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Theme Park:Dreamworld (since 1974)
Address:Dreamworld Pkwy
Coomera QLD 4209
Operated by:Ardent Leisure

Dreamworld GlobeDreamworld in Coomera, Queensland is the largest animal and amusement park in Australia. The park was founded in 1974 and is currently being operated by the Ardent Leisure Group. The park offers a wide range of family-friendly rides and experiences, among them you can take a plunge on the Giant Drop – the Southern hemisphere largest drop tower.


Highlights of the Animal and Theme Park


Giant Drop • Intamin Giant Drop


Giant Drop

The very tall drop tower


HotWheels Sidewinder • Arrow Looping Coaster


Gold Coaster

The unique looping coaster through the water park


Pandamonium • Zamperla Air Race



The intense AirRace


Sky Voyager • Brogent Technologies Flying Theatre


Sky Voyager

Soarin’ over Australia


Tailspin • Gerstlauer Sky Fly



A daredevil flight


The Claw • Intamin Gyro Swing


The Claw

An awesome swing



Past Highlights of the Animal and Theme Park


Buzzsaw • Maurer Sky Loop



Loopin’ the sky



Tower of Terror II

The reverse free fall coaster


The Final Countdown

History of the Theme Park Dreamworld

In 1974, John Longhurst bought 85 hectares of land to put his dream of building a theme park into practice. With a few attractions, Dreamworld opened to the public on December 15, 1981. A year later, the first expansion led to the world’s longest steel double loop rollercoaster, the Thunderbolt. With time, the park more and more expanded. In 1989 the park was sold to Bruce Jenkins’ Dreamco, yet due to Dreamco’s financial trouble in 1990, Ernst & Young, Receivers and Managers were appointed by the Mortgagee, IOOF Friendly Society, to take control. In 1994, Dreamworld successfully ended its liquidation. In 1995 the Park was sold to Singaporean Businessman and investor Mr Kua Phek Long. One of his first investments then put Dreamworld on everybody’s lips, as the fastest and tallest coaster was coming to the Gold Coast in 1997: the Tower of Terror. Two years later, Dreamworld was acquired by the Macquarie Leisure Trust, now Ardent Leisure Group.

Tour of the park

Sky Voyager

If you walk through the Disney-esque Entrance building, you find yourself directly in front of the Dreamworld globe. On both sides of the plaza, you can find buildings with typical Australian architecture, yet also a very futuristic looking building, which is home to Australia’s first flying theatre: Sky Voyager.

The large-scale motion simulator by Brogent Technologies features a very impressive flight along several famous Australian landscapes. We take off at the Gold Coast, have a look at the Wallaman Falls, follow the Tully River, fly over the Lancelin Sand Dunes, have a look at the Twelve Apostels from the seaside and experience a firework at the Sydney Harbour – the scenes are all loosely connected, yet the transition is always fluent, which gives you an overall coherent experience. Overall, Sky Voyager is one of the best Flying Theatre, I’ve experiences so far.


Right next to it, the roller coaster Buzzsaw was set at a very prominent position right at the edge of the park and very close to the entrance of Dreamworld. The ride itself was a Maurer Skyloop XT150, as you can still find them at several theme parks along the globe. It was the third SkyLoop, I’ve tried and yet I was still not very impressed with it. The extreme hangtime at a height of 46m, the descending heartline roll and the rush towards the ground creates a great experience, which is best when only experienced once. Buzzsaw was by no means a popular ride, so it isn’t a surprise that Dreamworld closed the ride for good after just 10 years of operation at the end of August 2021.

Giant Drop

Passing along the future site of the Steel Taipan roller coaster and former site of the Thunder River Rapids Ride, which had to be closed after a fatal accident where a boat was flipped on the ride’s lift, we now have a look on one of the main attractions at Dreamland: The Giant Drop.

For a very long time, there was no drop tower being taller than the Giant Drop and up to this date it is still in the top three just behind Lex Luthor’s Drop of Doom (122m, 2012) at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Zoomanjaro: Drop of Doom (126m, 2014) at Six Flags Great Adventure. All rides were attached to the support structure of a roller coaster made by Intamin. Yet, the Giant Drop was first and with a drop height of 115m it is not particularly lower.

