Gold Coast Theme Parks

"Get the Adrenalin Rush here!"

99% of visitors to the Gold Coast end up in one of the fabulous Gold Coast theme parks. It's probably one of the key reasons why the Gold Coast is in fact one of the top holiday destinations in Australia.

If you've got kids, then the theme parks really are a wonderful place. Or, if you are like me and love all those adrenalin rides, then this is the place for you!

This page is designed to ensure you get the most out of your visit to the theme parks.

Choosing the right Gold Coast Theme Park for you

There are four main gold coast theme parks to choose from. You need to work out what you like and then pick the best ones that suit your needs.Sea World. This one is good for little kids and anyone into dolphins or Polar Bears.

Movie World - For anyone who loves their movies, super heros and film stunts. There's a few rides here too

DreamWorld. Hold onto your stomachs. This is the place for you if you are a thrill seeker. Home to all the big adrenalin rides.

Wet n Wild The original water park with great flumes and slides

There are two others

White Water World. Relatively new to the Gold Coast theme parks. This is another water park designed to give Wet n Wild a run for its money.

Outback Spectacular. This one opens after dark and gives visitors a glimpse of the Outback through a cracking show and Aussie Barbie.

Dream World and White Water World are best if you have teenage kids or are an adult looking for fun.

If you are a younger family, then go for Sea World, Movie World and Wet n Wild.

Get the right Ticket

There are two different owners of the Gold Coast theme parks so it's best to pick between them to get the best value for money.

So, you can visit Dreamworld and White Water World together or

visit the other three together, Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild. They also do good packages when you stay at their Sea World Resort. It's worth checking out for their 3 night special where you only pay for 2 nights. Plus they normally throw in a few freebies. Check out the link below to check availability and current specials Sea World Resort

Work out how much time you want to spend at the Gold Coast theme parks. Don't be fooled. It's hard to get round more than one park in a day. With the shows and queues, it's too much of a rush trying to do two in one day. This is particularly true if you have kids who want to do different things.

My first piece of advice is to Book On Line It means you can get directly into the Gold Coast Theme Parks without having to queue. Just pass through the e-ticket express lanes.

Here are a list of the types of passes you can get:

Movie World, Wet n Wild and Sea World

Super pass. This gives you access to all 3 Gold Coast Theme Parks for 14 days and its valid for a year. A good option if you intend to come twice a year ($189 for adults; $129 for kids) (Kids are classed as being between 4-13 years old)

Fun Pass. Access to 3 parks over a 5 day period. It's limited to only one visit per park. Good if you want to do all 3 parks but not over 3 consecutive days ($149 for adults; $95.95 for kids)

Escape Pass. Allow entry to 2 parks over 5 days (one day only per park) ($119 for adults; $75.95 for kids)

The other two - Dream World and White Water World

Two Day World Pass $102 for adults and $68 for kids

Two day Family and Friends World Pass (2 adults and 2 kids) $306

One Day World Pass $79 and $57 for kids

The Gold Coast theme parks are not all close together although Dreamworld and White Water World are pretty close. If you want to do more than one park, go for at least a 2 day pass. If you want to do 3 parks, go for a 3 day pass.

If you intend to go to Dream World, I'd strongly recommend getting the following ad ons to your ticket

Early Entry. For an extra $10 you can get into the park at 9am which is an hour before the park actually opens. (Tickets are limited so you need to book in advance)

Q4U. Whilst you will have to pay an extra $30 for a family of 4, this will be worth it. You get the freedom to walk around the park until it's time for you to ride the ride. No standing in line getting bored and weary. You get a buzzer, a bit like the ones you get in a restaurant that tells you when your food is ready.

To book your tickets go to This is the site for Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild. Your booking gives you one year to use the tickets.Go to for the other two theme parks.

Getting from One Park to the Next

You don't need to hire a car to get around the Gold Coast theme Parks. Surfside Shuttle Buses have buses that go past the theme parks. Pick up one of their "Get around Guides" from any surfside bus, the Gold Coast airport or tourist desk.

