I never thought it was possible – to have a bad day at a theme park, especially not one which is all in all a really good theme park like Movie World, but that’s what happened to me on Easter Saturday this year. This blog post is the story of that day.
So I really enjoyed my time at Dreamworld on Good Friday – you can read about that HERE, so I was pretty keyed up for the next theme park – Movie World, which I had decided to visit when my snorkelling trip was cancelled due to poor visibility in the water. I had really enjoyed the roller coasters at Dreamworld and I already knew how awesome some of the rides at Movie World were – I had fond memories of the Superman ride and the Arkham Asylum ride.
Also I would be armed with the Movie World app this time, which amongst other things keeps you informed of how long the wait times for various rides were. I left in good time to arrive at 1030am, half an hour after opening, I should be able to have a good day and check out some rides and shoot a decent vlog into the bargain too. How wrong I was!
It was Easter Saturday, and I later found out it was the busiest day they had had since Covid according to one of the dudes who worked there. Anyways, I bought my ticket for $109AUD the night before. Unlike Dreamworld, this ticket did not have any extras thrown in for fun – Dreamworld ticket included a fast track for one ride – and it was a little more expensive.
Arriving at Movie World and going through the gate, there is a little booth where you can buy fast tracks – either parkwide for $169 or for the individual rides which ranged from $30 to $60 I think depending on the ride. I downloaded the Movie World app and that also allowed you buy a fast track. At the booth/shop all fast tracks were sold out. On the app each hour or so they refreshed, and although most rides never gave me the chance, I kept checking and I spent $30 on a fast track for the Scooby Doo Scary coaster, a ride I’ve taken many times before and is always good value.
So anyways, my first port of call was the stunt show. It was packed but I got in – there was a 3D show on main street I walked past and tried to get in but it was full for the next session and people lined up for the next one in an hour I think. And some of them wouldn’t get in. So straight to the stunt show, which is a cool experience and highly recommended. It’s mostly cars spinning on one spot and going over a jump with the added humour and fun for all. My day had started well. That’s not how it would continue.
Checking the ride waiting times on my app I could see everything was at least 2 hours already, and that two rides were closed – the Arkham Asylum which was disappointing, and the Doomsday Destroyer which wasn’t one I wanted to take. However, the closure of two main thrill rides, presumably for routine maintenance, meant that there was less choice on the busiest day thus far in over two years. It was the Easter long weekend too, and perhaps they could have thought harder about whether this was the right time to be doing maintenance.
The one I had missed the previous time I was there was the Wild West Falls Adventure Ride. I was really keen to give this a go as I love rides that involve water. But although it was open when I arrived, at 11am sharp it closed down because of some issue. Now there were three thrill rides out of action, increasing demand for the ones open. I asked at the booth at the entrance and they said it would likely be open later in the day, they just had to fix a technical problem.
Okay. I thought, I will line up for my favourite Movie World ride – the Superman Escape! A two-hour wait time, bound to blow out as the day goes on, if I only got on three or four rides, I’d want one of them to be the Superman Escape. Well. I stood in line for around 2 hours. We got into the building where you board the coaster. I could see the gates that open and people board, although there were still maybe 150 people between me and the gate. And then… nothing. For 30 minutes the gate didn’t open. I asked someone working there, who said the ride was still running just ‘very slow’. Presumably the process of boarding, not the coaster speed. But I had had enough, and they had closed it to clear the backlog of people. Not long after though they closed that ride as well.
So now four rides out of action. I had spent over 2 hours waiting for a ride. That I didn’t get on. The crowds were suffocating, so many people in there, just walking down main street was a hassle and a half. The food options all had massive lines as well, I would have said 30 minutes to get a poor hamburger and chips. Luckily I found myself a bakery that wasn’t so busy and grabbed a sausage rool and a ham and cheese croissant for a quick lunch. But they didn’t sell soft drinks so I had to get that from a little hut. I sat down feeling pretty aggrieved.
After lunch I went on the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster. Even with fast track I waited half an hour to get on. Which is why they stop selling fast tracks because it isn’t that fast if everyone has one. The normal queue was looking at three hours. I enjoyed the ride. Which is good, it would be the only one I would get on.
After that I saw that the 3-D Justice League ride was only 2 hours, about the shortest wait time in the park. Apart from the Batwing thing that goes straight up and straight down. I visited the Wild West Falls ride – still out of action, no information from the people stationed there about an approximate time to reopen, or if it would happen at all. (Long story short, it did not).
I got to the Justice League and sized up the line. 2 hours is not what the sign said – so the app was proving not to be accurate. It was more like FOUR hours. I did stay in the line for 20 minutes and barely moved. I left the line to check out the DC Rivals coaster, the main event at Movie World, the most extreme coaster they have. The wait time? Over four hours, maybe FIVE. I’m sorry, but what’s the point? The park is only open for 7 hours? But I did get some cool footage of it in action (vlog coming later in the year) and anyways, too extreme I fancy for me.
I could have tried the Green Lantern ride which is next to it, if I had chosen it at the start of the day as the wait times then weren’t too bad (90 minutes or so) but by now they were over three hours. I was pretty bummed out. I didn’t even take photos. I collected my bag from the locker that cost I think $12 for the day but could have been more, and left the park to take the bus, which I ran after as it moved just as I arrived, but it didn’t stop for me.
I waited 20 minutes for the next bus. A couple came down and sat next to me complaining about the same issues I had had. I think they had only been on one ride too for the whole day. They also had had a pretty crummy day. Who knew you could have a crummy day at a theme park?
In summary, well, I did choose to go on Easter Saturday and I bear a bit of the blame on that count. But the park just isn’t run efficiently and two rides breaking down on the same day is poor. I would suggest to Warner Brother’s that they do their maintenance schedule in such a way that when peak holiday times arrive, they have all rides available to mitigate wait times. I have never encountered four to five hours for a ride before in my like and I’ve been to three Disney theme parks and two universal studio parks. People who have paid for their whole family to go to a park, hundreds and hundreds of dollars, deserve better. It should work better than it did on Easter Saturday 2022. It was an utter disaster and if I had my time again I would not have gone.
Have you ever had a bad day at a theme park? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, take care – and May the Journey Never End!