Just one year after the inauguration of the world’s fastest and tallest coaster Tower of Terror, the 119m tall Dreamworld Tower received its second and final attraction when two drop lanes were installed to both sides of the roller coaster’s track. To maximise the ride’s capacity, both lanes feature a gondola for eight people each.

After leaving the heavily themed queue, we soon take place in the gondola to the front. After checking the restraints, we soon start our journey to the top of the tower. During our ascent, a vehicle from the Tower of Terror coaster gets the tower into vibration whilst shooting towards us. With a great view onto the surroundings, we then spend some time at the top before the Giant Drop. The hook releases the car, and we drop towards the ground accelerating to a max speed of 135 km/h before we hit the brakes and the awesome ride comes to an end.

Rocky Hollow Log Ride and the Dreamworld Corroboree

Past the now closed log flume Rocky Hollow Log Ride, which was not operating on my day of visit, we now enter Dreamworld Corroboree. This area is home to the Vintage Car Adventure ride, as well as a bunch of animal enclosures. Here, we can have a look to native Australian animals like dingoes, koalas, and kangaroos. Interestingly, the park is famous for its koala breeding programme. It is rather amusing to see how many Asian travel groups are guided into this part of the park only to take some pictures of them holding a koala.

ABC Rids World

Through the toddler area ABC Kids World, where the small trackless dark ride Big Red Car featuring the Australian children’s music group The Wiggles is located, we now make our way towards the first installation of the family launch coaster by Intamin is located.

Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster

Similar to the Motorbike Coaster by Vekoma, Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster features a seating position which resembles the one on a 500cc racing bike. In comparison, the train design is slightly more complex, which makes the boarding a bit harder. Here, you have to climb onto your seat first, move your upper body under the harness, pull the front part of the bike towards you (which also locks your legs in place) and then the harness will be automatically moved into position. As only the bike’s side panel fixes your legs from any sideways movement, a rough surface keeps it from moving in any other direction, which makes the ride a rather uncomfortable one. But you could ride in a sidecar, which features a more traditional ride experience located in the back two rows of a train. Due to its lower high restriction, these are a great way to experience the ride with your kids.

After boarding is completed and everything is clear, the ride immediately starts with its launch. After reaching the ride’s top speed of 72 kph, we now enter an ascending wide curve which leads us to the highest point of the ride reaching 7m. A wide curve to the left gets us a bit closer to the ground and soon we race over a small bunny-hop. After another 270° curve close to the ground, we change direction and climb a bit upwards in a helix. This is then followed by a wide curve to the left, which features a small dip in the middle. We then make our way towards the front of the ride in a bunch of alternating curves. After a short hop, we then hit the brakes. A short turnover then leads up to the station’s exit position.

Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster could be a great ride if the bikes would be slightly more comfortable. The fast-paced layout loses a bit of momentum towards the end of the ride, yet it has a ton of great curves which makes up for that, so that in an overall rating the ride features an okay experience.

The Claw and Tailspin

The Claw on the other hand is a superb ride. The monstrous looking pendulum ride by Intamin features a very high acceleration which in return led to a very fast-paced experience with tons of airtime and a lot of pressure. This Gyro Swing is brilliant!

Right next to The Claw, we can find the entrance to Tailspin – a ride where the riders can actively control how intense they want their experience to be. As a daredevil myself, I like to have tons of rollovers on a Gerstlauer Sky Fly – something, which was very easy to achieve back in the past, when the first models came up. Tailspin on the other hand is a rather new model and a rollover therefore isn’t as easy to initiate, yet still manageable; once you did the first one and hold your wings in position it is easy to do a lot more in a row.

HotWheels Sidewinder

Past the closed Disk’o Coaster Shockwave, we now make our way to Dreamworld’s large Looping Coaster: HotWheels Sidewinder. The ride was recently redeveloped to the Gold Coaster and got a surfing theme – a very fitting move if you ask me.

The Arrow Coaster previously known as the Big Dipper at Milton Points Luna Park in Sydney moved to Dreamworld at the end of the 2001 season. As the ride was tailored to fit into a very specific footprint at Luna Park, which is why the station is located high above the ground, a new entrance and exit path had to be designed to bring the guest to and from the ride. Unfortunately, Dreamland has chosen to install a large spiralling ramp, which takes ages to climb. Once at the top, we cross a small bridge and wait until the previous guests have left the station and the doors open for boarding.

