Warner Bros Movie World
Oxenford, Queensland, Australië
“Roller coaster capital – Down Under edition”
Gold Coast could easily be described as Australia’s theme park capital. Consider it as an Australian version of Orlando, but in a much smaller scale. Gold Coast is home to 2 water parks and 3 classic theme parks. Although you won’t find any Disney or Universal here, the region has its own a movie-based park: Warner Bros Movie World. This park should be your top priority if you’re searching for coaster credits Down Under. Especially the park’s latest addition, a huge hyper coaster built by Mack Rides, is a big draw for thrill seekers.
DC Rivals HyperCoaster was inaugurated in September 2017 and it’s officially known as the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster. That sounds sensational, but there just aren’t that many big coasters this side of the equator. That’s why DC Rivals isn’t that unique compared to European or North American standards: the tallest point is at 61 meters, the track measures approximately 1,400 metres and the train reaches a top speed of 115 km/h.
I’m not easily impressed by a roller coaster, but DC Rivals HyperCoaster is one of the few exceptions. It delivers pure awesomeness from the first drop until the final brake run. The first descent is just as good as Expedition GeForce’s legendary first drop, the non-inverting loop is amazing and those curves feel more powerful than you’d expect from a Mack ride. DC Rivals also creates some great airtime moments and trains run remarkably smoothly. This is, without any doubt, one of the world’s best coasters.
The park’s DC Comics area can be found directly behind the park entrance and it features four (!) roller coasters. DC Rivals is the n°1, but Superman Escape also attracts a decent thrill-seeking crowd. This is an Intamin Accelerator that opened in 2005. Superman’s top hat towers over the entry plaza and the ride looks quite spectacular. After securing our backpacks in a free locker, we enter the empty queue and we get to board the next train. Superman Escape is themed to a subway ride which doesn’t exactly goes as planned. An earthquake strikes during our train journey (this is convincingly simulated in a dark ride section) and we suddenly find ourselves in a collapsing tunnel. Luckily, Superman is there to save us and he manages to get us back into daylight. Although you shouldn’t expect any Disney level theming, this background story gives a nice extra touch to the ride. The actual coaster part is pretty good as well: Superman Escape contains a spectacular launch and some forceful curves. The ride may be a little short and there’s hardly any airtime on the top hat, but I actually enjoyed this roller coaster a lot.
Our next ride is Arkham Asylum, a classic Vekoma SLC. This suspended looping coaster was inspired by The Joker and it represents some kind of torture device. And since torture is the ride’s main theme, Warner Bros did a great job. No seriously… Arkham Asylum makes me feel as if I’m thrown off a staircase. This is one of the most painful theme park attractions I’ve ever experienced and I really don’t understand how some other people seem to enjoy it. So dear Movie World management, if you read this… please get rid of this ride and buy a B&M inverted coaster instead. Update: Arkham Asylum was closed in 2019 and it will not reopen in the future.
Some rides look like they’ve been designed by drunk engineers during a staff party. And it seems as if S&S Worldwide throws lots of alcoholic parties. This American manufacturer already created some of the world’s most wicked roller coasters including Tranan, Eejanaika and Sequoia Adventure. Another coaster which belongs in this list, is Green Lantern Coaster. This El Loco type ride measures 500 metres of track and it contains bizarre elements. The ride starts with a very steep lift hill and a 120° first drop, followed by a curve which was banked in the wrong direction and a downward inline twist. Due to these strange elements, Green Lantern doesn’t feel comfortable. This has nothing to do with the ride’s smoothness (which is surprisingly okay) but it’s just a very unnatural experience.
The other coasters can be found a little further in the park. Road Runner Roller Coaster is a standard Vekoma ride and you don’t need to ride it if you don’t necessarily need the credit. Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster, however, shouldn’t be missed. This is an indoor wild mouse built by Mack Rides and Movie World enhanced the experience with a cool dark ride part, a vertical lift hill and a backward drop. That’s why Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster became my favourite wild mouse coaster on Earth when I first rode it in 2016. Unfortunately, during my second visit in 2018, I noticed that Movie World had removed most of the decorations, which doesn’t make any sense. Still, there’s hope. Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster is scheduled to get an extensive refurbishment soon, so let’s hope that it will be restored in its full glory.
