Your heart thuds like an accelerating drum beat. It’s the feeling of falling, excitement. Life becomes a rush. From inside your cubicle, you begin to hear the shrill grunt of an electric pencil sharpener on your desk as the rev of an engine. You slip your sunglasses over your eyes as if they were goggles, recline in your wheelie chair, grip an imaginary steering wheel, and prep for take-off just as your boss swoops around the corner to ask you about spreadsheets. Oh, the pained desire to be a Hollywood stunt driver, something that may belong in your current workplace daydreams.
Fair not nine-to-fivers; we are not just dreamers. We are creatures of incredible feats and these things we hope to accomplish are only things we haven’t done yet. There is one catalyst, however, that helps us transcend the barriers of flying, swimming with dolphins, and even speed car racing: theme parks.
The even better option than visiting a theme park near home is to visit a theme park during travel. While wandering about Australia’s Gold Coast, why not journey to Theme Park Capital: a collection of “worlds” to discover Down Under. This includes Movie World, Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet‘n’Wild, and WhiteWater World.
Now that you know about the wonders of the Gold Coast, your only choice is to transition from the voice that says, “I could never fly!” to the voice that says, “I can!” As Peter Pan said, it’s only a matter of believing.
Here are the five Gold Coast theme parks that will help you etch adventures off your bucket list.
Be a Hero at Movie World
Wish you could be a superhero for a day? No problem. Look to the sky, is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Movie World’s Superman Escape! If you think you have the gusto of our favorite red-caped hero, jump aboard this nearly 2,500 foot-long rollercoaster and test your wits. You’ll go zero to sixty miles-per-hour in only two seconds, skyrocketing around weightless drops and vertical climbs. Don’t forget to bring your own cape.
Not a thrill seeker? Bucket lists aren’t always comprised of heart-thumping challenges. If you’re like me and hail from a hometown like Southern California where the weather is always fine, perhaps the experience of an enchanting winter wonderland is on your list. At Movie World, bring that fantasy to life to the tune of a White Christmas. The best part about this experience is that you can actually be there for Christmas and since it’s summer in Australia, you can wear shorts.
During the White Christmas, the whole park glows with a million twinkling lights, snowfalls, and a Christmas parade. Even Santa will be there, so why shouldn’t you? White Christmas is a special night-time event that runs from December 13 to the 27.
Park open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Anzac Day and Christmas. A one-day pass is available online for $89.99 for adults and $69.99 for children.
Dare to Dreamworld
Looking for a theme park that encourages you to dream big? Here’s an entire world dedicated to the imagination sure to check more than one item off that bucket list. At Dreamworld become a karate kid with Kung Fu Panda, ride the wild rapids of Thunder River Rapids or even engage in laser combat through the depths of a city. Zombie Evilution – The Battle for Kevil Hill has begun and YOU need to choose a side.
An animal loving bucket lister, you say? If you’ve always dreamed of meeting a tiger first-hand, then take off for Tiger Island where brothers Baru and Ravi will be showing off during their new tiger show, which starts December 26.
Park open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Christmas and Anzac Day. A one-day World Pass to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World is available online for $89.99 for adults and $69.99 for children.
Splash Around at Sea World
An admission: when I was a child, every year on my Christmas wish list would appear the very honest, heart-filled desire for a dolphin. I didn’t understand why this was not logistical. I just daydreamed about interacting with my favorite sea creatures. While my parents were very generous in their gift giving and continued to encourage me to dream this never transcended to reality. Perhaps you sympathize if this too has been your dream.
On the Gold Coast, however, there exists an ocean of opportunity to live out this bucket list item at Sea World. In fact, their show Imagine is a great place to witness the agility and grace of dolphins in their own sandy lagoon called Dolphin Cove, which was built especially for them. If you’re very lucky, then you might get chosen to interact with the dolphins on stage.
Let’s just say you’re an animal lover whose dream is witnessing the glory of other mammals beside dolphins. Come to Sea World and meet Australia’s only baby Polar Bear ‘Henry’. This gorgeous bundle of fluff has just come out to play at Polar Bear Shores ‘Polar Pre-School’.
Park open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is closed on Christmas. A one-day pass is available online for $89.99 for adults and $69.99 for children.
Surf it Up at Wet‘n’Wild Water World
Most of us, I imagine, would love to fearlessly ride giant swells, but the threat of sharks and rips may keep us away from this bucket list item. Hang ten at Wet‘n’Wild with the Flow Rider, a wave simulator for people of amateur and pro surfing skills. Imagine pure, continuous wave action outfitted with different board options.
For those who want to leave it to the pros, Wet‘n’Wild is also good for thrill seeking bucket listers. If you seek an absolute adrenaline rush, then AquaLoop would be at the top of your list. Slide down one of four transparent looping slides that starts out with a 40-foot free fall drop and transitions upward to a full-looping slide at 37 miles-per-hour. The park also hosts rides with names like Kamikaze, SkyCoaster, and Tornado.
Park is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Christmas and Anzac Day. A one-day pass is available online for $59.99 for adults and $34.99 for children.
Take the Plunge at WhiteWater World
Maybe it’s time to answer to your inner child. Maintaining a sense of play as an adult can actually lengthen life expectancy. Many might find the simple act of play at the top of their bucket list and are in search of a specific mechanism to drive this forward. Enter WhiteWater World — the Gold Coast theme park that boasts a death-defying ride with the benign title, Wedgie. Butterflies soar through your stomach as you stand a top a platform that releases to drop you downward. Then, you’ll barrel through a translucent tube, plummeting feet-first five stories down.
For more play, check out Pipeline Plunge, which has gone through a series of recent refurbishments. There’s also Cave of Waves, which undulates swells for splashing, and The Bro, which sends you surging headfirst down a maze of twists and turns.
Park open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 5:00 p.m. on weekends. It is closed on Christmas and Anzac Day. A one-day World Pass to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World is available online for $89.99 for adults and $69.99 for children.
No matter the nature of your bucket list, Theme Park Capital of Australia on the Gold Coast will help you check off something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Celebrate your achievements with a VIP Pass to visit Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild for only $99.99 or with a World Pass to Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint from $79.99* (*child price). Or customize your own action-packed list by clicking here.