There is one reason, and one reason alone, that Matt and I decided to holiday at the Gold Coast – the search for theme park happiness. It’s that feeling of elation experienced as the combined result of fear, excitement, adrenalin and fairy floss-induced sugar comas commonly occurring in theme parks across the world.
The Gold Coast has well and truly established itself as Australia’s capital of theme park happiness. It was on our first day that Matt and I discovered this special kind of happy during a visit to this little out-of-the-way place called Dreamworld.* We subsequently found it again the next day at Movie World and the day after that at Wet ‘n’ Wild.
Matt and I absolutely love theme parks – we both love roller coasters and I have a particular fondness for dorky tourist photos, eating fairy floss and wearing souvenir Bugs Bunny ears on the bus all the way back to our apartment.
If you too are going to the Gold Coast in search of theme park happiness, we have three quick tips on how to find it faster.
1. Do some research and buy tickets before you go.
There are always deals on offer somewhere on the internet. For instance, Australian health and car insurance companies often have cheap tickets available for members. If you do a bit of research and buy early, you should be able to get tickets on the cheap with some money left over for gorging on over-priced ice cream and fairy floss during your visit.
2. Avoid school holidays if you can.
Matt’s uni holidays just happened to fall on the week the NSW and Queensland school holidays overlapped, so we had little choice but to brave the swarming crowds of pre-teens dragging their parents from ride to ride. It wasn’t quite as bad as I may have just made it sound, but that’s a blogger’s prerogative. In reality, there were only a few times when the lines were longer than we thought reasonable. But however painless our experience was, if you do have the choice, going on a weekday outside of school holidays would guarantee you some serious theme park happy.
3. Pack your lunch
This was Matt’s idea. To be honest, the thought of getting organised enough to have a packed lunch at a theme park had never even crossed my mind. That little extra effort beforehand though was really worthwhile – we had a far superior lunch to any that could be purchased at a theme park and we had more money to spend on fairy floss and ice cream. Just ensure you don’t take notice of the rule stating you can’t take your own lunch. We were blissfully unaware this rule existed and it never mattered. Just don’t take in anything glass, they will take glass off you.
*Dreamworld is actually quite large.