disappointed. The kids did the lazy river ride. Twice. They went in the wave pool. Noah turned blue. I tried to take him on a hydro-slide, but that became a mission. We found ourselves in the “hot tubs”. Let’s just say these are more like cold baths. There was no “hot” in these tubs! We ended up cutting the day short… and we didn’t bother going in June. Usually water parks are my favourite, but it definitely has to be hot!
I hope this post helps you choose when to go and which parks you'll take your children to. I know we miss having those parks right on our door step, but for now we are happy travelling the world.