The ride starts with a small dip out of the station. In a left-hand turn, we rapidly approach the ride’s lift hill. Arrived at a height of 40m, we immediately take another small dip and a turnaround, before we drop down. With full throttle, we now race into a large turn, which takes us high above the ground. After another drop, we then take a long turn to the left before we make our way into the waterpark Whitewater World. Here we rush through a long left-hand curve close to the ground before we initiate the first inversion of the ride: a sidewinder. Here, we first turn to the left while rotating around our axis before we plunge down towards the ground in a half loop. This is followed by a full vertical loop. Soon after, we take a large hill, race over a long straight into a turnaround and come to a stop in the ride’s station.

The HotWheels Sidewinder is a very nice coaster, which reminds me a bit of a mine train. The ride has a very fun pacing, albeit the layout is a bit off due to its main elements being placed at the end of the ride. Therefore, the HotWheels Sidewinder is more about speed and acceleration than it is about inversions and honestly, I liked that a lot. Surplus, the ride has a great smoothness to it, which makes it a good ride for tons of re-rides.

DreamWorks Experience

The DreamWorks Experience is a large themed area with dedicated areas for three of the studio’s most popular films: Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Shrek! While Shrek’s Faire Faire away is home to many of the park’s children rides, the two other areas all feature one of Dreamworld’s mayor attractions. Unfortunately, the suspended family coaster Escape from Madagascar in the Madagaskar Madness area was down for maintenance.


Next to the Skadoosh Bumper Cars, you can find in Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness the Zamperla Air Race Pandamonium. The popular ride comes in two experiences: soft-style and hard-style. While the soft-style cycle just rocks a bit sideways without going upside down, the hard-style run cycle is pure madness! I have been on quite a lot of these rides before, but Pandamonium is way faster than most of them and features far more rollovers. I had a blast!

Tiger Island

We now could get to the next ride via the adjacent souvenir shop, but we chose to have a look onto Tiger Island before. This large area is home to two animal enclosures, as well as a large area used for the Tiger presentation. You can also take a picture with you and a tiger over here.

Tower of Terror II

When I planned my Australian road trip, I had no clue that Tower of Terror II will close. Once the announcement was made by the park, I was very happy that the final day of operation would be during our planned trip to the Gold Coast, so that I did not even have to reschedule the entire trip to ride Intamin’s first opened launch coaster for the first and last time.

When the Tower of Terror opened in 1997, it was the tallest and fastest ride on earth. Together with Superman: Escape from Krypton at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the ride held the speed record till Dodonpa at Fuji-Q Highland opened to the public in 2001 and the height record until Top Thrill Dragster opened at Cedar Point back in 2003. In 2010, the Tower of Terror received an overhaul consisting of a new theme and new trains. It was time to Face Gravity, Face First on the Tower of Terror II.

After passing through the ride’s iconic skull entrance and the futuristic queue, I boarded the ride for the first time on November 2nd, one day before the ride’s closure. Unfortunately, the ride was down for most of the day of our visit. I returned for the last day of operation for several re-rides, as well as one of the last rides being held on that day. It was an amazing experience to walk through the skull and listen to Europe’s Final Countdown while doing so.  Overall, the excitement of the enthusiasts to catch the final Escape Pod was contagious.

The ride itself was an exciting experience. Once the vehicle was cleared, the lights of the boarding area are turned down and a countdown sets in. The light effect in the tunnel starts to go faster and faster and all the sudden the vehicle starts accelerating. For the next seven seconds, we accelerate to the max speed before we start to climb the tower. Now in a vertical position, the car loses more and more of its momentum while we are experiencing some of the finest airtime on a coaster. For several seconds, we now face gravity before plunging down again. We then race back into the tunnel, where we are smoothly reducing our speed and come to a halt in the station. After disembarking the ride, we then walk through a small corridor and take a lift ride into the shop.

Tower of Terror II was a great coaster! The ride was all about the launch, which was perfectly set in place by the lightning effects and noise in the tunnel. It just felt super-fast for a very long time. Once on the tower, the ride surprised everyone by its long-during airtime and the views towards the ground. I was glad, that I had the chance to experience such an iconic coaster on its last days of operation. I just wish, I could do it again.

