Wet and wild fun on the Gold Coast

Wet ’n Wild is probably the best-known brand for water parks worldwide. The concept was developed by George Millay, who previously established the SeaWorld marine mammal parks. Over time, there were eight water parks sharing the same ideas with the most prominent one being in Orlando. Most of the parks were sold and there are currently just three parks left in operation. Wet ’n’ Wild on the other hand is a popular brand of water parks by Village Roadshow Theme Parks, who licenced the Wet ’n Wild name.

Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast originally started as Cade’s County by the Herringe Group of Companies in 1984. Back in the days it was a state-of-the-art water park and the biggest one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere consisting of a wave pool, a kamikaze slide and a bunch of mat and body slides. Nowadays, it is pretty clear that Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast was heavily influenced by its namesake sharing most of the attractions once featured in Orlando.

One attraction which is rather unique to the park is the Intamin half pipe roller coaster Surfrider. This LSM coaster features two revolving gondolas which are placed onto an oversized surfboard. Due to the small launches the ride more and more increases in height and the spinning just gets wilder and wilder. At the highest point you feel a great amount of airtime and, depending on your position, some very impressive views. This ride is fun and should not be missed when visiting the Gold Coast. But caution, the floor up to the ride’s platform can get very hot.

In the area behind the Surfrider, there were only two of the four slide towers operational. The most impressive of these was the Mach 5 slide tower, which just got demolished to be replaced by a similar tower featuring two water coasters, two raft slides and a bodyslide racer. The Mach 5 had two large scale mat slides and some rather impressive looking kamikaze slides. It was a shame that I could not give it a try, as I was nearly one year too late for that. The neighbouring Black Hole tower was currently scheduled for maintenance, so we had to give the nice-looking tube slides with all its tight curves and jumps a miss.

The two slide towers which were open on the day of our visit in the Extreme H2O Zone were the Tornado and Kamikaze slide towers. Where the Tornado provides its usual large scale funnel slide experience, the Kamikaze is a rather oddly named Boomerang slide. Both slides are basically sharing the same experience, yet the Kamikaze is slightly steeper and provides a longer time swinging up and down in the slide’s main element. Both slides are great fun!

Past the closed Whirlpool Springs and the still closed lazy river Calypso Springs, we now head towards the front section of the park. To the left we find the large wave pool, a flow rider, a sky coaster and the Mammoth Falls water slides. The two family raft slides provides a rather tame experience with no real surprises along its serpentine style path.

 To the right there is the kid’s area Wet ’n’ Wild Junior, as well as a large selection of water slides. On an artificial mountain you can find the four River Rapids bodyslides offering two enclosed turbo slides winding down a curvy path and two open slides featuring a series of tight curves and great jumps. The nearby raft slide Constrictor is the first installation of a constrictor slide by whitewater featuring very tight helices along its path. Unfortunately, it was the best visited slide at Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast and after some minutes not moving forward in the queue, we had to give it a miss.

A slide we sure did not wanted to miss is the mat racer Super 8 Aqua Racer. This kind of slide is always a great experience, and it did not disappoint! I even won the race 😊. Enthusiastic, I would have given the nearby AquaLoop slides a try, but they were not opened, even through their maintenance was scheduled to end on the day before.

As the number of attractions was extremely limited during my visit, Village Roadshow Theme Parks once again did not provide a great experience. I seriously cannot understand how on earth you can not manage to open your attractions on time after a rather long maintenance period. If you cannot plan it well, then increase your timing or hire more people. This is simply not very professional.

Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast surely offers a great selection of water slides and their Surfrider roller coaster is great fun, yet I would have enjoyed the park far more, if all their slides would have been open. Combined with a visit to Sea World or the Warner Bros. Movie World, you can have a great day off – just make sure you don’t visit the parks during the low season.


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