The Major Attractions At Each Theme Park

Planning your trip is the key to getting the most out of the Gold Coast Theme Parks. Whilst it's nice to amble round and discover as you go, I guarantee that you will run out of time. Study the Gold Coast theme Parks Map before you go and work out which of the attractions and shows you really want to do.

Sea World

Whilst this park is more about the fish than the rides, there is both here. The key ticket items are

The Water Ski Wipe Out Show, The Polar Bear Exhibition, and the Imagine Show at Dolphin Cove

The Animal Adventures are worth a look but remember to book well in advance. You can swim with a dolphin or scuba dive with a shark.

There are a few rides here too with the Jet Rescue (their newest ride) and Corkscrew rollercoaster probably being the best ones. Both have height restrictions.

Movie World

Hit the streets and look out for your favourite movie characters. You are bound to bump into your favourite cartoon characters, Bat Man, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman and maybe even Shrek.

The big attractions are

For the younger ones you can't beat the Looney Tunes Musical which happens once a day at 11.30am. You'll be bopping in the aisle to some classic rock n roll tunes. The Hollywood Stunt driver show is a bit more fast and furious. This 20 minute show takes in lots of cool car stunts. The Shrek Cinema Adventure is a 3D Movie. You get to wear silly glasses and your chair moves.

The newest ride is the Batwing Space Shot. A rapid 4.5g vertical launch followed by a 60 meter drop. I hope you are brave enough. The Superman Escape is a more classic roller coaster of a ride and a good adrenalin rush.

Wet n Wild

This Gold Coast theme park isn't too big but still has all the flumes and slides that you would expect. It's good to be able to relax and enjoy the sunshine whilst the kids go off and play. You can still keep an eye on them.

Kamikaze - a ride for two people that reaches speeds of 50km/h with sheer drops and slopes

Tornado - rush down this flume on a dingy like tube

Black Hole - it's always more exciting in the dark

Mach 5 - open air flumes with many twists and turns


The biggest and best adrenalin rides are

Cyclone is more of a classic roller coaster;

Claw is like a ferris wheel that tips you upside down;

Wipe Out is the giant boat that tips you up and over and side to side;

Tower of Terror is a very fast roller coaster;

And Giant Drop is another vertical drop leaving your stomach far behind.

Use your Q4U buzzer for these rides. If you have the early entry ticket, then head for these rides first. If not, expect to queue for over an hour.

There are other things to see here though. The more family friendly rides such as the Log Flume and Rapids are very popular. For the animal lover, there is Tiger Island where you get to see white and gold Bengal Sumatran Tigers.

The Nickelodean area is also popular and in particular the Slime Time Live is amusing.

Another top attraction is Flow Rider. Get to know what it feels like to surf your own wave. You'll need your swimmers.

White Water World

This park offers something for all ages, with lots of slides and flumes.

Towering 20m above the ground, The Green Room is one of the more well known slides.

The Hydro Coaster will blast you 18m in your own rocket dinghy.

Cave of Waves is more like a swimming pool with a wave machine. So there's no need to worry about rips or sand banks. Why not do a learn to surf lesson here. The lessons last 2 hours and are between 8 and 10am. Book ahead though as they only run 3 times a week and cost $115.

Other Tips For Getting The Most From the Theme Parks

With the exception of Dream World and White Water World, you can take your own packed lunch and drinks.

Use the lockers to store your belongings but pick a good central location if you will need to keep going back and forth.

Mobile phones are a great way of keeping in touch with others if you intend to split up and meet later. It's hard to judge how long the queues will take you. It can leave the other half of your party frustrated as they wait for you.

There's so much more to the Gold Coast than the Theme Parks. Make sure your holiday to the Gold Coast takes in some of the other attractions including the Hinterland (The Green behind the Gold.)Click here for more information on The Gold Coast holidays

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