Pictures Dreamworld

Conclusion Dreamworld

Dreamworld is a very nice theme park with a very solid ride collection. You can easily spend a full day at the park and the adjacent water park Whitewater World. Nevertheless, inform yourself in advance which rides will be closed on the day of your visit, as unfortunately the park’s line-up was reduced quite a bit during the past few years and closed attraction might not give you the best impression of the theme park. Having new attractions in the pipeline, I just hope that the current strategy of the Ardent Leisure Group will pay off.


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A visit to the Crazy Horse

Cavallino Matto

After staying in Rainbow Magicland near the Italian capital for almost too long, we reached the Tuscan amusement park Cavallino Matto at 4 pm on time. To my own surprise, the visit was a little cheaper thanks to the afternoon ticket and free parking.

In a good mood we went straight to the park of the Manfredi family, who have owned the Crazy Horse, Cavallino Matto, since 2006. However, the park was founded as Parco Gulliver as early as 1967, and was more a playground with pony rides and mini-golf than a leisure park. In the 1990s, more and more larger rides, such as the Colorado Boats log flume, moved into the park. However, the park didn’t gain in attraction until the Manfredi family took over and expanded it.

Rock ‘n’ Roll

I did not become aware of Cavallino Matto until 2012, and thus certainly earlier than most amusement park fans, when the Swedish amusement park Liseberg had its old Rock ‘n’ Roll monster from Schwarzkopf replaced by a brand new one from Gerstlauer, which in turn moved the old one to Tuscany. Here it was given a new environment, whereby the old theme is still used musically. In contrast to the comparable ride in the French Nigloland, the ride here is also very easy to turn thanks to the lack of partitions between the seats, which in combination with the general duration of the ride made for an all-round successful ride.

Topo Zorro

Opposite it is the children’s roller coaster Topo Zorro, a rather rare variation of the Italian long runner Brucomela with a helix instead of a straight downhill run. In contrast to the C&S-built ride Tren de Potosi from the Spanish Isla Magica near Sevilla, the waves in the upper part of the ride are quite round, which unfortunately makes the ride a bit less exciting.

Shocking Tower und Yukatan

Just a few metres further on, the first end of the Cavallino Matto amusement park is reached, where two rides venture beyond the ever-present treetops in a larger square. While the 55m high Shocking Tower from Soriani & Moser easily manages this, the gondola carrier of the Technical Park Typhoon Yukatan only reaches beyond the treetops in full swing. This makes the otherwise rather tame ride a very exciting experience.

Project 1

Passing a children’s driving school, as well as the Baia dei Bucanieri – a splash battle of SBF Visa – in whose courtyard the ship swing Nave Pirata is located, we went to the formerly largest roller coaster of the park: the L&T Systems ride Project 1. Here we also came across the exemplary handling of the park for the first time, according to which the train is sent onto the track immediately with enough passengers or after a certain time interval with only a few willing passengers. Especially on empty days this ensures sufficient rides on all relevant rides without having to pay attention to eventual closing and opening times.

The ride begins with a right turn towards the lift hill, which takes you up to the maximum height of 16m at a fairly leisurely pace. In a shallow right turn above the tree tops, you slowly but surely head towards the ground. Here you immediately pass through a long valley, after which you make your way to the sky with a similar gradient as you did on the descent. This also happens in a right turn, but the tree tops can only be seen from below. A smaller slope takes you to the other side of the ride, but there is now an uphill bend to the left. Parallel to the lift hill there is now another drop, whereupon the station is crossed in another left turn. This is followed by the last descent and a final bend, until the nice, but not necessarily exciting, ride in Cavallino Matto ends.

Wild Mine

Also from here it is only a few steps to the next bigger attraction, which for us was not the nicely designed dark ride Safari Adventures, but the wild mouse Wild Mine, also from L&T Systems. The ride is similar to its counterpart from Mirabilandia, but a bit smaller and has two hairpin bends less. Thus, the upper part of the ride goes through only five serpentine curves just before the funny interplay between steeper gradients and further hairpin bends starts one level below. Due to lack of space, the two successive gradients are slightly smaller, but this doesn’t hurt the funny mouse, especially since we didn’t have to wait an hour or rather a second for the ride this time.

Speedy Gonzales

Directly next door is the small roller coaster Speedy Gonzales, which we also knew from Mirabilandia. However, it seemed to be bigger there. Instead of just one lap through the layout of a simple figure of eight, the train set made its guided way over the track twice.