Warner Bros Movie World has a wide range of coasters, but it’s a little short on other ride types. The park has only one dark ride and it isn’t even that good. It’s called Justice League – Alien Invasion 3D and unfortunately, the ride’s name is more impressive than the actual experience. It’s a slow, uninteresting tour with mostly static scenes and some simple 3D screens. Justice League’s interactive aspect (killing monsters with laser guns, yay!) may keep children’s eyes away from the poor theming, but it’s just not working for me. Variable speeds and more elaborate decoration would make this ride considerably better.
One of the park’s nicest looking areas is Wild West Falls. This is a classic Far West town including a huge mountain range and exotic vegetation. It’s simply stunning. Wild West Falls features just one attraction, but that’s a pretty awesome one. Wild West Falls Adventure Ride can best be described as Big Thunder Mountain meets Splash Mountain, including a backward descent. Wild West Falls Adventure Ride is exactly the refreshing experience we needed during a hot Queensland day. It’s similar to Rio Bravo at Parque Warner Madrid, but this Australian version is better maintained and the decoration looks more realistic than it does in Spain. Impressive ride.
Warner Bros Movie World isn’t huge and that’s an understatement. In fact, this place is so small that you won’t need a full day for a visit. Theming is on a very high level, though. The park’s WB Fun Zone, for example, is beautiful. And although this area is mostly designed for kids, I enjoy the atmosphere a lot. I grew up with Looney Tunes cartoons, so it’s all very recognizable for me. However, you’ll hardly find any experiences for adults here. Most attractions at Movie World’s Fun Zone are children-only.
Another example of great theming is Doomsday Destroyer. This is a pretty standard flat ride, but it got its own themed land including many great photo locations. Although I’m definitely not interested in riding this nauseating thrill ride, I am impressed by its decoration. If you ever wonder how to theme a flat ride properly, just take a look at this beauty. Or at Phantasialand’s Talocan, of course.
Warner Bros Movie World Gold Coast looks a lot like Movie Park Germany. That’s no coincidence: Movie Park was called Warner Bros Movie World Germany until 2005 and the park was directly based on its Australian sibling. That’s why you’ll probably recognize the entrance, the circular square and the Main Street on the right. Even the buildings and facades look familiar if you’re used to the German park. There’s one big difference: this Australian Main Street is mostly covered. The roof is visually rather unappealing, but it protects you from the rain and the hot summer sun.
By the way… Main Street is home to two different shows. The first one is a short 3D film with characters from The Lego Movie. The film is set within a fictional theme park and I like that, despite the fact that it’s actually just another 3D movie full of predictable effects. Unfortunately, the park’s other show – which is called Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 – turns out to be a lot weaker. Although they call it a stunt show, those race cars just make a few slow laps on the track. Whoever thought that Moteurs Action at Walt Disney Studios was disappointing, should definitely see this performance. Most boring stunt show ever, if you ask me.
WORTH A VISIT?
I’m quite positive about the overall experience at this park. Movie World may be small, but it offers some high-quality attractions. Especially DC Rivals HyperCoaster is a must do for every coaster enthusiast. Thanks to this addition, the park confirmed its status as Australia’s roller coaster capital. They already had a wonderful Intamin Accelerator, but nowadays Movie World boasts another world-class ride. Furthermore, the park is blessed with motivated staff, beautiful landscaping and most of the theming looks pretty nice. That’s why Warner Bros Movie World is a fine amusement park and you should certainly visit this place during a trip to Australia.
ENTRANCE & MAIN STREET
DC COMICS SUPERHERO HUB
KIDS’ WB FUN ZONE
DC SUPER-VILLAINS UNLEASHED
WILD WEST FALLS
Did you get the chance to visit Warner Bros Movie World yet? Does the southern hemisphere deserve a taller roller coaster than DC Rivals? And do you consider the Looney Tunes as pure nostalgia too? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.