Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dreamworld with Under 5's

I first visited Dreamworld around 12 years ago, which might as well be 100 years ago for all my dim recollections, so it was a lot of fun to revisit.  I'm no adrenaline junkie, so my excitement wasn't diminished by the idea of taking kids.  In fact, I imagined it would be MORE fun with the babies.  This was mostly accurate, though our early morning wake-up (2am, thanks!) definitely started having an effect on our littlest guy.  Tantrums aside, we had a great time, and even won him over eventually (thank you, big sleepy tigers).  

Unsurprisingly, we didn't cover heaps of ground during our visit and could easily have spent another couple of days at the park.  Even so, it felt like we got our moneys worth with the amount we packed in.  We skipped Whitewater World entirely (though our pass covered entry) :-( and instead spent our time in the Dreamworks Experience, followed by some toned down afternoon fun in ABC Kids World (both in the circled portion - full map available here).

Despite covering so little ground, and even though Garland fell into the lower of the height brackets, there was still SO much to do!  We enjoyed a little sit-down break while the Madagascar live show was running, and spent the rest of our time flying between rides and photo ops, and even fitting in a little shopping too.

Food was definitely expensive, but that came as no surprise.  I was happy to see some healthy options, we dined on some pretty average sushi but the fruit salad was yum!  Around that point Garland starting hitting the upper limits of his cray, so we left the dining area pretty quick and hunted down the tigers.  Thank the stars for the tigers.  Amazingly, they had an ADORABLE tiger cub when we visited, awwwwww!  We got an up close look, but were torn away because EVEN MORE AMAZINGLY our kids really didn't care about the tiger cub, and wanted to see the boring old BIG tigers.  So weird.

I think (actually I know) that I was more of a scaredy cat than Eleanor, most times.  Like watching her on the sword swing - oh my heart!  She wanted to ride again immediately, meanwhile I needed a cup of tea and a little sit down to sooth my nerves...  We rode Escape from Madagascar together and both screamed the entire way.  Incidentally, we were the ONLY ones screaming.  #noshame

Dreamworld was crazy and fun and I'd love to take the kids back again next time we visit Queensland. Sure, there were a couple of low moments, but a few tantrums are par for the course, and we definitely hit our stride post-lunch. I think our little guys were well catered for in terms of rides and entertainment, and I felt zero disappointment about missing the thrill rides.  Zan was able to sneak away and do some of the fun rides too, so we were all winning!

Cost: Expensive!!!  We purchased 4 World Passes for the price of 3, but even so.  The bonus was that by visiting during Zan's birthday month, we were able to offer my bro and his family half price day passes, which they could then upgrade (for maybe $30) to world passes.  Or something like that.  Anyway, it's not a cheap day out, but worth it if you can make good use of your year long pass.
Highlights: Watching Eleanor's confidence grow, ride by ride #heartswell.  And Garland's face when he spotted the Bananas in Pajamas lolol. 
Lowlights: Much to her bummage, Eleanor didn't figure out the Dronkey ride first time round. It was a downer that she soon made up for by riding every single thing her height allowed!
Expectation vs. Reality:  It's definitely bigger than last time I visited, so the reality was better
Worth repeating: For sure!
What we'd do differently:  Sneak our own snacks in (they didn't check, and for picky eaters I'd definitely do this).  I'd also arrive earlier and spend some time at Whitewater World, or schedule an extra day or two to spend at the park. 

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