Colorado Boats

In addition to an electric horse-riding track and a 4D cinema, this area of Cavallino Matto also features the large, apparently home-made, Colorado Boats log flume. After leaving the station, you can take a little boat ride through the canal before you reach the first conveyor belt which takes you up to the top. Shortly after that the first shot is taken, whereupon the contact with the cool water is immediately established. Although the run-out area is very short, the boat glides very smoothly into the next curve whereby the speed is somewhat slow. No wonder that it is forbidden to change the natural speed of the boat. Of course we followed this advice written in German with pleasure and so we bobbed with the boat through the further course of the channel. A short time later we reached the second lift and thus the second and also biggest shot of the ride. Now the return to the station could be done properly moistened, but since no photo of the ride has been taken yet and this should best be taken during a descent, we climbed a hill a third time, but this time a remarkably small one. Fortunately, this hill is quite harmless and the boat trip through the forest ends shortly afterwards with a sufficiently pronounced degree of wetness.


On a brand new site, separated by a small public road, the newest and largest roller coaster of the Cavallino Matto amusement park rises to the sky. Although the Freestyle roller coaster is considerably older than any other ride in the park, the former Sky Rider from Canada’s Wonderland has attracted the park’s attention in all the forums. Almost like in 1985, the construction of the Stand-Up Coaster was eagerly awaited, which is the second ride of this type in Europe next to the Shockwave of the English amusement park Drayton Manor. Moreover, it is the only larger roller coaster of the Japanese manufacturer Togo in Europe, which is all the more reason to make a pilgrimage to the small, friendly amusement park in Tuscany.

While on most roller coasters the experience starts with the ascent of the lift hill, the access to Freestyle is already quite adventurous. Admittedly I didn’t understand the whole procedure at the first run, especially as the shoulder bar waistcoat couldn’t be opened completely, but this improved steadily from ride to ride. And actually it’s quite simple, because you only have to pull the nipple through the flap and turn the small crank to the top, then you see an arrow and press on it and it opens or closes. Actually you only have to push the loose harness forwards. But hopefully the person to your right doesn’t do the same at the same moment (which is very likely). When the harness is opened, place yourself onto the seat, close the harness and adjust the height of your seat. The seat is then locked in position and if necessary readjusted by the staff. The staff must be praised for their quick reactions and for allowing even a mentally handicapped and partially paralysed boy to ride in the course of the day.

As soon as the train has been cleared, you can take the lift up to a height of 27m at a leisurely pace. Up there, you take a turn above the green of the forest. In a curve you pick up more and more speed before you plunge down to the ground without hesitation. With extraordinary strong pressure you pass the first valley and immediately afterwards in a similar manic way the loop of the ride. After that you pass the following valley without any regard to losses before the train rushes up a camelback. Here you take off the floor in the front part of the train. However, with the best will in the world, the madness is not over, because the train now pushes through a narrow downhill helix, which is equipped with immensely high pressure. The now compressed legs are brought back into shape on the following hill by the negative forces; but the madness still continues. On a supposed straight line the train is now tilted to the left before it uses a right turn as a turning manoeuvre. Two and a half small hills, which get bigger and bigger towards their end, are the finale of this exciting ride. With the last hilltop the braking distance is reached and after another curve also the station, where you immediately feel the urge for another round.

The Stand-Up Coaster Freestyle is certainly one of the most intense roller coasters in Italy and also in Europe. The way the roller coaster stresses you in the helix is insane and almost uncomfortable, but in combination with the airtime moments during the ride it is extremely worth experiencing. If you can thankfully do without taking off on the first drop, then a ride in the front part of the train is recommended. Unfortunately, the ride characteristics are not the best, but the safety bars are almost negligible because they hardly touch your body; that’s why Dominik, who was rather displeased with the excellent Invertigo from Movieland Park, wanted to take one lap after the other, while one or two laps less would have been enough for me. But one can also be infected by such a passion.

Pictures Cavallino Matto

Conclusion Cavallino Matto

Cavallino Matto was the most sympathetic amusement park on the tour, so despite only two hours in the park we really had a lot of fun here. All in all, we had quite a few repeat rides on Freestyle and were able to ride everything without any problems due to the good waiting time management; only the strict approach to the Yucatan swing prevented a final ride on the stand-up coaster, which we had grown to love until then. So the ride just above the tree tops was the crowning glory of the tour through beautiful Italy.

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