Perhaps THE park to visit in Australia is the Movie World park, home to the launched Superman Coaster, which has had great reviews from those that have been there before. In the weeks leading up to the trip we'd heard that Superman would be down on the week that were there, gutting. However whilst in Perth we'd heard that their second biggest coaster Lethal Weapon had been taken down and Superman had been reopened. Sure we'd have liked both to be running but given the choice of one over the other, we'd lucked out.
The park is located about 30 minutes inland, and the drive to it is very easy indeed. It neighbours the Wet and Wild park so these two can easily be done together.
Greeting you as you arrive is the new Green Lantern coaster. A number of "Green Lantern" themed rides are appearing around the world and all are of different design. The one here is an S&S El Loco model. There are 4 of these coasters in the world, to date I'd only done the one in the UK (there's one in France and another in the US).
Here's our confirmation that the SLC Lethal Weapon was down. It's getting new trains and a retheme as there hasn't been a Lethal Weapon movie for some time and the kids coming to the park have probably never heard of Patsy Kensit.
The 3 signature super heroes that have given their name to the rides here say "hi", with their fists.
Initial impressions of the park were very good indeed. Nice theming, well maintained grounds, clean park, clean local etc.
Except for Harry, he's really dirty so bad in fact that at one point they were considering calling him Filthy Harry!
At the end of the main street there's a stunt show arena, I'm sure it's very good but it'll never be as good as the crazy Italian one I saw a few years ago.
The Green Lantern coaster is not a bad ride if you can get your head around the layout. It's a compact coaster with a lot of unusual elements such as a beyond vertical drop, overbanked turns, a diving twist and my favourite the half-roll, half loop pairing. The trains have a slightly different restraint system to what I'd seen before which made the falling out of the seat part just that much better :)
The park have a very strict no items on the ride rule in their park, and this includes glasses with strap and even items in the pockets. I understand their safety concerns but these are some of the most thorough I'd ever seen. Their rules also backfire a bit as they still exit you through gift shops but you've no money on you to spend and having had to pay for a locker who's going to then come back and spend more money in the shops? Also there are some great photo locations that have to be missed because you can't have your camera on you. I had to ignore a no-entry sign to get this photo for example.
Superman was next and this is the coaster that dominates the sky line in this park. It looks really really good and the lengthy queue showed that others thought so too. Again all the items had to go into a paid locker (I was allowed to wear my glasses for the queue line only), I thought I'd test the staff by entering with 2 coins in a pocket, she heard them hit together as I walked in and I convinced her it was the zip (power to the people!). Part of the reason for the slow throughput was that only one train was being run, a slight shame. There's always a case that if you can run more trains you should do so. the train is also 2 station so you can't have people getting on as others are getting off - there's a double hit as the train is emptied then sent through to the other station to be loaded. They're also very strict with their restraints and despite being clipped in they wouldn't allow Martin to ride, and we tried many times to get him on :(
The ride itself is great with a nice dark ride section pre-launch and some decent air time hills along the way. The story to this ride is that you're in an underground transit system that gets caught up in an earthquake. You pass by some tunnel flooding and a collapsed road before superman comes to your rescue and pushes you out "Superman Fast". However there's a counter argument that Superman also pushed you into the trouble, perhaps to make himself look good.
Next coaster was the Scooby Doo indoor ride. This had also picked up a pretty big queue but unlike Superman they were running a full compliment of cars. We think the delay here was that they were holding the line back at a couple of points along the way rather than have the admittedly very wide queue lines completely filled up.
The ride was really really good and having not read about it, it became a genuine surprise. The ride is in 2 halves with a ghost train section first and then the mouse track in a huge indoor room second. There was a wonderful swinging pendulum section in the first part that I thought was great (you dive under it at the last second). In 2010 Six Flags bought similar coasters for their Dark Knight indoor coasters but they were atrociously bad. They should have come here to see how an indoor coaster should be.
At the back of the western section of the park there's a really well themed flume ride.
Into the kiddy section for the final coaster, a fairly standard rollerskater type ride but themed nicely to an Acme rocket.
For some reason they seemed to have quite a lot of Batman vehicles scattered around the park. It's just a shame that their Batman attraction is nothing more than a drop tower. At other parks Batman is usually the inverted coaster, perhaps that's what Lethal Weapon is going to become?
Obligatory Loony Tunes send off!
The park is a frustrating one. They have a some nice rides, and a well maintained park, but the extreme regulations mean you can't have a good relationship with the staff and ultimately you can't enjoy the park, which is a shame. In most retail industries there's a mantra that the "customer is always right" but not here. I appreciate the park has its rules for a reason but it's a real kick in the teeth to be told you can't ride a coaster when you've ridden pretty much every other coaster of the same type around the world with no issue. I've ridden coasters faster and taller than Superman with glasses and have never had them come off, so it was a shame I had to experience the ride blind.