Extinct Attractions on the GC
Not Everything Lives On, But The Memories Last Forever.
📷 :Calvin fitra Anggara
Remember that time you were a kid, and your parents took you on that one thing? You know, the thing that was just so magical that you’ve remembered it ever since, And now you want to take your kids to experience the same thing that made you so happy. Well, it’s gone. The GC is a tourism hotspot, and stuff gets changed up, moved, rethemed and just taken out all the time. Here’s a few things you probably remember but can’t revisit.
Ok so, have you been to Infinity? Well do you remember the spin off it had, where you’d get to explore a space station, learn about the stars and buy some cool glowing food? It only lasted a few years, but in that time, many a classroom get to walk through the attraction and honestly, it probably left a big mark on your psyche if you were one of those kids.
Up in Surfers Paradise, you used to be able to play in the snow in the summertime. Until 2018 this attraction ran in various states, sometimes with outdoor sections, sometimes with the purpose of dry snow. The idea itself was cool, and maybe one day we’ll have a ski slope on the beach. But until then, those with the memories will remain nostalgic, and those without will be confused as to how snow in Surfers works.
GRUNDY’S ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE
Prior to Timezone, Grundy’s was the place to go. Not only did it have all the fun and games of the current arcade king, but a theme park with water slides, a ghost train, and even a pizza playhouse ala Chuck E. Cheese in the US, called Charlie Cheese in Australia. Gone but not forgotten, the story of Grundy’s is still regularly told by parents looking to remind their kids that there was fun in the past too. And was there!
The one we lost. Magic Mountain looms large on the memories of GC natives, mostly because of what it represents. From 1962 to 1987, the park entertained thousands, if not millions, of Aussies before shutting down for 4 years and eventually being torn down. A true landmark of the old Gold Coast, pictures of it will feel nostalgic even if it’s from before your time.
Then there’s the current theme parks!
Sea World has a few things in the past we remember fondly.
Not particularly elaborate, but there used to be a short but sweet ride in the middle of Sea World. Round the bend, up the track, across the castle walls and back down the ramp. The real thrill came at the end splash, and you could be sure to walk away drenched and happy. Unfortunately, it’s been gone since 2016, closed for maintenance and never reopened. But the memories live on!
Lasting 20 years, this roller coaster was always at odds with the sea theming at Sea World, but nevertheless, there’s nostalgia there. With the arrival of their new roller coasters, it’s cool to think of the first big one that stood at the park. Speaking of which…
The Thrillseeker’s counterpart, this roller coaster began life as ‘Corkscrew’, later becoming more appropriately water themed in becoming ‘Sea Viper’. Clased in 2014 for maintenance, it never returned. Spooky!
Back in the day, you used to be able to enter a strange and alien world deep in the heart of an active volcano, where the extra-terrestrial awaited. Now…not so much. One of the most elaborate rides to grace the GC in terms of theming, it is gone but not forgotten.
From 2012 to 2014, you could wander a small island in amongst Sea World and enjoy the sights of animatronic dinosaurs. Learn stuff, touch stuff, look at stuff. The three tenants of educational attractions.
The Pirate Ship
Not much here except a swinging pirate ship. That may not sound particularly thrilling, but rest assured there’s something distinctly terrifying about being swung like a pendulum in a clock and staring gravity in the face.
Movie Magic Special Effects Show
A chance to see the inside workings of a sound stage making films and television shows, this tour lasted until 2005. Rumoured to have shut due to guests wandering off during the tour, it’s departure took with it some of that signature movie magic.
The Great Gremlins Adventure
Back where the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster currently lives, there used to be a particularly zany Gremlins ride, where you’d be paired with Beetlejuice (yes, BEETLEJUICE!?) for what must have been the trip of a lifetime. We love Scooby Doo, but this will forever hold a place in our hearts.
Harry Potter Movie Magic Experience
The world of Hogwarts was, briefly available in Australia via this walkthrough experience, where the streets of Diagon Alley were presented for your viewing pleasure. It’s so 2001 we could die!
Looney Tunes River Ride
Remember when an animatronic Bugs Bunny took you on a boat ride to film a Looney Tunes cartoon? You do? You’re owed the senior citizen discount and the government can’t tell you otherwise.
The Batman Rides
From 1992 to 2001, you could ride Batman Adventure – The Ride, then from 2001 to 2011, its sequel, Batman Adventure – The Ride 2. The idea of a ride having such a clearly outlined sequel is actually amazing and we hope that idea gets used again. Maybe even Batman Adventure - The Ride 3?
The 3D/4D Movies
Now, this is one you can’t say for sure. It’s as simple as clicking a different file for the 4D cinema. But there’s quite a few 3D and 4D movies Movie World used to have running for everyone. Ice Age, Happy Feat, Hi-5 and Marvin the Martian all used to have movie representation at the parks. Movie Marathon one day soon?
Big Brother House & Studios
Between the original seasons of Big Brother, patrons of Dream World would have an opportunity to explore the set in all its glory. Imagine if you still could? Nostalgia bomb!
Now where the Sky Voyager takes you on a flight across Australia, but until 2018, you could watch full blown movies in Dreamworld, including such hits as Rio, Megamind, Tron: Legacy and the Puss In Boots short where he has three kitten friends helping him. All that was missing was the Popcorn!
There wasn’t much finesse to this ride. You get in, strip in, and it spins you around. For a while it was Angry Beaver themed, and that was itself a treat. If you didn’t chip a tooth on this, you know someone who did. Now it’s replaced with something dedicated to Kung Fu Panda.
Eureka Mountain Mine Train
A mine train themed roller coaster, the real drama here was the decade’s worth of tormenting Dreamworld pulled with this ride. It stood unused, until 2017, when it was finally pulled down. In those intervening years, it was rumoured to come back countless times, and as late as 2015 they were suggesting it could come back. Such a tease!
Ok so, you know how that one feeling of safety you have on roller coasters is the restraints? Imagine a ride that just didn’t have them, and you were made safe through science you probably didn’t understand. That was this ride.
Dreamworld’s original roller coaster, it lasted until 2003, but the memory lives on. There’s really not much interesting to say except it was an original ride, but that’s enough. History is important people!
There’s so much history behind what we have here on the GC. You don’t NEED to know it all, but maybe just remember how much of what we have can be gone in an instant. Enjoy it while it’s here. Don’t say tomorrow, say today!
About the Author
There’s something just so soothing about listening to The Veronicas 2005 album “The Secret Life Of…” on vinyl while reading a book about the inner workings of the Disney company in the 1990s. At least, there is to me. Gold Coast born and raised, I’m the product of beaches, movies and hiding in libraries from the heat of the GC sun. Always currently obsessed with Cruel Intentions.